Think about the last time you read a blog post.
Were you driving to work? Washing dishes? Working out?
Probably not. Or at least, I hope not, especially while driving!
What if I asked you the same question about listening to a podcast?
Podcasts rock when it comes to convenience.
Own a smartphone or a computer? You can listen to a podcast while doing just about anything.
And unlike radio, you choose what you want to listen to, ads are few and far between, and the ads that are there are not so irritating coming from a host you know and trust.
Why Not You?
If you enjoy listening to podcasts, the thought of starting your own podcast may have crossed your mind, and for good reason.
Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Marketing Report shows that while only 6% of the 2,800 respondents currently podcast, 21% said they planned to increase their use of podcasting for marketing over the next year.
With smartphones everywhere, podcasting apps easier to use than ever, and the introduction of Apple’s Carplay this year, podcasting is clearly on the rise.
Now is a fantastic time to start a podcast while the sea of competitors is still relatively small.
And if you’re a woman, you have an even greater chance to stand out in the crowd.
Jessica Kupferman of Lady Business Radio reports that only 13% of podcasters are currently women, and only 1 in 3,600 women bloggers also record their own podcast.
But is it worth it, you ask? What’s in it for my business?
Show Me the Money
There are many benefits to podcasting for your business.
1. Increase Traffic to Your Website
Pat Flynn claims that podcasting has increased his reach extensively. Podcasting is the number one way people find out about him, and it is so important that he has increased his podcasting frequency a couple of times since he started, going from once a month, to bimonthly, and now to once a week.
2. Reach a New Audience
Not everyone reads blogs. For those who are more auditory than literary, or just have an easier time fitting listening into their lives, podcasts are perfect. Why limit yourself to one group of people?
3. Create a Deeper Connection to Your Audience
Podcasting allows you to connect with your audience in a different, often deeper way than writing alone can.
4. Build Valuable Relationships with Others in Your Field
Meeting new people through guest interviews can open many doors. Opportunities abound–for collaboration, affiliate programs, being a guest yourself, and building professional relationships.
5. Increase Speaking Engagements
Podcasting can lead to speaking engagements, which provide another avenue to increase your reach and earn income.
6. Earn Money Directly Through Sponsorships
Once your podcast has a significant number of subscribers, you can earn money through paid sponsorships. John Lee Dumas recommends keeping them to a minimum, one at the beginning, middle, and possibly the end, and only having sponsors that add value for listeners.
7. Sell More of Your Own Products
You can use your podcast to promote your own products, services, or membership site. Listeners can hear directly from you about your products, and you’re not leaving it up to chance whether or not they’ll actually read it as you do on a website.
8. Easily Create New Posts for Your Blog
If you need a break from writing so many posts, or if you just want more content for your blog, a podcast post is an easy way to add content. Just write an introduction, add an image, provide the link, and voila! Instant blog post.
9. Create New Content
It’s easy and cheap to have your podcasts transcribed. You can use the content from your podcasts to create new content. You can create an ebook, a video, a webinar, or other content, either to give away or to sell.
10. Have Fun
Podcasters both big and small love podcasting. When asked by Pat Flynn why he started podcasting, Tim Ferriss explained that since he enjoyed being interviewed on podcasts himself and having conversations with interesting people, he thought he would enjoy having his own podcast.
He also mentioned that he loves the creative freedom of podcasting. Blogger and podcaster Kathy Stowell shared on her podcast that she really wished she’d started sooner. She said, “Everybody who asks me about it, I’m just like, ‘Do it!’”
YOU Can Do This
Starting Is Not Too Hard
Starting a podcast is not rocket science. Although the technical aspect of it may seem daunting, it’s actually pretty simple. You don’t need a degree in audio engineering to do it. There are both free and for cost tutorials, books, and programs to help you start a podcast (see below).
It's Pretty Cheap
The startup cost for a podcast is very low. You can use Skype or Hangout to do interviews. Use free software for recording, such as Apple’s Garageband or Audacity for PC. You need a microphone, but you can start by trying the one in your computer and move up from there if you need to. Your microphone does not have to cost a fortune to sound fine. You will need to pay for hosting. Host options include Libsyn and Blubrry.
Little Time? No Problem
While interviews do take preparation and planning, it's not a huge amount of time. It's also an option to do your show on your own, without guests. You can even keep it super simple and read your own blog posts. Or you could mix it up and do some interview shows and some on your own.
Regardless of how you do it, once you get your system down, the time required is not extensive.
Why Not Now?
Creating and running a great podcast takes effort, but the low entry cost, ease of starting, and potential for adding significant value to your business make it an option worth seriously considering for smart internet marketers.
Ready to Learn More?
Here are some resources from around the web to check out…
1. Pat Flynn’s free podcasting tutorial
2. Podcast Launch, by John Lee Dumas
3. Podcastnomics: The Book of Podcasting… To Make You Millions, by Naresh Vissa
4. Podcast: Pat talks about podcasting.
5. Podcast: Pat talks to Tim Ferris about podcasting.
6. Stacey Harris’s Rock Star Guide to Podcasting
7. Jessica Kupferman’s Podcasting School For Women