Why you should start a podcast?
9 minutes read
Table of Contents
Why Start A Podcast?
Podcasting is a means of getting heard by listeners all over the world.
By creating a podcast, anyone gets their message and passion to people they would never meet. Anyone can grow an audience and build trust within an industry or area of expertise.
Some people have difficulty with writing or creating videos. Podcasting is a medium that is a mix of writing and creating videos. Podcast hosts experience both mediums without the full pressure.
Many people have benefited from starting a podcast. Anyone can start one and get their name out in public. Hosting a podcast opens up many doors for a host. Below I will present some of these opportunities.
Build A Personal Brand
Bill Burr is a comedian that started a podcast in 2007. Starting a podcast allowed more people to hear his comedy and get a preview of live material. He was able to let people know when he would be in their city for them to show up to the shows. Once more people started to show up to the shows, he was able to charge more money per ticket. Some venues might have added more shows when he went to certain cities. Podcasting helped Bill Burr grow his career as a comedian. Podcasting can also help thousands of others to grow in their fields.
Hosting a podcast can help build a personal brand. One option for podcast hosts is to interview experts in their field. Another option is to discuss their experiences learning about their industry. Even discussing industry news and giving their take on the news is a viable format. These formats work because they act as proof of the host's expertise.
Every time a podcast hosts records and releases a new episode, they show their knowledge on a subject. Perhaps a listener might need to hire someone for a job. They might get the idea to hire the host after listening to an episode. They might have gotten convinced that the host is a true expert because of the podcast's content. As news spreads of a given podcast's quality, the host will gain more credibility. If a host consults in the same field that they podcast about, they will be able to charge more for their next gig.
Communication with Customers
If a host wants to find customers, a host can use a podcast as content marketing. For example, they can interview their current customers to gather information.
Interviewing customers will allow a host to find customer pain points. Fixing the pain points will lead to a better customer experience. The host's product will improve with the new knowledge obtained via the interviews. Customers interviewed on the podcast will feel that the host cares for them. Which will lead to them continuing to use the product.
The company Litt, an events platform, hosts a podcast interviewing event organizers. During these interviews, the company can learn about organizers' current issues. Getting information to make the platform fit their needs. The interviews are also an opportunity for the organizers to learn about Litt. Finally, would-be event organizers can learn how to create events via the podcast. These would-be organizers maybe will use Litt in the future to organize their own events.
Social Proof and New Leads for a Business
People can discover a host's product through a podcast. Hearing about their experiences might convince them to buy the product. I've experienced this myself.
There are episodes of my podcast where I give advice about using certain growth methods. During these episodes, I discuss my experiences with different methods and the results. The episodes serve as proof for members of my podcasting community that I know what I'm talking about.
I run a podcasting community called The Open Podcast Community. In the community, I help members start and grow their podcasts. This community serves various purposes. One is to acquire new listeners for my podcast and network. Specifically, people that have an interest in podcasting. All of that serves as leverage for monetizing my podcast.
After some time, there might be listeners that would be willing to donate to the podcast. A podcast host could set up Patreon or Buy Me A Coffee to accept donations.
Another monetization method is to create a small product for the podcast audience. For example, a host could sell a PDF that would help their audience.
For my podcast, I started with a document explaining my podcasting workflow. I created this document because I thought it would help my audience. At the same time, I could raise some funds to support my podcast and my community. Since my podcast helps new podcast hosts, the content I created is a perfect match for my audience. The document lists every tool I use to produce my podcast and why I use them. I started the price at $2.
Months later, I decided to turn my episodes into blog posts and put all the blog posts into a book. That became "What's the Deal with Podcasting? Via this book, I have been able to start monetizing my podcast more effectively.
Any content creator needs to own what they create. The content and the audience have too much value for a content creator to risk not owning the content. This may seem strange. Why wouldn't I own what I create? Well, such is the predicament of many social media platforms today. Platforms such as YouTube can delete content or ban users that do not meet obscure standards. What would happen if Facebook suddenly changes how groups work on their platform? Suddenly group owners lose the ability to contact a vast list of people they worked hard to help. These scenarios are not uncommon. Social media platforms are constantly evolving and changing rules.
For podcasts, there is not one central platform that owns the content. Since there is no central platform, RSS is an open and distributed format. If one podcast player wants to ban content, a host can promote their podcast on a different player. A podcast host does not need to worry about getting censored by a platform. They fully own the content as long as they control their hosting platform.
Podcasts vs. Youtube
Readers might be considering whether to do a podcast, a YouTube channel or both. Here I briefly contrast both mediums.
One major difference between podcasts and YouTube is how content gets consumed. People can listen to podcasts at many different times. They might listen to them when they are cooking, commuting, or walking their dog. For YouTube, people have to sit down and be in a position where they can access a screen to watch.
Costs and Time Investment
The amount of money needed to start a podcast is minimal. To start a podcast, a host needs a microphone, for which a decent budget option can cost around $60. Recording software is necessary, for which a host can use Audacity, which is open source and free. Finally, a podcast host needs to create an RSS feed and have a place where to host their audio files. A fully-featured podcast hosting solution costs around ~$20/month.
A creator needs to create professional-looking videos to get views. At the least, a creator needs a decent camera, which can cost around $300 and a microphone.
Someone can host a podcast for over 12 months before spending $300+.
Time Needed to Invest in a Podcast
Since less equipment and software gets used, there is a smaller learning curve. The most significant investment of time for any podcast host is editing. A podcast host needs to learn how to edit out mistakes, add sound effects, and convert audio files.
Learning to edit takes a few hours. The process of editing each episode takes some time. Each episode has to get edited individually because each episode is different.
The time spent editing an episode depends on the amount of detail with the editing. Adding introduction music should not take more than 5 minutes an episode. A host might want to edit every audio mistake and add a sound effect for every transition. This might take 2 hours for every 10 minutes of the podcast.
Time Needed to Invest in a YouTube Channel
For every piece of equipment and software used, the creator has to learn how to use it. A creator has to learn how to set up the camera, the lights, microphone, and the green screen to make the videos. The set up of the equipment is before even recording a video. After the video gets recorded, creators need to learn how to edit the video. At the least, a creator needs to learn how to add transitions, titles, and effects. Learning to set up the equipment and software are the first steps to starting a YouTube channel. They could take a significant amount of time to learn.
YouTube, as a platform itself, takes some time to learn. On the platform, a creator can add elements to their videos to get more views and subscribers. A creator needs to learn to optimize the elements to grow their channel.
To learn how to set up the equipment and use the software will take a few hours. A creator needs to learn how to make the videos look professional. Optimizing the equipment and software for that might take ten or more videos. A creator can learn how to optimize the elements on YouTube in a few hours. They will need to add the elements to each video individually.
Issues with YouTube
YouTube is a powerful platform. Which might lead to issues that they need to protect themselves from. Every video on the platform has the potential to go viral. Small content creators might run into some issues because YouTube is protecting themselves. When songs get played in any video, the song's owner might ask that the video gets taken down. The creators' channel size does not matter because each video has the potential to go viral. This can be a hassle for content creators. They need to edit out the song and re-upload the video for their viewers. This is not an issue for podcasts. For example, there might be a discussion about a video game on a podcast. If a song gets played, that song from that game is under the Fair use doctrine. Nobody can automatically take down content as long as a host controls their RSS Feed.
Leverage YouTube to Grow Podcast Audience!
A host can use YouTube to their advantage without fully focusing on that platform. The audio from the podcast can get converted into a video and get uploaded to YouTube. Tools such as Headliner accomplish this.