Written by Prafull Sharma
If you assume investing the time and energy to start a podcast isn’t worth it, maybe you should reconsider. A decade ago, most people hadn’t even heard of the term. Now, not only do 70% of Americans know what podcasts are, but over 50% of them have listened to one, and their popularity keeps rising.
You might have valid reasons to postpone creating a podcast or believe in popular misconceptions that podcasting is difficult. Allow us to dispel some of these common myths below.
I can’t start a podcast in my industry
The field you are active in might not seem podcast-friendly, but almost any subject can attract listeners who are in the industry. If the subject you deal with hasn’t been tackled before, that’s great: you can be the first!
Some businesses have tried podcasting and ended up failing. You can learn from their mistakes in becoming a success story in your field.
With hundreds of thousands of podcasts, you might expect fierce competition. However, how many of those podcasts share your niche? Focus on your niche: there’s no need to address the entire world and make everyone happy.
Consider podcasting as an alternative path to reach out to your existing audience and contacts and expand beyond them. You can promote your podcast through your newsletter and any online industry groups or forums you’re engaged with. (You are engaged in such forums, right?)
Podcasts take too much time
Podcasts may seem like a chore to host, and you’re right, they do take time. However, there are many ways to cut down the time you spend on production while still pumping out enjoyable, high-quality episodes.
First off, keep your episodes short. The longer your podcasts are, the more you need to work on them, which saps all the enthusiasm and energy out of your efforts. Bite-sized, 10 to 20-minute episodes are perfect for starters and they don’t make episodes any less enjoyable to your listeners either—they’re busy too!
Another factor to keep in mind is your podcast schedule. Daily podcasts should only be done if you can dedicate yourself to it and have a complete production team to back you up. Otherwise, stick to weekly or bi-weekly releases to prevent listener fatigue. You can even push out episodes monthly. Dan Carlin is an example of a successful podcaster who doesn’t have a regular schedule per se.
Speaking of production teams, don’t try to do everything on your own when starting a podcast. That’s the easiest way to get burned out and never work on podcasts again. Work with experienced people who can help you not only with production, but also other vital aspects of podcasts like scriptwriting, marketing, and outreach. This will ease your workload while improving your results since you’ll be working with people who know what it takes to make podcasts succeed.
There’s not enough content
Podcasting shares a problem with blogging: when starting, it feels like you have nothing to talk or write about. With a dose of creativity, even the most boring subject can turn into an engaging podcast, however.
Create a bulleted list of all the points you could cover in your niche. You can use this list as a rough “episode guide” for at least five to ten podcasts.
Think of some interviews you could add between those topics that would keep your content varied. They don’t have to be industry experts. They can be colleagues you admire talking about their work experiences and personal views.
You can also ask your audience about podcast topics to talk about. If humor is your forte, spice things up with a funny take on your usual material now and then.
If you still have trouble deciding what to cover in your podcast-to-be, maybe you have a more general content problem. Thankfully, we have already covered some methods that will help you build a killer content machine.
Building an audience will be almost impossible
If you worry nobody will tune into your podcast, you’re worried about the wrong thing. They will, eventually. The question to ask, which doesn’t come with an easy answer, is “when?” For some, it might be a single month, but for others, much longer.
There is one universally acceptable, tried and tested recipe for success: offer value. If you create quality content and respect your audience, in time, you will build a following. A closely related problem will be retaining your existing listeners, but you can keep them coming back.
After quality, quantity is the next consideration. Almost 70% of people listen to podcasts on mobile devices and over 50% at places other than their homes. Thus, you will mostly want to focus on bite-sized content your audience can consume while commuting or running errands. That’s not to say you should never do in-depth, longer podcasts that will appeal to those who want to dig deeper into a topic, but by and large, keep it concise.
You may start with minimal audience numbers, but if people like what they hear, they’ll talk about your podcast and spread the word. As it gets established, more people will find your podcast from links pointing to it. By ensuring the content is original, authoritative, well-informed, timely, interesting, and concise, your podcast will continue to grow in popularity.
Why should I start a podcast?
There are no guarantees. It’s possible that your podcast might never become popular enough or profitable on its own, or recoup the initial investment and operating costs.
So, why create a podcast if it won’t lead to an inflow of cash or, at the very least, become so popular that it turns you into a social media influencer?
A podcast of your own can help you connect with your audience, build a community, and gain authority in your field. It’s an effective tool to engage your existing audience in an informative and entertaining way, while helping to expand your customer base.
About the Author
Prafull Sharma is the Founder of content marketing agency LeadsPanda. He shares tips on the LeadsPanda blog to 2x your content marketing results.