It’s been almost a year since I officially launched my first podcast, and I sure am thankful that I did. Not only has it been an absolute blast interviewing successful entrepreneurs every week for my show, but I am absolutely honored to know that my interviews have been downloaded tens of thousands of times by people from all over the world.
Lately several people have been telling me that they are thinking of starting a podcast of their own, but they aren’t sure if doing so will be worth their time and effort. If you’re in the same boat, then this article is for you.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should start your own podcast:
1. Audio content is convenient for the consumer
I think it was Seth Godin who said that as marketers, what we are competing for most is someone’s attention. There is an overwhelming amount of information available to all of us, coupled with so many distractions, that focusing 100% of our attention on one specific piece of content (an article or a video for example) is becoming increasingly difficult to do. It’s difficult to ignore everything else that wants your attention to focus 100% of your attention on reading an article or watching a video in its entirety.
The great thing about a podcast is that your content is audio, and can be consumed while the listener is also doing something else. They can multi-task. Someone can listen to your podcast while cleaning their house, driving in their car, jogging, or exercising at the gym. Doing so doesn’t distract them from their current activity, it enriches it. Audio content is portable and convenient.
2. To build an audience
Just like with a blog, a podcast is a way for you to build an audience. As your podcast grows in popularity, the size of your audience increases. Not everyone who listens to your show will come back for more, but the ones who like your style and your content will become loyal listeners. They will recommend your show to others, and over time you will build a tribe of fans eager to hear your next episode.
Hosting your show on platforms such as iTunes or Stitcher will also expose your show to new listeners who find your show by searching for specific topics on those platforms. For example, if you host a show about cooking, someone looking for a podcast about cooking will find your show if it appears in the search results for that keyword.
3. It doesn’t cost much to get started
If you wanted to start podcast 10 years ago, you would have likely had to spend several thousand dollars on equipment just to get started. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. When I launched my podcast in 2013, I spent about $250 on equipment. And since then the cost for the same equipment has come down by nearly 50%.
There are only a few pieces of equipment required to host your show. The first is of course a computer (or laptop) with an internet connection. From there, your basic essentials are a microphone, headset, and a pop filter. I currently use a Blue Yeti microphone, a pair of Sony headphones, and a pop filter. I recently found a similar combination (different headphones) of equipment on Amazon for $139.99. Very good deal.
4. To increase the size and value of your network
If you host a podcast in which you interview various guests for your show, one of the most obvious benefit of doing so is that you get to expand your network. A podcast is a great platform to leverage to reach out to people you might not have been able to otherwise. As your audience grows in size, your ability to reach out to the high profile experts in your industry increases.
Every person you invite to be a guest on your show can potentially become a valuable contact for life. As I write this article, I’ve interviewed over 70 guests for my podcast, and I’ve kept in touch with nearly all of them. Some of them have become very close friends, and in many cases we have worked together on certain projects or simply shared ideas to help each other succeed.
5. You can make money from your show
A podcast doesn’t have to be a hobby. There are ways you can make money from your show. John Lee Dumas (host of Entrepreneur On Fire) is an expert at this. His generates multiple 5 figures per month from sponsors alone, and has taught thousands of people how to monetize their podcast. You are welcome to listen to the interview I did with John by clicking here.
There are a few ways you can monetize your podcast. If your download numbers are high enough, you can charge sponsors to be mentioned on your show. You can also use your show to promote your own products or services (books, courses, or consulting, for example). Another option is to include a recommended resources section on your show’s main website, and include affiliate links in each of the recommendations. This way, when someone clicks on a recommended resources and decides to buy, your earn a commission from the sale.
6. To position yourself as an authority in your industry
Sharing helpful advice on a specific topic on a consistent basis helps position you as an authority in your industry/niche. Hosting a podcast has a similar effect as running a blog or writing a book – it helps develop your reputation as an expert. As you increase your authority in your market, you attract other opportunities to you (for example, being invited to speak at events or conferences in your industry). You may also consider offering coaching or consulting services as people begin asking you for specific advice on your area of expertise.
7. To promote your own products or services
A podcast can be a great tool to attract your ideal customers or clients. You can use your show to help promote your own products and services such as books, courses, or even consulting services. You can mention these things in your episodes, or simply tell your listeners to visit your website to learn more about what you offer.
8. Hearing your voice makes it more personal
When someone hears your voice, it is incredibly personal. They can hear your excitement, your emotion. It can be difficult to convey those things with written words. When someone listens to your voice while exercising at the gym, or driving their car for example, it is the closest thing to having you right there next to them and having a conversation. As your audience listens to more of your episodes, they begin to develop a connection to you. People will begin to like you not just for the content that you share, but for your specific communication style.
9. It doesn’t take too much time to maintain
There are a few podcasts out there that publish episodes on a daily basis, and yes, that can be a lot of work. But most shows publish an episode once per week, sometimes less, and that seems to be the current norm. The good news is that once a podcast has been launched, maintaining it isn’t as time consuming as most people think it is.
There are a few steps involved in publishing an episode. The first being planning the episode, followed by recording it, then editing it, then creating a page for the episode on your website, then publishing it, and finally, promoting it. Using myself as an example, all of those steps combined consume about 2-3 hours of my time, and a typical episode on my show is 45 minutes long.I have a virtual assistant who helps me with most of these steps, and I definitely recommend that you do the same.
As a podcast host, the majority of your time should be spent on planning your episodes (preparing your content or finding guests and preparing questions for them) and recording them. Delegate the other steps to someone else.
10. Hosting a podcast is fun!
The last reason you should start your own podcast is because hosting a podcast is a lot of fun! Sure, the benefits listed above make a lot of sense, but if you don’t enjoy doing something then why do it? Of all the activities that fill up my calendar throughout the week, recording a podcast episode is definitely one of my favorites.
If you have a lot of passion and expertise on a specific topic, you should definitely consider hosting a podcast on that topic. If there’s a topic you are interested in but don’t know much about, consider starting an interview-based podcast and invite other experts to share their advice on your show! Either option is bound to be a blast.