The Power of podcasting goes much deeper than brand recognition and content.
When I started podcasting in 2013 it was for one reason only.
I wanted to have more fun.
I had been listening to audio in the form of “tapes” in my car (I know, completely dating myself here), since the early ’90s. Mainly business and self-help, but it was a great way to pass the time during my commute and put something good into my head.
When I started my online business in 2008 podcasting wasn’t really a common thing yet (apparently it began in 2004, with Adam Curry, according to OneFinePlay in their “A Brief History of Podcasting“).
I had been blogging and creating WordPress websites for about 5 years and felt a strong pull to show up differently.
I wasn’t attached to what the podcast did or how it performed, I simply wanted to have more fun and bring something fresh into my business.
This is also why I think it did really well (originally ‘The WordPress Chick Podcast” and is now “The Kim Doyal Show“).
Within 3 months my podcast was one of my top 3 traffic sources, which blew me away. I knew because I was creating a blog post and the feed was generated from my site (as opposed to my podcast host) that it would (or could) have some SEO value, but I wasn’t expecting it so quickly.
At the time there were only about 5 WordPress podcasts, so by being consistent and providing a quality show it was pretty easy to gain traction and get results.
I have said this so many times and I’ll continue saying it… starting my podcast was one of the best things I’ve done for my business.
There are some obvious ways that having a podcast can benefit your business:
The REAL power of podcasting
Finding your voice
For most people, finding your voice happens through consistent practice of showing up. That can happen through writing or recording (audio and/or video). The more you practice one of those the clearer you’re going to get on your voice (and when I say ‘voice’ I’m specifically referring to your message and how you share it).
My podcast and voice has continued to evolve over time, which seems to be the norm for anyone who decides to start a podcast (and stick with it). My initial show I alternated between doing a solo show and an interview every other week. Each weekly episode was an hour long.
Because I have a tendency to go “off-script” with the solo shows I knew it was vitally important for me to write out my solo episode podcast posts first and then use that as a guideline when I recorded (I never read these).
Most of the solo show podcast posts are about 2,000 words, which is a decent amount of content.
There’s no way to consistently write long-form posts and not find clarity, get better at writing, and BONUS… find the connection to your audience.
Well, as long as you’re paying attention.
This is one of those benefits that doesn’t feel tangible but pays off in multiple ways. The rest of your content will improve as you find your voice and continue “practicing.”
This is priceless.
The relationships and friendships that have grown from having my podcast are invaluable.
When you interview someone for your podcast, it’s the ultimate “give.” You’re basically saying, “let me use my platform to share your message.”
If you’re publishing your podcast feed from your website or at least publishing a podcast post from your website, ideally you’re also providing your guest with a link back to their website, which will help them with search engine optimzation.
When you connect with your guest through an interview it opens the door for friendship and collaboration in the future.
Anytime I have a guest who is a great interview and provides value to my audience I will make a recommendation or introduction so they can get on additional podcasts.
The Trusted Expert
It doesn’t take much to become a trusted expert in your niche. Consistency in showing up, transparency, sharing anything of value that serves your audience (beyond your own products and services), creates a level of trust with your listeners.
One of those things that “other people” don’t do (or won’t do) is stick with something when no one is listening, reading, or watching. This is why podcasting still presents a huge opportunity.
Many people give up or quit before seeing results, which is unfortunate.
There are plenty of ways to monetize a podcast.
I’d like to talk about some of the no-so-obvious ways you can monetize a podcast.
I can attribute over $15k in income that came to me, directly because of the podcast that I didn’t seek out.
Coaching, sponsorship, and websites.
You can also record a “commercial” for your own product or service (sponsorship is great, but you may as well plug yourself too).
The Castos post I linked to above discusses 20 different ways you can monetize your podcast. Keep in mind that monetizing a podcast comes after you’ve established consistency, provided value, and have shown you’re in it for the long haul.
Before you jump into podcasting, get clear on what you can provide.
Many people do bi-weekly shows, or even seasons.
You don’t have to host a weekly episode unless you want to and feel you can keep up with it.
Once you’ve established yourself and have a relationship with your audience they’ll be more forgiving if things go sideways or you need to take. a break (or make a change, like I did).
Podcasting provides a unique connection with you audience as well as being a ton of fun.
Take the time to figure out what would serve your audience, fit your business and life, and what would be the most fun.