Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
Should you be thinking about starting a podcast? It’s not for everyone, but podcasting is increasingly becoming an important way for authors and speakers to connect with their audience.
Podcasts started catching on more than a decade ago, and in the last few years the proliferation of smart phones has been a game-changer. Suddenly everyone holds in their hand the ability to listen to thousands of podcasts, and the new apps make it super easy. Portability has been key to the growth—podcasts go where listeners go. More and more people are discovering the joy of listening, so now’s a good time to consider whether you might want to jump on this new(ish) medium.
Here are a few things to think about:
• Podcasting is more personal than blogging or Facebooking. Since it’s your voice rather than words on a screen or page, it’s more intimate. You’re able to convey your personality and the audience feels more connection with you.
• Podcasting is particularly effective for people with niche audiences (which can be a problem when trying to interest publishers). You may be able to find your targeted audience through podcasting, then show potential publishers that your audience exists and is eager to hear about your topic.
• Those of you who are speakers or want to get on the speaking circuit may find podcasting particularly important. Not only does it give you regular practice speaking to your audience, it’s a good way to showcase your speaking talent for those who are looking to hire speakers.
• It’s fun! A podcast done right can be a lot more fun than sitting alone writing words for Facebook or a blog.
Here are some tips if you’re thinking of starting a podcast:
• First, if you’re not listening to a variety of podcasts already, now is the time to start. Listen both within your own niche and outside of it, to hear examples of different structures, formats, and tones.
• Be intentional with the branding of your podcast. The title is important, and should be simple and clear as well as catchy. You’ll also need a logo. Make sure everything fits your larger brand as an author/speaker.
• Create content you would want to listen to, and that you’re excited to talk about. Plan content and guests for 8 to 10 episodes before you get started.
• Consider a co-host, or a rotating group of co-hosts, so that your podcast is conversation-based.
• Always have an awesome Show Notes page on your website, where you include links or further information about anything you talked about in your podcast. This is crucial for getting people from the podcast to your website.
• Understand that it will probably take you 8 to 15 episodes to work out the kinks, and to decide whether you want to continue. Give yourself the time to figure it out. Beyond that, you’ll always be learning and getting better.
• Read up online and get some good resources on starting a podcast, and then dive in! (One helpful resource is 7 Days to a Published Podcast, $99 from Kathi Lipp’s Communicator Academy.)
What are your favorite podcasts? Are you thinking of starting one yourself?
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