What could be better than reading quality content? How about actually listening to it! Podcasting is still a relatively new phenomenon that has had its ups and downs, and while it might be fairly difficult to monetize a podcast on its own, it could be a valuable asset to your blog. However, be warned, podcasting is not for everyone.
Purpose of a Podcast
Everyone here has probably noticed that Performancing now has a podcast — Perfcast. For those of us (including myself) that are not camera material, it is a great way to connect to your audience that written words just might not allow. Even I have tossed around the idea of doing a podcast for quite awhile, and there are a few good reasons for it:
- It is another way to connect with readers
- It can attract people that like to listen to podcasts
- A podcaster can voice on any topic he or she chooses
- It can help with public speaking and verbal communication
- Provides motivation to expand knowledge on the discussed topics
- It is just plain old fun!
There are many other reasons as well; however, podcasting takes time. Time is valuable to many of us. Not only that, but podcasting can be very expensive — it depends on how much control is desired. It also requires quite a bit of dedication and motivation.
It would be best to attempt podcasting without the added pressure of listeners. The first episode might be the one opportunity to impress current readers, and if it sounds bad the first time around, they might be hard pressed to give it another chance later on. Keep this in mind before you publish anything live.
How to Make it Work
There is one site I would recommend any future podcaster to visit first — I would highly recommend checking out Podcast Alley where there are many helpful members with plenty of podcasting experience. If Google can’t steer someone toward an answer about podcasting, the members of the Podcast Alley forum certainly can.
To gain the skills and experience necessary to be a decent podcaster, it is best to find and listen to other podcasters to observe how it is done. Each podcaster must come up with his or her unique style, but learning from others is never a bad thing. Try to experiment, and be sure to avoid a monotonic voice.
The audience should determine how to approach the podcast. Should the length be 10 minutes or an hour? Should the tone be comedic or serious? Should you have guests? Plan for these things!
To make that voice sounds good, a podcaster will want to have a high quality microphone — there is no bigger turn-off to me than poor audio quality. No matter how good the podcaster actually is, if the quality is not up to par, the podcast will not receive the attention it fully deserves. I would recommend Shure microphones.
WordPress users are in luck as there are a few plugins to make things easier for podcasters, but there are also a great amount of resources that can be found through Google which can guide a new podcaster on how to accomplish this on their own.
Finally, a podcast needs to be hosted somewhere. Depending on the audio quality, amount of control, and number of listeners, this can be from absolutely free to a couple bucks per month.
Either way, podcasting can add be a great addition to any blog, but there are many things to consider before diving in. With the right attitude and motivation, podcasting very well might help your blog succeed. Just be sure to be patient and do it right the first time around.