Podcasting is a great way to build an audience for your thoughts and ideas, not dissimilar to blogging. And another similarity between those two is that the vast majority of them are garbage. Indeed, the percentage of podcast or blogs that are actually worth following is miniscule.
There are two primary reasons for this overwhelming failure. First, the people behind these efforts just don’t have very good communication skills. You can read people’s blogs or listen to their podcasts and be disgusted by the amateur level of communication skills being displayed. Whether it’s poor grammar or nonexistent concept development, most podcasters and bloggers are better off watching TV.
The second problem is that these people don’t take the time at the beginning to lay the foundation for a successful platform. As a result, the focus changes regularly and the content doesn’t follow any sort of chronology. This article will offer a series of basic steps all podcasters should go through to garner some focus and direction to their efforts.
First things first. You have to decide what information you’ll be providing. We’re all experts at something and you need articulate that to yourself and identify an area of information you’ll be distributing. Podcasting is more than just mindless chatter. The ones that succeed are the ones that provide real value. Think about who would benefit from the knowledge you already have and structure your series around that.
Once you know your topic, you’re well advised to develop an outline for your first 10 or 20 chapters. This may seem premature but the process yields plenty of peripheral benefits. It forces you to think of the topics in chronological order; which one comes first, second and so on. It’s also a great brainstorming exercise and will pull lots of ideas out that you may not have thought of otherwise.
Think about the information through the eyes of a student who knows nothing. You are the teacher and they are the helpless student, relying on you to guide them through. This perspective makes it a lot easier to structure your content in a logical progression. Assume the role of a teacher and present your content with that in mind.
One of the biggest downfalls of podcasting is that there’s no easy way of accumulating the email addresses or other contact information of your listeners. Any experienced internet marketing will tell you the value of having an email list for your audience but that’s no easy task for podcasters. The best approach is to offer additional resources that are only available on your website. You can then use an autoresponder to manage the process.
Having said that, you should decide on your revenue model before you begin. Knowing what you’re selling plays a major role in the presentation of content including the formatting of appropriate bumpers and resource offerings. One of the most popular revenue models for podcasters is to offer beginner and intermediate information for free on your podcast and offer the advanced information for sale on your website.
Your revenue model will determine how much of your information you’ll be including in the free podcast and how much you’ll be holding back. Always think of your content in terms of beginner, intermediate and advanced. It will change the way you structure your content and fuel your revenue model going forward.
Podcasting is one of the best ways to find an audience online. And it’s also extremely easy to do. But don’t get caught in the allure of Really Simple Syndication before you’ve mapped out exactly what you plan to do and how. Having the foundation in place will save you plenty of time down the road.