When I see that question, two more immediately questions come to mind. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you? Are you excited about jumping on the podcast bandwagon?
Now, neither of these questions hit at the heart of where I am going with this post. But someone sent me an email a few days ago and asked me:
Bob, I’m thinking of starting a podcast. I saw how much advertisers are getting excited about podcasts. I am thinking that sponsorships or advertising would be a slick way to make some extra money. Should I do it?
First off, whoa. Are we moving a bit too fast here? Now I know I talk about monetizing a lot here, and have done it myself with podcasts, but let’s break this down.
Are Podcasts the New Blog?
First off, a disclaimer. If it wasn’t for the surge in the popularity of blogs over the years, many of us wouldn’t be where we are. But on the flip side, I also recall when I taught blogging workshops and the first few words out of my mouth were:
Today I give you permission not to blog.
Let me take a step back. The reasons for starting a podcast are very similar to the reasons we might have started a blog.
- To share our ideas or or love of something
- To brand ourselves and/or our business
- To build a reputation as an expert or thought leader
- To make some bucks
However you started out, built it out, or transitioned, you probably had your own master plan. Well, the same goes for starting a podcast.
‘Because It Sounds Like Fun’ and Other Reasons
Your choice of starting a podcast may simply be that you want to. It could come from a topic that you are passionate about, the love you have for talking with others, or, heck, maybe you just love talking, plain and simple. It doesn’t really matter who listens, you just want to do it.
Then there are the other reasons. Those same exact ones that I have listed as reasons to blog.
I cannot give you a solid yes or no on whether you should start a podcast. I would suggest you answer these two questions and go from there.
Why are you doing it?
Do you really have the time to add another medium to your bandwidth?
I want to be straight with you…
It takes time to do a decent podcast. You also want to make sure you are comfortable with it. And that your expectations are not too high. I always encourage people to create content. But if you start something that ends up a thorn in your side, or you question the what it is really is bringing to the table, it might be time to rethink things.
A blog is a wonderful tool for your business.
A podcast can also be a wonderful tool for your business.
But not every business needs to have a blog, a podcast or either.
Back to that And to answer that question I was asked, it’s advisable to build up your podcast’s audience before you start looking for revenue via sponsors and advertisers. Because they will expect some ROI. And while may seem like there are tons of advertising dollars out there, there is also a lot of competition for those dollars. Finding them takes hard work and perseverance, which many podcasters don’t find sustainable over the long term.
An audio option for this post.