Podcasting for Bloggers: How to Get Into the Game

Podcasting is a valuable asset to bloggers. It offers the opportunity to grow your audience and expand your influence. However, podcasting is more than just the latest trend.

In 2013, Apple’s podcast subscriptions through iTunes reached 1 billion. RawVoice, a podcast analytics company, noted that the number of unique monthly podcast listeners tripled to 75 million from 25 million in five years.

NPR veteran Alex Blumberg, the former host of “This American Life” and “Planet Money” raised $1.6 million for his podcast venture “Gimlet Media.”

From print ads to Facebook, entrepreneurs desire a way to reach more people. Podcasting is another option to accomplish that goal.

Podcast listeners are fanatics. They love new content that will distract them from a long work commute or an airport layover.

Listen live or catch the recording. Podcasting has created a culture of on-demand information that gives the listener the option to choose.

Moreover, as a podcaster, you possess the control. You’re not limited to a particular topic or time limit. You can decide what works best for you and your audience.
 
 Learn how to thrive in this game. Prepare by mastering these five concepts:

1. Audience

Blogging and podcasting involve different communication styles. Your audience will vary depending on how you present valuable information. Showcase your strengths to develop a combination of expertise and intimacy with your listeners.

Most podcasters think podcasting is like radio. That’s not the truth. Radio programming is designed for listeners to receive 20 minute bursts of content. Podcasting is deliberate. Generally, people are listening to your show from beginning to end.

Podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours every day listening to audio. Edison Research found that “if you are a daily listener of podcasts, you listen to more podcast audio than any other form of audio.” See the graph below.

Source: Edison Research

Anthony J. Yeung, editor-in-chief of Bunny Inc., suggests that you don’t compare yourself with other podcasters. Instead, focus on the basics: the name of your podcast; a quick summary of your podcast; what you plan to talk about; and some artwork for your podcast.

Consider choosing a niche related to your current blog audience. Who’s your ideal listener? By narrowing your audience, you can speak directly to their specific needs.

On the other hand, don’t alienate people who could benefit from your content. You may love sharing the best SEO secrets or email marketing tips, but you can serve a larger audience who would benefit from digital marketing strategies.

Take Action Today

  • Cater to an audience who needs your specific expertise.
  • Decide what value you will offer your listeners.
  • Be prepared to adapt to your audience’s interests.

2. Content

Captivate your audience with engaging content. Podcasting isn’t about reading your blog post on-air. Develop conversational material to portray new ideas.

In Hot Pod, a podcast newsletter, Nicholas Quah, states that “the gains in podcasting over the past several months were significant in relative terms, but are really a drop in bucket in absolutes, particularly in the more significant metrics: listenership, brand awareness, so on and so forth.”

There’s room for growth in the podcast industry. Thus, craft content with the listener in mind, not just their interests, but also their listening habits. Research shows that listeners are more attentive with live content than recorded content. Your programming should offer valuable insights that are entertaining and informative.

Source: PR Warrior

Conversations offer a dynamic element. Connect with your audience by interviewing experts. An interview-style podcast will make you an authority in your field. People will begin to respect your content and your access to prominent guests.

Moreover, as you establish working relationships with thought leaders, you will begin to create a cycle of promotion. Your guests will promote their presence on the show, in return supporting your marketing efforts.

To avoid burnout when producing show content, try batch processing. Schedule one or two days to record all your interviews. You can always edit or add sound effects later.

Here’s an expert tip from Laura Mayer, senior producer of Panoply, about reading scripted material:

“The key is to treat reading scripts like a performance. You want to mimic a natural, energetic conversation as much as possible. Raise the paper you’re reading from to eye level — where you’d be looking if you were making eye contact when talking. Also, smiling while reading helps warm-up voices.”

Take Action Today

  • Create content based on your audience’s listening habits.
  • Plan a schedule to produce your programming.
  • Arrange interviews with experts.
  • Stream your content through an audio platform, like Spreaker.

3. Promotion

The podcast doesn’t end once you record and publish it. Keep the conversation going via social media and live events. Get people excited and involved in the action.

Slate’s podcast network Panoply produces a network of shows with media partners, including The New York Times and Inc. Matt Turck, the chief revenue officer for Panoply, noted that their audience grew from two million downloads a month to six million downloads a month in 2014.

Don’t expect people to find you. Your podcast may be the best show in the entire world. However, if no one knows it exists, it defeats the purpose of podcasting.

Optimize your content for search engines. Write compelling show notes and titles. More importantly, invite your audience to listen. When marketing your podcast, contribute to the conversation, then promote. Also, only promote if your podcast can offer a solution.

Source: Problogger

Use your blog as a tool to market your podcast. Content marketers will be more willing to share your work if you mention them in your post. Ask them to contribute a quote. Brian Dean of Backlinko suggests to include guests’ headshots in the post and follow up with each contributor.

If you want to up the ante, post a video of you recording your podcast. People are always interested in the behind the scenes. Shoot several segments from the same podcast and pull out the most intriguing comments. By assigning these videos to a YouTube playlist, you can attract more traffic.

Take Action Today

  • Mention your podcast daily on social media channels.
  • Write enticing show notes to spark curiosity in your podcast.
  • Show potential listeners how your podcast can solve their problems.

4. Monetization

So, how do you earn money for all your value? Don’t pigeonhole yourself. From sponsorships to membership sites, develop a strategy to convert listeners into subscribers.

Marketers understand that podcasts can’t offer the same audience reach like television. However, analysts state that podcast listeners are attentive when listening to their favorite shows. Plus, a voice of authority can be a huge plus when plugging products.

Advertisers are spending a chunk of their budgets to get noticed. For example, MailChimp, the email marketing service provider, says it pays between $25 to $40 CPM (the cost of reaching a thousand listeners) to sponsor “Serial,” a podcast that tells a nonfiction story in a weekly format.

Analyze the chart below to understand who is listening to podcasts. There’s an advertiser interested in reaching your specific audience.

Source: Spreaker

Should you make money from you podcast? Well, it’s your choice. Podcasting does cost money. You will have upfront fees and recurring expenses.

Moreover, generating revenue makes your podcast more sustainable. With expenses covered, you don’t have to stress and can focus on quality content.

Be mindful that your ROI might not directly correlate to your podcast’s performance. By producing consistent, quality shows, your podcast can serve as an advertising channel for other products.

Monetizing doesn’t necessarily equate to sponsorships. Stick to what you’re good at; then, get creative when you feel comfortable. To earn more money, you can promote affiliates or sell premium content.

A donation is one clever way to monetize. Joshua Sheets, creator of Radical Personal Finance, lets people contribute to his cause through monthly pledges.

Take Action Today

  • Determine whether monetization will work for your podcast.
  • Choose how you will generate revenue (e.g. sponsorships, donations).
  • Draft marketing material to persuade advertisers.

5. Metrics

Define success for your podcast. Analytics can help you learn about your audience and how to meet their needs. Set benchmarks to guide you on this journey.

Podcasting is still growing to offer sophisticated, target-specific capabilities. Some believe the medium lacks data.

“Podcast data from the overall industry is scant, making it difficult to get deep information of specific podcast audiences,” said Patty Newmark, President and CEO of Newmark Advertising.

“There is a definite need for a better system of data collection and aggregation, but for the time being, we provide our clients with empirical data we have accumulated over the years on a variety of different types of campaigns.”

Ask yourself two critical questions to measure your podcast investment:

  • Is my podcast generating traffic to my site?
  • Are visitors from my podcast converting to leads, subscribers, or customers?

Similar to blogs, pay attention to your podcast’s stats. Monitor the number of people listening to your live podcasts. To discover your most popular topics, look at the number of unique page views for each show. This will help you plan similar topic-related shows in the future.

Source: Spreaker

Engagement indicates if your content is developing a loyal fan base, so track the number of people moving from listener to subscriber. In addition, monitor listener satisfaction by reading comments and ratings. Ask folks if they were referred by a friend.

Take Action Today

  • Specify how you will measure your podcast’s success.
  • Observe your listeners’ comments and ratings.
  • Experiment with new techniques to increase downloads and subscribers.

Podcasting should supplement, not supplant your blogging. From learning about your target audience to deciding whether to monetize, produce a podcast that resonates with your listeners.

Learn the basics to succeed quickly. Your voice matters. Let us hear it, literally.


Originally published at blog.spreaker.com on July 8, 2015.