I received an email from Cora, a long time reader and community member, asking if I could write a column about podcasts and podcasting. This is a hot topic, and one you will want to keep an eye on as we move into 2019.
A podcast is a digital file, most often audio (mp3) but it may also be video (mp4), made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer, tablet, or mobile device. Podcasts are typically available as an episodic series, where new installments may be received by subscribers automatically and at their convenience.
For example, I subscribe to a variety of podcasts on different topics. Whenever I log in to my iTunes account on my computer or open an app (application) on my smart phone the most recent installments, or episodes of the podcasts on my list will begin downloading to my library automatically.
When I started my business online in 2006, podcasting was in its infancy. Once the technology caught on and it became easier for the layperson to set up, everyone who wanted to have their own show was able to get involved.
And just as radio didn’t truly take off until the automobile manufacturers installed a radio in every new car during the 1960s, podcasting is only now becoming more common in the marketplace. Even though Chevrolet first introduced a car radio as an option in 1922, it would take another thirty years to be standard in more than half of all cars on the road. That’s when the shows began finding their audience and advertising was how revenue was generated.
General Motors announced last December they would provide podcasts through apps that are downloadable via the vehicle’s onboard connection in most of their new model cars. And just this week Pandora announced they were adding podcasts to their lineup. “Podcasts on Pandora” is now available for all users and will include hundreds of podcasts with over one hundred thousand episodes across a wide variety of genres.
What does this mean for you and me? I see podcasting as a way to get the word out on what we think is important and worth sharing. If you’re part of a non-profit you may want to create and host a podcast where you share detailed information about the people and causes you serve.
If you are a small business owner, start a podcast about the work you do. I personally know a man who runs a pest control business in Georgia who began doing this about two years. He now works directly with other owners of pest control businesses throughout North America who need help with their marketing. Talking about the business he knows so well for less than a half hour each week is paying off quite handsomely.
I started my first podcast in 2011 using my home telephone and my blog. Each week I would share information about online marketing on a show I called “Ask Connie Anything” and then I would upload it to iTunes and other podcast directories. Within a few months I had followers and subscribers who downloaded my shows and subscribed to make sure they didn’t miss a thing.
It may take a decade or longer for podcasts to overtake radio. We are all familiar and comfortable with radio from our decades of experience. There are many benefits of podcasts, including the end user’s ability to download both past and future episodes automatically. It’s also much easier to find a podcast on a specific topic than it is to locate a radio show. This is primarily because iTunes is quickly becoming one of the largest, well-defined search engines in the world.
You can start your own podcast for less than a hundred dollars, including your domain name, hosting, website setup, art for your logo, and first episode upload. If you prefer a more sophisticated microphone and recording gear add another hundred dollars. Considering this gives you a recording studio more powerful than what the radio stations across North America and beyond had available to them twenty years ago this is quite amazing.
I would love to hear about your thoughts about podcasts. If you need more information or help setting up your podcast contact me at the address below.
Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Kids and Money: Teaching Financial Responsibility and Values to Children is her latest book and was released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing in July of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore by request, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting http://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.
Questions? Email Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.