1. What’s better, podcast audio, or Video converted to MP3?
Like everything different people have different preferences. So what I can say is to look at he pros and cons of each one:
Pros of Audio
An audio based podcast is definitely easier to produce. There’s less equipment required, it’s more convenient for guests, and the editing effort is far less than it would be if you did both video/audio.
Cons of Audio
The one major downside I can think of to doing just an audio based show is that you miss out on the SEO benefits of being able to publish videos of your interviews to Youtube. That being said plenty of people will listen to 45 mins of auto, while few seem to want to watch a 45 minute video.
Pros of Video
Video stands out and seeing your face definitely gives the listeners or viewer an opportunity to potentially former a deeper connection. It’s a higher touch form of content. Additionally, video will allow you take advantage of SEO benefits by posting your interviews on Youtube, Vimeo and other video sharing sites. Perhaps the best example of a really well executed video based show is Jonathan Field’s Good Life Project.
Cons of Video
The downside of video is that it takes much more effort to produce. You’ll need better equipment and it’s not always as convenient for your guest. The editing effort is also going to be more significant than it would be for an audio based show.
2. I want to interview artists in the “maker” community, graphic designers, web designers, authors, and overall people who are doing interesting/creative things and making a living out of them.
Interviews are a great starting point and the default for most podcasters. Focusing on a specific group of people definitely will help. Having somebody to talk to definitely makes it easier to produce something. But remember that as a podcaster you’re also an entertainer/host. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats. With the interview format you’re defaulting to what almost every other podcaster is doing. As former BlogcastFM guest Josh Kaufman says “It’s not enough to be better, you have to be different.” So try a few things that might not work.
3. Let’s say I’m hustling my ass off. I’m building an audience, I put content out regularly same day(s) and same time every week. Is podcasting a field where I can generate enough income to make the jump and leave my job?
For the podcast itself to generate enough income to replace your salary might be a stretch. The people who are making money from their podcast have been at it for years, or have built a sizable audience. Some of those who have just started are often bringing a sizable audience from another platform. The unpopular truth about building a successful podcasts the generates income is that it takes time. And most people are not making money solely from their podcast.
The podcast really is a media channel. If you look at the mainstream media, a TV channel has shows on it. Advertisers pay to have their commercials air during those shows. With a podcast you have a couple options to generate revenue
- Sponsors/Advertisers: This is one of the most difficult ways to monetize a podcast and until you’ve got a fairly sizable audience the revenue you generate from it will be next to nothing.
- Affiliate Products: You can also promote affiliate products to your listeners. The key is making sure they are actually truly relevant to your listeners. Here are examples of successful affiliate products we’ve promoted:
- Your Own Products: Our buddy David Siteman Garland says that this was an absolute game changer for him and he’s had sponsors for many years. Listen to our recent episode about Creating Awesome Online Courses for an in -depth discussion about how to create your own products.
4. How much labor is involved for one person to run a podcast?
Here’s what is involved in the production of a BlogcastFM episode:
1. Researching Guests and Scheduling Interviews
To me this is where the art in what we do lies. If you’re a one man show, you’re the host, the producer, and casting director of your shindig. It will be all on you to find guests, reach out to them, and schedule the conversations you have with them.
2. Editing the Podcast
There was a time when I thought I would let go of editing the podcast. But editing has turned out to be one of the most useful things I do because it gives me an opportunity to listen to each show and figure out how I could improve. Become a fan, critic, and consumer of your own work. Assuming the episode is one hour, you’re looking at a minimum of an hour of editing time. You can use software like garageband or audacity to do this.
3. WordPress Setup
Once the editing is done you’ll need to write up your show notes, and set them up in wordpress. This isn’t much different than writing a blog post.
4. Itunes Setup
Once you’re done with all the other stuff, you’ll have to upload your files to a hosting provider and connect them to iTunes because that’ where most people are going to find your show. Most podcasters use Libsyn or Amazon S3 for hosting their files.
For a more detailed breakdown of this process, I’d recommend taking a look at Pat Flynn’s excellent tutorial about how to start a podcast.
5. How many episodes per week would you say will begin building an audience? How many episodes a week should I publish?
What’s more important than the # of episodes per week is quality and consistency. Rumor has it that the longer your show has been in iTunes the more “search juice” you get. While people like our friend John Lee Dumas have done great with a daily show, there are also plenty of podcasts that do well by publishing once a week. What I would say is to launch with a minimum of 5 episodes. Then decide on what your schedule is going to be. Launching with one episode makes it seem like you are not serious.
6. Is podcasting even a good idea? Is it saturated or is it in its infancy
This is really subjective. If the only reason you’re starting a podcast is because you see it as another place to sell your stuff, then you’re going to be adding to the noise. But if you have something useful to share with people, it’s a great idea. If you’re not having any fun doing it, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
Don’t start a podcast because you read somewhere that you should. Do it because you want to. (Click to Tweet)
It seems as though we’re experiencing a podcasting renaissance of sorts. The increase in mobile devices definitely helps. But for most people it’s a labor of love. For every podcast in iTunes that has a few thousand subscribers, there are probably 100′s that very few people listen to.
This post was based on questions I received from a BlogcastFM listener. Do you have questions for me? Shoot me an email at srinivas@blogcastfm and I’ll answer them in an upcoming blog post or leave us a voicemail and we’ll answer your questions in a BlogcastFM backstage episode.