Podcasting is something that probably isn’t used as much as it could or should be; it is very simple to do and a lot easier to do than video. They might not get the same conversion results than video but they are great for building that all important relationship with your blog visitors. There are many reasons why using Podcasts for building a relationship are better than videos.
- They are cheap to create
- They are easy to create
- They are quick to create
- They are easy to share across the web
- They can be sold
- They can be added to your site as content
- They can be added as a bonus to products
- People can listen to Podcasts on the go
- People can do other things while listening to Podcasts.
- The list goes on 🙂
Let’s look at them in more detail; firstly they are cheap and quick to produce; unlike videos, making videos require costly software like Camtasia for on screen tutorials and editing, for recording yourself you need a quality camera with a tripod and light set up. This is not cheap,
It is very easy to make videos look bad, they need the right lighting, they need to be engaging and they need the right focus. To look good they need intro graphics and smart looking animations along with professional looking slides.
The main difference with a video is that it needs to be watched. The viewer needs to sit and focus on the screen, yes with smart phones you can walk along and watch the video but you run the risk of walking into things and causing yourself some serious harm. You certainly cannot take in the information properly without sitting and concentrating fully.
Podcasts are different, they are extremely versatile, they can be sold on sites like iTunes, given away for free as downloads, added to blogs as content and the best thing is that they can be added to any MP3 device including smart phones and listened to anywhere leaving the listener to still function safely.
Like listening to music on a MP3 player or the radio, you can go out jogging, walking, driving or do a number of other things while listening to the Podcast. Yes, you need to use the brain a bit more to take in what is being talked about, normally music is heard and enjoyed but doesn’t need the brain to focus on it. A Podcast does but it still leaves your eyes and much of your focus available to carry on doing other things. You are not sat chained to the screen as you are with a video.
Podcasts are incredibly easy to create and many of the most interesting and popular Podcasts like those done by Yaro Starak and Pat Flynn are recorded over the phone.
If you decide to sell your Podcasts the profit margins on Podcasts are fairly high; one comedian has made more money selling $5 Podcasts than the usual route of doing gigs and selling DVD recordings of those shows. Unfortunately I cannot remember his name or find the news article I read about it. I just remember being seriously impressed.
DJs record mixes from nightclubs or radio shows and release them as Podcasts, they are the mix tape for the new generation, in reality they are nothing more than a recording of a broadcast or show that is available online as an MP3 and that can be listened to by thousands of people on many different devices from many different places.
Stop and really think about it, Podcasts are incredibly powerful. There are no manufacturing or postage costs. They can be accessed and downloaded from anywhere in the world that has internet access.
Podcasts can be made very easily and quickly, giving you a great opportunity to get them out to the world and start to build up a following. All you need is a fairly good quality microphone or headset; I use a set that costs no more than $23 £15 and free open source software called Audacity that you can download from the internet at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download
You also need to download the MP3 encoder software that Audacity uses to convert its recordings to MP3 files. Audacity cannot legally incorporate it into their software then give it away as a full working package but it does use it and once downloaded it automatically works with Audacity. You can find this MP3 encoder software at http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar
You might be wondering what you can do as a Podcast, well one of the best ideas is to take old reports or blog posts, create a series of bullet points with some idea of what to say around those bullet points and then record yourself talking about that subject. Elaborate on the key points and create a whole audio tutorial or inspiring talk.
You don’t need to talk like a professional radio voice over artist, simply talk into the microphone as if you were chatting to a friend, maybe visualize someone sat in front of you and talk to them. This might sound daft but why not have a large photo of a close friend you are comfortable being around opposite you and talk to it.
Talk to it as if you were telling them something new, something you know all about and they didn’t. The biggest tip in Podcasting is to talk as if you were talking to a friend; a relaxed, informal tone makes for a great listening experience.
If your Podcast can give people answers to problems they are having, if it can help them overcome a technical issue or simply inspire and motivate then your Podcast will do more than any written post can.
Listeners can hear your voice, they can hear the pitch and tone, they can tell how genuine you are, and they can tell if you know what you are talking about. Listening to you will be like talking to a close friend on the phone. That is quite an intimate and powerful thing.
To make your Podcast sound that little more professional you can add a piece of intro music. Obviously you cannot go using any old piece of music; just because you are a fan of Coldplay doesn’t mean you can use any of their songs. You would need permission and you will have to pay royalties every time your Podcast was bought or played.
The easiest and best thing to do if you cannot make your own music is to simply pop over to royaltyfreemusic.com and buy a piece of music for the onetime cost of $9.95 £6. The musicians add their music to this site with permissions that when you buy it you can use it for projects like Podcasts and videos.
You really shouldn’t be thinking that you cannot make Podcasts; you should be thinking what is stopping me! Remember, the software is free and will do exactly what you want, no need to go out buying ridiculously expensive recording or editing software. The headset and royalty free music for the intro can cost as little as $34 £22.
So what is stopping you from creating fantastic Podcasts that get people coming back to your site? Put an evening a week aside and create a 30-60 minute Podcast from your spare room.
Popular Podcasts could be interviews with experts, they could be discussions about relevant buzz worthy topics, and they could be stories of success that inspire like a Chicken Soup for the Soul type of Podcast series… I will even suggest a name for it… Chicken Soup for the Ears! (Being vegetarian I think it should be Tomato Soup!) 🙂
So I am left to ask one simple question, what is stopping you? In fact I will ask you another question, when are you going to start?
Author Bio: Guest post by Andi (the Minion) Leeman, Andi writes for Tim’s Minions, a site dedicated to giving quality helpful, blogging tips, internet marketing and make money online ideas and advice.