Business Writing Copywriting 2020-06-10 00:00

Can a Podcast Be Valuable as a Marketing Tool for You?

Should you have podcast

Do you have a podcast?

Even if you don't, you might be tempted to start one. It seems like there are new podcasts every day, so there must be a pretty significant audience for them, right?

Absolutely: 50% of all US homes are podcast fans. That's 60 million homes that are consuming this type of media. It's a massive audience opportunity.

If you ignore the chance to start a podcast right now, you're ignoring a very powerful method of growing an audience. Is your email list overflowing? Do you have tons of readers? Are you satisfied with your writing income?

If not, then podcasting could be a key cog in your marketing machine.


Just because there's an opportunity out there doesn't mean you need to take it. It could be a terrible fit for you. And pursuing podcasting when it's not your thing could pull you away from your writing, or take you away from other audience-building activities that would work better for you.

I can't answer whether or not you should start a podcast. That's up to you. But I can present both sides of the equation for you, so that you can make a decision for yourself.

  1. Reasons to Start a Podcast
  2. Reasons to NOT Start a Podcast
  3. The #1 Rule: Do it well or not at all

Reasons to Start a Podcast

  • Big market. We've already gone over this above. The market is just huge. There's plenty of demand for audio content - even yours.
  • It's another avenue to grow your audience. Writing and publishing is great, but you have to do more if you want a following of dedicated fans. There's a good chance that, if you can grow your podcast even a little bit, the listening audience will be more dedicated to your writing work. It's a chance to build a personal connection with your readers on another level - and they like that.
  • Another avenue to make money eventually. Obviously, this depends on your ability to grow a listening audience, but it's worth considering. Podcasts get sponsorships and advertising revenue. Do a good job with your podcast and it could be another stream of income, and that's always a good thing for writers.
  • Podcasting couldn't be easier these days. You don't need a ton of fancy equipment to get started. There are podcasters out there working in their closets with a laptop and a cheap microphone. Apps like Anchor make it dead simple to distribute. All you have to do is hit "record" and let the app do the rest. If you're passionate about starting a podcast, you don't have to overthink the production anymore.
  • It's a chance to network with others. If you're like me, you hate trying to network with people at events, where crowds form and you have to awkwardly walk up to someone and strike up a conversation. With podcasting, it's built-in. You can interview other writers and other professionals. You're promoting their stuff, and they're helping you with your podcast. It's a win-win, and it can often lead to great professional relationships without all that icky networking stuff.

Reasons to NOT Start a Podcast

  • No time. Look, lots of things are easy. But they still take time. If you can't spare an hour to record an episode, or some time every day to promote your podcast, then it's not going to move the needle for you. You'd be far better off working on other activities, like writing.
  • No purpose. Nobody will listen to a podcast where the author talks about the struggles of writing a scene in his book one episode and then another episode where he talks about that funny thing his cat did the other day for twenty minutes. You can veer off once in a while, but a podcast has to have a purpose. Like anything else, there has to be a unique selling point to convince a listener to tune in. What is that selling point for you? What purpose can you bring? What area can you fill that others can't?
  • You don't want to. I'd like to say this is self-explanatory, but too many people pursue avenues because they think it's good or they're supposed to, but they don't want to. If you don't want a podcast, don't do it. End of discussion.
  • You can't be consistent with it. Like any other medium, building an audience on a podcast requires a consistent effort over time. If you can't put out an episode on a schedule, you'll lose listeners quickly.
  • You only want the money or exposure. It's a great opportunity, but if you're just cashing in, people will notice. Put your passion behind it, or it's not going to go well for you.

The #1 Rule: Do it well or not at all

You don't have to be perfect. In fact, perfect could work against you.

Listeners are fine with flaws. And they understand that a podcaster, like an author or blogger, needs a little time to find his or her voice. If you're putting in the effort, it'll show.

But if you don't have the time, energy, or mindset to put forth your best effort, your podcast will be a waste of time. In that case, a podcast isn't for you.

There's a noticeable difference between being a rookie still learning the ropes and being someone who is just doing the bare minimum because they saw there was an audience out there and wanted to capitalize on it.

Think of the Kindle Gold Rush from a few years ago. Some authors killed it when the easy money was there. Others kinda petered out. Why? Because they were just in it to grab the money. They didn't build careers.

Ultimately, whether or not you should start a podcast is something only you can answer. But there are far fewer roadblocks than you think there are, and if you passionately feel that it would be a good opportunity for you and you can do it well, go for it.

Here's the best part: it's easy to try. With Anchor and other podcasting apps like it, you have all the equipment you need. Give it a shot. Record a few episodes before you distribute. See if you like the format and if you can get comfortable in front of the microphone.

It won't cost you a thing, and it could be the gateway to a brand new audience for your work. Think about it.

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