People hear my podcasts, they hear about the way I’ve set myself up, and they invariably ask me how much work I put into it. I tell them that in the beginning, it wasn’t much work at all. After a while, it became a lot of work. These days, I’m back to it not being much work at all, even though I’m producing more shows than ever. In conversations that I have with clients and people interested in podcasting, one of the most common fears that prevent folks from getting started is that podcasting—the way they see me and other full-time podcasters doing it—will take up too much of their time.
And it would. It totally would.
Podcasting is my primary gig, and other interests feed into it. I’m also an affiliate marketer, so I’ve done some things in that space that feed into my podcasting efforts. If podcasting isn’t already your primary gig, though, I can see how looking at someone who spends many hours a week podcasting (along with dozens of hours of prep work, website work, marketing and all the rest) can be daunting. You have a job. You have a business to run. You have other things that keep you busy.
But. You had to know there was a “but” coming.
You do have 30 minutes a week. You can fit podcasting into your overall business plan. Your podcast will be added value; it will be something your competitors don’t do. When I was a t-shirt designer years ago, I noticed that most of the successful people selling print-on-demand t-shirts were the ones that weren’t making “selling shirts” their primary gig. It was just something they added for extra value to their existing business. Podcasting can work the same way for you.
Maybe you run a site that sells blue widgets, along with a dozen other people that sell blue widgets. You’ve all got roughly the same quality website, roughly the same prices, but you do a half hour show every week about how people can use blue widgets in their everyday lives and you give one away to a lucky listener to boot. See the potential there? You’re giving people a reason to stick around your site.
If you’ve been shying away from podcasting because you’ve thought that it requires doing a show with a heavy commitment or schedule, try thinking of it in terms of added value to an existing enterprise. You might be surprised by what you can do.
Oh, and about the part at the beginning where I said it wasn’t a lot of work, then it was a ton of work, and now it’s not again? When I began, I was one of three hosts of an informal podcast. We didn’t care if we had listeners, and I don’t think we even submitted to iTunes until we were several shows in. We were doing it more for a goof than anything else. After a year, I started to take it seriously, and seriously started learning more about the craft, experimenting with new software and tools, and spending way more time on podcasting. I started up three more shows, rebooted the first one, and launched QAQN.com. Only in the past few months has it gotten a lot easier, as I scheduled all my shows for the same day and wrote an automation script that handled 95% of my post-production.
With experience and the right tools, what seems like a daunting amount of work is actually quite… not. Something to maybe keep in mind.