Why You Should (or Shouldn’t) Start a Podcast
Mar, 03 2020
In just the last few years, podcasts have taken off. With an app to stream a wide variety of shows completely for free built into most phones and devices, it’s no wonder that listenership has continued to increase. You can find a show on absolutely anything and everything, because there really aren’t any barriers to start your own. So naturally, many avid listeners think “Should I start a podcast?”; and as a host myself, it’s easy to encourage others to do it because it is really rewarding and fun. But, it’s also not for everybody. Check out my take on why you should or shouldn’t start a podcast:
Should: You Can Make the Time to Dedicate to It.
Podcasting takes time. The planning, recording, editing audio, publishing and promoting of each episode doesn’t happen on it’s own; and when you first start, it takes even longer because you’re acquiring those skills and figuring out a workflow. Even if you’re in a position to outsource some of those responsibilities, you will still be heavily involved given that it’s YOUR podcast.
Utilize time-blocking to be most efficient with your schedule and enlist help with certain duties of running the podcast.
While you can definitely find a rhythm over time, it is still a time commitment that’s not to be taken lightly. Before you decide to go for it, be sure that you can make the time in your schedule to commit to podcasting on a regular basis.
If you don’t have the time and/or can’t make the time to regularly contribute to your podcast, then you shouldn’t start one. Consistency is key for building an audience, attracting guests and getting better at the craft. It’s also important to acknowledge that some goals are better suited for certain seasons of life. For example, if you’re currently a care-taker, traveling a ton or working 50+ hours a week, taking on a time-consuming new project might not be the wisest decision right now.
Should: You’re Passionate and Knowledgeable About a Particular Topic or Field
If you like the content you’re talking about, you’re going to enjoy this process a lot more and the audience will be able to hear that passion in your podcast. If there is a topic that you often find yourself talking about or researching in your free time, starting a podcast might be a great way to share your knowledge and interest with the rest of the world!
Before starting a show, you should do a brainstorm of topics you could talk about and/or guests you could invite on your show to ensure there’s enough potential material. What might seem like a good topic for a podcast might be better suited for a blog post or video series, rather than an entire podcast show. If you can come up with a substantial amount of content ideas and angles for the theme of your show, then you’ve got a good basis to launch from. Otherwise, consider a quicker platform (like YouTube or social media) to share your message instead of forming an entire podcast around it.
Should: You Want to Play the Long Game
Unless you have a substantial following before starting a podcast, your listenership will likely grow slowly over time. You have to show up consistently, build trust with your audience and provide a valuable listening experience time and time again to build loyal fans. It’s a rewarding journey, but certainly not an overnight one. If the idea of creating authentic, quality, purpose-driven content that will be out in the world for years to come excites you, then you’re in the right place to launch a podcast.
If you’re looking for a PR boost, a new short-term marketing strategy, monetary gain or immediate exposure, starting a podcast is not the route to go. Again, in most cases it takes a long time to build a loyal audience; and only once you’ve done so can you explore opportunities for monetizing your podcast (through advertisements) or using it for exposure that truly moves the needle in your business.
I hope this list helps you identify if you should or shouldn’t start a podcast. Whichever direction you go, I encourage you to continue consuming all of the incredible and free content available on podcast platforms and supporting those who create shows you enjoy. Some of our favorites include Practical Empowerment (from After5.io), the Hey Preslie Podcast (my show), Impact Theory.
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