Researching reasons as to why you should start a podcast can result in a mixed bag of suggestions. The reason being is that it’s easy to mix marketing benefits and ‘reasons’ with personal ones.
If I wanted to start my podcast, would I be interested in directing my audience to my services? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on my intentions for starting the podcast.
However, I personally don’t think it’s viable to mix business/marketing with personal reasons when compiling a ‘top x’ list.
As such, I have split my understanding and research into 3 key areas. In each, I will cover the following reasons for some explanation.
Personal reasons to start a podcast:
- You’re passionate about a topic or have something to say
- An easy platform to create content
- You Can Create Long Form Content
- Podcasting Can Help You Build a Personal Brand
- Can be an alternate revenue source
- Develop multiple different skill sets
- There Are Minimal Start-Up Costs
- Podcasting Can Be More Fulfilling Than Video
- You want to use your free time productively
Marketing reasons to start a podcast:
- You Can Re-purpose Your Content
- You Can Target Your Audience Directly
- There Is Less Competition Compared to Other Media Forms
- The Platform Is Still Growing
- Become an Industry Influencer/Thought Leader
- Expand your Search Potential
- Redirect traffic to your important pages
- There Is Potential to Monetize
Miscellaneous reasons to start a podcast:
- Can Enable You to Interview People You May Look up To
- You Enjoy Connecting with Others
- You enjoy helping others
- You’re Accessible 24/7
Additional Note: It’s important to consider reasons from all categories. If you are a content creator, personal reasons may interest you more. However, certain elements from marketing like re-purposing content may benefit your knowledge greatly.
Personal Reasons Why You Should Start a Podcast
Personal reasons more directly apply to individuals looking to create a podcast. This can also be applicable to businesses with small teams. However, typically speaking, larger businesses will either employ someone who is a professional with podcasts (as they have chosen it due to these reasons) or they will allocate the work to someone whether they like it or not.
1) You’re passionate about a topic or have something to say
Podcasting is one of the best methods to talk about something you enjoy or are passionate about. You are able to talk freely and engage with your audience on a personal level.
Not only is this an effective way to teach your audience or share your understanding, but it also makes the experience more enjoyable for you. It can be difficult to create content when you aren’t working on something you enjoy.
When you are passionate about a topic it shows through your voice. Your audience will be able to pick up on this and are likely to be more engaged and focused on your content than if you were simply writing about it.
2) Podcasting Is an Easy Platform to Create Content
Preparing and planning a video, recording from multiple angles, worrying about lighting, sound, and visuals, and then having to edit each segment and piece them together sounds like a lot of work. Right?
Whilst video content is a great media form for some, for others, it isn’t. What is the best alternative? Podcasting.
Not only are you maintaining the personal connection to your audience, but you’re also minimizing the amount of equipment required to start and the overall skill set/task list to produce the content.
You need to record, edit and release podcasts. Depending on your style, you may opt for a script. However, the time to complete is still substantially lower than that of video.
3) You Can Create Long Form Content
Going back to my previous statement about video – It takes a lot of time.
If you want to create long-form content, that is content over say 40 minutes, you are continuously increasing your workload. If you are producing the content yourself, this can sometimes become overwhelming.
When you produce a longer podcast episode, you are essentially only talking for longer. This will then impact your script length (if you choose to write one) and your audio editing. You do not need to worry about the other variables as you do in video content.
Similarly, your voice is your communicator. It’s easy to get tired of working on a video for hours and having to worry about your appearance, body language, and actions. To some, speaking for longer lengths of time is no trouble at all.
4) Podcasting Can Help You Build a Personal Brand
Personal branding is important. More so in the digital age than ever before. Creating a strong personal brand can net you more opportunities in the future. Whether this is through sponsors, job offers, etc.
Why is this the case? Your online presence defines a lot about you. Your commitment to a podcast also highlights the skills and dedication you have.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”Warren Buffet
People listen to who they know, they buy from who they know. Podcasting can help you become a figure people ‘know’.
5) Podcasting Can Become a Second Income
Revenue streams and additional income is usually associated with a business. Whilst this is true, it should also be applied to individuals that are looking for a way to expand their revenue sources.
Podcasting is not easy to monetize without commitment.
That is bolded for a reason. I have said that – you should never podcast with money in mind – multiple times for a reason. You will not see success overnight, nor will you have the drive to continue to update the podcast if you don’t see money rolling in after a few months.
There are many ways you can monetize a podcast – we already have a lengthy post detailing 35 ways to do it. You can find it HERE.
Like any other online media form – video, blogging, streaming – it takes time to build up an audience and enable the opportunity for monetization.
If you are wanting to start a podcast and money is far from the reason then you have the right mindset. However, understand that when the time is right, you should look to monetize your podcast.
6) You Can Develop Multiple Different Skill Sets
If you have never partaken in content creation before, you may find starting a podcast to be a bit difficult. Planning, script reading, recording, editing, and many other elements require skills in order to create a high-quality podcast.
If you have never had need of these skills then they probably aren’t the best. Not to worry, diving into the creation process will soon see that fixed.
Podcasting allows you to develop a wide array of skills. The majority of podcasters will start their podcast solo. This means that they have to do everything themselves. Whilst this seems like a daunting task, it forces you to learn everything and continuously grow.
If you are a person who enjoys personal development and learning/improving all they can, then podcasting will help you with that.
7) There Are Minimal Start-Up Costs
Hobby enthusiasts will scream in excitement knowing that podcasting is a hobby that requires barely any money to start.
If you are able to get a hold of basic recording equipment (that of which most people already have for one reason or another) then you’re good to go.
Many content writers that cover the topic of podcasting will have you believe that you ‘need’ a website to see the fruits podcasting has to offer.
Whilst there is truth in this, it’s not 100% accurate. You can easily use platforms like Itunes and Soundcloud (amongst many many more) to release your podcast for people to consume.
Websites enable you to feed traffic back to a centralized space. Allowing you to build communities, sell products/e-services, etc. This is something you will want to take advantage of.
if you have the time, you can use free site builders like Wix. If not, I wouldn’t worry about it when you’re just starting out.
8) Podcasting Can Be More Fulfilling Than Video
This is a personal reason of mine.
I have created multiple channels in the past pushing video content. Other than the obvious additional time for creation, I have found (personally) that I gained much more excitement from creating podcasts with people I know.
I believe this comes from the content.
If you are like me and enjoy general discussions about topics you know a lot about then I feel like this will be something you experience too. Since podcasting is more conversational, there’s more room to talk to the listeners and direct questions to them.
This not only feels like you’re talking directly to them (from their perspective) it allows you to communicate your content in a manner that is representative of a normal conversation.
Something of which I think is missing from video content.
9) You Want to Use Your Free Time Productively
If you find yourself using your free time unproductively and are looking for a change, podcasting could be the right avenue for you.
podcasting isn’t for everyone. Yet, the low start-up cost and low equipment requirements mean that virtually anyone can give it a try and see if it’s something that they enjoy.
You can also include family members and friends. As there is no requirement for video, you can host conversations remotely and record them at any time.
Meaning you don’t have to sacrifice your free time traveling, setting up equipment, etc every time you want to record. You can do it once and record whenever you want/can.
Marketing Reasons for Starting a Podcast
Marketing reasons more loosely relate to businesses. This is generally because businesses focus on optimizing their channels in order to see the best ROI. Elements like audience acquisition, monetization, content channels, and platform growth are focused on for this reason. This doesn’t mean that a hobbyist wouldn’t focus on these elements too. Some do not create podcasts with these as determining factors for no other reason than they’re doing it for fun.
10) You Can Re-purpose Your Content
Marketing can often take a whopping sum from your annual budget. Especially when you need different employees to create different forms of content.
How can you get around this?
Re-purpose your content. If your business and/or personal brand has multiple channels already (website/blogs/Video channels) you can take previously uploaded material and convert them to blogs.
For instance: You recently uploaded a YouTube video about the benefits of podcasting. You can then take the points mentioned and deliver them separately through your podcast.
Not only does this save time, but it also gives you a substantial backlog of content for your podcast. Allowing your to completely bypass the creative block.
11) You Can Target Your Audience Directly
One trouble with running adverts and other marketing methods is that you have to pre-select your audience. Sometimes, this doesn’t work as intended.
If you target 300 people and only 2 are interested your efforts have been wasted.
Podcasts allow you to develop content and, through SEO strategies, target the audience that you know will want to consume your content.
Podcasting – in its current state – is almost void of clickbait and other scammy acquisition tactics (Disclaimer: I have actually never listened to a podcast that wasn’t what it said it was. Some experiences may be different). Unlike video platforms, you are not rewarded for getting as many people to listen as humanly possible.
Therefore, your audience will find your content and listen because they want to. Crazy right? This increases the chances of your retaining loyal listeners in the future.
12) There Is Less Competition Compared to Other Media Forms
One of the biggest deterrents for creating content is ‘so many other people are doing it, what’s the point?’
Podcasting, to some, is still a fairly new media form despite actually being around for years.
Currently, there are:
- still below 3 million podcasts worldwide,
- over 37 million YouTube channels,
- over 1 billion blogs.
If you consider that, as an estimate, over 90% of these are searchable, that makes it substantially harder to compete than with podcasting.
There are many factors to decide whether or not your topic of choice is over-saturated and/or you can compete. However, it’s a safe assumption based on the research that it would be easier to compete with a podcast.
13) The Platform Is Still Growing
Surprisingly enough, according to Edison Research over 75 Percent of Americans Have Heard of Podcasts. That number is not that sufficient.
If you consider on the basis of these findings that perhaps all countries have a similar understanding, that’s a lot of people who have never heard of a podcast.
Podcasting is still growing. Whilst this might not be important for those who are doing this as a hobby, it does have one crucial impact; If you are able to become a leader now, you are likely to remain as one in the future.
This means that if you can position yourself well within your niche and industry, you can remain a thought leader in the podcast community for years to come.
14) Become an Industry Influencer/Thought Leader
Following on from the last point, you can easily become a thought leader if you position yourself well with engaging, high-quality content.
This is crucial if you are a business. Positioning yourself well can help you not only rank well in searches but direct more traffic to your website and other services.
Both of which will likely net your increased profits.
If you’re a personal brand, you have the opportunity to branch out with different services and other monetization methods if you are seen as the go-to in your topic.
15) Expand your Search Potential
Creating a podcast allows you to leverage content on a different platform. This then allows you to take advantage of the search capabilities that come with it. Similar to how different social profiles show in search engines for relevant keywords, the same will be achievable through different podcasting services.
For instance, a search for your keyword (of your podcast/business) may show SoundCloud results and Apple Podcasts results, as well as other directories you have posted your podcast in.
If you have a dedicated page on your website for your podcast (maybe through embedded audio files) there is the potential for that to show alongside the aforementioned. Not only can you leverage these results for direct marketing, as a result, but it also allows you to dominate the search results with multiple pages.
16) Redirect Traffic to Your Landing Pages
Similarly, redirecting traffic can be an invaluable benefit to podcasting. Video content can also perform this, however, you are reliant on the viewer consuming the entirety of the video and being readily available to act on your call to action.
Podcasts can be listened to almost passively, making a call to action less of actual action.
- For example, if you spend 30 minutes watching a video and are then asked to go to this website and do this and do that, are you likely to follow through?
- Listening passively to a podcast whilst completed 3 chores at home and then being asked to visit this page and write a comment.
The second seems more achievable. The reason being is that the listener isn’t having to actively give you the entirety of their attention. It feels like a chore to do something after giving 30 minutes of your attention to a video.
This is subjective of course. There will be listeners that will do anything once they have received value and some – no matter what you do – just won’t act.
17) There is Potential to Monetize
This has been covered before in the personal section. However, for businesses, it works a little bit differently.
The reason for this is that you are then able to leverage podcasting to increase the prowess of your business and other departments.
For hobbyists, podcasting can be a method of full-time work once they have passed the monetization threshold. For businesses, they can use this to increase other forms of content that they are producing.
Not only will podcasting then increase income, but it also has the potential to increase your ability to earn more from other channels.
Miscellaneous Reasons to Start a Podcast
Miscellaneous reasons are reasons that may apply to some but not others, depending on your intentions. They are more personality influences rather than core ‘reasons’.17)
18) Can Enable You to Interview People You May Look up To
A lot of people look up to certain influencers or role models. Podcasting can enable the ability to interview these people for your audience.
For example, if your podcast is about entrepreneurs and internet marketing you may try and interview Gary Vaynerchuk. Not only does this provide information for your listeners – to which no one else may have got before – it also provides a legitimate reason for you to get in touch with them.
For some, this can be a big reason to create a podcast.
19) You Enjoy Connecting with Others
Maybe you just enjoy creating content.
Personally, I enjoy creating articles on this blog for that very purpose; I enjoy the process.
If you enjoy connecting with people, talking directly with an audience, and creating a personal relationship with your listeners, then you will enjoy podcasting.
Whilst it might be cliche – at the end of the day, it’s about you having fun with the process.
Without that, you aren’t likely to continue to create content and see your podcast through to its full potential. Connecting with your listeners can provide you with the reinforcement that your work is appreciated and you do have a following.
20) You Enjoy Helping Others
Many people gain satisfaction and ‘rewards’ from merely helping others. The point of this blog is to do just that. If you are passionate about a topic, skill, or niche, you may want to share that passion with others.
This can come in the form of entertainment or education. More often than not, the two elements are combined unintentionally. That’s because we naturally want to share out knowledge with others and when we do, we teach them.
Your listeners will be engaged and educated on your topic.
21) You’re Accessible 24/7
Finally, you are accessible 24/7.
Unlike video content, your audience does not need to be 100% focused on your content to enjoy it. They can listen to it on their commute, whilst doing mundane tasks, whilst walking or running, etc.
As you only need an internet connection and a device to listen to podcasts, it’s extremely accessible to nearly everyone.
- if you are looking at podcasting as a form of advertising then this is extremely beneficial.
- posters, radio, and television ads are only accessible when the user initially sees them or listens in. Podcasts, on the other hand, can be repeated, downloaded and listened to at any time of the day anywhere in the world.
Starting a podcast and being serious about it is definitely an additional weekly chore. For that reason, my advice to anyone wanting to start one is to have a clearly defined motivation and a goal you want to achieve with your podcast.
Without any idea or even a drafted roadmap, your chances of success will be very low.
If you have serious doubts you can’t easily solve you can always book a podcasting consultation and get all your questions answered quickly.
What is the most important reason for you to start a podcast?