Typical podcasts are an average of 20-35 minutes, meaning you get to talk one on one with your listener and capture their attention for much longer than you would with any blog post or tweet. To top that off, it’s a great time to get started because the market is still evolving and there is less competition. There are 450 million active blogs in the world and just 250,000 podcasts. Whoa!!”
What is Podcasting all About?
Podcasts are quickly becoming the new medium of choice to consume information on the go. What are podcasts you ask? They are pre-recorded audio files that can be downloaded to an iPod, mp3 player, smart phone, or computer. If you are wanting to download things on to your iPod though, then it might be a good idea to make sure that you have really quick broadband. If you are thinking of getting better broadband then you could check out a company like Usave. This way you can download all these podcasts quickly. The audio recordings contain free information on just about any topic you’d ever want to learn about. Simply search for a topic that interest you, download the podcast, and you are good to go. You can listen to podcasts on your device while at the gym, walking the dog, commuting to work, or during your next road trip.
Podcasts have been around since 2004 and in 2005 became available on the iTunes store. They slowly gained in popularity over the initial years and have become much more mainstream in the last few. With advancements in smartphone technology podcasts can now be downloaded or streamed directly to your phone or wireless device. This eliminates the need to sync a device with a computer, which makes the process much easier and convenient. New applications for smartphones like Apple’s Podcast App, Stitcher Radio, and the Blackberry Podcast directory allow users to browse and subscribe to podcasts wherever they are in the world.
When it comes to podcasting, you will be able to find a show about almost any topic imaginable. Professionals and amateurs create podcasts and share their views and knowledge with the world. For instance, people who are interested in business might create a podcast dedicated to sharing tips on how to market online. Another podcaster may teach history or share everything they know about Star wars. You will find that most popular radio and news shows are turned into podcasts. Examples include CNN News, ESPN highlights, and NPR segments. The most popular spot find podcasts is in the iTunes store like picture below. The Think Entrepreneurship Podcast is featured below on the front page of the Podcast section of the iTunes store.
We are all busy people with to-do lists longer than we can manage. Finding the time to read the paper, watch the news, or attend a class is often not possible. However, podcast technology gives us the ability to listen to and consume any type of content during down time. I listen to podcasts whenever I jump in the car, head out for a run, or board an airplane. All I need to do is pop my ear-buds in and I can catch up on the news or learn about any topic I desire to. Subscribing to a podcast is similar to a magazine subscription in that content is always being published and you can have new issues or episodes sent directly to your device. I use the Apple Podcast App to listen to my podcasts directly on my iPhone. It is so convenient! Below is a screenshot of the app for iPhones. You can also download the Stitcher Radio App for the Android Platform. Blackberry users can download the Blackberry Podcast App.
My Favorite Podcasts
As a small business owner I am constantly listening to podcasts about sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, motivation, and market trends. Podcasts range in length, but many are in the 20-30 minute range. This length is perfect because I can generally listen to a whole podcast while out jogging in the morning. Some of my favorite podcasts are The Daily Boost, NBC Nightly News, TedTalks, and Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. They can all be found on the Podcast directory of your choice like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. To see my top list of podcasts click here.
Benefits of Starting a Podcast
A number of businesses and individuals are choosing to start podcasts as a better way to interact and build relationships with customers and fans. Typical podcasts are an average of 20-35 minutes, meaning you get to talk one on one with your listener and capture their attention for much longer than you would with any blog post or tweet. To top that off, it's a great time to get started because the market is still evolving and there is less competition. There are 450 million active blogs in the world and just 250,000 podcasts. Whoa!! The iTunes platform is one of the largest search directories online which makes podcasting another great way to drive more visitors to you company’s website. For example, if you fix computers for a living you could do a podcast about technology trends. Perhaps you could share tips and tricks to help your clients learn how to transfer photos to their computer, or what to do when a computer gets a virus. Sharing this free knowledge with others helps you be seen as an expert in the field and listeners will feel comfortable calling when computer problems arise.
How to Start Your Own Podcast
If you are passionate about something and want to share your knowledge with the world, start a podcast. Starting a podcast can be done for very little money and as it picks up traction you can always upgrade equipment. To get started, all you need is your computer’s built in microphone and something to talk about. To get a more professional sounding podcast I’d recommend purchasing a mixer, dynamic microphone, and pop filter. Hook the equipment up to your computer and record using free programs like Garage Band on a Mac or Audacity on a PC. I would also recomend getting a high quality, rugged keyboard and mouse that is less likely to break, as they are less likely to be damaged by water spills or anything unexpected. Many Industry based companies use high quality tough keyboards as they will have multiple people using them and these people will probably not care about them as much, a regular keyboard would not be appropriate for this as the keys are not waterproof and are not designed to constantly be used. To learn more about industrial keyboards and whether you will need them you should take a look at the CKS industrial keyboard and all the customisations that can be applied to it. Then upload your podcasts to an RSS hosting service and submit the podcast feed to the major directories like iTunes and Stitcher Radio. It is a bit of a learning process but completely worth it. If you are serious and want to learn more feel free to check out ThinkEntrepreneurship.com/podcasts where I have a detailed tutorial about getting started with Podcasting.
Basic Setup to get Started with a professional Podcast
Audio Technica Mic – Both USB and XLR compatible $38
Microphone Stand – Amazon Link $10
Pop Filter – Amazon Link $9
Mixer – Optional (Audio Technica Mic does not require a mixer ) However, upgrading to a mixer will increase quality and help out as you get into more advanced podcasting.) $98.00
Advanced Setup –
Heil PR-40 Mic – Top quality Podcasting mic – $299
Heil PR-40 Mic Stand – Boom Stand – $120
Heil PR-40 Shock Mount – Absorbs vibrations
Pop Filter – Prevents P and T sounds from sounding bad
Mixer – $98.00
Microphone Flag – Option (Used to brand your setup – Add a decal of your logo or sticker to it)
Why I Launched a Podcast
As I mentioned, podcasting is beginning to boom and it is a great way to interact with readers on my website. I learned all about podcasting at the 2013 NMX conference in Las Vegas, where people gather from around the world to talk about social media, blogging, and marketing online. I met some of the top podcasters in the industry and decided to give it a shot. One of my missions is to promote entrepreneurship and to inspire others to start their own businesses. Over the past few months I’ve started interviewing successful entrepreneurs and sharing their entrepreneurial journey with my listeners. The podcast has allowed me to reach people I’d never even dreamed of speaking with, including investors from the TV show Shark Tank, NFL hall of famer Fran Tarkenton, and other successful entrepreneurs. Since starting, my podcast has already been selected as a New and Noteworthy podcast on iTunes and downloads continue to increase and drive more traffic to my sites. In fact, in less than 13 days the podcast has already had over 10,000 downloads.
To get started listening to podcasts open up iTunes or Stitcher Radio on your computer and start browsing for podcasts you are interested in. Listen to them on the computer or transfer them to an mp3 player / iPod. If you have an iPhone, download Apple’s Podcast app or Stitcher Radio on an Android. Then download a few shows, head out for a walk, and enjoy!