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4 Reasons to Add a Podcast to Your Blog

A Guest Post by Bradford Shimp from All Business Answers

A few months ago, I started a podcast on my blog. It was a bit of a counter-intuitive move for me, since I am generally the shy guy in the room. It has turned out to be great for me personally and for my blog. It may just be the perfect next step for your blog as well.

1. A Podcast Opens Doors

Darren often mentions meeting other people in your niche to grow your influence. For a shy guy like me, that is often easier said than done. I don’t generally just start talking to someone out of the blue. A podcast gives me a reason to reach out to people. My blog focuses on providing advice to small business owners. With a podcast, I have been able to talk to authors, business coaches, and business owners about all sorts of interesting and helpful topics.

I am not some famous blogger or personality. That doesn’t matter. People are happy to share their thoughts. In fact, they usually look forward to it. If you start a podcast and seek to interview experts in your area of focus, you will likely find that it is pretty easy to get guests (unless your niche is mimes or monks who have taken a vow of silence). By offering to interview people, you are playing on both their desire to promote their work and their desire to help others.

When you have a platform, you don’t need to reach out to the people you respect feeling like you are asking for a handout. You can give them something useful in the form of a nice interview, and benefit yourself as well.

2. You Can Expand Your Own Knowledge Base Quickly

One thing that I love about my podcast is that I get to talk to really intelligent people about things that I often know nothing about. Recently, I have spoken to an identity theft expert, a lawyer who helps sell businesses, and a guy with a dream for a new type of conference. Being able to ask people questions on a regular basis has increased my own knowledge, making me a better blogger.

If you ever struggle with what you should write on your blog, doing regular interviews could solve that issue. Even if you always have something to write, a podcast can add a new flavor to your blog and help you explore new directions.

Some of the people I have spoken to would charge hundreds of dollars for an hour of time. I get that advice for free and am able to share it with my readers. Talk about adding value to your blog.

3. A Podcast Gets You Noticed

A side benefit that I didn’t really consider when I started podcasting is that it really gets you noticed. I have been working on building engagement at my blog, and the podcast has given me a boost there. First of all, my readers enjoy the interviews and the change of pace. Secondly, the people I interview are grateful and the interview is often the start of a great relationship. At the very least, the people you interview will now be aware of your blog. If you are working to build relationships with some key movers in your niche, this is a great way to get started.

The people I interview often post a link to the interview on their site. They also promote the interview to their networks, which gives a boost to site visitors. A podcast is a great opportunity to gain new readers. Since I started podcasting, the interviews have become some of the most popular articles on my site and have contributed to an increase in readers.

4. Podcasting is Inexpensive

I wouldn’t suggest any of this to you if it was going to take a big hit out of your budget. If you read this site, you are probably trying to figure out how to make money from your blog, not how to spend more money on it. The great thing about podcasting is that it is incredibly inexpensive. Sure, you can spend a lot on equipment, but you don’t have to. I bought a $40 headset and spent some money on a program to record Skype calls. I have also recorded calls for free using my cell phone and Google Voice. I edit everything with a free program called Audacity.

You don’t have to be a special person to start podcasting. I’m not. I am an inveterate mumbler, excessively shy, and I get nervous before every interview. At the same, I learn a lot, meet great people, and have increased the readership of my blog thanks to podcasting. A podcast could be just the thing you need to breathe new life into your blog.

Bradford Shimp writes advice for small business owners at his blog All Business Answers

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I recently did my first podcast and I had a lot of fun with it. It wasn’t difficult to do and people seemed to enjoy it. I’ll definitely be doing it again.

  2. Devin says:

    I couldn’t agree more. One of the best decisions I made for my site was conducting video interviews. That do get you noticed and many of the people I have interviewed went out of their way to promote the video to their friends and family, much more so tan say an article.

    Thanks,
    devin

  3. Mokibobolink says:

    Thanks for this. I had no idea a podcast could be so easy and now I’m seriously considering doing them for both my blogs.

    Great post.

  4. XeimA says:

    This was excellent post, thanks! I run podcast on my blog as well (in finnish language) and I think it is good thing to, since you can reach those who don’t like to read a lot!

    Next thing I’m planning to do, is the interview with someone, but I really don’t have lot of experience with a stuff like that. I believe if you have some “all is training and learning” attitude, it serves you best!

  5. Rob berman says:

    Bradford:

    You answered some of the questions. One I still had was having a YouTube channel with podcasts versus any video. Do you do that and do you recommend it?

    Thanks,

    Rob

  6. Eric Dye says:

    I am personally passionate about podcasting thus founded the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. It is one of the most intriguing ways to communicate to your audience. If there is anyone interested in hosting a show, or having someone produce a professional podcast production you can catch me on Twitter @ EricDye. Great POST!!!

  7. Steve – I don’t think its that you are not entertaining (well, it could be, not sure). In the early stages of podcasting, just like in the early stages of blogging, perhaps the biggest person to benefit is yourself. I suggest conducting interviews with other bloggers in your niche. You might learn something and maybe get a few high quality links back to your blog to help it grow.

  8. Madeleine – Toastmasters should help indeed. I don’t think you need too much public speaking ability to podcast, but it sure can help.

    I remember one interview I had with someone. In the conversation ahead of time, she talked in a normal, conversational tone to me. Once the interview started, she brought in her more polished, “speaker voice.” It was really interesting and I could tell she had speaking experience.

    For those without a lot of experience, I would suggest to speak up and speak with confidence. I am still improving on those things, but that seems to be the way to become a better speaker and interviewer.

  9. Living – keep it up. I keep going with it be scheduling a whole bunch of interviews in advance, then I am sort of committed.

    Mok – you should certainly give it a go. The rewards can be pretty great, so trying it should be on every bloggers to-do list.

  10. Attention everyone: great new tool to record podcasts directly from your IPhone or Android. It’s called Audioboo and you can have a podcast up and running in your WordPress blog in under five minutes. I just recorded my first “boo” and it was a breeze. Here’s how:

    1. Go to http://audioboo.fm/ to sign up for a free account and download your IPhone or Android App. Or you can download directly from your phone’s App store.

    2. Go to your WordPress blog and download the audioboo-wp plugin, which is actually a widget.

    3. Then drag your audioboo widget into the sidebar widget of your choice. I’ve used the sidebar in my blog page, which is where I get most of my traffic.

    4. Then you’re ready to record on your phone, no matter where you are, or directly on the audioboo.fm site.

    5. After recording on your smart phone you hit “publish” and the podcast is automatically uploaded to the widget in your blog.

    Give it a try — I think you will like it.

  11. Glen says:

    Bradford. I am also shy and nervous about things like this. It’s good too see that I am not the only one.

    I have always thought about doing a podcast because I have had great feedback from all my friends about the benefits that it can bring to your blog.

    It’s just plucking up the courage to get out there.

  12. Glen – I know what you mean. I might never have done it if I didn’t have a friend I could interview for the first one, and then an interview that had time-sensitive information in it after that.

    Create the path to doing this, then your fear simply must take a back seat. But I think I mentioned, I still get nervous before every call. Its getting better, though, and I am so glad I started a podcast. (next mountain to conquer – VIDEO!!)

  13. Hi Bradford,

    Thanks for this helpful and inspiring post.

    Different people prefer different formats, so I agree that it’s good to give the audio customers what they want via podcasting, too.

    I have found that my Click Millionaires Show podcasts help attract new listeners and enhances the relationships I have with current listeners, too.

    Just as I found when my first book came out as an audiobook, people feel they “know” me more after listening to me talk in their earphones for hours! That’s good for community-building and business, too.

  14. Morreh says:

    Nice post! Points taken down. Thought about doing this but met some hurdles, and well shyness is a big one. Yet another handy blogging idea overlooked by most bloggers, myself included.

  15. Amy – On how to turn mp3s into Podcasts. Not sure what blogging platform you are using. I use WordPress and a Plugin widget called Podcasting. I host the audio file and then pull it in to the widget, placing the player where I want it in my post. This Plugin also gives me a unique feed for the podcast which I use to syndicate it on iTunes. Hope that helps!

  16. Muhammed – I think it depends on your blog. Many videos are not that interesting, just someone’s head talking. Nothing wrong with that, but I tend to surf to other websites while I listen, so a video is essentially no different than a podcast.

    If you want your video to have impact, make it visually appealing. Check out the videos at http://www.thetoiletpaperentrepreneur.com or Gary Vaynerchuk’s http://winelibrarytv.com for inspiration.

  17. Rob – no, I don’t do anything with YouTube. For one, my podcasts run 20 minutes, which I believe is too long for YouTube. I will be experimenting with video soon, but I think I will use services besides YouTube. Perhaps putting excerpts on YouTube is the way to go for longer videos.

  18. By adding a podcast to your blog you add something that some followers may be more apt to subscribe to if they are not the “reading” type. Maybe offer a specific topic via podcast only to really create a buzz about them…..

  19. I am a big fan of Podcasts. Very easy to produce, very easy to syndicate.

    the problem is always getting enough content to talk about… :(

    I always run out of ideas!

    Regards,

    Alex.

  20. Jennifer R says:

    Hey Bradford,

    Thanks for explaining podcast for me but you can tell me how can I setup the podcast on my website?

  21. Laura Ardson says:

    Hey, I’ve just created my first blog ever (yes, a newbie!), and I’m trying my best to drive traffic to my site. Is a podcast reccommended for a brand new blog? should i wait until mine is more established before I go after the ‘fancy stuff’?
    If anybody can check out my blog at http://blog.pardons.ca/ and give me any tips and adivce on what I should do, please do! This site is absolutely fantastic, and although I (sadly) don’t understand half of what I read yet, I’m slowly getting there. Keep up the great ideas, they really help!

    Thanks,

    Laura

  22. Wynne says:

    Hey Bradford, you da man. Great post – it’s given me some ideas on using this podcasting for my blog too. Thanks dude.

  23. Carl says:

    I had wanted to a podcast for a long time, but hesitated out of fear… when I finally started my podcast… well, I was so nervous doing my first interview. Come to think of it, I still am with almost 20 episodes behind me. However, it has been a great experience. I have talked to a lot of folks so much smarter than I and as a result I have learned so much. And in every case each guest has been gracious and kind. I’ve had the privilege of talking with some of the greatest cinematographers filmmakers, and photographers in the industry.

  24. Great advice, Bradford. Incorporating another medium to your blog makes it that much more rich for your audience. Also, for Mac users, Garageband works great as an audio editor — which comes bundled with any Mac. Instead of Skype for recording, which I love, I use FreeConference.com for calls. That way nobody has to sign up to use anything. All the admin stuff is done by me. My sources simply need to call in and I get a recording about an hour later to edit. Good stuff!

  25. Definitely agree that the bonuses are GREAT! And as an added bonus, they’re very inexpensive to produce (TalkShoe and BlogTalkRadio are great services).

  26. Thanks for this idea. I don’t know a lot about how to set up podcasts, but I’d love to get into this. Maybe it’s time to learn something new!

  27. Ricardo – you bring up a good point about services that make it easy to start a blog. BlogTalkRadio simply requires that you have a phone. This would be a great way to get started without any technical knowledge, though it could be a bit daunting to do a live show.

    Mum – When is it not time to learn something new? I hope you give it a try, it is really fun!

  28. Steve says:

    Interesting but my overall opinion of podcasts is pretty poor. A lot of podcasts don’t last long as the creators get bored or busy with something else. And for the most part, the ones on the podcast are just BSing about something. A webinar within a paid service is so much more informative.

  29. rososusilo says:

    podcasts?, what is a podcast?
    ooh, well, before reading this, I’d better find out what a podcast any way.

    thanks for sharing

  30. With podcast you gave one more medium to your visitors to come to your blog.

    Reading whole blog is time consuming but podcast can be helpful at any place.

  31. I love listening to podcasts so you would think that it would be a no-brainer to start adding them to my blog. Perhaps, I’ve just been procrastinating but you present a very good case for me to start. Actually, I think the other commentator Steve is probably right that a webinar would probably be more Some people would rather watch video, I think.

  32. Podcasts sure does open doors to opportunities. Every one should consider having this because it can build great relationships with your viewers. Thanks for the great post.

  33. Podcasts can be wonderful, and they’re particularly great if you can find someone to present with, perhaps via Skype.

    The downside of this however is the turnaround. Sticking to a script and not doing too much post-production polishing is important, I’ve found.

  34. SEOP.com says:

    Wow, that’s a good idea. I have been thinking in the past how to capitalize with podcasting. Now I know. Thanks for sharing.

  35. mijj says:

    I use IMCapture for Skype

  36. Dear Bradford,

    Thank you for the great article. My partner & I created a website nearly 2 months ago called remotepatrolled.com and I’ve been trying to convince him to do podcasts. Together with your article and all the great comments from your readers, I feel confident that it can be done and it is not going to be an impossible task. Thanks again for giving a hand to people like us. It is really appreciated. All the best, Roger

  37. lili dauphin says:

    People have been telling me to add podcasting to my blog for an eternity. It is rather intriguing and coincidental that I happen to come upon your post. I thought of adding podcasting to my blogs but soon retracted due to possible technical complications. So, I said to myself:” Maybe I should wait until someone makes it easier.” Your post may have changed my mind. It’s inundated with great tips and advices. Thank you! Keep up the good work.

  38. Rich Collins says:

    Good points Darren

  39. Werner says:

    I’ll put up a teaser evaluation then: It is either the best looking update to the world’s best blog, or the ugliest…good work.

  40. Ben says:

    Thank you for this post.

    I actually just downloaded Audacity myself and hope to record my first podcast this week, as long as it doesn’t take 32 retrys like I do with my voicemail recording…

    Ben

  41. Bryan says:

    I’ve never actually thought of this idea of podcasting for you blog until recently. When I first heard of it I thought it was a brilliant idea. I think the reasons you mentioned certainly highlights the importance of having a podcast. You’ve also got to break out of your comfort zone to do something different to get more attention.

    Bryan