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.