If you as a blogger still haven’t started taking podcasts seriously then this conventionally accounts for a missed opportunity. And in today’s highly competitive world, nothing is more regrettable than missing a golden opportunity.
In developed countries like US and UK podcast is already a big thing and today scores of bloggers in these countries have already started infiltrating into podcast space to seize the first mover advantage.
The popularity of podcast is also increasing in great leaps and bounds in developing countries like India and Brazil.
Search engine giant Google has duly recognized the growing popularity of podcast by announcing in last year’s I/O conference that it will soon start indexing podcasts.
Google already shows Youtube videos in its SERPs and is obviously matter of time that podcasts will also follow the suit sooner or later.
There is no doubt that emergence of cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence and natural language processing has boosted Google algorithm’s ability to spot verbalized keywords in the podcast and rank them accordingly.
Additionally, all thanks to NLP, we can all expect Google to skip to the exact timestamp and timeline to spot the exact verbalized keyword within the podcast. This will add immensely to the overall user experience, since users won’t have to invest too much effort in finding verbalized keywords.
Stats that prove Podcast’s Popularity is for ‘Real’
- In 2019, nearly 165 Mn people in the US listened to podcast.
- In 2019, almost 100 Mn people in the US listened to podcast every week.
- As per leading survey, in 2019 there were over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available in the U.S.
- Developing country and one of the fastest growing economies ‘India’ is already world’s third largest podcast market.
- By end of 2018, podcast listeners in India already crossed 40 million at the end of 2018 – growing 57% annually.
Podcast is still in highly nascent stage and this important fact cannot be discounted either. In fact, this medium is so new that it has not even reached halfway mark if compared with availability and saturation point that blogs and Youtube videos have reached.
For instance, the current number of podcasts available on internet barely accounts for 1 million as compared to mind boggling 500 Mn blogs and 30 Mn Youtube videos currently active in the internet world.
Podcasts has not even reached scratched the surface yet and therefore potential for growth it offers is really immense and huge for early movers.
How to really start podcasting?
Don’t freak out if I tell that you’ll have to invest some money to start podcasting on your blog or want to become professional podcaster. Simply because you don’t necessarily have to spend a bomb to make debut in the podcasting space, unless you really have deep pockets to spulrage.
Here is what you need to start podcasting
- A good microphone – Since microphone helps in improving and amplifying sound quality, it is an essential ingredient for good podcasting. However, as indispensible as microphone is, this nowhere means that only highly branded and costly ones prove to be good for podcasting. Even relatively inexpensive microphones can help you in recording good podcast. If you’re really on a tight budget then I personally recommend not spending beyond $40-50 on a microphone. Good numbers of microphones are available in this price range on Amazon.com. Please note amateur podcasters need not spend money in buying other equipments like mixer, headphone amplifier and boom mic.
- Audio recording software: Audio recording software is what will help to give highly professional touch to your podcast. The software basically helps in improving sound quality by removing needless noises/clutter as well as adding lots of sound effects to your podcast. Here again you have the option of splurging or go for a complete free option. If you have good moolah then spending on podcast specialist audio recording software like Auphonic will prove to be good idea. But if budget is the real concern then settle for free but really good sound recording software like Audacity.
- Podcast hosting: Here too you’ll face the dilemma of going for a free or paid service but this time I will personally encourage you to settle for the latter. The temptation for opting for free podcasting hosting services like Anchor may be very high, especially because paid podcasting costs pretty decent amount of money. And boy, Anchor is pretty good for all its unlimited hosting space and adverting earning opportunities. But the problem is free hosting service may not give complete control over your own podcast content, which is pretty cruel and frustrating to say the least. It is important to remember that anything and everything that is free comes with strings attached.
Here are some of the best paid podcast posting services
- Podcast plugins: Podcast plugins will prove more than handy in simplifying your task on many accounts. Once integrated with your hosting services, plugins help to host multiple podcasts right from your WordPress dashboard. The good thing is that you don’t even have to leave your wordpress dashboard. Additionally, plugins help to create pretty decent cover image and also ease off other complicated tasks.
- Design Software for making cover page: Although several WordPress podcast plugins help to make decent cover page but if you want more control on your cover page then settling for third party tools like Canva makes lot of sense. Based on freemium model, Canva offers limited features to free account holders but this should be sufficient enough to make decent cover page.
The usage of word ‘decent’ should not imply that cover page is not important. Since cover page is the first thing that people will see before they actually lend their ears, it obviously assumes huge importance. Therefore, don’t commit the mistake of underestimating the importance of good cover page.
Please note that you don’t have to take the trouble of submitting each and every podcast to Apple Itunes, Spotify and Google podcast. In most cases, your hosting service provider will do this job on your behalf.
Bloggers will have to focus on the SEO aspect to achieve desirable success in podcasting, which will obviously result in good advertising revenue.
But I will touch on the SEO aspect in some other blog posts. That said, I do hope that this particular blog post will help my readers in clearing several doubts about podcasting, especially why you should be joining the podcast bandwagon.
Last but not least, if you happen to be a shy and introvert person like me then do not allow it to stop you from podcasting. In fact, today several introverts and not so confident public speakers happen to be successful podcasters.