Starting a podcast for my blog was a great way to build my audience, express myself, and show (not tell!) that I know my stuff. Podcasting has been a passion of mine for over a year now, and I’m so glad that I took the plunge a little over a year ago. Today, I’m answering the big question: should you start a podcast for your blog?
My drive to start a podcast all stemmed from my love for listening to podcasts. Seriously, I listen to podcasts when I do everything. Walk my dog, shower, make dinner, stare into the void…I’m always listening to a podcast.
Now, let’s dive into why you should consider podcasting as a blogger! Get your microphone ready, it’s about to get real.
PS. You can listen to this episode via my podcast episode below:
The truth about podcasts is in the numbers! First, there are over 700,000 active podcasts live on the internet right now in over 100 languages.
That means there’s a podcast for just about anything!
Here are some podcasting stats to inspire you to create one of your own:
- The most popular podcast genres are society & culture, business, comedy, news, and health
- Over 70% of the US population has heard of the term “podcasting”
- Over half of all Americans have listened to a podcast at least once
- 32% of the US population listens to a podcast at least once a month
- Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 podcasts weekly
The point of this is that podcasts are a huge business! If you create a podcast for your blog, you can tap into that growing market.
Why Bloggers Need a Podcast
So why do bloggers need a podcast?
What’s the big deal?
Basically, it comes down to a few different things:
- Building an audience
- Connecting to your current audience in a new way
- Establishing trust
- Being more personable
People connect with other people. Reading a blog is one thing, but hearing your voice and your tone is so powerful.
Offering a new way to reach your users while they commute to work, walk their dog, and do chores around the house will bring your content to life. Podcasting is one of the newest and more exciting mediums of our current digital age. Why not take advantage of it?
When Not to Make a Podcast
Alright, so let’s be real: podcasts aren’t for everyone. There are some instances when I would argue you SHOULDN’T start a podcast.
I know, I know. It seems to go against this entire post.
In reality, as someone who has started two podcasts of her own, I know it’s not that easy to create a successful podcast. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Plus, there are some ongoing costs that can add up.
When shouldn’t you make a podcast for your blog?
- If you don’t have the time
- If you don’t have any budget
- If you’re not interested in learning about sound quality
- If you don’t like audio editing (and can’t afford to hire someone)
- If you don’t have a niche or anything new to say
These might sound harsh, but they’re just the reality. Let’s explore each reason in more detail so you can make the right choice for your blog.
You don’t have the time.
Creating a podcast takes time. You’ll need a schedule you can stick with. Not only are there the upfront time costs of setting everything up, but you’ll likely need to dedicate at least an hour a week to preparing episodes.
I create an episode a week for each of my two podcasts. I have a set time for this for each podcast, and it takes up at least 4 hours a week collectively. You certainly don’t have to be as frequent with your posts, but you do need to be consistent.
You don’t have a podcast budget.
While creating a podcast is a low-budget project, it does take some startup and ongoing costs. We’ll cover these in the section below, but you’ll generally need a budget of around $10-15 per month and $25-100 when getting started.
You don’t care about sound quality.
Audio engineering is a legit science, but don’t let that intimidate you. However, you will need to learn a thing (or five) about how to create a podcast that SOUNDS GOOD. Oddly enough, this isn’t as easy as you think.
You’ll learn about pop filters, editing, quality control, static, and so on. It’s a bit complicated at first, I won’t lie. If you’re not willing or interested in learning as you go, it’s not for you.
You don’t know how to edit audio and don’t want to learn.
Editing audio is relatively easy. You don’t need any fancy programs or skills to get started. That being said, it’s time-consuming and tedious. It’s definitely not for everybody, and if you can’t put up with it or hire someone, this isn’t for you.
You don’t have a niche.
Finally, you need something new to say. Remember how I said every topic has already been covered? That’s definitely true.
But finding something new to say is how you stand out. If you don’t have a new idea or perspective, there’s no need to start a podcast for your blog.
What You Need to Get Started
So you’ve decided to start a podcast for your blog. Woohoo!
As you’ve likely realized by now, you need a few things to get started:
- Hosting plan – First, you need somewhere to host your blog. This can’t be your website. It needs to distribute your podcast to the listening platforms, provide analytics, and store your audio.
- Recording equipment – Mainly, a microphone. This might include some additional things like a pop filter, mic arm, and even a mixer if you’re recording with multiple people.
- Audio editor – You can get away with a free editor like Audacity or Garage Band.
- Website (optional) – Finally, you should probably have a website for your podcast or some way for listeners to find you that is separate from your blog.
What are my recommendations? I’ve got a few, so let’s break them down:
There are a lot of podcast hosting websites to choose from, and I’ve had the opportunity to use a few of them. My favorite BY FAR is BuzzSprout.
BuzzSprout is a podcast hosting service that does everything for you. It will post your latest episodes to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. all automatically. It gives clear analytics and reports. It’s basically the assistant you didn’t know you needed.
You can get started for $12/month for 3-hours of audio a month. If you sign up with my link, you also get a $20 Amazon gift card!
The next step is to find the right microphone and recording equipment. While you can use the mic in your headphones, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality microphone from the start. Don’t worry, they’re not expensive!
The one I use is the Blue Yeti Snowball which is very affordable. It’s got great sound quality, but I highly recommend getting some inexpensive add-ons like a pop-filter and a microphone arm. These make the sound go from good to excellent.
I’m planning to upgrade to the larger Blue Yeti microphone in the near future, and I’ve heard great things about that slightly more expensive microphone as well.
Note these are affiliate links. I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to create a website. While you don’t NEED this, it helps you look more professional and it’s great for your podcast’s SEO or search ranking.
Tips for Starting a Successful Podcast
Last but not least, I wanted to give some tips for starting a successful podcast for your blog.
It’s not always easy to make a podcast for your blog that really stands out. It’s even harder to build an audience that listens every week.
I’m so thankful that Offbeat Grad has found such a stable, trusted audience. It definitely didn’t come easily!
Try these tips when creating a podcast for your blog:
- Invest in quality – Taking those steps above seriously will really pay off in sound quality and professionalism. People don’t have time for podcasts that don’t sound good!
- Edit carefully – While you don’t have to spend endless hours on editing, pay attention to things like weird sounds, static, excessive “ums” or pauses, and other things that take the listener out of the experience.
- Create outlines – Start your podcast episodes with an outline. Knowing where you want to take each episode will make your podcast much more organized.
- Bring on guests – Talking to guests can be intimidating, but it’s the best way to grow your audience and meet new people.
- Be consistent – Your podcast most likely won’t be an overnight success, and that’s okay. Just be consistent and learn as you go!
Become a Podcaster and Blogger
Are you thinking of starting a podcast for your blog? Hopefully, this guide helped clarify if that’s the right step for you.
I started a podcast for my blog just over a year ago, and it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve learned so much, reached so many listeners, and had a great time.
Bloggers have a lot to gain by starting their own podcast!