Answer me this…
How often do you check stats for your blog?
- Affiliate income?
- Email subscribers?
- Twitter/Pinterest followers?
Ever found yourself wanting more of these? More traffic growth, more revenues…
Ok. Stupid question.
Of course, you do! Even the noblest of bloggers, who are crafting valuable content week in and week out for the good of humanity…want and need to grow their reach.
But there’s one tiny (ok…huge) problem:
Growing a blog is extremely hard these days.
There’s loads of competition, it’s ever more difficult to stand out and get noticed. Gaining the traction we desperately seek can seem just out of reach.
Everyone knows what podcasting is, but many bloggers are still hesitant to enter this medium, despite how incredibly easy and lucrative it can be.
I get it. It can seem intimidating…putting your real human voice out there on the internet.
- What if you screw up live on an interview?
- What if your voice sounds terrible?
- What if people don’t like it?
These fears are incredibly common, but I’m going to walk you through overcoming them, as well as show you how podcasting can literally be the answer to your blogging prayers.
REASON 1 – YOU ARE GOOD AT AUDIO, YOU CAN DO THIS.
This first point is also the most important:
If you have any doubts about your ability to start a podcast and create content people care about….lose those right now.
The technical side is a breeze these days (more in a second), and can make even the smallest and squeakiest of voices sound amazing.
Next, there’s no need to worry about public speaking, being shy, or making verbal mistakes…because I’ve learned an incredible truth:
Your audience doesn’t care about small slip-ups on the air, your non-radio voice, your accent, your grammar, etc. They care about content.
Sounds a bit like blogging, yes?
If you’re worried about how you’ll sound or be perceived, you’re focusing on the wrong things! Your content is what brings readers to your blog, and listeners to your podcast…so focus on content.
If you have something to say, it won’t matter how your voice sounds saying it.
REASON 2 – IT’S AN INCREDIBLE WAY TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE AND GROW A TRIBE.
Why all know the supreme importance of blogging authentically, and this is because of the trust factor.
Here’s the breakdown:
- People only buy from people they trust
- People only religiously follow people they trust
- People only share content (Word of Mouth marketing) from people they trust
And there’s no better way to build trust…than to put yourself out there.
It’s why anonymous bloggers often have a difficult time launching paid products and growing a loyal following.
It’s easier to gain trust when your readers can see you or hear you.
- When a reader checks out your blog post, it’s just text on a page. No biggy.
- When a reader checks out your podcast, you are literally up in their earlobes.
In their car, attached to their head while they workout, playing over speakers while they fold laundry with their children.
It’s a LOT more personal, and leads to increased trust, which leads to a deeper connection with followers!
This leads us to…
REASON 3 – PODCASTS DRIVE BLOG TRAFFIC, LIKE, PRETTY EASILY
This is what I was most scared about when I started my first podcast.
How will I convert these listeners into loyal readers, email subscribers, and paying customers?
Turns out it’s possibly easier than with blogging.
You still need a website for your podcast (if you don’t have an existing blog already), complete with show notes and links (hello affiliate marketing!), and bios for guests, other bloggers mentioned, etc.
People do navigate to show notes…especially with the below “Pete’s special marketing hacks for podcasts.” (ok so they’re not special, but they are effective).
1 – Use content upgrades for podcasts, just like you would with blog content!
Create a free checklist, bonus video, bonus podcast, free PDF transcription of the episode…etc.
It doesn’t need to take forever…just create an extra freebie your audience would appreciate, include it on the show notes, and be sure to mention it in the show.
2 – Offer summarized takeaways from the episode on the show notes
This has worked SO well for me.
After you record the episode, take 10-15 minutes and summarized all that was said! Include the takeaways in the show notes of course, and be sure to mention it in the episode.
It’s definitely different than blogging, but podcasting can and will drive additional traffic to your blog.
REASON 4 – PODCASTS ARE EASIER TO TECHNICALLY PRODUCE THAN YOU THINK
It can seem daunting….I mean who among us has vast experience with audio engineering??
And getting on iTunes?? And the logistics of setting up recorded Skype calls?
Forget about all that!
Cheap mics have outstanding quality. Easy-mode editing software can be found for free, as in “free beer” free. All decent podcast hosts make publishing to iTunes incredible easy.
REASON 5 – CREATING PODCAST CONTENT IS WAY FASTER THAN BLOGGING
There’s one caveat though: you can’t overproduce.
If you follow my personal podcasting philosophy, you can absolutely PUMP out meaningful content.
Here’s a brief summary:
- Try to limit yourself to first takes! Remember, your audience cares about content, not your small slip-ups.
- Just be natural and conversational. Again…just be yourself. People will appreciate it, not condemn you for sounding awkward sometimes.
- Limit editing and producing. Do some edits if you must, but the more “uncut” you make it, the quicker things will go, and the more natural it will be anyways.
Live interviews are even faster, because it FORCES you into only doing “one take.” 🙂
REASON 6 – PODCASTS ARE AN INCREDIBLE TOOL FOR STANDING OUT IN A CROWDED NICHE.
It’s 2017 yo! There are more blogs starting every single day, in all niches.
You probably already know that in order to really grow your blog traffic, followers, and revenues, you’re going to have to set yourself apart from your peers.
Note: I didn’t say “you need to be better than…” I said “set yourself apart from.”
Podcasting is a simple way to enhance your current blog and stand out from the crowded internet.
Pro Tip: There are actually so few “big” podcasts in each niche, there’s something else you can do to set yourself apart and grow: record a podcast in a different format than other podcasters.
For example, when I started podcasting…the vast majority of blogging podcasts were short, to the point, and actionable. They didn’t go as deep as I wanted!
So I borrowed the format from the Tim Ferriss show (deep-dive interviews, 1+hr) and adapted it to the blogging niche specifically. It worked.
What is everyone else doing in your niche? Try creating a new category.
REASON 7 – PODCASTING ADDS A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF VALUE TO YOUR FOLLOWERS
Because it’s a different format, you’ll be able to reach people on a different level. This includes current followers who enjoy your blog already…as well as other people specifically preferring podcasts.
Pro Blogger Darren Rowse has been quoted as saying that multi-platform content is the future. I.e. not JUST written word blog posts, but mixed media like slideshare, YouTube, Podcasts, etc.
Adding audio to your existing blog content opens up a new dimension to the value you add to people’s lives.
And as bloggers, I’m sure we ALLLLL know adding value is steps 1, 2, and 3.
REASON 8 – PODCAST MONETIZATION EXISTS TOO 🙂
I booked my first podcast sponsor (for $50) in the 2nd week of my podcast, with only 4 episodes published and less than 500 TOTAL downloads.
It was incredibly easy, actually.
People like being a part of podcasts, and providing podcast sponsors with ROI (return on investment) is actually pretty easy, too!
What I provided:
- A “live-read” during the show, which I recorded in my own voice (I think that’s important)
- A paragraph in the show notes (backlinks, anyone?)
- Bonus: I threw in some social media promotion to sweeten the deal
But the best part?
New listeners often go back and binge-listen to old podcast episodes.
Podcast episodes are MUCH more evergreen than most blog posts for this reason. My top-performing episodes show just as much growth every week as new episodes. It’s crazy.
This allows me to provide ongoing value to podcast sponsors. It’s a long-term investment people are usually quite satisfied with.
Seriously, when you step back and objectively think about what you desire from your blog (revenues, traffic, freedom from work, etc), there is no better tool for success than podcasting.
There’s never been an easier time to get up and running, and whatever doubts you have about your abilities to podcast are likely misguided.
You CAN do it. Your voice is fine, and your slip-ups will not matter to your audience.
In fact, being yourself on a podcast (mistakes included) is a powerful way to connect with followers and make a name for yourself.
Oh, and drive traffic, sponsor revenues, and add serious value to your tribe.
Let’s get your voice heard.
- Pete McPherson is a blogger and host of the Do You Even Blog podcast,