Are Podcasts Still a Thing and Should You Start One?

As Michael Corleone so famously said, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Except, in this case, you were never really “out” and the opportunity has been sitting there under your nose this whole time. I remember when podcasts became such a big hit several years ago and many people started subscribing to all sorts of “shows” through services like iTunes. Over time, the conversation surrounding podcasts has waned as the shine of novelty has worn off.

Does this mean that podcasts have been send to live on a family farm in the country where they can roam free? Not at all. In fact, if anything, podcasts are continuing to grow in popularity. They’re just being relatively quiet about it and this means that you can strike this pan while it’s still hot.

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As an Internet marketer, it is in your best interest to leave no stone unturned. You may not fully explore every opportunity and it’s not wise to spread yourself too thin, but to dismiss and disregard podcasting would be a mistake. Just as you can make money on YouTube or with a self-published book, you can do it with podcasting too. And podcasts can be a great way to build your audience and grow your tribe.

With millions (or even billions) of blogs on the Internet today, it’s hard to get noticed and to separate yourself from the crowd. Adding a podcast or a YouTube video series to the mix and bolster your brand recognition and get your face (and voice) in front of an even bigger audience.

Edison Research reported that some 39 million Americans listened to a podcast in November 2014, which is about 25% more than during the same period one year prior. It’s estimated that there are only about 250,000 podcasts on the Internet, but there are 500 million blogs. This is an opportunity ripe for the picking.

All the graphs are trending up. More Americans are listening to podcasts. More are aware of podcasts. More podcasts are actively hosted than ever before.

podcasts

From the consumer’s side, subscribing to podcasts is just as easy as subscribing to a blog. In fact, many podcast managers can import RSS feeds as a subscription. Good examples include Pocket Casts for Android devices (shown above) and the iCatcher! Podcast Player for iOS devices.

People love the convenience of podcasts, because they can download them ahead of time (or they can automatically download whenever new episodes are out) and listen to them during their daily commute. Podcasts are easily mobile, they can be retrieved from anywhere and, by and large, podcasts are free.

It used to be hard to launch your own blog. You had to muddle your way around a complex content management system and code together a theme from scratch. These days, with far more user-friendly systems like WordPress and Squarespace, anyone with an Internet connection can start a blog and can have the opportunity to make money online from it.

The exact same phenomenon is happening with podcasts. There’s free software, like Audacity, which is perfect for basic audio recording and editing. There are great free audio hosting services, like Soundcloud, as well as solutions that integrate beautifully with existing content management systems like WordPress. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get started.

So, are podcasts still a “thing” now? Absolutely. And while podcasting may not be for everyone and for every audience, there is a tremendous upside to be considered by those who do take the plunge. And podcasts are a great way to grow your mailing list too.

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