Author podcasting is hot. But is podcasting one more thing that you need to do now to succeed at selling your books?
But I tell you this: when I had a podcast, I sold more books.
I’m not going to try to talk you into podcasting. What I want to do is share my perspective and tips.
Interest in Podcasting Rises, Blogging Decreases
Kevin Roose, writing for Forbes, said, “We’re in a golden age of podcasting.”
Why is it occurring? Many say it’s because of the widespread use of smartphones and connected cars.
Just as people are increasingly forgoing cable subscriptions for streaming Netflix, people are turning to the interruption-free programming of the podcast.
According to 9to5mac.com, Apple podcast platforms hit 50 billion downloads, and TechCrunch reported in June that there are now more than 550,000 current shows on iTunes.
That number may seem high but not when you compare it to the 152 million blogs on the Internet. What this means is that there is far less competition in the podcasting realm than there is on the blogosphere.
It seems that while the public’s interest in podcasting is rising while the readership of blogs is declining. When I researched this on Google Trends, I was surprised by the graphs I discovered.
I am not suggesting that you should stop blogging and start podcasting. I am saying that it’s a good time to get your message heard through podcasting.
Each form of media helps you to reach new audiences. I found that my podcast listeners tended to be people who didn’t have time to sit at their computers to read blogs but did have time to listen to podcasts as they traveled on subways or prepared dinner.
Content marketing has always been critical to platform building. Your first book was like the first brick to your platform foundation. Blogging and social media provided further support, and now there’s a relatively new type of brick available: podcasting.
I say reasonably new because podcasting has been around for ten years.
My Journey into Author Podcasting
My journey began in August 2014 when I traveled to Atlanta to attend an intimate workshop with just six attendees. I left that workshop enthused.
Soon, the hard work began.
First, I defined my audience and the goal for my podcast. I also decided that my podcast would air weekly and that I would keep the episodes to no longer than 15 minutes.
Then, over the next several months I created:
- An editorial calendar for my first 25 podcast episodes.
- A logo (1400 x 1400 pixels) and an episode graphic template.
- A template for my scripts.
- A template for my show notes.
- A landing page for my podcast.
- A marketing plan.
- My intro and outro copy.
- A survey (using Survey Monkey) to find out what topics my audience wanted me to cover in the upcoming episodes.
- Purchased equipment, tested the equipment, and then bought new equipment.
- I bought urchased music from Audio Junkie.
- Purchased and installed Smart Podcast Player on my website to enable me to stream my podcast with my show notes.
- Learned how to use Audacity for recording and editing my episodes.
The equipment that I finally settled on included the following:
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
- Tour Grade Tripod mic stand with boom TGMC66 (I purchased this from a local audio store that musicians rely on)
- A pop filter (I also purchased this from a local audio store for musicians)
Next, I had to select an RSS feed to host my podcast episodes. Some people use Blubrry while others use SoundCloud or Libsyn. After reading many blog posts and having several conversations with the folks at Libsyn, that’s the RSS feed I chose to use.
Once I uploaded my episodes to Libsyn, I set up an account with iTunes and applied to Stitcher.
I began marketing my podcast at the beginning of December, and my goal was to publish it by January 8, 2015. I think I missed the deadline by a couple of days.
My next challenge was getting reviews. It’s vitally important in the early days after releasing a podcast to secure five reviews. I was able to get them in one weekend.
In February, 600 people downloaded my podcast. Those numbers can’t compare to the popularity of Tim Ferris or Copyblogger’s shows, but I was stoked.
Is podcasting easy? Hardly. I had many frustrating moments. For example, the first mic I purchased, a condenser mic, was horrible.
I initially purchased desktop stands, but they didn’t work for me either.
Finding Your Voice through Author Podcasting
Then there was my voice. I learned that just as writers find their voice through the stories they write, podcasters find their voice through the recordings they make.