I’m amazed at people who take the time to type up the world’s finest newsletter. This could be weekly, or a person I met at Podcamp Cleveland does one monthly. I told him, “You should turn that into a Podcast.” He asked, “Why?” I explained that I can’t read his newsletter in the car. I have to interpret his newsletter’s tone of voice when I read it (which is why we all do things that try to accent our content 🙂.
The “newsletter only people” are the ones I that make me scratch my head. You have content. I’m assuming good content. You will pay $20 a month for your aweber account, but not $15 a month for a media host. There are some pros and cons of newsletters vs. podcasts.
If you are selling a service or using affiliate links, your newsletter gets your content one click away.
Been There Done That
People understand email. Your grandma has email at this point.
You have to fight through spam filters, and newsletters require the undivided attention of your reader. You can’t read a newsletter and mow the lawn.
Tone of Voice
Podcasting provides a tone of voice. It’s more personal. What is better communication a letter or a phone call? I still produce the Musicians Cooler podcast and before it was a podcast it was a newsletter with about 2,000 subscribers. I promoted an eBook I authored. Sales were spotty. I turned that newsletter into a Podcast (with a tone of voice) and got my first voicemail from Germany, and watch sales become much more consistent.
In my experience, I have made a much better connection with my audience through podcasting. This is partially due to the tone of voice I spoke about previously. If you can pick a schedule and stick with it, you are also seen as reliable and trustworthy.
Only people who purposely choose to watch/hear my podcast will get it. Your audience is just that YOUR audience. They have chosen to consume your content. If they want to unsubscribe, it’s super easy.
When it comes to audio podcasts, they have replaced my morning drive radio stations. I listen to them on the treadmill, while I mow the lawn, etc. I can’t do that with your newsletter. You don’t need a portable listening device (like an iPod) to listen to a podcast, but when you combine the ability to listen whenever you want with wherever you want – it gets pretty powerful.
Unless your posting your old newsletters on your website, they are probably gone. With a podcast, a person can find your podcast and download all the back episodes to build that relationship with you.
Straight to Your Phone
Let’s face it. Everything is going to end up on our phones. I use a program for my android phone call Beyond Pod to get my podcasts. I can’t even imagine trying to read your newsletter on my phone.
Getting Your Audience Back to Click
If you are selling a service or using an affiliate link, your potential customer has to go from the car/treadmill back to their computer to click your link. I talk about ways to make this easier in my More Podcast Money book. On the other hand, if they do go through that process – they must really want that information. Isn’t that the kind of audience you want?
I can type this article, run a spell check, and post it in minutes. With podcasting I use the four to one rule. When it comes to audio, to create a one minute podcast you will spend four minutes. It takes one minute to find your topic, one to record it, one to type some notes about it, and one to post it. With this in mind a 15 minute podcast will take an hour.
Price of Equipment
While there are audio snobs who want you to spend $600 on a microphone, I’m here to tell you that you can spend the same amount of money you would spend on a Nintendo Wii (less than $300) to get started. This is a one-time fee. Don’t let the price be a hurdle. Quit drinking Starbucks for a few months and you’ll have it.
If you have a newsletter that you are not turning into a podcast (I’m not saying to kill the newsletter) you are missing a way to connect with your audience. In fact, a podcast is a great way to BUILD a newsletter list (where you provide “bonus” content). You should deliver your content as a newsletter, as a podcast, via RSS, etc. Whatever formats your audience wants it in – you should provide.