In a recent Industry Standard post, Ian Lamont makes some points about how and why Podcast is “failing.” I can summarize a lot of things in the article with an old cliche:
“Failure to plan, is planning to fail.”
Michael Geoghegan started Grape Radio with one intent: to make it a business. He planned his success, and the last time I checked he was being played as part of the in flight entertainment on airplanes. Not to shabby. By producing great content, he can ask for (and get) great advertising revenue. It takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of great content, and it takes a little luck. Michael had a plan. He also knows it takes time to create great content, and it takes a lot of work.
The article states that, “Making programs is a labor-intensive process requiring special skills.” To this I ask, “Please show me a technology where you can reach the world for less than 300 dollars start up cost, and the skills needed are basic file management, the ability to work a word processor (Word Press), and the ability to talk. I've helped 60+ year old people with Alzheimer's learn how to podcast. It's not that hard. Special Skills?
Being an organ grinder requires “Special skills” (how to turn a crank, oh yeah and you need a Monkey). Let's not get too silly shall we?
I think the lack of a plan is because Podcasting is still relatively new. We are throwing things on the wall to see if they stick. However, if nothing sticks we get frustrated and quit. There needs to be a plan. In my last episode of the School of Podcasting I comment on Paul Colligan's Post that we need to quit “preaching to the choir.”
The article makes a great statement: “that means just over four million Americans are listening (or watching) podcasts on a given day — out of a total population of more than 300 million Americans.” To this I say, four down, 296 million to go.
I don't think people realize that when they get into it, a one minute podcast will take 4 minutes to produce. A 15 minute podcast will takes an hour to produce. If you are doing video..um… OOFAH, you might want to double that (rendering video is a sloooooow process).
With this in mind dear podcasters do the following:
Pick your topic wisely
Plan how you will promote it
Plan how you monetize it (if you want)
Figure out where your fans are (and go there)
Think good and hard about “starting a second, third, fourth, podcast
Always remember that content is king, and production is queen.
Consistentcy will create fans you can count on because they count on you.
I would add be a professional at all times. Hobby or business, it does not matter. Always be a professional.