I'm Pretty Surprised with My Initial Benefits from Podcasting
I always wondered why so many podcasters want to tell others about the benefits of podcasting. Well, now I know and I share them here. It turns out those folks were right. Podcasting, even for such a short time as I've been doing it, offers an increase in blog traffic, social media growth and networking with other people.
The most important lesson is how it's helped me connect with people who are listening and getting their feedback.
Thank you for listening and sharing your ideas with me. I really appreciate you.
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Copyblogger – The Growth of Podcasting
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PHOTO FLUNKY: Episode 14
I’m your host, William Beem. Welcome to the Photo Flunky Show, Episode fourteen.
Today we’re going to be talking about the initial benefits I’ve seen from podcasting.
Hi, thank you very much for joining me on the Photo Flunky Show. I really appreciate you being here. You can find the show at photoflunky.com. Show notes for this episode are going to be available at illiambeem.com/episode14.
I’m going to bring up something that, if you’ve got a Mac and you’re into photography post processing software, our friends over at MacPhun gave us a ten per cent discount to share so you can go to my link (this is an affiliate code) – it is williambeem.com/macphun. But the good news is you get a ten per cent discount for doing it and I get a little bit of credit from them if you use this. The code is my last name: BEEM.
If you’re looking for some great photography software and you’ve got a Mac, take a look at MacPhun. I think you’ll really like what they have.
Alright, so today’s show is almost inevitable. And the reason I say that is it seems that almost everybody who comes up with a podcast eventually wants to come back and bring other people into the fold. They want to tell you all the wonderful benefits of podcasting. And I swore before I started, “I’m never going to do one of those show posts.” And here I am today doing one of those little shows about why podcasting has some benefits.
I want to bring this up in case this is appropriate for you. Podcasting is sort of like your blog. If you’ve got a message, you want to reach out, you’re trying to connect with people, you’re trying to communicate something that you have; it’s a different medium to do it. It gives some benefits that I did not anticipate, but we’ll go through those. Before I start with that, I did a little bit of digging and research and looking at a number of other people’s blogs.
This quote that I’m going to give you comes from Podcast Answer Man with Cliff Ravenscraft and I think it was about a year ago that he said this, but he said:
“There are roughly 450 million English language blogs.” I mean, just think about that; 450 million. That is a lot in Google’s sea. I mean, think about it. You’ve got to be found out of 450 million English language blogs if you want someone to find your content. On the other hand, he also said, “There are roughly 250,000 English language podcasts.”
Your market is the same, but your competition is much smaller. Quite simply, your podcast can reach people that your blog may not. Think about this part. Apple loads a podcast app on every iOS device. Little ones – what is it? The iPod Touch? They’ve all got the little podcast app on there and it can’t be deleted. You can’t remove it. It’s going to be there. You can hide it someplace if you don’t want to use it, but it’s there and a lot of people are going to be curious about it. They’ve got their own little things that they’re interested in. It could be fashion, it could be photography, it could be any number of topics and there’s a good chance there’s a podcast on it. So sooner or later a lot of people are going to search for that.
So you’ve got people curious about podcasts, they’ve got a device in their hands and they’re ready to use it.
Just as much as you have been on iOS, you also have people with Android devices. It’s a little tougher for Android because they don’t necessarily have something built in but they’ve got a lot of wonderful apps that can help them. Your audience can be a mix of both iOS and Android, people on their desktops. You have a sea of people that can get your podcast (apparently I’m on a nautical theme when I keep saying ‘sea’), and how are they going to find your podcast?
Well, let’s go back to iTunes. iTunes is a search engine. You can put your podcast up on iTunes. The way you put in your information, there are key words that you can concentrate on and that will help people find what you’re podcasting about. So you want to have your podcast much like your blog, concentrating on a specific niche, whether it’s going to be photography, whether it’s going to be fashion or food, or whatever it is you want to have key words in your show title, your description and even your author bio. You want to put in a couple of key words in there that mention who you are, what you’re about and have those things show up when people are searching in iTunes.
I paid attention to all the advice from other podcasters. I did all these things and this is only my fourteenth episode. I am very much of a newbie when it comes to podcasting. I’ve not yet seen all the benefits, but yet I’m already surprised by how many benefits have really kind of come about from having this podcast already.
Based on my own experiences it’s had an immediate impact; or at least almost immediate impact. I mean the first couple of shows came out and then I started to see my traffic to my blog increase. In other words, your podcast is another way to be discovered and on each episode I am referencing “Go to photoflunky.com, go to williambeem.com/episode14” (in this case). Not everybody who listens is going to go there, but enough people do and they start coming in and they find your site and if there is something interesting there, they look at other pages. It’s a way of generating traffic to your site beyond what Google can bring you. And that brings me to the next point which is you reduce your reliance upon Google and search engine traffic.
When I looked at my stats before, most of my traffic came from Google. It wasn’t that much that was coming from social media. Only fourteen episodes in, and I haven’t posted this one obviously since I’m recording it, and already a third of the traffic from my site is coming in as a result of the podcast. It’s not coming in from social media; it’s not coming in from Google. It’s coming in as a result of the podcast.
I’m finding that people are sharing my social media messages, whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram when I post about a new episode and I’m very grateful. Thank you very much! I’ve mentioned some of those folks on a previous episode and I’m really happy. I can’t thank you enough!
People pay attention to podcasters in a way that they don’t pay attention to bloggers. And I say that having been a blogger for many years and a podcaster only for a few episodes. It is an amazing bump in your exposure and it also makes networking much easier by providing that greater exposure.
I’m now connecting with people who have much larger audiences than I do. Much to my surprise, they are reaching out to me. It’s almost as if podcasting has given not only greater exposure, but it kind of legitimizes your message and increases your authority in some cases.
There is a new level of engagement that I’m finding and I’m really enjoying it. As I’m getting more exposure, as more people are helping me share my message, more people are coming back to the site, it’s also giving me new opportunities.
It’s increasing my reach. I’m finding people that are connecting to me to do business as well. It’s nothing spectacular or great at this point; I mean I’m certainly happy to have it. I’m making more photo sales. I’m getting more interest in the photography and prints that I put out there. Some of them are now starting to go out for products and people I hadn’t heard of or markets that I hadn’t considered.
Having a podcast and increasing your reach and having other people share your message as a result of your podcast expands your audience and can improve your business. Although I’m in the very early stages of it, I’m definitely seeing that increase happen. I’ve got a third of my traffic coming from the podcast and coincidentally, my reach I would say from the blog has gone up by about thirty, thirty three per cent. So it’s not just necessarily the same people who are reading my site that are coming in. I’ve got a third more, or thirty three per cent more traffic that’s coming to my site as a result of having a podcast and that’s only, as I said, just for a few episodes.
But there’s something else that I really enjoy about a podcast and that is podcasts connect with listeners in a way that text cannot. You can read text and sometimes, you’ve probably had this happen to you before, you read something and take it in a way completely different than the person who wrote it had intended.
With podcasts you hear my voice; you can understand my tone, my timbre – those little things and nuances that go into a message. Podcasting helps you connect and if I’d written some of the things that I’ve said in the podcast and you hadn’t heard my voice, you might have taken it a different way. And it could be good or it could be bad. Usually in my case if I misunderstand something it’s bad. But that’s the nice thing about a podcast. I can deliver a message in a different way.
People can take it with them much more easily. I mean one of the things in blogging that people have been yelling at me for a while, and I did about a year ago, was trying to make sure that everything on the website was mobile friendly. And that is because more and more people are consuming their information on a phone or on a tablet or someplace on the go, rather than sitting at a desk and reading things that are formatted just perfectly on a desktop.
Podcasting lets you do that without having to read. In other words, I’m talking, I’m in your head, you could be driving to work, you could be on a train someplace or flying on a plane. It’s something where you can take it to the gym and get your information without having to read and worry about other distractions. It’s just a wonderful way to connect.
As a result of that connection I’ve had some really nice feedback. I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from people; I’m very happy and appreciative of that. One thing I’d like to say to all the people who have supported me with this and had a positive message: Thank you very much! I really appreciate it.
When I started this show I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go. A lot of people looked at me and said, “You’re talking about doing a podcast on a visual topic like photography?” And I took a leap of faith. I decided, you know what? There’s a lot more to photography than just showing photos and showing tutorials and tips and tricks. That’s something that I want to build up on the Youtube channel. I’ll have more of that coming out in the future, but for right now, I’m really enjoying the podcast. I’m enjoying the chance that it gives me to meet new people and connect.
If you’re interested in doing this, I would highly recommend it.
So here’s what you do. Think about your audience. Think about what the message is that you have to put out there. Are you reaching everybody that you want to reach with your blog or your social media posts? Maybe you are, but there’s probably more that you can reach that you’re not thinking about if you haven’t tried doing a podcast yet. And that’s what’s really cool. When you can find new people and get their feedback and get their impressions. It will help shape what you do on your blog, on your podcast and if you’re doing Youtube, it will help shape that as well.
So it’s something I’ve enjoyed very much. I’m going to keep on doing it. If you have any feedback for me, if you have any questions, please let me know. You can leave a comment on the show notes for this episode at williambeem.com/episode14.
So thank you for listening to the Photo Flunky Show. I really do appreciate it, and as I’ve said that over and over on this episode, you can probably tell that it’s all true!
You can find a transcript of this show for free. Just go to williambeem.com/episode14
You can get a subscription to the show on iTunes or on Stitcher Radio.
Again, links are at photoflunky.com.
I’m William Beem and if you are on iTunes I would really appreciate it if you could go there and leave a rating and review for the show. I’d be happy to see it and get your feedback.
Thanks very much! I’ll talk to you next time.