Updated: May 24
Nowadays it seems like everyone and their dog has a podcast.
Seriously, ESPN NFL Analyst Mina Kimes literally has a podcast that features her dog Lenny. No shade to Mina, her show is great and if you're a fan of the NFL you should definitely check it out.
The point is that just because you can (and want to) start a podcast doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Recently, our president of Jam Street Media Matty Staudt took part in a Clubhouse discussion on this very subject.
Here are a few takeaways and some things that might have you second guessing if podcasting is really for you.
First thing you should think about is the fact that podcasting can be a full-time job.
Contrary to what Adam Devine says, podcasts don’t have a 24 hour turnaround.
Each episode should take an immense amount of planning, research, writing and thought before you even sit down in front of a microphone.
Not to mention there’s the recording session, editing, and publishing. Just to distribute one episode could take about a week.
There’s just a lot to think about when it comes to creating podcasts, even before you record your episodes.
From naming it, to the subject matter, the equipment, the publishing platform, and even how you’re going to market it.
It’s all something to think about if your podcast isn’t going to be, or can’t be, your main squeeze.
Now, this isn’t a post to shame you into not creating a podcast. In fact, if your podcast is something you really want to be a fun, creative outlet and you have no expectation of monetary value then DO IT.
Absolutely do it.
This is all to just help you manage your expectations when you decide that podcasting is something you may want to do.
Which comes to our next point.
Making Money off of your podcast.
It just doesn’t happen as often, or easily, as you may think and you might lose more money than you make when you start out.
The fact of the matter is that only about 2% of all podcasts actually become successful and turn a profit.
This isn’t to say that you can’t make money, it just takes a lot of building and hard work to get there. Even then, it might be better to keep it as your side hustle.
So, if quitting your day job to become a famous podcast overnight was what you had in mind please rethink that rather quickly.
Being Realistic About Your Talent Level
There’s a saying that some people have a face for radio.
Well, what that pretty much means is that they have the voice and personality to draw people in and keep their attention without being seen.
This is yet another thing to think about when it comes to podcasting. Realistically, do you have the personality to carry a show if you plan on doing it solo? Or do you need a co-host? Then you have to think about the chemistry between the two of you. Is it enough to engage an audience?
Those are just a few self-reflecting questions that need to be answered before committing to your show.
Is Your Message Unique?
To be frank here, just because you have something to say does mean you should say it (or that anyone wants to hear it.)
Believe it or not, podcasts are more than just sitting around a microphone with your friend(s) shootin’ the shit, and talking about their daily lives.
You may be thinking, “Well celebrities and influencers do that. Why not me?”
Well, a common theme amongst those types of podcasts is that they start off really high in numbers and then taper off because the content may be lacking.
On the flip side, a podcast hosted by someone “less famous” and actually has unique, quality content will see a gradual increase in their numbers.
The keyword there is unique. You want your message and theme of the show to be different than everything else that’s out there. Otherwise you’re just another plastic bag floating in the wind.
There’s just no spark of genius, for lack of a better word.
Unique podcasts have the ability to engage with their audience and invoke the three E’s of podcasting that we live by here at Jam Street.
Good podcast will educate, entertain, and will evoke empathy.
Your message is important, and figuring it out will potentially be the most time consuming part of this entire process.
Again, this is a post to shame you into not creating a podcast. It’s to give you perspective, and to help you manage your expectations going forward.
If nothing said above has deterred you from wanting to make a podcast, then absolutely do it. We are not here to stand in the way of your dreams.
Just remember the long road you have ahead of you.