Podcasts have been used for the longest time by persons across various fields to promote their work and connect with like-minded individuals. A podcast can be extremely valuable for connecting with readers and promoting your books.
First, what is a podcast?
A podcast is an online radio show that is made available to listeners on demand. These audio broadcast are made available on the web for people to download or stream to a digital audio player, phone, tablet, or a computer.
The term, podcast, originated from the words, broadcast and iPod, however, don’t let the name deceive you into believing it is limited to the iPod brand products by Apple. As long as one has a computer or MP3 player that can play audio files, they will be able to play a podcast.
The online audio content created when podcasting is delivered to listeners via a feed, similar to a blog feed except this time it’s for audio. Listeners of a podcast can subscribe to the podcast so they are in the loop when there is a new episode. Podcasts have come a long way and don’t necessarily require listeners to subscribe to a feed, but they can be streamed or downloaded via podcast hosts available across platforms.
Why you should start podcasting
#1 Put yourself out there
Podcasting is an awesome way for you to share your work with the public, whether it’s listeners who love your work or like-minded authors. There is always a community that is ready and willing to consume the content you create.
#2 Connect with listeners
The advantage of readily available audio content is it can be consumed anytime and anywhere in the world. You don’t have to be physically present for your audience to connect with you since they can listen to what you have to say regardless of whether they are doing chores, on the move, or simply lying in bed. ITunes and other podcast catchers have made this even easier.
#3 Build a platform for free
You probably know by now how important it is to build a platform and get as many readers and fans as possible to follow you. Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, you need to sell books. With podcasting, you’ll have access to a free medium that’s going to help you build your platform even further. Voice communication is highly personable and people will be able to connect with your voice. You never know, you might end up getting a publishing deal through the platform you are able to build. Podcast are also great because they provide chunks of contents in between new books.
#4 Improve your performance and work
When you read your work out loud in your podcast, you’ll be practicing for when you have to speak at a book festival and read a couple of paragraphs from your book. At first you will likely not like your own voice and you’ll see flaws in your writing, but playing around with character voices if you are a fiction writer, and switching things up to suit a vocal performance will help you improve.
#5 You’ll enjoy it
Podcasting is a fun and enjoyable enterprise that is not difficult to do. You’ll enjoy connecting with people you’d love to talk to, and people will want to talk to you because you’d be promoting them. And of course, if you’re one author that likes to talk, it’ll be a tad surprising if you don’t have a podcast already.
Podcasting is a fun alternative to other marketing efforts that drain your energy and are nowhere near as enjoyable. You may find that you prefer discussing your books verbally to providing original content for bloggers. You don’t have to and shouldn’t abandon other marketing efforts entirely, but you can take some of the time you spend on other marketing efforts and put that into podcasting for a more rewarding marketing experience.
#6 Go in-depth like never before
You can say a lot more in an hour-long podcast than in a 1,000-word blog post. You’ll be able to say whatever you want exactly as you want to say it, and go in-depth about the topics that matter to you. The listening experience may be more rewarding for your audience and better than skimming through a blog post.
#7 How to get started
You can start a website specifically for your podcast, or just upload your podcasts to an existing site, or upload them to various streaming sites. TechWalla has a useful resource that explains how to add a podcast to your website and TechNorms has a list of sites to host your podcast on.