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  • Writer's pictureLaura L Bernhard

5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Podcast

Smartphone adoption helped increase the popularity of podcasting. Podcasts are now more accessible than ever before. When Apple included Apple Podcasting as a default app, that also helped grow the podcasting community. Today, in 2020, during the quarantine, it seems like more people are starting a podcast than ever before. I can see the community growing; more questions being asked and generally more interest in the channel. In this blog, I will go into detail about 5 questions to answer before starting a podcast. I didn't answer some questions properly right from the beginning. It hurt me later on. By prioritizing these questions, I would definitely have had more podcast downloads and a stronger community. So, take notes, this will definitely help you in the long run!

5 questions to ask before starting a podcast

1. Do you have time for podcasting?

I took three months to prepare for the launch of The No Formula Podcast. Because I was learning a new skill, I wanted to give myself time to figure things out and prepare episodes in advance. Throughout my podcasting journey so far, I was always in advance with my episodes.

Regardless, my weekly effort was still very time-consuming. I would spend up to 22 hours per week learning new things, talking to guests and more. I'm not saying you need to put in that many hours. But even the weeks when I put minimal effort, I still have to put in 5 hours a week. Do you have 5 hours a week to dedicate to releasing a weekly episode? If you want it to be the best episode in your niche, then you'll have to put in more effort. You need to make time for your podcast.

2. Why are you starting a podcast?

Contrary to popular belief, podcasting is not a get rich quick scheme. If you want to get rich quickly, don't start a podcast. Podcasting is a great tool to reach your ideal clients. It's also a great hobby. Personally, I started The No Formula Podcast as a hobby. However, if you're podcasting to make money fast, you'll lose motivating very quickly. Podcasting just doesn't work that way.

Before starting my podcast, I did research on how much money you could make from advertisements. The ratio is about a few dollars for every 1000 listens. And let me tell you, you won't get 1000 episodes per episode for a while - even years. By knowing this beforehand, however, I never set up my expectations too high. That 's what I want for you. Be honest about why you want to start a podcast. Are you genuinely curious? Do you want to impress others? Be realistic with the results you will achieve within the first three months. Podcasting is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.

3. Are you ready to start a business?

This question may sound ridiculous but I believe you must approach podcasting like starting a business - whether it's a tool to generate leads or a hobby. What you need to know when you start a business and when you start a podcast is quite similar.

For Business:

  1. What are you offering as a product or service?

  2. Who are you targeting?

  3. What is your competition doing in this space?

  4. How will your business stand out?

  5. How are you going to keep customers in the long-run?

Now compare that list with the one for starting a podcast:

  1. What is your podcast about?

  2. Who are you targeting?

  3. What is your competition doing in this space?

  4. How will your podcast stand out?

  5. How will you get people to keep listening?

See how similar they are?

You may not be selling a product or service, instead you are asking listeners to give you their time. That requires thought and intention in every episode.

4. Who are you talking to?

One mistake I made with my podcast is not niching down enough. My podcast is about entrepreneurs. I focus on their journeys and then tap into their area of expertise. This seemed like a great idea because I would be talking to entrepreneurs with a wide variety of experience. I love learning about people's stories. However, as a listener, you're less likely to listen to every episode. So I found myself targeting a slightly different audience every week. One week I would attract people interested in growing their LinkedIn connections. Another week, I'm attracting people who like real estate.

Yes, I'm targeting entrepreneurs, but it's not niche enough. I'm not answering a specific problem they have. Instead I'm generating content I would like. Keep your target audience in mind at all times. What do THEY want to listen to? What do THEY like and dislike about your show? What do THEY expect from your show?

On my end, I'm am slowly pivoting my podcast to be about marketing for entrepreneurs. I'm niching down so I can help the same group of people every single week. If you're interested in helping me build out the next version of The No Formula Podcast, I just started this Facebook group. so we can all connect.

5. What makes your podcast interesting?

As the number of podcast shows increase, every niche will get more and more saturated. So how are you going to stand out from the crowd?

Think of how businesses differentiate themselves. They use branding, high quality product or service, use different distribution channels, to name a few.

How does that translate to your podcast? You can build your brand, have recognized guests, a unique posting schedule, a daily show. There are many possibilities. My recommendation is to see what your competition is doing. And then, do it differently, or do it better.

Join the Facebook community. In 2021, I will use the group to add additional free content and marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Join today to help shape the content on the show!


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