Start a podcast for your site
Podcasting has become one of the premiere and most-consumed forms of content. As some recent research by Statista revealed, back in 2006 only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2021, this figure had risen to 78 percent. This number has been increasing across the globe, with the vast majority of many countries consuming more and more podcasts in the past few years. Spotify recently revealed they had added an eye-popping 1.2 million new podcasts in 2021, and that number is expected to keep growing in 2022 and beyond.
The global COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have a particularly large effect on this trend; with more people quarantining and social distancing, podcasting saw an explosion in 2020 and has been steadily on the rise. Lighter and more casual listeners of every industry have turned more and more to podcasts while working remotely, creating enormous opportunity for publishers, content creators, and website owners to take advantage of a larger audience in this new medium.
Of course, the quality of each podcast varies, and just because you start podcasting doesn’t mean your audience will necessarily jump on board immediately. With higher numbers of podcasts comes larger competition, podcast fatigue can set in and viewers might ignore many new channels and focus on the proven ones they know they like. If you can learn how to create an entertaining, on-brand podcast that not only supplements, but elevates your content, you can turn this new medium into a lucrative income stream for your site.
We could spend all day talking about the technical logistics of setting up a podcast, and there are plenty of free, helpful resources that can help you set up your podcast and publish your first episodes. In this article, you’ll learn how to successfully integrate your site’s new podcasting strategy into your content and build a following that directly leads to increased traffic and revenue.
How to Integrate Podcasting Into Your Content
Different members of your audience prefer to consume your content in different ways. Some people prefer reading blogs, others prefer watching shorter videos and clips on social media, and still more like to listen in through podcasts and audio clips.
Podcasting serves a very specific niche of your audience, those that prefer to listen in as you share ideas, interview guests, and speak about your topic as opposed to writing about it. If you decide to create a podcast for your site, you’re essentially creating more ways for your audience to consume your content in their preferred way, which builds trust and goodwill as your audience sees you continuing to serve them.
In order to successfully integrate podcasting into your content, it needs to do accomplish one major goal:
Expand and elevate your current content in ways you can only do through a spoken medium.
One of the best traits of audio-based content is that it allows you to showcase so much more of your personality than if you just used written text. It’s much easier to express yourself and your unique voice (and even more so through video) through podcasts, and you can hook in listeners far more quickly if you can leverage your specific voice in ways you simply can’t do through written text alone. You can have conversations with other experts and bring in other voices to your message in ways simple blog posts struggle to do.
The most successful website podcasts aren’t just rehashed blog posts, they’re an extension and an expansion of the content itself. You can bring on guests to interview and have deeper conversations, which usually sound very clunky in written blog posts but can be an interesting and entertaining conversation your audience can listen to on jogs, in the car on commutes, or waiting in line at the store.
Your podcast should strive to achieve a few goals for your website:
- It provides new, different content than your blog posts
- It develops your authority as an expert in your field
- It showcases your unique personality in ways written text doesn’t do as well
It’s become fairly easy to create and set up podcasting (as the hundreds of thousands of new podcasts in the past year prove), but it’s difficult to make a podcast people will actually want to subscribe to.
Plan out your content calendar and take time to create podcast episodes that provide new content, prove your authority, and showcase your unique personality.
How to Become a Featured Guest on Top Podcasts
Despite how easy it has become to create a podcast, many content creators may balk at the prospect of developing an entirely new traffic and content channel for their site. If you want to incorporate podcasting into your website but aren’t quite ready to make a new one yourself, you can simply appear as a guest or thought leader on other established podcasts, borrowing your host’s audience and speak directly to them.
This was me. I didn’t want to necessarily make my own podcast for my site (although I’m sure many readers of mine would’ve liked it). I’m a writer at heart, and wanted to stick with what I was really good at.
But I still recognized the power of podcasts, and found ways to reach thousands of new listeners by appearing as a guest on popular podcasts in my field. Here’s how to do this yourself.
First, make a list of the top 50 podcasts in your field you’d like to appear on as a guest.
Next, find the websites and social media channels of these sites, so you can begin building a relationship with the host and administrators of the podcast.
Then, begin commenting on their content and leave reviews, so that you pop up in these publishers’ feeds and inboxes. We want them to recognize your name when you finally reach out to them.
You can use this spreadsheet to track your progress. It’s the same one I used, and you can see how I tracked the sites, important links, and my progress with talking to the hosts. You’ll be engaging with dozens of sites, and it’s no good if you get confused about who you’re talking with or forget to follow up with an important lead.
Once you’ve built a presence on their site by engaging with them, it’s time to reach out and ask to appear as a guest on their podcast. To increase your odds of success, you’ll probably want a press kit, a simple PDF that showcases your expertise and resumé of your accomplishments. Here’s mine:
You can either create one yourself, or hire an inexpensive designer to make one for you from somewhere like Fiverr or Upwork.
This is an excellent, proven strategy to appear on high-ranking podcasts in your field. Odds are, these podcast hosts are always on the lookout to bring on informed, entertaining experts for their constant stream of episodes. You can also begin to leverage your podcast experience to appear on even higher-ranking podcasts, proving your an authority and sought-after podcast guest.
How Podcasts Can Increase Traffic and Revenue
Podcasts have become a reliable, trust, and proven medium for publishers to connect with their audience. But how do you increase your traffic — and more importantly, your revenue?
There are several ways to monetize your podcast. First, you can include brand deals, endorsements, and advertisements into your episodes. Similar to affiliate marketing on social media, companies would pay you to promote their products and services on your episodes and hope your subscribers would purchase them. However, you’ll probably need a strong following of consistent monthly listeners before you can expect to secure these brand deals.
Next, you can sell your own products and services to your listeners, encouraging them to buy online courses, coaching programs, books, or physical gear that are relevant to the episode and your brand.
You can also promote your site’s content, encouraging readers to download resources, view your website, or check out content that will increase your site traffic and thus advertisement revenue.
There are plenty of other ways to monetize your podcast that earn more revenue, such as positioning yourself as a speaker and advertising yourself as an in-person guest speaker at events, corporations, and conferences. For now, just prioritize building a solid podcast your audience loves. Take feedback and reviews from your listeners to make your podcast better. Get them involved in the process, and ask them who’d they like to hear on your podcast through guest speakers and interviewees.
All these income streams take time to build, but once you focus on consistently producing quality content that enhances and expands your site’s content, you’ll get more listeners and traffic, which translates into more revenue through sales, affiliate programs, and overall engagement with your site and brand.