When you start a podcast, you generally start from the bottom and with no listeners. This might not be the case if you are starting a podcast for inclusion as part of an already existing website or ecommerce site (see below).Even in these cases though, you start small and grow from there.
The first thing to get straight is, in every case, your listener niche, or what your podcast is actually going to be about. This is absolutely essential to get right, as the podcast will be a complete non-starter if you haven’t first asked yourself the question, “Who would actually want to listen to this?”
Getting the right niche can be a tricky balancing act between finding a gap in the listening market but not a gap so small – or a niche that’s simply too niche – for you to never attract enough interested listeners. Moreover, if the topics you cover are too broad, then you will simply not stand out.
Nevertheless, when you get this right, you are on your way. Then comes the inevitable period of trucking along at your current level, gradually attracting listeners and making it through those first episodes while seeing an incremental increase with each one. After things start going well, there comes a time to upgrade your podcast.
Podcasting for Ecommerce
Before getting onto that how ever, it is wise to make a point about podcasting for ecommerce sites. The great advantage here is that you will already have website traffic (and therefore potential listeners) who will notice your podcast and probably at least check it out.
The great disadvantage is that this type of podcast runs the risk of being seen as subordinate to your website’s main purpose or, worse, merely an extension of your marketing for the products you offer.
The trick then is to make your podcast content relevant to the type of products you offerbut also to make sure that it has enough content independent of this to be interesting in its own right. Here we have another balancing act. For ecommerce sites, the trick is normally to feature your products and your brand, but to have much content that goes beyond them.
Plurawl, an ecommerce site offering Hispanic-themed clothing and Spanish prints, seem to have struck the balance well. Their target market is the Latino community, and their motivational speech Hispanic podcast covers many issues relevant to this community. Not just marketing for their products.
Time to Upgrade
So, your podcast has had good initial success and you’ve made it through the first few episodes. How do you take things to the next level? Here follows some tips:
Get a Sponsor
Usually, this is how podcasts make money. But, of course, nobody is going to sponsor a brand-new podcast. A podcast with increasing listeners is a different story.
Upgrade the Equipment
There’s no need to shell out for the most complex equipment right at the start. You just need to be heard clearly, present well, and produce great content. Once things start going well though, bringing video into the mix or investing in a proper studio is a great idea.
Hire A Team
If a podcast goes well and expands, it will not be long before it’s no longer a one-person job. At this point, you can start thinking about bringing in producers, sound engineers, and someone responsible for booking guests. If you also run an ecommerce site, this can also alleviate you of the need to handle the podcast while also running your business.
Just like a business, stagnation is the kiss of death for a podcast, and there comes a time to upgrade.