11 Lies You Have Been Told About Podcasting

11 Lies You Have Been Told About Podcasting

As a professional podcaster, I have to deal with a certain degree of myths and flat out lies. It comes from everywhere, from people who have no clue what I do and from others in the industry. “Podcast” is a work that can mean many things these days.

Here are some of the lies you’ve heard about podcasting. I might not know everything about podcasts because things change each and every day but I can call BS on many of these claims you’ll hear from all over.

Lies, Lies and more Lies
  1. There’s no money in podcasting – There is money in podcasting. You just have to understand the business and how to get the money. I have made a living in podcasting for several years, and I’m very familiar with how much money advertisers are willing to spend.  Marketing budgets have never been higher. You have to have the right partner to get a share but the money is there if you have the skills to find it.
  2. Podcasting is a hobby – Of course some podcasters are hobbyist. The podcasting format has long since graduated from the domain of bedroom DIY, and has blossomed into an industry that nurtures genuine superstars. Calling podcasters “hobbyists” is a bit like supposing all bloggers or YouTubers are hobbyists: some people fake it until they make it, of course, but the industry is no longer just a hobby that someone is recording on their phone from grandma’s basement. It is now a genuine, multimillion-dollar global enterprise. Podcast revenues grew  by millions of dollars in just the past 2 years. Hobbyist do not grow by those kind of numbers.
  3. Podcasting is a professional business and no longer for hobbyist – Podcasting is still part of the Wild Wild West. I listen to many podcasts every day. There are still plenty of people that are obviously recording in their Mom’s basement and the dog is barking in the background and you can even hear the toilet flush because they cannot hit pause or edit out the flush.  It’s an unregulated marketplace, and some people will refuse to take it seriously. The biggest distinction between hobbyists and pros is not listenership but quality — no matter what your stats and charts say, your audience will be able to tell the difference.
  4. No one will listen to your show – You’ll hear the same fear-mongering in podcasting that you will in self publishing a book. “If you build it, they will come” isn’t always true, but it’s a function of the expectations you set for yourself. But imagine yourself in a room with 200 people. That’s what you’re doing in every episode. And how would you feel as an advertiser, knowing that someone is standing up in a room of 200 people and plugging your restaurant or auto repair shop for 60 seconds? Suddenly, a captive audience of 200 seems much more impressive. Even a small audience is an effective audience.
  5. People will listen to your show – Of course, people won’t actually listen to your show. The odds are always against you. After all, “if you build it, they will come” is a huge lie. The work of podcasting is only partially in front of the microphone. Just like a book.. the winners are on the New York Times Best Seller list.. yes it is called the BEST SELLER LIST and not best written.
  6. Podcasts are like jazz –  Yes, The fancy-pants folks at NPR will yap about how podcasting is just so revolutionary — but I find all that a bunch of crap. Sure, podcasts benefit from being a very flexible format — podcasters don’t pay by the minute or fill timed broadcast slots. So podcasts can be as long as you want, but also as detailed as you want, with as many episodes as you want, as many hosts as you want, and on whatever subject you want. There are no hard-and-fast rules in this business, but successful podcasts tend to cluster around a few tried-and-true structures.
  7. Podcasts should be like traditional radio – Many of the most unique elements of podcasting come from how it breaks out of the corporate radio structure. To try and exactly replicate NPR for the sake of tradition and dignity is to miss out on some of the best opportunities of podcasting.

  8. Podcasts are special – LOL… Ummm NO THEY ARE NOT. There was a time when simply working in new media was exciting. Journalists who quit newspaper jobs and went to work on the first online news sites were rockstars. It was the next frontier. And podcasts have held that distinction for a long time, not just against radio, but against more established digital formats. In truth, podcasting isn’t special. The production, and distribution works like any form of digital media. For advertisers, the product is not markedly different from a radio or TV commercial, or even from print or online advertising. There are, of course, differences — they’re just not remarkable.
  9. You must Pay BIG BUCKS to learn how to podcast – No you don’t! You can learn on your own by listening to other podcasts. Take the pieces from different podcasts that you like to listen to and you can learn how to podcast. Or submit your podcast idea to Podcast Baja and we will teach you for free!
  10. You need a Heil PR40 Microphone to podcast (substitute any other Mic) – You can use any quality microphone to record a podcast. Yes even the one on your phone. Now a better microphone and equipment will help but you don’t have to spend a fortune on it. Submit your show to us. We will publish it, Teach you what you need to know, and allow you to use our studio for no charge!
  11. You don’t need a Website to podcast. Just use XXXX Hosting service instead. – A complete lie! Your show must have a website. The site is a requirement to make money, gain new listeners and get raving fans! Of course if we are your podcast publisher we take care of the website design and maintenance for you!

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