How Podcasting Works

How does podcasting work? In this article I’m going to try to give you an overview of how podcasting works. More specifically, I’m going to focus on what podcasting is and how it goes from a simple idea to being a traffic generation tool.

Podcasting is a first and foremost a form of learning content. It is possible to make it a pure entertainment product however, unless you are selling entertainment that isn’t going to help you. So for the information marketer a podcast is a form of learning content. And like any learning content it follows a particular process.

The process begins with the identification of an audience. Who is going to buy the product line? Who is going to want to learn what is being taught?

The next task is to determine what motivates your audience. What are their immediate problems? What are they worried about?

Once you have a motivator you need to provide a solution. How can your product solve their problems? How can your topic help them achieve their goals or avoid their concerns?

Of course a solution by itself is very difficult to learn and to teach. So you need to turn it into a system which can be followed easily. It needs to be simplified into a set of steps that anyone can follow.

You now have a solution which can be packaged and sold. But there are many ways to package it. In fact to make a profit you’re going to need to create various packages of your solution. Some will be entry level products. Some will be high value products and some will be free products. Some will even be used for marketing.

Podcasting is one of these latter products.

Once you’ve determined that podcasting is one of the tools you are going to use to market your product line, you need to start creating the actual podcasts.

Like any audio learning content the process for creating a podcast starts with an outline. Unlike most of the audio learning content products you are going to need, podcasts are a repeating product. You’re going to need a new one each week. And each podcast may actually consist of several smaller segments each of which can be produced independently.

In theory, you should be structurally editing and then converting your outline into a script. However, generally, podcast segments are too small and simple to justify this effort.

The next task instead is to record the podcast. This may take several attempts which effectively fulfill the same purpose as a formal edit.

The podcast is uploaded to either your own site or to a podcasting site. If you use your own site you will need to drive traffic to the podcast.

At the end of each week, the podcast is cycle repeats and a new podcast is uploaded to replace the previous podcast. Frequently a podcasting service is used for the current podcast and an archive of prior podcasts is maintained on the producer’s site.

Traffic is driven to the podcasting service — or your site — and audience members select the podcasts they wish to listen to. They then download those podcasts to their own computers. From there they listen to them on the computer, copy them to CD or copy them to their MP3 players.

Typically podcasts are squeezed into other activities. This is why they need to be entertaining and a fairly light examination of their topic.

The concept is that the audience will enjoy the podcast so much that they will visit the producer’s site to obtain past podcasts and other available information. This is why the producer’s website needs to be featured prominently in the podcast.