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Look, I get it…
You hate the sound of your own voice. You’re unfamiliar with the tech. And you feel much more comfortable typing than you do talking into a mic.
So you may feel hesitant to start your own podcast. Maybe you even feel intimidated by the prospect.
But you should do it anyway.
Because podcasting can pay major dividends for you, your blog, and your business.
Podcasting has been on a steady increase over the years both in the quantity of shows produced and in the volume of listeners.
It reaches people across genres, languages, and economic status, and if you strategically bake podcasting into your content plan, you can reap its many dividends.
Here are seven ways podcasting can help you boost your blog and business.
#1. You Build a Network Your Competitors Will Envy
When you run a podcast, you can invite influencers as guests and interview them one on one. It’s an excellent way to build connections.
Most people like the idea of gaining free publicity for their work, so they’ll often agree to spend 30+ minutes with you to get exposed to your audience.
And when you spend time cultivating the relationship before, during, and after the interview, you can build a powerful network of people who can help you grow your business and blog.
Over the last two and a half years, I’ve interviewed more than 100 guests for my own podcast. While I’m not best friends with every person who’s come on the show, I have kept in touch with people with whom I had a strong connection.
And some cool business opportunities have come out of those, which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t established the initial relationship through my podcast.
#2. You Can Bask in the Spillover of Other People’s Star Power
Some time ago, I had Tucker Max on my podcast. (In case you don’t know, he’s a three-time New York Times best-selling author.)
His team reached out to me and pitched Tucker as a guest to promote his new business, Book in a Box.
Once the episode went live, I got this message from a friend in my network:
Leveraging the authority of those you associate with is a smart way to build influence and social proof.
When you interview people for your podcast, particularly folks with larger followings than you, it boosts your credibility. Your audience will think, “If she has so-and-so on her show, she must know what she’s talking about!”
And you don’t have to wait for your dream guests to come to you. You can reach out to them and explain why coming on your show would benefit them.
Don’t know how? Here’s a great resource on how to land big guests for your show, even if you’re a newbie.
#3. Your Ideas Reach a Brand-New, Highly Engaged Audience
Through blogging, you can spread your ideas to a wide audience. But through podcasting, you can put those ideas in front of a new audience that your blog might never reach.
While there are some people who read blogs and listen to podcasts on a regular basis, many people do just one or the other.
And listenership continues to grow for podcasts — at more than 20% year after year.
Even better, data reveals podcast audiences are super-engaged. A whopping 85% of listeners hear all or most of a show and the average listener consumes five hours and seven minutes worth of podcasts each week.
People aren’t quick to turn off a podcast once they start listening, and they can listen to a podcast while doing something else, like cooking, driving or walking the dog. It’s an ideal medium for busy people.
So repurposing ideas you’ve shared on your blog for a podcast is well worth your time — especially the ideas that have already proven popular.
For example, here’s an article I published on my Inc. column that showed the results of research I’d done with entrepreneurs:
When I saw the message resonated, I switched up the headline, added a few additional points, and published it as a podcast episode.
With this one article and podcast episode, I was able to double the amount of people who were exposed to my message.
#4. Your Unfiltered Voice Builds an Even Deeper Bond with Your Audience
You can build a connection with readers on your blog, no doubt. But with podcasting, your audience hears your voice and personality, your inflections and emotions, as well as your laughter.
They’ll feel like they know you much more intimately, which bonds them to you more strongly.
A few years ago, researchers conducted a study where they asked participants to rate their degree of connectedness and bonding after having participated in in-person, video, audio, or written communication with a friend.
As you might’ve guessed, the greatest level of bonding occurred through in-person interactions, followed by video chats, followed by audio.
Instant messaging came in last among the options.
When you consider how the brain processes information, this phenomenon isn’t surprising. Researchers, educators, and consultants Louisa Moats and Carol Tolman explained it in more detail on Reading Rockets:
Reading and writing are skills we may take for granted today, but these skills have only recently become prevalent among the human population. By contrast, we’ve been speaking and listening for ages.
It’s no surprise that hearing someone’s voice makes us feel more connected to them than just reading their words.
#5. Your Bank Account Will Get More Direct Deposits
Adding a podcast to your content marketing can directly increase the revenues for your blog and business.
The most common way people monetize their podcasts is through selling sponsorships, or commercial spots that are read before and during an episode.
John Lee Dumas is host of the hit podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. Every month he publishes an income report for the business he’s built around the show. For December alone, his sponsorship revenue for his daily podcast was more than $64,000.
The larger the audience is for your show, the better you position yourself to earn a decent income from third-party sponsors.
But getting sponsors for your show isn’t the only way to monetize your podcast. Many hosts promote their own products and services to their listeners through designated ad spots.
My friend Vernon Foster is a podcast coach at PodParrot. He says many of his clients make a ton of money with their podcast by highlighting their own products. He recommends podcasters with audiences of all sizes do the same:
Side note: I met Vernon through my podcast, which goes to show how it can help you build your network!
#6. You Give Google More Reason to Notice You
Bloggers have long been on the hunt for ways to drive traffic to their blogs through SEO. The good news is that podcasting can help you with that as well.
Whenever you publish a new episode, you can add relevant written content to the “show notes” page on your website, which is indexable by search engines. Transcripts and detailed notes with time stamps are smart ways to add content to your site that might rank for long-tail keywords and draw more traffic.
Not only that, podcasting can also help you get links, which can boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. Whenever you have a guest on for an interview, you have a good chance they’ll link back to it from their site.
Lastly, publishing podcasts on your blog can also increase the average amount of time people stay on your site. Google likes to see this as well.
Here’s what SEO expert Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design said on the subject:
#7. You’ll Be Prepared When Oprah Calls
Podcasting will you get you ready for future speaking opportunities that can expand your reach.
Imagine your blog getting so popular that you get called for a talk show interview, a TEDx talk, or to be a featured speaker at a conference. You want to be ready, right?
Having experience speaking in both scripted and off-the-cuff formats will prepare you for when those calls come.
When you step up to the mic on a consistent basis, you will discover your most relevant messages, refine your voice, and overcome any fears of public speaking that might otherwise hold you back.
Through podcasting, you’ll build your speaking confidence until it feels natural.
A few months ago, I was a featured expert on a program with an NPR radio affiliate. The show’s producer read an article I published, and he invited me to speak more in-depth on the topic and to answer questions from listeners who called in.
My experiences in podcasting, both as a guest and a host, prepared me to be comfortable speaking without a script. As a result, I am ready to seize bigger opportunities that come my way.
It’s Time for You to Step Up to the Mic
Give your expertise an even bigger stage. A stage that enables you to transform the lives of even more people who crave your solutions.
Sure, it’ll take some practice.
But don’t most things that are worth it?
You don’t have to produce the next Serial, This American Life, or Smart Passive Income to reap the benefits of podcasting.
You’ve simply got to create a show that speaks to your ideal audience in a meaningful way.
You’ve already got the knowledge. And you’ve already got the ideas.
Now all you need is the mic.
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You started your blog because you want people to read it.
You want your blog to connect with people. You want your content to reach a wide audience. You want to build a base of fans that gobble up your every word.
And yes, at some point, you also want to make money from your blog.
Because let’s face it … as much as you love to write, you didn’t start your blog as a journaling project. (If you did, this article isn’t for you.)
But here’s the thing … if you want your writing to connect with people, you need to connect with them first.
And the best way to connect with anyone is to talk to them — as in, one-on-one.
That’s why every blogger should offer coaching.
Yes, even you. Even if you don’t think you can.
“But… My Niche Really Isn’t Coaching-Compatible…”
You sure about that?
Okay, I won’t lie — some niches do lend themselves to coaching more than others. Everyone’s heard of business coaches, dating coaches, and fitness coaches. And if you blog on those topics, coaching people will feel like a natural step.
On the other hand, nobody’s ever heard of a web design coach, an anxiety coach, or a travel coach. Those niches aren’t quite as compatible with coaching as the previous ones.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a coaching-like service.
You don’t have to label it “coaching” if it doesn’t feel natural, but you can offer something that gets you one-on-one time with your audience.
- If you blog about web design, you could offer website reviews and feedback sessions.
- If you blog about anxiety, you could offer guided meditations or in-person teaching of techniques to calm down.
- If you blog about travel, you could offer sessions where they tell you their dream trip, and you help them create the ultimate money-saving itinerary.
So let’s be clear: You don’t have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word. The important thing is that you get to talk to (and help!) your audience in a one-on-one setting.
“But… But… I’m Not Ready to Be a Coach!”
Let’s be real. Your first coaching sessions will always feel scary, and you’re not going to feel ready the first few times you do it.
But you shouldn’t wait to start coaching until you feel ready, because you won’t feel ready until you start coaching.
Jeff Goins started coaching early in his blogging career, and even he admits he was mostly winging it at first:
Yes, you read that right. One of the world’s most popular writing coaches had little clue what he was doing when he started coaching. He was just confident he could help people get results, so he said yes.
And that’s the point: Coaching clients don’t expect you to be perfect. They just want you to help them get results.
If you have enough knowledge to run a blog on a certain topic, you have enough knowledge to get people results on that same topic. Right? Right. (Otherwise, I doubt you’d have started your blog in the first place.)
If you’re uncomfortable charging people at first, that’s totally understandable. (And even honorable that you don’t want to take money without first proving your value.)
To get past this, go ahead and offer your first 5–10 coaching calls for free. You’ll not only gain experience running a coaching call, you’ll also gain the confidence to charge people for a session when the time comes.
3 Critical Reasons You Should Offer Coaching to Your Audience
Are you feeling convinced that you can offer coaching on your blog?
Good, then we can talk about why you should.
The truth is, coaching can be a godsend for your blogging business.
I’ve been blogging for almost four years now, and it’s only been in the last year or so that I got the readership, engagement, and profitability I’ve wanted all along. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also started coaching about a year and a half ago.
Here are three ways coaching will benefit you as a blogger:
#1. You Gain New Insights and Create More Engaging Content
One of the coolest things about coaching is that clients will tell you their own specific struggles without you having to guess. I know that sounds uber-simplistic, but how many hours do you spend scouring the web for information on your audience instead of just asking them directly?
Coaching clients are incredibly forthcoming with what they need your help with, which means you’ll gather a ton of valuable insights for your content strategy.
Take Jacob McMillen, who noticed some tangible data differences after running his first coaching/mentorship program. He’d reached the six-figure mark as a writer, and wanted to know how he could help other people do the same.
From mentoring only ten people, he already got a wealth of information and results. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the long run.
After the group mentoring experiment, he realigned his content marketing based on the information he collected, and saw the following results:
- Average article views increased from 1,218 to 3,802
- Average time on page increased from 3:38 to 6:21
- Average shares increased from 72 to 99
After his coaching experiment, the insights he gathered helped him develop more compelling content for his particular audience, and as you can see, his engagement shot way up.
#2. You Can Start Earning Cash Right Away
One of the best parts of coaching is that you can make money right away.
As we saw above, Jacob mentored ten students at $200 a pop, which means he brought in $2,000 he wouldn’t have otherwise.
In my own business, I let people book one-off sessions ranging in price from $125 to $200, and sometimes I even book month-long programs for corporate teams for thousands of dollars.
It’s relatively quick and easy money, and you don’t even have to spend time creating a product. Coaching is something you can start to offer as soon as you get readers. (Or even sooner, if you explore other ways to score your first coaching clients.)
Even if you don’t start out charging $100+ per session, and even if you’re only getting the occasional client at first, it’s still cash in your bank.
Yes, even if you only book one session per week and only charge $30 to $50 for it, that’s still money coming in. (And it means you’re officially “in business” as a professional blogger.)
#3. You Can Validate and Refine Your Product Ideas
As Pat Flynn put it: “If you truly want to know whether or not a product will sell or not, you’ve got to get people to pull out their wallets and actually pay you for it.”
He’s right. You’ll never know if you’ve got something worth paying for until someone pays for it.
One of the most popular ways to make money as a blogger is through product development — but with the amount of time that takes, it can be a risky venture if you don’t validate your product idea beforehand.
And you can validate your product idea by selling coaching sessions aimed at helping people reach the same goal. You’ll already know people are willing to pay for it, so you’ll reduce most of the risk up front.
Not only that, but the insights you get from coaching will help you refine your product and maximize its effectiveness.
James Johnson based his entire first course on the results he got from coaching:
James got one friend on board and asked him what his problems were. James then offered his solutions, and when they worked, he’d add them to his course as modules. When they didn’t work, he’d cut them and try something new.
When James was done, he’d helped his friend grow his freelancing business, and he’d assembled 90% of a course.
He then continued to test his solutions on paid coaching clients, noting where they hit roadblocks or had further questions. This helped him refine his course further, making it even more helpful and easier to navigate.
Start Coaching Right Now and Reap the Many Benefits
Your first coaching offer doesn’t have to be perfect, especially if you’re at the first stages of using it as a method of market research and a simple stream of revenue.
You’ll refine your offer(s) over time, and only experience with coaching can teach you how to become a better coach for your audience.
You’ll learn so much about your audience, build a better blog, earn some money, and gather the information you need to make your blog more profitable in the long term. (Plus, you’ll be helping people with your knowledge, which is rewarding in and of itself.)
It’s a win-win-win situation, and the world is waiting for your expertise.
So give it to them.
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