Whether you’re a small business owner or attempting to promote the brands of others in the business field, a podcast is often a great way to do it. Starting a new one involves two major gotchas, however. One is the fact that it can be very difficult to attract an audience, especially if your brand is going to involve an already crowded space. The other is related to hosting costs. When a podcast finally does become popular, the sheer number of people downloading it from a single server can send hosting bills through the roof.
Depending on how many people you need to reach in order to make your podcasting venture successful, you might never run up against this second issue. However, you’ll still want to consider the first in order to ensure that you reach a large enough number of listeners to justify doing the show. That’s why audioblogging is a good way to stand out from the crowd. With some 30 million podcast episodes currently online, you’re certainly going to need a way to do so.
Converting Text Blogs into Audio Powerhouses
You’ve probably seen plenty of blogs that let you listen to an article read by a computerized voice simply by pushing a button. Though this is a good way to increase the overall accessibility of your blog and might be a necessary compliance feature for businesses that accept public money, it’s not actually a good way to build a genuine audioblog because many listeners don’t really care for simulated voices. If you have some exceptional content that you think people would really like to listen to, then it’s actually better to record it yourself and post the media file along with your blog post. Content consumers can then download this file and listen to it with a dedicated media player even if they aren’t online.
Assuming that you’re able to get people to actually download your show, this can be a lucrative way to reach a captive audience it would otherwise be difficult to reach. When people lose access to the web at work or when riding public transportation, they probably can’t read your blog unless they’ve cached a large number of pages. The probability of that happening are so low that it’s a non-issue. On the other hand, there’s a pretty good chance that some people might download MP3 files from your site and listen to them off their laptop while they’re in a place without Wi-Fi.
Users of nearly any platform should have access to at least some media player, thus making this kind of marketing possible. Even desktop Linux users could listen to your audioblog after they step into an Internet black hole, thus making it possible to grow your audience dramatically. That’s assuming, of course, that you have something worthwhile to say.
Honing Your Audio Content to Attract Followers
You’ll want to provide a steady stream of content if you hope to attract new listeners regularly. Consider converting any social videos you might have recorded in the past to an audio feed and posting them back into your blog. Individuals who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to watch them as a result of Internet connectivity problems could suddenly make up a new audience.
If you don’t already have any text posted to your site, then you’ll want to learn how to start a blog before you go any further. Author a number of articles if possible and post them along with other content. Once you start to hit a groove it shouldn’t be at all difficult to author the kind of material your audience likes to read.
This should naturally transition well into audio content that they’ll be happy to listen to as well.
Leveraging the Power of RSS Feeds
RSS and Atom feeds are both alive and well in spite of the fact that many technologists have forecasted their demise. These are actually needed by those who plan on listening to your audioblog through iTunes or one of its many alternatives.
Add each episode that your record to your RSS feed and mark it as containing MP3 audio content. This will help those that use podcatcher technology to grab onto your episodes and download them in large groups. Make sure that you’re always using standard file formats, though, so you can reach the largest number of potential listeners. Now that MP3 is at least a somewhat open format, it’s being adopted faster than many other MIME types in spite of any perceived technical superiority.
While it can take a while before you really start to attract followers, an audioblog can be very rewarded since it can help you reach people who’d never otherwise be reachable.