Articles: Podcast Length & Personal Connections
Before we start setting up GarageBand and recording your first podcast, let’s take a few minutes to discuss target length and how to decide the topic of your podcast.
Podcasting is a powerful medium where you can create intimate, individual connections with listeners all over the world. Over time, you can build very meaningful relationships with your listeners. If you provide wisdom, entertainment, or instruction, your listener base will grow and grow.
Keep in mind as we go through how to produce your own podcast over the next few weeks, that in today’s information-overloaded world, reaching people is considerably different than five or ten years ago. On one hand, it’s much easier with the internet and social networks, but on the other hand, there are so many people on those (and so many trying to sell their books, art, music, services, etc.) that marketing has become very personal, individual, and customized. Whether you’re writing a blog, producing a podcast, or making tutorial videos, you must be passionate about the content, sincere about the desire to personally connect with your audience, and resist the urge to sell-sell-sell (if you’re trying to get your business, product, or service out there).
5 Steps to Creating a Personal Connection
Start with a list of things you love. Brainstorm for 15 minutes and write down 50-100 things that describe you or what you’re passionate about.
Find your niche. Don’t try to reach the entire world at first, as you will quickly get lost in the din of cyberspace. Rather, focus in on your niche market. Even if your reason for making a podcast is personal rather than professional, it’s important to know to whom you are speaking.
Define your audience. Brainstorm for another 15 minutes and write down 50-100 things that describe what your audience, as a group, is passionate about. For example, if your niche are mostly women between the ages of 25 & 40, ask yourself what holds the interest of women between those ages in our culture. Then make that list.
Find Common Ground. Circle all the things that are in your passion list and your audience passion list. That’s the best place to start. Rate those from what excites you most to least, and podcast about the first (or first few) topics.
Offer FREE Content. Always remember that you’re not doing this for just your benefit. You’re doing this first and foremost for your audience. This is not about making a profit or being heard, although that can be a wondrous side effect. This is about connecting with people as individuals, as human beings. By doing so, you will be seen and heard because they will care about your as a fellow human being, not just another disembodied voice trying to make a buck. Your podcast should be free. Also offer free content on your blog that corresponds with your podcast (and as a place to promote your podcast). Converse with people on social media. Any marketing posts or tweets should be limited to a mere 25% of your content.
Timing is Everything
Since most people listen to podcasts on their morning commute or during a run, the best target length is between 15 and 30 minutes, with preference on the shorter side. Supposedly the sweet spot is 22 minutes. However, don’t make the mistake of recording a 22-minute podcast if you only have 15 minutes of content. Keep it relevant and engaging.
People are generally overloaded on Mondays and overwhelmed on Fridays, so the best day to release a podcast is Tuesday, with Wednesdays and Thursdays coming in close seconds.
In this age of overabundant information, it is essential to keep your podcast relevant to respect the time and busy schedules of your audience.
Understand that people likely have a long list of podcasts to get through each week, and yours will quickly be cut from that list if the listener feels they’re not benefitting from your content.
All that said, if you just want to have some fun and don’t care too much about who hears it, that’s totally fine, too! Podcasting is a great exercise that can help you reach your audience, but it must also be enjoyable to the producer. Otherwise, your show will be very short lived.
After all, you have a busy life, too.
Christine is a Technical Support Specialist and Content Writer for PowerMax. Follow her articles as she takes you “Behind the Sasquatch: A Look Inside PowerMax,” an inside look at the day-to-day operations from the perspective of a Woman in Tech. She’ll also post great Tech Tips, helping you get the most of your Mac apps as well as write about some common technical issues and how to fix them. Finally, Christine will periodically post some Tutorials that teach readers how to do things like make podcasts and iPhone apps. Find what you’re looking for in the categories on the right.
If you have a tech question or issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine for help.