I feel like if we’re going to talk about podcasting (and I do want to talk about it), then maybe we should define some terms going forward. While I am very adamant that you oughta “do you,” as the young folks say, there are more than a few of you that would like podcasting to be more than a hobby I get that. So, let’s get clear on that.
If you want to get your boys together and talk shop once a week over a beer or hundred, you’re most likely a hobbyist, and you might just be doing it for the lulz. There’s not a thing wrong with that. Maybe you want to create a kind of audio journal, and that’s cool too. I want you to do that, and I despise those people in the space that tell you that you have no purpose and need to — and this is a technical term — GTFO. I think they need to mind their own business. If this is fun for you, GREAT. Don’t pay attention to that guru behind the curtain. So, that’s one kind of podcaster.
Another kind of podcaster is really industry specific. It might even be company specific, like The Week in Widgets, or the Spacely Sprockets Podcast. This kind of podcast is usually hosted by a person in that highly specific industry, or by an employee of the company that convinced at least one of the High Falutin’ Muckety Mucks to permit him to do a weekly or monthly thing. I did one of these for a day job that lasted a few months before they decided it wasn’t their apple tree, and we moved on. I would think it would be rare for the Average Joe to see one of these in the podcatchers of choice, but it happens. They’re out there.
Finally, there’s the podcaster that wants to leverage that podcast to grow their business. These podcasters have a purpose. They’re Purpcasters. Purps, if you like. Now, when I say business, I’m using that term pretty loosely. They might have a product or service to sell, and this could go from the person who wants you to pay thousands of dollars to learn how to podcast, down to a crafter who’s selling personalized trinkets on Etsy, all the way down to some dude who talks in funny voices and does a comedy podcast somewhere. I’ve heard that happens from time to time.
So, now that’s we’ve defined our terms, I want to make sure that I’m clear. There’s nothing wrong with being one of these types. We’re all podcasters. I think, though, that before you start podcasting, know why you’re doing it. Is it unpaid therapy? COOL. Are you entertaining people? STUPENDOUS. Is it to get people to come to your website? FANTASTIC. Are you selling something? WONDERFUL.
That’s not to say you can’t move from one type to another over time. For example, Maybe you are a comedy podcaster, and you end up doing a live performance that you want people to download for a couple of bucks. Go on with your bad self! Highest of Fives! You’ll know it’s time to move to another type when your audience tells you they want more. You’ll know.