4 Reasons You SHOULDN'T Start a Podcast

4 Reasons You SHOULDN’T Start a Podcast

Podcasting is all the rage. It's the hot topic everyone in the media world is talking about. New technologies to promote podcasts are coming out on a regular basis.

iTunes in your dashboard and Stitcher streaming to your car?

Yes please!

What sounds like science fiction is becoming a reality. 2014 has been a great year for podcasting and it looks like 2015 will keep the trend going. Now is an excellent time to be a podcaster.

Yet, podcasting isn't for everybody and not everyone should start a podcast. Sitting behind the mic and talking for an hour isn't something everyone should do.

Even though starting a podcast is what all the cool-kids seem to be doing on the playground, should you start one too?

Should I Start a Podcast

Photo credit: brainblogger / Foter / CC BY

With a bestselling ebook on starting a podcast on a budget, I'm not the most likely person to talk about why you shouldn't start one.

In fact, I'm the guy who told you you should start one because the barrier to entry is so low. With what seems like new podcast sprouting up every day, I felt like someone needed to step up and be the voice of reason.

But before I share why starting a podcast is a bad idea, let me be clear on something.

Starting a podcast has changed my life. I've met people I'd never have met otherwise and made friends across the world. I've gotten free consulting and coaching from millionaires and shared what I learned with my audience.

Starting a podcast has done incredible things for me and my business.

That said, podcasting isn't for everyone. Here are four reasons why you should skip the podcast movement and focus on something else.

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Start a Podcast

1. Because You Think You Should

Everyone wants to be cool. Depending on who you ask, podcasting is the coolest thing since Netflix streaming.

With income reports from John Dumas and the chance to have your show featured in iTunes, there's a lot of glitz and glamour out there. Honestly, these things are what attracted me in 2013 when I started. I wanted what I saw.

I thought a podcast would make me rich. I thought I'd become famous and my business would explode.

Seriously. I thought that.

But just because you think you should start a podcast doesn't mean you should.

99%, or thereabouts, of podcasters don't make a dime from their shows. All their hard work is a labor of love. Most shows don't have sponsors, they have affiliates. Most shows don't have advertisers other than from their own products.

And that's ok.

Podcasting can, and will, change your life. But don't start one to hop on the band wagon, to ride the wave, or just because you think you should.

Start a podcast to help market your products and develop your brand, not because you think it's cool.

2. Because Everyone Else is Doing it

My momma used to ask me,

If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you?

Well, if you hung out with me and my friends for a few days, you'd be starting a podcast too. Friends of mine like Chris Cerrone, Sean Ackerman, and Donald Kelly are crushing it with their shows.

They're having so much fun! It would be almost impossible to not start a podcast after talking to them. However, that doesn't mean you should too.

Podcasting isn't for everyone. Sitting behind a mic and talking to an empty room isn't for the faint of heart. It's tougher than you think.

Just because podcasting is hot right now doesn't mean it'll be hot a year from now. For the record, I think podcasting is here to stay. But, if you start a podcast because you think it will make you famous or rich, you're in it for the wrong reasons.

Whats worse, any listeners you have will learn your heart isn't in it and you'll be worse off than you were before. Even if your friends are going to start a podcast, think before you do to.

Another friend of mine is the odd man out in our mastermind. Most of the members have their own shows. Sometimes I think my friend feels pressured to have one as well.

Don't start a podcast because you feel you'd be left out if didn't. Don't start a podcast because you feel obligated.

Start a podcast because you have a message to share with the world.

3. Because You Can

The barriers keeping you out of the podcasting community are almost non-existent. I'm living proof you can start a podcast without spending a lot of money or knowing a lot about the technology.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Lots of things are easy. Eating fast food instead of a healthy meal is easy. Sitting in front of the TV instead of reading is easy.

Come to think of it, most things that are easy aren't worth doing (TWEET THAT).

While it's easy to start a podcast, it isn't easy to start a successful one.

Successful shows add real value to the marketplace. They teach, inspire, and encourage. To have a successful podcast, you need to believe in your message, and believe you're making the world better by sharing it.

Don't start a podcast because you can. Start one because you want to.

4. Because You Want to Sell Something

We're bombarded with ads, pop ups, spam and people wanting to sell us something.

While podcasts are fantastic marketing tools, that's not why you should start one. If you start a podcast to market or sell your products no one will listen.

Imagine this.

Your listener wakes up, eager to start their day. They want to be inspired. They want to learn. On the way to their crummy job, they plug their phone into their car and your voice spills out over the speakers.

Buy this book! Check out that training course! Spend your money on my products!

Blech! People don't listen to podcasts to be marketed to. They listen to be equipped and empowered.

That being said, savvy marketers learn to add tons of value while selling at the same time. Ray Edwards is a master at doing this!

Starting a podcast to sell something = bad.

Selling only after adding value, teaching and inspiring = good.

Why You Should Start a Podcast

While there are several reasons you shouldn't create your own show, there are way more reasons why you should.

By starting a podcast you'll connect with fantastic people all around the world. You'll be part of one of the most welcoming and encouraging communities I've ever had the pleasure of being part of.

Podcasters are helpful. They're resourceful and knowledgeable. Podcasters live by the philosophy that the rising tide raises all boats. We believe that what's good for one is good for all. We're continually raising the bar on creativity and professionalism.

Some of my best friends are people I've met because of my show. Some of my favorite memories over the past year are because of other podcasters.

The reasons to start a podcast far outweigh the reasons you shouldn't. But, as with anything in life, proceed with caution.

Question: What benefits have you received as a result of your podcast? Would you start your podcast again?


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  • jonstolpe says:

    Thanks for this post.  I’ve been contemplating the possibility of starting a podcast at some point, and this post confirms my thoughts so far.

  • Ellory Wells says:

    jonstolpe You’re welcome Jon! What are your thoughts so far? Which way are you leaning?

  • jonstolpe says:

    I’m leaning towards doing one sometime down the road, but I have a few other things I need to attend to first.

  • Ellory Wells says:

    jonstolpe I’m working on a post about a podcast studio in a box/bag; any questions you’d like me to answer?

  • jonstolpe says:

    Ellory Wells Two questions:  (1) What is the cost required to effectively launch your podcast? (2) What is the time commitment for effectively launching your podcast and releasing each episode?  I want to be a good steward of my time and resources.

  • Ellory Wells says:

    jonstolpe Ellory Wells Have you checked out “How to Start Your Professional Podcast for $200 or Less”? http://www.ellorywells.com/podcast200 

    I still use that exact setup (though I’ve upgraded a few things)

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