Podcasting takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment. Every episode requires setting up microphones and recording software, a plan for what topics will be covered, and some editing after the episode is done. More time is spent putting together show notes and posting links to your brand new episode on social media.
Have you ever asked yourself why you go through all this effort? Why do you podcast?
Podcasters tend to spend time talking with other podcasters. This is to be expected, considering that it is natural for people to seek out those whom they have a common interest with. Podcasters, as a group, all “get” why a person wants to start a podcast and why they continue to put in the effort it takes to continue it. Few feel the need to talk about it.
As such, discussion among podcasters can often lead into comparisons of microphones, debates about which audio recording software is the best, and questions about whether or not anyone has used a new podcasting service. At times, a podcaster might ask for advice about how to get their podcast to make money. Each of those topics can be useful, informative, and, in some cases “eye-opening”.
I think it is important for podcasters to question, from time to time, why they are podcasting. This is especially true for those who have been podcasting for years. Why do you continue to put in the time and effort to regularly make new episodes?
For the Money
There are some podcasters who have managed to turn their show into something that generates an income. The amount can vary from a few extra bucks to enough money to pay one’s bills. I suspect that only a small percentage of podcasters are able to “quit their day job” and live off of the money their podcasts earn. It makes sense to keep doing something that is paying your bills (especially if that something is enjoyable to do).
For the Fun
The majority of podcasters don’t make any money at all from their shows. Why do they podcast? It is probably for the fun of it. Those who are doing a podcast with a friend, or a group of friends, can end up having a lot of fun just “hanging out” together and talking about a shared interest. Often, podcasts that are done just for the fun of it have a main subject they stick to. Overall, though, it becomes a fun way for a group of friends to get together.
For a Cause
There are podcasts that were started in an effort to bring awareness to a specific cause. Some of them relate to a certain health condition, disease, or disorder. Others are primarily political. Those who do these kinds of podcasts have something that they feel is extremely important to share with the world. The commitment to the cause drives the podcaster to make more episodes.
There will be times, with every podcast, when things just aren’t working out as well as they used to. A change to a job schedule, a severe illness, or an addition to the family can make it more difficult for a person to put effort into podcasting. When this happens, it is helpful to take a moment and consider why you decided to start podcasting in the first place. That reason could provide you with the motivation to make things work, or to step away from or end a podcast.