Beware Of Podcast Snake Oil Sellers Promising Riches

Snake OilA revitalized interest in podcasting has been seen among the general public over the last few years. And that’s great as it means more people will be exposed to the medium for the first time. Most of these newcomers will likely listen to a few shows by subscribing thru an aggregator like iTunes or Stitcher. And some will go farther than that and decide to take on podcasting themselves. We should embrace those coming into the world of creating podcasts, offering help and advice when needed.

On that note, here’s some advice I’d like to impart to anyone who needs help starting a podcast of their own: Beware of supposed podcasting “experts” offering high-price training/consulting services unless you know for sure that their claims are valid. It’s one thing if a podcasting advisor offers to train you in the technical aspects of podcasting. It’s something entirely different if they promise you that you’ll get rich quickly thru podcasting. Be especially weary if someone promises you that following their steps will guarantee you a huge audience, tons of social network followers or “easy podcasting money.”

It’s absolutely true that anyone can make money thru podcasting. And there are people out there making everything from a little beer money all the way up to a six-figure income. In all of these cases, these podcasters would likely tell you that the money they’ve earned didn’t come easy, and that it took years of consistently producing a quality product and building an audience.

If you’re new to podcasting and you’re unsure where to start, keep it simple. Type “how to podcast” into your search engine of choice and see what comes up. Keep in mind that a podcast has three separate but equal parts:

  • *An audio or video file that’s easily downloadable thru a direct link.
  • *A website that contains an archive of all shows (as well as other pertinent information).
  • *A valid RSS 2.0 feed with media enclosures.

This is a highly simplified explanation. But when it comes down to it, that’s really all a podcast is. And there are many ways to go about making a podcast, which is why it can be daunting for those just learning how it’s done. But the good news about that is, there are multiple sources to turn to if you need help. You don’t need to get locked into costly training or consulting just because it’s the first thing you come across.

And remember, no matter who it is or what the cost, if a prospective podcasting advisor promises that following their help will lead you into a new world of sweet, sweet pod riches, decline that snake oil and look elsewhere.

Original image by Wesley Fryer on Flickr, used under Creative Commons License.

Posted by Shawn Thorpe

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