The popularity of podcasts continues to surge in study after study. Listenership is growing and so is podcasting as a valid career path. Here are the pros and cons of a career in podcasting.
Pros of podcasting
Do what you love
One of the biggest pros of podcasting is the opportunity to spend hours discussing topics that you’re genuinely passionate about. If you’re lucky other people with similar interests find you and you get to be part of a great community. It can be highly rewarding work.
Podcasting is flexible and convenient for both the listener and the podcaster. All the listener needs is a smartphone, the internet, and the listening app. For the podcaster, there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of when and where to record and the barrier to entry is low from the cost to the skillset required. As long as you’re interested in podcasting, you can try it. You get to choose how much you want to work and when and perhaps increase that as the podcast grows.
Potential to make money
It’s not capital-intensive so you can easily start podcasting from home. There are also many different business models to choose from. You can go the route of sponsors and advertising, affiliate marketing, premium content, crowdfunding and donations, events, physical products, premium content, and more. You can pick the path or combination of income paths that make the most sense for you, your audience, and your environment.
Podcasts are gaining popularity fast. Podcasting took a while to gain traction but now that it’s here, it would be a mistake to ignore this medium. One good thing about podcasts is it’s easy to track and measure listenership accurately. This can help with planning.
Cons of podcasting
Competition is high in the podcasting business. For this reason, it’s important to analyze the market and understand what you’re getting into from the business side to the time investment. Some people consider the podcast market overcrowded with more than two million podcast series out. This demands incredible time and resource commitment to make your show stand out and be profitable. In the beginning especially when you’re doing everything, the commitment required is high.
Most people start podcasting on their own. They research, write, produce, direct, record, edit and publish the content themselves. It can be very isolating to work alone and in the beginning, when you can’t afford to pay for help, you have little choice but to do it alone. Podcasting can also be a sedentary activity with minimal physical activity which can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
Idea protection in podcasts is difficult compared to mediums like books where the author gets copyright protection. Authors also get cited and their ideas are attributed to them, podcasts don’t have such protections, and your ideas are as easily appropriated as they are shared.
No safety net
As with many small businesses, you can’t count on a consistent paycheck or a paycheck at all. Too many podcasts never cross over to monetize much less become profitable. This makes podcasting a financially risky affair.
An easy target for criticism
Sharing your views online always comes with the risk of criticism and backlash. In the event that your podcast attracts a large audience, you need to be psychologically prepared to handle criticism on a large scale. You’ll need tough skin to survive.
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