Are You Ready To Give Up on Podcasting? Why I Believe What I Believe

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Becuase of My Podcast – Rick Seizemore of VRStudio Workforce

 Rick Seizemore from VRStudio Workforce shares how your podcast will help you land guests, and those guests can then point people to your website. Your site then becomes an audio business card that can capture people’s attention. This is what the VR Workforce Studio Podcast Does

Is Podcasting A Ponzi Scheme?

I got an email from a friend of mine who has kind of “had it” with podcasting.

He said, ” I have recently done some calculations and have come to the conclusion that the hours spent podcasting would be better spent doing other things, like narrating audio books and maybe even some work around the house. I am doing a weekly video show via Skype, being streamed live on YouTube. I use Wirecast to make it look professional, and I have been releasing the audio as a podcast. I stopped the podcast side this week.

I said when I started podcasting a couple of years ago, I would do a serious review at the two-year mark, and have concluded that while I have learned much I will be using for audiobooks, and am glad I did it, to continue would be a waste of time. Here's the part you probably won't agree with:
In the 80's Amway came through this area, and a lot of people joined and got hyped up (me included). After a while, it became clear that a lot of people at the top were making money, but it depended on a constant supply of fresh “believers” to fuel their incomes. People who started early were making money, but the thousands below were being Nickle and dimed and were doing nothing but financing those above. It worked as long as everyone believed they could make it.
Podcasting today is a similar type of pyramid structure, where everyone who started before 2007 or 2008 are making an income off of the believers below. (I find your motives pure, and I appreciate that.) It is VERY important for those below the median numbers (Around 120 according to Rob), to believe there is no discovery problem. That way they keep paying their $20 a month to Libsyn, buying books, WordPress plugins, and tools for podcasting and going to conferences.
No matter how good your content is, the average basement independent has about 0% chance of ever being heard the first time by hardly anyone who doesn't know them already or is only 1 or 2 degrees separated. This is simply due to saturation.
The main people who make it now either are famous already, are starting a full-time business that happens to involve podcasting and has 6 figures to invest, like JLD, or are part of the corporate invasion. There may be an isolated incident here and there where it happens, but it so rare it doesn't bear mentioning. It is simply too late for the average independent show by a person working a full-time job to make an impact beyond a few niche listeners.
I was also dismayed to find the same “entrepreneurs,” using many of the same books, and the same hype milking the same types of people. There is a sucker born every minute. They find them, use them, discard them, and move one since there are always more suckers on the internet. An example: a well-known personality in podcasting who was putting out yet another book solicited all of us to submit articles for it. We of course, had to buy the book to see if were in it. We weren't. Not one of us. The book had already been written and included older interviews that happened long before he solicited for articles. He simply lied to get us to buy the book. It worked, and we were the suckers. Well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
I calculated how many listeners I would have if gained one new one each month, and how many hours I would spend editing and putting out the content I already have from the video show. My conclusion: I hope to retire in 3 years or so.  36 new listeners. Over 600 hours of podcast editing during that time.  BTW, I am not getting 1 new listener a month.
Contrast this with the one audio book I have narrated so far. It didn't sell. Only 11 copies so far. I have made $50 from that. What would happen if I spent those 600 hours over the next 3 years doing audio books that don't sell, and get royalties for the next 7 years on each?
Allow me to soften this by saying I have always found you and your efforts on behalf of the little guy podcasters to be the most honest and trustworthy of all. Your human-ness and transparency is wonderful, and I would love to spend time with you in person but neither of us have that time to devote to it. Thank you for all you have done and you continue to do for us bottom feeders. POWER TO THE SHRIMP!!
My Response
In looking at your stuff here would be my comment.
I'm not I would've put everything into one stream. I understand the extra cost, but I wouldn't have done it that way. I knew the name of your show and couldn't find it because all of your shows were under the name of the network in iTunes. That is a recipe for failure. It's hard enough to find a show when the name is correct.
I'm sure you found putting out so many episodes was a LOT of work. Anyone who starts out and gets no money in return (if that is the goal) means, “lots of work with $0 = burnout.”
The bottom line (boiling it down) is the same reason I do podcasting over playing in a band. The band is days (months) of work for $50 if I'm lucky. If I practice two hours a week for six months to learn enough songs and do that for year that is 104 hours of practice. But wait, each gig is 4 hours. If we play every other weekend for ten months that is twenty gigs so another eighty hours (184 hours total). Those twenty gigs pay $50 each (20X50 )= 1000.   1000/184 =$5.34 an hour. If I say I “play for free” and remove the 80 hours of performing (and loading gear) that is still $9.64 an hour.
I'd rather stay home, not put up with drunks, and save my back and make more (or less) the same kind of money.
Some reports that 80%, 90% of businesses don't make it, others say 33% don't make it.
When I look at someone like John Lee Dumas he is the poster child for “Yes you can make money with a podcast.” In the same way that the Beatles are the “Yes you can make money in music,” not everyone with a guitar and long hair is the Beatles.
I don't believe there is a discovery problem. There wasn't a discovery problem for the Serial Podcast. Liz Covert at Ben Franklin's World has over 1 million downloads and she only has 100 episodes.  She doesn't have a team.
I agree that a ton of podcasts are coming out each week, but when a horse race starts, there are tons of horses coming out of the gate. Someone is going to win.

The Recipe of a Successful Podcast

1. Know who your audience is and what they want.
2. Give it to them on a consistent basis
3. Go to where they are (get out from behind the microphone)
4. Make friends with them.
5. Tell them about your podcast.
You said, “It is simply too late for the average independent show by a person working a full-time job to make an impact beyond a few niche listeners. ” Podcast is only consumed by 30% of the planet. We are just getting warmed up.
Used in this Episode (in no order )
Hall of Fame Podcaster Godfree from Gamertagradio.com
Jessica Rhodes of Interviewconnections.com
Daniel J Lewis from theaudacitytopodcast.com
Ray Ortega from the Podcaster's Studio (courtesy of the Podcast Engineering School)
Erik K Johnson from Podcast Talent Coach
Paul Colligan from the Podcast Industry Report
John Lee Dumas from Eofire.com
Glenn “the Geek” Hebert from Horse Radio Network
Brian from Profitcastuniverse.com
Adam Ragusea from The Pub podcast
Jordan Harbinger from the Art of Charm
Dan Benjamin from http://5by5.tv/podcastmethod
Eric Fisher from Beyond the ToDo List
Rob Walch from The Feed Podcast and Today in iOs
Elsie Escobar from She Podcasts
Jessica Kupferman from She Podcasts
Michael Sharky from The Talent Show  
N
ick Seuberling http://spnt.tv/
Jared Easley and Starve the Doubts ( Check out Stop Chasing Influencers)
George Hrab of the Geologic Podcast

See Me Speak

I will appear at the following events

CD Podfest Novmber 5-6 Washing DC http://www.dcpodfest.com/ 

Pofest in Tampa Florida February 2017 See www.podfest.us

Northeast Ohio Podcaster's Meeting see www.neohiopodcasters.com

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Leave A Reply (1 comment so far)


  1. p-v-p
    12 months ago

    great stuff dave as always. Thank you for the work you do. love when you chat about/have clips on being vanilla and doing the same thing everyone else is doing. I sometimes struggle with this, but I’m working on it.

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