Don't Waste Time Vanitycasting

In a really great chat with Mark Ramsey for PodtoPod, we talked about the proper motivation for starting a podcast.  Namely, you need to be passionate about the topic.  He was announcing his new project Inside Psycho, all about the famed horror film, that he is a huge fan of.  We noted that most of the best podcasters out there "geek out" over their subject or are so knowledgeable about a topic they will often claim to eat, sleep, and breathe that content. 

The reason that is usually the case is because anyone can start podcasting on a topic.  There are a ton of shows out there and certain topics are simply over saturated. So only the best of the best are going to succeed.  

Now, increasingly I hear people say "I want to start a podcast but not sure what to do."  This is a perfect example of vanitycasting, the term that Mark coined during that chat. This is when people think they need a podcast but don't have a focus of that show.  If you don't know what to talk about, then why do you want a podcast? 

And I know there are lots of shows about nothing.  People who have fun and talk about the news of the day, stories, and just talk.  The difference there is that these people often have a personality and a voice they want to showcase.  That in and of itself is the "topic" or "subject" they are passionate about.  They are also talented in that realm, something that looks a lot easier than it really is. 

Podcasting is a tool. It's not just another social network. It could be the answer to the question, "I have something really interesting to say and not sure the best way to reach my audience." It should not be the original question, "What am I going to podcast about?"  If you are asking the second question, walk away.  You will quickly podfade.  If you are asking the first question, then its time to think about how to launch your podcast correctly and ensure you are using this medium to its full potential.  If you use it to its full potential, its an excellent way to grow your brand, meet new people, network with industry experts, potentially make some money, and have fun!