Should You Start a Podcast? Answer These 5 Questions

Jenna Kutcher 

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October 25, 2023


Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pandora

I’m about to say the 5 little words I bet every person listening to this episode has said, at one point or another… “Should I start a podcast?!”

It’s no secret that podcasting has exploded in popularity. It’s a unique and powerful topol for reaching and engaging with your audience–I can speak from experience! But before you jump on the podcasting bandwagon, it’s crucial to ask yourself the RIGHT questions about whether or not this platform is for you.

In this episode, we’ll be exploring the five essential questions every potential podcaster should consider before hitting that record button.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer looking to expand your content repertoire or a newcomer curious about the podcasting landscape, this episode is packed with valuable insights and practical advice to help you make an informed decision.

Before we dive in, I wanted you to know, if podcasting is something you’re SURE you want to do. Sign up for my upcoming FREE class, Podcasting 101: 3 Easy Steps to Launch Your Show!

In this class, I’ll walk you through how to navigate it all from planning to sitting down and recording and even monetizing! Save your seat now, and if you’re not sure if podcasting is for you, then keep on listening, you’re in the right place, let’s dive in.

Question 1: What’s My Purpose and Message?

Define the purpose of your podcast and the message you want to convey. What are your goals? Is it for entertainment, education, storytelling, or something else? Understanding your purpose will guide your content and audience.

Ask yourself: What is something you could hop on a stage and speak about for an hour unprepared? This is usually a good inclination around what the purpose or topic of the show could be centered around. 

It doesn’t just have to be ONE topic that you talk about but you do want it to be easily categorized. If you’re struggling, hop onto Apple podcasts and scroll the different categories to start to dream about where your show would fit. 

Some categories to consider: Arts, Business, Comedy, Education, Fiction, Health, History, News, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports, Technology, True Crime, TV & Film, Government & Organizations, Hobbies, Music, Kids & Family, Self-Improvement.

For example, my show is in the business category and then beyond that it’s in the marketing subcategory but I still talk about things like work/life balance and motherhood and body image and all of these other things, so while I have a category, I still have different pillars of content that I cover. 

Some examples of a podcast’s purpose in different niches:

  • A motherhood podcast’s purpose could be to empower women and make them feel less alone
  • A show about health and wellness could have the purpose of helping people become the best version of themselves
  • A sports podcast could have a purpose of educating and entertaining sports fans with game recaps and stats

Don’t overthink it… It just has to be something you’re passionate about!

Question 2: Do I Have the Time and Commitment?

Podcasting takes time and consistency. Producing episodes, editing, promoting, and engaging with your audience can be time-consuming. Consider if you have the dedication and resources to maintain a regular podcasting schedule.

For reference, here are some of the tasks involved in producing a podcast:

  • Content Preparation: This involves researching, outlining, and scripting the episode’s content. Depending on the depth of research and scripting required, this can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.
  • Recording: Recording the actual podcast episode can take time as well. The length of the episode, the number of hosts or guests, and the need for retakes or edits can all impact the recording time. On average, recording might take 30 minutes to 2 hours for a typical episode.
  • Editing: Editing is a significant time investment. Cleaning up audio, removing mistakes or pauses, adding music or sound effects, and ensuring a smooth flow can take several hours for a single episode, especially for beginners. More experienced podcasters tend to be faster at editing.
  • Uploading and Distribution: Uploading the finished episode to a hosting platform, writing show notes, creating episode artwork, and promoting it on social media or other channels can collectively take a couple of hours to half a day.
  • Engagement and Promotion: Ongoing efforts to engage with your audience, respond to comments and feedback, and promote your podcast through various channels can add several hours per week.

In total, the average podcaster might spend anywhere from 5 to 20 hours or more on a single podcast episode, depending on the factors mentioned above. Keep in mind that as you gain experience and develop a streamlined workflow, you may become more efficient and reduce the time required for each episode. Additionally, some podcasters choose to outsource certain tasks like editing or graphic design to save time.

Lastly, something else to note here is that you DON’T have to release episodes indefinitely – instead, you can choose to release them in seasons. If you choose to do this, you’d batch a bunch of episodes behind the scenes, and release them all at once, then take a break for a few months while you batch the next set of episodes. 

Question 3: Am I Passionate About the Topic?

Podcasting is more enjoyable when you’re passionate about the subject matter. Are you genuinely interested in the topic you plan to cover? Passion can sustain your motivation and enthusiasm over the long term.

One thing I’d love is for you to kind of get a lay of the land in terms of what your first ten episodes will be just so you can kind of see a roadmap of not just the beginning but where you want to go. 

Here’s an idea that could help you. Hop onto ChatGPT and use this prompt: “Generate 10 unique podcast episode ideas related to [insert your chosen topic or theme here]. Each idea should explore a different angle or aspect of the topic and be engaging and informative for the audience.”

If you can break down a little bit more of who you want your audience to be which we’ll talk about in just a second and your personal experience, the output from ChatGPT will be even stronger, but this is a great way to generate ideas for episodes. 

As you think about the main category your show will be in and if you’re concerned you might run out of things to talk about, here’s another ChatGPT prompt you could use to help you think of additional topics that would fall under the main categoric bucket you choose. 

“Brainstorm podcast subcategories that could be covered within the main category of [insert your chosen category or topic here]. Provide a list of diverse and engaging subcategories that would appeal to potential listeners seeking specialized content.”

Question 4: What would my main mission statement be for my show? 

AKA: How would I describe it in 1-2 sentences to someone who asked about it?

Identify your target audience and their needs. Who would be interested in your podcast? Understanding your audience helps tailor your content, marketing, and engagement strategies.

Don’t forget to incorporate your brand identity; your podcast’s mission should align with your brand’s personality and ethos.

You should also consider, as a business owner, how the podcast may potentially help market your business! A podcast can help:

  • Personalize your brand
  • Provide value to your audience
  • Get more leads
  • Build authority and credibility
  • Improve SEO

I can tell you from experience that my podcast has helped my business both in monetary terms and in brand awareness, so this is definitely something you should consider when thinking about starting your own podcast!

Question 5: What’s My Unique Angle or Value Proposition?

Did you know that each week, more Americans listen to podcasts than have Netflix accounts?⁠

41% of people in the USA tune into a podcast every month. 28% of the population do it weekly, consuming around 11 episodes on average while they are at it. As per a report by Insider Intelligence, around 144 million people in the U.S. listen to a podcast every month.

Netflix reported 75.57 million paid streaming subscribers across the United States and Canada in the Second quarter of 2023. This marked a decline of about two million compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

This means that there is a lot of opportunity for building a loyal listener base… and it also means there’s a lot of competition. Here’s how to combat this…

Research the podcast landscape to see if your idea is unique or if there’s a gap you can fill. What will make your podcast stand out? Your unique angle or value proposition can attract listeners.

Of course, if there is not a SINGLE podcast yet on your topic, that may not be good news… It may mean that there isn’t an audience for your niche, and you may have trouble growing the show. So, look for shows that you can put a unique spin on.

Remember what I always say: no one is going to host a podcast like YOU do, so even if others exist on your topic, that’s ok!

That’s a wrap for today’s episode about the five crucial questions you should ask yourself before starting a podcast!

Remember, podcasting can be a fantastic avenue for expanding your reach, sharing your expertise, and connecting with your audience in a unique way. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and careful consideration is the KEY to success.

If after this conversation you’re excited to launch your own show, I’d love to help! Sign up for my upcoming FREE class, Podcasting 101: 3 Easy Steps to Launch Your Show! In this class, I’ll teach you the first 3 things you should do when starting a podcast and it has your name written all over it! Save your seat now and I’ll see you there.

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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