In my previous article, I demonstrated exactly how easy it was to make good quality podcasts of your own, using only free software and your PC.
As I attempted to highlight in that article, podcasting is an integral part of the Web 2.0 phenomenon, because anyone can create a podcast and then get it out to the internet community at large, and invite feedback.
As such, your podcast can be used in one of two ways.
On the one hand, you can use a podcast as an information tool, as I did when reviewing and giving away a free copy of the superb new Web 2.0 eBook by Jack Humphrey, 2007 Authority Black Book at http://webbiz99.com/blackbook
If you havent visited the site, and downloaded the podcast and book, I would strongly urge you to do so now, incidentally!
Or, alternatively, you can create a podcast that is very firmly targeted at making sales of a product or service, and it is this aspect of podcasting that I want to deal with in this article.
As I suggested previously, anyone who can make a podcast can use it as a sales weapon. Thus, the question is, what is it that you are going to sell?
There are two options here.
Option one, the direct sell, can best be illustrated with a couple of examples.
If your local real estate agent were to give a talk at the towns community hall about the skills involved in selling real estate, he or she could end up addressing a half empty hall. If, however, the presenter of the same talk were to be Donald Trump, then it would probably be a very much busier affair!
Similarly, if your local driving instructor were to put on a presentation about driving skills, not many people would be too interested. If the presenter was Dale Earnhardt, however, once again, the turnout might be slightly better!
The point is that both of these celebrities have a special skill, an unusual talent, that people will pay to learn about.
So, your first option is to look at your own skill set, and decide whether you have any knowledge, or have acquired any special skills, that people might pay for, in this direct manner.
If so, then simply create a podcast series on your chosen topic, give away a free ‘taster’ of the information contained in your series, and then sell the rest of your podcasts on the back of this.
The alternative is to sell in a more indirect manner, by creating podcasts that are effectively laser targeted advertising for a product that you sell from your website.
The product could be something that is relatively intangible, such as a training course teaching people how to make money online, for example, or something that is very definitely real, such as floor tiles!
In either case, you are using your podcast to advertise the product, creating desires that can hopefully only be satisfied by buying your product.
Now, there are two factors that are directly relevant here, factors that should make this form of advertising particularly profitable.
Firstly, your potential customer has already downloaded your podcast, so he (or she) has already shown sufficient interest in whatever you are selling to suggest that they are at least partially pre-sold.
Secondly, for the duration of your podcast, you can have their undivided attention, and, as long as you can keep them interested, you can retain that attention.
Again, this could be a very powerful sales advantage to you, as long as you use it correctly, by which I mean dont give the listener the opportunity to switch off, if at all possible.
So, in a nutshell, there are two ways to make money from podcasting, whether directly, by creating a podcast of specialist knowledge and selling that knowledge or more indirectly, by using your podcasts to promote your products.
In either case, podcasts can make money, and anyone can make podcasts.
Thus, you can make money. What could be simpler than that?