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Podcasting into Profits

A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that is distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers. A podcast is a specific type of webcast which, like 'radio', can mean either the content itself or the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also termed podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. The term "podcast" is a portmanteau of the name of Apple's portable music player, the iPod, and broadcast, a "pod" refers to a container of some sort, and "cast" to the idea of broadcasting.

As podcasting continues to grow, the competition for subscribers/listeners will become increasingly intense. Charging listeners for your podcast will not be the true way to podcasting profits. Those who have it in mind to turn podcasting from a hobby into a career must make every effort to stand out clearly above the crowd. The most successful podcasters will be those who set the benchmarks for professionalism, quality, and credibility.

The ability for a podcast to reach thousands, or tens of thousands, of listeners once, twice, or more per week, translates into big advertising dollars. It is those podcasters, who succeed in attracting those listeners, who will be the first to reap the profits from podcasting. The challenge from that point is keeping those listeners and turning them into long-term subscribers.

One common mistake, in thought, that people tend to gravitate to is that charging for a podcast will lead to profits. In fact, it is just the opposite that will eventually lead to the most successful podcasts. Keeping your podcast free will draw you more listeners, and by drawing more listeners you will attract more sponsors. Sponsorship will be essential to podcasters seeking to make large profits from their podcasting shows.

Not only is the podcast an advertising medium for sponsors, but the podcast can be an easy way to redirect listeners back to their website. Utilizing the popularity of a podcast to send traffic back to it’s website, will bring in additional revenues through product sales, affiliate sales, or PPC (Pay-per-Click) advertising, such as Google AdSense. A well put together and attractive website, along with a moderate flow of traffic, will bring in a healthy flow of additional revenues.

Podcasters who reach the finish line first will earn a majority of the rewards. Profitable podcasting will not be about reaching the entire globe, but it will be about reaching a sizeable portion of your niche audience. Niche audiences are more valuable than a general audience, and are a virtual gold mine to advertisers. The niche audience means that there will not be just a handful of winners in the race for profitable podcasting, but there may very well be hundreds of financially successful podcasters.

David is the chief editor for http://www.PodcastFerret.com podcast directory, where you can find feeds, download, rate, and comment on podcasts.

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