How podcasting can advance your tech career

home-podcasting-setup

There was a time when the only ways technology professionals could proactively raise their profiles (and monetary value) in their industries or areas of expertise were to get on the conference/speaker circuit, become a steady and reliable source for print and broadcast news media, write books, and maybe land a columnist gig at a tech publication.

Now, thanks to the democratization of Internet-based mass communication, nearly anyone with a computer and network connection can start a website, launch a blog, or create a YouTube channel. If you’ve done any of those, you know how fun and empowering they can be — as well as how much hard work it takes to keep them going. After all, blog posts do not write themselves (though I’m hoping soon to outsource mine to a virtual assistant).

Powerful though all of these platforms can be in helping a professional build a personal brand and generate career opportunities, all have become noisy and crowded over the past decade or so. While the numbers are changing constantly, InternetLiveStats estimates there are more than 1.5 billion websites today, up from 65 million in 2005. The number of blogs now exceeds 500 million, while more than 26 million channels have been created on YouTube.

Yet I keep reading articles and online discussions questioning whether we’ve reached “peak podcast” or are in a “podcast bubble,” when the total number of podcasts currently available (if not active) is only slightly more than 700,000. I know, that may sound like a lot (and is treated as such by folks who think podcasting is oversaturated), but compare that figure to the enormous numbers above. I’d say podcasting is in an early growth phase, which means your podcast likely will stand a better chance of being noticed than your website or blog.

Further, the bar to entry for podcasting is amazingly low. You need a decent microphone, a recorder (or recording software), and an online podcast host, some of which offer free (if limited) hosting services.

Am I trying to talk you into starting a podcast? No, because I recently launched a podcast with a friend, and we don’t need the competition. Just kidding! I fully encourage you to consider podcasting as a way to not just display your professional knowledge, but to expand your network and skill set.

That being said, my comment above regarding the low bar to entry for podcasting is slightly misleading. Simply making a podcast available online essentially is a mechanical process; producing a good podcast is a different matter altogether. That requires a content strategy, lots of practice, and (especially at the beginning) even more post-production.

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