Podcasts. I’m a huge fan and listen to them as often as I can (folding laundry, driving, getting ready in the morning)… and they are what I would consider to be the fastest growing form of media for bloggers, writers and entrepreneurs. Are you thinking about starting one yourself, but wondering if you can do it? Let me share my podcasting story with you.

I’m not a professional journalist, and truthfully I’ve only been writing professionally for a few years. When I sat down to sketch out my idea for a podcast, I’d never interviewed anyone in person, I had absolutely no clue how to edit a podcast, and I only knew about 2-3 people in my immediate circle I could contact for interviews. I could have easily looked at this and said “Screw this! What’s the point?” But I couldn’t do that.

During a cold morning walk up Pilot Butte in Bend, OR I told my friend Amanda (owner and photographer at Amanda Photographic) that I wanted to start a podcast. I told her all about how I wanted to create a platform for women’s voices in food. My plan was to interview product makers, chefs, business owners, and nutritionists – basically women in any aspect of the food industry. I wanted to highlight women who are in the trenches of their businesses, with successes and struggles just like everyone else. With my podcast, I hope to bring their stories to light because I know that by sharing them, we can create a community of women who are passionate about food and their business. Ultimately I hope that the podcast will inspire and support other women in a typically closed off and competitive male dominated industry. My podcast is about celebrating these “badass women in food”, empowering others through their stories, and connecting them to a broader audience.

As an avid listener of podcasts, I could see that their reach and value was only going to increase. I saw my chance to jump into a new media, and I didn’t want to miss out on that. I also figured that having the chance to interview other women in food would open my own network up and increase my exposure as well. But really what got me excited was that podcasting sounded FUN. I love a good conversation, I love meeting new people, and I love sharing really good information. Once I got started, all of this continued to grow exponentially in ways I couldn’t imagine. My skills as an interviewer and an editor got better, and my network of amazing women in food continues to grow. My calendar can barely keep up! This tells me that I’m on to something.

I finished up my first “season” of the Tough Cookie Podcast just before the birth of our first child in late summer. The next season is starting in January 2018 and I wanted to share some learnings from the whole process in the hope that one of you will be encouraged to put your own voice out there on the airwaves! I’ve developed a series of posts that I’ll be publishing on this blog all about podcasting, starting with this one on why I started and why now is a great time for you to get in on the podcasting game too!

why start a podcast and you should too

Why should you start a podcast anyways?

So why did I start a podcast, and for that matter, should you start one too? Podcasting is quickly becoming a popular new means of communicating and creating/consuming content. If you find yourself enjoying a good conversation as much as reading a good article, and you want to have a chance to talk to other interesting people, then you might want to consider starting a podcast. Many bloggers have said that podcasting is another form of blogging, just using your voice instead of your keyboard. It uses a different part of your brain and shows off more of your personality. You can say things in a podcast that you may not have been able to type – because tone of voice doesn’t always translate within a blog post. And the research shows that people love to listen to podcasts too!

Here’s some stats from The Edison Group study done in March of 2017:

40% of americans 12 or older have listened to a podcast at some point.
112 million americans have listened to a podcast in 2017, up 11% from 2016.

67 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly.
That’s up 14 percent in one year. Today, 24 percent of Americans age 12 or older listen to podcasts monthly. For context, 21 percent of Americans are Catholic. Thus, podcast listening is more common than Catholicism in the United States.

42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly.
This is a truly big number, as it represents 15 percent of the total US population. For comparison purposes, three percent of Americans go to the movies weekly.

Podcast listening skews less young in 2017.
Podcast consumption has been substantially more common among Americans under the age of 25 since the advent of the medium. Until now. For the first time, a larger percentage of 25 to 54 year-olds listen to podcasts monthly than any other age group.

So what’s the bottom line? Now is a great time to start a podcast, because plenty of people are listening. These are people that could be your future newsletter subscribers, clients, buyers, and lovers of what you have to say.