In the town I reside in I often come into contact with elderly residents who have lived through World War II. They know more about truth than the typical news hounds because they’re too seasoned to be totally swayed by the media machine. Those who live in democratic societies revel in the fact that they have free access to information but honestly, what kind of information are you getting? I’m telling you now that you’re not being fed truth and to demonstrate that, I’ll give you 2 pieces of information that most octogenarians know but you don’t… after which I’ll reveal the BIG surprise in regards to generating passive income through podcasting. Then you’ll understand why older people would have an easier time than you doing it.
1) Hitler aggressively annexed a forest in Poland to start his own Jurassic Park. German folklore speaks of an extinct breed of cattle called the Aurochs. Using the help of German zoologists, he interbred the largest and fiercest cattle in the world for over a decade. The offspring which looked like the huge ancient beasts were transported to this forest and deemed a national treasure until the end of the war.
2) Everyone knows that Hitler lost his Russian campaign but not many young people know much more than that. You see, Hitler didn’t plan much for the cold because he bragged that he could withstand the elements in Germany year-round wearing only lederhosen (stockings). But as temperatures in Russia reached 40 degrees below zero, the eyelids of the troops started to fall off, then off came their ears and then their genitals. The German troops that survived spent the rest of their lives in Russian gulags in this condition…. a fitting existence of insanity and torture for an army that wished the same for their Russian opponents.
So now I guess you’re wondering how this fits into generating passive income through podcasts. Just look in the iTunes podcast category of “history” and you will find out why. Because very few are making podcasts under this category, the ones that do exist rack up a HUGE following and are a favorite for advertisers. It’s unbelievable that all you have to do is make 10 episodes and the subscriber base will continue to grow. This means that year after year you do nothing as your passive income profits flow in. So the strategy for you is to pick a time period like the Roman Empire and after 10 episodes, switch to a new show focusing on another time period. When you begin uploading episodes for this next show, tell the listeners of the previous show about it in the last episode and then BAM, you’ve suddenly got thousands of loyal listeners who give good ratings. Not only that, you will be put into the ‘New and Noteworthy’ category. Shows that are in this category are actively promoted by iTunes which will let you broadcast down the yellow brick road.
This information could be life changing for anyone who grabs hold of it. And to accentuate what I’ve just said, I want you now to go into the ‘New and Noteworthy’ category in the iTunes podcast section. Click into there and what do you see? There’s a bunch of copycat podcasts based on entrepreneurship. The show hosts are all direct or indirect disciples of the few that made it big in that category. The fact that so many people would go into a category like this with so much competition defies common sense. The truth is that these unfortunate souls figured this out after the first week of no listeners and many had to pay people to rate their shows. Those who get into this shady pay and rate activity sometimes manage to get into the ‘New and Noteworthy’ section. But if you listen to a few podcasts of those who ‘made it’ you’ll quickly find that they aren’t so noteworthy. And the competition that they will face for the long haul will probably make their efforts futile.
Now you are seeing the folly of the current trend of iTunes podcasting. The pied pipers with a large listenership play their flutes and roam the land with their blind sheep trailing behind. How do you avoid this trap? You do the research just like I’ve just shown you. If you are bold enough to start a podcast, pick a subject that you like WHICH HAS LITTLE COMPETITION. For most subject areas, if you want real success you will need to do a weekly show. This means that your knowledge and interest in the podcast subject must be profound enough to continue to pump out shows for the long term. BUT, if you research enough before you start, you might be able to find an easy passive income niche like ‘history’ which will require only a few months of effort before getting advertising sponsorships. As for the aforementioned entrepreneur show copycats, they will be on the treadmill for years having only minimal success. Hopefully you will be able to pick a niche that will allow you to complete a season of shows which will provide steady passive income for years. And then you can move on to start other shows if your heart is leading you to do so. For information on how to setup your own basic home studio, please refer to the chapter entitled “How to record phone conversations for money”.
How do I get started?
I’m not going to go into the details of how to record yourself and your guest (if a guest is needed). Maybe I’ll cover that in another post. I’ll start with the end product, which should be a 16 bit mp3 file in mono. Don’t mess with stereo because then the file will be twice as big and will take too much time to download. Keeping the file light will also help you save on storage at www.libsyn.com. Also, don’t fall for the notion that making your file bigger than 16 bit is a good option because of the improvement in sound quality. I tell you the truth, the average person can’t tell the difference between 16 bit and 64 bit. And even if they could, they probably wouldn’t want to hang around long enough for the extended download time.
I mentioned Libsyn before and that is what a lot of people upload their files to. You could try uploading them to your own server but there would be a good chance that your file will not play through without crashing. This is because of a bug in Chrome which the majority of the world uses. Anyway, once you get your first file uploaded to Libsyn, it will be ready to be heard on all of your venues like your blog, iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein and Fluctu8. Do a search for all of the newer podcast sites and apply to be on them too. They will simply ask for your name, email address and podcast feed. But whoa, what’s a podcast feed? That’s a list of your episodes and information related to those episodes which is encapsulated in a simple program language called XML. Don’t worry about making the XML file by hand. All you need is a plugin called Blubrry (no mistake, it’s spelled like that). Assuming that you are using WordPress for your website (don’t see why you wouldn’t), you just search for the plugin, install it and then fill out the necessary information. This service is great for creating your podcast feed which will exist on www.yoursite.com/podcast and that is the podcast feed address that you’ll give to all of the podcast sites out there. Blubrry also has its own site but I don’t use it because they make people sign a waver which allows them to use your podcast content anyway they want.
Tagging your files
Now you understand the whole picture of how to generate passive income through podcasts. But there’s one thing I should touch upon to help you be successful. You need to insert pieces of information inside each mp3 file like the title, description, genre and artwork. The best way to do this is to download the iTunes store onto your computer and do it from within. After you create an account you make a new playlist by clicking on one of the buttons on the bottom left. Once you’ve done that, drag your sound file to the playlist area and then right click on it. Select ‘get info’ and then select the tab ‘info’. On that info page fill out the fields and be sure to manually fill in the word ‘Podcast’ in the genre category. Go to ‘options’ and select ‘Podcast’ there as well. Then click on the artwork tab to drag and drop your 1400 pixel by 1400 pixel logo which should be saved in jpeg format. Yep, that’s right, you have to create a logo for iTunes… as well as a 300 X 300 version for Blubrry which will be fed to iTunes indirectly.
The intent of the second half of this post was to give you a synopsis of what you’ll need to do to create a podcast. With this approach, you’ll be able to better strategize or give up on podcasting entirely. If you decide to move on I recommend watching some videos of how to create your first podcast in order to get the granular details. If you’re armed with enough information, the process of generating passive income in this unlikely way will be quicker and less painful.