I have known about podcasts for years, ever since I bought my first iPod Video way back in 2001. Back then, there were a handful of shows that did not really interest me. So, I just skipped downloading podcasts and focused on building my audio collection in my iPod.
Then, a couple of years later, I heard again about podcasting when a popular radio DJ in the Philippines, DJ Mo Twister started using podcasts to supplement his morning radio show that I listened to during my daily commute to work. Mo Twister is a controversial radio DJ and is considered the Howard Stern of the Philippines. And since there are no censorship rules in podcasts, in fact there are no rules, he took advantage of it to talk about racy but popular topics such as sex. In fact, it is a sex advice show. But that still did not get me hooked on podcasts.
A few months ago, I learned that my favorite all-time basketball coach, Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, was guesting in Sekou Smith’s basketball podcast. I immediately downloaded the episode on my iPhone. After listening to the show, I stumbled upon other popular podcasts from different genres.
On the business category, I discovered Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income show. I am a voracious reader of business and personal finance books and so I gave Pat Flynn a shot. And wow, I got hooked!
I downloaded each and every episode and then I wanted more. So, I listened to the other shows like Fizzle Show, Blogcast FM, Podcast Answer Man, etc.
That’s what got me into podcasting and inspired me to do my own show, The Freelance Blend Podcast.
First of All, What is a Podcast?
A lot of people ask me, “What is a Podcast?” A podcast is nothing more than a pre-recorded online audio or video show that can be downloaded or streamed from a podcast application such as iTunes, Stitcher, Blackberry or Zune.
It is basically an on-demand radio show that is available all day and that you download yourself or have it automatically delivered to your device using podcast applications like iTunes (Mac or Windows), Podcasts (iOS), Stitcher (Android), Blackberry, Zune, or Instacast.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Podcasts Now
Whether you are a freelancer or not, here are the top 5 reasons why you should start listening to podcasts:
1. Accelerated Learning
If you love books like me, you will love podcasts even more. Just like books, there’s a myriad shows on wide varieties of topics available in podcast form and if you need to learn something fast, just search for the topic you like and then listen to the podcast episode.
How different are podcasts from audio books? Audio books are usually more expensive than the physical or e-book version because of the higher cost to produce the audio book and the length of the audio (usually takes hours and cannot be consumed in one sitting).
Meanwhile, podcasts are free to download and usually just takes 30 minutes to an hour and a half to consume, depending on the topic you prefer. Also, most podcast formats are interview style, wherein guests are usually the top experts in the field. You get to receive golden nuggets from these experts directly, and this beats consuming hours and hours of books (or audio books).
2. “In Your Ear” Entertainment
Have you ever felt the urge to read one more chapter of Hunger Games but can’t because you are feeling dizzy due to eye strain? Or maybe you wanted to watch one more episode of Walking Dead but your eyes are giving up on you?
With podcasts, you let your ears do the thinking. You can lie down, relax, close your eyes and listen to your favorite episode and get the entertainment that you desire. With the iPhone Podcasts app, you can even turn on the sleep timer, so podcasts can also lull you to sleep).
3. Access to Experts and Gurus
Do you think you will be able to call Seth Godin’s mobile phone directly and ask for his advice on internet marketing? Or DJ Mo Twister for love advice?
With podcasts, these gurus usually have their own show that you can listen to everyday. Or if they do not have their own show, chances are high that they have guested in one of the popular podcast episodes. Here is a sample podcast episode of BlogCastFM hosted by Srini Rao where Seth Godin is a guest (the podcast is now entitled, “The Unmistakable Creative”). I guarantee you will learn a lot just from this single episode.
4. Beats Boredom
Has your iTunes Playlist run out of songs to play? Are you tired of the lengthy commercials on your favorite radio show?
After a while, you get tired listening to the same set of songs. Why don’t you mix it up a bit and listen to a podcast while stuck in traffic, while you are on your morning jog or while you are killing time in a coffee shop?
5. Traffic Buster
According to popular food & travel blogger and entrepreneur, Anton Diaz, in his post, The 11 Biggest Business Trends in the Philippines 2014, traffic will turn for the worse in 2014 and the years to come and therefore, products or services that will address the traffic situation in Metro Manila – be it an app that will keep people entertained during traffic or even help them avoid traffic will be huge in the next few years.
And podcasts will be one of them. In fact in the same blog post, Anton considers podcasting as one of the biggest trends in 2014, so there will be a large number of shows that will be produced to cater to people who are stuck in traffic.
In fact, there were times when, after arriving at my destination, I catch myself staying 15-20 minutes longer inside the car just the finish the podcast episode that I am listening to. I know…that’s how extremely hooked I am on podcasts.
Try It Now!
Still not convinced? Click this link to the iTunes page, read the tips and tricks, search for you favorite topic, select a show that interests you and then listen to one episode. Afterwards, please do us a favor and share with us what you think on the comment box below.
And yes, you’re welcome.
Photo Credit: Dan Taylor