I am a podcaster, my podcast is called This Week in Tech. I want to tell you how to do it and I want to do it in this blog. So, let’s start with the subject: You need to find something that you are passionate about.
You see, people like me, they come around and they will say to you: “Hey Leo, I have an idea for a podcast.” And then they will say something like: “I think a good idea would be for me and my friends to get together every week and talk about whatever comes up.” And I will say, “Well that is not really an idea for a podcast.” That sounds more like something that would happen at the end of a long night at the bar, which is not where I want to be.
But if someone says to me: “Leo, I am really interested in the economic policy of the United States.” And then he says it again in another way and again in another way… You get the idea; he has found his passion.
Do you want to start a podcast? I get asked this question all the time. My answer is always the same: “Sure, if you have something to say.”
“But how do I start? What equipment should I use?”
I know that podcasting has a low barrier to entry and anyone (even me) can do it, but don’t just create a podcast for the sake of creating a podcast. It won’t last long, for one thing. Think of it like writing a book or any other creative endeavor. You have to have something to say. If you don’t, why do it?
Podcasting is not about equipment or studio space or audio quality. It’s about sharing your passion with your audience and building relationships with them.
I was walking down the aisle of a Barnes & Noble when I saw it: A book written by both Leo Laporte and me. It was a strange feeling, because it was the first thing we had ever done together. But I had no idea what the book was about or why my name was on the cover.
I flipped to the back cover and saw a photo of Leo with his arm around me. The caption explained that we were business partners!
But before you think this is some sort of alternate universe where Leo Laporte and I are best friends, let me give you some background on this story. Actually, it might be better if you watch this video first, then read on…
So back in 2007, I created an online course called “How To Make Money Podcasting.” It cost $97. And since then, it has sold more than 1,000 copies! At least 100 people have taken the course because they wanted to learn how to make money podcasting from me.
But what’s even more amazing than that are all of the people who have taken my course who have gone on to become full-time podcasters and make a living from their podcasts! These people include John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur
I was talking to Jim Louderback today, he’s been a guest on this blog. And I remarked that I hadn’t heard from him in a long time, and he said something that made me laugh: “I’ve been busy podcasting.”
We laughed because we both know that podcasting is not a high-paying job. In fact, it usually doesn’t pay at all. But people do it anyway. Why?
I think the answer is also why people paint and write books and play music. It’s what they love to do. The money is beside the point.
When you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. You want to do it all the time. It’s fun!
I got into podcasting because I was passionate about technology. I just wanted to share that with the world, and I started with a podcast called The Screen Savers.
I had an audience of 500,000 people who were downloading my podcasts every week. It was really exciting to me because it gave me an opportunity to do what I love, which is talk about technology. But also it gave me an opportunity to experiment in the medium, as well as experiment with business models.
I had this huge audience of 500,000 people, and a lot of them rely on us for their content. And so we did these live shows every day and we would get tens of thousands of people watching those live streams. But how do you turn that into a business?
So I went back to my friends at Tech TV and asked them if they wanted to buy the company because they had a different business model where they could sell ads against it. We sold the company, but that model didn’t work out well either because while we had 500,000 listeners a week, our audience was very hard to monetize.
It became clear to us that while our audience was passionate and loyal, they weren’t going to pay for podcasts. So we ended up selling it again and
Leo Laporte is a podcaster, broadcaster, technology broadcaster, and author. He is best known as the host of This Week in Tech and The Tech Guy on radio stations. Leo was born on November 29, 1956. He was raised in San Francisco in a family of French descent.
He began his career in broadcasting when he was just 14 years old. At that time he hosted a call-in talk show on KSCO, a local AM radio station in Santa Cruz, California.
He attended the University of California at Berkeley and received a B.A. degree from the University of San Francisco with a major in political science and minor in history. He also attended the University of California at Davis where he finished his master’s degree in journalism and political science.
After his graduation from college, Leo started to work as an announcer for KFRC radio station. He then went on to work for KNBR radio station as their morning DJ from 1982 to 1986. In 1986 he moved to Los Angeles where he began working for KFI radio station as one of the most popular morning DJs in the country for 11 years (1986-1997). He also worked for Mutual Broadcasting System network as a talk show host until 2001 when he left this position to
My new book, The Perfect Thing, is about the invention of the iPod. I was lucky enough to be at Apple when it was created and see first-hand how it changed businesses, culture, and our daily lives.
I am also the author of What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry and Free for All: How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High-Tech Titans.
In addition to writing books, I make documentaries for PBS television. My latest doc is Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance which tells the story of Silicon Valley from its birth in radio to modern day. It’s a fast paced history with lots of interviews with great people like Steve Wozniak, Esther Dyson, Bob Metcalfe, Ted Hoff and many more.
My first film was Tripping The Rift: The Movie that was based on my popular Cartoon Network animated series Tripping The Rift.
I have worked as a technology journalist for over thirty years as host/producer of a variety of television shows including TechTV’s The Screen Savers and Call for Help as well as This Week In Tech (TWiT), Before You Buy, iPad Today, MacBreak Weekly and numerous other programs