As of Nov 1, here are the number of unique downloads for the podcasts on Tech Writer Voices (http://www.idratherbewriting.com).
I use Podtrac to measure these hits. These numbers tell me several things: Single sourcing is hot. Few care about outsourcing. Titles with "How to" in the title are not necessarily more popular -- it really just depends on the topic. The number of listeners for a hot topic is more than webinars, but so far I have not tried to tap into advertising to monetize the podcasts. Partly, I'm not sure exactly what I gain. I began the podcast as a chapter function, with hopes that I could gather a team of podcasters and generate more momentum. The reality is that it's just me doing it all -- with the exception that Mark Lewis will edit the monthly chapter recordings.
For podcasting to be worth it, I think I'm going to have to monetize the podcast. The best way of doing it may be ads, because I don't think people (who barely understand podcasting) will pay for podcasts. I have never approached a company for advertising, but it's worth a shot.
The other dilemma is that if I start monetizing the podcasts, who gets the money? The chapter, or me? If it's the chapter, that's not motivational enough. If it's me, that may be motivational. However, if it's only $20 per podcast, it's really not worth it. The indirect promotion is publicity, but this may backfire according to this article. So there you have it. Any thoughts or advice for me?
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.