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Podcast metrics analysis for Tech Writer Voices

by Tom Johnson on Nov 1, 2006
categories: technical-writing

As of Nov 1, here are the number of unique downloads for the podcasts on Tech Writer Voices (

  • Technical Writing in India (Sandeep): 42
  • Another Perspective on Single Sourcing (O'Keefe): 132
  • How to Create a Usable Index (McGhie): 88
  • Podcasting 101 (Johnson): 101
  • How to Implement Single Sourcing (Perlin): 175
  • Joomla, a Free Open-Source Content Mgmt Sys (Wheller): 130
  • Flare 2.0 (Hamilton): 237
  • CM Pros (Abel): 55
  • Writing for the Web (Koss): 141
  • FTCC Promo: 55

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?

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

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