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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 (https://idratherbewriting.com).

  • 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?

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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