It’s interesting.  I’ve been doing some heavy research into different e-marketing techniques over the last week or so.  It’s more or less paid off for me.  I’ve doubled the site traffic to rizzn.com, and doubled daily signups to BlipMedia.

In so doing, I’ve seen that a seedy underbelly has been developing in the Podcasting world. Most of you were probably unaware there was a belly to podcasting at all, much less a seedy one.

Interestingly enough, I noticed it on Google of all places.  You can find them yourselves!  Google up “podcasting” real quick.

You’ll find a link there to Conference Calls Unlimited, CreateYourPodcast.com, and Maven.net. These are the shady guys I’m talking about.  Two of them are ebook salesmen, and the third is a conference call provider masquerading as a podcast host.  To have a podcast with three people on the line, the price appears to be $40/ hour.  Excuse me?

Maven.net purports to tell you how to make money podcasting, or “Monetize Time Shifted Radio.”  I can’t think of one single person who would pay any amount of money to hear audio content on the web that they can get from literally 50,000 other sources.

CreateYourPodcast.com is pretty much along the same lines – except it promises profit within four hours or something…  The bottom line is that by yourself, there is no legitimate and reliable way to make money with a single podcast.

On the other hand, podcast networks, which seem to be the latest bleeding edge trend, are definately breeding grounds for corporate sponsorship.  I think it was last week or maybe two weeks ago on one of the podcast mailing lists I subscribe to, there was an “Old Timey Radio Network” that formed.  Something along those lines is definately sponsorable.

Think about it: If you are a single by yourself podcaster, unless you’ve got a long term track record of reliably producing quality content, how do you expect to gain the noteriety required to recieve corporate sponsorship?

Conversely, in a podcast network, like BlipMedia or this new Old Timey Thingy that formed, there is an organisation, reporting structure, and just overall redundancy in the group dynamic that instills confidence in the advertising buyer.

Most of you know my stance on advertising and podcasting… and if you don’t, I’m against it.  It is a very tempting proposition given that the whole advertising/broadcaster paradigm is something everyone knows well, and hence all the money appears to be in that dynamic.  On the other hand, I believe that by my subsidization of free media with Blip, we’ll be able to create a community of free media and entertainers that will create a sufficient talent pool that you’ll actually be able to sell your broadcasts in much the same way the celebrity photographers shop their content around.

Let me explain (in grossly over-simplified terms).  The celebrity photography business is something I’m familiar with due to my friendship with Ricky McGill, another founding member of BlipMedia.  In his spare time he does celebrity photography for special events.  Every so often, he’ll recieve a phone call from either a local area publicist or one of the agencies he’s contracted with.  They’ll give him a tip that hey, Paris Hilton’s going to be showing up at P. Diddy’s party on such and such date.  Here’s a press pass, you’ve got red carpet access.

Since he’s with an agency, Ricky, after shooting and uploading his photos to the agency, recieves a chunk of change every time a magazine buys a photo from him.  The agency takes a piece for being the middle-man, and all’s well.  There’s no corporate sponsorship, there’s no Budweiser logo in the picture, simply the photograph, the photographer, the middle-man, and the buyer. This is the future of podcasting.

You can already see the lines forming.  Podcast networks are forming, like ours, libsyn, and if Adam ever gets his butt in gear, podshow.net.  Broadcasters (like Clearchannel and Infinity) will know where to look for new shows to run on their networks.  At first they will make offers privately, but then the clearinghouses will wise up and set themselves up to be the brokers for the deals. That’s the circle of commerce, Simba!

What’s the best thing for the average podcaster out there?  Well, my (biased) advice is to either form a network of podcasters with people who have either similar content matter, or complementary content matter as you OR join a larger hosting service like Blip or even LibSyn.

No article by me about podcasting would be complete without this link:

http://blipmedia.org/su/rp – SIGN UP FOR BLIP’s FREE PODCAST HOSTING NOW.

I welcome your comments on the topic. That’s it, I’m out.  Deuce!

/rizzn