Try this: “siri, subscribe to the technology for normal people podcast”.

If you haven’t yet listened to a podcast, you may soon be the only one. Podcasting is the fastest growing digital medium in the country and according to Google Trends, more people search for podcasts than they do blogs. Search Engine Journal released an entire article about what people are searching for when they want to read or hear from an authority and it shows that podcast keywords are trending up over the last several months.

There are somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million active podcast shows being produced and released and many of those are being created by people, on their own and in addition to what they do to earn a living. Increasingly people are finding that podcasting can lead to a full-time job.

Jeff Brown’s podcast “Read to Lead” is one of the more popular leadership podcasts in Apple’s Podcast Store. A former radio host, he started podcasting as a hobby but found there was a large number of people who wanted to listen to him talking about the books he reads.

“I kicked around the idea for several years,” he said. “I just really enjoy encouraging other people to read more often because I believe we need to be life-long learners.”

Jeff Sanders started his podcast “The 5 am Miracle” while training for a marathon. He told me at the time he found he would need to get up early to get in his run, and then discovered the habit helped him be more productive through the rest of the day.  “My show has been expanding the last couple of years in a big way,” he said. “I see podcasting as the next frontier in digital media and with people being able to learn on the go, while they’re commuting, while they’re working out.”

Sanders and Brown can create their podcast for a living through sponsors and advertisers. Some of the biggest podcasters earn hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But many other podcasters do it just for fun. Dave Jackson, host of the “School of Podcasting” podcast told me about one podcaster in particular. “I have someone who does a show on chameleon breeding because he makes cages for chameleons”.

Sure enough, a search in Apple’s podcast app found “Chameleon Breeding” by Bill Strand.  Jackson said podcasting isn’t like broadcasting where creators need to attract a massive audience, they only need to appeal to a narrow but passionate audience.  “All sorts of super-niche topics that you might think, nobody will listen to this. When people find it they think ‘oh my gosh, I thought I was the only person into this.”

Small businesses and brands are increasingly looking toward podcasting as a way to promote and market their business. It isn’t expensive to get into podcasting, some even record their shows using the microphone on their smartphone. Others invest in a professional microphone and use free software to record their shows. Apple and Google list podcasts for free and hosting the podcasts on a server costs somewhere around $10 a month (in most cases).

You can find podcasts about music, TV, trivia and lifestyle. There’s also a growing number of highly produced podcasts about true crime or mysteries and some of the most popular podcasts are comedies. You’ll also find blogs (like Brown’s) about leadership and productivity (like Sanders’).

We also have a podcast where we talk more about the stories you see in our newscasts. “Technology for Normal People” is a “What the Tech?” podcast that allows us to go in depth on the stories we cover every night. You can check it out at

or, and here’s a fun trick, just say “Siri, subscribe to the technology for normal people podcast”.

or listen to this episode here


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