Your tip today starts with my own shocking secret - I used to *HATE* listening to audio online. I'd still rather pay to download a transcript. I'm just a print-oriented person.
But I'm an oddball- that's why you need to remember this one very important fact:
Almost everyone in the online world would rather listen than read if they can.
(And people like me will buy your audio if you let them - I've paid for free audio streamed seminars to be sent to me on a CD.)
I can't name one friend who doesn't own at least 25 CDs, but only five have more than 7 books. Yes, even if it's the same material - when faced with clicking an audio link to listen, or reading, they'd rather listen.
Not everyone is a great writer. But just about everyone can talk -- or get someone else to talk for them. So here are three reasons why you need to figure out how to have an audio-enabled site today.
1- Visitors love audio. And your site is about the preferences of your visitors, not you, right?
Whew! You scared me for a second there.
2 - Audio keeps people on your site longer.
In a recent conference call by the makers of Instant Audio, a discussion was sparked that detailed many of the reasons why visitors stay longer at your site - particularly on your sales pages - when they are also Audio-enabled.
3- I've got one word for you. Podcasting.
If you run a business that has even the simplest web site, even if you don't have an audio-enabled computer, there's a way that you can widen your audience, perhaps up to one hundred visitors by this time tomorrow.
This is not an exaggeration.
Podcasting, in lay-persons terms, is simply a way to incorporate audio and other types of media into RSS Feeds.
Some podcasts are full-fledged amateur broadcasts, and others, like the one at my main site, are just quick daily tutorials, tips or greetings, that I like to call mini-casts.
(There's a free video that will teach you how to do a mini-cast at http://howtopodcast.blogspot.com and there are free how-tos all over the Net.)
Through the power of RSS, folks can then find out about your site in a variety of ways, not just as a one-time visitor, but as a subscriber to your feed, often on their daily trips to their personal pages at My Yahoo, CNet's Newsgator, or MyMSN.
Just like with regular RSS, every time you update this file with information, your subscribers get an automatic notification.
This is often more efficient in delivery than email marketing - and although ezines and other email communications have not gone the way of the dinosaur, not having an RSS Feed from your site is like being a television network station with only one or two shows. You can think of your average static twelve-page website or weekly newsletter as examples of these shows.
Once the "program" is over, they don't have a reason to be back. Many web surfers return to your site only because they are reminded.
With an audio-enabled feed, you are taking care of these issues in one shot.
If you put together a podcast feed, whether it's a quick tips daily show that lasts five minutes, or a weekly half-hour audio show coupled with shorter text-based updates, you're giving your site an air of distinction.
But don't listen to me.
Listen to USA Today, or the Washington Times. Both recently ran prominent stories on Podcasting and its growing popularity.
So how do you get yourself properly audio or podcast-enabled?
That's a little more complex - but starting out can be as easy as filling out a few forms and making a phone call. Now that you don't even need to have a microphone and a bunch of fancy equipment, there's now nothing stopping you from being able to compete with other sites that offer audio.
Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas Forum.
February 22, 2005
Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a website promotion specialist and author of five books and ebooks for the online entrepreneur.
Her last project was a contribution to Rok Hrastnik's comprehensive guide to RSS, "Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS". You can find more of her daily tips on RSS, Blogs, Google tools, and more, at her main blog, Free Traffic Tips.
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