Podcasts continue to grow in popularity as means for outdoor education

Podcasts have quickly grown into a major communication platform. For good reasons. They are
pointed towards specific topics. Come in all different lengths and formats. Can be stopped and
started at the listeners convenience. And from a production standpoint, there is a very low cost to
entry. Standing out amongst the crowd is an issue, but if you know who your audience is and
cater to them, no matter how large or small, your podcast can drive outcomes you desire.

On November 8, 2016, Election Day, I sat down with Missouri’s then Governor Jeremiah “Jay”
Nixon in his office to record my first podcast. Nothing like starting big. When the interview was
over, I remember feeling surprised at how fast the hour went by and how easy the process was.
Basically, I just had a conversation with an interesting person, so there was no problem coming
up with questions to ask. The only difference, the conversation was recorded. The first step was

The second step is the editing and the third is distribution. There are different trains of thought
on editing. Some people choose to not edit at all. Their podcasts leave in all the imperfections. I
don’t like this. I’m fortunate to have a partner on the Driftwood Outdoors Podcast in Shags who
is an excellent sound editor, so he takes out most of the crutch words our guests use, like “um”
and “you know”. As a listener, I appreciate cleaner audio, but that’s just me. It’s totally up to
you. For distribution, several platforms, like Speaker or Sound Cloud, make it simple to
distribute across multiple platforms with one click of a button. They charge small fees, which are
worth it in my opinion. There are some free software options, but you typically get what you pay

At a recent Professional Outdoor Media Association conference, I was part of a panel discussion
about podcasts. My fellow panelists were Randy Newburg and Sam Ayers, both of whom are
experienced and respected podcast hosts in the outdoor space. One of the first audience questions
asked is one I hear often. The question was, “Are podcasts too saturated?”

Randy and Sam agreed, for some of the same and some different reasons, that “yes” podcasts are
too saturated. That the large influx of new podcasts are crowding the market in their opinions. I
think they were primarily thinking of podcasts for entertainment purposes. I disagreed. I was last
to speak. When handed the microphone I opened with asking a question back, “Are websites too
The answer is no. Websites are not too saturated because no matter what type of business you are
in today, you are expected to have a website. I feel podcasts are similar. Companies and

organizations should have podcasts today to serve their customers and members. Marketers say
content is king. Podcasts provide a very easy means of creating and publishing compelling
content for the audience you are trying to reach. Remember, podcasts are basically just recorded
Let’s say your business is selling fishing lures. On your website, why not have a podcast
covering the different lures you are selling? You could offer tips for fishing a spinnerbait. What
make one jerk bait better than another. Have a tournament angler on to discuss seasonal patterns.
The topics are endless. But as a consumer, you are giving me information that helps me become
a better customer of yours. It takes only a little time, and very little cost. This applies to any
business selling a product or service.

Your goals must be realistic. If your expectations are to launch a podcast and build an audience
of millions of listeners who tune in to every episode, then you are probably not going to be
successful. Joe Rogan and Steven Rinella should not be who you measure yourself against. What
you should do is set realistic goals and expectations. Education should be the key. And
remember, podcasts live forever. You can add podcasts to your website and leave them there to
answer questions your visitors may have for as long as your website stays live. You can send
links out through your social media channels.

Podcasts have become my number one way of consuming content. I usually have one on anytime
I am driving, and often playing in my office as background noise while I work. If you want to
reach more people with your message, but you don’t have a podcast, I suggest you consider
starting one soon. Customize it to fit your needs and give your listeners the information they are
looking for.

No matter what your outdoor passion is, there is a podcast, or 10, covering that topic. A simple
search for podcasts about whatever topic you desire will turn up several options. Quality is an
issue, as many podcast are poorly put together. But when you find one that delivers good
information, in a compelling manner, I think you’ll be glad you stumbled on the title, and will
find the information valuable.
See you down the trail…

Brandon Butler

Pic:  Podcasts can be recorded anywhere, as shown here around a campfire in South Africa. 

For more Driftwood Outdoors, check out the podcast HERE or anywhere podcasts are streamed.


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