This is the early days of a new medium. Surest sign of a charlatan: anyone who says “this is the right way to do it.”
“We need a business model.” That’s one of the LAST things you need: you really need a reason to get and keep going. The reason anyone picks up a guitar is because they enjoy it, not because they have a business model.
Against the “gold rush” mentality. What’s the core of why we do this?
Some questions to ask yourself at the beginning:
“Why start podcasting?” Creativity to burn; want to try new things; joy in self-expression. If you can be talked out of it, you should be talked out of it. The people who are good at creativity are the ones who can’t NOT do it. It’s not a matter of saying, “Oh, I’d like to write a novel if I had the time.” The creative ones make the commitment to do it. “Just the sheer coolness of it.”
“Why would you love doing it?” Pundits assume we’re all trying to get on the radio. Slusher has been on the radio. Podcasting lets him do all the things he couldn’t do on the radio (looser, don’t have to edit down to 29:00, can go with the flow of the moment, don’t have to worry about your language or the FCC). Pundits see it as a product you’re creating; Slusher sees it as a process you’re engaging in.
“Why would your audience love listening?” Audience will love what you do because your interests are aligned. Doesn’t require a huge audience to make it viable for the effort you put in. (How few listeners would you continue with? If nobody was listening, would you still do it?) Find your community of interest. There are a dozen knitting podcasts! If your podcast really, radically appeals to your audience, that may be enough to motivate them to pay for it. Nielson ratings don’t measure how much people care.
“What would make you stop doing it?” What would make you “podfade”? Is it a bad thing? Some go on a long hiatus and then come back. When do you have the “breakup talk” with yourself?