You don’t have to create new material for all your audio products. There are many places where you can find existing material and convert that into audio form. Even if your listeners recognize the material from elsewhere, they generally won’t mind – and some will even appreciate you taking the time and trouble to convert it into audio form for them.
Just one word of warning: Be careful not to use any copyrighted material. If it’s your original material, of course you can use it. But if it’s somebody else’s material, be sure you have explicit permission from the copyright owner to use it in this way. For example, just because somebody has given you permission to reprint an article, this does not automatically give you permission to read the article out loud and record it.
If you write articles for a newsletter, blog or a magazine column, read the articles out loud and record this as an audio clip.
It takes some practice to get this right (so it doesn’t sound like you’re just reading), so be familiar with the material, practice a few times if necessary, and change the words to be more conversational.
If you conduct teleseminars, record them and publish the recording. Most teleseminar services include a recording option (sometimes available as an optional paid extra, but even then it’s fairly inexpensive), and this is usually very easy to use (for example, you just click one button, or sometimes the recording is even automatic).
If other participants on the teleseminar could be speaking, announce beforehand that you’ll be recording the call. For example, you could say this clearly on the registration page, and make it a condition of them attending that they allow you to record it.
If you conduct webinars, you can record them and extract the audio.
However, you do need to be careful with using the audio from webinars. A good webinar should combine both audio and video, and a well-designed webinar should need the visuals to make sense. So if the listener is able to make sense of the content from the audio alone, it probably means the webinar was poorly designed!
However, some webinars do lend themselves to a less visual presentation – for example, interviews, panel discussions and facilitated meetings – and in those cases, providing the audio alone is useful.
If you have already created CD products, you can also provide them in downloadable form.
There is free and low-cost software to extract the tracks from the CD (this is known as “ripping” the CD, which sounds negative, but is acceptable if it’s your own material). Save or convert these into MP3 format, and then publish them online.
If you’re a speaker, trainer or other presenter, record your presentations and use the recording to create audio products.
This generally does involve some work, because the raw audio recording is probably not good enough for publishing as a product. For example, you might want to edit it to be shorter, remove “dead air” times (for example, when the attendees are doing exercises), and add your own introduction and close to the product. However, the raw material is available, and that’s the bulk of the work.
Similarly, if you are a coach, mentor or consultant, record your sessions (with your client’s permission, of course!) and send them a CD or download for future reference.
If you’re an author, read your book out loud to convert it into an audiobook. Many people don’t have time to read, but would be happy to listen to your book in their car, while exercising, or at other times when they are multi-tasking.