There are a lot of us who, upon entering into the world of podcasting, we tell ourselves, “I’m just doing this for fun. It doesn’t matter if it brings me opportunities to add a revenue stream to my income.” But a podcast needs listeners.
Let’s be frank, we don’t become podcasters in order to record our own voices and essentially, talk to ourselves. We can do that just fine in our own homes without spending the time, money, and effort it takes to produce a podcast. We all have an idea to share or a skill we want to teach others.
The simple fact is, the larger your audience, the faster your podcast will grow. And with that large, growing audience, you can generate opportunities to make some extra money on the side, in order to subsidize your podcast and keep it going.
15 simple steps to help you grow your audience
1.) PODCAST SHOW TITLE
Think of a great title to your podcast. This may seem like a no-brainer, but the title of your podcast should be easy to remember, easy to differentiate from other podcasts targeting a similar audience and tell potential listeners what it’s about. To grow your podcast you need a memorable name. Considering all that, it’s worth the time to take a moment to think about a title for your podcast.
2.) AUDIO EQUIPMENT
Invest in good equipment. Equipment plays an important role in podcasting. If the equipment is flawed, your audio might cut in and out, sound staticky or muffled. Regardless of how fascinating your topic might be, if your equipment is making your podcast hard to listen to, listeners will tune out! Even if your budget doesn’t allow for high-end stuff, you can find great podcasting tools for any budget.
3.) PODCAST HOSTING
Grab a good hosting company. Regardless if you’re new to podcasting or not, it’s vital to make sure your hosting company is up to snuff. Meaning, make sure they will help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Also, check to see if they cater to larger podcasts or smaller ones. A few great places to start investigating to see if they fit your needs would be WordPress, Lisbyn, and Simlecast.
4.) YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Consider utilizing YouTube. There will always be people who prefer to watch a video than listen to a podcast. As a result, some podcasters have opted to also incorporate YouTube into their podcasting toolbox. What they have done is, after recording an episode, they upload the audio to YouTube as an “audio-only” file. Others have used video to record themselves as they record their podcasts, creating a sort of video-podcast. And still, other podcasters will live-stream their podcasts on YouTube as they record their episodes.
5.) TARGET LISTENER
Consider your specific audience. What do you want to talk about? Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but the more specific you are when considering your topics, the more specific you can be in regards to the audience you’re trying to reach. Knowing the specific audience you’re trying to reach will help you in reaching them more effectively.
Engage listeners by getting their input. Coming up with new episode topics that specifically caters to your listeners can eventually become an overwhelming prospect. So why not take some of that burden off your shoulders and ask your listeners what they want to hear? It’s also a great way to interact with your audience and make them feel part of the show.
7.) EVALUATE YOURSELF
Pay attention to which episodes are being downloaded the most. This will give you a good idea for future topics because it can show you the type of content your audience is interested in. However, just also be aware that sometimes, the number of downloads doesn’t always equal the number of times a specific episode has –actually- been listened to.
It’s always a good idea to get out there and network with other people in the same field or with similar interests. The more people you meet with similar interests, the more chances you have to promote your podcast. Through networking, you’ll not only promote your podcast, but you can get ideas for shows and potential guests on those shows.
9.) GET SOCIAL
Experiment with social media. It should go without saying that we are in the age of social media. Social media is an awesome tool to utilize, especially for podcasters. Don’t back yourself into a corner by –only- using Facebook or Twitter. Think about where your audience is: are they on Pinterest? Or, Instagram? Or, Snapchat? Figure out your audience’s preferred platform and engage them there. Like and respond to their comments. Ask them questions and get them involved with your podcast.
Build a great website and blog. If you’re just starting out, something simple and clean should suffice. But, when you are able, maybe think about talking to a web designing professional who will help you create a fun, interactive website for your listeners. Also, consider writing a blog to go along with your show. I know, blogging may seem like “one more thing” to do. But, you don’t have to write long dissertations. Perhaps a blurb about your latest episode, or your thoughts on an interview or guest you had on, should suffice. The point is, more content for your audience (and potential audience) to engage with is never a bad thing.
11.) NOTES AND TIME-STAMPS
Consider time-stamped show notes. Once you’ve uploaded your show, you should at least give your episode a brief description for those who want to have an idea to know what it’s about and perhaps interest them in downloading it. Time-stamped show notes are a great way to engage listeners, especially those who don’t have a lot of time to listen to your whole podcast or, those who really just want to listen to a particular portion of your episode. Time-stamps allow them to skip the part they want to hear.
12.) INSTRUCT YOUR FANS
Call-to-action. After your audience listens to your podcast, what do you want them to do? Follow you on Twitter? Visit your website? Buy your book? Give your audience a call-to-action, whatever that action is that you’d like for them to do.
13.) ESTABLISH A SCHEDULE
Upload regularly. It’s often hard to keep the momentum going on a new podcast. Thinking of new episodes every week or every two weeks might become daunting. However, it’s vital to figure out a schedule and stick to it. If you upload irregularly or, if you start uploading weekly then, walk away, your audience may start to walk away, too.
14.) GUEST HOSTING
Be on other podcasts, have other podcast hosts on yours. Guest hosting, or being a guest on others’ podcasts, as well as having other podcast hosts on yours, is a great way to branch out and grow your audience. Potentially, you can add more listeners to your podcast as the audience from other podcasts check you out.
Don’t stop marketing yourself. When you start seeing your audience number grow, you may be tempted to rest on your laurels and stop marketing your podcast. DON’T! As any business owner will tell you, you should never stop promoting your business. And in this case, your business is your podcast! As the time goes by, your audience will grow and even change. Don’t assume that your listeners will be there for the long-haul.
Hopefully, these 15 tips will help you get started in growing your podcasting audience. Can you think of any more you would like to share? Comment below.