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15 Ways to Grow Your Podcasting Audience

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.

6.) INTERACT 

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.

8.) NETWORK

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.

10.) WEBSITE

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.

15.) MARKETING

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.
Next, read tips on how to keep your podcast running smoothly

How To Improve Podcasting Workflow So You Can Get The Most Out Of Your Time

Okay, so you’ve decided to start a podcast. Or, perhaps you have a podcast and you want to make the production of it a bit smoother. 

6 easy steps to help improve your podcasting workflow so you can get the most out of your time!

1.) Plan

It sounds rather cliche, but planning out exactly what you want to do with your podcast will help keep you on task. So, take some time and figure out exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. List the types of topics you want to tackle on your podcast. Think about potential content: from headlines to skits, to local conventions, jot it all down. Anything can potentially become content. Then, set aside a specific schedule for your podcast production and stick to it. Figure out the time per week needed to put together a solid show and set time aside for it.

2.) Prep

Research, research, research. When it comes to the ideas or the skills you’re trying to convey in your podcast, be sure that you’re making yourself out to be an authority on the subject. Check out statistics and third-party papers. Review your own sources. Outline your ideas. Even if you primarily ad lib, it’s always best to have a structure to follow so you stay on whatever topic you’re tackling. Outlining will also help you discover sources that you may need for your podcast. Do you need audio, video, or pictures for your podcast episode? If so, make a note. Then, test what you have. Make sure any audio you plan on playing works. Test it out on other people or even yourself to ensure your delivery is smooth.

3.) Record

Get everything you need within arm’s reach and hit the record button! Remember what you’re trying to accomplish in your episode and your audience. Always remember to speak clearly and with passion for your topic! Don’t forget your call-to-action. Give your audience something to do. Do you want them to follow you on Twitter or Tumbler? What about buying your book? Whatever it is, don’t close out your show without your CTA!

4.) Produce

Audio editing can be a pain, however, it’s necessary! If your budget allows for it, perhaps look into hiring a professional service that can do the editing for you. If not, simply make sure that even though you shouldn’t strive for “perfection”, you take out any awkward silences, you add music and audio in the places you should, and you remove any distracting noise. Again, keep in mind that you don’t have to strive for perfection, just tighten it up a bit.

5.) Finalize

Go over your show’s notes and check your spelling and grammar. Make sure to link any text, video or audio that you’re referencing in your episode. Make sure you make key points stand out with bullet points or italics. Don’t forget keywords for Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) in order for people to find you or the topic you’re tackling.

6.) Publish and Promote

Upload your file via an MP3 (for audio) or MP4 (for video). After uploading, check out your website. Did the audio or video upload properly? Check your links. Are they working? What about your RSS feeds? Are they working? If anything isn’t functioning properly, now is the time to catch it before your episode grows wings and takes off! When you’re certain everything is working properly, promote, promote, promote! Tell the world about your latest show on your podcast! Share on social media networks, email newsletters, and on websites like Reddit. However, be careful to not spam these sites! Monitor your podcast’s performance, but don’t become obsessed about it. Sometimes, it takes time to grow. However, it can tell you what sorts of topics engage your audience more.
Once all that is done, start preparing for the next show. These 6 easy steps should help you streamline your podcasting workflow. Are there any tips and tricks we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
 
 

4 Easy steps to Launch a Hit Podcast

Podcasting is all the rage these days and the trajectory of that trend is sure to watch it grow. However, what’s the point of creating a podcast if no one is listening, right? Sure, you could just do it for the love of the medium, but let’s be honest: you kinda want to create a podcast so that you can connect your ideas to other people so you can grow an audience. Well, here’s a quick, four-step plan to help you get on your way to podcast popularity!

Step 1: Decide on your podcast’s main concept and the style you want to present it

Sure, that seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by how many folks decide to launch a podcast without a solid foundation of what it’s going to be about, or the style in which it’s presented. Sadly, those folks figure out rather quickly that foundational inconsistency is usually the hallmark of a failed podcast.
Podcasts that find success have their concept and style determined BEFORE they launch. The best way to do that is to think about the audience you want to engage. Why would they want to listen to your podcast and why would they care about it? If you want your podcast to be successful, you not only have to be entertaining, but you have to produce useful content. Think about the best method to get that content to your audience in a fresh way.
For example, there is the “Interview Method” where the host conducts an interview for each episode.
There’s also the “Location Based Method” where the podcast focuses on the location where it’s recorded (think about a “Foodie Podcast” that focused on a new restaurant every week, or a “Fishing Podcast” that focused on a new place to fish…)
The “Storytelling Method” is just how it sounds: each episode tells a part of a story, and each episode builds off of the last.
A “Teaching Method” focuses on teaching listeners about a specific topic.
There’s also a “Mixed Method” which combines a few of the methods above to create a unique, and fresh approach to a particular subject.

Step 2: Before Launch, Record at Least 3 Episodes

It’s important to keep in mind that your first 3 episodes are the foundation of your podcast. They provide a great link to reference back to by mentioning them in later episodes and linking back to them in the show notes. It’s a great way to keep from repeating yourself, and it provides a great way to build your rankings! If you’re referencing back to previous episodes, you give your listeners a reason to go back and download them and iTunes LOVES to see people consuming multiple episodes!

Step 3: Launch Your Podcast with a Contest

Don’t launch with just any contest, launch your podcast with a prize that speaks to the audience you’re trying to reach. Meaning, if you have a podcast about Dog Training, don’t give away an item like “dance classes.” Instead, perhaps your contest prize should instead be something like “Free Dog Grooming”. Launching your podcast with a contest will help you gain listeners, downloads, and ratings.
Also, don’t forget to ask friends and family, or members of your community to share your podcast content. Also, it never hurts to ask people to subscribe to and rate your podcast!

Step 4: Continue to Create a Buzz by Keeping a Schedule

Decide on a timeframe where you will consistently release new material and stick to it. For example, if you decide on publishing new episodes on Friday, make sure you stick to it. Supplement your schedule by sending out emails and social media interactions letting listeners and audiences know that they can expect new material that Friday. Give them hints on what the episode will be about. Keep the buzz for your podcast going!
And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t state that you shouldn’t give up. Make sure you stick to your plan and see it through. Many times people with new podcasts get discouraged if they don’t see the results they want in a week or two. However, if you keep to these four steps and don’t give up on your podcast, you’ll see results!

How to really make money podcasting

While it may be true that you’re podcasting for the love of it, we all have bills and responsibilities so, it wouldn’t hurt to make a few extra bucks doing what you love, right?
Podcasting in of itself has been around for some time, but it’s only now starting to gain momentum in popularity so now would be a good time to jump into the podcasting craze, produce engaging content, build an audience and make some money.

If you want to make a little money on the side with your passion (or, perhaps down the road, turn your passion into a full-time career) there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling.

WHATS IS THE MAIN FOCUS FOR YOUR PODCAST?

First, you have to decide the topic of your podcast. This seems like a no-brainer, but there are two ways you can go with this: you can go general or specific. Both have their pros and cons. By choosing a “general” topic (like politics or, celebrity gossip) the market is very large and competition for ears and advertisers is fierce. However, the market being so large, you should be able to capture part of the marketplace as long as you present your content in a fresh and interesting way. If you choose to be more specific with your topic, the audience might not be as large however, the competition isn’t as fierce and it is easier to design your niche audience and appeal to specific advertisers.

PRODUCE THE BEST CONTENT

Second, put your best out there. That means, setting time aside to roll up your sleeves and make sure the content you’re giving your audience is the best you can provide.
Take the time necessary to:

  • Edit your audio
  • Clean up the audio and produce it properly
  • Think about investing in voice talent
  • Perhaps create an app to go along with your podcast
  • Build a community and engage with it on social media

SALES STRATEGY

Third, think about developing a sales strategy for potential advertisers. It’s a lot more appealing to an advertiser if you can show them you have 150 weekly, dedicated listeners who enjoy fishing than, say, if you have a Facebook page that gets about 15,000 random hits by unengaged people who are only curious. Advertisers want to target specific demographics.

SELL YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Fourth, make some extra cash by helping others with their podcasts. Seriously, if you have a talent for editing audio, why not think about selling some of your services or your extra time by helping others in the podcasting world? Not really good at editing audio? That’s OK. As you develop your own podcast, you’ll start to discover your own strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you’re good at building a website? Perhaps you have a talent for setting up engaging social media accounts. Whatever it is, chances are you can help another podcaster who isn’t as strong as you are in that area. So why not help out the podcasting community while adding a little green to your pocket?

HANG IN THERE, KEEP GOING AT IT

Lastly, make sure to be patient with yourself and give it time. In our age of “instant gratification,” if we don’t see results NOW then oftentimes, we view it as a failure and move on. However, when it comes to making money with podcasts, you really do need to give yourself time to build up an audience and relationships with your listeners. Building that relationship may take a year, perhaps more. However, don’t give up on your podcast, or yourself, if you don’t see results in a month or two. Stick with it. See what works and what doesn’t and the payoff won’t disappoint you.

Why you should get help editing your podcast?

Whether or not you’re new to podcasting, or if you’re a veteran, outsourcing the production of your podcast may be worth considering. Reasons for outsourcing the production of podcasts vary, but oftentimes it includes things like inexperience with audio production and editing, lack of knowledge with website publishing, and the knowledge that professional production and editing will give them the best chance for success. In addition, it can also allow podcasters more time on other activities that may require your attention as well as give their podcasts a professional feel and sound.
That said, if you’re one of those podcasters who is contemplating whether or not you should outsource the production of your podcast, you may be wondering if it’s worth investing in a professional service or, if you should simply find someone who will produce your podcast for less of an up-front investment
The truth is, it really depends on your budget and what you’re willing to invest into your podcast. If, for example, you’re simply podcasting for a hobby and you’re not truly dedicated to seeing it grow to become a bigger part of your life, then perhaps finding a budget service or even doing it yourself might be your best bet. However, if you’re interested in making your podcast grow, and potentially finding advertisers to make money off your podcast, then perhaps investing in a professional service is the right path to take.
Budget services can include (but aren’t limited to) places like Fiverr.com. Freelancers tend to offer their services on websites like Fiverr and sometimes, you can really find talented producers and audio editors on such websites. While at other times, some podcasters have reported getting the opposite results. The point is, using such services or “budget buys” for your production and audio needs can be a bit of “hit-or-miss”. The best bet, should you choose to use this method to outsource, is to check reviews or referrals. In that manner, you may find a person with good production skills.
Professional services may be a bit pricey, but they may end up being worth the investment in the long run, particularly if you intend to make money off of your podcast. First of all, you know you’re getting a service that employs people well versed in production and audio editing. Secondly, you may be hiring a team of people to help you. Meaning, your podcast won’t be put on hold if someone on the team goes on vacation or gets sick. And lastly, professionals usually come with a lot of experience and advice that they can give you in order to make sure that you and your podcast put your best foot forward.
When making a decision between a budget service or a professional one, just be sure to ask yourself a few questions: do you have the money to invest in a professional service? If your show doesn’t have the best production, how will that affect your goals for your podcast? If you can’t afford a professional service, would it be worth the risk of investing in a budget service?
Remember your goals for your podcast. Is this for fun or, is it to build a relationship with your audience and perhaps build a revenue stream down the line? If the answer is the latter, it is within your best interest to get professionals involved In order to make sure that your podcast is of the highest quality.

Why are so many podcasts doing LIVE shows?

You’ve probably seen it floating past your eyes in your social media feeds: the such-and-such podcast was going to be recording LIVE in this city or that city. Outlets like RadioLab, Crooked Media, Ricochet, and even NPR have all done this: recording a podcast in front of a live audience.
As a podcast host (or, potential podcast host) you might be thinking, “Is this a good idea for me?” The answer isn’t quite so simple. On the one hand, it’s a great opportunity to meet and connect with listeners and potential listeners, as well as gain access to additional revenue. However, putting on a live show requires a different skill set than simply recording in your studio or home studio (as the case may be.)
Also, it’s important to point out that not every podcast has a formula that can translate well to a “live show”. Now, to be clear, one need not have a background in theater or have a podcast about musicals in order to put on a great live show. Not at all. Political podcasts tend to do rather well, contrary to what most may think when conjuring up the idea of a “live show”, due to the attraction to strong personalities in podcast political punditry.
And that gets down to the point. Many things are personality-driven and live shows, even more so. In many respects, we have turned our favorite podcast hosts (regardless of the content) into a sort of celebrity. When we come together to see our favorite podcast live, we are able to mingle with other listeners or, fans.
All of that said, if you can pull off the logistics, manage the budget, and time that it takes to put on a live show, it may well be worth it. The biggest benefit again would have to be the physical connection to your audience. Podcasting is about building a relationship with your listeners and meeting them in a live setting is a great way to become acquainted with those who support you and get their input on what they would like to hear more of, or less of, for that matter. Secondly, it’s a good way to get an additional income stream (from ticket sales) to balance out ad revenue. Plus, if you have merchandise (books, t-shirts, mugs…etc.) sales from those items can also add to your bottom line. This additional income can help you to put on more shows in the future as well as simply continuing your podcast in general.
So, should you do a “live podcast show”? We would recommend taking stock of the content of your show and if you feel that the content wouldn’t translate well in front of a live audience, perhaps think of shaking up the old formula for that one special event. Again, if you can pull off the logistics and stay in budget, it may well be worth your time to go out and meet up with your listeners and have some fun.

How to make your podcast a hit in Apple Podcasts

  • 70% of podcast listeners come through the iTunes app.
  • iTunes charts are mainly designed to be a sort of “tool of discovery.” It rewards podcasts that interact heavily with its subscriber base.
  • The key is creating new content for your listeners. Give them something to interact with on more than just the audio level.
  • There is more to the podcasting medium than simply a chart. The task for every podcaster is to create engaging content but to also help the podcasting medium explore its own potential.

It’s said that around 70% of podcast listeners come through the iTunes app. However, in my opinion, that isn’t a stat that podcasters should focus on. The reason being is that there are so many other untapped avenues to gain new listeners. Plus, leaning toward non-conventional methods of gaining listeners benefits podcasting as a whole. By breaking out of the iTunes box, podcasters are no longer competing for the same set of ears.
That being said, how do podcast charts work on iTunes and shape the listening experience? Well, for one, charts cater to new subscribers and reviews. Like many social media platforms, iTunes benefits from engaging subscribers and keeping them in the platform. Second, the iTunes charts are mainly designed to be a sort of “tool of discovery.” It rewards podcasts that interact heavily with its subscriber base.
So, if the iTunes charts are primarily designed to discover podcasts and are driven by interactions, it’s easy to see how podcasts move up in the charts because they are getting more interactions by moving up in the charts. As such, if you want to move up on the iTunes charts, it only makes sense that you tailor marketing your podcast to the iTunes platform.
To summarize, iTunes charts were not made to showcase the value of your podcast. Its primary objective is to keep subscribers on the platform. Meaning, all podcasts are not receiving equal representation and thus, your podcast may have a difficult time cutting through the clutter and getting heard. While the iTunes charts may provide some with a tool to “discover” more popular podcasts, it also creates a bit of a feedback loop.
How can a new podcast gain new listeners for its audience if it’s not being seen? As stated above, there are so many untapped avenues and non-conventional methods. Making full use of social media platforms or starting a blog are just a few ways. The key is creating new content for your listeners. Give them something to interact with on more than just the audio level. You want to pull them into to your podcast and one of the fastest ways to do that is through grabbing their eye through social media.
Podcasting is a relatively new phenomenon and its potential is only just starting to be realized. There is more to the medium than simply a chart. The task for every podcaster is not only to create engaging content for their audience but to also help the podcasting medium explore its own potential.

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