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April 12, 2020

How to grow your podcast (Beginners Guide 2020)

Getting listeners to your podcast is one of the biggest challenges, especially if you are just starting your podcasting journey. Oftentimes it’s not so big deal to find a few hundreds of dollars for equipment, but it's a much bigger challenge to find a few hundreds of listeners. There are many online services that help you in hosting your podcast episodes or even build shiny online presence for your podcast. But it happens quite often that once you publish your first episode, you realise that nobody is interested in this!? Actually this is just a wrong illusion. Whatever your topic your podcast is, there are hundreds, or even thousands of potential true fans of your podcast in a huge crowd of podcast listeners. According to Edison Research and Triton Digital, there are now 62 million Americans listening to podcasts each week. Great, good to know, but there is one BUT… how to find these true fans? There is too much confusion about how to grow your listeners, too many clickbait articles, useless “SEO optimized” texts and so on.

One and the best advice for you: do not spend a dime on Facebook ads, services of “SEO-Experts” and various promo agencies. This is especially true if you're a beginner and published a few first episodes. These things work, but not for everyone. If you want to gain advantage from these methods, you need to spend a lot of money (we’re talking about thousands of dollars per month).

You should consider organic growth. How? Just be natural, don’t try to find any growth-hacks, concentrate on the quality of your podcast and the listeners will find you. You will need patience, it takes time.

So we spent a few weeks on filtering out the crap and collecting what works for your podcast growth in 2020.

Find your niche.

We assume that you already have the main topic for your podcast. So the next step is to find and get to know your target audience. Your target listener is not everyone who likes to listen to podcasts. You need to find out where your potential listeners exist online. Facebook groups? Twitter? Linked In? Online forums? Quora? Or probably TikTok? You need to find them.

Connect to your potential listeners.

As soon as you identify the places where your target audience engages, you need to do research. It’s not a good idea just to drop a link to your podcast, and simply shout “Hey look I just released my first episode”. You need to infiltrate into an existing community, to become part of it and bring some value to these people. What kind of value? Well, it’s your podcast topic, so we’re pretty sure that you have knowledge about it, so simply share that knowledge with the community, discuss, be friendly and helpful.

The more active you are, the more noticeable your podcast becomes. The one important thing before  building the bridge between you and your listeners is to make it easy to discover your show. Few suggestions what you should do:

  • Create website for your podcast
  • Build up an account on different social platforms. Some social networks works better depending on your topic, but create as many as possible and you will clarify which ones work best for you
  • Post about each new episode for your followers on each social platform you are and don’t forget to use relevant hashtags (Tip: try to avoid the popular hashtags that has been used million times, try to find more niche ones, used tens of thousands times instead)
  • Build an email list and send newsletter about your new episodes for your subscribers regularly 

Reach out to another shows with similar topics like yours, cross-promote with them.

Cross-promotion is one of the most effective podcast marketing strategies. The thing is that listeners are already listening to podcasts, so you skip that barrier if comparing with other promotion ways. Another good point is that if you cross-promote on the show that covers similar topics like you do, you’re already targeting listeners who like such kind of content.

Start with shorter episodes.

Nowadays listener’s attention is valuable, try to avoid hour or few hours long episodes. It’s much more important that people listen to your episodes till the end, than having long episodes with redundant talking. So edit before publishing, cut out not relevant parts and try to stick to 30-minutes long episodes. You will have a chance to publish longer ones as soon as you will build up your loyal fan base.

Ask your guests to promote the podcast episodes they’ve participated in.

It’s not necessary to find any “big name” personas as your podcast guest. We believe that there are many smart and interesting people around you who would love to participate as a guest on your show. Write down all the names on the paper, guests can be your friends, coworkers, experts in some field that you had a chance to meet at some point or even your family members. The more close your guest is, the more easy it will be to convince them to spread the word about your show.

Show notes.

Show notes are an overlooked marketing strategy of podcasts. By creating show notes and posting it on each episode page you repurpose your audio content. Google and other search engines start to index your episode pages and you become even more visible to people who search relevant information online. Being visible within search result pages you also build your newsletter list much faster and over a time you get one more effective channel to communicate with your listeners.

Do you have any questions? 

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