How To Get More Listeners For Your Podcast

featured podcasting   How To Get More Listeners For Your PodcastAt some point in your podcasting career, you’re going to approach the same point as we have: where do we go from here? You’ve built up a solid listener base from friends, colleagues, word of mouth and random visitors – but growth has slowed. Now what?

What can you do to promote your podcast and take it to the next level? Or perhaps you’re just starting a podcast and want to jump in headfirst with as many listeners as possible. Never fear – here are 7 ways to promote your podcast!

Be Introspective, First

It’s all very well coming here and trying to figure out how to get more listeners, but before you do that, take an honest look at your podcast and ask yourself – is it good enough? Perhaps the reason you’ve hit a plateau is because you’re just not compelling. Is there anything you can do to improve first?

Get a Website

If you’ve been running your podcast on one of those “do it all for you” podcast packages that just provide a feed, then stop it. Get a proper website for your blog, something that can be indexed by search engines, contains good quality show notes, and will drive traffic from appropriate keywords. I’d suggest using WordPress myself, and that’s what we use – here’s our free beginners guide to Blogging with WordPress – just install Podpress for a complete podcast publishing platform.

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Get Listed on iTunes

Setup up a feed containing an mp3 file is easy, but if you’re not listed on the iTunes podcast directory then you’re literally throwing away listeners; almost half of Technophilia Technology Podcast fans listen through iTunes and many have found it through iTunes. For the best results, produce a high quality AAC encoded feed with embedded chapter artwork (you can easily do this in Garageband), and be sure to specify a 1400 x 1400 pixel image for your feed artwork if you ever want to be featured (according to the latest Apple guidelines).

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Do the Social Thing

At the very least, a Facebook page – ask existing fans to like it, then that like will appear on their social stream, bringing in new listeners. A Facebook presence also serves as an effective water-cooler for actually communicating with your fans – I don’t think we would have half as much success as we have had without our listener feedback – getting ideas for the show from them, and then just chatting away. Say what you like about branded pages on Facebook – they’re a powerful medium for communicating with fans, and you need one. Be sure to read our complete free Guide to Social Marketing. If you would like to offer exclusive content to fans, such as after-show videos and little bonus clips – I wrote up an easy tutorial a few days ago on how to set up a fan gate without expensive SSL certificates and hosting. Twitter is also a thing, apparently.

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Podcast Directories

The internet used to be full of podcast directories, but most of them are now dead and buried, with new submissions disabled or non-functional websites. It’s not a pretty state. Luckily, some major sites have emerged in addition to iTunes, and you can find out all about them at the Audacity Podcast. Here’s another fairly recent list of Podcasting directories.

Cross Promotion or Advertising Exchange

As a podcaster, one of your greatest assets is your listeners, so introducing them to other podcasts they may potentially enjoy is a great way to cross-promote. Record a minute long promotional piece explaining who you are and what your podcast is about, then approach other podcasts that you personally enjoy to see if they’re interested in cross promotion; smaller podcasters will be happy to get the extra exposure you’re offering.

Guest Appearances

Many podcasts are thankful to have guests on to inject a little fresh content – our own Justin Pot recently appeared on Podcast Squared talking about podcasting (quite meta indeed); and some of our own best episodes have been with guests, such as this week’s with Twitch.TV livestreaming extraordinaire Robert Wiesehan.

I say that tentatively of course, because the episode hasn’t happened at the time of writing, so it may end up really sucking. Sorry.

Get Out of the House

Apparently, people do stuff in the real world sometimes too! I know, right? There are conferences, expos, meet-ups and all manners of meatspaces in which to “mingle”, or whatever those social types do. Just make sure you have some nicely designed and properly printed promo cards, and hand them out to anyone you talk to. Again, Daniel at Audacity has some things to say about this particular topic.

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Do you have any more tips how to get more listeners for your podcast? Then please, post them in the comments, because I for one would welcome the advice. And if you’re interested in a little cross-promotion with us – well, you can use the comments too. Go on, we won’t bite.

Image Credit: ShutterStock – Microphone, ShutterStock – mingle

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6 Comments -

Zhong Jiang

Last but not least, MAKE IT INTERESTING! I prefer speaking in a way that draws out certain emotions in themes like laughter, seriousness, provoking…etc. Depending on the topic you’re talking about, you need to for an perspective of WHO your audience are and make it toward your advantage. Simple stuff like that could really gather your fanbase and loyal people.

James Bruce

Excellent advice, thanks Jiang

Doug Hannah

One of the most common mistakes I hear even the most subscribed-to podcasts make is forgetting that the show is for the audience, not the hosts and guests.

Keeping the conversation focused on areas that are not only interest those being recorded but also to the subscriber is often overlooked. It also means that most 60-90 minute tech podcasts could probably be reduced to 30 just by eliminating the small talk.

You can viral market your podcast all you want, but if it’s not focused (too long, takes forever to get to the point) once people actually listen, they won’t be subscribing.

James Bruce

Hmm, I gotta disagree actually. Overwhelming feedback from our audience suggests that purely sticking on topic is rather boring; they love it when we just “banter” and go off topic. After all, they’re listening because of our personalities, not what we’re talking about specifically. It depends upon the type of podcast though, certainly.

macwitty

But do not your audience love “when we just “banter” and go off topic” as long as they feel you do it for them – they are still important? I have listening to some when I feel this but stopped listening to other when I feel they exclude me with many internal references that no one else can know.

MakeUseOf TechGuy

That’s a fair point too. References to things on the chatroom can be quite exclusional. It’s a tough balance though, between appealing to everyone, and keeping your core audience happy. I doubt we at Technophilia have that balance right, to be honest.