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Podcasting is a fun medium that’s more accessible than blogging. You might have already started a podcast, hoping you would grow your podcast audience quickly and easily.
However, that isn’t always the case. Perhaps you have struggled to find an audience of any description. Or perhaps growth has stalled, and you’re stuck with the same listeners.
This article seeks to help you fix that. Figuring out what has gone wrong and showing you how to grow your podcast audience.
The Reason Your Podcast Has Stalled
There’s a lot of reasons why your podcast might have stalled. Listening to podcasts takes more time than reading a blog post. And for your listeners, there are only so many hours in a day.
Growing your audience may have stalled because you’re talking about a popular subject in an overcrowded market with a lot of competition. Additionally, your marketing may have failed to attract the right crowd. Worse yet, your episodes might be boring.
Podcasting isn’t just about doling out information—it needs to be entertaining information. If you work in a crowded field you need to understand that your listeners will listen (and keep on listening) for the way you describe content, not just the content itself.
With that in mind, here are some simple ways to grow your podcast audience…
1. Study Your Strengths and Weaknesses
One thing you can do to diagnose the reasons why you lack an audience is to write an honest report on what the strengths and weaknesses or your podcast are.
It doesn’t need to be fancy, just functional. Figure out:
- What you do well.
- The assets you have.
- The areas where you’re weak, and how you can address them.
If you’re podcasting about a subject in an overcrowded field, think of what you can do to stand out from the crowd. And when your marketing isn’t working, think of how you can adjust it to better reach your target audience.
If your episodes are boring, think of ways that you can present your content in a more entertaining manner. Even the audio equipment you’re using could have an impact, so check out the best podcasting equipment for beginners.
2. Target a Niche
As mentioned, one of the core issues that may be plaguing your growth is that you’re not standing out in a crowded market. In cases like these, it’s best to have a smaller engaged audience than a larger unengaged one, as they’ll be more likely to evangelize your show.
By targeting a niche—YA (Young Adult) fantasy novels, for example, or board games—you’ll do better with long-term search results. This is because you’ll be better suited to position yourself as a verified expert, or a big name fan on a subject.
The trick is to be niche but not too niche. If your scope is too narrow, not enough people will be searching for the topic. This will lead you to yet another problem with the same end result: no (or very few) listeners.
3. Network With Other Podcasters
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your audience is to network with other podcasters. And that doesn’t mean treating them like a number. We mean that you have to network with people genuinely.
These are your peers, or possibly your friends and mentors. They’re people you look up to, or at the very least respect.
When you network with other podcasters, you can share tips on what worked and what didn’t in terms of audience growth. If you like each other’s content, you can also recommend each other on your separate shows. There’s nothing wrong with propping up the people you like, and it will help you create good networks.
4. Bring Guests Onto Your Show
Another way you can build your audience is by bringing guests onto your show.
These guests might be experts in their field, or members of a community with a big following. If they’ve got their own following, their listeners will absolutely want to hear their thoughts.
They might enjoy your show long enough to stick around for a couple of episodes.
To approach guests, know what you’re looking for in a potential third party. Know what they’re an expert in when you approach them, and be respectful of their time. It’s a professional relationship, and you’ll want to keep it as such, albeit friendly.
Additionally, it’s also recommended that you keep your expectations realistic.
If you’re a small podcast and you want to talk about Game of Thrones, for example, you might be able to get a TV blogger or fantasy fiction expert on your show. But one of the main actors? It’s highly unlikely.
5. Be a Guest on Other Shows
You can also be a guest on other podcasts.
This is where your connections with fellow podcasters will come in handy. Sometimes other podcasts will approach you unannounced, but if you’re on friendly terms with each other you can discuss doing mutual shows together.
You’ll find a lot of folks are willing to engage in this sort of approach, so long as everything is transparent and the topic you’re discussing is relevant to their audience.
6. Engage With the Listeners You Already Have
Lastly, and probably the most important thing you can do, is engage with the audience you already have.
A big reason why people are drawn to podcasts is the conversational nature of them. For listeners, it can feel like they’re part of a chat with close friends. To keep them around, you need them to feel like they’re personally invested in the product.
Solicit questions from your listeners, and answer then on-air. When they comment on your posts, engage with those comments. Give special shoutouts to people who review your work or donate to keeping your podcast running.
Your listeners will become more engaged, and in turn, more likely to recommend your show to others. The power of grassroots networking cannot be overstated.
Good Luck and Happy Podcasting
If you put all these steps into play—and it doesn’t even need to be in this order—you’ll be well on your way to creating a long-term, sustainable audience. Heck, you might be doing some of these steps already, and if so you’re already ahead of the game.
Are you looking for other ways to attract an audience to your podcast? One simple-but-effective way is by using branding. And with that in mind here’s how to create a podcast cover using Photoshop.