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Why do some podcasts become more popular than others?

Let’s be honest; the barrier to launching a podcast is pretty low. Anyone can record something on their iPhone and pop it up on iTunes to share with the world. Launching is the easy part, and there are a lot (and we do mean a lot!) of people launching new podcasts every day. So, why do some podcasts become more popular than others? What sets apart a successful podcast from one that fades into oblivion?

The low barrier for podcasting enables many voices and viewpoints to be shared that were previously unable to be heard. But many of them only last a few episodes. Mostly, that’s a by-product of how easy it is to launch a podcast. If you set out to create a podcast with little to no forethought, planning, or execution strategy, you will become overwhelmed and throw in the towel after a handful of episodes. 

Find your niche and speak to your passion

As legendary sales and marketing pro Seth Godin says: “When you seek to engage with everyone, you rarely delight anyone.” He refers to your niche as your minimum viable audience. Instead of speaking to everyone, talk directly to one persona on topics that genuinely interest and intrigue you personally. 

Define and know your ‘Why’ for podcasting in the first place. Your audience will build over time, and it will fill with listeners that desperately want to hear what you have to share with them! If your content does not resonate with what your audience wants to hear in terms of solving problems or inspiring and teaching them how to be successful at what you’re passionate about, you will struggle to grow your audience.

Promotion

For maximal exposure and reach, you will want to list your podcast with the major directories. It’s simple math – the more podcast platforms your show appears in, the more your audience will continue to grow. Here are some of the main podcast directories you need to submit your podcast RSS feed to:

You’ll also need to spend a considerable amount of energy promoting and marketing your podcast. An amplification strategy that promotes each episode within the first 24 hours of its release should be deployed through:

  • Social media posts for your fans
  • Newsletters to your email list 
  • Networking with social media influencers who can share new episodes with their followers
  • Publish show transcripts to your website for your podcast to increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits

High-Quality Production

Not surprisingly, podcasters that deliver great audio quality tend to grow faster audiences and get more downloads than their peers. Here’s how you can stand out:

  • Create an excellent audio trailer that gives platforms a reason to promote your show.
  • Create an intro and an outro.
  • Make show notes that complement each new episode.
  • Marco Arment wrote a fairly definitive microphone guide a few years ago, and we already agree with about 98% of that.
  • Use software like Squadcast to conduct long-distance interviews for better audio quality than Skype.
  • Save audio files in a .WAV format for use in your audio editing software, so you can reduce the risk of “artifacts” showing up in your final mix.

Podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, sometimes years, to build your audience. You need to be in it for the long haul. So long as you are committed, consistent, and delivering high-quality content that is easy for listeners to find, you’ll be well ahead of your podcasting peers!

If you want a jump on the learning curve and get your podcast off the ground with expert help, or if you’ve been podcasting for some time and are ready for a team of production experts to step in, hop on a complimentary discovery session with us! We would love to share our ideas for getting your podcast visibility and success.

We’re helping authors, entrepreneurs, and business professionals bring their authentic voices to eager audiences.

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