So You Started A Podcast...Now What?
It seems like everyone, including my dog, is starting a podcast these days. It’s a lot of fun and if you do it right, you can create something that resonates with listeners and hopefully makes you some money.
Unfortunately, the odds are you will not make money, and you will likely quit when you realize how difficult it is to come up with great content every week. If you saw that last line and thought, “Well that’s not me!” then keep reading. Here are some tips for growing your podcast and producing a sustainable show.
1. Set Goals
Why are you doing a podcast? Is it for fun? Is it to tell your story or bring light to issues close to you? Is it to make money and become famous? No matter what your answer is, you need to set that goal and stick to it.
2. Learn Monetization
Do you know the terms CPM and Dynamic Insertion? If you really want to get serious about podcasting, you must understand how podcasts make money and set goals for your downloads that will meet the needs of what advertisers are looking for. There is a lot more money being put into podcasting than ever before, but it is not easy to make money. Do your homework and learn about how monetization works.
3. Pick a Great RSS Feed Provider
There are a lot of great RSS feed providers out there and each brings something to the table that you might need. Make sure they offer great stats and are IAB compliant. Also, ask other podcasters what they use and why. Once you get that feed up and running, put your podcast EVERYWHERE podcasts are hosted. Don’t rely on just iTunes and Spotify. Different platforms are preferred by different audiences. Hit them all. I always say if you bake bread, you don’t just put it in one grocery store. You put it everywhere people buy bread. We love Simplecast here at Jam Street.
4. Master Social Media Marketing
I just saw a post in a forum for podcasters where someone asked if they had to be on social media to get listeners. My answer to that is, YES! Social media is still the best show in town for finding an audience. You need to understand the different platforms and the audiences each of them reaches best. Then, you will need to put together a plan for promoting, daily, not just on the day you publish. Also, find groups on places like Reddit for people interested in your topic and interact. Social Media is nothing if you don’t interact with people daily.
5. Edit, Edit, Edit…
Great podcasts sound effortless and smooth because someone took the time to edit and mix the sound. This is not something you will learn by watching a YouTube video. It’s something that takes lots of practice. If you don’t have the time to put into this (and it is time consuming) think about spending some money to hire a producer who can take that off your plate. Nothing is worse than a compelling podcast with horrible audio.
6. Write Great Titles and Descriptions
Searching is the top way people find podcasts. If you don’t write SEO friendly titles and descriptions, you are making it too difficult for people to find you. Don’t put episode numbers and dates in titles. Make sure your most important keywords or guests are first and that you write good, full descriptions that Google will like.
7. Have Fun
At the end of the day, if you are not having fun, your listeners will hear it. Make sure you record when you are in the right state of mind and that whatever you are doing brings you joy. If your podcast is more serious, make sure your listeners can hear how engaged you are with the subject matter. My first PD told me listeners could hear me smile when I talked. Make sure you are doing that for your listeners.
Matty is the former Director of Content at Stitcher, Radio’s first VP of Podcast Programming with iHeartRadio, and is now the President of Jam Street Media in Los Angeles. Find him social media @MattyStaudt.
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