Whether you’re starting a podcast for business or personal reasons, it can be a very successful digital marketing tool if used correctly. Podcasting is used by international companies and small businesses alike, all in the hopes of promoting their product or service. Of course, there are some podcasts that succeed and some that simply can’t get off the ground. So what goes into making sure your podcast is a success?
When it comes to podcasting, the work you put in and the quality show that you put out can make all the difference in how successful you are. Listeners are looking for an entertaining show, that is high quality and consistently draws them back each week to hear the latest episode.
As you get started on your podcasting journey, you will shortly learn that a lot of work goes into getting a professional and well-produced show out to your audience. It would be a shame if all your hard work goes unnoticed, and your podcast just doesn’t ‘take off’ as you had imagined.
So whether you are just getting started with your podcast or you are already a few episodes deep, here are 10 must do’s to help you put your podcast on the path toward success and make the process a lot more rewarding!
1. Focus on Your Podcast Topic Niche
As podcasting is on the rise and more and more people are getting into the industry, there are bound to be tons of podcasts already out there with similar topics as yours. With so many other podcasters potentially discussing the same topic as you, it becomes necessary for you to create your own niche. Create something that makes you different from the rest of the podcasters and helps you stand out from the crowd is the best way to draw in listeners are particularly interested in what you have to say.
Finding your niche might take some time, but once you find that one thing that targets a specific audience your podcast will start to grow and become successful. You might have a ton of ideas floating around in your head but instead of expressing all of those ideas in one podcast, rather niche down and put your focus into solving a specific problem for your audience. Find a topic you love, stick to it, and turn it into the best podcast about that specific topic.
Related read: The Benefits and Challenges of Starting Multiple Podcasts
2. Have a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Creating and following a set schedule helps keep your podcast posting consistent, which makes it easier for your listeners to keep track of new episodes. The more consistent you are in publishing new episodes, the more consistently your listeners will tune in to listen to the new content you put out. If your listeners know what to expect and when to expect it, they will be able to work it into their daily, weekly, or monthly routine.
An easy way to always ensure that you have an episode to publish is to create a backlog of episodes done long before the publishing date. A great way to get a lot of episodes ready is to batch record your episodes and get a few weeks of content ready to go. Batching your episodes will help you fill that content bank, save you time, boost your productivity, and conquer consistency.
Related read: The 9 Major Benefits of Batching Your Podcast Episodes
3. Limit Your Episode Lengths
The key when it comes to successful episodes is to make sure that you make it concise and keep your audience entertained. When tuning into a podcast, most listeners are multitasking. Whether that is making food, driving, or even getting some work done all the while listening to their favorite podcast, their attention is already split. That’s why it is important to really consider the length of your episodes. On average, the attention span of listeners is only about 10 to 15 minutes when it’s on the same topic. So if you are looking to keep them glued to the show, you have to make sure that your podcast format is entertaining.
Often times with lengthy, drawn-out episodes there is a lot of unnecessary conversation that can be cut out. The key is to keep your podcast concise, just long enough to say what is needed without all the extra rambling. Create a format and structure for your podcast beforehand, but allow space for yourself to add in information when you’re in the moment. Decide on how long you want your podcast to be, taking into consideration everything you’ll want to say, and then stick to it. Every episode you record should be around the same time limit, varying within only a few minutes so you can again create that consistency your audience desires.
Related read: 5 Steps to Create Listener-Driven Content for Your Podcast
4. Produce a Great Quality Sounding Show
When it comes to podcasting, the sound is all you have. Unless you are doing a video podcast, there’s not a lot of visual elements, so ensuring that you publish an episode that it is of the highest quality is paramount. Luckily for you, there is a ton of great editing software out there to help you edit your show, remove those awkward pauses, and clean up the audio. Of course, starting with the best set up possible is the key to getting a great foundation for your audio. Make sure that you have a great microphone and that you are using high-quality software to record interviews.
Related read: 5 Simple Tips For Improving Your Podcast Sound Quality
If you have a busy schedule, then why not employ a company to handle all of your post-production editing needs. Not only will you get great sounding audio it will also give you back your precious time and allow you to focus on the important things. This way you can create great content, and sit back while your editing team does their magic!
Related read: 14 Best Turnkey Podcasting Software
5. Ask for Help
When push comes to shove, never forget that you can always ask for help. No one knows everything, this includes even the most successful podcasters. Instead of trying to figure it out all on your own why not ask for help from fellow podcasters or even other professionals that have found success in their industries. There’s no better way to improve your podcasting game than by finding a mentor to help guide you through the process.
If you’re struggling with content creation why not find someone to help you, or even better teach you how to overcome your creative block. If you’re struggling to decide which equipment to use, why not read a few of the articles already written by podcasting experts about their recommendations. It’s all up to you how much you want to be doing all on your own, but just remember that there’s no need to go it alone, especially with so many great resources at your fingertips.
Related read: 7 Reasons to Seek Out a Podcast Mentor
6. Engage Your Audience
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: your audience is the most important part of your podcast. They are the reason your show exists and the driving behind its success. So, never ignore your audience! This is definitely something you should live by. If your listeners enjoy your show, they will be sure to contact you through email or social media and any other means they can, this is a grantee. Listeners love being part of the show and appreciate it when you, as the host, engage with them in return.
Take advantage of their willingness to participate and ask for their feedback. Make your audience a part of your process, whether you ask them for content ideas or guest suggestions. It doesn’t matter how you involve them but once you do is when a relationship will start to form and you will build your own podcast community full of people who trust and support your choices.
Related read: 7 Strategies for Building a Strong Podcast Community
7. Actively Seek Out New Listeners
Keep in mind, if you are looking to grow a successful podcast, then you should definitely not be playing the waiting game. Instead, you need to go the extra mile and work to get those new listeners and subscribers to check out your show. The more you actively seek out new listeners, the faster your show will grow.
Having the best podcast out there doesn’t mean you’ll automatically gain more followers every day; it just means that you have something awesome to market to your audience. Use your social media channels, your blog, advertising networks or even PR firms as a few great channels to use to grow your audience. Focus your energy on your niche and grow your podcast brand awareness.
Related read: The 9 Best Podcast Advertising Networks
8. Track Your Progress and Adapt
The best way to track your podcast success is to start, first and foremost, by setting your goals. When you start your show, you should create a goal you want to reach at the end of each month or year of podcasting. Once you have something to work towards, then you’ll be able to create a strategy that you can adapt as you go, according to what works and what you need to tweak along the way.
It’s not always the easiest to track the success of your podcast but luckily most podcast directories share your podcast metrics with you. With your hosting site, you will receive valuable insights into how your podcast has been performing, how much your audience has grown, and if there’s an increase in your engagement. This is a great way to analyze how your podcast is doing and make adjustments to the parts that are not working.
9. Monetize Your Podcast
Although monetizing your podcast is the ultimate goal in the podcasting game, it should not be the main reason that you start. Creating a podcast should be, first and foremost, about sharing authentic content before you can start thinking about monetizing your show. As podcasters, we know that it can become quite expensive and can take up a lot of your time to keep your show on the go. So of course, monetizing your podcast can turn out to be a great solution when it comes to continuing to share your content.
To start on your monetization journey, you can begin by selling advertising placements in your show or getting a show sponsor. This is a great way to bring in affiliate revenue and support your show. Another great option is to draw on your listeners by opening a Patreon account for your show where your audience can donate to support the show. Of course, as your audience grows, you can start to sell your own products and services through the podcast or even offer premium content through a membership site.
Related read: How to Reach Out to a Potential Podcast Sponsor
10. Stay Passionate
To be a successful podcaster, above all else, you have to remember why you started in the first place. Find a way to stay passionate about your podcast, whether you introduce a new unique way to discuss the topic or add in a few new segments to keep the show fresh, it’s all up to you! Passion is something you can’t lose. Your audience will immediately know when you start to lose interest in the show, and so too they will lose interest in return.
If you’ve lost your passion after a long time of podcasting, remind yourself why you started and what has kept you going throughout all the months or years of podcasting. If you can’t find that same inspiration again then it might be time for you to consider ending your podcast or starting a new one, with an entirely new topic. It might just be time to end the season and start a new one. Whichever you chose, make sure to take your passion with you!
Related read: Top 8 Ways to Create Buzz Around Your Podcast