If you’re new to podcasting, you may feel that receiving over 150 listeners to one of your episodes is impossible. Good news: it’s actually not!
In the first part of this three-part series on podcasting, I talked about bringing popular guests to your podcast. As discussed in that article, well-known guests can help educate your audience.
That may seem like a no-brainer, but when you have the right individual on your show, the biggest impact they add to your show is listeners. Since iTunes is such an overwhelming catalog of shows, it can be very difficult for someone to decide what’s helpful; this minimizes your chances of bringing in new and continued listeners to your show.
The trick is to get a solid number of listeners during the launch week of the newly released episode.
First off, that first week is your best chance to capture a new audience. The guest you had on your show is likely to share it with his/her audience during that week. Second, more often than not, if you follow the advice from my previous post and have brought on a popular guest, they’re going to have a dedicated following that is going to take action on what they share and further spread the news for you.
A Ton of Listens is the Equivalent of Studying Your Guest
If you are a Gnomie and have the opportunity to listen to the webinar that Chris and I did about podcasting, you would have been able to hear us talk in-depth about the benefit of studying up on your guest before asking them to be on your podcast.
To touch on this briefly, when I study up on a guest, I like to know about their habits, like what they share, how connected their audience is with them, and whether or not they seem like a personable individual.
To be clear, there’s a reason why I interview well-known people and not just any random person. The main reason is because I know others will want to hear advice from an established figure and the second reason is because I know I can learn something from them, too. Nobody wants to hear what I have to say and a solo podcast (in most cases) isn’t going to do well on its own unless you’re an established figure.
For example, when I interviewed Pat Flynn, I knew his audience was connected with him from tracking activity on his blog and seeing how engaged users were on Twitter. His strategies were working for him and he created a brand that was connecting with users and generating revenue. I wanted to learn more from him and I knew others would, too.
Don’t get me wrong. I knew that if he felt like sharing the interview (they will only want to share if you do your job and ask the right questions), the listens would be substantial and it was just that. Afterward, I did email Pat and thank him for the share and the help because, by no means, do I have the reach that he has.
Here’s a screenshot of the listens for the month of July 2012 (we recorded the interview at the end of July, mind you):
For some of you, this may not seem like a lot, but it was more than what I was used to.
Keeping Listeners Beyond the Launch of a New Episode
There’s no way around it, but after the launch of a new episode has passed, your stats are going to go down. That’s why it’s important to find and learn about another individual who may want to be involved in your new “radio” venture.
You need to keep looking and learning about new people for your show in order for it to retain that healthy growth rate while still being able to please your audience. Due to my interview with Pat, I still am seeing a healthy number of listens to the show for the month of August of 2012, but as you can see, the numbers do slide:
This is why you need to stay diligent as a podcaster and find more guests. Finding them is the hard part, but once you get them, it will maintain a nice flow of dedicated listeners to your episodes.
What About Your Older Episodes? (Will Anyone Still Listen to Them?)
Oddly enough, I thought my older episodes would die off, but they haven’t. Having the right guest on and doing a substantial job will lead to those new listeners checking out your other episodes. It’s not rocket science, because it works on its own — plus podcasting is great because your listeners can multitask (unlike with other mediums).
For the month of August 2012, here are my current stats for episodes I’ve recorded:
What’s great in supporting my teaching here is that 13 of my 14 episodes have been listened to this month with 96 total listens and 68 uniques.
This shows that, because of my interview with Pat, I’ve been able to keep my older episodes alive! You want to keep the quality of all your episodes intriguing even as they get older because it further emphasizes the validity of your podcast.
The Podcast is Working by Itself
You’ll begin to notice, after staying consistent and having solid guests, that the number of listens to your episodes will improve on their own. I check my stats every so often and, while some days are better than others, it’s always a promising to see the total number of listens increase each month without doing a new episode each week. What you should be striving for is consistent monthly growth.
So many people are concerned about being featured in iTunes. You can’t control this as it’s all in Apple’s hands. Stick to what you can control and that’s getting good guests and connecting your listeners with their audience. In this scenario, two (one host, one guest) is better than one (host).
Are you currently podcasting and struggling to bring in listeners? If so, share them in the comments and I will help you. Do you have any tips you think should be added to what I already shared? I want to hear them, too!