Podcasts don’t just explode in popularity overnight all on their own. While it might seem like some podcasters get hordes and hordes of traffic for no apparent reason, that’s simply how things appear on the surface. Just about every successful podcast required a lot of pushing in the background.
Building a successful podcast entails building your audience one step at a time. It involves using traffic tactic after traffic tactic to get more and more people to pay attention to you. Building an audience takes effort.
Fortunately, when you invest your efforts in the right things, your podcast can grow quickly. Here are ten of the top ways you can promote your podcast.
#1: Get on iTunes
iTunes is by far the largest podcasting directory on the internet. It’s where the vast majority of podcast listeners go to find and subscribe to podcasts. If you want to build a major podcast, getting on iTunes is not optional.
Getting on iTunes is a relatively simple process. All you need to do is go through the iTunes podcast setup process in the “Podcasts” tab. Make sure you have a quality blog or site to backup your podcast so you increase the chances of getting approved by Apple.
#2: Call In To Other Podcasts
Other podcasts in your industry will often open up their lines for callers to ask questions or make comments. Get in the habit of calling in to other podcasts. Begin your call by stating your podcast, then ask insightful questions or leave useful comments.
For example, if you run a podcast about health and fitness, you could call into a bodybuilding coach’s podcast and ask: “Hi, this is Mark from the Daily Fitness Podcast and I had a question about self-measuring body fat percentage …”
#3: Go to New Media Expo
New Media Expo is the #1 conference for bloggers and podcasters to meet other bloggers and podcasters. Here you’ll be able to meet other people in your industry, meet people who’ll do joint podcasts with you, meet potential interviewees, meet potential advertisers and be exposed to all kinds of traffic opportunities.
Go to New Media Expo and actively be on the lookout for other podcasters who’re in similar fields as you.
#4: Build a High Traffic Website
Having a strong website can be an incredible boon for your podcast. Your podcast can feed into your website and your website can feed into your podcast.
Build your website’s traffic using guest blog posting, search engine optimization, social bookmarking, social media, paid traffic and any other traffic source(s) you can find.
Talk about your podcast on your website. Have a link to your podcast on your website. Talk about recent episodes in your newsletter. Leverage the power of your web audience to boost your subscriber count.
#5: Publish a Book
Some of the most popular podcasts on the web were first launched because of a book. For example, the extremely popular top-10 ranking podcast show “Freakonomics” was first launched by a book of the same name. Likewise, the top-10 ranking personal finance show by Dave Ramsey was also launched by his successful series of books.
Books can go a long way towards helping you build an audience. It can really establish you as an expert. It can also expose your name to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.
#6: Transcribe Your Podcasts and Turn it into Web Content
Search engines can’t read podcast contents. Even if you have the absolute best content about a specific question or search phrase, if it’s embedded in your podcast, you won’t get any SEO benefit.
That’s why it’s so important to transcribe your podcasts and have it turned into web content. Fortunately, you can find people online to do it for as little as $2 an hour. Once the content is transcribed, you may also consider hiring an online writer to polish it, edit out segments that only make sense in voice and format it into an easy to understand page.
Publish this page alongside your podcast download link. This way search engines can crawl your content. It also gives people something to link their friends to; as it’s much easier to link to a content page than a podcast episode.
#7: Answer Listener Questions by Name
Solicit questions from your listeners, then answer them in your podcast. When you answer their questions, make sure you answer them by first announcing the name of the person who asked the question. For example:
“Next, we have a question from Ben DeMarco. He’s asking what’s the best way to record a podcast in a room that isn’t soundproof. Well Ben, good question …”
This helps people feel like they’re really being listened to. They’re much more likely to retweet your podcast, to post about it on Facebook or to rave about it to their friends.
#8: Submit Your Podcast to Podcast Directories
Though iTunes is by far the largest podcast directory in the field, many of the smaller directories still have a lot of pull. Individually they aren’t as powerful, but when you get your podcast on dozens or hundreds of these smaller directories, you can drive quite a lot of traffic.
Look especially for niche and sub-niche directories. For example, if you run a health podcast about being vegan, look for directories specifically for health or nutrition oriented people. These kinds of directories tend to get the most targeted traffic.