If you're running a podcast but aren't seeing your listenership grow, it could well be that you're just not firing on all cylinders yet.
Don't fret. There are plenty of things you can do to grow your podcast which in turn will have a positive impact on your business.
1) Promote your show all over
It's not enough to have a blog where you promote your show. Tweet about it on Twitter; share your show with friends on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
You can even add the audio to a slideshow and publish it on YouTube. Then there's also your email signature, business card, and business stationary.
The bottom line is that you need to make sure everyone who comes across you and your business knows where to find your show.
2) Look closely at your show title
A clear title is a great way to communicate to anyone looking for a show in your niche that you're out there, contributing content.
If someone sits down at their computer and google's “Dog Training Tips podcast” they'll find The Dog Trainer podcast:
The fictional “Woof Wednesday Podcast” might not do so well because the title is too vague.
Your show title should tell the listener exactly what they're going to get.
3) Make it easy to give feedback
One of the best ways to get people coming back for more is to include them in your show. Services like Skype, SpeakPipe, Google Voice, etc, make it possible for listeners to leave voice comments, or ask questions which you can incorporate into your show.
If you can't get people to get involved like that, encourage them to get involved on Twitter or your blog.
Run competitions or free giveaways to get people involved. The more the merrier.
4) Be passionate & show that in your voice
There's nothing worse than a drab and dreary podcaster. You need to speak engagingly to bring your content to life. Even great information can be a turn off if its delivered in a dry monotone.
5) Produce a great sounding podcast
Three or four years ago you could probably get away with low-fi podcasting with hissing and crackles in the background. What with increasingly sophisticated equipment now available at much lower prices, however, the entry level for podcasting is getting higher. Because a podcasting rig won't cost a fortune to put together, you really have no excuse not to produce better quality shows with higher production values. Good sound is expected.
Many listeners just won't put up with poor quality audio. Today, for example, I really struggled to listen to an episode of one of my favorite shows because of the poor audio. I literally had to force myself to listen to it, even though it's one I look out for every Monday.
6) Write great show notes
If your podcast site doesn't get a lot of traffic you should ensure your show notes are fairly detailed. This will help you get found in Google, particularly if you use keyword phrases that tie in with the kind so questions or information potential listeners to your show might be seeking, because Google likes text, as well as multi media content. In short, show notes are good for search engine optimization.
7) Release an episode regularly
We're creatures of habit. That applies to our listening habits as well as our choice of breakfast cereal. If your audience gets used to episodes coming out on Tuesdays, make sure there's an episode then or thereabouts most weeks. It's okay to miss from time to time. You're not the BBC, after all.
However, there's nothing worse than releasing a show and then waiting six weeks for the next episode. You need to get your listeners in the habit of listening to your show, encouraging them to subscribe, looking out for your new content.
It gets harder to sustain listener-loyalty if you only release episodes intermittently. Out of sight and out of mind, after all!
8.) Ask listeners to recommend your show
There's a good reason lots of podcasters encourage listeners to write a review of the show on iTunes.
As iTunes is the largest podcast directory it's essential to stand out there and 5 star reviews will do a lot to help increase your appeal.
9) Get great show artwork
Just like great audio and recommendations and positive reviews from listeners, great podcast show artwork will also help yo get noticed.
Compare these two:
More to Come
There's so much more to say about podcasting and this list only touches on a bit of it. For more information, watch out for my 105 page ebook How to Launch a Podcast & Grow Your Business which will be out soon.