How to Grow Your Podcast Audience?

Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, the number of listeners each of your episodes receive might be a bit disappointing. After all, you have invested so much time, energy, and even money, yet you are not repeating any benefits yet. But, impossible is nothing, and anyone can grow their audience!

So, how can someone grow their podcast audience? There is so much that a podcaster can do to grow their audience. A few of them include the following:

  1. Improving the quality of your podcast
  2. Utilizing the features that the podcast hosting site provides you
  3. Appealing to your Audience
  4. Networking with other podcasters
  5. Using Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy
  6. Asking your listeners to rate your podcast and leave honest reviews

If you are interested in reading how you can grow your audience by using these eight methods, then make sure that you continue reading this blog post.

How to grow your podcast audience?

There are so many ways and methods that you can use to grow your podcast. Today, I am going to talk about six things that you can do to grow your audience.

How to grow your podcast audience- An Audience

These six things are the following:

  1. Improving the quality of your podcast
  2. Utilizing the features that the podcast hosting site provides you
  3. Appealing to your Audience
  4. Networking with other podcasters
  5. Using Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy
  6. Asking your listeners to rate your podcast and leave honest reviews

Now that you have a clear idea regarding the methods that I am going to discuss, let us begin by discussing one of the most basic yet important things that you should be doing in order to grow your audience, which is improving the quality of your podcast.

Improving the quality of your podcast

Improving the quality of your podcast is one of those things that are over said and done in most of the podcasting tips articles, videos, and podcast episodes. But, there is a reason for that.

You are creating audio content, which means that you are only relying on the audio to capture the attention of your listeners. Having bad audio, bad content, or not being available on the popular podcasting platforms is going to affect your audience severely.

So basically, three important things should come to mind when you hear the phrase “improving the quality of your podcast”. These important things are the following:

  1. The quality of your podcast’s audio
  2. The quality of your podcast’s content
  3. Your podcast’s discoverability 

Now, I am not going to discuss each of the three elements in detail because I have already talked about them a lot. I will just give you an overall on what should be done and why, then I will link you to the posts where I have discussed these elements in detail.

First up, we have the quality of your podcast’s audio!

Improve the quality of your podcast’s audio

When I say improve the quality of your podcast’s audio, I am talking about more than just any external microphone. Things like the quality of your microphone, whether you edit your episodes or not, and if you use pieces of equipment like a mixer and a pop filter, all affect the quality of your audio.

I have created a blog post where I talk about which pieces of equipment you should use if you are on a tight budget, as well as if you are a professional with a big budget. So, make sure you read my The Best Podcasting Equipment blog post.

The Best Podcasting Equipment

Not all pieces are essential, but you should at least have a microphone that is decent in quality, and you should edit your episodes as well to improve the quality of your listener’s experience.

When it comes to editing, you can use the following software:

  • GarageBand, if you are editing your podcast on an iPhone, iPad, ore a MacBook.
  • BandLab if you are editing your podcast on an Android phone.
  • Audacity if you are editing your podcast on a laptop or a MacBook.
  • Spreaker Studio if you are editing your podcast on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android

Improving the quality of your podcast’s content

Quality content is what makes people come back to your podcast every time you to release a new episode. If people feel like you are wasting their time with bad content, then they are going to click away and search for a different podcast to listen to.

People might be clicking away because you have not organized your thoughts and information properly, which can be easily fixed if you start to outline, mind mapping, or even scripting your episodes before you hit the record button.

If this is a problem that you are always facing, then I highly recommend that you check out my Should You Script Your Podcast and How to Write A Podcast Script blog posts.

Should You Script Your Podcast?
How to write a podcast script

Other things that can improve your podcast’s content quality is picking and sticking to a particular niche and catering your content to your audience.

In other words, you should strive to make content that appeals to your audience. This is something that I will discuss in detail in this post, so make sure that you continue reading this article.

Make your podcast available on more podcasting platforms

You can easily improve your podcast’s discoverability by diversifying the different podcasting platforms that your podcast is on. People listen to podcasts on different apps, and they won’t typically download a specific app just to play one podcast.

Luckily, podcast hosting sites makes your life so much easier because they make the process of having your podcast in different podcasting platforms so much easier and more efficient.

There are two major platforms that you should have your podcast on. These two platforms are the following:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Spotify

Apple Podcasts

Apple Podcasts is currently the number one podcasting platform. It is actually the one that started it all. Do not worry, though; you do not have to be an Apple user in order to have your podcast on Apple Podcasts.

If you want to learn more about how you can submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, then make sure that you follow the steps that I have mentioned in my How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts blog post.

How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts?

Spotify

Did you know that Spotify has more than one hundred million subscribers? They are not only distributing music, though; they also distribute ASMR content and podcasts. With the number of people using this app, it should be a no-brainer why you should have your podcast on this platform as well.

If you want to learn more about how you can submit your podcast to Spotify, then make sure that you read by step by step guide to having your podcast on Spotify by reading my article on it here.

How to Publish A Podcast on Spotify?

There are other big players that you should consider as well. Those are:

  1. Google Podcasts ( although not everyone can be on it currently)
  2. Stitcher

Google Podcasts

Google is attempting to make podcasts a first-class citizen on its search results.

This is such an enormous power move, because like what Zack Reneau-Wedeen has said, “You’ll be able to search for and play podcasts directly in Google Search across Android, iOS, and desktop browsers, a step toward making audio a first-class citizen across Google.” – Search Engine Land

To learn more about how you can attempt to get your podcast on Google Podcasts, then read my Can My Podcast Appear in Google’s Search Results blog post.

Can My Podcast Appear in Google's Search Results

Stitcher 

Stitcher is yet another popular podcasting platform. What makes this platform unique is that it caters to Android users since they can not download Apple Podcasts on their phones. However, Stitcher is available for both iOS and Android phones.

Utilizing the features that your podcast hosting site provides you

Your podcast hosting site is probably providing you with a lot of essential features that can help you grow your podcast audience that you do not even know about!

So, today, I will be sharing with one of my favorite features that I had discovered when I was researching for my How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site blog post. 

How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site

Before I start talking about this feature that is provided by an individual podcast hosting site, I highly recommend that you read again what your podcast hosting siting is providing you with for your membership plan and see what you are missing out on.

Now, let us talk about this fantastic feature or tool the podcast hosting site “Simplecast” offers to their podcasters! If you are not new to this website, then you know that the feature or tool that I am talking about is the Recast Tool.

But what is the Recast Tool, and what makes it so marvelous and unique?

You see, the Recast Tool allows you to only share specific clips of your podcast on social media, but also allows you to schedule them as well! If you use the Recast Tool and use the correct hashtags, you are bound to grow your podcast audience.

A podcast that often uses the Recast Tool is The Pilot Podcast.

How to Promote Your Podcast- Simplecast's Recast tool
The Pilot Podcast’s Instagram

If you click on the link that I have provided, you will realize that the snippet is not just a photo. Instead, it is actually a snippet of the episode’s audio, which allows people to learn more about you and your content without leaving the app that they are using.

If they end up loving it, then congratulations on gaining new podcast subscribers.

But, what if you are not using Simplecast as your podcast hosting site and you are not interested in changing your current podcast hosting site.

To that, I say that the majority of the features and tools offered by any podcast hosting site are things that you can do yourself. These tools just make your life more convenient.

So, if you like this feature, guess what. You can always DIY it. Well, it takes more time? Yes. Is it a beneficial marketing tool? Yes.

Appealing to your Audience

This is something that is related to improving your podcast’s quality because one way you can up the quality of your podcast is by creating useful content that caters to your audience.

You should stick to your niche

When you run any project, whether it is a business, a website, a YouTube channel, or a podcast, you are typically better off creating content or products that are in the same niche.

How to Grow Your Podcast Audience- Niche

For example, if you run a podcast that is in the health and fitness niche, you should not be creating podcasts that are more related to the business niche. If you keep on producing content that is not related to your niche, you will actually lose your audience instead of growing it. Why?

People who have subscribed to your podcast are interested in learning more about whatever sub-niche you have picked in the health and fitness and not how to grow their business.

Some might say that the business niche is what they want to do, which is why they are slowly transitioning to that niche. If you’re going to switch lanes, then that is your call to make.

However, you should be honest with your audience and tell them about that. You should also change the title of your podcast, its description, and the cover art if you do not want to start a are podcast from scratch, although I recommend that you just start a new podcast that is in the business niche.

Why should you address the change in your content? It is kind of related to knowing who your audience is, engaging with your audience, and catering to what they are interested in. I will talk about these three points next.

But why you should change your podcast’s title., description, and cover art or even launch a new podcast when changing your podcast’s niche?

It is also related to the same three reasons I have just mentioned. You want your target audience to find you. Those interested in listening to you talk about business won’t find you if your podcast is in the health and fitness category.

You should know who your audience is

This basically a continuation of sticking with a niche. Now, you should know a little bit about your audience because your content is going to attract people who are interested in that niche.

However, that is not what I mean when I say that you should know who your audience is. What I mean is, know who your demographic is! Which age range listens to your podcast the most? Where are they from? What are their goals?

All of that information is going to help you create content that is going to suit your audience best. This will keep them coming back to your podcast whenever you post a new episode, and they might even recommend your show to other people.

But how can you get such information?

Well, you can get some of these answers from an analytics dashboard, but the rest you will have to get by engaging with your audience.

You should engage with your audience

You must engage with your audience in order to be able to get the information you need that is going to help you expand and upgrade your content, which ultimately means building a more significant, loyal following to your podcast.

But that is not the only reason why you should engage with your listeners.

With content creating evolving every few years, it is evident that people are becoming more interested in and accustomed to developing some sort of connection with the content creators whom they love and enjoy watching and listening to.

How to Grow Your Podcast Audience- Engage

By engaging with your audience on social media and creating polls where you can get their opinions on something, you are going to be able to strengthen your relationship with your audience, which is what every business strives to do.

You will also be able to attract more people to check out your content! Are you noticing how almost everything is connected? Speaking of connections, you should understand how beneficial it is to have an established niche, know who your audience is, and of course, why you should engage with them.

All of that is going to allow you to cater to your audience content that they are interested in.

You should cater to what your audience is interested in 

Now, I am not saying that you should forgo any creative endeavors or ideas that you have in mind for your podcast.

I am just saying the knowing as much information about your audience is going to allow you to tailor your content specifically for them, which is how you are going to grow a loyal following.

By doing something as simple as asking them what they are interested in to listen to next at the end of your episodes, you are going to understand why exactly are they subscribed to you.

Not only are these suggestions going to help you when you feel like you have run out of ideas, but they will also make the listeners feel closer to you whenever you take their suggestions and turn them into actual episodes!

You should observe which episodes are receiving the most attention

Your analytics dashboard is your best friend. You have previously used it to learn more about your demographics, and now you are going to use it to see which episodes and what type of content your audience is more gravitated too.

This is going to give you another indicator about what people are most interested in because not all of the downloads and listens you get are from people who are subscribed to you.

So by noticing the type of content that people who listen to podcasts in your niche are interested in, you can create more content catering to that need and thus grow your audience.

Networking with other podcasters

A great way of growing as a podcaster, which then allows your podcast itself to grow, is to network with other podcasters.

The more you see your fellow podcasters as peers, mentors, or friends and not just a golden ticket to get more podcast listens and downloads, the more you are going to grow and develop as a person and as a podcaster.

Think of networking as building friendships and connections. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be a guest on someone else’s post, though this could work as well.

You can simply build a relationship with other podcasters where you can help each other out in ways that the audience does not see, then later on work on certain projects together or become a guest and make another podcaster a guest on your show.

If you are interested in learning more about inviting someone to be a guest on your podcast, then I highly recommend that you check out my Do Podcast Guests Get Paid blog post.

Do Podcast Guests Get Paid?

I also discuss the power of networking in that post, so make sure that you read it if you are interested in learning more about it.

From my own experience, networking is such an important thing to do to build strong and reliable relationships with people whom you appreciate their content and work ethic.

It also tends to be more valuable when you focus on building genuine relationships, rather than just collaborating to gain a few more subscribers.

Using Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy

If you want your podcast audience to grow, then you can run away from your marketing duties. Luckily, I have discovered and a fantastic way of doing so, and that is my implementing Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy.

The Ninja podcast marketing strategy could be divided into five different significant steps. They are the following:

  1. Searching for an active forum or an active Facebook group that is related to your podcast’s niche.
  2. Getting in contact with the forum’s owner or the Facebook group’s owner.
  3. Conducting an interview with the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group.
  4. Publishing your interview episode with them on your podcast.
  5.  Sending them a message where you thank them and share with them the link to the interview.

Step one: Searching for an active forum or an active Facebook group that is related to your podcast’s niche

How to Promote Your Podcast- Forums and Facebook Groups

Forum

If you want to find a forum that is related to your podcast’s niche, then all you have to do is open Google and type forum: “Insert your keyword here”.

Let us continue assuming that you are running a health and fitness podcast, and you want to find an active forum that is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. In that case, you will open Google and type in the following:

forum: living a healthy lifestyle

Now, hit the search button and take a look at the search results. You are most likely going to see many forums that are related to your podcast’s niche.

Pick the ones you like the most, and check if they are active and that they have a decent number of members in them. Of course, join the forum and interact with the people in it.

Facebook Group

If you want to find a Facebook group that is related to your podcast’s niche, then all you have to do is open Facebook and type in the search bar groups named “Insert keyword.”

Let us continue assuming that you are running a health and fitness podcast, and you want to find an active Facebook group that is dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. In that case, you will type in the following:

groups named living a healthy lifestyle

Now, hit the search button and take a look at the search results. You are most likely going to see many FB groups that are related to your podcast’s niche.

Pick the ones you like the most, and check if they are active and that they have a decent number of members in them. Of course, join the FB group and interact with the people in it.

Step two: Getting in contact with the forum’s owner or the Facebook group’s owner

Interact with the members for a while before you contact the forum’s or the FB group’s owner.

PS: The Admin of the page is not always the owner of the page. However, they often have access to the owner’s contact information.

On a forum, you could either find a contact button somewhere on the page, or you can find it reading through the forum and searching for someone who has the word Administrator or Admin under their names.

It is actually very easy to find the Admin of a Facebook group. All you have to do is go to the group page, look for the word “Members” and click on it. A drop-down tab will appear, so all that is left for you to do is click on the word “Admin”.

On a Facebook group, go to the group page and click on the word Members, then click on the Admin that is going to appear in a drop-down window.

Step three: Conducting an interview with the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group

Congratulations on getting the owner’s contact information. Now can finally contact them and send them an invitation to come on your podcast. Here is the thing, this interaction must be a two-way street. This means that both of you should benefit from something out of it.

When you are contacting them, make it clear that the owner is going to benefit from this as well. There are so many things that you can do to make them interested in collaborating with you, like praising them for their achievements and telling them how excited you are to talk about why and how they created this forum.

You should also mention that you are interested in hosting a giveaway for the forum or FB group’s members, where you are going to share gift cards and copies of your ebook.

Step Four: Publishing your interview episode with them on your podcast.

This step is very simple. Just edit the interview episode and upload it.

Step Five: Sending them a message where you thank them and share with them the link to the interview

When the episode goes live, it is time for you to either email, text, or message the owner of the forum or the Facebook group whom you have interviewed to thank them for coming on your podcast. You are also going to send them the link to the podcast episode that they were featured on.

The owner of the forum or the Facebook group will then share that episode on their forum or FB group. This means that a lot of people who are passionate about the niche that you are recreating content in are going to click on that link, listen to your interview, and possibly subscribe to you!

Asking your listeners to leave a review and rate your podcast

If you are underestimating the power of having many reviews and ratings, I want you to think about why companies sometimes pay people or send them free things in exchange for a review. The answer is exposure!

Now, paying someone to leave a positive review is a shady business, and I am absolutely against that. However, I want you to think about why these businesses are doing so.

Imagine going on Amazon to buy a new microphone for your podcast. Would you be more persuaded to buy a microphone that has one hundred reviews with an average of a four stars rating, or would you buy the microphone that has one five stars review?

You will probably go for the one that has more reviews and a good rating. Believe it or not, some people actually read the reviews and consider the show’s ratings before they subscribe to a podcast.

So by asking your audience to leave a review and to rate your podcast, you are indirectly working on attracting more people to subscribe to you.

Another reason why you should do that is to get noticed by Apple Podcasts! Do you know how Apple Podcasts recommends and features certain shows on its browse page? It is because of the great reviews and ratings these podcasts are receiving!

If you are chosen to be on Apple Podcast’s browse page, then you are going to be easily discovered by so many people who are interested in the niche that you are creating content in!

Other questions related to Grow your podcast audience

How to make your podcast unique?

There are many things that you can do to make your podcast unique. A few of them would include your podcast’s format, production quality, niche, and your personality.

You can learn how to make your podcast unique by reading my blog post on it here.

How to get my podcast sponsored?

The first thing that you should focus on before seeking a sponsor is growing your audience. Why? Because most sponsors prefer to sponsor podcasts that have at least a few thousand listens per episode per month. That number could be lower if you have a podcast that is in a very unique niche, and you have a very engaged and passionate audience.

I highly recommend that you read my step-by-step guide to getting​ your podcast sponsored blog post to learn in more detail about how you can get your first sponsorship!

That’s it for today’s post. You should now know a couple of strategies that you can use to grow your podcast’s audience. If you still have any questions regarding today’s topic, then feel free to email me at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com.

My Sources

Till next time,

Ayah

Ayah Assem

I am a creator and a consumer of many forms of artistic content. With podcasting leaving its mark and declaring its significance in the current content world, I have decided to learn everything related to how to create a podcast. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will start uploading and sharing my creative work in the audio format. Join me on my journey of understanding the podcasting world, as I will be sharing with you all of the information that I am going to learn. Feel free to share with me your podcasting journey at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com and keep an eye on all of the music, books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and YouTube channels that I always reference.

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