How to Increase Your Podcast Downloads: 5 Tested And Proven Methods


Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, congratulations on finally having your podcast up and running. However, you might be now facing a new struggle, which is not having many downloads.

Is there a way for you to increase your podcast downloads and grow your audience? The answer is yes!

How to increase podcast downloads? Here are five of the tested and proven methods that will increase podcast downloads:

  1. Improving the audio quality of your podcast
  2. Having a cohesive and an attractive cover art the conveys your podcast’s message
  3. Having your podcast available on every podcasting directory
  4. Coming up with and sticking to an upload schedule; aka, staying consistent
  5. Implementing Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy

If you want to grow your podcast listeners, then make sure to continue reading this post to learn more about these actionable tips and methods that I have just briefly mentioned.

How to increase podcast downloads?

There are so many proven methods that you can use to boost your podcast downloads and grow your audience. Today, we will only be focusing on five tested and proven methods to increase your podcast downloads. They mostly focus on the following features:

  • Your podcast’s audio quality
  • Your podcast’s cover art
  • Your podcast’s availability to the audience
  • Your consistency with your content
  • A fantastic podcast marketing strategy

Now that you have a clear idea about what these proven podcasting methods are, let us start by discussing the first one, which is improving the audio quality of your show.

Method no. one: Improving the audio quality of your podcast

A few years ago, running a podcast using your laptop’s built-in microphone might have been okay. However, if you do this now, many people might end up clicking out of your podcast episode and begin searching for another podcast in the same niche that has better audio.

That being said, using a good external microphone is not the only thing that you can do to improve the audio quality of your podcast. Doing things like editing your audio and using a pop filter while recording your episodes all play a massive role in enhancing the audio quality of your show.

If you are a newbie to the podcasting scene, I have created a blog post where I mention great pieces of podcasting equipment that would be great for you if you have a small budget. You can check out these pieces of equipment by reading my The Best Podcasting Equipment blog post.

The Best Podcasting Equipment

If you are interested in pieces of equipment that are categorized according to function, as well as whether it is suitest best for beginners, intermediate, or professionals, then feel free to check out my recommendations for podcasting equipment.

Podcasting Equipment

Now, you do not have to invest in and use all of the podcasting pieces to have good audio quality, but at least get a good microphone.

The next thing that you should be doing to improve your podcast’s audio quality and up your listeners’ experience is editing your episodes.

Here are a few audio editing software and applications that you can use to edit your podcast.

  • GarageBand: This is a great software and application that you can use to edit and record your podcast if you have a Macbook, an iPad, or an iPhone. I actually have an entire post dedicated to helping podcasters use Garageband to record and edit your podcast. 

If you want to learn how to use Garageband to record and edit your podcast, then check out my How to Record And Edit A Podcast in Garageband blog post.

How to Record And Edit A Podcast in Garageband?
  • Audacity: This is a great software that you can use to edit your podcast if you have a Macbook or a laptop.
  • BandLab: This is a great application that you can use to edit your podcast if you have an Android phone.
  • Spreaker Studio: This is a great software and application that you can use to edit and record your podcast if you have a Macbook, a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, or an Android phone.

Method no. two: Having a cohesive and an attractive cover art the conveys your podcast’s message

There is denying that many people actually end up judging things based on looks, so we must ensure that our podcast’s cover is good, captivating, strong, and cohesive enough visually communicate what your podcast is about.

A part of this cohesiveness means that your podcast’s cover art should be screaming personal branding.

This could be done by using elements that are going to represent you and your podcast perfectly. By doing that, you are going to make your podcast’s cover art look unique, captivating, strong, and cohesive enough to communicate your podcast’s message visually.

If you feel kind of stuck in the grey, and you do not have any ideas on what your podcast’s cover art should look like, then you can google other podcasts that are in a similar niche as yours for inspiration.

Once you gather your ideas, you can then send your ideas to the graphic designer who is going to work on your artwork. If you do not have the budget to hire a graphic designer, then you can do one yourself using Canva.com.

For a step by step guide on how you can create your own cover art for your podcast when you have no graphic designing skills, make sure to check out and save my How to Make A Great Podcast Cover Art blog post.

How to Make A Great Podcast Cover Art?

A simple cover art can be unique, captivating, strong, and cohesive enough to communicate your podcast’s message visually, so do not worry about not having any graphic designing skills. I will prove it to you by using a case study.

In this case study, I will show you the cover art of a podcast and explain how it is super unique and on-brand for its creators despite it being super simple.

The podcast that I am going to be discussing today is, of course, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. If you are a returning reader, then you must know that this podcast is one of my favorites!

The Podcast cover art case study: Happier with Gretchen Rubin’s cover art

Let us start by looking at and observing the elements that make up the cover art of Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

The cover art of Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Let us start with basics, which is the title of the podcast. From the title, we can conclude that this is a self-help or productivity type of a podcast that is about how one can live a happier life. That title is a smart one, but what else can we notice?

There are two major things that I want you to think about. They are the following:

  1. How does the title placement make this a fantastic cover art?
  2. Why did they choose these colors and elements specifically?

Let us start with their designer’s choice of making the background of the cover art yellow. It is actually the perfect choice for this podcast because Yellow is recognized as a color that makes people feel happy when they see it.

Up next, we have the circle element that is blue in color, but why did the designer choose to use a circle and make it blue?

A quick Google search cleared that up for me. One reason why the designer might have wanted to make the circle is blue because yellow and blue are considered to be complementary colors.

Okay, but why did the designer choose to use a circle?

Well, I want you to take another look at the cover art of Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Have you noticed the brilliant idea that the graphic designer came up with and implemented?

When people are happy, they smile. The word happier from the podcast’s title Happier with Gretchen Rubin stretched and curved inside the circle to make it resemble a smile, which explains why it is white.

Since happier is curved into a smile, then this means the graphic designer chose the circle to represent the face of a person, a smiling person.

As you can see, all it takes is a unique idea, and you will be able to make the simplicity of your podcast’s cover art stand out and attract more of your target audience to subscribe to and download your podcasts epsidoes.

Method no. three: Having your podcast available on every podcasting directory

One obvious way that you can boost your podcast downloads is to improve your podcast’s discoverability. A very simple and important way of doing so would be by having your podcast on as many podcasting platforms as possible.

If your podcast is available on only one podcast player that is not that popular, people are less likely to discover you. Even if they do, not a lot of people are going to download a new app just to listen to your podcast.

So, you should have your podcast on the biggest podcasting platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Thankfully, podcast hosting sites make the tedious task of submitting your podcast show to podcasting directories so much easier and time-efficient.

Here is why you should at least have your podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Spotify

Right now, the majority of people who listen to podcasts do so on Spotify. Yup, Spotify has officially snatched Apple Podcast’s number position as the number one podcast player.

So, with more podcast listeners being active on this application, your podcast is more likely to get more streams if it is on Spotify.

Make sure to read my How to Publish A Podcast On Spotify for a step on step guide on how you can easily do that.

How to Publish A Podcast on Spotify?

Apple Podcasts

Although Apple Podcasts is no longer the number podcasting Platform, it is still number two and is one of the best podcast players for Apple users. It is also my favorite podcast player.

Luckily though, you do not have to be an Apple user to get your podcast on Apple Podcast. To learn all about how you can get your podcast on Apple Podcasts, make sure to read  How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts blog post.

How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts?

Method no. four: Coming up with and sticking to an upload schedule; aka, staying consistent

Consistency is key. If there is one thing that an audience dislikes, it is having their favorite content being inconsistently released.

Why?

Well, many people like to listen to podcasts while doing other tasks in their lives like walking their dogs, working out, and commuting. They typically listen to a particular podcast while doing a particular thing. So, let us assume that you run a weekly show.

Maybe people listen to your show while meal prepping their week’s meals on a Saturday. This means that if you miss your schedule, those people won’t listen to your show while meal prepping.

This is going to make them listen to something else, and if that inconsistency continues, they might look for another show to listen to while meal prepping. This means that you might potentially get lets episode downloads and streams.

That is why it is super important to come up with a schedule that suits you best, make it known to your audience, and stick to it.

Do you need help figuring out how often you should publish a new episode? Well, there are three main questions that you should ask your self. They are the following:

How often should I podcast?- The three Q's related to how often one should podcast

If you want more help with that, feel free to check my How Often Should I Podcast blog post.

How often should I podcast

Method no. five: Implementing Pat Flynn’s Ninja marketing strategy for podcasts

One of the best-proven techniques that you can use to grow your audience is implementing Pat’s Ninja marketing strategy for podcasts. It is basically a proven way for you to grow your audience by interviewing someone on your podcast who has experience in your niche.

Pat’s Ninja marketing strategy for podcasts can be divided into five steps. These steps are the following:

  • First, you will search for an active forum or an active Facebook group. The forum or the group should be related to your podcast’s niche.
  • Next, you will contact the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group.
  • Then, you will conduct an interview with the forum’s owner or Facebook group’s owner.
  • After that, you will publish your interview episode with the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group on your podcast.
  •  Finally, you will send the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group an email or a Facebook message, thank them, and share with them the link of the interview episode.

Step one: Search for an active forum or an active Facebook group. The forum or the group should be related to your podcast’s niche.

Forums and Facebook Groups

Forum

To find forums that are related to the niche of your podcast, then follow these directions:

  1. First, pen Google
  2. Then, type in forum: “Insert your keyword here”.

I am going to assume that you run a gardening podcast. This means that you want to search for and find an active forum that is dedicated to talking about gardening. So, open google and type in this:

forum: gardening

After you type that in, just hit the search button and look at the results. Don’t worry, no matter what niche you are in, you will find many forums that are related to the niche of your podcast.

Pick the forum that you like the best, then check if it is active. Of course, make sure that the forum has a decent number of members in it. Once you settle on a particular forum, join it and begin interacting with its members.

Facebook Group

To find Facebook groups that are related to the niche of your podcast, then follow these directions:

  1. Open Facebook
  2. Type groups named “Insert keyword” in the search bar

Let us continue assuming that your podcast is in the Gardening niche. This means that you are looking for an active Facebook group that is dedicated to gardening. In that case, just type in the following:

groups named gardening

After you type that in, just hit the search button and look at the results. Don’t worry, no matter what niche you are in, you will find many Facebook groups that are related to the niche of your podcast.

Pick the Facebook group that you like the best, then check if it is active. Of course, make sure that the group has a decent number of members in it. Once you settle on a particular Facebook group, join it, and begin interacting with its members.

Step two: Contact the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group.

Before attempting to contact the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group, try to join and interact with the members a couple of times.

By the way, sometimes, the Admin of the page is not actually the owner of the page. However, the Admin usually knows and had the owner’s contact information.

To find the Admin of a forum, you should look for the contact button that can be found somewhere on the forum’s page, or you can find them by scrolling down the forum and looking for a member who has the word Admin or Administrator under their names.

In order to find the Administrator of the Facebook group, just visit the group page and search for the word Member, then click on it. When a drop-down tab opens, just click on the word Admin. See, it is even easier to find the Admin of a Facebook owner that it is to do the same task in a forum.

Step three: Conduct an interview with the forum’s owner or Facebook group’s owner.

Now that you finally have the contact information of the owner of the forum or the Facebook group, it is time for you to contact and send them an invitation to be a guest on your podcast.

But, you must do this in a way that the guest whom you are inviting sees this interaction as a two-way street opportunity. This basically means that both the guest and you are going to benefit from this interview.

You can do that by making sure that your message showcases how the owner is going to benefit from this interview as well. Of course, make sure to mention and praise the owner’s achievements as well. You can also say that you are interested in sharing the owner’s story with your audience.

Another great incentive that you can put in your message is that you are interested in giving away free copies of your book or even gift cards for those who are part of the owner’s forum or Facebook group.

Once they agree to do this, conduct the interview for your podcast.

Step Four: Publish your interview episode with the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group on your podcast.

Now that you have recorded the episode, it is time for you to edit it and upload it according to your podcast upload schedule.

Once the episode goes live, it finally time for you to do the final step, which is sending the owner a message to thank them for doing the interview as well as the link to the episode.

Step Five: Send the owner of the forum or the owner of the Facebook group an email or a Facebook message, thank them, and share with them the link of the interview episode.

Once the episode finally goes live, you are going to write the owner of the forum or the owner of Facebook and email or a Facebook message to thanks them for taking the time to record with you such an amazing interview.

You are also going to include the link to this particular podcast interview in the message as well.

The owner will then share this episode link on their forum or Facebook group, and since many passionate people are in this group, they will check out what the creator of the forum or Facebook group had to say in this interview.

This is not only going to increase the number of downloads this episode is going to get, but also increase the number of subscribers your podcast has.

Other questions related to how to increase podcast downloads

How to grow your podcast audience?

There are a lot of things that a podcaster is capable of doing to grow their audience. Six of them include the following things:

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

If you want to read more about these six tips that are going to help you grow your podcast audiences, then make sure that you read my How to Grow Your Podcast Audience blog post.

What are the best podcasting practices?

There are many great practices that every podcaster should implement. Seven of the best podcasting practices are the following: 

  1. Being informative and fluff-free
  2. Being consistent
  3. Editing the podcast’s audio
  4. Being prepared 
  5. Getting a podcasting host 
  6. Keeping the audience’s experience in mind 
  7. Optimizing the podcast

Dive deep into the realm of understanding how these podcasting practices are going to up your podcasting game by checking out my 7 Podcasting Best Practices blog post.

How to pitch your podcast?

Before you pitch your podcast, you should have a podcast press kit. Once you have that, you can pitch your podcast. Make sure that your pitch is simple, relevant, and personal.

Are you interested in understanding what a podcast press kit is, what it should include, and how it can help you pitch your show? If your answer is yes, then make sure that you check out and read my How to Pitch Your Podcast blog post.

How can podcasts help you grow your audience?

There are a lot of reasons why business owners are starting their own podcasts these days. Here are eleven reasons why should start a podcast to grow your business: 

  1. Audio seems to be Google’s next favorite content format
  2. It is a content format that is easier to stay consistent with
  3. Podcasting allows you to have an extra stream of income
  4. Podcasts are currently trendy
  5. Podcasts tend to have a high convertibility rate
  6. Podcasts help you spread brand awareness
  7. Podcasts help you improve your communication skills
  8. It aids in building and nurturing a good relationship with your audience
  9. Having a podcast helps you build authority
  10. Podcasts are less competitive than YouTube 
  11. Podcasting creates great networking opportunities

You can learn more about these reasons in detail by checking out and reading my 11 Ways Podcasts Can Help You Grow Your Business blog post.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now know five different proven methods that you can use to grow your podcast downloads. To sum it up, the five proven methods that we discussed today are the following:

  1. Improving the audio quality of your podcast
  2. Having a cohesive and an attractive cover art the conveys your podcast’s message
  3. Having your podcast available on every podcasting directory
  4. Coming up with and sticking to an upload schedule; aka, staying consistent
  5. Implementing Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy

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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