Our quest to put the best podcast growth strategies to the test. An honest, unfiltered, and realtime view inside one brand's journey to growing an impactful podcast
Our quest to put the best podcast growth strategies to the test. An honest, unfiltered, and realtime view inside one brand's journey to growing an impactful podcast
The Key To Starting A Podcast Network With Jeff Umbro From Podglomerate
When it comes to the distribution aspect of your podcast there are fewer "sure things" than having other similar shows in your niche promoting your content.
And podcast networks are the most natural way to establish that cross pollination of your podcast with other relevant audiences.
In this coversation with Jeff Umbro from podcast network Podglomerate we discuss how setting up a podcast network can be a good fit for you and other shows in your niche, the 5 different approaches they take to distribution or promotion of shows they work with, and where Jeff feels many podcasters are missing out when it comes to the marketing of their podcasts.
Establishing Your Own DIY Podcast Network
While huge podcast networks like 5x5, Relay, Gimlet Media, NPR, and others have significant barriers to entry it doesn't have to be difficult for you and your podcast to benefit from the same type of organic sharing that happens in these larger networks.
In fact, many of the most impactful podcast networks like Multitude Productions have created significant benefit for their member shows. One way that Multitude accomplishes this is by focusing much of their network into associated vertical niches.
For Multitude focusing their shows into the niches of gaming, Harry Potter and other mythology arenas has helped them grow significant audiences, mostly by cross promoting other member podcast in their episodes.
At Podglomerate, Jeff and his team handle 3 main aspects of podcasting:
Original Content Creation
While they have several member shows they also create some original shows.
Having a built in "laboratory" where they can experiment on new show ideas, refine approaches to content creation, and in general have an avenue to express their creative side has shown some of the biggest advances in their growth over the years.
One lesson Jeff learned for other podcast networks is having shows of your own is a great sort of virtual CV to show prospective shows that you're approaching to join the network. Showing other podcasts the kind of work you do and what other member shows are like is a great selling point.
Podglomerate works with member shows in a variety of ways to help monetize their podcasts.
Working with platforms like Megaphone is a good option for podcasts with a large following to easily monetize their shows.
If your podcast has 10,000 listens or more per episode then programmatic advertising platforms like Megaphone may be a viable option for your show. In these platforms you choose the type of ads that you'd like to run on your show and the platform takes care of the sourcing of the ad content and dynamically inserts those ads into your podcast as listeners download or stream the episode.
For podcasts with lower listenership, say less than 1,000 listeners per episode, Jeff says that the best way to monetize a show is to go directly to brands in your space to sell ad spots on your show.
These "Direct Ad Placement" techniques require a bit more work
Upping Your Podcast Game, And Listener Questions
The team at Castos is excited to announce that our premium course on how to create a great podcast is now entirely free. Check out the Podcast Like A Pro course today to get 25+ lessons on everything from:
Listener personas and popular podcast topicsGear, microphones, and setup recommendationsAudio recording and editing software recommendationsHow to achieve professional sounding audio for your final episodesWriting SEO-friendly show notes for your websiteSetting up a podcast hosting platform account and websiteSubmitting your podcast to popular listening appsLaunching your show with style Growing your audience and approaches to monetization
All you need to do to gain access is sign up on Teachable. You'll instantly receive the entire 25+ lesson library of videos and resources to get started.
Questions From Our Facebook Group
In this episode, we discuss a handful of questions from our Podcast Hackers group on Facebook. This is a place where we have lively discussions around what's working well in people's shows and what they're struggling with. As a community, we share our knowledge to succeed as a group.
What can I do to help get my show into the New and Noteworthy section in Apple Podcasts?
Great question here, and one that is asked a lot. Getting into the New and Noteworthy section of Apple Podcasts can do a lot to increase your reach, especially as a show is launching.
There are two parts to the New and Noteworthy section: The New and The Noteworthy. Let's examine each of these individually.
The "New" aspect refers to a podcast that was approved by Apple within the last 8 weeks. So the clock is ticking once the show has been approved to make a splash in those first few weeks.
During these 8 weeks, there are two Calls To Action (CTA) that you want to encourage.
For your broader audience members, the goal is to get them to subscribe so they receive each episode as soon as it's published. This will ensure download numbers stay steady and there less one-off listens.
For those who subscribed (we like to refer to this as your Tribe), take things a step further and ask them to leave a rating and review in Apple Podcasts. These go a long way towards increasing the social proof for your show, which in turn will bring in more listeners and subscribers.
The Noteworthy aspect of New and Noteworthy is more subjective and is driven by a team at Apple directly. These are shows that might be following a recent trend (like COVID-19 right now), a show about a political campaign, or maybe a show about a TV series that's just started. There's not much that any of us can do to influence this decision, other than creating great content and empowering our listeners to spread the word as much as possible.
I want to create great sound, but don't know where to start (on a budget preferably)?
This may be is the single biggest hurdle that folks have when starting a podcast. And for good reason. Many podcasters don't have a background in audio engineering but strive for a prof
8 Podcast Best Practices You Should Know
Creating great content is hard. Any kind, really. Whether it's a blog, a YouTube channel, or a podcast. In a sea of information it's tough to know what advice to follow and what to dismiss as noise.
In this episode, we lay out an easy-to-follow set of podcast best practices that will help you grow your show.
This playbook is full of things we've learned from working with hundreds of successful shows and interviewing some of the best minds in podcasting. They are the proven steps that many other successful podcasters before us have taken to build great podcast brands.
The 8 Podcast Best Practices Every Host Should Know
1. Create the content your audience is looking for
It's easier to create the content an existing audience is looking for rather than finding an audience for the content you want to create.
This may seem simple on the surface but is pretty nuanced when you get into it. And not doing this will set your podcast for failure no matter what your promotional activities include.
A great way to find out what people in your community or target market are looking for is through online communities. We're big fans of Facebook groups, Slack channels, and other virtual meeting places for doing this.
Hang out there, ask interesting questions, and see what topics keep bubbling to the surface. This is a surefire way to find out the interests and pain points that people in your prospective audience are having.
2. Have guests on your show
Interviewing guests is a way to change the pace, tone, and perspective of your podcast. But it's also a great strategy to share your podcast's message with new audiences.
If you did a good job as an interviewer, the episode will be one of the shining lights of your guest's podcast repertoire. By giving your guest a platform where they can explain their ideas and perspective, and they'll be more excited to share the content.
But before the interview, set clear expectations about promoting the final episode to your respective audiences. Mention early on that you plan to send a ready-to-go email of exactly what you want them to share.
For example, here's an email I got recently to share a webinar we co-sponsored. All I had to do is copy the email text and tweet then post them.
3. Create shareworthy social media assets
You've done all the hard work to create great content that your audience is looking for. Don't fall one step short by not creating interesting assets to share on social media.
Hands down the best tool to create audiograms is Castos' Headliner integration. Here's an example of an audiogram from our previous episode:
Additionally, pull quotes from the episode's most interesting soundbites to promote it on Twitter.
Crafting a custom featured image for each episode is another great way to stand out from the crowd. The image can i
Creating A Remote Creativity Platform With The Founders Of Squadcast.fm
Creating great sounding audio is the cornerstone of what constitutes a winning podcast. And there are many things that go into this: the right gear, the right techniques, great post-production, and a way to record that audio in an easy and high-quality manner.
And in this episode, we welcome Zach Moreno and Rock Felder, cofounders of Squadcast.fm to discuss this, and much more.
At their core, Zach and Rock from Squadcast have set out to create a platform in which creatives can record really high quality audio (and video soon) content for their audiences. Even with many of the remote communication tools that are available to many of us these days none has been focused solely on the quality of those pieces of content.
As a team that sees a lot of great content being recorded Rock and Zach emphasize the importance of a good microphone (like our favorites here) but also a practical approach to recording. This often includes considerations around the environment you're recording in, potential for interruptions, and a bit of advance planning.
As at the time of this episode airing we're all going through the Covid-19 pandemic that is gripping the world, Zach, Rock, and I discuss how we're seeing Coronavirus affecting the podcasting industry. With unique perspectives on podcasters, we have all seen amazing new ways in which we can serve our customer base. Both from new people coming into the podcast space to enabling communities, medical professionals, and even governments to share information and inspiration with their audiences.
Zach Moreno on Twitter
Rock Felder on Twitter
Castos Productions: Affordable Podcast Editing From Your Dashboard
When we talk to our customers, podcast editing is often the most intimidating part of podcasting. It's technical, a more laborious process, and it's hard to know when you're done. With the importance of consistently publishing new episodes, there are a few podcast editing methods to choose from.
Some some, purchasing podcast editing software and using a DIY approach is best. An option for beginners and veterans, doing the editing yourself takes more time. There's a learning curve to understand the software, self-educating on how to mix and master audio files, and having to critique your own work before publishing an episode.
For others, hiring a podcast editing service is their way to focus on producing quality content while someone else takes care of the professional sound. They hire a professional podcast production service, send their raw files, and receive a fully edited episode. There are many podcast editing services out there but there's one that makes it easy, affordable, and gives you full control over the final product.
Today, we're excited to announce the launch of Castos Productions. Our solution to podcast editing that lives right in your dashboard.
In this article, we'll review the ins and outs of podcast editing whether you choose the DIY approach or use Castos Productions. From what files you need before you start editing, ways to make the process easier, to why podcasters decide to use a professional production service.
A Checklist Of What You Need Before You Start Editing A Podcast
Podcast editing is an intricate process. Whether you're mastering the audio file yourself or using a podcast production company, these are the audio files you need handy to get started:
Separate audio tracks: the episode audio files from your podcast specific recording tool, like Squadcast or Adobe Audition. Use separate tracks for everyone being recorded.Intro and outro segments: use the same version for each episode or customize it per episode.Music: use it within your intro, outro, and main segments of your podcast.Host-read advertisements: any sponsor messages that you need to include within the episode.
Recording Tips To Make Editing Easier
Our biggest piece of advice to make editing your podcast easier is to start thinking about it during the recording. Capturing high quality audio from the start will reduce the time it takes to produce a final episode.
The first foundational piece to get started purchasing a podcasting microphone and recording in an optimal location. Believe it not, for those without a sound studio the best place is in your closet. Next is perfecting good microphone techniques. This takes practice but it's best to capture audio where you don't have to go back and remove the extra plosives.
How To Tell A Story From NPR's Former VP Of Programming
This week on Audience we chatted with Eric Nuzum, an expert who started NPR's podcasting efforts back in 2005. Eric help found some of NPR's most successful shows, has published three best-selling books, and co-founded a podcast production company called Magnificent Noise.
Recently, he found time to write and publish his fourth book, Make Noise: A Creator's Guide to Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling. The words of wisdom and exercises on being a better storyteller lead Craig to his position to sit down with Eric to pick his brain. Throughout this interview, they focused on how to conduct a more engaging interview, why DIY podcast networks succeed, the similarities between hobby podcasters and big budget productions, and where podcast advertising is headed in the midst of COVID-19.
Listen to the full episode now for Eric's expert insights on all things podcasting.
How Can Interviewers Create A Good Story?
With Eric's experience being the interviewer, interviewee, and producing interview-style podcasts, there's no better person to ask about how interviews create good stories.
He points out, when compared to monologue episodes, interviews help people who aren't accustomed to telling their own story. Rather than the pressure to grab the mic and figure out their own way forward, the interviewer leads the guest to the questions the audience wants to learn about. But the tough part is the communal lift involved in getting the good story. There's more than one stakeholder involved in shaping the narrative so it's everyone's job to keep the interview's focus on the information that's most useful to the audience.
Another key to getting a good story is the interview needs to feel natural, organic, and authentic. Podcaster's most common hangup is trying to emulate someone else as their interview persona. While trying to mimic another person, you're pretending to be an interviewer instead of actually engaging with the guest. Eric's tip is to get out of that mindset and get back to being genuinely curious about the person you're talking to. An organic, give-and-take conversation will help create a more riveting story arc.
Eric's biggest interview tip: don't ask questions you already know the answer to. It leads to inauthentic sound bites and a guest who can't wait to end the conversation.
For podcasters without extensive media backgrounds, make creative decisions is difficult. What's your advice to people who are intimidated or frustrated by this part of producing a podcast?
To promote his most newest book, Eric is often on the road talking about podcasting. From boardrooms to coffee shops, how to tackle the big creative decisions plagues every podcaster no matter their experience level.
Eric found both corporate conglomerates and podcast hobbyists struggle with the same frustrations. With so many decisions to make, combined an abundance of available options, every person he's encountered is looking for the same information. This should be encouraging for beginners because it means having a big budget or a room full of media professionals doesn't guarantee a hit podcast.
Since podcasting is a relatively new industry, it's still considered the wild west of content channels. This is great i
Customer ReviewsSee All
A great resource for those just starting podcasting. I've recently begun podcasting and I was very grateful to have come across this show. I already shared it with my co-host and another aspiring podcaster. Extra positive!!
Integrity and Inspiration
I just started my own podcast last week and Craig’s help has really been excellent so far! He speaks in layman’s terms and explains the complexity in a way even I can get.
Super inspired to put my own content out and looking forward to future episodes!
A surprisingly honest take
A good resource for those new to podcasting, the Launch Day episode really was an unfiltered review of their results. The two interviews so far had some solid tips, curious to hear more!