29 episodes

Starting a podcast is easy. Making a successful podcast is hard.

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Podcast Gym Andy Wang

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Starting a podcast is easy. Making a successful podcast is hard.

Listen to Podcast Gym for bite-sized, big impact ideas to better create, promote, and monetize a podcast.

Join our community of podcasters focused on collaboration, growth, and success!

    The Podcast Advertising Market Surpassed $1B in 2021

    The Podcast Advertising Market Surpassed $1B in 2021

    “And all this science I don’t understandIt’s just my job five days a weekA rocket man”
    ― Elton John // Bernie TaupinDuring your podcasting journey, you’re bound to feel a bit lost.
    Things have been a little crazy for me recently.
    After many close calls, COVID got my family last month.
    I’ve caught 6 mice in my house in the last 10 days.
    My dad just returned home after a stint in the hospital. (Being a self-appointed patient advocate is exhausting.)
    The stock market is correcting.
    I foolishly tried running across my retaining wall yesterday in the pouring rain, slipped, and fell 4 feet onto the wet grass below. I tried to gracefully execute a ninja roll, but I looked more like the victim of a ninja who had kicked me off the wall.
    My pipeline of podcast interviews went down to zero.
    None of this appeared in my social media highlight reel, by the way.
    May is Mental Health Awareness Month so be sure to take time for yourself, if you need it.
    For me, https://youtu.be/KTXj2bEwYIs?utm_source=newsletterandutm_medium=emailandutm_campaign=pg_51_fallingandutm_term=2022-05-18 (guitar is my medicine). If you’re in New Jersey this Saturday, come hear my friends and me play at https://hapifestnj.org/?utm_source=newsletterandutm_medium=emailandutm_campaign=pg_51_fallingandutm_term=2022-05-18 (The Heritage of Asian Pacific Islanders (HAPI) Fest NJ). The hula dancers will be fab.
    If you fall, literally or figuratively, pick yourself up and hope the neighbors didn’t see you. Lucky for me, karate men bruise on the inside. And mud washes out of jeans easily.
    Last week, I only had time to publish a https://youtu.be/lV5Un_Rtk80?utm_source=newsletterandutm_medium=emailandutm_campaign=pg_51_fallingandutm_term=2022-05-18 (5-minute solo episode).
    Do what you can.
    If you cannot. that’s okay too.
    Your podcast is valuable. If you want to monetize, it is critical that you create engaging content and drive audience growth. Many experts will tell you that it should be in that order.
    Podcast advertising is growing like a rocket defying gravity.
    The sixth annual https://www.iab.com/insights/u-s-podcast-advertising-revenue-report-fy-2021-results-2022-2024-growth-projections/?utm_source=newsletterandutm_medium=emailandutm_campaign=pg_51_fallingandutm_term=2022-05-18 (IAB U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue study) by PricewaterhouseCoopers is out and the data is impressive.
    For the first time ever, the podcast advertising market surpassed $1B in 2021.
    Revenues increased 72% YoY to $1.4B and are forecasted to exceed $2B in 2022 and almost triple by 2024 to over $4B.
    Podcast advertising grew 2X faster in 2021 (+72%) than the total internet ad market (+35%).

    Podcast advertisers are not only seeing the benefits of brand-building and driving business outcomes, but they are getting more sophisticated.
    In 2019, dynamically placed ads made up less than half of the podcast ad market. That has changed. Last year, 84% of ads were dynamically inserted into podcasts.
    Advertisers are using technology to manage campaigns that target listeners based on location, age, and gender. Further, there are better methods for advertisers to track the effectiveness of their ads.
    The rapid growth makes sense. If advertisers can better implement advertising on podcasts and measure the impact, they’re inclined to spend more dollars.
    For podcasters, this means that we must take advantage of dynamic content. We also need to deeply understand our ideal listeners and audience metrics in order to demonstrate value to advertisers.
    (I’ve been looking at https://podcastgym.com/link/captivate/ (Captivate’s dynamic ad features) and like what I see.)
    * * * * *
    It’s funny how the dark can make the light appear brighter. Contrast frequently helps us to see things more...

    • 4 min
    Keep Your Eyes Wide and Stay Open

    Keep Your Eyes Wide and Stay Open

    “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”― Isaac AsimovThe word for this post is “open.”
    Be open to unexpected guests.
    Be open to new ideas.
    Be open to being uncomfortable.
    Publishing a podcast regularly can be a slog sometimes. Being open to new things can keep things fresh — in a good way.
    I’ve talked previously about striving to get 100 nos in a year. This can push you to invite more guests and to reach higher.
    Since May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I decided to try something I’ve never done — attempt to book 4-5 AAPI guests.
    I proudly report the following:
    No: Margaret Cho, Ali Wong, Ronny Chieng, Nims Purja
    Maybe: Michael Paul Chan
    Yes: Etta Lau Farrell, Steven He
    If you don’t know Etta (I didn’t), she is the wife of Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, a long-time dancer for the band, and backup singer. She just released her debut single.
    It’s unexpected so I’m going with it!
    I’m excited to interview Steven He. Emotional damage!
    About 20 of my invites remain unanswered so I still have work to do. Wish me luck.
    Meanwhile, I put together a list of https://aapodcasters.org/31-asian-american-podcasts-for-aapi-heritage-month-2022/ (31 Asian American Podcasts for AAPI Heritage Month). Please add a few to your playlist.
    Monetization is always a hot topic for independent podcasters. It’s doable but can be hard.
    If you’re monetizing your show, how are you doing it? Hit reply, I’d love to hear from you.
    IMHO, here are three ways:
    Sponsorships – I’m not talking about MailChimp, Squarespace, or Blue Apron. Leave those to the big download shows. If you’re small and your niche, you can proactively approach businesses that sell a product or service that fits your audience’s needs. Price a quarterly or 6-month campaign according to the value of your niche listenership, not by your number of downloads. Ask enough prospects, and you can land sponsors.
    Affiliate marketing – This one is working for me. Again, the key is to find products or services that your listeners could use. Mention a link or code for listeners to support your podcast, and the affiliate partner will pay you a percentage of sales. Pro tip: higher ticket items can be better. My top seller is an $80 side hustle how-to manual that pays out 40%. That’s much better than Amazon book links that pay a few cents.
    Sell your own product – Because you are building trust with your listeners, you have a great opportunity to sell them things like your course or one-on-one coaching. This is a popular one because it works. It tends to be a higher-ticket item so the potential revenue can be meaningful.

    Should you ask guests to pay to be on your show? This one can be controversial.
    John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire charges some guests a https://www.eofire.com/guest/ ($3,500 appearance fee). You can place a PayPal link on your booking page requiring a guest to pay. I do not know about you; but if I were a potential guest, a surprise “marketing fee” would turn me off.
    I’ve heard of podcasters charging PR companies $100-200 to book their clients. On the higher end, I know of a podcaster who successfully offers a VIP red rope package to PR firms. For $500, PR firms get their client’s episode moved up in the production schedule, social media assets (a short clip and graphics), and a guaranteed number of social posts. For $3,000, the PR firm can book any 10 guests.
    The VIP red rope service kind of made sense to me. I mean, guests pay a pretty penny to PR firms to book them media appearances. Why shouldn’t the podcaster get a piece?
    If others are charging and I’m not, am I leaving money on the table?
    I was so tempted to include a quote in my last email to a PR firm but didn’t do...

    • 6 min
    Rebrand a Podcast Because Consistency Is Not Enough

    Rebrand a Podcast Because Consistency Is Not Enough

    “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.“― Theodore LevittPivot is a popular word in the start-up world. A pivot means fundamentally changing the direction of a business when you realize the current products or services aren’t meeting the needs of the market.
    It’s a fact that most entrepreneurial firms fail. For an entrepreneur, the idea that you can pivot and survive is critically important.
    Since most podcasts https://squadcast.fm/blog/overcoming-podfade (podfade), we’d better pivot too.
    This week, I read Carrie Caulfield Arick’s piece entitled, “https://carrie-25561.medium.com/why-the-podcasting-industry-creates-podfade-ii-the-creative-7f26b814fae6 (F*ck Consistency. I’ll take quality over it any day of the week. Fight me.)” It was good to get a different perspective on the 3C’s of podcasting: content, consistency, and community. Carrie says the podcast industry is too rigid in putting consistency first.
    It got me thinking. Publishing for the sake of consistency may make us less likely to listen to our audience and less willing to pivot.
    How often have you made significant changes to your show? Probably not often enough.
    I’ve been publishing weekly for 4.5 years without taking a break. Seasonal breaks would provide time to listen, reflect, and refresh. I admit that my weekly production schedule does not give me much time to think or act strategically.
    Consistency is meeting expectations in the present. We are told that listeners come to expect a new episode on a regular schedule. They thrive on consistency and predictability so it’s essential that you deliver it if you want to grow your audience.
    But has your growth stalled? Have your downloads plateaued?
    Here is the problem.
    If you are only consistent and not innovating, you will get the same results.
    Another thing we tend to do as podcasters is emulate bigger podcasts. What if like some big corporations, big podcasters are too content with where they are and at risk of losing touch with their rapidly changing environment. Think Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Toys R Us – retail leaders that collapsed in the last decade.
    Indie podcasters have a tendency to follow established behaviors that may have at one time brought success. What if they now result in failure? Our time is too short to be another me-too, water-downed podcast.
    We must be nimble podcasters who are willing to push boundaries and disrupt ourselves.
    Innovation is meeting expectations in the future.
    For an example of a podcast pivot, I present my friends Steve and Veronica. After publishing 108 episodes of https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pod-sound-school/id1452753789 (Pod Sound School), they’ve done the unthinkable and said goodbye to their beloved podcast.
    As full-time content creators and business owners, they explain that they’ve grown out of their podcast. They realized that their thing is not only podcasting – it’s just one skill set among many. Case in point, their https://www.youtube.com/podsoundschool (YouTube channel) currently has 55.6K subscribers. They’re fabulous video creators.
    They will soon rebrand their podcast as “Content Jefe Podcast by the Pod Sound School.”
    This innovation is worth emulating! Analyze your audience and your strengths. Decide where you want to go together.
    Pivot!
    Mentioned in this episode:
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    • 3 min
    How to Get Booked as a Guest on Podcasts

    How to Get Booked as a Guest on Podcasts

    Today, I deleted 3,300 emails from my inbox. 5,748 unread messages stand between me and inbox zero. Oh dear.
    I’ll come back to my disastrous inbox later, but first…
    You want to grow your podcast, right?
    Many podcast gurus say the best way to grow your podcast’s downloads is to guest on other podcasts. Why? Because you’re getting in front of listeners who already listen to podcasts.
    Here’s where https://podcastindustryinsights.com/apple-podcasts-statistics/ (2.4 million active podcasts) in Apple Podcasts are a really good thing. Even if only 21% have published within the last 90 days, that leaves hundreds of thousands of podcast hosts eagerly looking for guests.
    The challenge is they’re not looking for just any guest.
    You’re going to have to pitch yourself to tell them why you’re a great guest.
    One of the quickest places to start is a guest-host matching platform like https://podcastgym.com/link/podmatch/ (Podmatch). Register for free and create a guest one-sheet.
    The Podmatch algorithm will immediately start recommending podcasts for you based on your guest profile. You can send your pitch and when a host accepts, it can be scheduled within the platform. It’s that easy.
    For a more targeted effort, I recommend using https://www.listennotes.com/ (Listennotes) or https://www.podchaser.com/ (Podchaser) to search for podcasts based on your podcast’s topic.
    While you might be able to land a guest spot on The Tim Ferriss Show, your time would be better spent starting smaller.
    Listennotes has a cool Listen Score (LS) that estimates the popularity of a podcast and a Global Rank that ranks the LS relative to the total podcast universe.
    While you’re at it, it might be fun to look up your own podcast.
    Remember that the score and rank are just an estimation, but they can serve as a handy guide. I suggest pitching top 10% shows, then 5%, then 1%, until you’re ready for Tim Ferriss.
    Your pitch will be unique to you so I’m not going to tell you precisely how to pitch yourself.
    Back to my inbox. I receive a ton of guest pitches — including lots of samples of which ones worked and those that didn’t.
    In my experience, know the podcast you are going to pitch. After listening to several episodes, you’re ready. Make your pitch concise and to the point.
    While every pitch will vary, here are the non-negotiables.
    Explain who you are
    Tell a great story about what makes you an interesting guest who is qualified to speak on the topic that you’ll bring
    Extra points for why you think it will be interesting to the podcast’s audience
    If you’ve been a guest on other podcasts, name drop

    WHAT NOT TO DO[Visit podcastgym.com to see the email]
    Yes, a few weeks have passed, but my name is still not James!
    Further, the pitch is so vague that I have no idea what her “unique insights” might be.
    Too much effort to find out more. Next!
    [Visit podcastgym.com to see the email]
    Uh oh. Tough start.
    I get these form letters a lot. This one got my name correct but forgot to fill in for Guest X.
    I was always quick to eliminate resumes with glaring errors. I do the same with incoming pitches. Next!
    THIS ONE WORKED[Visit podcastgym.com to see the email]
    Jim’s email is short and sweet.
    He opened with who he is.
    He piqued my interest because he got COVID and his business lost $400,000 in annual recurring revenue. Double ouch!
    His story was not only topical, catching COVID during the height of the pandemic, but he’s got a comeback story!
    The enclosed link to his blog post made it easy for me to learn more and check out his business.
    In the end,
    https://www.runnymede.com/blog/how-to-rebuild-a-business-with-growth-marketing/ (he was a great guest.) Win-win.
    If you want to guest on more podcasts this year (and you should,) make a list of 12 shows that you want to target.
    Carefully craft your pitch.
    While you’re doing...

    • 5 min
    Getting Over Zero-Download Days

    Getting Over Zero-Download Days

    “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”Henry David ThoreauI was told early on, “Don’t look at your downloads.”
    Guess what? I looked at my downloads.
    If I had zero downloads, I would still enjoy hosting my podcast.
    To which a friend responded, “Then why do you bother editing?”
    Touché. Good friends keep you honest, even if they’re a pain in the ass.
    Ashley Carman wrote a very interesting article in Verge entitled, “https://www.theverge.com/22989201/siriusxm-podcasts-earwolf-stitcher-acquisition-hosts-employees-leaving (How SiriusXM Bought and Bungled a Beloved Podcast Network): SiriusXM leapt into podcasts with a $325 million deal — insiders say it’s off to a messy start.”
    Here’s Ashley’s tweet: https://twitter.com/ashleyrcarman/status/1506284893474537479


    What do you think?
    Is it getting harder to garner support and care?
    Do your downloads define your success?


    With the number of podcasts still growing, including those hosted by celebrities, it feels harder to get noticed.
    But are we really competing against them?
    I will never compete with Matthew freakin’ McConaughey.
    While it can happen, most independent podcasters are a long way off from signing with a major podcast network.
    Until you get there, be creative as hell. Niche down if you have to. Lean into you.
    With the ups and downs of podcasting, it’s okay to cry on a friend’s shoulder, as needed. Or on the collective shoulder of podcasters that you don’t know.
    Buck's tweet: https://twitter.com/2ndFiddles/status/1506372607704195081
    I enjoyed reading all the replies to Buck’s tweet. Podcasters are pretty awesome.


    Advice from Apple:
    What’s the best way to make your way on and up the charts? Make an incredible show that is unmissable for listeners!

    Try your best to not focus on downloads. Redirect your attention to your craft.
    Big opportunities abound for podcasters, including new ones, to grow a loyal audience. Even small podcasts can be monetized.
    I’ve been at this for over 4 years and have only just begun to focus on growth and monetization.
    Hopefully, this old dog can learn new tricks. I plan to share tests and outcomes here.
    I’d love to hear what you are doing.
    Have a growth hack to share?
    Are you making money from your podcast?
    Leave a comment, please.
    P.S. Make a sad happy by downloading https://www.secondfiddlespodcast.com/ (Second Fiddles) wherever you get podcasts.
    Mentioned in this episode:
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    • 4 min
    Indie Podcasters Need More Money Too

    Indie Podcasters Need More Money Too

    Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.
    – Franklin D. RooseveltI read an article in the New York Times, “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/arts/indie-podcasts-fiasco-campside.html?utm_source=newsletterandutm_medium=emailandutm_campaign=pg_46_moneyandutm_term=2022-03-09 (Surrounded by Big Tech, Small Podcast Shops Swim With Sharks.)” The subheading reads, “Independent companies like Prologue Projects, Campside Media and Rococo Punch try different strategies in a market roiled by Silicon Valley and Hollywood.”
    The first subject is Leon Neyfakh’s podcast production company, Prologue Projects, and how it needed to seek new funding for its fifth season of “Fiasco” after not getting renewed by Luminary.
    The good news is that big tech companies like Amazon, Spotify, Apple and SiriusXM have spent billions in recent years acquiring or developing podcasts.
    Here’s the bad news.
    “Even if one isn’t swallowed by a bigger fish, the competition for advertisers — critical sources of revenue for many independent podcasters — has intensified as the platforms leverage advanced technology and user bases in the tens or hundreds of millions. Additionally, the sheer volume of new podcasts (Spotify alone now has nearly four million, up from 500,000 in 2019) has made it increasingly challenging to attract and keep audiences.”
    Spoiler alert: After considering free, ad-supported, or paywalled models, Neyfakh pivoted “Fiasco” to Audible where the new season will premiere on March 24 as an Audible exclusive.
    Wanting to learn more, I read Leon’s tweets.
    [Visit www.podcastgym.com to read the tweets.]
    Wow, $250,000 for a podcast!
    As independent podcasters, many of us are used to producing content on a shoestring budget. What’s your budget? Is it in the hundreds of dollars? Maybe, thousands? Sadly, most of us cannot pay ourselves.
    Soraya, an NPR editor, weighed in and upped the ante.
    Soraya makes good points.
    If we are to normalize million-dollar shows, indie podcasters need to step up too. We will need to get serious about monetizing so we can pay ourselves. If we build a great team, we need to pay them too.
    Further, we can no longer focus solely on content creation. We must begin to treat our podcast as a business. That means reaching out to sponsors, considering crowdfunding on platforms like Patreon, and partnering with other independent podcasters.
    Of course, it will vary depending on your show and audience. Think about what it may look like for your podcast.
    It is time to go bigger.
    Bigger episodes
    Bigger collaborations
    Bigger budgets
    Make your podcast worthy of $1M.


    What’s your budget for your podcast? What do you think about going bigger? Post a comment.
    Mentioned in this episode:
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    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

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Jonesy Money ,

Love the podcast workout tips

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Short and sweet

This short form podcast shares tips to help podcasters create, promote, and monetize their shows. Good stuff. 💯💪🏼🎧🏋🏻

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