Recently I had a great discussion with a Internet friend of mine. He is an internet marketer and had posted an article on a site about podcasting and it developed into a natural discussion about trying to use formulas to get a show to have the most impact and fastest growth. We talked in depth about podcasting being a marathon. Now my friend thought that phrase was just a cop out as to why podcasts take so long to be popular, and I laid these following reasons out as to why podcasting is a marathon
Where is your audience?
You don’t have one at the start. Most podcasters start with a new website and build it up from scratch. Many people are able to start off with close friends and family members, net several twitter followers, and other people from social networks. So the start off is “Normally” on the slow side. Many times people talk about they started off with over 1000 downloads a month, and many of these are bloggers who have an audience who visits their site on a regular basis. How long did that take? Often building that audience to “critical mass” takes in the area of a year or more. So, when a blogger who has a good following and is getting 50,000 hits a month on their site, then when the podcast launches there are lots of eye on their site and they can quickly build an audience.
That is completely different when you are starting your site from scratch. If you don’t have a platform then you won’t have the audience to go with it. If you look at this site I was about 3 or 4 episodes in before I got a couple of downloads. Not listeners just downloads and the size has grown and my actual audience has grown with it, as the site grows and more people become more aware of the site. Now each episode gets about 100 downloads a week. Not bad for a little over 8 months of episodes. Could that of been more? Sure but I had the 6 month dry spell and that hurt the size of my audience.
Use the Slow Burn mentality.
There are reasons as to why brand new podcasters often last only 7 to 10 episodes before they fade out. Lot of it is attributed to the work that is needed to gather all the information for that weeks episode. But there are those who want to sprint. Spend all their gas on getting into New and Noteworthy and when the perceived audience rush starts to fade the show fades too. Then the person either restarts with whole new branding or gives up. Both of these are results of thinking Podcasting is a sprint.
Have a slow burn mentality. Know that it is going to take a while to get your true core followers. Embrace each new person that comes in and get to know them. The saying of stop and smell the flowers comes to mind. Stop and genuinely shake the new guys hand see how you can help. You will be able to take that time to build that relationship because you are not busy trying get to the next big milestone. You will not be distracted and will be able to give your audience your full attention and there for cementing a relationship.
You also will not be as easy to give up. If you know that that this incredible show you have created is in it for the long haul, and the money or thought leader status will happen in due time.
Spotify podcasts – Yes Spotify is opening the doors. At the moment there are only a couple of avenues you can take to get into the Spotify podcast directory, but this will be changing. Right now the easiest is to use Libsyn because they were able to partner with Spotify and with just a quick request Libsyn can create a destination folder for your show and your show will be included in the new directory.
The first episode of your show, oddly enough is a tough one to start, not just because you are afraid of what your voice sounds like or how bad your show will sound. What should the first show contain? Should you just jump into the content of your show as a whole, or would a good general introduction be in order? Do you tease who you are or just tell your whole story in that one episode?
What is episode 0?
Episode 0 is the, very first episode in your show listing. It is even before EP1, so it holds a special position of being in a position of no position. but it is also a strategy that many podcasters are using to point people to the introduction of Who the host(s) is/are, Why they started the show, What the show is going to be about, the topics and scope, and many other preliminary questions the host may believe the audience members may have about subscribing to the show.
I believe the introduction is a product of your society and putting out the customary greeting of “Hello! I am me and I want to get to know you.” There is nothing at all wrong with an introduction. In fact every podcast I have started has an introduction episode as its first episode. It is a means for the ice to be broken.
I use the intro as a means to tear down that first wall of suspsion, and for the host to extend that first relationship building handshake with a simple Hey how ya doing. This is why I am starting this show and I think your pretty rad (Do people even still use Rad?) for listening. Intro could be the imposter syndrome talking but if it helps conquer that particular fear than that is good also.
Now the Episode 0 also allows for people who don’t know you and will get you figured out along the way, to not be bored with your back story. Some Folks are don’t have time to listen to, why you started the show. They are just glad they found someone who might be talking about their favorite topic, and so they need to get the Show on the Road. Using an Episode 0 helps fix that problem.
With Episode 0 being in front of your “first” episode you can then put out the content that is meant for your show. This is helpful in a couple of ways. First of all iTunes. iTunes will not approve your show until you have at least one episode up, and if you have episode 0 and 1 up then people can get to know you faster if they choose or they can get straight to the sweet content and knowledge you are wanting to spread around. It can help with giving your audience what they want, and the ability to choose right off the bat.
So should you have an Episode 0?
Though I could say, “Yes make sure you get the episode 0 up and out before you do anything else.”
Yet the answer is no. If you don’t see the reason for an episode 0 then don’t do it. If you believe your episode 0 should tell your whole biography, as long as it is not too boring tell it. Tell it in a way that will truly engage your listeners. Share your story so it compels your podcast audience to tell their best friends about that insane event that happened.
What should you have in your episode 0?
If you do decide you want an Episode 0 there are some elements you might have listed in the show notes area.
- Your Promos
- Contact information
- Motto’s and other points that give people an idea as to who you are, and what you stand for.
- Links to your about page
Basically use this page as whatever way you feel it would work for your show.
The Patent Troll Personal Audio LLC has been defeated.
Blubrry is taking the reins to help Android users listen to podcasts.
Jeffrey Holbrook of The Daggers of the Mind Podcast and I had a great discussion on the site about Libsyn and WordPress You can join in the conversation. I enjoying the interaction and you guys are making me think which is what I love.