11 – How To Properly Search Optimize Your Podcast (My 25 Tips for Growing Your Podcast)


So You Have A Podcast… Now What?

You want to grow your podcast audience… okay.

I really don’t like the mindset behind that question. I’m all for growing our audience. However, I’d prefer to say, I’ve been podcasting for  x amount of people of months/years and I’ve been blessed to grow my audience to a point where x amount of people people are constantly downloading each of my episodes, and I’m ready to take the reach of my show to a whole new audience/niche.

Remember that each of these “downloads” represents a person/human being. Do you know how many ordinary people (me and you) would love to speak to 50, 100, or even 300 people, consistently, each and every week? I’ve often avoided going too deep into answering this question on The Jay Doherty podcast, in the past, due to the fact that I’ve always want to drive home the point that I feel strongly that the quality of the relationship you have with your audience/community is much more important than the quantity of people who download your show.

With that being said, I do find it important to have an audience consistently growing and here are a few tips I have in terms of growing and search engine optimizing your podcast. Enjoy

  1. There is power when your show has a narrow niche focus.
  2. I suggest only podcasting about things for which you are passionate about.
  3. Before you record your first episode, you should know why are you podcasting in the first place. I recommend having a having a mission/purpose for your show.
  4. Become crystal clear on exactly who your target audience is! Imagine your occupation was that of a bounty hunter. How hard would your job be if you were not given any clear description of the person you are supposed to be looking for. Same principle applies when trying to go out and find new people to listen to your show!
  5. Build it and they will come does not, often, work in podcasting! Creating an amazing show is about 30% of the equation. The other 70% is marketing and relationship building.
  6. Obviously, you should submit your podcast to podcast directories like iTunes, Zune, Blackberry, and Stitcher Radio.
  7. Content Is King! Create high value content that people can’t live without! It’s an added bonus if your content is so great that they are compelled to share it with others.
  8. Entertainment goes a long way. Don’t Be Boring!!!
  9. Stay on topic and fulfill the listeners  need.
  10. Be ENTHUSIASTIC! Don’t do it more than what is natural for you though!
  11. Prepare ahead of time. I spent more than two hours preparing for this episode, thirty minutes in post production, and over an hour on these show notes.
  12. Audio Quality Is Queen! Remember that there are times when the Queen will trump the King! Many people, including myself, will not listen to your GREAT CONTENT if your audio quality is not that great!
  13.  Build relationships with your audience! Learn the first name, last name, and a MINIMUM of at least one other personal fact about AS MANY of the people who download your show as possible.
  1. Include the voice of your audience in your show.
  2. Thank members of your community publicly, both in your show and in your online efforts.
  3. Establish and build meaningful relationships with other content creators in your niche/industry.
  4. Create keyword rich titles, show notes, etc for your podcast. And all that other SEO junk.
  5. Make Yourself newsworthy! 
  6. Interview others in your show.
  7. Accept requests for being interviewed on other people’s podcasts and blogs.
  8. Participate in other online (and offline) communities where those in your target audience can be found.
  9. Use social media to build  authentic relationships with your audience and others.
  10. Speak at events where your target audience can be found.
  11. Educate your audience on the benefit of podcast subscriptions and teach them how to they can subscribe to your show.
  12. Create a mailing list! This allows you to keep in touch with those who may have fallen out of the habit of downloading or listening to your show for whatever reason.

Many books could be written about how to market a podcast and grow your audience. You see, your podcast is actually a product that you create. Once you have the product, it is at that point where the marketing of your product begins. You’ll notice that most of what I have shared, at least early on, is focused on creating an amazing product that those who do find you will want to tell others about.

I just want to point out that, even if you have amazing content and amazing audio quality, you will still need to go out and promote/market your show if you want your audience to grow.

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