As you record each podcast, you might ask yourself whether you have enough material for more than one episode. If you get into this position, you might be tempted to release episodes ahead of schedule. Anand Bhatt of Al & Anand Crack Hollywood Podcast chimes in on the issue:

Anand Bhatt - how to start a podcast“One of the hardest things to do is to resist the urge of breaking up the podcast into too many episodes and releasing too often. I know we struggle with this and have to use willpower. One recording session may yield a dozen episodes and you might want them all out that day. But most people only see your latest episode, and some podcast listening platforms will auto-unsubscribe your audience if they miss too many episodes. So take breaks between episodes. Once a week is usually good depending on your audience. It is also OK to take a month or two off despite what everyone else will tell you. Instead of looking at your podcast like a morning radio show, think of it like a TV show (even if it is just an audio podcast). You can do it in seasons and be just fine.”

Step 4: Submit Your Podcast on iTunes

After recording a few episodes, you are ready to share your podcasts. Apple’s iOS Podcast app is the largest podcast player in the world, representing 60 to 70 percent of the market. That’s why many podcasters claim that iTunes’ podcast directory is the only directory that matters.

Before you submit, be sure to have the following:

Once you’ve completed the requirements, the next step is to optimize your podcast to improve your ranking on iTunes. While optimization will not help you appear on the home page and “New and Noteworthy” lists, it will definitely help you rank in search results. Here are few tips to improve your iTunes ranking:

Optimize Content with Keywords

Using keywords helps iTunes understand what your podcast is all about so it can match your content to relevant searches. The key here is to know what your audience is looking for. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to help you put together a list of sought-after terms. Once you come up with a list, add the primary keywords in these areas:

Ask for Comments and Reviews

Another way you could influence your ranking on iTunes is to increase the number of comments and reviews of your podcasts. Many podcasters find it difficult to get reviews because their audience often listens while on the go. However, there are ways to motivate your listens to spend a few minutes to leave a review.

You can run contests where you pick a one random reviewer per episode to win a prize such as a session of your service or exclusive content. You can also solicit reviews at the end of each episode to remind your listens to spend some time writing a few words about your show.

Share ITunes - How to start a podcast

Sample listener reviews on iTunes
Source: iTunes

Share iTunes Link

After you publish your podcast episode on iTunes, get the iTunes link and share it on your website and social media channels. Many people still use their computers to listen, and if they click on your iTunes link, the number of downloads in iTunes increases. Also, listeners don’t need to download iTunes to open the link and listen to your show. The iTunes web platform gets the job done.

The more downloads your podcast gets, the better chances you have in ranking.

Invite Listeners to Subscribe

One advantage of getting your audience to listen to your podcast on iTunes is it makes it easy for them to subscribe. At the end of each episode, invite your listeners to click the subscribe button. Getting more subscribers boosts your ranking on iTunes search.

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Step 5: Market Your Podcast

While you may have some great podcasts saved on a hosting service or submitted to iTunes, no one will know they exist until you market them. You need to find an audience and let them know that your show offers something valuable to them. It’s a tall order for someone just starting out, but it’s not impossible. In this section, we provide some tips on how you can build an audience for your podcast.

Connect with Other Podcasters

Have your VA look for other podcasters who can add value to your target audience. Send an email that lets these podcasters know what your show is all about with an invitation to be a guest on your show. You can also add that you’d be happy to guest on their podcast in return.

A good number of podcasters will feel inclined to grant your request even though you’re just starting out. First, interviewing you provides them with the opportunity to come up with virtually free content that adds value to their listeners. Second, guesting on their show increases their popularity by giving them access to your listeners. As for you, interviewing podcasters with an established audience gives you exposure. Plus, you get access to their audience as well.

Justin Kerby, Host, Mind Your Marketing agrees:

Justin Kerby - How to start a podcast“Featuring other podcasters on your show, going on other podcasts as a guest, paying to amplify your podcast and soliciting reviews can all help grow your audience. It takes time, but as we learned at Mind Your Marketing, it’s worth it.”

It’s a win-win situation that savvy podcasters will always consider.

Transcribe and Optimize

With the help of your VA, transcribe the most compelling parts of your interviews. Add the transcription to an article and post it on your website. The purpose of the article is to grow your audience. Therefore, your article must not share every detail of the show but rather pique the reader’s interest. Include the most interesting parts and leave your audience wanting more so that they download or stream your podcast.

BufferSocial - How to start a podcast

A podcast transcription
Source: BufferSocial

After you transcribe your podcast the next step is to optimize it for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your website’s ranking in search engines like Google. SEO involves the publishing of useful content with relevant keywords. To get your website to rank, you need to find the keywords that your audience look for in search engines.

We recommend using Google Adwords’ Keyword Planning tool to help you find words and phrases sought by your audience.

Wordstream - How to start a podcast

Google Adwords Keyword Planning tool interface
Source: Wordstream

Once you’ve identified the right keywords, use them in the following sections of your article:

There are WordPress plugins that can help you optimize your articles and get them to rank on Google, such as Yoast. With SEO, you are helping to maximize the chances of your potential audience finding your podcast in their searches. It’s almost as important as the content itself.

Promote Episodes on YouTube

After Google, YouTube is the largest content search engine — not Yahoo! or Bing. Nearly 5 billion videos are watched on the video-sharing website every day. Given YouTube’s popularity, it only makes sense for you to try to penetrate its market. Later, you can consider video interviews or sharing behind the scenes of your podcast recording so your audience feels a stronger connection to your content.

Promote Episodes on Instagram

Instagram has 800 million monthly users and 500 million active daily users. The social media platform generates a lot of attention, which you want to divert some of to your podcast.

IGBox - How to start a podcast

TheArtofCharm marketing episodes on Instagram
Source: IGBox

You might be wondering how you can market audio files on a photo-sharing app. TheArtofCharm gives us a good idea how. The personal development website uses an appealing graphic and includes a quote from the podcast on top of it to capture the audience’s attention. Then, they provide the main idea of an episode in the caption along with the episode title. More importantly, they have a call to action that encourages the viewer to click the link on their bio to access the episode.

While not included in TheArtofCharm’s post, many podcasters also use hashtags. These are a word or group of words preceded by the # sign such as #Podcast or #Episode08 that denote a subject, topic, or other themes. Marketers use hashtags to index their posts and amplify their brand.

This is a simple marketing strategy that can increase brand awareness and direct traffic to your website.

Jeremy Slate, Co-Founder at Command Your Brand Media echoes our call to market on various social media platforms:

Jeremy Slate - How to start a podcast“In terms of marketing your podcast, it’s important to be on as many social platforms as possible, Twitter and Facebook send the most traffic. It’s also important to fool these platforms where possible as algorithms of most want to keep you on a platform. Sharing things such as links will rank lower on a site than things such as long-form text and images. Figure out creative ways to use images and long-form text to drive traffic to your episodes.”

Step 6: Monetize Your Podcast

You may be recording your episodes because you love doing it; but, of course, it’s still great to generate some income from your investment in energy and resources. But before you monetize your website, Halelly Azulay, a Facilitator and Speaker at The TalentGrow Show suggest that you should make podcasting your primary objective:

Halelly Azulay - How to start a podcast“Podcasting is a craft to be learned and honed, and your audience will build gradually. As a brand new podcaster, you’ll be busy practicing your craft and creating a trusting bond with your audience. Most likely, you will not yet be in the position to monetize your show when you’re in that early phase, and that’s fine if you’re not creating those types of unrealistic expectations for yourself. My suggestion is to start, build, hone, and gradually shift into monetization when you’re ready.”

When you feel ready for monetization, you can pursue various options below:

Sponsorships

Just like a radio show, sponsorships can help you pay the bills. Popular podcasts such as Entrepreneur on Fire and Adam Corolla earn thousands of dollars each month through sponsorships. Podcasters get paid using the cost per impression model (CPM), where according to Entrepreneur on Fire:

To quickly define, a 15-second pre-roll is where the host advertises the product for 15 seconds before the show. Similarly, a 60-second mid-roll is where the host advertises the product for 60 seconds during the 40 to 70 percent mark of the show.

Generating $43 per episode doesn’t sound like a lot. However, if you manage to get 10,000 listens per episode, that’s already $430. If you do it for 30 days a month, that’s $12,900. This is the formula that helps popular podcasters make a living out of podcasting.

Affiliate Links

You will eventually find products and services that offer value to your listeners. You can monetize that by using affiliate links.

Instead of mentioning sponsors on your podcast, you can create a quick video, audio recording, or article to promote the product or service. Then, include the link at strategic locations in your content. You generate income every time a listener visits your affiliate’s site and purchases a product. Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome earns a lot of affiliate money by promoting BlueHost to his audience. He was so successful that BlueHost created a page on their website to give Flynn’s fans a special offer.

BlueHost - How to start a podcast

Podcaster Pat Flynn generates revenues through affiliate marketing
Source: BlueHost

In his November report, Pat Flynn generated an income of $33,075 from his BlueHost affiliate marketing program.

Books and eBooks

As you generate free podcasts, you will eventually create enough valuable content that you can turn into a book or ebook. The creator of HackTheEntrepreneur.com, Jon Nastor, did something similar. He used some segments of his podcasts and combined them with new content to create his book. The book’s journey doesn’t end there. He converted it into an ebook and made it a lead generator for his email marketing campaign, bringing his content full-circle.

How to start a podcast

Nastor converted his book into a powerful lead generator
Source: HackTheEntrepreneur

Repurposing your podcasts is something to consider for the future, but it helps to plan ahead. Every podcast you create has the potential to make money for you somewhere down the line.

Bottom Line

Podcasting is a growing field with millions of listeners. Before you start podcasting, however, you must consider costs, licenses, advertising, and monetization. You need around $1,000 to get started on equipment and licenses. In addition, you have to spend a little bit more on marketing so your audience can find you. Keep producing quality content, and you may eventually find sponsors and affiliates to help you generate income. With the help of this guide, you can work on making your podcasting business a success.

About the Author

Henry Kanapi

Henry Kanapi specializes in business and e-commerce. Henry ran small businesses while working as an editor for a small business/motivational website before joining the 真人动态图,伊人网视频 team. When not writing, he's busy organizing poetry slam events or playing basketball.

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