How to Grow Your Podcast

Expanding your podcast audience may initially feel like an endless task. Familiarize yourself with the optimal strategies for producing compelling content that captivates everyone’s attention, making the job much easier. Discover the most effective methods for crafting a thriving podcast in this article.

Podcasting is a powerful medium that enables storytellers, thought leaders, and innovators to connect with audiences worldwide. Yet, even the most compelling content can fail without listeners. 

Whether you’re a veteran host aiming to expand your reach or a new entrant looking to carve out your space in the podcasting realm, knowing how to grow your podcast is crucial for success. This guide will delve into proven strategies and best practices, providing a comprehensive roadmap to amplify your podcast’s reach and influence.

How Quickly Do Podcasts Grow? 

Podcast growth can vary greatly and hinges on factors like content quality, audience engagement, niche appeal, and consistent marketing efforts. Remember, building a substantial podcast audience is often a marathon, not a sprint, with some reaching thousands of listeners within months, while others may take years. 

So, are you ready to find your niche, craft engaging content, and enter the exciting world of podcasting?

How to Grow Your Podcast in 9 Steps

Podcasts have evolved from being a niche pastime to a mainstream form of entertainment and education. Aspiring podcasters often face the challenge of turning their passion into something that resonates with a broad audience. Let’s illuminate the path to your podcast success with these nine steps:

  1. Create a Podcast Trailer
  2. Use a CTA
  3. Podcast SEO
  4. Cross Promote with Other Podcasts
  5. Submit Your Show to Every Podcast App and Directory
  6. Build Ratings for Your Podcast
  7. Create a Podcast Website
  8. Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Podcast
  9. Produce Comedy Short-Form Videos for Promotion

Step 1: Create a Podcast Trailer

Think of your podcast trailer as a movie teaser for your audio show. It should entice and intrigue potential listeners. A well-crafted trailer encapsulating your podcast’s values can spark interest and attract more listeners. Highlight the unique aspects, outline the podcast topics you’ll cover, and give a taste of your engaging personality.

Example: All Grown Up podcast trailer grabs your attention and makes you want to listen to more. 

MORE: How to write a successful podcast script

Step 2: Use a Call to Action

Don’t underestimate the power of a call to action (CTA). Encourage listeners to subscribe, leave a review, or share your podcast with friends. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that can lead to significant growth by tapping into the network effect.

Example: “Subscribe today and never miss an episode again!”

Step 3: Podcast SEO

Like website content, your podcast can benefit from search engine optimization (SEO). Use relevant keywords in your podcast title, description, and episode titles. This strategy makes your content discoverable when potential listeners search for those keywords, expanding your reach. You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or paid tools like Semrush or Ahrefs. 

Example: For a business-related podcast, you might want to include keywords such as business, entrepreneurship, small business, company, project, management, promotion or strategy. 

Step 4: Cross-Promote with Other Podcasts

Cross-promotion is a tried-and-true growth strategy. Collaborate with other podcasters in your niche for guest appearances, shout-outs, or episode swaps. This mutual promotion exposes each podcast to the other’s listener base, resulting in a win-win situation.

Example: The Diary of a CEO could cross-promote with The Joe Rogan Experience because they both have a similar podcast format, and most likely, their podcast listeners cross over. 

Step 5: ‍Submit Your Show to Every Podcast App and Directory

Don’t limit your podcast’s availability to just one platform. Broaden your reach by submitting your show to every podcast app and directory. It might be iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or lesser-known directories—every platform is a gateway to potential listeners. 

Each directory will have a different way of submitting your podcast, but in general, you have to create an account and click on a (+) symbol or a ‘get started’ button. As long as your show meets the platform’s requirements, you’ll be good to go. 

Example: A Very Fatal Murder is available on platforms such as Spotify, Apple, Stitcher and others. This allows the show to get to a much wider audience. 

Step 6: Build Ratings for Your Podcast

Positive reviews and ratings boost your podcast’s visibility on platforms like iTunes. Encourage listeners to leave a review and rate your show. Not only does it improve discovery, but it also provides valuable feedback.

You can ask your viewers to leave reviews via the podcast app during your podcasts, or later on via social media channels. 

Example: Why Won’t You Date Me has a 4.8-star rating and 605 ratings. This shows that almost 100% of podcast listeners thought it was a 5/5 listening experience. 

Step 7: Create a Podcast Website

Creating a dedicated podcast website can act as a hub for your content. It allows you to share episode transcripts and additional resources, sell merchandise and develop an email subscriber list. Plus, it gives you another platform to implement SEO strategies.

Example: 99% Invisible is a great example of a podcast that has its own website. 

MORE: What podcast equipment do you need?

Step 8: Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Podcast

LinkedIn is a goldmine for professional and educational podcasts. Sharing your episodes on LinkedIn can increase your visibility, particularly if your content resonates with the professional community present there.

Example: Get Hired is a podcast that thrives on platforms such as LinkedIn. If you’re planning to speak about work, then LinkedIn is the platform to use for podcast promotion. 

MORE: Ways to promote your podcast

Step 9: Produce Comedy Short-Form Videos for Promotion

Humor is a universal language. Short, hilarious video snippets from your podcast episodes can make your content shareable and viral. These can be shared across social media platforms, attracting a broader audience.

Example: Jordan B. Peterson podcast is a podcast that’s shared a lot on YouTube shorts. These short clips give an insight and spark curiosity in the podcast audience. 

Don’t Forget About The Importance of Branding 

Growing your podcast is a labor of love. It’s about striking a balance between creating content you’re passionate about and implementing strategic steps for growth. An appealing, recognizable podcast brand identity helps set your podcast apart in a crowded market. It’s not just about an eye-catching logo or artwork for your podcast, although that’s important too. Your brand encompasses the tone, style, and consistent themes of your episodes. 

Your podcast’s branding also extends to any associated merchandise. Branded merchandise not only serves as an additional revenue stream but also as a powerful marketing tool. T-shirts, mugs, stickers, or any items featuring your podcast’s logo or catchphrase can create visible touchpoints, building brand awareness beyond your listeners’ headphones. Each piece of merchandise is a potential conversation starter, sparking curiosity and potentially driving new listeners to your podcast. 

If you’re new to setting up a podcast, to create the perfect podcast brand, you’ll need the perfect podcast name. Use our podcast name generator to come up with memorable name ideas. With hundreds of ideas to choose from, you’ll not only have a great choice of unique names, you’ll also have a straightforward way of creating a podcast domain. You’re welcome! 

MORE: Who are the top podcasters?

Takeaway Points

Growing your podcast is about more than just increasing the number of listeners. It’s also about cultivating a loyal audience that engages with your content and looks forward to every episode. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Don’t underestimate podcast SEO — your podcast needs to be seen, and SEO is the key for that.
  2. Learn from other creators, and ask them to help hone your craft. Networking amongst podcasters is a great way to get noticed.
  3. Don’t forget about visual formats — your podcast will go a long way if people get to see your face and learn more about the person you are.

Starting a podcast is a journey; growing your audience is part of that journey. It’s a challenge, but with the right strategies and persistence, you can build a community around your podcast that grows with each new episode.

MORE: How to make money from your podcast

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To reach a thousand listeners, ensure you're creating engaging, high-quality content relevant to your target audience. Promote your podcast on social media platforms, collaborate with other podcasters or influencers, use SEO keywords in your title and description, and ask for reviews and ratings to increase visibility.

To make your podcast popular, identify a niche that you're passionate about and that also appeals to a broad audience. Consistency in releasing episodes is key, as is engaging with your audience through comments and social media. Additionally, having a unique, clear voice that stands out from other podcasts can greatly increase your popularity.

Growing a podcast can be challenging, but it's completely achievable with strategic planning and consistent effort. This may include engaging with your audience, staying consistent, promoting your podcast on various platforms, and providing valuable content. Make sure to read through our podcast article series to get the most information on how to grow your podcast.

Understanding your podcast audience starts with defining your content's niche. Who would be interested in the topics you discuss? Once you've identified your target audience, you can find them on various social media platforms, forums, or events related to your podcast's topic. Conducting surveys or asking for feedback can also provide insight into who your audience is.

Focus on producing high-quality, valuable content consistently. Utilize SEO strategies in your podcast titles, descriptions, and show notes. Engage with your audience on social media and leverage collaborations or guest appearances to extend your reach. Last but not least, consider investing in targeted ads and always encourage listeners to share, review, and subscribe to your podcast. Optimizing these elements can be a powerful formula for attracting more listeners and boosting your podcast's growth.

Boosting your podcast listenership hinges on a mix of quality content, effective marketing, and audience engagement. Create content that resonates with your target audience, offering unique insights, entertainment, or expertise. Use the tools included in this article to get more podcast listeners.