What I did to get 20k podcast listens and 10k blog views in 2015

What’s up podcaster! 🙂

Welcome to my site, where I talk about podcasting and share what’s working for me!

I hope you had a great 2015 and are working hard on your podcasting goals for the new year.

Before I share exactly what I did to get all of these podcast listens and views on this blog, I want to remind you that downloads and traffic are only numbers.

You must decide which metrics you actually care about. For some people that could be dollars in the bank. For others, it could be the number of emails from listeners, saying “You rock!”

That being said, let’s get down to business. Here are my Libsyn stats from the start of my podcast until the last day of 2015.

libsyn 2015

These downloads represent the number of times my podcast was listened to this year.

Now, I’ll share how many blog views this blog got this year. I also started it at the beginning of the year.

podcasting blog stats

Aww yeah! Over 5k visitors for 2015! I’m proud of that :).

That means that over 5k people have benefited from this blog in some way and been helped on their podcasting journey.

If you really want to get the most out of my stats and resources, take a second to share your email address so that I can start sending you my newsletter with great resources and bits of wisdom.

So it’s great that I got these downloads and views, but how can you do the same?

How can you grow a blog from nothing into a website that has thousands of visitors?

How can you get your podcast to do thousands of downloads?

These are all great questions. I’d recommend getting started with the resources below.

1. Getting started with podcasting (great guides)

2. Making money from your podcast

3. Promoting your podcast (here’s how)

4. Common podcasting mistakes to avoid

5. Speaking and voice tips to engage your listeners

After you’ve checked out a few of these lessons, you’ll get a better idea of some of the techniques that I’ve learned this year.

All of these resources and tactics helped me grow my podcast to 20k+ listens for the year.

But, there are strategies that I didn’t share in the posts above. The first one that I’ll say is…

Leverage show mentions

What I mean by that is, if you mention someone during your show, send them an email and ask them to share the podcast episode!

If you have a guest on your show, specifically ask them to share the podcast when it comes out.

You can’t afford to be shy or just hope that they’ll see it and share it. You have to be direct.

Drive traffic to previous shows

Some of the podcast episodes that I did early in the year continue to get traffic. That’s because I still promote and mention them.

According to Derek Halpern, an online marketer and entrepreneur, you should “Create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created.”

I agree with this statement, particularly for evergreen content or content that continues to hold its value over time.

It depends on the type of show that you have, but for me, if a I mention a particular topic I can say something along the lines of “and if you want to learn more about ___, check out episode ____.”

Good copywriting improved my download numbers

The title of your episodes matter! The way in which you describe an episode matters. How you tease an episode matters!

When I deliberately took time to write good episode titles and write out attractive descriptions that highlighted the benefits of listening to a particular episode, my download number improved.

Remember, we live in a world that is competing for everyone’s attention. Why should they listen to this episode? Why now? What value will it bring them?

This also holds true for the intro to a new episode, or when you mention another episode that the listener should check out. Always highlight what they’ll get out of the experience.

Rank well in a marketplace, but get people on your email list.

There are huge benefits to ranking well in a marketplace like iTunes, Amazon, Google, or YouTube.

In a marketplace, there are visitors out to consume content and creators who produce it. When you rank well, you’ll be easier to find and you’ll have more authority for standing out among so many creators.

At the same time, you can’t depend on your rankings in any marketplace that you don’t control. Yes, this includes social media marketplaces like Twitter and Facebook.

Therefore, the only reliable way to build a sustainable audience is to get them on your email list. This way, you can continue to have a relationship with your audience, even if your rankings fall or your site crashes.

Having an email list has let me notify interested audience members of new episodes and drive traffic to specific episodes. It’s a very powerful tool.

That being said, I do want to work more on providing attractive reasons to subscribe to this blog’s email list this year!

Consistency creates habit

Habit formation is the cornerstone of audience and customer development. Just think of McDonalds or Starbucks. People know what to expect, and are therefore much more likely to go to one of these locations then one they haven’t heard of before.

In addition, (this reference may not be true of you millennials), but people used to tune in at specific times for news shows or watch TV shows on specific days because, over time, they learned that that’s when they aired.

By putting out content consistently, you’ll begin to develop habits in your audience. They’ll know that if it’s a Monday, there’s bound to be a new show up, or that if it’s Sunday and they’re bored, you’ll have a new show up.

Try not to leave your content creation to chance. I did this when I first started blogging.

Instead, Create a schedule (ugh, I know it’s not fun). It’s effective if you want to be a serious creator or podcaster.

Provide social proof around specific episodes

Remember, your goal isn’t to market the podcast as a whole. Your goal should be to market specific episodes.

It’s great to say that the podcast has been downloaded so many times or that you might have had such and such guests on. But why does this episode matter.

I found that a good way to provide social proof for my podcast is simply to communicate the credentials of the guest. Just because I know that this is a good guest doesn’t mean that other people do.

Your tone of voice and speaking style will also add social proof to episodes. If you don’t believe me, just think about how you’d speak differently if you had a major industry-related person on your podcast.

You’d be far more excited, which would make listeners more excited, and they’d realize that it’s super lucky you got this guest to come on and it’s going to be a great show.

The art of the ask: get iTunes reviews

I’ve read up on iTunes reviews. Some podcasters say that they play a big role in the algorithm. Others say that they don’t play that big of a role.

Personally, I think that the frequency and recency of iTunes reviews do play a role in the iTunes marketplace algorithm.

So, how do you get more reviews? Ask specific people. Email them. Email your guests. Ask your friends. Ask your audience in the most direct way possible.

I’ve been experimenting with reading out reviews that I’ve gotten as a way to remind people to leave one themselves, or to add social proof to the show for new listeners.

I also highlight the benefits of leaving a review, like you might get a shout out, I use it as feedback, and it will help out the show, which is free.

Just by asking people and reminding listeners, I’ve been able to get 30+ reviews. Not bad, but I could be definitely doing better on this front.

Okay let’s talk blogging – how do you get views?

Strangely enough, there is a lot of overlap between blogging and podcasting.

I’ll break it down for you. Here is the one thing you need to know…

You must either be entertaining or informative. You must either make people feel emotions (smile) or be useful to their life.

At some point, I’d love to do more entertainment related content on YouTube or other mediums, but at the start of my career I decided to focus on the informative side, since that’s my strong suit.

Simply by being helpful and sharing what I’m learning, I’ve been able to get almost 10k views on this blog in the first year.

This blog is by no means a central focus for me. It’s more of a side project/hobby and I want a record of what I’m learning while I’m progressing in the podcasting world.

Remember that the category of your blog, the competitiveness in the industry, the quality of your content, your writing skills, and how good you are at marketing will all impact your results with blogging.

You shouldn’t expect to get views right off the bat, unless you have a pre-existing email list, are willing to spend advertising dollars (not smart for a blog in my opinion, but good for a product), or are super aggressive on the promotion front.

As you continue to be useful over time and develop a reputation in your niche, you’ll begin to see more people trickling in, as long as you have good content.

Can you make money from blogging and podcasting?

Okay so I already linked to my podcasting monetization strategies above. With regards to this blog, I’m not really making any money, and I’m not really trying to at this point.

blue yetiThe ads on the website are enough to pay the server bills and I’ll link to some affiliate products that I use myself, like the Blue Yeti Microphone, which I’ve been using to podcast with all year, but it’s not a meaningful source of income at this point.

I’m also not really trying to push it too hard. In the future, I might release an informational product, like an ebook that goes more in-depth with some of the tactics I use, but I’m in no rush. I’m still learning and honing my podcasting skills.

That being said, remember that this is all relationship building. I’m not podcasting at all to make money. I’m doing it to build a more intimate relationship with my audience and improve the quality of their lives.

For anyone whose successfully worked hard at something for a long time, you’ll know that what keeps you going isn’t the money at all. It’s the feel of satisfaction that you’ve helped people in some way, made an impact, and pushed the world forward.

My new years resolutions for podcasting

For the new year, I’m going to continue to improve my podcasting and marketing skills. I want to get better at speaking, modulating my voice, adding emphasis, and being spontaneous when I’m talking with a guest.

I also mentioned in other blog articles that I’ve started to do some YouTube videos and Periscope live streaming videos to promote specific episodes. I’m going to continue with that, because I actually do love being on camera, though it is a little anxiety inducing!

Writing has always been a very comfortable way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. I want to make speaking second nature so that I can accurately paint a picture in people’s minds on the spot and cause them to feel emotions like joy, happiness, awe, or surprise.

What are your goals for the new year?

Let me know in a comment down below!