10 Secrets Pro Podcasters Use To Create Successful Podcasts

tutorials Jun 09, 2020

Nearly every day I get asked through my YouTube channel, “What is the best way to create a successful podcast?”

The answer to this question just isn't in one answer. Creating a successful podcast has many moving Parts. There just isn't one way to create a successful podcast.

Also, podcasters shouldn't compare their success to someone who has already become successful. Nearly every week I get a question from a podcaster that asks, "I want to be just like Joe Rogan. How can I create a podcast that is just like his?"

I'll be the first one to tell you that success comes in all shapes and sizes. You don't necessarily need to have the success of a Joe Rogan, but you can set the bar for yourself and determine how successful your podcast will be.

And just a reminder, Joe Rogan had to start from the bottom just like everyone else.  From my understanding, the one thing Joe Rogan had for himself was that he had a celebrity name. This helped catapult his podcast into the ears of many. Still, he had to work his way up to becoming one of the most popular podcasts  in the world.

 In today's post I want to share with you 11 secrets that podcasters are using to measure their own success.

1.  Do you have great sound quality?

  This might seem like a no-brainer, but most of the great podcasts that you hear have incredible sound quality. Now don't get me wrong, there are some podcasts that sound like they were recorded inside of a box and they are wildly popular. But the one thing that these podcasters have in common is that they invest in the sound of their podcast.

These podcasters are investing in equipment as well as audio editing software.

At the end of the day you want your audience to tune into your podcast and have a great listening experience without having to constantly struggle listening to the content of your program.

I would recommend you ask yourself whether or not it's time to invest in better equipment or not.  Better equipment and software can make all the difference in the world for your listener.

2. Have you invested in paid podcast hosting?

  I realize this is a touchy subject with a lot of podcasters. In fact, I have one video on YouTube that continues to get views based on individuals who have been using the hosting service Anchor for their podcast. 

If you check the comment section of that video, you will see there are more people who have problems with the service than success stories.

This is not to say that Anchor isn't a great service to start your podcast, but if you are a podcaster Looking to grow your program, you might find yourself wondering why you were using a paid hosting service anyway.

Some of the common complaints I have gotten about Anchor is that programs don't publish on time or some podcast episodes go missing out of their directory. Additionally, I have heard that their customer service isn't the best.

If you're  going to use free podcast hosting, be prepared  To know that if you are not happy with their service,  you will have to grow your podcast from zero all over again.

With paid hosting service, you are not only getting the customer service that you deserve but you also get more analytical options and control over your own RSS feed.

Having control over your RSS feed is quite possibly the most important thing that you could do as a podcaster. This gives you the ability to switch services without having any interruption in delivery of your podcast.

To this day I would still choose paid hosting over any type of free hosting provider.

3. Are you including detailed show notes on a blog?

 The show notes that I'm talking about are the ones that are found on a blog post. Successful podcasts who create detailed show notes and place them on their blog are doing themselves a favor to capture more listeners.

The reason for this is because these podcasters understand the value of search engine optimization as it  relates to Google search.

It doesn't mean that having detailed show notes for Apple podcasts isn't important, but they are equally important to have on your blog.

Think about it:  When you stumble upon a great podcast inside of Apple podcasts, There is almost always a link back to a website that has detailed out each and every podcast episode.

Sometimes you'll even see the full transcript of the interview. you might ask yourself, "why would I want to put the entire transcript of the conversation on my blog?”

The answer is simple.

These podcasters want their website displayed in search results based on the keyword density of the conversation that is placed on the blog post.

If there's one thing you want to do to improve the visibility of your podcast, it's include transcripts on your blog  so that Google can find you.

Pro tip:  make sure that each blog post is anywhere between 500 words to 1000 words. This gives Google a better opportunity to deliver valuable search results to the person who was looking for information.

Remember, not all listeners are looking for podcasts inside of Apple podcasts or anywhere else they get podcasts. Anytime someone does a Google search, you want to be able to be in front of those people with content because of the search engine optimization you invested in. 

4. Have you invested in email marketing programs?

All of the big podcasters have invested in email marketing. This means these podcasters are not only broadcasting their message across multiple devices, but they want to broadcast a message via email.

One of the best ways to have people invested in your content is to provide better content inside of email.

This doesn't mean you ask your audience to sign up for your newsletter to get special offers and updates. Instead you want to give your listeners the opportunity to gain something from you.

Even if you are offering free stuff, you want to make sure that you are delivering value each time you send an email to your list.

Before I go any further, it's important to know that building an email list is a fine art. It takes a lot of strategy to get someone to subscribe to your email list if you want to have valuable listeners. For you, it's important that you are capturing the best email possible instead of the one that is given to you that is only for spam.

So if I were to give you any advice right now, it would be to do a Google search on email marketing and how to acquire valuable subscribers. You should be met with a ton of information that will help you gain valuable listeners.

5. Are you consistent with a release schedule?

One of the biggest complaints that podcasters share with me is that they don't grow Their audience. When I ask them if they are maintaining a consistent schedule, most of them say they aren't.

I realize that we all have different time schedules, and that means we can only release podcasts when we have time.

But when it comes to a successful podcast, you will see all the best podcasts are releasing a podcast on the same day at the same time to build a behavior for the lister's.

Think about it: when you subscribe to a really good podcast do they ever skip a week? And when they do skip a week how disappointed do you feel?

The same is going to be said for you. You want to set the standard that you send out a podcast at the same time each week so that you can build a loyal following. 

And if you feel that you are starting to get burned out, make sure that you let your audience know that you were going to be taking a break and give them an exact date for your return. This way you are not leaving your audience hanging and disappointed.

As a pro tip, you can combat this by batching episodes way ahead of time so that you never fall behind on a release schedule.

6. Have you invested time or money into researching multiple ways of making money?

 All of the best podcasters have done their homework. If you ever noticed some of the best podcasts that are in the top 10, they have figured out a way to earn money in some form.

Whether it's through donations,  joining a membership, or selling their own product, these podcasters have made it a point to use their podcast as a vehicle to  earn income.

And with each level of monetization, these podcasters have done their homework when it comes to the structure of how they make their money. The best podcasts just aren't people who are creating a patreon website, asking people to donate and calling it a day.

Instead, these people are doing their best to Market their program and products so that the listener is highly invested from a listening standpoint and monetization standpoint.

7. Are you creating programming opportunities to generate leads or income?

What I'm talking about in this particular section is the structure of your podcast. Long have I preached that podcasters should structure their podcasts similar to what you would hear on terrestrial radio.

If you have ever listened to terrestrial radio, you will hear that they have strategically placed areas When They are promoting their own content or creating opportunities for sponsorships.

Ask yourself  whether you can create these opportunities inside of your own podcast and how many times  these opportunities will appear within your programming.

If you can create opportunities within your podcast to drive traffic to your website or to your Apple podcast page, then you're getting your listener far more invested in your program.

Find opportunities within your program. It's the secret game changer that most podcasters aren't even doing right now.

8. Are you researching how other podcasters conduct their show?

What are the secrets behind creating a successful podcast is by following what other podcasters may be doing. 

This doesn't mean that you have to take on the personality of the people that you listen to. Instead you're listening to their ideas and figuring out ways you can innovate and Implement these ideas into your own program.

Remember, most ideas can be repurposed into your own program if you saw it on a late night TV show or on a radio program. As it is, most of us and the radio industry are stealing ideas from each other. So who's to say that you can't borrow a couple of ideas from people within the radio space and implement them into your podcast?

Pay attention to interviewing techniques and the way podcast hosts interact with your guests.  This could be all the difference in creating a good podcast into a great one.

9.  Are you showing up on other people's platforms to showcase yourself?

This should be pretty easy to understand. All I'm asking you to do is show up on other podcasts to promote yourself. I'm not telling you to go to a podcast just start talking about your own show.

What I'm talking about is going on to someone else's program and contributing to the value of their own program. When you do this, the hosts of those programs will have a higher chance of promoting you and your program because you provided value on their program.

At the end of the day, most of the great podcasts that are inside of Apple podcasts are usually from people who have been promoting other podcasts. Unless you have raw talent and certainly know how to Market your podcast, the average podcaster isn't going to get the same traction unless they are actually showing up on other people's podcast.

Somewhere within your schedule, you will have to add in time to promote yourself. This doesn't mean that you are sharing on social media posts. It means actually showing up on a podcast and giving value. 

10. Are you optimizing your editing time?

This is quite possibly one of the most controversial topics in the world of podcasting. On one side you will have a series of podcast producers or podcasters that will say that every single word needs to be edited within the program. This means removing filler words like “um” and “uh” from the program and tightening up the conversation to wear it sounds robotic.

On the other end you will have people who are like me that believe that podcasting should be as natural as possible. The reason I followed this philosophy is because it reduces my time spent on the cutting room floor.

As I teach my students how to edit a podcast,  they learn that editing can be reduced drastically if they aren't hanging on every single word. Sure I'm going to show them all of the shortcuts of how to use a digital audio workstation.  But when I have boiled down editing, they realize the problem is in how they are perceiving the audio for themselves.

A podcast that flows and sounds more natural is a podcast that can be appreciated for being more real.

However, a podcast that has been over edited is noticeable and creates a poor listening experience for the listener.

The best podcasters are not hanging on to every single word. And  they prove this by how many subscribers they have and how they have turned their podcast into a business.

It doesn't get any more simple than this. If you follow these 10 things, you can find yourself becoming a great podcaster.

Remember, success is in the eye of the beholder. So if you create a podcast that you want a tree as your side hustle, that might be success for you. But if you want to treat your podcast as a full-time job, then you're going to have to hustle your ass off and invest the time to create a quality program.

The great podcasters have studied and learned best practices to acquire a passionate audience that is willing to listen to just about anything they create.

Are you willing to do the same? 

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