Buzzcast

Create Premium Content in Apple Podcasts + Growing a Niche Audience

June 18, 2021 Buzzsprout Episode 54
Buzzcast
Create Premium Content in Apple Podcasts + Growing a Niche Audience
Chapters
1:20
JD Power Awards??
1:36
The Alban/Travis Conspiracy
5:37
Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
26:05
Affiliate Marketing Tips
36:59
How to grow your audience
Buzzcast
Create Premium Content in Apple Podcasts + Growing a Niche Audience
Jun 18, 2021 Episode 54
Buzzsprout

In this episode, Jordan fills in for Kevin to discuss the new monetization strategy inside of Apple Podcasts, tips to get the most out of Affiliate Marketing, and how to grow your podcast to 1,000 listeners and beyond.

Watch our Apple Podcasts Announcements playlist on the Buzzsprout YouTube channel.

If you like this episode or want to see more like it, be sure let us know in the Buzzsprout Facebook Community.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Buzzsprout is heading to Podcast Movement 2021 in Nashville, TN from August 3-6. Be sure to stop by the Buzzsprout booth and say hi :)

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Jordan fills in for Kevin to discuss the new monetization strategy inside of Apple Podcasts, tips to get the most out of Affiliate Marketing, and how to grow your podcast to 1,000 listeners and beyond.

Watch our Apple Podcasts Announcements playlist on the Buzzsprout YouTube channel.

If you like this episode or want to see more like it, be sure let us know in the Buzzsprout Facebook Community.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser or Apple Podcasts to let us know what you think of the show.

Buzzsprout is heading to Podcast Movement 2021 in Nashville, TN from August 3-6. Be sure to stop by the Buzzsprout booth and say hi :)

Buzzsprout's Dynamic Content tool now allows you to save multiple clips in your Dynamic Content Library and track how many downloads each clip receives. Learn more on our New Features page.

Travis:

And then luminary like you mentioned apparently they have award winning originals. I don't know what awards they won

Alban:

won like two different JD Power awards or something

Travis:

like for like, best long term consumer value in a truck? Is that what they? That's JD Power award. Today on Buzzcast we're gonna talk about the new Apple podcast subscriptions finally rolling out and being available, how to take advantage of it some strategies on how to use them effectively for your show. We're gonna dive into some affiliate marketing strategies and tactics. We're gonna talk about growing your podcast, all that jazz. But first of all, Jordan, welcome back. Thanks for gracing us with your presence. two episodes in a row. See you episodes in a row. So soon.

Jordan:

Yeah. Thank you for having me.

Alban:

Yeah. Jordan, last week you filled in for me, which I appreciate quite a bit this week you're filling in for Kevin, you'll have to let us know which, which role feels more natural. Austin now.

Travis:

So one thing we need to clear up real quick. This is a post from our Facebook group, where somebody said, Hey, I just figured out that Alban and Travis are not the same person. What's up with that? Which was news to me and Alban? Because we always assumed we were different people.

Alban:

Are we going to read this for the for everybody who's just listening?

Travis:

Oh, we totally should we totally.

Alban:

So I'll read half you read half to make it more confusing.

Travis:

Alright, sounds good. So you read the first few paragraphs. All right,

Alban:

Christopher. I've got a pretty big issue with Buzzsprout who I listened almost all the podcast episodes and almost every show that Travis was on. Then one day a pop over to the YouTube page. And I see the videos almost all have Albin is the lead or alone? My issue is that I assumed Travis was Alvin. And I can't get that out of my head. So now when I see Alvin, I think his voice sounds different. And when Travis does a video, I think he's a liar.

Travis:

So then he says, he's sure that he'll get over it. But right now, everything feels wrong in the world. And the very first comment is from Cory saying there should be a support group, just for this issue. Now.

Alban:

This is a very niche issue. I don't think this warrants a full support group.

Travis:

I mean, it could be it could be a very dedicated, you know, smaller, smallish group. Yeah, I mean, that feels like you're gonna get better one on one help in a smaller support group than a larger group. I'm curious, Jordan, because you you listen to Buzzcast. Before we were really making YouTube videos, did you get me an album mixed up at all?

Jordan:

It is really difficult to differentiate between the two. And I actually never I don't really watch YouTube, so I only ever listened to the podcast. So to be honest with you, like even after knowing you guys, I there's still a couple episodes where I'm trying to figure out who the heck is talking.

Alban:

See, I only hear my voice in my head. And so I didn't really realize until just now, did Thompson actually sound enough of like that? It's hard to differentiate

Unknown:

sometimes. And you have very similar inflections as well. So yeah, it can be it depends.

Alban:

Well, I'll channel a little bit more of like my halting cadence, right. Random stops in my sentences. Travis doesn't have those. So I'll I'll throw some more of those in there.

Travis:

Just to let know just let people know that you're talking Alban. I think that's that's good. Now we were we were chatting about this kind of laughing about it. Before we started the episode. There was actually an episode of how to start a podcast, the very first Buzzsprout podcast.

Alban:

This is taking it back.

Travis:

Yeah, this is what like three years ago, almost three years ago album teen. Yeah. So we recorded this podcast, just to teach people how to start a podcast. And it was Alvin and I both doing it. And we would always do these like goofy little intros. Well, for one of the intros, Albin starts the podcast as me. And so like, the hilarity ensues when I brought in and say, actually, you're an imposter. I'm the real Travis and then we, we get to the actual meat of the actual

Alban:

probably didn't land Travis. Now if you think about it, if our voices sound enough, like people are just like, a weird intro, and then just moving on. I don't think it's just

Unknown:

a guy with like split personality disorder, hosting a podcast.

Travis:

Alright, so now let's jump into Apple podcasts. premium content, it was promised back in April, they said this epic thing is coming. You're gonna be able to make money from your podcast in Apple podcasts. And in the last two months, has just been like waiting for this thing to arrive. And now as of June 15, it is here so you can create a premium or a freemium. We're gonna talk about the different the distinctions here in a second podcast channel within Apple podcasts, start making money from your show. And so Alban just refresh our memory. What were the big announcements that Apple came out with in April that were, you know, related to channels and things like that, that now we're actually seeing live in the app?

Alban:

Sure. So there's a couple great YouTube videos created by you on our YouTube channel that if anyone wants to go and get a recap, they can. But I did a deep dive at one point into just like, how are the channels working? And what are the subscriptions. So few months back, Apple said, if you're just listening to a podcast, you're going to follow it. And if you pay for it, that subscription, that makes sense, because most things do subscribe to, like cable, or, you know, to lots of content used to have a YouTube premium subscription, or you have a Netflix subscription, you pay for it. So that kind of makes sense that they moved that way. And then they built channels. So channels are groups of podcasts, you can create a channel in Apple podcasts you can pick which chose to include, you can have custom artwork for the channel itself. That's kind of the first thing you should know. Then channels can be different variety. So three different ones, there's free channels, there's freemium channels, and there's paid free, it really acts like a landing page for a podcast network. So we actually have one now, that's like the Buzzsprout channel that has all four of the podcasts we've ever made, all included on one page, it's kind of nice that we can direct people there and they can see all of our shows, freemium, you know, we're all kind of experienced freemium stuff in the past. freemium allows you to have some episodes are free, and some are paid, I think this is going to be kind of the most common that you want to have some content that's free to entice your listeners and then encourage them to move to paid. And then there's some that are just totally premium content. So that's like luminary type shows where everything on the channel has to be paid, you know, there's, there may be like, checkout one free episode, or listen to the latest one, or 30 days free, whatever that may be. But eventually, you're gonna pay for all of it.

Travis:

Now, Jordan, you've actually gone through the process of signing up for the creator program, putting bonus content out there setting your pricing, all that kind of stuff. So what was what was that experience like getting set up for the first time with within the apple podcast creator program?

Unknown:

Yeah, so um, it seemed very daunting at first, because Apple's instructions are a little cryptic, they're a little notorious for that, you know, not quite as many pictures as I would have liked or examples as I'm used to. So this is a little bit it was a little bit more intimidating than what I'm used to. However, once I completed the process, it was not that bad. And they accepted it in under 24 hours. So it was a pretty quick turnaround time to Yeah, I was I was very impressed with that. So basically, the only thing you have to do is after you enroll in the apple podcasters program, and you pay your 20 bucks, and you sign all their paperwork and fill out all the different things they need you to fill out to be accepted into the podcasters program, then you need to create a channel. And if you are like me, and you only have one podcast, that might seem a little silly, but no worries, it's all part of the plan. So you just create a channel on your podcast Connect dashboard. And then you only need five things to get your channel going. You need four different graphics, the first is going to be a transparent logo that's in horizontal format for the channel. And then you also need a channel icon, which is some sort of image that conveys the channel. It's sort of like a profile image for the channel. And then

Alban:

kind of square orientation,

Unknown:

its square orientation. However, it fits in a circle, very similar to social media icons. So you know, you want something that looks good. It's a square format, but it also looks good in a circle format. I haven't seen this in use on the platform just yet. So I don't know. But that's what it looks like when you're setting up the channel. And so the third image you need is the subscription primary promotion image. And this is the picture that pops up whenever a non subscriber tries to access subscriber only content on the podcast. And it's a it's a 3000 by 3000 square pixels. So it's a square image and you're going to want something on this image. That has, you know, your podcast branding or network branding. And then also some sort of banner or indicator to say that this is premium bonus plus content, however you want to put it. And then you get to put a little blurb in there about it. And Apple has a nice clean little button that says subscribe, so that's what's going to pop up with that image. Then the fourth one is the subscription promotional banner. And this is a teeny tiny little 1080 by 1080, square mine, I did three words in it, and it looked cramped. And this shows up, this is just the tiniest of tiny thumbnails on that screen. So be very, very conscientious when creating this image that you make sure you have very clear text and contrasting colors and not a lot of things. And this is the image that is on the little banner that comes up that has a little another little blurb, and then the subscribe or try free.

Travis:

Yeah, so if I pull up your podcast, Jordan, in Apple podcasts, at least on the desktop app, you can see like the episodes that are just normal episodes like this constellation series twins episode, but then these two I guess, the strawberry thief and the dragon on the north. Are these some of your bonus episodes right here?

Unknown:

Yes, those are subscription only episodes.

Alban:

Okay, let's so can we click on one to see what happens? Yeah.

Travis:

So if we go to strawberry thief, then we get this screen that says we need to play with a free trial requires the subscription to dreamville bonus episodes. And then a little Is this a summary tag or like a little description that you upload in podcast Connect when you do the episode? That's the episode description. Okay, gotcha. I see it now. Yep. So description. Yep. But then on the homepage, you can see this little banner below your artwork, where it shows the subscription, and three days free than 399 a month, try for free. And it's all synced up to your Apple ID. So when you are either on a desktop app or on your Apple podcast app, it just links to whatever payment you have. associate with your Apple ID. And that's how you pay for it. So it's just double click face ID and then you're you're off to the races.

Unknown:

So the very last thing you're going to do to set up your channel is to set up the pricing and a free trial if you want to. And the pricing, can you you have a monthly amount. And I was really pleased to see this with Apple, their monthly amounts, even though they were set. There's so many of them. It's not like Spotify, where it was like 399499 or 599. That's it. That's all you get kind of thing. There's so many to choose from. And then on top of that, you can optionally have a yearly price set where you can offer a yearly subscription at a discount to your listeners, which is super cool. And then on top of that another optional thing is that you can have a free trial set. And the free trial ranges anywhere from three days to a full year. And so those are things that you can set up and you'll need to have those prices set up prior to creating subscriber content on your podcast.

Alban:

So what did you end up on? As far as price trial?

Unknown:

I had to do some math because they take the 30%. So I had to say, Okay, what do I want in my pocket that would make it worth it for me to create this extra content for people. And so I actually ended up going with the 399 tear. Because with the transaction fee and the 30% I was still getting about $3 out of it. And I felt like that was a fair price for just a couple bonus episodes each month.

Travis:

So if Alvin and I wanted to do a special bonus episode, revealing the truth about who is who, and you can get access to it for $99.99 is that a pricing option inside of podcast Connect because that's some scintillating details like free. Like, this is a hypothetical. This is a hypothetical.

Unknown:

You know what let's let's find out how much can you charge. So you can charge as little as 49 cents,

Alban:

probably a reasonable amount.

Unknown:

But you know, you got to remember to take out the transaction fee and the 30% platform fee from

Travis:

so we need forces for subscribers in order to get $1

Unknown:

Whoa. You can charge Up to $999.99 a month for that premium content. Wow. Oh

Alban:

my gosh. I don't, what would have to be on this podcast for you to be willing to spend that much. This is gotta be like real thoughts from Ilan musk on like when he's gonna tweet about Bitcoin prices or something?

Travis:

Something like that. Something like that. Yeah, I

Unknown:

actually I can't even imagine a person on this planet that I would pay that much for

Travis:

Santa Claus, I would do.

Alban:

Let us know, drop a comment on this YouTube video or shoot us an email to support? What would it take for you to spend $1,000

Travis:

per month? Yes.

Alban:

What would it have to be? You have to be for you to actually want to spend that much. One thing I remember noticing when we were searching for your podcast, Jordan was that there wasn't a channel for your podcast. Yeah, even though you had to set up a channel because this might be might not be a little confused everybody, you subscribe, and you pay for a channel. And it gives you access to all the podcasts on that channel. The only time that that seems a little bit different is when you only have one podcast in the channel. And then it looks like you don't actually find the channel like the channel doesn't really seem to exist, at least when you search in the app, you would search and then just the podcast would come up and then you subscribe and pay for just that individual podcast. Is that right?

Unknown:

Exactly. Yeah. So if you were to search, my podcast, you would not see a channel. But if you searched, let's say, you know, let's use luminary again or tenderfoot. If you search those channels pop up. But not but because those are networks and they have multiple shows on the channel. But mine since is just my little lonely podcast. In that channel, you will never see my channel, it will only be my podcast, which I actually think is very smart of Apple to keep down the channel clutter, because they're requiring you to make a channel but it's not necessary for the end user to see that.

Travis:

Right. And Jordan, you mentioned a couple. So just here on the Browse tab. In Apple podcasts, you can see featured channels. So these are all pretty large podcast networks, and they run the gamut. So for instance, radio topia, their freemium model is for 499 a month to get ad free versions of the shows. And so you wouldn't have the baked in host read ads, if you subscribed here, which I don't know that probably save you eight minutes per episode. If you don't skip push kit Pushkin is same thing, uninterrupted listening and exclusive bonus episodes. They're also dropping in content. And they have a seven day free trial before you hit 499 a month. And then luminary like you mentioned, everything is behind the paywall 499 a month. Apparently, they have award winning originals. I don't know what awards they won. But somebody said they were worth worth listening to. But

Alban:

then here's like two different JD Power awards or something.

Travis:

Let for like best long term consumer value in a truck is that what they call JD Power more than

Alban:

four jollies bragging about their JD Power.

Travis:

And then here's another example broccoli productions who I'd never heard of before, they have five shows in their channel. And it's totally free. So this is an example of a free channel, where you still have that transparent logo that Jordan talked about. And you can organize all of your shows, any, I'm not sure how they decide these top episodes. If they do it based on downloads, if they do it based on something else, I've seen a variety of different ideas of what this could be. But this is essentially the the ones that Apple thinks you would like the most. And then if we go and look at our Buzzsprout channel, which is also here. So you can see like we just type in Buzzsprout we have a bunch of our shows, here's our little square icon turned into a circle. And then if you go to our page, this is a transparent logo. It's got a little background color, and then it has our top shows. And then our top episodes which are all how to start a podcast so that might be why we it's it's a download based thing. But I also don't see the more the most popular Buzzcast episode which was the one more we did about the DDoS behind the scenes murder mystery that's not on here on top episodes so so who knows how they're doing it.

Unknown:

I also noticed that a lot of the bigger pot Cast network's instead of just having the plain color in the banner, like the rest of us do, they will have an image. And I've seen that with pinna. I've seen it with tenderfoot. And so I think that's another one of those things like how they have host images only for specific podcasts. I think that they're doing banner images only for specific networks to

Alban:

this is something Travis Knight asked Apple

Travis:

are anonymous source on the inside are anonymous source,

Alban:

anonymous source. A very normal conversation. We asked about that. And you're right, it's something that they can do. It sounds like it's a manual process. So they did it for some of the largest podcast networks. But I noticed that not even all of them, that are included at launch did it I think the tenderfoot channel page doesn't have that kind of full bleed image. Instead, they just did that transparent logo. Oh, I don't think if people are gonna pay for your podcast content, I very much doubt that they're like, What does have the full bleed image, I'm out. Like, that's not going to be the deciding factor for anybody. But it does look like it's not going to be available for anybody else.

Unknown:

And I mean, the nice thing is, though, that you get to choose the color. That is the plain background. So I was able to keep mine within branding. Even though it's the plain even though I love to have the fancy image in the back or even the some of them seem to have a transparent kind of like color over an image on them. But even though I can't have that it still looks nice and within my branding, not that mine shows up. I spent a lot of time on that not for it to not show up. Because I don't get a channel apparently,

Travis:

you just got to create a podcast with one episode that says go subscribe to the other podcast and put that in and I'll get my channel and then you'll get your your header image and everything and it'll look glorious.

Unknown:

People will finally see all my hard work. Yes, I guess that's another thing to think about. You know, if you're setting up your channel, and it's just you maybe don't think so much about the logo that you're putting in and the the icon image for the channel, just focus on the subscriber primary promotion square, and maybe that little 10 1080 by 1080 icon. That's with that too.

Travis:

Definitely something that I think a lot of podcasters will will consider using especially, you know, with the listener supported model becoming more popular for indie podcasters whether it's Patreon or buy me a coffee, or what are some of the other ones like glow, I think is one fan pod. Yeah. So like these different ways that your listeners can support you financially in exchange for like bonus content. This is like one more way of doing that for your Apple podcasts, listeners. Now, Jordan, I know that you have a Patreon. Do you still have a Patreon going? Are you planning on continuing that?

Unknown:

I do. And I do plan to continue that because there's more content that can be put on Patreon, there's more interaction with members. And it's only I'm on the 8% platform fee tier

Alban:

on Apple, you'd be paying 30% for the first year, and after that, it will drop to 15. But on Patreon, you're at 8%. So significantly better numbers.

Unknown:

Yes, and more that you can that can be done with that, you know, I get to have polls for my listeners on what the next episode is going to be I can post images or videos or behind the scenes,

Travis:

all sorts of things with Patreon. Now, if you didn't have Patreon going already, and I know your audience skews heavily Spotify, but if you had you know 50% or more of your listeners on Apple podcasts, and you were just getting started. Now that you've kind of tasted both, what would you think would be like the the one to try first to see if the listener support model would work for you?

Unknown:

Well, I would try one of the other membership platforms prior to Apple, because Apple costs money up front. You don't know if it's going to work. And it's a 30% cut and is a little bit more involved. Whereas the other ones where you get to just upload episodes and you don't get charged until someone buys from you. That makes a lot more sense from a starting off point.

Travis:

So other than Apple, which was definitely the big news of the week. We also wanted to do something we haven't done in a little bit, which is just ask for questions from our awesome podcast community over on Facebook. So we've got some Questions queued up here for us to talk through. And the first one that I thought would be really great to tackle has to do with affiliate marketing. And it's very simple. It's from Silas. And he just says affiliate marketing would be great. So Alvin, I know that you work a lot in the affiliate marketing worlds. So when you think about affiliate marketing for podcasters, what's the advice that you find yourself giving to most people? Is it to go and find, you know, go and try and find a spokesperson at Squarespace and like, get hooked up there? Or like what's what's the best strategy to apply affiliate marketing to monetizing a podcast?

Alban:

Alright, so let's start with what what affiliate marketing even is sometimes it's called performance marketing. Because what's happening is a brand or a business is saying, Hey, we love to get more leads, we'd love to sell more Squarespace accounts, we'd love for people to buy more fracture prints. But we really don't want to pay people just to talk about our product, because we don't know who everyone is. But we'll always pay if they can try a sale. And so it's a way for a brand or business to maybe get a little bit less into vetting you and be a little bit more comfortable and say, Hey, if you can do it, go ahead and talk about our brand. And if you drive some sales, we'll pay you. So the way that looks for a podcaster is, maybe you go and you have an episode where you talk about something that you actually use, maybe we had an episode about, you know, using YouTube. And we use vid IQ as a tool to kind of track the performance of our YouTube channel. I don't know for sure if vid IQ has an affiliate program, but let's say we did an in depth discussion of vid IQ, I might say, if you use the link in the show notes, you can get 20% off your first month, because that's what maybe their affiliate program offers. And then if somebody clicks that link, and signs up that's tracked to us, and we would get some sort of kickback compensation for it. Maybe kickback is like the term you use when it's like illegal, maybe it would be a kickback. And that that really works, what I see happen a lot is people are conscious recommending the things that they've heard of that they get an affiliate deal with. And you really don't want to be the person who's just promoting the random thing you saw. So I know there was a period where like a lot of Bitcoin companies were doing tons of like affiliate marketing. Well, it wouldn't make sense for Jordan to be like, Alright, you're about to hear a story to help you fall asleep. But first, let me tell you about Bitcoin and why you should buy $100 so that you feel more comfortable sleeping at night, and use my code and we'll both get an extra 20 bucks. Like, that doesn't make sense. So I really like finding brands that one, you honestly are happy to recommend, you know, don't be don't recommend things that you don't actually want people to buy. Because if they buy because of your link, and it's a terrible experience, well, now your trust is on the line, and they may not trust your podcast. So find stuff you can really get a recommendation for optimally, find something that is actually related to your podcast. So if your podcast is about sports, we'll go check out seatgeek and see if they have an affiliate program. So when you talk about a sporting event, you can link to the seat geek page and say and if you buy through them, you'll get this discount, and I would get compensation for that. So find things that are related so that you're not kind of like shoehorning random products into your podcast. And then third, you do want to be confident that the product that you are representing is a product that actually will compensate you. So in that sports example, it doesn't really matter if somebody buys a ticket through seatgeek, or through the official website or through Ticketmaster. But you it matters to you if one of them's willing to give you $5 and the other one gives you $50. So if you're if you found an area and you're kind of torn between two or three different products or services, go ahead, look at their terms, figure out what your compensation would be. And that can help you make a guess as to what you would include. One of the best practices that you can do on Buzzsprout is to use dynamic content to talk about some of these products. You could just do a let's get back this sports podcast, a seat geek little reroll where you talk about seatgeek. And maybe, hey, I'm going to be headed to this Yankees game in two weeks, I'd love it. If any of my listeners went, here's the section, I'll be in season, grab a seat on seatgeek. And I'll see you there. And then you can use dynamic text with Buzzsprout to actually leave your affiliate code in that dynamic text section. So that that's dropped into that episode, every one of your episodes would have that intro. And every one of your show notes would actually have a link to your seat geek affiliate code, assuming that exists.

Unknown:

I feel like you know, in my personal experience, telling people just being very upfront that, hey, supporting these companies helps to support me as a podcaster. And you get a discount out of it, that tends to push them a little push the listener a little bit more, especially if they want to support you. And they've been thinking about getting that thing that might be just enough incentive for them to purchase it through you knowing that you will also benefit from that.

Alban:

That's a really good point. I've many times been about to buy something, and then went, why did I decide to put this job on zip recruiter, and I'm like, I think I heard a podcast ad. And I couldn't even remember exactly which one it was. So I started searching like, zip recruiter, and then podcasts that I listened to you and eventually found like, oh, busted in this podcast, and they had it and then use their link, because you really do want to compensate the podcasters that you love the most. And, you know, they may end up making another $10 off of you take that little time to search for it. And it's also just like very affirming that if you're seeing Hey, people actually heard me say that, and they were clicking through it gives the podcasters a little bit of confidence. So yeah, be upfront, tell people, I really endorse this brand. But also, if you use my link, I get a benefit. Because a lot of times people want to give you that benefit.

Travis:

Now, Jordan, I know that you have monetized your podcast in a number of different ways have you and I know that you do sponsors? Have you done affiliate marketing as well? And how do you think about those two and the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. Because I know these are these are two different strategies that people often conflate and they think affiliate marketing is the same as brand sponsorships.

Unknown:

Affiliate Marketing is when someone uses your link or uses your code and you get compensated for them making the purchase. And sponsorships are more based on just how many people you get the word out in front of. So for my podcast, I I have more luck with sponsorships because I have higher download numbers, as opposed to how many people would actually purchase. So for me, it makes more sense to monetize by doing the sponsorship, and then just charging per 1000 downloads. I have tried some affiliate marketing. And I think that my audience is just not quite as involved because my podcast is very passive. And it's exactly when people are going to bed. So even though I'm getting the word out about this brand, they're not gonna like get out of, you know the bed and lean over and start buying something that right, I need to catch them when they're, they're ready to purchase. So for me, it's more just, you know, talking about this brand that you know, I own or use and fully recommend and putting out my story about that, and just kind of getting that in their head. So that's why sponsorships work a little bit better for me personally, and I think that you need to take that into consideration. You know, are your listeners going to be in a spot where they'll say, Oh, you know what, that's a good idea. And use it.

Alban:

Yeah, that makes sense. No one's rolling out of bed and going like, Oh, I need to go ahead and sign up for Squarespace. Make my next move right now at like 1130 at night when I'm trying to get get a little bit asleep and that's not the time.

Unknown:

Yeah. Oh, man. You know what? My mattress is a little uncomfortable. I'm gonna buy a purple mattress right now.

Alban:

Okay, that actually might make sense. You need it you need to get a purple mattress be like, Alright, you know, what are the you're probably listening to this because you're having trouble falling asleep. You might be having trouble falling asleep because you don't use Brooklyn and sheets and pillow from purple. And you could use a tufted needle bed. This is the perfect setup. Click all these legs.

Unknown:

Yeah, and I completely agree. I just I still think that the CPM model is going to be better than the acquisition model where people are buying I just, it's so hard to get people to be actionable when they're just ready to snooze. Well,

Travis:

I think what's what's Cause this highlights, there is no one size fits all approach to monetizing your show, right? You know, you hear Oh, if I just got that sponsor, like everything will be better, like I'd finally be able to get over the hump, quit my job and go sit margaritas on the beach with my microphone. That's just not it's not how it works and what works for some podcasts doesn't work for others. And so, affiliate marketing, brand sponsorships are all fine ways of monetizing your show, try a couple different strategies out, see what sticks, see what works for you, maybe it's Apple podcasts, freemium subscriptions, maybe that's what works. But at the end of the day, all of them can work and do work to a certain extent, just figure out what works best for you. The next question that we had in our podcast community, I think is something that a lot of people listening to this show would would really like to hear our thoughts on. And that is from hippie, hot wing. So I assume that's the podcast name. And what she wanted to ask was, how realistic 1000 downloads per episode are for podcasters that are growing their indie pods organically. Says who might really only have 500 or 50 to 200 downloads per episode, but have super loyal listeners, you know, especially for podcasters that have 50 to 100 episodes under their belts and are ready to level up like how do you how do you break through that 200 threshold and get up to 1000 downloads per episode and beyond what kind of ideas you guys have for for taking an independent podcaster that's maybe super niche, and super dedicated, and kind of breaking through to a larger audience.

Alban:

You I'd love to connect this with another question we had that was about you somebody was talking about you always feel this need to check in check and check your stats. And how do you get around like not obsessing over the numbers, kitchen table discussions, I think was the one who had this question. One thing I like to keep in mind is the medium is podcasting. But and we're all in these Facebook groups and going to communities and going to conferences that are all around about podcasting. The thing we have in common with each other is that we are podcasting we do not have in common. We don't share audience often. And so the audience for true crime. I remember meeting somebody at a conference and she said, I'm really not sure if I'm doing well. I'm only getting 20, maybe 30,000 plays per episode are like, Whoa, that's really good. How long have you been podcasting shows? Oh, that's good. That's awesome. Yeah, I've put out I think four episodes already. And everyone around her was like, what, how are these numbers like possible. And she had, I think she had like years of like, true crime, like she actually worked solving cold cases or something. And each episode was about a specific Cold Case she'd solved. And the audience for that is massive. And then we've met people who said podcasting is the very best marketing I've ever done for my small business. And they're only getting 150 plays per episode. And the market was probably not bigger than 150 decision makers in the entire United States purchasing his specific software. And so for him, he'd already like hit the entire target market with just 150 place. So the numbers are very, very different depending on your podcast focus. And that's why a lot of times Tom will also often talk about these stats only really makes sense. In the context of your goals. If your goal is to be famous, or your goal is to get a lot of reach. Or your goal is to monetize with a CPM model where you're selling ads, then like you really need to be getting really big numbers. But if your podcast ambitions are a little bit different, you're trying to drive some sales, you're trying to get some paid speaking gigs for yourself, you may be just want to connect with people in your industry, well, then maybe down there at 50 to 200 might be you're really accomplishing those is far as breaking through, I feel like there's somewhat of a breakthrough around 100. That there's, you're always going to be growing your podcast through word of mouth. And that's going to be how a lot of people hear about it. Word of mouth is going to be difficult when there's only 20 people listening, you know, so there's only potentially 20 mouths talking about your podcast to their friends. Once you're in front of like hundreds or 1000s then that gets a lot easy for those numbers to kind of snowball over time, as more and more people are recommending your podcast to friends.

Travis:

Yeah, Jordan, I know that you're your podcast shot off like a bottle rocket when you launched it. And I know some of that was just, you were making a podcast that a lot of people were looking for that did not exist, which I believe is the reason you started it. Yeah. But what what have you found to be the really helpful marketing mechanisms to help you sustain that over time and continue to grow your audience?

Unknown:

I completely agree with Alban that, you know, the audience size is completely objective depending So yeah, I mean, if I'm sure there's some niches that if they saw my stats, they'd be like, what the heck how on earth, but you know, in my Nish, I'm actually one small guys, which you know, is it's kind of crazy if you think about it. But I do agree that word of mouth is 100%. The best way to get the word out just absolutely the best way to get the word out. And the thing to do is to ask your listeners that if they bring if you bring value to them, to share it with a family or friend, just share it with somebody, just one person this week, if you love this podcast, help me out, spread the word, just tell one person text your mom about it, you know, something like that. That's, that's a very actionable thing that you can do. The other thing that I think is so important, and I do think that this gets overlooked a lot, as opposed to actually like marketing the podcast, is you have to create quality content in a quality format. So if you are bringing just incredible content, but the audio quality is really subpar, it's gonna offset that you can be giving the absolute best advice in the world or telling the best stories, but if the audio quality is subpar, no one's going to want to listen to that. So you need to be really, really sure that you are creating quality content that people are going to want to share and that people are going to be proud of listening to. And I don't think that that's hard to do, you can do that on a really good budget, you can do that. You know, I mean, I started mine, I think I only spent like $75 when I started my podcast, like everything included, and I just I just edited it to death. So that it was very quality audio. So even though the the environment that was recording in and the microphone wasn't this most expensive and most amazing thing I just made sure like couch cushions over me, I made sure that I edited everything, all the noise out and made sure everything was just perfect. And I think that that helps people to easily listen to it without the distraction of bad audio. And I think that that's a really important part of growing your podcast is making sure that you are doing the best you can.

Alban:

I recently spoke at a conference that Hindenburg put on called airship one and I was presenting on like how to get your first 100 listeners. And the framework that I outlined was you need to be getting attention. You know, people you need to actually hear about your podcast. So there's lots of tactics around attention. And I think that's what everyone always focuses on. When they're thinking like, how do I market something, they think, what's the How do I get attention, and that's like putting up billboards, you know, for some products. But for podcasts, there's lots of ways to start getting more people to know about it. But that's only one piece like the next is that they have to actually have to build trust with people who show up. If Coca Cola if one time out of 50 I got something that was totally different and tastes like Coke, eventually I'd go i'm not buying this anymore. I don't trust it. Or if you're by how many times have you bought a clothing brand. And eventually, like the quality goes down over time. And you're like, Oh, I used to trust this brand. But now it's kind of this mass market brand. That's not really quality anymore, and you lose trust. And this happens in a lot of areas. And the minute that trust is broken, well, then people aren't going to start recommending it, even if they stick around. How does somebody look when they recommend your podcast, and the person who listens is like, man, there was a 45 minute rambling segment, the host is full of himself. And then there's bad audio quality, they actually won't want to recommend it even if they're willing to stick with you. And then the third piece of that is community. And I really think building a community feel is critical to getting people really brought into your podcast ecosystem. Were making the want to recommend your podcast. And so that includes things like maybe setting up a Facebook group or a discord or have good pods. anywhere that you can have a communication with your podcasters and let them know, hey, there's actually only 200 people that listen to this podcast. So I actually appreciate all of you. And if any of you want to be in this group with me and tell me how to improve the show what you like what you don't bring people along for the ride, air, it's very easy to hear a podcast in your ears. Think I bet there's like 10s, or hundreds of 1000s of people listening to this, and then feel like not as connected to the hosts. To hear that a podcast that I really loved was only getting 200 plays, I'd be sending them like, outreach, and we say, thank you so much for the show. Here's what I love about it. Here's a great episode. What about this article that you didn't see that you guys will love it, whatever it may be building that community, and maybe even being honest about how small the show is, sometimes it's a great way to bring people in a little closer. So now they have a vested interest in actually helping the show grow.

Unknown:

Yeah, I would love to piggyback on that a little bit, you know, on social media, they say don't post and ghost. And that's kind of similar to podcasting, you know, you don't want to like just put something out there and then not be involved with anything and not interact with any of your listeners. And that's such a great way to make them feel. So even if you do have 1000s and 1000s of listeners, it's not hard to answer their emails, or do a listener survey and mention them in the episode, bringing their ideas respond to their comments on social media, and that makes them feel so valued. And that's so important to your listeners. So even if you know even if they do you think that you have 10s of 1000s of listeners, then you responding to them and taking time to acknowledge them and taking time to appreciate them. It's that much more impressive to them, and that much more meaningful.

Alban:

I remember I had a friend, email, Seth Godin, at one point just to say like, Hey, I noticed this with the podcast. And if Seth or anybody on the team wanted help, I'd love to help. And then Seth Godin replied to them and was like, thank you so much. Here's what I was thinking I appreciate the offer. And it was surprising, and for them that they told me, that turns out, that's actually something Seth Godin is really into is being like, well, people took the time to write me, I would like to respond. And if Seth Godin can do it, take 1015 minutes out of his day, to go back and respond to some maybe not every single email, but quite, you know, to handful, that you can take time out of your day to respond to a few people. And if it gets overwhelming, you can always turn it off at some point. But that's the whole point of podcasting is that connection, and will mean a lot to your listeners to get one or two personalized emails where they actually know you listen to what they said. And you heard them and you're taking what they think into consideration.

Travis:

Yes, all of those are great tips. I don't even have to weigh in, I got to be Kevin for the for the segment, just not say anything. If you want to learn more marketing promotion strategies to help grow your audience, we're actually in the middle of a 12 part podcast marketing series over on Podcasting Q&A. So if you listen to the podcast version of Buzzcast, just go find Podcasting Q&A inside of our Buzzsprout channel if you happen to listen on Apple podcasts. Or if you're on YouTube. The next video will drop on Monday, here on the channel. So just stay subscribed, and you'll continue to get awesome podcast marketing. Goodness, well, Jordan, do you want to do the the honor of taking us out with our outro?

Unknown:

Absolutely. So if you are not already a member, join the Facebook Buzzsprout podcast community we're always looking for people to help and give input and collaborate with and if you do set up an apple channel, let us know we'd love to hear about your experience with that. So with that, thank you for listening and keep podcasting

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