7 Tips for Podcast Success in 2007

Happy New Year! Rather than give predictions for 2007, I’m going to offer seven specific tips for succeeding in podcasting (and social media) in the New Year.

1. Start blogging if you’re not doing so already

First, I HIGHLY recommend publishing your podcast with a blog. The benefits are many.

  1. Search engines love blogs
  2. People love linking to blogs
  3. They are very conducive to conversations (commenting, pingbacks, etc.)
  4. They make it extremely easy to publish and maintain your podcast and site

And that is just to name a few. But in addition to using a blog to publish your show, you should also frequently post to a blog between episodes. There are several reasons why I recommend this:

  1. It adds regular text content to your site for search engines to index
  2. It allows for quick updates
  3. Its keeps your brand fresh in the mind of your audience
  4. It offers additional opportunities for advertising
  5. It exponentially increases the opportunities for others to link to your site
  6. It increases web traffic
  7. Text and clicks are easier to monetize than audio/video

I know you might bethinking you’re a podcaster not a blogger, but if your goals are related to business and promotion or if you want to attract a larger audience, then you need to blog. Otherwise you’re neglecting a lot of potential traffic.

2. Do five things each week to promote your podcast and build your audience

Maybe for you it will be three things each week instead of five, but set a goal. The key to building your audience is consistent effort to build streams of traffic that add up to a large and strong audience. Try new things. Track the results. Then tweak if necessary. Ditch what doesn’t work and do more of what does. If you need some idea I have dozens in my book.

3. Strengthen the community around your show

To get the most success out of your podcast, it’s essential to not only inform and entertain your audience, but to also give them a sense of belonging and community. Give them opportunities to participate in the creation of your content. Encourage them to communicate and collaborate with each other on your site or through the show. Add features to your site and content to your podcast that foster community.

4. Become acquainted with social media optimization and pull marketing basics

It’s getting extremely hard to claim consumer attention. As such, your promotional strategies should focus on pulling people towards your content as much or more than pushing your message out. This is called pull marketing.

Social media optimization (SMO) is one way to make your site/podcast more conducive to pull marketing. The objectives include: making your content more easily to link to, increasing the frequency with which you are linked to, encouraging and allowing discussion and increasing your visibility in social media/network searches. I could write several posts on the subject and probably will in the future, but for now you can get a good start here.

Learn SMO techniques and use them on your podcast/blog. Find and implement pull marketing strategies to increase the visibility of your site. This is much easier if you are using a blog as previously stated.

SMO and pull marketing have become an integral part of what I do with my marketing and podcast consulting clients. Contact me if you think you’d like some help developing your own strategy.

5. Use your podcast to build a brand

There are a lot of opportunities outside of just having serial show. Have you considered making your podcast (or even yourself) a brand?
Branding can help you form a business around your show, make money with your content, make yourself an expert in your niche or build an entire community. Generating on-demand, portable content is great, but there are many other possibilities. A brand can open up opportunities for the future.

6. Refresh your feed branding

There are key elements in your feed that are used by directories, media players and other net portals to display information about your show. This includes such things as the title, description, keywords and categories to name a few. I refer to these things collectively as your feed brand.

These elements greatly impact the traffic and exposure your show gets. That’s why I dedicated the first chapter of my book to the subject. When was the last time you took a look at your feed branding? Could it use some freshening up?

7. Help grow the global podcast audience

The number of people consuming podcasts is growing at a steady rate, but we’re just beginning to come out of the “early adopter” phase and bring in more mainstream consumers. As podcasters, we need to all do our part to educate people about what podcasting has to offer, how they can find content that interests them and how to subscribe/listen/watch. Teach your site visitors. Make it easy to consume your content. Provide information that will educate the public about podcasting and grow the global audience.

Comments

  1. says

    I recently tried adding a blog to my podcast, but I ran into some difficulty with the feed. I have 260 people subscribed to my podcast feed, many with e-mail subscriptions via feedburner. Every new post I make, an email summary is sent to the subscribers.

    I thought I’d convert my blog (on another domain, http://www.idratherbewriting.com) over to my podcast site (www.techwritervoices.com), but I post to my blog every day. I don’t want to overwhelm my readers with blog posts.

    I want to make my blog posts contained in a different feed. I tried the Category Visibility plugin, but when I removed a category from the site’s feed, I could not then use the default category feed URL to subscribe to that category.

    Do you have any suggestions for having separate blog and podcast feeds, while keeping both on the same site?

  2. Jason Van Orden says

    Tom,

    That is an excellent question. You have a unique situation in that you are trying to do this with an existing blog. I’m trying to do the same with Internet Business Mastery right now. I’m checking into this and will get back soon with a solution.

    The options I’m looking into right now are:

    *Using .htaccess redirects on feed addresses

    *Experimenting with a couple plugins (including the one you mentioned)

    *Hacking the feed file (less than ideal)

  3. says

    Thanks. Let me know if you find a solution. I queried the wordpress forum at http://wordpress.org/support/topic/98798?replies=4 but didn’t find a resolution. I may just keep the two blogs separate anyway. Usually when I look to download podcasts, I just want to download the audio files rather than read text. But from the administrative end, combining them would help with SEO. Also, managing two blog sites is more of a hassle than one.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] As others have also realized, the blog is an ideal format for publishing a podcast. It is also a good medium for video blogging. The search engines love blogs. Blogs have built-in RSS fed capabilities. And, most importantly, the system of trackbacks and pings in blogs is great for networking and notifying other sites that you’ve just posted. Blogs also invite feedback and comments. This all comes together to form a very potent publishing platform for any website. I am a fan of WordPress because it is widely used, which means it’s tried and true and there are a lot of plug-ins available. And, it’s free, too. [...]