Imagine a world where every week, a listener from Ohio put time on their calendar to listen to your show. Maybe a commuter in Toronto streams an episode to alleviate the stress of their commute or straphangers in NYC enjoy your commentary on the subway. All new podcasts start with zero listeners. You’ll earn your first one. Then you’ll have 50...500...5,000….and possibly more. We want to help you create podcasts that people love. We want you to have the reputation of being a thought leader, community builder, and master storyteller. As you build an audience and hone your craft, we’ll help you reap financial rewards from your work. We think success begins with crafting your unique perspective and providing value to listeners.

You’ve started podcasting at just the right time! Podcasting is a young medium experiencing rapid growth. In 2013, Apple surpassed 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via iTunes. Edison Research found that over 39 million Americans listen to podcasts each month. Moreover, one in five listeners consumes six or more episodes each week. You have the opportunity to enter a space that doesn’t have well-defined rules and make a name for yourself. This is the time to experiment and find your voice. You can emerge as a leader if you focus on the experience of your listener and use high production values. We can help you do that.

Our team has been researching online media for many years. Even though a variety of content pieces become popular over time, we’ve found six key traits that popular websites, articles, video shows, and podcasts share. We’re not talking about flash in the pan popularity, like an article that gets a lot of traffic on Twitter once and then is forgotten. We’re talking about content that is ranked highly in search, receives downloads months after it is created, and delivers social and monetary value back to the creator for years. Podcasts with staying power are relevant, delightful, well-crafted, unique, and have relatable hosts. Podcast hosts that succeed in making compelling content put their listeners first.

Creating great content isn’t easy. You will hone your craft over time. At the end of the day, we know that you will break the rules and create a unique show. We’re adding these best practices to your toolkit to jumpstart your growth. Our guides will help you brainstorm, plan, produce, and iterate content.

I’m ready! What now?

The first goal of the planning stage is build an image of your ideal listener. You need to understand who your listeners are so you can make sure you tell stories they care about, provide content that has practical value, and tap into their emotions. In the next chapter, you’ll create a listener persona that will scaffold your content planning. 

Action Items

  1. Write down 2-3 goals you have for podcasting. Are you trying to build a community? Be seen as a thought leader? Connect to a diverse audience?
  2. Send our Head of Community Strategy an email and ask for an invite to the community we’ve created for podcasters. You can share your action items from each chapter and ask questions to seasoned creators. community@blogtalkradio.com is the email address.

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