I often get asked about how to get into podcasting so I figured it was finally worth writing this post.
To make the most of your launch you really want to make it into the New & Noteworthy section of Apple Podcasts. It isn’t entirely clear how Apple decides who to put in there, but I have a few ideas as to why I made it and have been cruising in there for over a year.
Audio quality: If you have the most amazing content, but your audio quality is crappy no one is going to listen. Here is the equipment I use for Tech In Chicago. All in it cost me <$400 and there are definitely cheaper ways to do it. Having nice equipment also means less editing. I suspect Apple won’t even give you the time of day if your audio sucks.
Launch with 4+ episodes: You want to maximize the number of downloads you get in the first 8 weeks and launching with 4 episodes is a way to juice your numbers. I would also recommend not deciding if you like or don’t like podcasting until you’ve done 5–7 episodes. I definitely struggled early on to both listen to my guests’ answers and think of my next question.
Beautiful cover art: Make sure your cover art looks great and is legible at small sizes. Most peoples’ first impression of your cover art will be as a 125×125 box in the search results. You could pay a designer $100 to make you some cover art and it would be money well spent, but if you have some basic photoshop skills it doesn’t take much to make something nice and clean. Cover art sounds trivial, but it is way more important than people give it credit for.
Get reviews: Message your friends to review your podcast when you launch. It is nice to have social proof, but more importantly, it is likely the single biggest factor for Apple’s New and Noteworthy section. I ask my listeners for reviews at the end of every episode and have a PS in my signature asking for reviews when people reach out about the podcast.
I setup TechInChicago.co/Review to redirect to Apple Podcasts so I can send that URL around instead of a messy Apple Podcasts URL.
Write show notes: Discovery on Apple Podcasts is a mess. The biggest driver of new listeners is actually Google for many podcasts. The minimum you can do for this is writing show notes for each episode that include topics covered and links to things mentioned. I write my show notes as I edit the podcast so it shouldn’t take that much extra time. Transcriptions can be super helpful, but I have been reluctant to spend the money so far.
Other platforms: Apple Podcasts accounts for the majority of podcast listeners, but be sure to submit your podcast to other platforms too. Tech In Chicago is on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn.
I hope that helps. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Happy podcasting!!