The podcast industry market size is estimated to be worth $23.56 billion in 2023. The number of podcast listeners has also grown exponentially, reaching over 464.7 million, and if the current trend is anything to go by, it might reach 504.9 million by the end of 2024.
That’s how much growth potential this medium holds.
If you’ve been thinking of starting your own podcast, now is the perfect time. But how do you grow it from zero to 10,000 subscribers and then 100,000 and beyond?
Let’s learn from those that have done it already:
#1. Release At Least 3 Episodes When You Launch
If you’re just starting out, having at least three episodes ready to go when you launch your podcast will give subscribers more incentive to subscribe and stay.
According to Pat Flynn, the host of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, “I have actually received negative reviews from people who viewed the first episode and were disappointed to learn it was the only one available.”
So I highly recommend releasing at least three episodes when launching your podcast.
Imagine watching a Netflix TV series only to learn that only the first episode is available. After watching the episode and getting hooked, you’d want to see what’s next, right?
The same applies to your podcast. It gives potential listeners more incentive to subscribe and stay engaged.
Share rich media, teasers, short video clips, soundbites, images of your podcast set-up, etc., on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to give your listeners a taste of what you have in store for them. Doing this will help create more buzz around your podcast and encourage new subscribers to join the conversation.
Here’s what you want to do:
Make YouTube Shorts
You can start by making YouTube shorts. Nothing complicated, and no editing is required. Just make a minute or less clips of the videos with attention-grabbing titles and descriptions.
Make Vertical Format Short Video Clips to Share on Social Media
After that, you want to make vertical format video clips under a minute long and use tagsfinder.com to generate relevant tags for each video.
You can then upload the videos on all the major social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) or use a platform like Buzzsprout to share your podcast on all the audio streaming sites.
TikTok is Insane for Getting Views
If you’re looking to grow your podcast, don’t forget about TikTok. Clip out part of your podcast and post it on TikTok. And while most of those views won’t translate to podcast listeners, it’s an excellent strategy to spread the word and build brand awareness.
Share Your Episodes on Facebook and Twitter, and Pin them on Pinterest
Don’t forget about the power of Twitter and Facebook when promoting your podcast. Share an image or video clip with a link to your episode, and encourage people to share it with their friends. You can also pin it on Pinterest for more prolonged exposure.
Create a Quote Image on Canva or Pablo
You can also create a quote image on Canva or Pablo and use them in your promotion. You can upload these directly to Twitter, or if you’re using a tool like Buffer, you can attach the image to the tweet so it shows up when people retweet it.
Here’s a Canva template you can use: https://www.canva.com/design/DAB_SV7jZwk/uBuLbKIeJipFrB8_H9iFHg/view
Create 15-second Soundbite Clips and Share them on Twitter
People love audio soundbites, so take advantage of that. Create 15-second clips from your podcast and upload them to Twitter. Make sure you tag the relevant people, include hashtags, and add a short description of the clip. This will help build up an audience for your podcast over time.
Remember, Twitter has a neat implementation of Soundcloud where people can play the audio right within Twitter.
So don’t forget to make use of that.
Teaser Every Episode 24 Hours Ahead
Create a teaser to share on social media platforms every episode 24 hours ahead of the release. Teasers are short clips, usually between 10-30 seconds, that give listeners a peek at what’s coming up in the episode.
It helps build anticipation and is an excellent way to drive clicks and attract new subscribers.
Reshare the Podcast Multiple Times
Do it three times on Twitter the first day it launches, then repost it a week or two later so that people who missed it the first time around can see it.
For Facebook, you want to post it two times the first day and one time a week or two later.
If you’re using Instagram, post it three times the first day and then one time a week later.
These are just some ways to promote your podcast and get more subscribers.
Share Your Behind the Scenes, Bloopers, and Outtakes on Instagram
If you have a podcast, chances are you have some cool behind-the-scenes footage that fans would love to see. Share them on Instagram.
Also, if you have any bloopers or outtakes from your podcast, people would love to see that too. It adds a personal touch to your content and makes it more relatable.
Create Your Own YouTube Playlist
Take the time to create your own YouTube playlist featuring various videos and podcasts related to your podcast.
You want to include your own podcast, of course.
That will help introduce new listeners to your podcast and encourage them to subscribe.
#3. Leverage Your Guest Audience
You want to make it easy for the guests on your podcast to spread the word.
Create quote images with some of their quotes, and share them on social media.
You also want to create video snippets of their interviews and share them on YouTube.
Remember, your guests have a following, too, and if they share your content, it will help you reach a wider audience.
So make sure to use that to your advantage.
Also, thank your guests for their time and share the podcast episode with them so they can share it with their followers.
The idea is to send them a note a day before the podcast goes live. In the note, you want to include a series of shareable media:
- Pull media
- Prewritten Tweets
- Image QuotesVideos
Doing this will give your guests everything they need to share the podcast episode with their followers.
Here’s an example of an email you can send them:
Subject: Your Interview on Our Podcast is Going Live Tomorrow
I just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know that your interview with us on our podcast is going live tomorrow.
First, we’d like to thank you for gracing us with your presence and sharing your knowledge.
We’re super excited about the episode and would appreciate it if you could help us spread the word.
Below, I have included some pull media, links, prewritten tweets, image quotes and videos that you can share with your followers to help promote the podcast episode.
Again, thank you so much for being a part of our podcast.
#4. If It’s Audio, You want to Convert it Into a YouTube Video
It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort.
You can easily convert your audio podcast into a YouTube video by shooting the podcasting itself (just make sure to get permission from your guest if it’s a joint podcast) or by creating an animated video with the audio.
Once you have the video, you want to upload it to YouTube and promote it.
You can share the link on social media, embed the video into blog posts and send your subscribers an email with the video link.
Here are some of the benefits of converting your audio podcast into a YouTube video:
- You can share the video on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- You can create video snippets of your podcast to share on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter
- You can embed the video into blog posts and websites
- SEO Benefits – Google owns YouTube, so your video will show up in search engine results
So if you’re looking to increase the reach of your podcast, creating a YouTube version is an excellent strategy to go about it.
The SEO benefits are even more exciting:
So, as you wait for your podcast to gain traction, creating a YouTube video is an excellent way to give it a boost.
You can use one of the many tools available to convert your audio into a video or hire a freelancer to help you.
We recommend iMovie for Mac Users and Windows Live Movie Maker for PC users.
Screenflow is also an excellent option if you’re looking for a quicker and easier way to build a video version of your podcast.
If you don’t want to shoot the podcast, you can record it and then convert it into a video by following the steps below:
- You can start by choosing a canvas of 2560px wide and 1440px tall for the best viewing at the highest resolution.
- Then, head over to Pexels or Videvo for a free stock video that you can use as the background for your video.
- Include a quick thumbnail that captures the attention of your viewers. You can edit the thumbnail in Photoshop or Canva.
Next, you want to annotate the video with cards, links, and a call to action button from the YouTube Creator Studio.
#5. Submit the Podcast to Multiple Podcatchers and Aggregators
Podcatchers — a pretty awesome name for podcast listening apps — are applications that allow users to subscribe to, download and listen to podcasts.
These apps can either be web-based, mobile-based, or even desktop based.
Some popular podcatchers include iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and PocketCasts.
Aggregators are platforms that help you distribute your podcast to multiple podcatchers in one go.
That can save you a lot of time, as instead of submitting your podcast to each podcatcher, it can be done in one go.
You submit your podcast to an aggregator, and they’ll do you the honours of submitting it to various podcatchers.
Of course, if you want total control over distribution, you can submit your podcast directly to Podcatchers.
Regardless of which route you take, you must ensure your podcast information is accurate and up to date before submitting it.
Here are the ten most popular podcatchers and aggregators to get you started:
Once your podcast is in the podcatchers and aggregators, you can promote it on social media, email it to your subscribers, and even create a website.
#6. Transcribe the Podcast
Use a service like Rev or CastingWords to transcribe your podcast.
Most successful podcasts offer complete transcripts of their shows.
Transcripts are also fantastic for SEO, as they provide more opportunities for search engine robots to crawl and index your content.
An even better approach (instead of transcribing the entire show) is to transcribe highlighted portions and include them in your show notes.
This way, you can break down the podcast into easily digestible pieces and make it easier for people to find what they want.
You can also include links and additional resources in the show notes to enhance your content.
Transcripts are great for SEO. They’re also a more effective way to collect leads (you can add a lead capture form at the end of each episode and turn your audience into subscribers).
#7. Throw a Two-week Rating Party
One of the best ways to drive your podcast up the charts on iTunes and other platforms is to rake up downloads and positive reviews within the first few weeks of your launch.
You have about eight weeks from launching your podcast to go from new to noteworthy.
The first two weeks are the most important, and that’s when you need to get as many positive reviews, ratings, and downloads as possible.
That said, here are seven part-planning tips that you can use to make the first few weeks of your podcast launch a success:
- Run giveaways
- Throw an actual party, either in person or virtually via Facebook Live or YouTube Live
- Gather friends and family to help out with the launch
- Publish two weeks of podcast-themed blog content
- Email at least ten friends per day, inviting them to check out your podcast and subscribe to it
- Get your staff or teammates to post and tweet about it
- Run ads on Google and Facebook targeted at podcast listeners
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can do more, such as work with influencers and media outlets, to build an audience for your podcast.
The more people you get involved in your launch, the better.
#8. Run a Giveaway Contest
Running a giveaway contest is another great way to get more downloads, subscribers, and followers for your podcast.
How to enter: leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher, tag three friends on the post, and share it on social media.
Your reward can be anything—from free content to free services and even physical prizes.
It’s a great way to incentivise people to listen, review, share, and subscribe to your podcast.
If you have a budget for it, here are some ideas for giveaway prizes:
- Branded T-shirts
- Signed copies of books or albums related to the podcast
- Coupon codes for discounts off products or services
- Tickets to a live event related to the podcast
- Gift cards for online stores or restaurants
If you’re operating on a stiff budget, here are some ideas for free prizes:
- A shout-out on the podcast
- A mention in the show notes
- An opportunity to be a guest on the podcast
- A free download of an ebook or album related to the podcast
You can kick off the contest by mentioning it on your show or running a parallel social media campaign to promote it.
Ask your viewers/listeners to leave an iTunes review of the show, tag their friends, or share it with their friends on social media to get a chance to win the prize.
The more creative you can be with your giveaway, the better.
#9. Find Other Podcasters or Influencers in Your Niche and See if They Can Mention You
Having other podcasters or brands mention you on their shows or platforms is a great way to get traction and build your audience.
Start by mentioning a few brands in your podcast. They might return the favour and mention you on their show or platforms.
This strategy is rooted in content marketing, and there’s a reciprocal exchange of value.
For example, if you cover a music-related topic and mention an artist in your podcast, they might be inclined to return the favour.
You can also reach out to influencers in your space and ask them to do a podcast swap or cross-promotion with you.
If you see a mention of you from another podcaster or influencer, thank them publicly and share the news. You can also email them and thank them personally.
This kind of networking can help you grow your audience quickly, and it’s a great way to get more subscribers for your podcast.
#8. Consider Being a Guest on Other People’s Podcasts
In the same way politicians, celebrities and other public figures get interviewed on popular TV shows to promote their cause or career, you can use the same strategy to build an audience for your podcast.
You can find podcasts that cater to the same audience you’re targeting and pitch yourself as a guest.
Make sure you have a great story and something valuable to offer. In most cases, the podcast host will mention your podcast during the introduction or at the beginning and end of the episode.
Booking guest appearances on other podcasts will help you gain new listeners and subscribers.
It’s also a great way to connect with the influencers in your space and build relationships.
#9. Publish at Strategic Times
That may seem small, but it can significantly impact your visibility and growth.
The key is to be consistent with your publishing schedule and publish when most of your followers are active.
You can start by looking at similar podcasts and noting when they publish their episodes.
You can also use tools like Buffer to help you figure out the best time to post your episodes.
You can also use tools like Buffer to help you figure out the best time to post your episodes.
If you notice a pattern or trend, there’s probably something to it.
Over time, go through analytics to see when your episodes get the most visibility and engagement.
Schedule your episodes accordingly, and you’ll be sure to reach more people.
#10. Pay Attention to Your Back Catalogue
When you produce content regularly, it’s easy to forget about your back catalogue.
But it’s a huge mistake to ignore your older episodes.
There is still value; people new to your podcast may find your older episodes exciting and relevant.
So make sure you give them some love too.
A simple way to do it is to number or categorize your episodes by topic and then periodically feature the episode of the week or share old episodes with new viewers.
For example, Episode #36 might be about “Tips for Increasing Productivity,” #37 might be about “The Benefits of Time Blocking,” and so on.
And with every new episode, mention and link to your previous episodes.
#11. Hacking Word-of-mouth
Word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful tools for growth, and it can be especially effective when promoting your podcast.
Reach out to your network and let them know about your podcast. Ask them to share it with their friends, family members and colleagues.
You can also create a referral program to reward people for recommending your podcast to others.
That could be anything from free merchandise or tickets to your hosting special event.
The more people hear about your podcast, the more it’s likely to grow.
#12. Network with Other Podcasters
Promoting your podcast means staying on top of new trends, ideas, techniques, and people.
One of the best ways to do that is to network with other podcasters. Look for podcasts in your space and reach out to them.
You can build relationships, exchange ideas and even collaborate with others on projects.
Here’re a few examples of the communities you can join