#GrowthGoals: One content creator’s forage into the podcasting space. A blog series exploring the well-intentioned attempt of a content creative to learn about a new trade.

I’ve heard that efficiency is key if you are working as a freelancer or independently as a podcaster. Not only do you want to create the best podcast and put it out there, but you’ve also got to expand your audience once some people have started to listen.

You have to think of your audience in two ways: people who have listened to your podcast and those who haven’t yet.

3 Critical areas to focus on for podcast audience development:

Ma’ayan Plaut who calls herself the content strategist and podcast librarian for RadioPublic, says she’s done a lot of thinking about this. And she’s streamlined all the best tips on podcast audience development by focusing on three main areas.

How to develop your podcast audience: Focus on your website.

1. Websites

  • Managing your own website for your podcast allows you to control how your listeners engage with you.
  • It builds a direct connection to avid listeners, as well as new listeners, and that relationship is very important.
  • You can see how listeners behave, e.g., read articles you’ve posted, take surveys, subscribe to your newsletter.
  • It simply helps people find you, especially through web search rather than through podcast apps.
  • All your information can be found in one place: a gateway podcast that leaves listeners hungry for more, video trailer, press, logline, listener testimonials, articles and much more. Each item becomes entry points for listeners to get more hooked into your podcast.

How to develop your podcast audience: create email campaigns.

2. Email campaigns

  • Newsletters should add something different, just enough for people to want to read it and feel like they got something more from what they read on the website.
  • Alert listeners to new episodes or expand or updates to recent episodes.
  • Should include newsletter-only exclusives: maybe a sound clip that didn’t make it to the original episode, a celebration of a special occasion or sneak peeks about the show during a break in your season.
  • Consistency is key; consider automating your messages. Consider email newsletter software to make the most of the analytics.

How to develop your podcast audience: Create social media campaigns.

3. Social media campaigns

  • What’s your SMARTER goal? It should be focused, targeted and coordinated. And constantly improved with evaluation and reiteration.
  • Example: Doubling my subscribers will convince advertisers to give me more money per episode moving into my next season.
  • Send people to your podcast website during your campaign.
  • Ask subscribers to share on social media with three friends during the campaign.
  • Try to be a guest on podcasts that have similar audiences to yours.

Plaut is an avid listener of podcasts, so her tips come with double the impact because she is a fan as well as a strategist to help podcasters extend their reach and build new audiences.

She wrote on her website: “For a podcast, listening is a strong sign of interest in hearing more from you. We want your visitors to become listeners, who become fans and adore you — remember, listening is an act of love…”

I took Plaut’s advice to heart, feeling like she was cheering me on, showering us all with love and encouragement even though she hadn’t yet heard my story. In some ways, she epitomizes the podcast community: acting out of a deep love for all forms of podcasting.