iTunes is unquestionably the most popular podcast directory on the market today, which means iTunes should be your number one go-to directory if you haven't submitted your podcast to them yet. The second directory you should submit your podcast to is Stitcher Radio. Everything else? Forget about it.
Other Podcast Directories Don't Have The Traffic
You can easily find lists of podcast directory on the internet today and you might feel some sort of obligation to submit to all of them, but before you do, consider your time commitment. Time is a very valuable thing that you can't get back and you telling yourself you should spend a day and then some trying to get on all of these podcast directory listings might actually be counter-productive. A lot of these other directories simply do not have the traffic and the numbers to justify submitting to them. iTunes can count for about 60-80% of your traffic, Stitcher will be 15-39% of your traffic and these other directories combined will count for 1-5% of your traffic, if that.
Submitting to a number of podcast directories in one day wouldn't be that hard if they actually all had a standard submission process. Each directory submission will be different and may take more time from you than initially expected. There are some directories that require extra information beyond your podcast title and contact email and there are others that may just require a simple RSS link and for you to email them manually. If you have to jump through too many ropes to submit your directory, then, in my personal opinion, you should forget about them.
More Platforms = More Exposure, Right?
People assume that if they have their podcast on more platforms then they will have a higher chance of being discovered. This logic is sound for everything else, but for podcast directories, it's not as effective as you might think. First of all, what are the chances your target audience will be listening to this particular directory? If the directory that you're submitting to is a niche directory and your podcast is inline with that niche, then what makes your podcast unique and different from all the others? Submitting to directories that are niche-specific might cause you to drown in the competition instead of stand out from it.
Remember, the average podcast listener listens to 2-4 podcast shows a week. The chances that your potential listener will listen to 4 different shows a week about the topic of gardening, for example, are pretty low. An average listener, for the most part, will be subscribed to 3 different topics. For example, your listener might listen to one show about gardening, another about parenting, and another about cooking. This means you getting discovered on a niche-specific directory is pretty low, because your audience already has that niche or topic filled by another podcaster in that directory.
Are There Any Benefits To Podcast Directories?
The one benefit I can think of for having your podcast generate from other places is that it may make you more searchable for search engines like Google. However, if you already do a good job in making your show notes and podcast episode titles SEO friendly, then those searches will often lead your audience directly to your iTunes-based podcast anyway.
Podcast directories are not evil by any means. If you feel your time is worth the potential 1-5% of new listeners, then by all means go for it. You can always hire someone to do this task for you, but make sure that the cost of someone else's labor is worth the extra 1% of new followers. With that being said, if you have a million listeners on your show and are that high in viewership, then I would recommend that you do not hire someone to add you to different directories and instead spend your money on making your existing followers more loyal.
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Until next time,