You've started your podcast and everything seems to be going great. You're producing regular shows and have a small set of followers who love what you do. This is all great news, but now you want to take your podcast to the next level. Well, in today's post we'll go through and give you a rough guide on how to evaluate your podcast and help you see whether you're improving or falling behind in the next few months of your show.
Measuring Your Current Growth
There are a couple of obvious factors right off the bat that you can quickly take a look into. For example, how many listeners vs subscribers you have. By listeners, we mean how many downloads one of your podcast episodes usually gets on average vs how many people are subscribed to you via iTunes.
Now, no matter how hard you try, your show will usually have more downloads to subscribers. The key to this as you expand your brand is to be aware of what your usual listener to subscriber ratio is. Everybody's listener to subscriber ratio will vary based on the topic, how popular they are, and more, but by simply knowing what your personal ratio is you can better analyze what you're doing right or wrong after each podcast episode as your show progresses on.
Website hits vs iTunes subscribers
If you have a website, chances are you also have a player playing your latest podcast on that website. If you use services like Libsyn, then you will already be able to track down how many people click on that player and listen to your show.
A big part of the older generation still hasn't quite grasped the concept of subscribing to your podcast via iTunes, so don't let the download to subscriber ratio mentioned above mess with you in a big way. It is just a guide.
The people who regularly come to your website are people who actually look forward to you producing weekly content and there's a chance that they are not being reminded by social media to come and listen to your show. They might not download your show, but they will certainly go to your website and hit the play button to listen to your show.
This also gives you an idea of how tech savvy some of these people are. For the most part, people who are subscribed to you via iTunes already know the inner workings or at least the very basics of the internet. For those of your listeners who have chosen to download your show via a direct link, you can assume that they are subscribed to you via social media or wherever you have placed that direct link. And for those who directly click the play button on your website, they are more than likely not as tech savvy, but they are certainly loyal to you.
If your website doesn't have it already, look into adding an RSS feed to make it easier for people to subscribe to your blog and get updates whenever you post something. For the most part, RSS readers are dying breed, especially when there's so many social media options now available on the market. However, you should make it as easy as possible for a variety of people to get a hold of your show and a RSS feed is still a method many people use.
How Are Your Listeners Finding You?
Tracking is a fundamental process in knowing where your new listeners come from. For the most part, adding tracking to your website is as easy as going to Google Analytics and signing up for a free account. When you've added Google's tracking code, within a week you will be able to see who stopped by your website and from where.
The same should be applied to your podcasts. Go to your podcast hosting provider and see what kind of tracking options they might offer. Your plan should include at least some basic user statistics, so be sure you set it up for your podcast if you haven't already done so. This will give you an idea of where your listeners are coming from and how they found the direct link that you posted.
If you see that a particular website or social media account is re-sharing a good chunk of your content to their followers, do not be afraid to reach out to them. Developing a relationship with these people can be very beneficial. Chances are they have similar interests as you and can give you resources or extra contacts that can help bring greater value to your show.
Analyzing The Content Of Your Podcast
Here is where the real evaluation begins. Now that you know what your user statistics are, your next goal would be to be expand that number and get a greater amount of people to listen to you. There are times where podcasters hit a plateau and can't seem to get additional people to listen to their show despite sharing it all across their social media platforms, blogging, and etc.
In order for you to really see what's going on, you have to look inward. Your podcast might simply not be interesting. This doesn't mean you should give up and let the other 'experts' take over. This just means that you need to take a little bit of extra time to improve your podcast.
The first factor you should look at is your podcasting voice. Is it strong? Is it engaging? Exciting? Enthusiastic? When people listen to you, they want someone who is passionate and alive. They don't want someone that will put them to sleep. One of the goals as a podcaster is to speak naturally, yet enthusiastically, so that your audience feels like they are apart of the conversation, even though they are miles away.
The second factor is to see whether or not your show is too silent. Is there no sound in between your conversation? No matter what, you always want to have some sort of audio in your show to fill up that 'dead' space. If you look at our regular lives, there's never a moment where we hear 100% silence. If you're out walking on the street, you will hear cars, maybe birds, and other street sounds.
You want to put subtle background noises in your audio so that whenever there's a pause in the conversation, you still hear something. It doesn't have to be loud or even that noticeable, but this little trick helps keep the ear be attentive and aware of its surroundings. When the ear hears dead space, it is subconsciously uncomfortable and we don't want to feel uncomfortable.
The third factor to consider is if your show is running on too long. People are usually pressed for time and you want to be aware of that. Your show really needs to be of high value to justify it being over an hour long for example. This value can be justified if you have insider professional tips to other professionals who need this advice Right Now in order to excel in their careers, but even then your audience might have a hard time keeping up with this on a weekly basis. A show that ranges anywhere between 30, 45, or 60 minutes is usually enough and you can always do a part two next week.
If you're still interested in improving your podcast and already have a listener base, why not just ask them? You might get some personal opinions that may not help your show, but there's a good chance your listeners will want to help you to their best of their ability. You can take this a step further by asking them to fill out a short questionnaire on your website and get more specific information.
You can also just ask your listener base to share your podcast out to friends and family and get more listeners that way. Remember to tap in to what you have and use your audience. They are already supporting you by listening to you week after week and it probably wouldn't be that much trouble for them to give you a shout out in the process.
Remember, it never hurts to ask.
Podfly focuses on making podcasts sound great. If you need a sweet intro, a great outro, or maybe just a little extra boost in between, Podfly can make your show sound amazing, professional, and help you stand out from the busy crowd. Contact Ayn Codina at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.