Here’s the thing with podcasting that really throws the new entrant. The tighter your defined audience, the more likely your podcast is to be successful.
“But everyone on the planet will want to hear what I have to say!” I hear you scream at your screen.
Fear not, we’ve all, or nearly all of us, have been there.
Podcasting is a different beast. Yes some shows will appeal to a wide audience. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History springs to mind. Over a million downloads in 24 hours after an episode is released. We can all dream.
For the rest of we mere mortals, the results are different.
Because there are a few options out there for each area of interest, it is the personality of the podcast producer that makes the difference for listeners. Equally people tend to listen to more than one podcast in their areas of interest.
I like history, I listen to seven or eight different history podcasts, all of them on one particular theme. The US Civil War, History of England, History of English and so on. I do not listen to more general history podcasts because too often they cover areas of little or no interest to me.
Think about your own listening habits and think about them critically.
Unless you are the statistical outlier, you will find your favourite shows are narrowly focused.
So, sit down and write out to whom it is you are speaking. Your type of show, monologue, interview, roundtable really doesn’t matter, having an idea of to whom you’re speaking makes crafting your show easier.
I’m not blameless in this. When I started World Organic News I had a vague idea I’d be aiming the show at people who had an interest in organic farming, gardening, food, climate change, alternative energy and tiny houses. So not very specific. Do not make this mistake!
I had a moment of satori when the tag line: Decarbonise the air, recarbonise the soil. became the focus for the blog and the podcast. While this focus took a little while to bed down in the podcast, it has certainly started to have an effect in the last few months. More audience engagement in the form of emails directly to me, more downloads and, from my point of view, an easier to design show. With the tag line as the focus, I craft the blog posts from the week into a coherent, relatively speaking, story. (See blog post on storytelling.)
- Talk to as narrow an audience as you can. (Gives you focus.)
- Serve that audience the very best content you can.
- Make each show better than the last one.
- Realise your focus may change over time but you must have a focus.