Marketing Your Podcast – How Long Does it Take?

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Understand Before Being Understood

About a month ago I left a comment on the Spreaker Live show, and this comment resulted in a response from the host that in a conversation he had with me was “Disproportional.” So after we both hissed at each I set up a time when we could talk about this and see how we pushed each other's buttons. We did and it was a great interview. The bad news is my SD Card ran out of room, and my backup (mp3 skype recorder) didn't get it either. I could call Alex back on, but at this point, so much water is under the bridge, I thought I would just paraphrase what really happened.

  1. In my comment, there were times when I used ALL CAPS to make a point.
  2. Alex is used to dealing with comments from YouTube which are much crueler, and personal that the average podcast comment
  3. This was the first time he had been challenged on the podcast side of this content (vs the YouTube side) and it caught him off guard.

He apologized for calling me a schmuck, and I explained that when he made a joke about me not having any listeners (because I don't use Spreaker), and that I wasn't up front with people about the fact that I work for Libsyn, and we chatted about that. I explained how I wasn't trying to push his buttons, and then we did something that most people miss out on.

We had some cool conversation about topics we have in common. For example, Chris Cornell had just died. Neither one of use quite gets while World Trade Center Tower Number 7 went down.

In the end, I look forward to meeting Alex at Podcast Movement. If I had not taken a second to step back, and wonder if there was something I DID to create such a reaction (instead of just condemning the other person) then I would've lost out on an opportunity to learn something (be careful using caps in comments), and Alex wouldn't have been able to see his reaction. Lastly, I think we both gained a new friend. So instead of being so set on proving somebody wrong, instead maybe ask, “Why did you say that?” or “What were you feeling when you said that?” and try to understand before being understood (Which is a lesson I learned from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

Seriously, How Do I Grow My Audience?

Devlin Wilder posted in a Facebook Group, “Please, for the love of all that's good and pure, someone please help me WITH REAL INFO on how I get the numbers. I don't want to hear I need to have my show out for years or I need to get to 200 episodes or what not. And I've had no luck with Fiverr. I need to know the real deal”

This is like saying, “I want to know about making a baby, but I don't want to hear about ovaries, sperm, or having to wait 9 months.”

THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS 

In her book Beyond Powerful Radio Radio Consultant Vallerie Geller states, “in my experience, with few exceptions it takes about three years to build a talk station.” She points out that the original Star Trek Series was canceled after three seasons and it was re-runs where the audience found the show. Jerry Seinfeld has framed a memo stating that his show has a poor supporting cast, and most people who saw the test pilot would not watch it again.

Gary Vaynrchuck says nobody watched his show for the first 19 months

Rand Fishkin tells about his wife, Geraldine, and her travel blog, Everywhereist. For two years she never broke 100 visitors a day (she does a blog). Five years later she gets 1000,000 visitors a month. Source

Success comes from feedback, and the ability to look at yourself and ask “Can I Improve This?”

Growing up I had a basketball hoop in my backyard. Every time I shot a basket and it bounced off the rim and back at me…. that was feedback.  I watched Kareem Abdul Jabar and his sky hooks shot. It was unblockable. I practiced my skyhook over and over and over. Eventually, I could shoot it with my eyes shut. That took time.

If you want to quit your job in six weeks, I would recommend that you not even start podcasting. This is like someone wanting to lose 40 pounds in six weeks. You soon learn that six weeks is not that long, and 40 pound is not that small.

The Answer is There is No Answer

There are so many factors that play into this

Are you working full time?
What market are you in and how crowded is it?
How unique are you?
Your Web Design

It's Not Who You Know, It's Who Knows You

Podcast Movement is coming up in August, and DC Podfest is coming up in November. I will be at Podcast Movement, and I plan on being in DC Podfest. Do these cost lots of money? Just the travel alone can be expensive based on your budget. That is the key, what is your budget? If you don't have the budget, don't be stupid, don't go. I'm saving money as we speak for Social Media marketing world. I have to plan. I have to put money in my budget. If you have a family with a spouse and kids, don't be stupid.

Is It Worth Going to An Event?

I have a podcast group for people in Northeast Ohio. I rarely get more than five people in attendance. One of those people (Matt from theauthorinsideyou.com) helped get me on a local TV show.

I met Gary Leland, Paul Colligan, and Rob Walch at one of the fire New Media Expos. Rob was the person I called when I found myself out of a job and looking to work in the podcasting industry (I now work for Libsyn).

I met Ken Blanchard at an event and I haven't stopped laughing yet.

I met Jared Easley and Dan Franks at the New Media Show. Later they would start Podcast Movement and I've been blessed to say I've spoken at every single one in one capacity or another.

I met Eri kK Johnson and came up with the idea of adding him to the Podcast Review show at an event.

I met Mike Russel of Music Radio Creative at the New Media Show

I met Glenn The Geek At Podcast Movement. Glen got me involved with Chris Krimitsos and I was able to speak at Podfest.us That lead to me helping with the Messengers Podcast about their documentary. That lead to me being the closing keynote at podfest.us this year. One person, one contact.

Last year I met a whole bunch of people at DC Podfest including Matthew from Podtopod.com.

Most of those I paid for (events post-2016 I typically can expense out).

When I was a musician, I once drove four hours after getting off work at 8 PM to drive to Cincinnati and hangout with a bunch of indie musicians for three hours before turning around and driving home (I was probably 20). One of the relationships I start at that meeting was a guy who went to another event and learned about podcasting.

Whooshkaa Free Media Hosting

For those who are new to me reviewing media hosting, I have some criteria.

1. Don't mess with my file. What I upload is what I want people to download.
2. Give me the ability to have an unlimited back catalog (unlimited storage)
3. Don't limit my audience size (unlimited bandwidth)
4. Don't control my feed, and make it easy to leave if I choose to do so. I need to be able to put in an iTunes redirect script.
5. Give me support.
6. Charge me for your service so you can stay in business
7. Give me stats so I can see what's working. It would be nice if they were accurate

Whooshkaa is doing something that has been tried by audiometric.io and before them podango.com. This is where you give free hosting so you can see advertising on the podcast. Do Whooshkaa meet my criteria? No, but there is an asterisk.

They mess with your file (as they put code into the mp3 file to alert when to play an advertisement), so they keep most of your ID3 tags, but they ditch you image (so if someone downloads your show to their computer and plays it, the dreaded gray music note of death appears on a windows machine). They also change your file name. They don't change your file format, but by nature, they HAVE to change your file to stay in business.

Their support was quick and very helpful. Their stats are very similar to what everyone else provides (number of downloads, geographic, operating system, the technology used, etc). They do offer how long someone has listened. Unless they have cracked a new code, this is typically a wasted stat. The only way they can get that information is if you are using their player. To this, I point out that over 80% of podcasts are listened to on a mobile device (so this stat is kind of a “Corinthian leather” feature, sounds good, but in the end not that accurate).

They have a built in “Clammr” feature, called highlights. Clammr.com is the first service that allows you to make snippets of a show and share it on social media. With Clammr you can share a snippet of the show and when they click on the snippet they are taken to a place where they can listen to the rest of the episode. You can see how many people listened to your “Highlight.” For me, I thought the design could be adjusted to make it go from easy to SUPER EASY to hear the rest of the podcast.

They do have a weird “Sign up for our newsletter” when you send people to an episode on Whooshkaa. The problem is that for the Whooshkaa email list (not yours).

Getting Paid

As the code in the mp3 file has the word “Triton” I'm guessing that they are using Triton for their advertisements. This means that podcasters can probably expect 1 to 2 cents per download. So if I had my Weekly Web Tools on their platform I might make $12 for the month (at 1200 downloads a month). That is if you are lucky enough to have advertising.

When I enquired about their CPA, they responded, “We don't have any information on the CPA for ads.  We generally only work with our larger podcasters/media companies for ad injection.” When I wanted to know how many downloads you need to get a sponsor, a support person lets me know, “Generally more than 10k per month before we approach a podcaster for ads. Some of our current partners monetising include News Corp, Fox Sports, Sky News, Bauer and a few large Australian Sporting organizations.

When I pointed out to them that others had tried this model, they responded, “We support the podcast ecosystem with free hosting, while making ad revenue from the top 5%.  At the end of the day, the cost of hosting a podcast with small downloads is negligible.  We hope that some of the smaller podcasters turn out to be the next Ira Glass or Alex Blumberg 🙂

It's super easy to pick a spot where you want your advertising to be placed. By default, they want to add three advertisers (I chose one). I believe you will be contacted when you reach certain milestones for advertising as there is nothing in the dashboard (that I can find, and nothing in their help section) about getting paid (i.e paypal, direct deposit).

Conclusion

Call me weird, but building your podcast on a host that doesn't charge is risky business (again, podango, audiometric.io) but if you're in a boat and have zero budget (they do redirect feeds if you want to leave) then I would recommend Whooshkaa over another free service Pinecast if you're looking for a free service with all the trimmings. If you asked me which one will be in business in five years between Pinecast and Whooshkaa, I would put my money on Pinecast as their free service motivates you to upgrade to their paid service. With Whooshkaa they are hoping that people with 10,000 downloads per episode take their advertising, and don't leave for another host. I notice in their terms of service it states, “If you are a Commercial User/Channel Partner, this may be altered by any specific agreements we hold with you.”

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Leave A Reply (5 comments so far)


  1. Curtis Anderson
    5 months ago

    Dave,

    Thank you for this episode. It helped re-center me concerning my new podcast. The examples you gave of people publishing 50 or 100 episodes before building a sizable audience and the fact you shared about how long it takes to build a talk radio station audience were very eye opening. I am 15+ episodes in and was beginning to feel down because no one is listening. I wanted to lose 40 pounds in 6 weeks. This episode has helped snap me out of that mindset.

    Thank you again for this episode. I will keep this in my library for inspiration and re-centering as I continue this podcast marathon.


  2. Dave Jackson
    4 months ago

    Hello Curtis,

    Glad I could help. I’m listening to the new book by Kevin Hart called Life lessons. Holy Cow did that guy pay his dues, but now he is one of the top comics. What did he do while he was waiting for his big break? He worked on being Good.


  3. Jesse
    4 months ago

    Dave,

    You mentioned using Abode Spark…Which graphic size is recommended for podcast album art (i know the pixels required for iTunes for but what’s a good starting point on Spark so quality isn’t lost)? I’m just starting to listen to your podcasts and I also have heard you on the Roundtable–just finished catching up to current. I’m currently gathering intel before starting a podcast. I have my content more or less or at least the direction and format and now I’m researching the back end, unseen, and the unheard. Also planning to go to Podcast Movement!
    Thank you


  4. Dave Jackson
    4 months ago

    I use the Instagram setting which makes a 2560 x 2560 size image which meets Apple specs (1400X1400 – 3000X3000 ) if you need to compress it to make the file size less than 500K you could use pixlr.com


  5. Randall Black
    2 months ago

    Thanks for the Whooshkaa review Dave! I was using a self-hosted option to try to make my new podcast work, but it was becoming a bit hard to maintain. I moved over to Whooshkaa until I make a decision on moving to a more permanent host and I can’t complain about their service.

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