(By Matty Staudt) Putting a podcast together is a lot of work. Once you have invested time and money into producing your show, you then have to think about how to launch it successfully.
This is the part a lot of folks get wrong and then figure out later. Here are some tips to make sure you get it right the first time.
1- Not picking the right RSS Feed Provider – Your RSS feed is the lifeblood of your podcast. Picking one means finding a platform that makes sense to you and does all the things you want it to. Check to see where the feed will automatically send your shows, find out if they are IAB compliant, and if they do dynamic insertion if you want to sell ads, and see what other features they offer like embedded players and websites. A great RSS feed provider can make your life much simpler.
2- Starting your feed without a trailer – A trailer does a couple things: First, most platforms will not accept your podcast if it doesn’t have audio. You want to make sure your show is on all of the major players like iHeart, Spotify, iTunes, and Stitcher as well as other great platforms people listen to podcasts on like Castbox, Overcast, Luminary, etc. before you drop that first episode because you want that first episode to be accessible to as many people as possible and it may take a few days or a week for your feed to show up on those platforms. I always say if you bake good bread, you want it on every store’s shelves.
3 – Bad Cover Art – The cover art is the first thing someone sees about your podcast, and bad cover art can turn off a person before they listen. Make sure it’s easy to see on a phone and avoid photos of yourself. Bold, text forward art is best. If you aren’t a graphic designer, check out sites like Fivrr to get it done on the cheap.
4- Poor Show Descriptions and Liner Notes – Your show description and notes are the key to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). More and more listeners are finding podcasts via Google search and if your show description and notes aren’t great, nobody will be able to find your show based on the topics and guests you have on.
5 – No Marketing and Budget Strategy – If you are launching your own podcast, you probably don’t have a budget to buy some spots on other podcasts to promote, but you can still find some like-minded shows and offer to do swaps where you promote their show and they promote yours. You must have a plan for getting listeners. Hoping they will find it is not a plan.
6 – Publishing the First Podcast Episode you Produce – Great podcast production is an art. Nobody is great at it on their first attempt. Produce a few shows and make sure that the first one you post is the best you can offer. You only get one chance to grab a new listener.
7 – Not getting good feedback – In radio, we have these things called “airchecks.” It’s when your boss or another personality listen to your show and give you honest feedback to make you better. I have been doing this for 30 years and still get feedback all the time. Find folks who will be honest and tell you what they think about your show.
8 – Overthinking – Now that I have given you some concrete strategies to consider when you launch, remember that at the end of the day, nothing is going to be perfect. Launch and learn from your mistakes.
Matty Staudt is the President and Founder of Jam Street Media and can be reached by phone at 415-310-5146 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.