The good news: More people are tuning in to podcasts. The bad news: More people are publishing podcasts. Want to build a loyal audience quickly? Evo Terra, co-founder of Podiobooks.com, shares these steps for getting and keeping listeners.
1. Go niche. There are a lot of podcasts vying for listeners' attention. To be heard, create a unique voice. Start by focusing on targeted topics--do your research to find out what's out there and how to be different. And share specifics in your podcasts; people who are overwhelmed with information want practical tips, not generalities.
3. Socialize. Strike up conversations in social networks. For a list of social networks and their estimated user count, go to Wikipedia and type "social networking websites" into the site's search engine. Start by creating a member profile page; this is the perfect place to talk up your podcast show. Then start conversations with people who share the same interests as your show's topics. Watch your words: The key is to socialize, not advertise.
4. Ego surf. Routinely monitor conversations about your show through search engines, blog engines and newsfeeds. While you're at it, track your competitors' podcasts, too. Find out what listeners are saying about their shows to improve the content and marketing efforts of yours.
5. Invite conversation. Encourage your listeners to talk to you. For example, offer a blog to respond to listeners' questions, comments and ideas. Terra also suggests incorporating your listeners' input, but don't be directed by a few fans. Do what's in the best interest of your entire audience so your podcasts will appeal to more people.
Clearly, these steps work for video podcasts, too. Either way, it's up to you to cultivate an audience. Don't wait for them to find you.
Catherine Seda, a 12-year internet marketing strategist, is author of How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders and dean of LA College International. Get her free "Top 10 Internet Marketing Mistakes" report at catherineseda.com.