Podcasts: 5 Ways to Build Your Community

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With more than 8 million episodes, 250,000 shows in over 100 languages, and 1 billion subscribers on iTunes, podcasts are part of our everyday life. So to ask whether recording a podcast can help your brand is the wrong question. That’s not all – podcasts range from the storytelling of This American Life to comedy like the WTF Podcast to the business sense of Planet Money. And it’s not enough to say these are just podcasts – people have built entertainment empires and lasting legacies through the medium.

If you think about when you listen to podcasts, it’s probably a diverse range like at work, at the gym or making dinner. And that’s the strength of a podcast – listeners can take in content at their own time. It’s audio Netflix. So if you have any inkling of starting a podcast, stop delaying. It can be the most powerful content in all of social media. Before we move on to tips for a successful podcast, remember this: successful podcasts build their own communities.


Clear audio is the most important part of your podcast content. After all, what good is having an engaging discussion or interview if your listener’s have trouble hearing your words through the cracks and buzz? The Blue Snowball USB microphone records in professional quality, at only $48.


Is the tone of your show going to be a host telling a story (a la This American Life), or an interview of industry leaders, or you and a co-host talking back and forth? There’s a variety of effective podcasting formats, so you want to select one that plays to your unique voice and strengths on a microphone. Most of all, as is the case in all forms of online content, engagement is the key. The structure of your podcast plays into its engagement, starting with your show’s title, introduction, and theme music.


Make sure to track listener data for your podcast, and shape your show accordingly. Do you notice a significant drop off in listeners at a certain time? It may be best to get rid of that segment. Use your listener’s data as feedback to shape the show’s content.


A significant reason for the popularity of podcasts is that they’re free. But just because you aren’t charging for content doesn’t mean you can’t make money. The key number is 10,000: if your podcast gets 10,000 downloads, you can begin attracting sponsors. Find options that fit your show. Many podcasts use advertising hits during topic transitions.


Get your podcast on iTunes ASAP. Appear on other people’s podcasts to cross promote. Have other podcasters appear on your podcast. Tags and metadata for podcasts work in a similar way as blog content, so make sure you’re tagging each show with the right keywords.

The last question you may be thinking is “How long should my podcast run?”. The average length of a podcast is 35 minutes, which is closer to a radio or TV show. But the real answer is that the length of your episodes should be determined by the compelling content. After all, the audience is out there. Now it’s up to you to create the community.

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