So you’ve worked hard to build a blog audience, and it’s paid off. Your audience is loyal, engaged, and growing. But now you’re itching to start a podcast – or invest more time in the podcast you’re currently producing – and you aren’t sure how to get those readers to become listeners.
Maybe your readers love your writing style and don’t love the idea that you might be writing less. Or maybe they just don’t really understand podcasts or the technology behind them. Should you give up on your podcasting dreams, and just stick with the sure thing?
No way! Yes, it can take some work to convert your readers into listeners, and some of your blog fans may never listen to your podcast. But if you follow these steps, you can get a lot of your blog readers to give your podcast a chance – and maybe become subscribers and regular listeners.
Produce A Quality Show.
It should go without saying, but if you want to convince podcast skeptics to convert, you’re going to have to deliver quality the first time or two they listen. While a die-hard podcast listener might be checking her app every day and continually looking for new episodes, someone who’s new to podcasts might listen to yours just once in her browser…and give up if it’s boring or sounds terrible. Keep in mind that a newbie podcast listener is accustomed to radio-quality audio, so you want to make sure your sound quality is good and that you have gotten comfortable recording before you tell your readers about your show.
That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect right off the bat! Just make sure you are producing consistently good shows before you tell the whole world. You can always introduce your readers to your podcast after it’s been publishing for a while, and if those first few shows were a little rough, be honest and focus on how much you’ve progressed! Your superfans will love to watch you tackle something new and get better along the way.
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Involve Your Readers.
Your readers will be much more likely to turn into listeners if you engage them in the process. Ask them to submit questions to spur future topics, and make sure you mention your podcast on your blog regularly! Detailed show notes are a great way to increase investment in a podcast – write some tantalizing text or share a few of the most intriguing quotes to encourage your readers to go ahead and click that “play” button while they’re reading.
Use your most popular blog posts and topics as a jumping-off point for future podcast episodes – if people loved reading about something on your blog, chances are good they’ll be hungry to learn more in another format. Giveaways, on-air shout-outs to listeners who review your show, and reading emails from listeners during the show are other great ways to involve your readers and hopefully, turn them into listeners.
Educate Your Readers.
Some readers may just not understand how podcasts work or how to listen to them. Embedding the podcast on your blog allows readers to more easily find and listen. You can also include direct links to your show in iTunes or other podcast platforms in your sidebar or at the bottom of each post to make it easy for your readers. You may want to write a tutorial post like this that explains in detail how to find, subscribe to, and listen to podcasts on a smart phone.
Lastly, don’t forget to remind your readers often that you have a podcast and how they can listen to it! Go where they are: if your community is active on Facebook or Instagram, use those platforms to continually remind your fans that you’re podcasting, and make it easy for them to find your show. The Blubrry PowerPress plugin for WordPress is a great free tool that allows you to publish, syndicate, and embed new episodes in your blog in one easy step.
Use Accessible Language.
While almost everyone has heard of a podcast by now, many still perceive them to be “for techy people” and may not understand that podcasts are for everyone and cover a wide range of topics! While you’re introducing the idea of podcasting to your audience, occasionally use accessible language that everyone can understand: words like “show” and “conversation” feel a little less geeky than “podcast” and may help your readers understand that a podcast is basically on-demand radio that lives in your phone or computer.
With a little planning and effort you can turn even your most loyal readers into listeners! Remember that ultimately, what your readers love is you – so make the most of this new medium, and your audience will follow along.
-This post was written by Meagan Francis, blogger-turned-podcaster and creator of the Life, Listened podcast network.