So, you’ve got a podcast and you are producing episodes on a regular schedule – great! You are doing it! But now that you’ve got the rhythm of show production down, you have some free time, so you start looking around at what to improve, and inevitably you peek at your listener statistics. No matter how many listeners you have, more always seems better. So, what do you have to do to boost those numbers? There’s a ton of ways to increase downloads and listenership like:
- Show advertisements
- Social media campaigns
- Word of mouth
- Guest spots and outreach
- Merchandise and branding
- Increasing show quality
- Increasing episode release schedule
All of the above are essential pieces that you should consider for the continual growth of your show.
Special Series’ Can Boost Listenership and Downloads
One of the ways that I have seen the most growth in downloads and listenership for my show has been with special series of additional episodes. Normally, our show releases one episode per week where we review horror movies. We try our best to grow listenership using all the methods listed above, but we have seen the most impressive growth with
special series when we release reviews of horror-related shows. We release a series of “aftershows” to accompany timely releases of horror shows that are featured on
streaming services, and people love them!
Why it Works for Any Topic
Relevance is the biggest factor when it comes to releasing a short series of podcast episodes. In our case, we release aftershows to accompany the release of a popular, new streaming series. But releasing something relevant can be accomplished in tons of different ways. Maybe your podcast covers historical politics. Releasing a series covering the trends and outcomes of
elections over the past 20 years and what that means for this election cycle would be an excellent miniseries topic for release during our election.
If your show covers football, perhaps you release a miniseries detailing your tips, tricks, successes, and failures for picking the best fantasy draft would be a great release while fantasy ramps up. Podcasts that cover religion have a plethora of topics with incredible amounts of history to choose from. You could even build a series of miniseries out of religious topics!
Pros of Releasing Podcast Miniseries
It’s not hard to stream a list of pros for releasing relevant episodes all at once. More episodes
mean more downloads from your existing subscriber base. It could also mean a shot at tapping into the zeitgeist in a way that causes others to find you and stick around.
A miniseries doesn’t cost a tremendous amount of money to produce. As long as you take into account the monthly storage limits of your podcast hosting plan, it’s pretty cheap to do, which is essential because we don’t have crazy money to toss at everything.
If you have sponsors or can think of relevant companies to reach out to, a special series of podcast episodes can even mean an extra source of revenue if they are “Brought to you by XYZ Zipper brand jeans!” Ultimately, though, the biggest pro is that it can seriously increase your listenership base, and that’s one of the reasons you got started on this journey to begin with.
Cons of Releasing Podcast Miniseries
While a podcast series may not cost much in terms of money, depending on how you do it, it will
probably cost a lot in just about every other way. Tremendous amounts of time will have to be spent producing these shows:
- Will you need new intro/outro music?
- Does the miniseries need its own cover art?
- Would the series benefit from some guests?
- How much research do you need to do?
Hosting is not free, and you may need to bump up your hosting package to accommodate the miniseries. Miniseries can be very rewarding, but they also take time and resources. You might be so tired at the end of the miniseries that you need to take a mini-breather.
Have you had success posting a miniseries? Let us know how miniseries have helped you boost listenership.
David Day is the co-founder and co-host of Horror Movie Talk Podcast. When he isn’t watching horror movies he is focused on growing the podcast. Listen to his show Horror Movie Talk here.