Consistency and quality are necessary to start a podcast with no audience.
Promotion is another tool you can utilize if you would like to expedite growth but is not worthwhile until you have at least a few episodes published and some valuable feedback accompanying that. That said, there is no secret sauce to the process.
Eventually, through good quality content, with persistent effort, you will attract avid listeners. These listeners then become the catalyst to growing your audience and getting new listeners.
Related: Start a Podcast People Will Listen To [2023 Guide]
What Promotion Works?
Getting your first one thousand listeners is the greatest challenge for new podcasters. With more than 700,000 podcasts active, of which only a fraction of a percent gain a loyal audience that eventually allows them to monetize their podcasts. What separates one from the other is a promo strategy that works.
There are several methods to promote your podcast, but two reap dividends: becoming a guest and inviting guests.
Related: Podcast Agreement with Guests: What is it and Why do I Need One?
Unlike on social media, where the attention span of an audience is limited to a minute or a few minutes at most, the audience of a more established podcaster is likely to listen to 45 minutes of content. If you’re in the same genre and cover the same topics they do, the guest appearance is bound to bring in new listeners.
The same is true in the reverse. When you invite a podcaster to guest on an episode, you can draw their audience to your podcast, making it easier for them to follow you without much effort. The only drawback to inviting other podcasters to yours is that you’ll need to do all the legwork editing the podcast and then hope they promote the episode, something you can avoid by filling your schedule with interviews or guest spots.
How Frequently Should I Publish?
Knowing the frequency to post to spark growth is possibly the most challenging aspect of launching a podcast without an existing platform. Yet it is this frequency –– and, more importantly, consistency –– that allows you to stay top of mind for listeners and ensure that as you get more listeners, these newer listeners will have a back catalog to enjoy.
If you’re not a full-time podcast, don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you will be able to manage a once-a-week posting schedule.
Instead, keep your posting schedule manageable to ensure you don’t go weeks or months without posting. Aim for twice or once a month as it gives you time to script, record, and edit your podcast without the burnout potential. You also guarantee each episode maintains the same quality.
Related: What’s the Best Time of Year to Launch a Podcast?
What Topics Should I Cover?
The topics you cover will depend on one thing: your niche. For that reason, you should first determine what your niche is and what other podcasts are covering within that niche. Then create a spin on this content.
You can also use social media –– Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok –– to find trending content within your niche.
When creating the concept for the podcast, don’t reinvent the wheel, only focus on adding to the conversation with a fresh perspective on these pertinent ideas.
Does Quality Matter?
Yes. Crisp, clear audio should be a primary objective. Launching a zero-audience podcast with a video component is rare, so audio, naturally, is more critical. Besides, our ears are far more sensitive than our eyes. Therefore, while something may not bother us visually if it has sound issues, these issues make it challenging to listen, drastically reducing listener retention. To overcome this, invest in a microphone, pop filter, and reflection filter to improve the quality of your podcast.
The success of your new podcast depends on how you go about laying the groundwork: perfecting your sound, creating a schedule and sticking to it, and your ability to promote your podcast on shows with existing audiences by adding value to the conversation. To emerge from the 700,000 other people who are running a podcast this year, you need to be willing to do this work. Then, as other podcasts become dormant or listeners look for fresh content to consume, your podcast is likely to end up in their recommendations. As you absorb more listeners, algorithms understand who to suggest your podcast to; ultimately, that’s how you launch a podcast without an audience.
Related: What Are The Elements Of A Podcast? and The Characteristics of a Good Podcast