The Profitable Podcaster

6 Ways to Double Your Podcast Downloads in 2023

Last year, I more than doubled my monthly downloads for my already popular podcast, How I Built It, from 34,000 downloads per month to 71,000 downloads per month. Today, I want to give you 6+ ways you can do the same thing. 

1/ Podcast promo swaps. Easily the best way to do it. I saw a marked increase in the number of downloads on weeks I swapped promos with another podcaster. 

Why do you think Wonder, iHeart, and the other big networks do it? 

2/ Feed drops. If you want to give an audience a taste of what they can get by subscribing, trade episodes with another podcaster and put them in your feed on an off-day. 

You could even go the extra mile and create a custom CTA to subscribe to your show. 

3/ Podcast guesting. Borrowing audiences is a tale as old as time, and that’s exactly what you do when you go on other podcasts.  Provide a TON of value then make your CTA to check out your podcast. They can do it from the same app. 

4/ Promote your podcast in your newsletter. It can be dedicated broadcasts just for the episode, or a feature in your weekly newsletter, but make sure you’re telling your own audience about it. Don’t just assume they know. 

5/ Create better titles. You want episode titles that stoke the need to listen through curiosity. Don’t just use your guest’s name. Open a thread that can only be closed by listened. If you need ideas, check out the incredible Creator Hooks by Jake Thomas. 

6/ Know who you serve! When you clearly define the problem your podcast solves, it makes your episodes more shareable. Define your mission statement and who you help. Then serve them!  

Show Notes

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Intro: Real quick before we get started. I want to tell you about a new free resource I have called the Podcast Booster Blueprint. Turn your podcast into $10,000 of income by getting free – an instant access to my Podcast Booster Blueprint. I’ll walk you through five changes you can make in minutes to put your podcast on the 10K path. You’ll learn how to attract and keep your ideal listeners to grow your trusted audience. You’ll learn how to skyrocket your downloads in the first 30 days, and you’ll learn how to start making money, today. 

Use the same strategies and tactics I use for my own podcasts with the Podcast Booster Blueprint. Head on over to [makemoneypod.com/blueprint] right now to get your free Podcast Booster Blueprint. That’s [makemoneypod.com/blueprint].

Last year, I doubled my monthly downloads for my already popular podcast, How I Built It from 34,000 downloads per month to 71,000 downloads per month.

So in today’s episode, the first of the year, I want to give you 6 ways that you can grow your podcast in 2023. 

Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Profitable Podcaster. Welcome to a new year and a new season. It is Season 3, which means that for every episode number, we’ll start with the number three. And then it will be corresponding to the number of episode in the year.

This one is 301. You can find all of the show notes for this episode over at [profitablepodcaster.fm/301]. That is also a new URL. So I’m really excited about the new year and helping even more people become profitable podcasters. So we’re going to be talking about 6 ways you can grow your show in 2023.

There might even be a bonus, but for now, let’s get to the intro, and then we’ll get to the advice.

Having a profitable podcast is like having any other profitable business. You need to make money. Sure, but you also need to grow. You need to spend your time wisely and you need predictability. A couple of sponsors won’t make you a profitable podcaster, but having systems to stay consistent, create steady growth, and generate predictable income will. That’s what you’ll get with this show. 

Hi, I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And my podcasts have been making money from Day 1 without a lot of downloads. I’ll share everything I know with you here on profitable podcaster.

All right. So let’s get to those tips.

The first one, I’m just gonna go right out the gate, and talk about them. 

Number one is podcast promo swaps. This is easily the best way to grow your podcast, and here’s why. You are borrowing audiences, and you’re getting in front of people who are already interested in podcasting and in the topics that you’re talking about on your podcast. 

So, back in September, I did an episode about how podcast swaps grew my podcast by around 21 or 24%. And then I went on to tell a story about how in friends, the thing that really Increased their viewership was a two-part crossover episode where they had the cast from Matt About You and the cast from ER on Back-to-back episodes. And those were shows that led into or followed up friends. And so they were able to capture audience on that one.

So if you are going to do a podcast promo swap, I recommend you reach out to podcasts in a similar niche. Give them some copy that they can read or some bullet points so they can talk about your show. And then you each talk about each other’s show on an episode of your podcast. So you could treat this like an ad read. You probably heard me if you’ve been a long-time listener of this show, you probably know that I’ve done it a couple of times on this show. And so this is a really great way. Of course, I have a clear call to action. I like to link to the podcast in the show notes, but people are already in their podcast player. So they’re going to search for that show when you mention it.

This is so effective and it’s no wonder. It’s no mystery why Wondery and iHeart, and the podcast, the HubSpot Podcast Network all do this because they see growth in their shows when they promote on other shows. So podcast swaps definitely the best way for you to grow your podcast.

I’m going to be digging into that even more over on the Podcast Liftoff Playbook in 2023. So if you’re interested in joining that, you can head over to [podcastliftoff.com/playbook]. And that’s going to be a core of my experimentation for this year.  

And I’m probably also gonna have an accountability group where we talk about podcast swaps and offer podcast swaps. So that’ll be a great community-building exercise in an already great resource for podcasters.

Number two is feed drops. A Similar to podcast swaps, but instead of the host doing an ad read or the host talking about a podcast, what happens is you just get a full episode from a podcaster to drop it in your feed. 

Now, what I like to do when I do feed drops is I try to do it on off days. So My show, my How I Built It publishes on Mondays, and then I have a clip show that is either going to be on Thursdays or on Saturdays or so, like somewhere towards the end of the week, right? 

So let’s say I pick Friday for the clip show. On Thursdays, I reserve that day for feed drops. So if I do a feed drop, swap, I guess, or an episode swap with a podcaster, I’ll get their audio. I will add bumpers to the beginning and end of it. So I’ll say like, “Hey, this episode is blah, blah, blah. Here’s where you can find more information. Subscribe to the show. Now we’ll turn it over to the host’s name and get into.”

And at the end of the same thing, “Hey, I hope you enjoyed that again. You can find this podcast over at blah blah blah.” So that is a feed drop. You coordinate with a podcaster to essentially trade episodes. 

And again, I’ll do this on off days. If you’re like short a week, you could always do it in the main feed and say like, “Hey, I think you would really like this, but I think it’s effective as additional content and not the actual content.”

And again, you can, if you do a feed drop, what I’ll try to do as well is remove the ads, right? I don’t want my, you know, I don’t think it’s right to have my sponsor spots on their feed. So I’ll remove the ads or I’ll do the ad-free version. And if you wanna go the extra mile, you can also create a custom call to action for that podcast. So if it’s like, “Hey, Acme podcast. Listeners, I hope you like this show. if you want to subscribe over at [howibuilt.it/acme] or whatever. 

Number three is podcast guesting. So again, borrowed audiences is a tale as old as time. You know that season one of FRIENDS was back in the early nineties, I guess mid-nineties, but this is something that people have been doing for a long time. They do it with webinars. They do it with guest blog posts, and you can do it with podcast guesting as well. 

So you go on somebody’s podcast, and you provide a ton of value. This is the thing, right? You’re not constantly just pitching your podcast. You are providing advice in the same niche that your podcast exists. And then you make your call to action to say like, “Hey, if you like this sort of stuff, I talk about it all the time on my podcast over at the profitable podcaster.” 

Now, I’m a little torn on this, right, because I’m trying to build my mailing list too. So I try to have it both ways. And I’ll usually point people to a landing page that has subscribed buttons to my podcast as well as an opt-in for my mailing list.

And I haven’t…the data’s like the jury’s still out on that. I haven’t tested it too hard yet. I will say that I’’ve noticed a big bump in a Newsletter subscribers when I do that. So, this year as I start putting out more episodes of this show more regularly, again, I’m going to definitely test the waters and see if the landing page works versus if just a straight call to action for this podcast works better. But either way, make sure to at least mention your show. Tell them, “Hey, I also have a podcast over here. It’s called this “Use whatever app you’re using.”

Number four is to promote your podcast in your own newsletter. Don’t just assume that people subscribe to your newsletter. Know you have a podcast. Usually, if people are subscribed to one type of content, they’re not just going to subscribe to every type of content.

And your newsletter is a good place for you to  aggregate or curate your content from other places. So with promoting your podcast, in your newsletter, it could be dedicated broadcasts just for the episode. It could be a feature in your weekly newsletter, but just make sure you’re telling your newsletter subscribers about it.

I, again, for 2023, I’m going to make the episodes because it was kind of like this already. I would publish a newsletter and then I would read that newsletter for this podcast. So instead, I’m writing the copy, usually an outline or some text first. I’m using that as the basis for the episode. And then I’m gonna connect this podcast feed to Convertkit, which is what I use. And when the episode goes out, people will get a dedicated newsletter. 

And I’ll have a tutorial on how to do that in the podcast Liftoff playbook. if you’re interested, again, that’s over at [podcastliftoff.com/playbook.] So just make sure that you’re telling all of your other audiences about your podcast. Social media is not a great place to gain listenership, but your newsletter definitely yes.

Number five is create better titles. I recently interviewed Jake Thomas over at Creator Courses on How I Built It. And we talked at length about this, about how to create clickable YouTube titles, and how his product helps people do that. 

You want episode titles that stoke the need to listen through curiosity.  You wanna open a curiosity loop that can only be closed from people listening. So hopefully when you clicked on this, the title was ‘How to Grow Your Podcast in 2023’, right? So if you’re interested in growing your podcast, why wouldn’t you listen to this? Right? And so you wanna make sure that the titles are not just like your guest name or like just the topic. Right? So they’re gonna be talking about memberships. Okay, great. Instead, it should be like if it’s a podcast about memberships, then it should be, ‘Use this method to get more reliable income for your podcast or something like that, right? or building reliable or building predictable income through memberships, right? 

You want the value proposition in the title and you want to entice people to click through it. I would recommend you check out Creator Courses as well. That’s another, that’s gonna be another experiment for me for the year over in the playbook is I’m gonna be experimenting with titles a lot more than I have in the past.

Number six is to know who you serve. When you clearly define the problem your podcast solves, it makes your episodes more shareable. I’ve been saying for a while now that painkillers sell or attract better than vitamins, right? It’s easier to tell people that you’re solving a pain point for them versus telling them like to take a preventative measure, right? Doctors see this too, right? It’s you have to stop smoking or you’re going to get lung cancer versus you have lung cancer and now we gotta fix it. So, what a dark analogy for such a lighthearted podcast. But the point is to tell people the problem, the pain points that you are alleviating for them. And you do that by having a clear mission statement of who you help and how you help them. 

So those are the 6 Ways: 

  1. Podcast Promo Swaps
  2. Feed Drops
  3. Podcast guesting
  4. Promoting your podcast and your newsletter
  5. Creating better titles
  6. Knowing who you serve.

I’ll give you a bonus, which is doing crossover episodes with other podcasters. So, I’ll probably do a whole episode on this. if you’re interested, let me know joe@casabona.org, but, send me an email there. But, what you could do is work with a podcaster to create unique content that you release on each other’s feeds, right?

And so you record the episode, and then you add your bumpers and sponsor spots in later. Let them know how they can find the other podcaster. I’ve done this a couple of times. I did a debate with my friend Nathan over whether speakers should be paid for speaking gigs. He runs a virtual summit. I am a speaker, and so we had a pretty lively debate. And the episode did really well. So you could do those crossover episodes. They help establish trust a little bit faster than just like a promo swap or a feed drop because now, you’re working with somebody that they trust. So that’s a bonus number seven.

That’s it for this episode. Let me know which method you liked the best. There are all of the ways to get in touch with me over at [profitablepodcaster.fm/301]. But I’m on most social media as @jcasabona or you can email me, joecasabona.org. This will all be in the show notes and in the description for your podcast player too. 

So thanks so much for listening to the Profitable Podcaster. And until next time. I can’t wait to see what you make.

Podcast Booster Blueprint

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