The Profitable Podcaster

Podcast Swaps Grew My Show by 21%

In the past month or so, I’ve been experimenting with something that grew my podcast downloads by 21% and it wasn’t paid ads. See, the best way to grow your podcast is to get in front of other podcast audiences. 

With that in mind, I decided to try some Podcast Swaps, and they’ve been working so well I’m going to do another round. Let’s take a look at what they are, how they work, and how you can do them too. 

My Results

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of podcast swaps to grow my audience. Here are the results of the last few. You can see big growth on release days, and consistent growth over the past month. This is a 21% increase month-over-month.

How Podcast Swaps Work

Getting your podcast in front of other people’s audiences is the best way to grow your podcast. 3 ways to do that:

  1. Promo Swaps: Each host reads a promo for the other show.
  2. Feed swaps: Each host drops an episode from the other show in their feed.
  3. Guest/Interview swaps

Finding the right shows can be tricky and take some research.

In the past, I’ve looked at Apple Podcasts to see what other shows they recommend under my own show. I’ll also look at the top shows in my categories. But there’s been a much better way.

Tink Media’s Podcast Swap Database

Podcast Marketer @laurenpassell maintains a Podcast Promo Swap database. I’ve used this database to reach out to 20 podcasts similar to mine.

As a result, I’ve landed promo swaps, feed swaps, and podcast interviews. It makes the outreach process so much easier.

Using that database (find the link on @laurenpassell‘s profile. Also follow her), you can:

  1. Sort by category, promo type, and size
  2. Craft a personalized email with the type of swap, your show, and how you found them.

Oh and list your show in the database. It’s free!

Getting your podcast in front of other listeners, while they are listening to a podcast, makes it super easy for them to subscribe to yours.

And Lauren’s database makes it super easy to connect with other podcasters. It’s a win-win.

Show Notes

Intro: Real quick before we get started. I wanna 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]

Jeff Utecht: Hi folks. I’m Jeff Utecht, the founder, and co-host of the Shifting Schools Podcast. If you are a fan of this show and a fan of podcasts, consider checking out Shifting Schools. We drop a new episode every Monday. Also, be sure to check out over 60 free guides and resources we have for educators on our website at shiftingschools.com.

Joe Casabona: What you just heard is a podcast promo that’s part of a podcast promo swap I’m doing with Jeff and Trisha over at Shifting Schools. Now, full disclosure, they are coaching clients of mine, but I thought that this would be a fun experiment because we’re both in the education category on Apple Podcasts and other areas. So we’re probably kind of showing up In similar searches anyway. The main difference is that I’m teaching people how to make money with their podcast, and Jeff and Trisha use their show to help people in the K12 space. If you’re in the K12 space, I strongly recommend it. 

But this podcast swap and that promo are also Illustrative. I think that’s a word of what I want to talk about today, which is how I grew my main podcast, How I Built it 21% over the last month or so by doing podcast swaps. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. I’ll talk about different approaches, how you can do them, and then how you can find podcasts to swap with. Oh, and if you wanna see the receipts for that growth I just mentioned, you can find that and more over in the show notes over at [makemoneypod.com/212.

Hello, and welcome to Make Money Podcasting, where I teach you how to make your first $10,000 with your podcast. On this show, you’ll learn tried and true methods to increase your revenue and turn your podcast from a money pit into a money maker.

Hi, I’m your host, Joe Casona, and my podcasts have been making money from day one without a lot of downloads. I’ll share everything I know with you here on Make Money Podcasting. All right, let’s get into it. 

Hey, everybody, I hope you are doing well today. I’m really excited to share these results because they kind of hit me in the face like I didn’t realize it until I looked back at the data and I saw these three pretty significant increases in downloads. Just for comparison’s sake, again, I’ll include this graph in the show notes. But looking at Chartable, if we look at August 1st, which looks like it was a release day, but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe we should look at August 7th, I had about 3,600 downloads on that day, and that was a release day. And that’s pretty par for the course. I usually get between 2,800 and 3,600 downloads overall, right? Not just the main, not just the first episode on download days. 

Now, if we look further at that data, I actually saw a pretty good decrease in launch days from that point. So again, from like August 8th, I had – I’m looking at the actual numbers. Now, on August 8th, I had 3,396 downloads on launch day. If we go 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, the following launch day, I had nearly a thousand fewer downloads. So maybe it’s just like a summer slum. Maybe it was people traveling. Maybe people just weren’t that interested in the podcast episodes. But from there, I had on launch days, I had 2,500. I had 2,800. I had 3,000.

And then on September 5th, which was the first day of kind of three weeks in a row of me doing podcast swaps with other podcasts, I had 3,967 downloads. That is a considerable bump from the previous week and about 300 more downloads from the last highest date in this period. The following week I had 4,510 downloads. And the week after that I had 5,398 downloads which are quite considerable and over double from my lowest point in this period on August 15th, lowest launch day point. 

If we look at those episodes over a seven-day download period, so August 29th, if we look at that episode that was a solo show that had 1600 downloads in seven days, and then I saw it go up from there. But the one from last week that had the highest launch day downloads in a while was downloaded to over 2000 times in a seven-day download period, which is more but the week before that was pretty close as well. So good growth. Good growth over that period for me, for my show. 

And what led to that growth was those podcast swaps. So I wanna share with you kind of a few ways to do podcast swaps, how you should approach them, and how to find podcasts to swap with. So those are the results. Getting your podcast in front of other people’s audiences is definitely the best way to grow your podcast because people are listening to a podcast at that point.

So if they hear about a podcast that might be interesting to them, it’s easy for them to subscribe and it’s free, like it’s not gonna cost them any money. So, they’re already listening. They’re already in an app. It’s free. So it’s a really easy move. It’s like the equivalent of like the gum upsell when you’re in the checkout at a grocery store.

So there are three ways now. There are more ways, but there are three main ways to kind of do a podcast swap. 

The first is a Promo Swap. This is similar to what you heard at the top of the show with Jeff and Shifting Schools. Either the podcasters can read their own promo and swap them. Or generally what I’ve done and what I think probably works a little bit better, each host reads a promo for the other show. So if I’m doing a podcast swap with you, I will write out a script or talking points, and then you read that at the top of your show. Pre-roll, according to some statistics I’ve read. I’ll again include these on show notes over at [makemoneypod.com/212]

Pre-roll Podcast Promos do incredibly well. And a pre-roll is the best place to have them because they’re not interrupting the flow. And when people start listening, they hear your voice and they’re kind of a, they’ve just started, right? So they’re actively looking at their app probably. So pre-roll podcast promo swaps are the first way to do this.

The second is a Feed Swap or Feed Drop. That’s where each host drops an episode from the other show in their feed in an off day. And this is really important, right? So I publish on Mondays. I publish this show on Thursdays. And so if I were to do a feed drop for How I Built, I’d probably do that on a Thursday. If I was doing a feed job for Make Money Pod, I’d probably do that on a Monday or a Tuesday. That way there’s kind of enough space between the main episode and then the feed job. So what I would do is I would get the audio. I would include bumpers like I would record an intro saying like, “Hey, this is a little different. You’re going to hear a full episode of this podcast. I recommend it. Here’s how you can subscribe.” And then at the end, “Hey, I hope you enjoyed that. If you did, let me know if you started listening” whatever. You know, like the sign off. But just to let people know, “Hey, this is not my own episode. This is somebody else’s episode. But I strongly recommend you listen.”

And the Feed Swap can be a trailer or it could be a full episode. I’ll leave that up to you, right? But a trailer drop might not be bad, right? Where I send somebody my trailer and then they can listen. Or with this show especially, it’s 20 minutes. It’s not very long. So, you know, they might be willing to drop the whole episode. If it’s like a two-hour interview show, right? Maybe that’s not a good fit. But this is where you use your discretion and I’ll get into that a little bit soon.

The third way is to do Guest or Interview Swaps, right? So this is where you interview the other host on your podcast, and then the other host interviews you on their podcast. And as I believe, as I’ve said in the previous episode, I’ve definitely said it in my newsletter which you can get over at [podcastliftoff.com/subscribe], getting on other people’s podcasts is a great way to grow your podcast, right? Pat Flynn has said that a lot of times. He gave me that advice when I was on his show, Ask Pat. And so going on there, just making sure your call to action is really clear, right? “Hey, I also have a podcast. Check it out.” 

So you could do guest or interview swaps as well. That one is probably a little bit trickier, right? Because you wanna make sure that you have a good fit for both of you, right? Like it’s one thing to be similar shows and similar categories. But if I’m interviewing creators, I mean, I guess any podcaster is a creator. But if they can’t offer like clear advice to my audience on how to be a better creator, it might not be a good fit. Similarly, like if their audience doesn’t care about podcasts, I wouldn’t be a good fit for them because that’s what I talk about. So you wanna make sure that’s a good fit. 

The other thing that you can do if your shows are similar enough, instead of an interview swap or a guest swap, you can do a joined episode or a joint episode where you both kind of do a host, co-host situation, and then you release that same episode on your feed. I’ve done this at least once and it was pretty fun like we just kind of recorded it. We didn’t worry about the bumpers. We added those later. I added my advertisements later. And it worked out pretty well. We got together. We recorded a piece of content. We both put it in our feeds. And then we had the calls to action to like, “Hey, go check out this podcast.”

So, that’s another option if you don’t wanna do a straight interview swap, right? If you want to just get together once, record an episode, right? And this works really well if you are in the same field. So if I’m interviewing somebody else in the podcast field, we can go back and forth exchanging ideas on how to grow your podcast or ideas on how to monetize your podcast. So that’s something else to think about.

So those are the three main ways to get in front of other people’s audiences doing these podcast swaps, promo swaps, feed swaps, and guest/interview swaps or joint episodes. 

Now, how do you find the right shows? This can be a little bit tricky because they might not always have a website. The email address might not be readily available. There are tools out there, like I think one is called Muck Rack that will do it like that will expose an email address and everything like that. Because at this point, Apple Podcasts still requires an email address to be included in your feed. That’s going away next year, though, so, you know, heads up on that. But, you know, your information is still, or a podcaster’s information is still out there. Usually it’s pretty easy to figure out the email address. It just takes a little bit of legwork. 

So what do I do? For a while, I would look at Apple Podcasts to see what other shows they recommend under my show. So if you go to Apple Podcast, then you go to your podcast page and Apple Podcast, scroll to the bottom. You’ll see a, You might also like section. This is supposed to indicate what listeners of your show are also listening to. So for Make Money Pod, it’s Ask Pat, Smart Passive Income Marketing School and the Game are the four that are listed there. This show is relatively new still, so I assume Apple Podcasts is gathering more information. 

For How I Built It, it’s a lot of, that show is weirdly big in China, and so there’s a couple of Chinese language podcasts. I asked Apple, (this is a small aside) I did ask Apple support for about thousand. I’m like, “Am I getting like spam?” And they’re like “No. This is perfectly legitimate.” And I’m like, “Okay. Great.” So I don’t know. Still good though. I mean, they’re not like the United States is still over 50% of my audience. But just interesting. 

So that’s what I used to do. You can do that with other podcast directories as well. You could look at Spotify,  or Overcast or just kind of do a category search. Listen Notes and Good Pods. Actually Good pods, I’ll say is a good resource for this. That’s kind of like a…they build themselves as good reads for podcasts. So, Good Pods is a good place to look as well as Podchaser. In each of these places, you’ll be able to find kind of lookalike podcasts that you can then reach out to the host and ask if they’re interested in doing this.

Now, the other thing you wanna make sure you do is ensure it’s an equitable trade, right? So I would never email Pat Flynn and be like, “Hey, you talk about podcasting on Smart Passive income. I talk about podcasting on Make Money Pod. Let’s do a podcast swap.” because Pat gets – I’m gonna assume millions of downloads per episode. And this show at present is getting tens of downloads per episode.  Maybe like a hundred downloads per episode. I’m very close to like a thousand lifetime downloads where lifetime is like the last four months. So pretty happy about that. Either way though, that’s not an equitable trade. So you also should look at download metrics. That’s where Listen Notes comes in. They have like a percentage of podcasts that you sit in sometimes. According to them, my main show sits in like the top 1.5%. I don’t know how accurate that number is, but that number is compared to other numbers, right? They’re using the same metrics across all podcasts so you can at least see if you’re kind of in the same ballpark. Because again, you do wanna make it equitable. You wanna make sure that you’re doing a swap that makes sense for both of you.

But there is another tool out there that I’ve been using lately from a podcast marketer, Laren Passel. She’s the founder of Tink Media. She maintains a podcast promo swap database in Airtable. I love Airtable. I actually made a copy of this so I could keep track of who I’ve reached out to. But I’ve used this database to reach out to 20 podcasts similar to mine either in size or scope. And as a result, I landed promo swaps, feed swaps, and podcast interviews, which is really exciting. That last part is really exciting to me. And I’ll, bring this up so I can kind of…and again, I’ll link this in the show notes, but there’s a lot of really good information here. So if you look at the database, again, it’s an Airtable base, but that might not be super relevant to you. It includes the name of the show, the description, a link to the podcast or website, average downloads per episode, categories that it’s listed in, and then opportunities where opportunities could be like promo ad swap, open to guests looking for interviews. So there are a lot of different opportunities here. Open other opportunities, social media swaps, guest interview swaps, and promo ad swaps. So, you can filter this and say like, “Oh, I only wanna do like interview swaps” or “I only wanna do social media swaps.” Right? 

So there. That’s a really great way to kind of whittle down the numbers to say, “Okay. I want Podcasts in the education category that is open to promo or ad swaps that have 2000 or fewer downloads” right? per episode. 

And then it also includes the host’s name of the contact’s name and the email address so you don’t have to go hunting for that. So I strongly recommend you sign up for this podcast promo swap list. It’s at [tinkmedia.co/pod-swaps]. I will have it in the show notes over at [makemoneypodd.com/212]. So using that database. You should also follow Laren on Twitter. so I’ll link her Twitter as well. Sort by category, promo type size, and then craft a personalized email with the type of swap your show and how you found them. 

The personalized email bit is important because Laren is providing this free of charge. You should list your show in it if you haven’t because it is free. Don’t abuse it by spamming people, right? I could have easily because I understand Airtable and automation are my things. I could have easily just set up an automation to send the same email to every podcast in that list. Or every podcast that met a certain criteria. But I didn’t. I looked through. I checked out the show because this is the other thing, right? If I’m doing a promo swap or a guest swap, or a feed drop, any of these, I wanna make sure that they’re a good fit for my audience, right? And so I don’t swear very much. There’s one episode I don’t swear though on my podcast, right? So if there’s like a Profanity Laced podcast, even if we have like the same size and the same kind of mission, I’m probably not gonna do a podcast swap with them. Or if I’m offering to do an interview swap, especially, right? I took a little bit of a risk by offering an interview swap sometimes because I wanna be interviewed. And again, I want the trade to be equitable.

So, when I’m proposing an interview swap, I wanna make sure that who I’m talking to is not – is gonna make for a good interview for my show. So, my email usually just says like, “ Hey name, I found your show, show name,  on the Tink Media’s Podcast Swap Database (some information about the podcast and why it jumped out at me, and then what I’m proposing.) So I usually propose a podcast swap or a feed drop. And I also say “If you’re looking for guests or you wanna do an interview swap, these are some of the things I talk about. I think they would be good for your audience. I only propose that if I think it would be good for their audience.” Okay, so that’s also really important. But the Tink Media’s Podcast Swap Database. Because again, getting your podcast in front of other listeners while they’re listening to a podcast makes it super easy for them to subscribe to yours. And Laren’s database makes it super easy to connect with other podcasters. So, it’s a win-win. And that is how I will leave it today.

Thanks so much for listening to Make Money Podcasting. For all the show notes, you can head over to [makemoneypod.com/212]. If you liked this episode, give me a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. I will read your review on the air. If you do that, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks so much for listening. And until next time. I can’t wait to see what you make.

Podcast Booster Blueprint

Use my 10-year podcasting journey to put your podcast on the right track. 

Get my free Podcast Booster Blueprint now. I’ll walk you through 5 changes you can make in minutes to:

  • Attract and keep your ideal listeners
  • Skyrocket your downloads
  • Start making money (now) 

No hacks. Only Real actionable tips I test for you.