As a support person for a podcasting company (Libsyn.com) I have people contact me who are looking at their daily, weekly, and monthly stats and in some cases they panic.
If the numbers go up, they don't believe they are real listeners
If the numbers go down, then there must be something wrong.
I host a show that I've done since 2005 called The School of Podcasting and it has over 600 episodes.
When I look at the stats for a current month, 60% of them are from shows NOT released that month.
For example, let's say I get 20,000 downloads in the month of June. The episode released in June might get 2000 downloads an episode. That means four episodes would be 8000 downloads.
Then where did the other 12,000 downloads come during June? Your back episodes.
When someone finds your show and they like it they will download more episodes.
Some apps make I super easy to download ALL of your episodes. In my case that is over 600 downloads in one day.
With this in mind your daily, weekly, and monthly stats are not a consistent way to tell if your show is growing.
What you want to measure is the number of downloads per episode. Some people recommend the total number of downloads for the episode after it has been published for 30 days. They use this stat as that is often the time frame sponsors use.
I like to check the total number of downloads after seven days. Why? Because it shows me my (in my opinion) subscribers and “super fans.”
As os the case always with stats you can pivot and do creative math to see what you want to see. Just keep it consistent. If you want to compare one episode after 30 days to another one after it has been available for 30 days, you can do that. Just make sure they are both showing stats for the same period of time. A show that has been published longer will naturally have more downloads.
I would love to help you plan, launch, grow and monetize your podcast. Take advantage of my 14 years of experience.
The best way to have a podcast with multiple people is to get all the cards on the table when you start. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible, and then approach each other with respect when surprises arise.
You've decided that you want to do a podcast with a co-host. That's great. Some people feel having a co-host makes podcasting easier because it's not just you talking into a wall.
But there some things you might want to think consider. Number one, who owns the show? So if it's the Bert and Ernie show, and Burt decides he wants to quit, does that mean Ernie can't find a new co-host and change the name?
You'll see this all the time with bands like Pink Floyd and Queensryche who spend tons of cash in court arguing over who owns the name.
Secondly, what if somebody wants to leave, let's say after nine months of doing the show, Burt says, I've had enough. I thought this was going to be fun.
Now here's the thing you have to keep in mind, this is going to be an awkward conversation because you're going to talk about what happens if things go wrong. And you don't want things to go wrong. But if you talk about this, (put your big boy put your big girl pants on), and have this awkward conversation, then if things do go wrong, it will be better than if you didn't have any exit strategy.
So what happens if somebody wants to leave?
What if somebody wants to quit?
What if somebody doesn't want to quit? What are the grounds to get fired?
Setting expectations eliminates surprises, and it identifies what is required for things to run smoothly.
You have to figure out who does what. And sometimes it's, “I'll record and edit. You do the social media and the website.”,
What you might want to do is divide up the list. This way, everybody knows who is responsible for everything
You avoid conversations that have people saying, “Wait, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes. No, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes.”
While this is an awkward conversation to have, it eliminates any miscommunication. Communication is the lubrication of your podcast engine. And many, many, many moons ago, I was a musician I played in a band, and we had what we call the “band fund.” I would come into our rehearsal, and I would say, Hey, guys, we have whatever $117 in the band fun The last thing we spent money on was Ryan need a new set of bass strings. It was very transparent. Nobody had to guess what was going on with the money, and consequently, we never argued about it.
If you answer all those questions and you keep everything transparent, you are much less likely to have issues with your co-host.
The thing you might want to do is revisit it regularly. I do a show on Saturday morning. It's called Ask the podcast coach. We're there every Saturday 10:30 AM eastern standard time askthepodcastcoach.com
My co-host is Jim Collison from the average guy.tv. We've been doing that for three years with a lot of fun. It's a lot of work. That's fine by me because I have a Patreon account that has patrons who donate.
I went to Jim, I said, “Hey, is this still cool?” and Jim said, “You're doing all the work.” He's a color commentary guy, but he brings a lot to the table. The show is different when Jim isn't there, and he's fine letting me take the money. I still revisited that every year.
When you don't talk about things, and you let it fester, that's how you end up in situations where things get ugly. Now I work for a company called Libsyn. It's a podcast media hosting company. You can get a free month there using the coupon code, SOP free all one word. And I see situations where Ernie and Bert aren't getting along. Bert will log into the account and change the password trying to lock Ernie out. And then Ernie will somehow get back into the account and start deleting items, and it gets ugly.
These ugly situations are why you need to put your agreement in writing and have everyone sign it. This document is you saying. “I agree to do this.” I've seen other things where you do that show with your best friend that you've known since the fourth grade, and four years later, it's gone to the dogs because you didn't have these conversations.
Then all the sudden money got involved. I'm here to tell you money changes everything. What was a discussion is now an ugly argument because money's involved. So the best time to have this conversation is when there is no money.
I would love to help you plan, launch, grow, and monetize your podcast. Tap into my 14 years of podcasting experience and schedule a time to chat today.
I work for Libsyn.com ( the oldest, largest podcast media hosting company – get a free month using the coupon code sopfree). I received this email today
I am starting a podcast with a few friends and we are currently looking at different hosting sites for our show. We are new to podcasting so we're trying to find the most user-friendly hosting platform that also allows us to turn this into at least a part-time job. According to my research Libsyn is the best at monetizing a podcast. I was wondering if you would be able to answer a few questions for us to help determine if Libsyn is the right fit? (name redacted)
If this is your first concern, there is a likely chance that you're not going to make it as a podcaster.
Musicians start playing horrible places to “pay their dues.” Many businesses go out of business due to lack of customers. Start a podcast is easy. Starting a GOOD podcast takes work. If you have the passion for your topic, and the passion to serve your audience, you'll make it. If your goal is fast money then you may be doomed.
In the book Beyond Powerful Radio Valerie Geller states that in Radio it can take three years to build a loyal audience. Many people don't want to hear that. It is going to take time.
I have a formula for this:
The value in the episode multiplied by the amount of intelligent marketing equals the total number of downloads.
Value X Promotion = Downloads.
I don't mean to rain on your parade. I want you to know what it takes so your expectations are realistic and you make it through when many people quit. I want to help you avoid burnout, and doing things that make you seem busy but are not productive.
The bottom line is if your first question when you start a podcast is how soon can I start making money, you're headed in the wrong direction and very likely going to waste your time and money.
One thing that I see confuse more new podcasters is RSS and syndication.
Let's say you are a radio station and your frequency is 100.7. You could have Panasonic, RCA, Sony, JVC all tuned to your station. When you play a song it comes out of all the radios as they are tuned to your station.
With podcasting, instead of a frequency, you have an RSS feed. Instead of radios, you have apps (Apple and Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn). So when you put out a new episode it goes to those apps. You then create a post on your website as well to attract Google so hopefully, you come up when someone searches for your topic.
You do not upload anything to Apple or the other apps. They are all mirrors of whatever is in your feed. Most media hosts provide an apple compliant feed. There are also WordPress plugins like PowerPress. No matter what you use for your feed, make sure you can redirect your feed (so if you ever want to leave your current situation you can take your audience with you.
You submit your show to these directories once, and once accepted they “tune in” to your feed and never tune out. You just keep making episodes and they appear in those apps. Apple is somewhat special as there are two versions. A web-based version I call your Apple listing, and the app/software versions iTunes and Apple podcasts. With Apple iTunes/podcasts any changes you make appear almost instantly to anyone who subscribes to your show using those apps. However, the Apple listing is more of a snapshot in time that is updated every 24 hours.
With this in mind, you could be looking at Apple iTunes desktop software and not see the episode you released two hours ago. Then subscribe to your show and see the episode. Why? Because the listing only updates every 24 hours (or less).
One thing I recommend to all my clients is to subscribe to your own show. This way when you see the episode appear on your device, you know Apple or other apps just need to catch up. Technically speaking your podcast is fine.
One last thing about RSS feeds. Once you are accepted into the directories you can change the location of your feed. If you change to a new website address, you need to take care to redirect the old feed to look at the new address. If you are using Libsyn.com you wouldn't want to change your slug. In both of these situations, it's like (going back to the radio analogy) moving our station from 100.7 to 98.5 and not telling any of your listeners. You are (more or less) blowing up your show and starting from scratch.
If you have any questions, I realize this is one of the more confusing items in podcasting so don't hesitate to contact me