I see this question in different places. My show is getting X amount of downloads is that good?
When I did some research and looked at all the content I consume they all did one of the following:
If you can combine two or more of those in a way that stirs people's emotions, you are on to something.
When you are in a corporate setting, if you check the HR handbook I'm sure there is a paragraph about sharing payroll knowledge. Why? Because it breeds resentment. The same is true for podcasting. I had a client once that was overjoyed that they were getting 150 downloads per episode. Then another podcaster in a Facebook group announced that they had just gone of over 100,000 downloads. They were instantly defeated and wanted to quit.
As a guitar player growing up, I could hold my own. Then one day I saw a new guitarist in concert named Yngwie Malmsteen. He is amazing, and no matter how much I practice I feel I'll never be that good. Did I still love playing guitar? Yes. Did I still love playing in front of people? Yes. That is why I kept playing the guitar. I also had to keep in mind that Yngwie has been practicing much longer than I had, and had years of experience.
You may be listening to someone with prior experience, a prior following, and even if they started after you did, they will have a larger audience. Don't focus on them, focus on servicing your audience.
If someone says they have 150 downloads of a podcast about pigmy ponies, that's a great number (depending on how many people are into Pigmy Ponies). If someone had 150 downloads per episode and they were doing a weight loss show (in a country where 70% of us need to lose weight) that might be seen as under-performing.
Try to never use the word “only,” as in “I only have 200 downloads per episode.” My background is in education and a big class was 20 people so 200 downloads per episode is 10 classrooms. That was a full hallway (and then some) in the building where I use to teach.
In a world of TV, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, Am/FM, Xbox and more they CHOSE to listen to you. If they don't want to listen there is nothing stopping them from deleting your show.
People ask me, “How Long Should My Podcast Be?” What is the ideal podcast length? For a while, everyone wanted to make a 20-minute podcast as that was the average commute in the US. I prefer the answer from Valerie Geller in her book Beyond Powerful Radio A Communicator's Guide to the Internet Age: News, Talk, Information which is, “There is no such thing as too long, only too boring.” You can get the audiobook for free.
84% of shows with 100,000 downloads are 51 minutes are longer
Those that were 2.0 hours or more with 100,000 downloads per episode or more made up 13.2% of the podcasts on Libsyn.
Those that were 30 minutes or less made up 9.9% of shows.
The bottom line is, your podcast should be as long as it needs to be and not a minute more.
When I reverse engineered all the content I consumed, I found that the content did one or more of the following:
It made me Laugh
It made me Cry
It made me Think
It made me Grown
It Educated me
It Entertained me
If you can do more than one of these at the same time, you're on to something. If your content does not of the above, do NOT press record.
I would love to help you shape your message. I want to be your podcast consultant.