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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Lomas

5 Steps to Making an Addictive Podcast

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Creating an addictive podcast may seem like hard work. But with the focus and the proper steps, one can easily create a podcast that earns money. Seems pretty simple - have a good idea, grab a microphone and go right? Wrong. 4 Million podcasts are Spotify - more than 60 million episodes for anyone to choose from at any one time. It offers a tremendous amount of choice and diverse content for listeners, which is why podcast listening has boomed by almost 50% year on year. But it also presents a challenge for podcast creators. The podcast landscape has quickly become a cluttered one, where only 57% of listeners finish an episode and around 90% of podcasts have less than 1k listeners per episode.


So how do you create an addictive podcast, build a solid listener base and manage to make money off it too? First, you need to create a thoughtful, detailed strategy. Here are a few little tips to get you started from the experts at Ampel.


Create your idea:


Making a podcast is different from all the other types of content. It's intimate, in your ear, and something listeners have chosen to listen to. So it's essential when creating your podcast to not just dive right into an idea, but consider why you are making the podcast, for who, and why it would matter to them.

Asking yourself these four questions can help you hone in on the right idea that will create impact:


1. Who are you? What are you good at? Are you an expert in something? And what version of yourself do you want to bring to the podcast? For example, are you funny, or are you more serious? Being clear on your strengths can help you find your authentic voice.

2. Who are the listeners? Who are you speaking to? What are they like? What matters to them? Ask yourself the hard questions - would they listen to this content? A great exercise to define what they will be seeking in a podcast - and be specific. For instance, 'Be Inspired' is too vague. They will be looking for something they can describe - such as 'business advice on scaling a small retail business'.

3. What do you have to say? What do you love to talk about? Being honest about what you genuinely love and creating a strategy around that will help you find your original idea - and ensure your podcast is authentic to listeners.

4. Why would they care? After they hear your podcasts, what do you want your audience to think? Feel? Great podcasts resonate with listeners; thoughts and ideas linger long after the podcast. So what should they take away?


Find a great podcast host:


The importance of a great host must never be underestimated. A host can make or break a show. Remember, when they speak, they're your brand's voice. So choosing the right host, whether you, someone in your organisation, or a celebrity host, will set the tone for the entire podcast.

A great host will be:

  • Experienced, curious and interested;

  • Relevant to the material and can contribute, not just ask questions;

  • Demonstrate great active listening skills and know-how to probe a guest to get compelling answers;

  • Know how to set a scene;

  • Do research and ask excellent questions

  • Comfortable being unscripted

Celebrity hosts are also a great option as they generally come with a following and also can attract high-profile guests.


Tell a great story:


It doesn't matter if you have the most exciting topic and the most fantastic host - if you aren't telling a story, your listeners will stop listening. Constructing a story using basic story principles:

  1. Set the scene

  2. Introduce the characters

  3. Make sure there’s lots of conflict (ie the protagonist can’t get what they want)

  4. There’s a resolution;

  5. The characters learned and evolved

In audio, your story is invisible. Use sound design to transport the listener into the story. Skipping this part can be the difference between a well-told story and one that no one listens to.


Build your podcast audience:


Now you have a great show; it is time to build your audience. Start with your podcast cover art, create & design your social channels / website / audio channels, so audiences can find you on multiple platforms.

Consider where you will distribute your podcast. It's important not to focus on one platform like Spotify solely. And if you are just on Sound Cloud, that’s not enough -- you need to be able to say, “listen in your favourite PodApp”. Appearing on as many audio streaming platforms as you can is very easy -- and don't overlook filming -- 30% of podcasts are 'listened' on YouTube.


Learn to market yourself on your podcast:


Ask your followers to support your growth and tell their friends, or respond to your followers to build a community. You can also consider live events to generate interest or feature on other podcasts to cross-promote across audiences.


While the podcast market can be cluttered, you can cut through the clutter with a little bit of planning and focus. And once you have a loyal audience, you can consider options to monetise your podcast. Listen to the entire webinar here from Ampel how you can make money from the podcast.


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