Sorry, OUAT fans but I’m going to use one blog post to get geeky. Here are my proven ways to get your podcast in the Top 10 of Itunes. Now, I’m not selling a book, but I am open to be interviewed about it (Just sayin’).
Now, how to get your podcast in the Itunes Top 10 (This is not any type of guarantee for everyone. However, this worked for me).
10. Podcast. Just do it. You can read, listen, go to expos (paying lots of money to listen), etc, but until you get into the fray, you will never learn. Failures are just paths you know don’t work for you.
9. Find a niche subject that you are passionate about. Notice I said “Niche” subject. I used to podcast about “Whatever I wanted to talk about,” and though it was great for me, there weren’t thousands of people that waited with baited breath to hear every word out of my mouth. Heck, my wife doesn’t want to hear everything I want to talk about.
Like I said, find a niche subject. Not “all TV shows,” but pick a TV show to focus completely on. Not “all movies,” but pick one movie or saga/trilogy and focus on that.
8. Do what you are good at. My wife and I made a decision early on that we wouldn’t include spoilers in our shows. We would only focus on episodes and sneak peeks ABC released videos. We also included some casting news, as well. That did two things; Got us to focus more clearly on the episodes and stories themselves, and saved us a heck of alot of time reading every forum, news site, etc to find scoops and spoiler (which some could be wrong anyway). Are we missing out on the audience that want spoilers? Sure, but we are the perfect podcast for someone to start at Episode 1, not get spoiled and get caught up like we all did. Make decisions up front how you will cover your niche topic, and do that.
7. Find a thriving audience that searches for info you can provide. Even before the podcast began, I posted blog posts about Once Upon a Time with SEO terms associated to the show and your posts. I found that when I posted something about Once Upon a Time with the SEO terms, my site traffic went through the roof. It didn’t take too long to realize that there was a huge possibility for a podcast audience way before I even started the podcast about OUAT.
6. Look at your Niche subject with a “group” lens. When I saw the first few Once Upon a Time episodes, I saw connections to Lost, Star Wars, the Bible, Disney, Fairy Tales, etc. When I knew that people in all those thriving groups come come together and enjoy OUAT, I just had to invite them to check it out. They did. Wow, did they.
5. Domain name. There are alot of lucky points along this journey, but this one blew my mind. I looked up http://onceuponatimepodcast.com and it was available. I checked it a few times, because I didn’t believe it. I bought it so fast. That was huge for the podcast.
4. Find a good Podcast name. Figuring the podcast name would should up in Google, just like the blog posts were (On page 1 of Once Upon a Time TV), I named it Once Upon a Time Fan Podcast. “Fan” Podcast was hugely important, because I didn’t want Disney or ABC to come along later and ask me to stop, because they were going to do an official Once Upon a Time podcast. Heck, Disney and ABC could make us their official podcast. I wouldn’t turn that way, Disney/ABC, just sayin’.
3. Know When to “Go”! So after all the research, trial and error, initial test of audience interest, groups of new audience members, awesome domain name, then asking my wife to be my co-host (She said yes, btw), it was time to go. OUAT had at least 4 episodes when we launched. We decided that we needed to backtrack and do podcast episodes for the previously released show episodes. We were behind the 8 ball until we got caught up, but we did it. Glad we did. We launched early enough, but not too early. It turned out to be the perfect time.
2. Be positive. This may be just for our situation, but it has worked over and over again. There are plenty of snarky, jaded, etc shows out there, but we wanted to send out positive, passionate, kind vibes out with every interaction, post and podcast – and that has returned to us bigger than we could have ever imagined. I believe because of that One important part of our show that many happy echoes (some would call blessings) have come back to us. Some of the cast have called in an participated in Voicemails to the show, and we even had the good fortune to meet and have lunch with another member of the cast. Sure, there are critical emails or feedback here and there, but we try our best to realize we aren’t perfect, take the instructive truth, leave the negative for negative’s sake and move forward.
1. I could keep going and give 1,000 things, but I will stop at 10. This one is the biggest – Build your audience 1 person at a time. Sad to say, I don’t see much of this. The show you upload isn’t the end of the podcaster’s job, it’s only the beginning. All those kind and helpful replies to emails, Tweets, Facebook statuses all help those who took the time to reach out to you digitally know that you; listen, read and care about 1. What they said, and 2. them. We have the best listeners in the world. Honestly, we do. When your podcast is build on the strength of your connection with each and every listener, then your show can weather any storm. I treat this podcast like a business. I know that one upset listener can let their voice be heard in a few clicks. I try to work it out as best as I can, I really do.
I realize that this isn’t totally geeky, and I went Oprah on you, but this is the truth. This is how a podcast, hosted by a married couple in Orange County, about a TV show they loved, went to the Top 10 in TV and Film in Itunes. We still are amazed, but humbled and happy about it.
Jeff Roney can be contacted for interviews at jeff.roney [at] gmail [dot] com