You may have heard that podcasting is the next big thing – the way to grow your business, a new mechanism to make money, and a different medium to connect with a whole new audience.

But if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering… “How am I going to build an audience for a podcast? I’m not looking to invest 100 hours in something that no one listens to.”

Podcasts can get a great return on the investment of your time and money if you follow a few simple, proven steps to marketing it effectively.

So if you’re interested in hosting a radio show or podcast, here’s how you can maximise the odds there’s an audience waiting to listen…

1. Clearly define your show and target audience.

Give your show a personality and unique perspective based on your expertise and the direction of your overall business. With that said, you can shift gears a bit and do something different with your podcast than with your blog or social media channels. Give it a fresh flavor and use that to guide your style, logo, music, and editing choices.

2. Start with your existing contacts.

Use your email list and social media channels to start a list specifically for the podcast. Promoting it off the bat to your fans and followers will give you a seed to grow from.

3. Hit record. A lot.

Record as many episodes as you can in the first couple of months of the show. It will help you define your voice and get better at recording and editing. At the same time, iTunes recognizes more recordings as a sign of strength, so it will help people find you using organic searches.

4. Send updates for each new episode.

Once you have a list in place, send emails each time a new episode comes out, teasing with why fans should listen to the episode and what they will learn. Do the same on your social channels, sending out updates regularly with as much value as you can include in tweets and posts.

Make sure the titles for each episode are enticing so you’re getting the most reach.

5. Ask for ratings and reviews.

The more downloads, ratings, and reviews you have, the more iTunes will promote your show in search rankings. Ask for them at the end of each show and provide a link in the show notes.

6. Pay attention to who starts listening.

Your listening audience might be different than your blog audience, so notice who is commenting and leaving ratings. Then start targeting that audience. Facebook ads are a great way to target a specific audience to increase your downloads.

7. Ask guests to come on the show and promote it.

Guests can help take some of the pressure off you to come up with uninterrupted material. And your guest will be happy to promote the episode to their list and social media because it makes them look like an authority, which will boost your listenership.

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