Stuck in "Social Distancing" prison? Here are some things you could do instead of simply creating more episodes.
- Build relationships: Reach out to casual acquaintances on social. Strike up a meaningful conversation. Ask them how you can help. Listen to their podcasts, watch their YouTube videos, offer them feedback. Leave reviews for creators you love. Do something for them - even if something small - that you wish your audience would do for you - like share their work on social.
- Promote your podcast: You probably have your podcasting schedule mostly figured out. So most won't need to create more episodes. Do other things to promote it (coming up).
- Reach out to podcast hosts and see if you can get a guesting opportunity on their show. Don't just post in podcast guest groups - reach out to podcasters who are active in other major podcasting groups, like this one. Find threads where people are promoting their shows (you know, the "hit and run" posts, as I call them lol) and find the shows that resonate the most with you, the ones that you think you can add the most value to, and schedule a LOT of interviews. A LOT!
- Create your "Podcast One Sheet" - basically a mini resume - and make it look good for potential interviewers.
- Learn a new Video or Audio tool. Learn how to create audio or video effects. Greenscreen, audio effects, animations, anything to create interesting content.
- Create a funny meme or video or image - maybe even a satire for your show, content or brand.
- Don't have the magical "5000 downloads" to get "typical" sponsors? Don't fret. Reach out to products and services and plugins and tools that you use every day and love and recommend. Reach out to those individuals or companies. Join their affiliate program. Promote your affiliate link on your show. Get permission to call them "Sponsors". Promote them on social. Tag them on Instagram and Twitter, they will like or retweet or share your post, which means more reach for your post/tweet.
- Revisit your podcast website, optimize it as a landing page. Create a lead-magnet to build a list. Publish a signup form. Be sure to add Google Analytics code and Facebook pixel (even if not for now, for down the road)
- Look up other famous podcasters' websites and use it as an inspiration.
- Be sure to put your feed player front and center on your podcast websites. Have links to all platforms where they can subscribe. Put your feedplayer at the bottom of every post on your website. Embed individual players in articles that are relevant. Instead of saying "Click here to listen to the episode where I talk about this" and taking them to a different page, embed that episode right there. Don't make your visitors hop around your website. Reduces (and thus improves) bounce rate (good for SEO).
- It will be tempting to create more episodes and more content - after all, the one thing we podcasters are great at, is creating great content. Don't go there. Get out of your comfort zone. Think like a marketer - no, not like the sleazy marketer who you just thought of. I mean like those real, genuine, awesome people who want to promote their stuff so they can reach more people and impact more people and change more lives (whatever that means to you).
- Write a Kindle book related to your niche. Have a great couple of intro pages with a professional bio - link to your podcast and other products/services.
- Take the contents of that Kindle book and also publish it on your website - create a "Skyscraper" article. Super powerful for SEO.
- Repupurpose your content. Go deep into repurposing. Posting on multiple platforms, but also optimizing the content for each platform specifically, with relevant hashtags.
- Optimize your show notes. SEO and organic Google traffic is still an unbelievably untapped potential for podcasters.
- Search for your keywords on Google. Look up blogs and forums in the results, and leave thoughtful, value-added comments on those posts. Use your website link in your signature, or just use it as the link in the WordPress comments section. Great for SEO.
- Participate in Facebook groups related to your niche - NO, I'm not talking about podcasting groups. Actual, niche-related groups. Don't just comment on "Post the 8th photo from your camera roll" type empty-engagement posts. Go deeper. Get intellectual. People respect it when you say smart, intelligent, thoughtful things related to your niche. Write great responses to comments. Maybe even post an entire article in the group, rather than simply linking to it (a la this very post).
- Some will say TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read). That's ok. Some will. And you will earn some brownie points with them. Part of the "Know, Like, Trust" process.
- It is very hard to make a living off of sponsorships. First, you have to get to the 5000+ downloads range - PER EPISODE. Then you apply for a Midroll type account. You may or may not get sponsors. Even if you do, don't forget - just because you got 1 sponsor doesn't mean you get to keep them forever. They're looking for ROI too. So if your listeners don't take action on the coupon code or offer you're giving out, they may stop after a few episodes if they don't feel like advertising to your listeners is helping them.
- Create your own products and services, and promote them on your podcast. Like I say, "Make money BECAUSE of your Podcast, and not just FROM your podcast".
- Yes, I quoted myself. I'm weird like that lol.
- Promote > Create > Consume: Create more than you consume (just don't create more of the same). Promote more than (or at least as much as) you Create. You don't HAVE to read 50 books. You don't HAVE to listen to 5 hours of podcasts a day. You don't HAVE to binge on Netflix.
- Send out a great email to your list.
- It is tempting to fall into the trap of creating more content. Or chill out and watch more TikToks, watch other people's lives on Instagram, read more fiction, or watch more Netflix shows. You've got to resist.
- If the average person among us has the same extra (say) 3 hours per day because of the virus situation, it really comes down to one thing: Priorities.
Spend a LOT of time on... Your website, writing an email to your list, reaching out to people, scheduling quick online calls, do free calls with potential clients, help them first for free to make them realize that you can help them, write great articles, publish it on all platforms (Facebook profile, Facebook page, Instagram, Tweet it as a thread, Skyscrapers, optimize your site for SEO, optimize your YouTube channel with titles and descriptions and thumbnails, create and promote Audiograms, optimize your podcast titles and descriptions, add your show to every imaginable platform out there, do barters with other podcast hosts where you can give them your product/service for free in return for a promo...
The opportunities are endless... IF you can take a step back from creating more content, and thinking what other high-impact activities you could be doing that'll help you grow your show, your business, or even just yourself as a person. And try to do that without adding more "Consuming" to the mix.
"To Strike Gold, You Have to Dig Deep, Not Wide." - Ravi Jayagopal
(yes, I did that self-quoting again! lol)