Effectively Launching a Podcast onto iTunes
For this launch, I’ll be submitting my initial RSS feed to iTunes with 1 episode in the feed. I will subsequently be delivering two new episodes per week on the respective Sunday and Thursday of each week.
My hypothesis is that this is the most user friendly way of going about doing this. As my show is brand new, I want subscribers to have a few days to listen to it. Personally, I’ll often download a podcast and won’t listen to it for a day or two so I’m pandering to this method. For those subscribers that listen to the show in the first day or two, they’ll have another show ready and it will sync automatically with their mp3 players. For those who listen to it right away, they will still be subscribed and will unfortunately, have to wait. The idea behind this is to allow the subscribers to get a steady drip feed of the podcast.
Look, bottom line; podcasts succeed if they attract listeners. No amount of trickery or launch strategy will get me to “successful podcaster” status without a good show and for that I have this to say:
I’m scared as hell right now. I could have just put a month of my life into creating this show and it could be on the precipice of a tremendous, ugly bellyflop onto the world stage. You know what? The worst thing that could happen is I’m ignored. The best thing is that I get a following of interesting people and perhaps effect some listener’s life to cause him or her to go out and chase that dream of seeing the world.
I’d like to finally qualify why this podcast is very exciting. At the moment, LoveAffairTravel.com gets about 516 unique visitors a month. The Facebook page has less than 100 followers and my social media haul is (while not zero,) very little. The real value in this case study is to see what happens when a nobody (me) publishes a podcast. The download stats will almost entirely be due to iTunes.
First, much of the reason to build a podcast is to develop your webpresence. I’ll describe exact number for my social media impact here:
- Twitter Followers: 0
- Facebook Likes: 58
- E-Mail Subscribers: 0
That’s it. Next to zero interaction. All the Facebook likes are my friends and family so this is starting a brand from scratch with podcasting (not to say my friends and family are zero… they’re the best friends and family in the world.)
- June 29th – 20:00: Ok so here’s what I’ve done over the past month:
- I’ve done the podcast art
- I’ve got 12 interviews recorded
Now, in the last few hours I’ve
- Got a Libsyn account purchased
- Got my first episode uploaded
- Built the blog post for the first episode
- Linked to the Libsyn media file
- Got the whole RSS feed built
Now, my mind pauses here. Over the last few hours I’ve been getting heaps of work done, should I submit now? Now we know that there is an 8 week iTunes New & Noteworthy, in which the effort should attempt to gain as many listener’s as humanly possible.
I do want to get as many listener’s from this podcast as possible. That’s the best chance I have of effecting big change.
Podcast Feed Submission: Decision Methodology
My goal with the podcast is to inspire people to travel the world, make a little money on advertising and build relationships with people I respect in the online world. Will submitting this iTunes feed right now be the best thing I can do to lead me towards these goals?
Now, getting interviews for a show that has yet to launch is a bit more challenging that getting interviews for a show that isn’t out yet. So in building relationships, it would be wise to submit the feed.
Therefore, I could try selling advertising pre-launch… I actually probably should do that. I haven’t even called anyone to try to get them onboard. Waiting might give me some time… but then I’d have to redo some of the work I’ve already done… and you know what? Having a podcast in the New&Noteworthy section of iTunes might be a great selling point for getting advertising. Ok yes, submitting the feed will help my chances of monetization.
Now, primarily: Inspiring people isn’t going to happen if I sit on my hands. Duh, this is a no-brainer. Here, I’ll walk with you through the process of submitting the RSS feed to iTunes.
The Process of Submitting Your Feed to iTunes:
1. So, it’s all ready to go. My podcast feed < http://loveaffairtravel.com/feed/podcast > is ready to submit to iTunes.
Use this link if you want to submit a feed to iTunes
2. After you submit your feed, it’s not officials. You can then check the information in the feed. If you find something to be incorrect, you can press cancel go back to your RSS feed and make adjustments and then return to check it again.
3. Clicking the Submit button is the moment of truth though. After that, you have to be committed. Remember, you can change everything down the line. Nothing is set in stone here so there really isn’t much to worry about.
When your submission is done, you’ll get a page that looks like this:
So the interesting time stamp is that I submitted the feed at 21:10 on Saturday June 29th 2013 Brisbane Australia Time. My hypothesis is that it will take two days to syndicate into the iTunes store. Now it should be only a matter of time before the Love Affair Travel Podcast will be testing the value of podcasting to a brand or message without a pre-existing following.
- June 29th – 21:27: An note from iTunes
- July 1st – 12:20: Approval! So the Love Affair Travel Podcast will be live on iTunes within the next hour or two. Yikes! It’ll be a fun road. I’ve grown much more comfortable with the fact that this show is out there. It’s not my perfect audio product, but I’ve come to believe that it is a great start and will get better with time. The stats from this first few days will be fascinating!
- August 28th – 113:29 – So much has happened since then and I’ll just do bullets to catch you all up really quick, but first, A Stats update:
Twitter Followers: 6 (No Change, Not Focusing on Twitter at all)
Facebook Likes: 115 (Big Growth and some great engagement)
E-Mail Subscribers: 10 ( Great Start but no engagement)
Really great developments, my network of interesting people has grown significantly. Through the interviews, I’m making friends with some really interesting people that live really interesting lives. It’s been like being born into a new circle of people making interesting big time life decisions.
More importantly, the podcast has brought me a passionate young fan who is going through podcasting process documents and helping with production. This value is difficult to ascertain because with his help I’m getting 2x the podcasts done per week. The value of this is tremendous.
Stats have gone really well despite the fact that I have done almost no outside promotion outside of sharing it on my own facebook timeline (and I only have 750ish friends.) I’m not sure of my guest’s promotion efforts (aside from Niall Doherty) so this is all natural growth from being featured in the N&N for iTunes for Business:
and in Society and Culture:
Stitcher downloads have been unimpressive, but I imagine that those 14 people who listened to the entire podcast is a valuable thing. Again, this is a new platform that I don’t promote in the slightest. It’s just extra. The other platforms like Zune and TuneIn are complete mysteries as to the traction we are getting there.
Here are the stitcher raw download stats:
Here is what the Libsyn stats look like:
Now a lot of great podcasts with existing audiences get the downloads in 1 day that I get in a month of podcasting… but look at the growth! It’s exciting stuff.
I’ve just published episode 11 and I’ve got 18 interviews in que to publish so I expect this growth to continue. If it keeps this linear growth, without trimming off, we might be able to say it was a success.
My strategy now is to make Love Affair Travel big on Facebook and start converting e-mail subscriptions. I’ll probably have to make a e-book or something so there is a reason to sign up on the blog. Outside of that, Facebook has been a great builder of traffic. Here are some Facebook stats:
In highensight, I wish I launched with 6 episodes in the bank like the conventional launch strategy.
That’s it for this update. Really good things are happening because of this project for every aspect of my life… except that I’ve been more busy than ever. Oh yeah, it makes me wish that I had a service like Freedom Podcasting. I love doing the interviews, it’s the scheduling of guests and the post production which is the most challenging aspect of this project. I spend sooooo much time doing the work that Freedom Podcasting offers to clients. Actually being a podcaster has been the best crash course in how to provide services to podcasters that I could imagine.
Look forward to updating you again! If you read this, please leave a comment and say hi.
- July 1st – 12:20: MASTER FILE – so I don’t have to reformat – This blog is ongoing at the moment so feel free to comment and join in the conversation via the comments below.