[400] How to build a large audience for your blog, vlog or podcast

Publishing regular content on a blog, vlog or podcast can be a great way to build your online audience. 

My podcast The Janet Murray Show gets around 35k downloads per month, consistently ranks top of the UK podcast charts for marketing and is the biggest driver for leads and sales in my business. Which is why I’ve invested a huge amount of time and resources into building my podcast audience since it launched in 2015. 

But just having a blog, vlog/Youtube channel or podcast isn’t enough. People won’t automatically find your content, just because it’s out there. You need to invest time and resources building an audience for that content. 

And while the platforms might be different, the audience-building strategies are the same - regardless of whether you have a blog, Youtube channel, Facebook Live Show or podcast. 

Which is why, in my 400th episode of the podcast, I want to share my top audience building strategies with you. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

1. Consistency

It sounds obvious, but showing up regularly is key. I launched my podcast The Janet Murray Show back in 2015 and I’ve never missed an episode. 

I started out publishing a new episode every Friday. For a few years I published two episodes a week (one solo show midweek and one interview episode first thing on a Friday). On the odd occasion my podcast has gone live later than usual, people have actually messaged me to ask where it is. 

If you struggle with consistency, I’d recommend making a public commitment to posting your new episode/post on a particular date/time e.g. Friday. This gives you accountability (if you’ve promised something publicly, it’s much harder not to do it). It also helps get your audience familiar with your publishing schedule, which means consuming your content can become part of their routine. For example, my podcast listeners often tell me they listen to the latest episode of my podcast on the school run, when they’re cleaning their house on a Saturday or out for a run on a Sunday morning. 

Becoming part of peoples’ routine is a sign you’re building an engaged and loyal audience. 

Consistency also matters when it comes to the promotion of your blog/vlog or podcast. Most content creators I know vastly underpromote their content. They publish a new episode/post, make a few ‘announcement’ posts about it on social media, then move onto their next piece of content.

If you want to build an audience for your blog/vlog/podcast, you need to treat every new post/episode as a launch, which means creating a promotion strategy that you rinse and repeat every time (and add to as time goes on). For example, when my podcast goes live on a Friday I email my list, create some kind of announcement on my Facebook messenger and do an Instagram Story. This is followed up with multiple pieces of social media content across the week. We also regularly promote episodes from my back catalogue. This means finding different ways to talk about the same episode (more on that later). 

While there is always more you can do (there’s still lots more I could do to promote each episode) a good rule of thumb is this: promote each episode way more than you feel comfortable with and you’ll probably have it about right. 

2. Collaboration 

One of the quickest ways to build your own audience is to get in front of other peoples’. This is why inviting guests on your podcast, Facebook Live or Youtube show - or inviting people to guest blog on your website - can be a great way to build your audience. When you do this, they are likely to share that content with their own audience, which means people will want to find out more about you. 

It’s often assumed that collaborating with people with bigger audiences than your own is the best strategy. Personally I’ve found that collaborating with people with smaller, engaged audiences can often be more effective than the big names in my industry. This is because people who already have a large audience may not have the time - or inclination - to share your podcast episode/Youtube interview. Whereas someone with a small, but engaged audience will share the heck out of your content - and do it with so much enthusiasm -you may find you get better results. 

Creating guest content for other peoples’ platforms - those with similar audiences to yours - is another great way to build an audience for your own content. Here’s how to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (these tips apply to pitching yourself for anything).

Speaking at live events, teaching guest classes and taking part in virtual summits or webinars can be another great way to grow your audience. Although I would not recommend paying to be part of virtual summits - unless there is a very compelling reason to do so (and evidence that you will get a return on investment). 

Getting press coverage can be another great way to build your audience - as long as your call-to-action sends people to your blog/vlog or podcast (more on that later). 

3. Conversation

One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers, vloggers and podcasters making is what I refer to as ‘post and flee’ i.e. they post a few announcement posts about their blog/vlog or podcast on social media then and do nothing else until the next one comes out.

Recommendations are powerful. Public recommendations are even more powerful. So, if you can generate public conversations about your content, people are much more likely to want to check it out. 

So instead of posting announcements about your latest blog, vlog or podcast, ask questions that relate to the topic of your podcast.

For example, if I have a new podcast episode coming out on how to get more engagement on Instagram I will start by asking questions to 'pre-qualify' people who might be interested in listening to that podcast e.g. how would you rate your engagement on Instagram, are you interested in learning strategies on how to increase your Instagram engagement. Then I will share the link with people who have demonstrated an interest in the topic. 

While that might seem like more work, it’s more effective because you’re getting that content into the hands of people who actually need it. And those people are far more likely to share. 

I might also post some polarising content - for example asking people if they believe the algorithm - or poor content - is to blame for poor engagement on Instagram. 

If you don’t know what the algorithm is, by the way, it’s the complicated - and super top secret - mathematical equation Facebook uses to determine how many people your content is shown to). 

Across the course of a week, I will find different ways to talk about that same piece of content - looking at different angles/subtopics in different formats e.g. audiograms, posts, memes, videos. 

Tagging people in - for example, people you’ve mentioned in your blog/vlog or podcast - can be another great way to get engagement. When you mention people, they’re often happy to comment, like and share. 

Using a social media scheduler is fine, but if you don’t make time to engage with your followers, your audience will not grow. 

4. Grow your audience on social media

You might not want to hear this, but the more followers you have on social media, the easier it will be to grow the audience for your blog, vlog or podcast. The more of the right followers that is. Which is why it’s important to focus on growing your following - and your engagement - on at least one social media platform. 

You can join my Build Your Online Audience programme here. 

5. Give a single call-to-action 

If you want to grow your audience for a blog/vlog or podcast, another powerful thing you can do is issue a single call-to-action. So every time you write a guest blog, do some guest teaching, are interviewed in a podcast, send people to your blog/vlog or podcast. Add a banner to all your social media channels, put it in the email signature on your emails - in your messenger bot. Basically everywhere  you can.

Read: what it really takes to build an audience for a podcast with John Lee Dumas

6. Help people find your content

If you’re publishing a regular blog/vlog or podcast - with the aim of promoting your business - you should be creating content that solves your ideal customers’ problems. Which means, if you’ve got your topics right, people will actually be looking for content on the topics you cover. 

But you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find your content. This means using titles that include the words and phrases people are actually searching for - rather than things that sound clever. 

A lot of this is down to common sense and simply involves thinking about the kind of things your ideal customer/clients will be searching for online. But using keyword tools can help you refine your terms.

I have a full explanation of how to do keyword research  in this post on how to make sales from your business blog (episode 336 of the podcast) but you can start  by using Google autocomplete. Type in your topic title and take note of the suggestions that come up under the search box — that’ll give you a great idea of the kinds of things that people are searching for relating to that subject. You can apply the same trick to Youtube and Pinterest too.

The key is to find search terms that are popular, but not so popular it would be impossible for your content to come up first in search. So a term like ‘how to write a press release’ is a popular but broad term, but how to write a press release for your small business is more niche. Which is why my blog post on that topic comes up on the first page of Google.  

Other tools I use for keyword research. 

Keywords Everywhere 

Answer The Public 

Google Ads

Keyword Finder 

There is quite specific keyword research you can do on Youtube and you can optimise your content to make it more easily found.

If you would like to see my Top 10 podcasts then head to my Podcast Finder and my messenger bot will make some suggestions. 

What about paid ads? 

Contrary to popular belief, putting money behind something doesn’t mean it will necessarily perform well. If you don’t know how to create engaging content that would encourage people to take action (even if it wasn’t an ad) you’re generally wasting your time. PLUS most people don’t buy from cold ads - unless you’ve got your targeting really spot on. Find out what’s working on Facebook right now with Liz Melville  (podcast)

Podcast shownotes

  • About this episode and why I recorded this podcast (3:30)
  • The podcasts that launched from my Get Your Podcast Live in 60 days course (7:59)
  • Why I’d still start a podcast even if I was starting again (10:27)
  • Why sharing regular valuable core content will keep you in mind (12:26)
  • Why consistency is key when creating core content (13:49)
  • How to promote your podcast and why you need a regular promotion cycle (18:09)
  • How to build an audience by collaborating (and why big names can be a red herring)  (22:22)
  • What you need to think about before you pitch to go on a podcast  (26:06)
  • How you can build your audience for your content by speaking at events (32:42)
  • Why you should focus on just one main type of core content (34:18)
  • How to create a buzz about your content using social media posts (34:37)
  • How to get more engagement on your social media posts  (37:37)
  • Why you need to build your audience on social media to get your content seen (40:53)
  • Why you need to have one clear call to action to your content (42:19)
  • How to make it easy for people to find your content with the right keywords (44:00)
  • Three of my best performing blog posts (49:33)
  • Why you need good organic engagement before spending money on paid ads (51:24)
  • About my Build Your Online Audience programme (55:01)

Resources

janetmurray.co.uk/podcastfinder

Colin Gray

 

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Podcasting episodes

[080] Three must-do tips for pitching yourself as a podcast guest (podcast)
[190] How to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (and why you must do) (podcast)
[253] How to land guest appearances on podcasts with Nicola Holland (podcast)
[263] Why I changed the name of my podcast (podcast)
[376] Lessons learned from 1 millions downloads of my podcast (podcast)
[383] How to get your podcast live in 60 days (podcast)

Other podcast episodes

[329] What’s working on Facebook right now with Liz Melville  (podcast)
[331] What it really takes to build an audience with John Lee Dumas (podcast)
[333] 39 surprisingly easy ways to build your email list (podcast)
[334] How to build a large audience without paid advertising with Callie Willows (podcast)
[336] How to make sales from your business blog (podcast)
[338] Why you feel scared about selling (podcast)
[343] The three audiences you must build to create a successful online business (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast episode)
[386] The four types of content to create that will help you make more sales in 2020 (podcast)
[391] How to write better social media captions (podcast)
[398] What sort of content should you create during a global crisis (podcast)
[399] How to build your online audience during a global crisis (podcast)

[Bonus] How to turn your in person services into online offerings (podcast)
[Bonus] How to generate income fast by creating a power hour for your business (podcast)

How to pitch yourself as a podcast guest (blog)
Seven compelling reasons to start a podcast in 2020 (blog post)
How to create an editorial calendar for your business(blog post)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass)

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