Podcasting is a great way to grow your business or personal brand.
In the age of digital media, it certainly is one of the fastest-growing formats. And though it is a relatively new medium, it has grown in popularity exponentially over the past decade.
Already, podcasting is considered to be one of the hottest content marketing trends right now. Plus, with more than 3 billion downloads a month, over 100 million Americans who listen to podcasts monthly (and nearly three-quarters of them listening weekly), it’s clear that podcast listeners are here to stay and, in fact, multiply.
That’s why it’s not surprising that even more businesses and brands are interested in developing their own podcast channels. In fact, there are now several different types of podcasts available today, and it is expected that podcast demand will continue to grow further over the next few years. So if you don’t want to get caught by the podcasting genre’s saturation point, then you need to start upping your podcast game as soon as possible.
But what can you do to get started?
It can be hard just to know where to begin. There are so many things you have to get right, that it’s easy to lose focus when creating content for your podcast. And with over 750,000 podcasts available on iTunes alone, it’s no wonder it’s difficult for new entrants to grow their own following.
That’s why for this article, we interviewed some of the internet’s top podcasters and asked them to share some of their most eye-opening insights for how to grow podcast followers… plus what their most downloaded episodes were for 2020, and why.
If you’re looking for a way to grow your business using podcasts, then read on.
What you’ll discover below will help you discover the topics that fascinated people in 2020, and understand how to use these ideas to create compelling angles for your own podcast.
259: Colin McIntosh explains how he took Sheets & Giggles to $1m in 12 months
I wish I knew exactly why it was the most downloaded! Then I’d replicate endlessly. I think it’s the most downloaded because it went live early in the year when people are still planning their year and because the title explains exactly what you’re going to get – and it’s something lots of people would be interested in. $1m in 12months is pretty cool.
Start An Online Business In One Hour
The reasons for the huge increase in downloads we expect are due to the uncertainty of many people’s situations in 2020. People are starting to realize that they need to take control of their futures and this show started them on the path.
GMT 192: Getting Started with LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn Ads are very popular right now as LinkedIn sees huge growth across their platform. They’ve done a lot in recent months to make advertising more accessible with many new features. In this episode, one of the world’s top LinkedIn advertising experts shares what you need to know to get started.
How to Acquire Users and Sales for SaaS Companies with Aaron Krall
This episode’s guest is very successful when it comes to the SaaS sphere. Aaron Krall is a SaaS User Onboarding specialist and the founder of SaaS Accelerator, a coaching program that helps SaaS founders to implement systems and processes to scale revenue faster and more predictably. This episode resonates with many entrepreneurs who want to move their SaaS business to the next level.
The episode has been promoted on the SaaS Growth Hacks Facebook group with 23K+ members. Aaron’s large audience provided enough exposure for a podcast episode about his step-by-step guide on how to acquire new users and grow sales for your business. This episode was such a hit that become one of his most downloaded episodes in 2020.
RVE 198: How to Make $5500 in a Week Flipping RVs
Released just before summer and right before the camping industry blew up due to COVID, we had 16,000+ downloads on how to renovate and flip RVs. I think this episode was especially impactful because RVs sold out so quickly this year that many were buying older RVs and fixing them up.
How to Build a Billion Dollar Company with Jim McKelvey
Back in 2008, Jim, along with his Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, having just been removed as the CEO of Twitter decided to spend ten days coming up with a new business to start, when the idea for Square appeared.
After an intense and tumultuous few years, with Jim once again being removed from leadership, Square had succeeded in innovating in an archaic industry. And in the meantime, Jim had become a billionaire entrepreneur. This is the story.
Episode 483 | Building a Mindset for SaaS Growth with Andy Baldacci
I believe this was my most downloaded episode because Andy promoted it on social media.
NP 166: Matt Diggity on Buying, Building, Link Building, and Flipping Affiliate Websites
I think this was my most downloaded episodes for 3 reasons:
- This fits my target audience perfectly. This episode shared a big success story and also covered very specific tactics for growing and flipping an affiliate website.
- Matt Diggity is well known in my space and so the episode brought some name recognition.
- This episode came out in January 2020, so it had 12 months to accumulate more downloads than other episodes that came out later in the year.
Keeping Productive with Francesco D’Alessio
In this podcast episode, Francesco shares why he enjoys producing content around apps and productivity news, how he maps out his content plan, and so much more.
My most popular episode was Episode #23 with Kwame Christian. Kwame brought an incredible perspective on negotiation and relationships while also giving a candid look behind the scenes at his own business as a creator. It was very inspiring!
Feeling Stressed? Here’s How to Think Like a Monk with Jay Shetty. This episode, which focused on how each of us can integrate mindfulness and meditation into our lives was the perfect antidote to all of the stresses of 2020.
My most downloaded episode of Working Without Pants in 2020 was an episode called “Why selling marketing services is stupid“. This was actually a solo episode and not a guest one. I suppose the headline resonated with my audience though… I also got a lot of emails in response to this episode.
The point I was making is that as a marketer, you can often make more money when you work on a performance basis with your clients instead of charging flat marketing fees. When you partner with clients instead of just trying to sell them services, you can make a lot more money.
I think the contrarian headline is really what drove people in.
The Side Hustle Show’s most popular episode of 2020 was 388: From “No Skills” to $3k a Month on the Side.
This was an inspiring conversation with Chris Misterek, a self-taught web developer, that came out early in the pandemic. He broke down everything he did to learn a valuable new skill, land his first customers, and grow the business in his spare time.
How to start a PR Campaign on a Zero Dollar Budget, with Courtney Love
The online community is always looking for ways to get in front of the right eyes for their products/services. Courtney is a public relations strategist for entrepreneurs, helping creative small business owners champion PR that grows their income and influence. Courtney Love teaches her clients how to utilize PR to arrest attention, inspire action and increase their credibility, drawing from her 16 years of experience leading PR for the world’s most admired brands and business leaders. This episode resonates with many who want to improve upon their PR strategies.
How To Start Being A Freelance Writer? With Colleen Welsch, Freelance Writing Coach
This episode’s guest is very successful in her business, and her large audience provided enough exposure for that podcast episode about her best tips on becoming a freelancer to be my most downloaded episode last year. The audience mostly came about a week after the episode had been published, the time that it needed to reach the guest’s network. Generally, the most successful podcasts episodes are the ones with a guest that shares it with a large audience through social networks. What also helped is a good choice of long-tail keywords for the naming, which brought an audience from search engines as well.
EP123 3 Financial Fitness Lessons from Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
A fun way to learn about money and tie into the Superbowl half-time show.
EP150 The Top 3 Biz Money Mistakes to Avoid
Business owners, including those with a side hustle or aspiring ones, love to check to see if they are doing things right or can avoid a mistake as they embark on something.
EP151 Milli Moves: Financial Fitness Tips from Postsecondary Podcasters Paris Grant & Ryan Banfield
Young Money listeners love to hear from themselves and these two gentlemen are also podcasters so have lots of good insights to share.
EP155 Business Pricing 101: How to Price Your Product or Service
This is one of the biggest issues I see in the small business space. Many business owners are not profitable and so we’re interested in finding out how to price profitably.
EP156 Milli Moves: How to Earn Passive Income with Rachel Richards
Given the pandemic and income sources disrupted, everyone was eager to learn how to generate passive income.
Our two most downloaded episodes were:
Are you a bad person if you work at Facebook? (7500 downloads)
Should billionaires exist? (2000 downloads)
Our podcast takes a philosophical look at everyday issues and we use our business background as the context in which to evaluate questions. The two above did particularly well because they trended on Reddit and that sparked a wave of downloads that saw us jump into the Top 5% of podcasts worldwide.
Reddit aside, I think the reason these two episodes did well was because they directly tackle big questions people wonder but are sometimes afraid to ask or dismiss too quickly. The morality of where you work should be a very important aspect of your career choice. And the subject of billionaires raises a number of practical and philosophical issues.
My most downloaded episodes in 2020 were…
Jayme Woj & Thriving as a Creative While ‘Staying Home’ Ep. 0302
This one was the most downloaded for obvious reasons – it was near the beginning of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders where people needed to find some sort of balance at home; especially creatives who weren’t able to collaborate in person.
The other one was, Srinivas Rao Ep. 0204
We talked a lot about ways to manage your schedule as a creative along with handling periods where you may not be making as much money as you’d like, how to know when it’s time to move on from a venture, and why you should monetize what you love. My guest was also on Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking (which I didn’t know what happening!) so I suspect people were coming from the show to listen to his episode.
My top-downloaded episodes in 2020 were actually the last three I released that year:
– Ep. 38: Online Funnels 101: How to Structure, Run, & Profit from an Online Sales Funnel
– Ep. 39: Crowdfunding to Start (or Grow) Your Business
– Ep. 40: Content Creation Habits of a $15 Million Entrepreneur
I believe this had to do with timing (the podcast taking off more at the end of the year), as well as the topic areas being things my audience specifically mentioning they were interested in learning about.
I also feel it may have had to do something with the last two guests because they are top-notch in their field.