Podcast Blastoff Blog

How to Launch Your Podcast and Dominate iTunes New and Noteworthy

January 6, 2017 Nathan Fraser

Seems like every day, there's a flood of new podcasts launched on iTunes.

If you plan on launching yours anytime soon, you're gonna have a lot of competition to contend with. And the longer you wait to get started, the more competition there will be.

Having a solid launch plan in place is more important than ever. If you don't nail the launch, your podcast might never get the attention it deserves. So you wanna make sure you do it right.

By taking advantage of iTunes New and Noteworthy, combined with a solid launch plan, you can set your podcast up for long term success.

I shouldn't be sharing this, but here's the secret sauce formula that I use for launching my podcasts.

Let the countdown begin:

  • Record Four to Eight Episodes Before You Launch

It's best to launch with at least three episodes. We'll get into that later. But recording between four and eight episodes before your launch is something I recommend.

It helps you stay ahead of schedule. If you miss a week in recording, you still have a new episode to release for that week. This takes a lot of the stress of being a podcaster of your back.

Also, most podcasts never make it past episode seven. If you have eight recorded before you even launch, you’ll start out with a huge advantage over the competition.

  • Select an Episode to Give Away as a Lead Magnet

People love feeling like they have the inside scoop on something new. Many of them will be happy to give you their email address in exchange for a sneak preview of your new podcast.

Set up a squeeze page with an email opt-in form where people can sign up to get access to a preview episode, before you launch.

Pick one of your later episodes to give away for free to people who join your email list. I say a later episode because you want to make a good impression. Let them hear an episode that you recorded after you got more comfortable behind the microphone. Letting them hear your first episode probably won't impress them as much as your third or fourth episode will.

You can also have this be an "Episode Zero". That's an introduction episode. It explains who you are, what your podcast is about, and who your podcast is for.

Host the mp3 file on your website or on a service like google docs. When somebody signs up for your mailing list, send them the link to your preview episode. Now they’re on your mailing list, and you can let them know when you have your official launch.

  • Drive Traffic and Get Opt-Ins

Create some buzz to get people over to your squeeze page.

If you already have an email list, mail them and let them know about how they can get the new podcast episode. Do this a few times. Not everybody opens every email you send.

If you have social media, use it.

Blast your Facebook pages and groups. Same thing with your Twitter, Snap, or Instagram accounts. Don't be afraid to let people know. A shy salesman has skinny kids. A shy podcaster has a lackluster launch.

If you have the budget, and the knowhow, run some Facebook ads to your squeeze page. Make sure your page is in compliance with Facebook expectations, or your account could get shut down.

If you have friends that can spread the word to their contacts, hit them up. If you know a good list broker, buy some solo ads. Whatever you can do to get people to your squeeze page, do it. This will help build your list and make your launch successful.

  • Launch With Three Episodes and Your Podcast To iTunes

People like to binge listen, so have at least three episodes at launch. This way they can get a good feel for what you have to offer. If they enjoy all three episodes, chances are, they'll subscribe to your show, if you remind them.

If they only get one episode at launch, they might leave it feeling undecided. By the time episode two comes out, they may have already forgotten all about you.

Get hosting on a service like BlastPod. Host your files with someone that specializes in podcast hosting. That way, you can track your downloads, not worry about bandwidth issues, and create an RSS feed.

Once you have three episodes posted and your RSS feed created, submit your podcast to iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. These are the main places to get listed. Almost every other podcast source out there pulls their feeds from one of these three. The most important, being iTunes.

  • Email Your List to Let Them Know You've Launched

Once iTunes approves your podcast; it's game time.

I focus on iTunes because it has the most leverage. That's where most podcasts are. That's where most other podcast providers get their cues from. If you can make it onto iTunes' New and Noteworthy, you'll be good on Stitcher and Google Play.

Send links to your iTunes page to everyone you can. That includes the email list you've been building, your Facebook friends, groups, pages, and any other social media you can think of. Let the world know how to find you on iTunes.

If you can run some ads, do it. If not don't worry about. But get all the organic traffic to your iTunes link that you possibly can.

Tell everyone you send there to subscribe, rate and review the show. This is how iTunes measures a podcast's popularity. The more downloads, subscribes, and reviews a show gets in 24 hours, the higher it appears on the charts.

So, at the end of every episode, at the end of every email, and at the end of every Facebook post, remind people to subscribe, rate, and review.

  • Have a Bonus to Give Away

This is optional, but I've seen it work wonders.

If you have something to give away, like a t-shirt or a signed book, make a contest out of it. Let listeners know that you'll be giving away a prize to whoever wins the contest, and you'll be announcing the winner in episode ten. To enter, all they have to do is subscribe to your show, rate it in iTunes, and leave a review.

If you plan on doing this, make sure you announce it from the very first episode, up until episode nine. That way, you get plenty of response.

When it comes time to record episode ten, pick a winner. Announce the winner on the podcast, and have them get ahold of you and verify they left the winning comment. You can do this by emailing them something new to post, or by having them screen capture a new comment, before they leave it.

This type of contest gets the best reviews from raving fans, and really juices up your iTunes ratings.

And there you have it. My secret launch plan for dominating iTunes' New and Noteworthy.

It's a little extra work, but it goes a long way. Use it when you launch your next podcast, and prepare to dominate the charts. With this formula, you can do it.

Podcast Blastoff Blog

Guide to Choosing an Effective Podcast Domain Name

April 10, 2016 Nathan Fraser

Guide to Choosing an Effective Podcast Domain Name

Choosing a domain name for your podcast can be hard and there are several factors to consider. Especially if that website hosts more than one podcast theme or category. How did you find your favorite podcasts website? Did you find it in a search engine or type their brand name in the address bar and add a .com to it?

Choosing a domain name shouldn't be a daunting task

Your domain name is ultimately how your audience will find you and should reflect your brand or subject as clearly as possible. With the ever expanding internet it is getting harder and harder to find short meaningful domain names that fit with your brand. But it shouldn't be a deal breaker and i am going to give you the tools to choose a effective name for your podcast website.

You just want to be heard

Do you have a message to get out? Did you just decide you wanted to start a podcast website but have not come up with a brand yet? Coming up with a brand name is no easy task, and takes a lot of consideration. First, you have to think about what your brand is about. Are your brand and show the same thing, or does your brand encompass several shows with different subjects? Are you branding yourself or your podcast.

"Podcasting is the Gutenberg press of the 21st century, and it gives you the power to be heard. With a podcast, you can be the educator, you can be the entertainer, you can be a fierce competitor in the marketplace, you can be the voice that moves generations."

You don't need to be a marketing genius to have a great domain name

By remembering these simple steps you can have a domain that will connect you with your audience

  1. Do your research

  2. Make It Memorable

  3. Match your brand

  4. Use Keywords

  5. Keep It Short

  6. Use an appropriate extension

If you do a podcast about The Lord Of The Rings you may choose a name like lordoftheringspodcast.com or thelotrpodcast.com, which is a name that specifically defines the subject of the podcast, is recognizable and easy to remember, and contains search terms your target audience is likely to use. Or like the Bayside High and Drunk Podcast at heybaysiders.com, you can choose a show name that describes the theme of the show with a site name that your target audience can connect with.

If your site consists of several shows with a broad range of subjects you should ask yourself if shows have a common theme? Are all
of your shows related to aeronautics, or technology or programming languages?
Does your brand relate to politics or religion or economics? What is the overall message you are trying to get to your listeners? Can you narrow your vision down to a few keywords?

Remember your audience is going to have to find you through search engines and advertising. Whether it is social media ads,
google ads or word of mouth you need something that is relatable and memorable.
If at all possible it should contain keywords that describe you brand or your

Often people have an established brand and already have an idea of what their domain name needs to represent. You may even have a name for your brand, but that doesn't guarantee that your brand name will be available as a domain. When you register for a new domain name you will want to do a little research. You will have to determine if the domain you want is already taken. Most registrars will tell you if your domain, and if it is taken, will offer different variations of the domain you wanted.

The part that's getting harder as the internet ages is getting a short domain name. Many of the shorter and more descriptive domains are taken by either similar brands or domain warehouses, who may give you the option to buy the domain at a marked up price. A short domain will not necessarily guarantee you more customers, and may not be an option for your brand. But it will it make it easier for your customers to type and remember.

Make it memorable

Some may recommend not using plurals, or words like ‘the’ and ‘my’ or ‘our’, but I would just advise if you do, to make sure to explicitly promote your site using those terms. If your site is thewidgetfactory.com but your brand name is just Widget Factory, then you need
to make sure all of your promotions clearly differentiate the difference between your brand name, and your website name, otherwise you may drive your traffic to a competitors site.

.Org .Com .Net ETC…

What domain extension (Top level domain – TLD) type do you need to use? Well that is up to you. COM NET ORG and so on used to have specific purposes. COM was for commercial sites, NET was for technology, and internet infrastructure sites, BIZ for commercial e-commerce type sites ORG for non-profit or community type organizations and so on.

There is a variety of new Top Level Domains available for registration like .me, .biz, .info and many others. Choose something relevant to your site. While the COM addresses are the most common and the most memorable, they may not always be available, but remember that someone is most likely to look for mysite.com than mysite.nyc.