How long does it take to build a podcast audience?
Podcasts have been around for more than a decade, yet there is still some ambiguity over whether or not they should be considered media.
People used to listen to traditional radio stations, but now they prefer new and exciting podcasts.
Every day, it seems as if more and more podcasts are being added to the mix. However, although podcasting and radio are similar in their production processes, some fundamental distinctions exist between the two mediums.
Podcasting is a relatively new kind of broadcasting.
It helps people and organizations without previous audio production skills get creative audio creation.
The lines between the media have blurred, yet the lines remain. The modern-day podcasting trend, which is bringing up new creators and influencers, is becoming a great business.
This blog focuses on knowing what podcasting is and how long it takes to build a podcast audience.
How long does it take to build a podcast audience?
When you’re getting started, it’s essential to be realistic about how long it takes to grow an audience. If you want a large following before the sun sets tomorrow, podcasting might not be for you.
However, if you are in this for the long haul and devote the necessary time and energy to promotion, growth is inevitable.
How much time will it take to build a large audience? That depends on how much time you can devote to it and what you do with that time.
But just remember: no matter how many followers you have now—or how fast they come—the most important thing is never losing focus of your “why”. If your podcast is born out of passion and purpose, people will notice.
1. Six months If you have a big marketing budget
If you have a high-enough marketing budget, you can build a large audience quickly. But determining how much to spend on marketing is tricky when you’re just getting started.
Podcast networks and studios say that the minimum monthly spend to get an audience of 50,000 to 100,000 listeners is between $15,000 and $20,000 per month; with that budget alone, it would take six months or more to grow your audience.
“If you’re thinking about launching a podcast and want to be successful, consider what your marketing budget will be,” said Chloe Prasinos of Gimlet Creative.
“And if your marketing budget is zero or low, think about who else might want to work with you and help market your show.”
The good news: You can start small and grow the size of your marketing program as the show grows its fanbase.
2. Six months when you use social media strategies like Facebook ads and Instagram influencer campaigns to build an audience quickly.
In the context of a larger article about podcasting, this section answers the question “How long does it take to build a podcast audience?”
It’s going to take you six months. We don’t say that to be discouraging. It’s just realistic.
The fact is it takes time to build an audience, no matter what your project is, whether it’s a podcast or another type of creative venture.
You need patience and persistence when you’re building your audience. It’s not going to happen overnight—but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
While some experts recommend that you use social media promotion strategies like Facebook ads and Instagram influencer campaigns (i.e., having popular accounts with large followings share links to your account), others argue that organic growth is best for building an engaged community of listeners who hang on your every word and eagerly share your content with their friends (and family).
That being said, there are exceptions: If you have a large social media following or if you’re already famous in some way, it will be easier for you to promote your podcast on your own channels and build an audience right away.
3. One year if you get professional help
If you want to make it big quickly, you’re going to have to make a significant investment.
It is absolutely possible to start out on your own with little or no money and still build an audience—but the process will take longer, and the professional help that makes your podcast stand out may be necessary if you want to succeed at a faster rate.
So what constitutes success? It depends on your goals. If you’re hoping for a massive audience of millions of listeners, you’re probably looking at years—maybe even decades—of work before you reach that goal.
But if your goal is to build an engaged audience of people who listen regularly and become fans, then with some help, it may only take one year or less!
4. Two years, when you’re doing it all yourself
If this is your first podcast, let’s be real: it’s not going to go viral right away. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find an audience!
In fact, if you follow the steps I listed above, you’ll probably find a dedicated audience of listeners—and they may just stick around for the long haul.
“How long does it take to build a podcast audience?” is a very difficult question to answer.
It depends on many factors, including how much time you are willing to put into promoting your show and how much money you’re able (or willing) to spend.
It also depends on whether you already have an audience that will transfer over to the new medium or not.
If you are already famous, and your fans follow you from show to show, then building an audience won’t be difficult at all.
If, however, you aren’t famous and don’t have a large audience waiting for your next big project, then growing one could take some time—especially if you’re doing most of it yourself.
Promoting a new podcast requires work even when there’s an established base of listeners waiting for it; it can feel like an uphill battle when no one knows who you are or what they should expect from your show.
How you can speed up the process of building an audience
The best way to speed up the process of building an audience for your podcast is to create a solid show that serves a specific niche. If you produce high-quality content, your audience will grow organically.
Here are some other things you can do to speed up the process:
- Start a blog. You can use this platform as another way to promote your show and interact with your listeners. This also gives you more opportunities to publish new content on a regular basis and engage with your audience between episodes.
- Do interviews with people who already have built-in audiences in the same niche as your show. If they agree, their audiences will eventually tune into your show as well. Win-win—you both get exposure in front of new audiences!
- Promote, promote, promote! Share episodes on all of your social channels, write snippets from each episode in an email newsletter (or host them on SoundCloud), add links in relevant forums, and mention it in conversations with anyone who is interested—the more you talk about it, the more likely people are to listen!
- Create a community around your podcast by hosting meetups or arranging other types of events where listeners can come together and discuss topics from past episodes. For example, if you’re talking about business growth strategies in an episode, you could host a meetup where entrepreneurs share their growth stories followed by Q&A sessions where others can ask questions about how these particular strategies worked for them!
Patience and persistence are your best friends
If you’re feeling discouraged, take a deep breath and remember that your early failures probably aren’t the result of a mistake you made. They are likely due to the fact that it takes time to build an audience for anything—and podcasts are no exception.
The good news is that people who start consuming your podcast will often be highly engaged with it and will subscribe so they can automatically receive new episodes as soon as they’re uploaded.
Once you have a decent number of subscribers, every episode you release will bring in more exposure and listenership. Starting small isn’t a bad thing—it just means you’ll enjoy more growth as time goes on!
Building an audience for your podcast takes a lot of work, but if you stick with it, you’ll start seeing more and more listeners.
Our best advice: “Just Start”
It’s so easy to get caught up in a numbers game when you’re creating content for the internet.
You think, “hey, I’ve been creating for six months and only have ten followers,” and then you feel discouraged or start questioning your abilities.
But think about it this way: if you start really getting into the numbers, you’ll be saying in two years that you should’ve started two years ago.
So just let that go, and focus on the process of creating something meaningful—something that helps connect people.
Focus on spreading your message, not on how many people will hear it.
If you keep at it and keep building your audience day by day, we promise you won’t regret it! 🚀