Building and Engaging Your Podcast Listeners with Joe Casabona

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In episode 3 of our podcast, I chat with my friend and fellow podcaster, Joe Casabona. Joe is a developer, educator and host of the How I Built It podcast.

I asked Joe to share his own experiences and insights behind building and engaging your podcast audience.

Joe shares building and engaging tips for podcasting:

  • Why podcasters focus so much on the tech side of things vs. content and marketing.
  • How to avoid becoming obsessed with your stats.
  • Making your content a priority part of building your audience.
  • The importance of consistency to keep your audience strong.
  • What engagement looks like beyond someone just listening to your podcast.
  • How he has been successful in engaging his own podcast audience.
  • What he feels is the sweet spot when he defines the success of his podcast.

Joe on:

The Infatuation with the Tech Side

You have to find the right microphone and figure out what you’re going to talk about. And then figure out how to record and edit and get the thing online. That’s a whole other kind of area of expertise that you need to have for starting a podcast. And then finally you start putting out content and you’re like, oh, I need to figure out how to talk to my audience.

I think it’s probably a lot more fun to talk about the tech stuff because you’re in a lot more control of that. So yeah, a lot of podcasters will talk about what do you use to record? How do you edit? You know, what microphone do you have this month?

Focusing on The Download Numbers

Obviously, talking to no one stinks. You don’t want to walk into a room where you’re about to give a talk and have just your mom show up.

I think the first thing to do when you look at downloads is think about your audience and how big your niche is. You know, if you’re talking about something that doesn’t appeal to that wide of an audience you will obviously get lower numbers.

This is not a field of dreams situation. You can’t just put a podcast out there on day one and expect people to listen. They need to be enticed to listen in some way.

Building Your Audience

Plan your content. It used to be you could just press record and talk into your microphone and put that episode online. Now you need to plan.

Be consistent with publishing. I think this is the thing that has helped me the most. People know to expect my show on Tuesday mornings when they wake up, and I do it weekly and if I’m going to take a week off, I let them know.

Define your show’s mission and stay true to it.

Increasing Engagement

The best way to engage your audience is to have a clear call to action, either at the beginning or end of your show or both. And you should decide what that call to action is.

Actively engage with your audience by getting them into an online community of Facebook groups or Slack or forums. I’ve seen all of those used effectively.

His One Measurement of Success

When I hit 50,000 downloads in less than a year, that was a big milestone for me.

What He Wished He Had Done

I think the biggest thing I failed to do when I started was make an honest attempt to get listeners’ emails and not just as a data mining thing, but as a way to engage. Email is still the best way to engage directly with your audience.

Where to Find Joe

How I Built It

Joe on Patreon

Podcast Liftoff Online Course