Maximize your podcast’s reach this 2024! Join Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard as they dive deep into the ways you can take your show to new heights, starting with tapping into the power of directory listings and promotion. From getting listed in micro categories to leveraging listicles and blog articles to optimizing SEO, Tom and Tracy provide you fresh and updated strategies for the new year. Follow along to this conversation and set yourself up for more success as you reach new listeners and expand your podcast’s influence in today’s evolving landscape.
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Maximizing Your Podcast’s Reach: The Power Of Directory Listings And Promotion
In this episode, we’re going to talk about maximizing your podcast reach, which is a great theme for 2024, the power of directory listings and promotion. This is important. There are lists out there on the internet and pretty much every category of podcasting. Isn’t that right?
Yes. There are lists for the best health and wellness podcast or the best fitness podcast. It can be micro. It can be the best podcast on podcasting. There are lists out there for that, like the top podcast in this. You want to go into the micro categories. It matters in the micro categories because that’s what people are looking up. I don’t want to know the best podcasts out there because that’s too general. The same five are going to show up every time, the ones that are all paid for by big networks. A real podcast listener doesn’t do that. They go into the micro categories they’re looking for.
I want to help frame people’s minds about this because I can already hear the skeptics. I can hear the doubt and skepticism among many of you, which is, “There are so many podcasts out there. How is mine going to make one of these lists?” I was serious when I said there’s a list out there for everything. I’m going to give you an analogy for this that everyone can relate to, anyone who has watched television in the last couple of years at least. You see it more because so much is streaming, especially when we were all in the theaters pre-COVID watching movies.
On television, there are always ads for the latest movies. It always seems like every movie is the best, the greatest, this, or that. There’s the best movie of the year, the best film of the year, or the best cinematic experience of the year. The writers who create these things come up with different ways for every movie to be the best of something to get you to think it’s the best and you need to go out to the theater. There are similar things that happen with these lists and podcasts. It’s not categorized as one way but there are many other lists out there of podcasts and opportunities to get yours listed. The thing is most people don’t ask.
They don’t ask to be on the list or update the list. Most of the lists being made out there are made by publicists. I want to be clear with this. If you want to do this and you want help with this, go hire a publicist. That’s the number one rule because publicists know that this is a great way for you to get into circulation there. It’s an easy ask for them to do this because a lot of times, you write and submit it. That is a tactic, to write and submit your own, but you can’t be on the list if you write and submit your list. You have to think that through. Who are you going to hire? Who’s going to help you? Who’s going to be the author who can write and put you on the list?
Isn’t there another tactic for tapping into an existing list?
That’s my favorite one. That’s the one I want to focus most on in this episode but I want you to understand how the nuances of it work. The idea is that somebody did go out there and write a list. They may already be a blogger. This is important to understand who wrote the list. If it’s a list on somebody’s website or a list in a publication, those are two different author types.
If you have someone who’s a contributing author and contributes regularly to CIO at Magazine, for instance, and they happen to write a top podcast list, then contact them. If you can see it was a one-time thing, they don’t have a lot of stuff, or everything that they do seems to be focused on the same set of clients, then you know that that’s a publicist who’s done that.
Go check them out. Make sure you check out their bio. That’s maybe the publicist you want to reach out to. That may be the one you want to hire because they use it in their strategy. It’s not going to work to get an update done on it if they’re a publicist because they do it for hire. If it’s a columnist or a contributor who already has a popular article, that’s something different. That’s what I’m going to talk about here for most of what we’re going to say.
I like this tactic a lot. It’s pretty brilliant. It will take a little bit of legwork but not that difficult for do-it-yourselfers.
Let’s say you type in, “Best podcast on podcasting,” and a bunch of articles come up or a bunch of lists come up.
Listicles sometimes they call them.
They’re exactly that. You think, “That’s a good publication. I want to be a part of TechCrunch or Entrepreneur. How can I get in that?” There’s a popular article but that’s from 2022 yet it’s ranking on the first page of Google for Best Podcast on Podcasting. That sounds great. We should reach out to that writer and say, “Have you thought about updating this listicle? It’s very popular.” If it’s in their block, it’s easier. If it’s in a publication, it’s a little harder because they have to get the publication to agree.
These are the two areas where you’ve got to think this through. Blogs are way easier for you to update. If it’s showing up on the first page of Google, it doesn’t matter if it’s on somebody’s website or a main authority page because its purpose isn’t to add a logo to your website. Its purpose is to make an actual list for people who are out there searching for something or searching for a new podcast. We want to hit those lists and we want to hit on the list.
When they come back to you and say, “Here. I have an update for you. I’ve done all the work,” this is the part that you must do. You can’t just pitch someone and say, “Update the list and add me to it.” Instead, you go through the list. Let’s say the list had twenty podcasts on it. I guarantee you that 50% of them will be gone 2 years later. This is 2022 to 2024. 2 years later, 50% of them will easily be gone. It could be even more.
Either they’re gone and no longer exist or they stopped publishing a year ago or more. They’re no longer a currently active podcast.
That’s embarrassing to the writer. This is a great inroad for you to make the introduction. When you’re writing that and asking them if they’d like to update, you should tell them how many have podfaded. You’re like, “I noticed you have this great article. You rank out the first page of Google. Good for you. You’re an expert in finance and have written this best list on finance podcasts. Did you know that 10 of your 20 are outdated and no longer publishing? Some of them haven’t even published an episode in two years. Would you like some assistance? I can give you ten new podcasts if you’d be willing to include mine in your list as well.”
You do the work for them.
Don’t give them the list yet. You let them respond and say, “I’d love help with that.” You give them formatted exactly like it already is in the article so all they have to do is plug in the ones that are missing. You say, “This one’s missing. You should include this one instead. This one’s missing or this one’s podfaded. You should include this one instead.” You give them the image, the cover art image, the description, or whatever they included in the way that they listed it in their listicle. Sometimes, it might simply be the name of the show and a text link. Give them whatever it is that looks like their original article so they don’t have to do any more work.
Copy and paste.
You give them the ones that they’re removing and give them the new ones plus yours. You give them some more details on yours because you want them to be a little generous. Maybe they’ll update their opening paragraph. That’s something that they should do. When you update it, you’re going to mention somewhere, “The writer should write that.”
They’re then going to mention, “This is updated for 2024. Thank you so-and-so for helping me with this list.” They give you another shout-out. That would be nice if they did that. They may not but it doesn’t matter because you’ve already set up the success for them and hand-wrapped it. It’s ready to go for them to update this quickly. That’s an easy win for them. There’s no reason for them not to.
A blogger especially is looking for new content at all times. A columnist or a contributor also has, sometimes, a requirement of how many they’re supposed to do per month. A columnist does. When I wrote for Inc. Magazine, I had a requirement of hitting six articles per month. The last week of the month was the week that I would be desperately looking for some new things.
It’s also a strategy to hit them in the last week of the month with an easy update to a fast article that they’ve written. If you’ve got somebody and you’re trying to do a publication, suggest that. Editors do love this. Who doesn’t love a sequel? It is like, “It worked the first time so it should work again.” That’s the mental model of all editors out there.
There are several different techniques for this. You could edit the existing article because it’s already ranking well or create a new one that’s for 2024. It’s republishing half that list and putting the new list and it links back to the old one. Maybe it lists the ten new ones and links back to the old ones. There are many different techniques. There’s not only one way to do this. You’re going to breathe new life into it. As Tracy suggested, help them out and make it easy for them to produce more content.
Let’s talk about where you rank on that list. It is very obnoxious and presumptuous of you to suggest that you belong on number one. You better have a good reason for it. I, likely as a writer, will go, “I probably still will rewrite that article but I won’t include your show at that point.” You gave me a great idea but I’m like, “I’m not listening to that ego.” Writers have their egos, authority level, and mission. They’re not there to serve you.
You need to give them something that makes it a value to them and makes it easy for them. If you want the law of reciprocity to kick in here, then don’t be pushy about it. What I suggest you do is say, “If you’re trying to decide where to rank shows, here’s the chart.” You could show them an example of the chart. You’re like, “Here’s where these shows rank. Here’s where this show has 100 episodes and this one has 1,000.” You could give it by episode numbers. You could give them some ideas about where you go based on something flattering and a benefit to you.
Our 3D print show had 650 episodes. We still have the longest and largest catalog, and we haven’t published in years. There’s always a way to spin it that puts you in a favorable position up towards the top but it lets it be their decision where to place you. I guarantee you. If you’re like a lot of people and you decide, “I’m not going to be obnoxious or pushy. I’m not going to put myself at number one,” you will put yourself lower on the list than the writer will. Think about any self-evaluation you do out there. You always end up downgrading yourself more than your boss will. It happens that way always.
It’s the best 3D printing podcast for binge listeners. You have 650 episodes.
It has nothing to do with being current. This is also a way to cover this. You can always spin it. Suggest a new title or an update to the title. That favors you. When you give them the list, they decide where you go but you’ve given them the data on how many episodes each show has. That’s good and valuable information. You’re thinking about those things about how you want to position it but also making the writer feel like they’re in control. That’s critically important to you getting more out of it.
The flip side of that is, let’s say, you don’t want to give anyone else control. You are the authority in the industry. I was the authority on innovation. I wrote a column for Inc. Magazine. I was the authority for innovation. I wrote an article for Inc. Magazine on the best innovation podcast. I couldn’t plug my show. It would’ve been against the whole policy. I’m not allowed to plug my business as a columnist writer. I can have it in my byline or the bio. I can mention it from an experience or as a commentary about why I believe this but I certainly couldn’t put my show on the list. That doesn’t mean that’s not more valuable.
If my bio says, “I’m the host of Product Launch Hazzards at that time,” which was the show I was the host of, “Here are the ten podcasts I listened to,” that’s something of great value. Do you know what that did for me? It got me some amazing guests for my show. It got other people to plug my show so thank you for having written this article about them. I still get excited because it ranks up at the top. My name’s right there so people are always searching for me. That helps my authority as an innovation podcaster. It helps either way.
You have to be willing to relinquish your name out of that list. If it’s important that you get your podcast on that numbered list, then this is not the way to go. You can write about it in your opening paragraph. You can write about it in the close. You can be in the bio but you cannot put yourself on that list. That’s a slightly different strategy. I like it. It’s a higher authority. I’m above the list.
If you are the person setting the list and you have a podcast, they’re going to figure that out and listen to your podcast too.
They’re making me the list authority. That’s a different position. It’s a decision on how you want to do it. It’s a lot more work to do this. Honestly, picking those shows is hard. Sometimes, it would take me 2 weeks to pull a list of 10 because I wanted to listen to them. I wanted to make sure they were good. I wanted to make a personal comment about why they were good and why they were worth listening to. That was my addition to it.
There are lots of listicles out there that don’t work that hard that take the description. If your description is weak, it is going to hurt you. Make sure the first couple of sentences of your description aren’t about you but about why someone should listen to your podcast. It’s going to make any opportunity that you might have to be in one of these listicles more valuable. It’s going to make it easy for them to copy and paste and include you.If you're not a blogger and you don't understand SEO on your website, don't mess with the titles that you already have. It's not a good idea. If you do a new episode, do something new. Click To Tweet
I can tell you that there were lots of shows that might’ve been good but when I read their short paragraph description, I was like, “Forget it. They’re all about themselves. They’re too much ego for me to include.” I skipped them before I ever even gave them a chance. If I would do that as a podcast list builder and a writer, you can imagine that a listener’s not going to give you the time of day either.
A big red flag needs to go up right here. This is an important point to emphasize in this whole discussion about lists and getting your show out there and to be found. You’re so right. It’s so simple. The lazy podcasters or podcast producer’s path to creating a new show listing is making it all about the host. It’s not that it’s not important. The host is important. People are going to listen to the host and hopefully like the host and want to keep listening to them. If you make it all about the host and not what’s in it for the listener, you have to lead with what’s in it for the listener. The value for the host will come.
That’s what these articles are. It’s like, “I’m a listener and I’m out there looking for the best podcast in whatever category. I’m out there looking for something new.” This is so critically important. If you haven’t been listed before, this is a great time for you to go out there and check out if there are any lists. They might not be in your micro category. That’s interesting.
If there isn’t one, maybe consider being the author. If there are a bunch of them, go pick the best blog or publication. Try both of those models. Try one of each and see how it works. Get them to update their list for 2024. Get them to update it for the new year and see how much business that drives you. I can tell you that I know from that top ten list I created on innovation podcasts that I still get those podcast hosts reaching out to me and telling me they’re getting not only listeners but business because of that article. I wrote it several years ago.
Honestly, that’s the thing. Not to get too far off topic here but that’s the long-term power of these lists and of blogs that you create either for your podcast episodes or podcasts in general. We have one that’s several years old. We’re the very top result on the first page of Google for a valuable search term that we still get traffic from every month. It hasn’t changed in all those years. I don’t even think that blog or episode has been updated but updating is a good way to turn the odds more in your favor.
The reality is that this is going to lead to directory listings in all kinds of places and other types of promotion because that helps with that reach that’s going on on everything. People are looking for the easy answer. This is also something. AI loves lists. It makes it easy for it to do its job. When it’s out there searching and it sees these popular listicles, it’s easy for them to compile that, find the overlap, which is why getting on more than one list is a good idea, pull it together, and then make the suggestion.
It does away with all the writers to begin with but it was from that that the information about your show shows up. We need to be a part of this written word. It’s required in our AI future. I want you to think about that as well. This is going to be one of the big power moves in marketing and promoting. That’s why we’re starting 2024 with this one.
Here is a little side tip about this. When your show is mentioned in a listicle somewhere or you write an article yourself and contribute it somewhere else, that’s going to link back to you wherever you are. It could be to your show, website, press, or media page. This is how you build that spider web of cross-links and backlinks which are going to provide you value long-term.
If you made a top list at some point in the history of it, it doesn’t matter. You can always use it for a long time. Drop the year off. Usually, most articles will drop the year off. It might be in the subtitle or the opening paragraph. They usually don’t keep them in the title anymore because they know it has longevity when it build up on the first page of Google. It’s a tactic that will say, “The best podcast for such and such but not the best podcast of 2024 for such and such.” It’s rare that that does that in the main title. Subtitles all the time, they’re in there, or it might say, “-updated for 2024,” if it was a previous list that was from 2018 or 2019.
You’re making me realize, although I may not want to mess with it because it’s still so strong SEO-wise, that episode we did a couple of years ago about the best and worst podcast websites at the time. We didn’t say for 2017 when we did it. There have been some changes and updates. It might be worth refreshing or doing an updated new one that refers to that one or that the old one refers to the new one when people find it through Google because they’re going there first. I have to think about that.
This is something if you’re going to do updates, you’re not a blogger, and you don’t understand SEO on your website, don’t mess with the titles that you already have. It’s not a good idea. You do a new episode. Do something new. Create a new one and see if it supplants the old one. It’s not a good idea to go back and update old ones without knowing what you’re doing from an SEO standpoint. I’m going to say that right out there. In a publication situation, they know what they’re doing. Publications know how to update past articles. They know how to do that properly and make sure that they’re getting all of the original SEO value and then adding new to it.
These are great tips. This is a great one to talk about here in early 2024 as we’re all planning for how to get more out of our show.
As always, we’re going to be back with another topic. We are always looking for new ideas. We want to make sure that we’re giving you the most value that we can. We are focused mainly on people who’ve already started a podcast. If you haven’t started one yet, we’re able to support you as well with some ideas about what you might want to do when you get started.
There are all kinds of tools and useful ideas, tips, courses, programs, and more episodes that you can check out in one weekend, that’s for sure. All of it is on PodcastersUnited.org. That’s where we decided to donate our shows. We donated The Binge Factor, Feed Your Brand, and our entire tip library to a nonprofit organization called Podcasters United because we think that’s where most podcasters can get the most value. That’s where we’ll be.
If you’re looking for blogs, you can still go to FeedYourBrand.co or Podetize.com/FeedYourBrand. It will be forwarded to PodcastersUnited.org. That’s where it’s located. We have lots of new things. We’ve got a new AI newsletter we’re playing with over there and some new fun things for you to try out in Podcasters United. Go have some fun over there.
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