If you want to be a better podcaster, you can’t get wrapped up in analytics and metrics. They’re important…but other aspects of podcasting take precedence. Read on…
Don’t look at your podcast analytics for six months.
This is the advice I give any brand new podcaster and, believe me, I’ve caught some shit for it.
Metrics can, of course, be helpful in your show’s growth.
But too often, podcasters get fixated on the wrong metrics or, even more likely, have no idea what they’re looking at.
So instead of getting lost in a sea of tables and charts and data, why not build your skill set so the metrics improve naturally.
Let me explain.
When you’re fresh to podcasting, you’re probably not that good.
I know I wasn’t. By any stretch.
I was green and naive and cocky and felt I’d be a natural because I did radio in college.
Not only had 13 years passed since my college radio days, podcasting was a completely different animal and I needed to find my voice, hone my message, and determine my audience.
In other words, if I wanted to be a better podcaster, I needed to get good.
And I needed to apply myself to consistent time on the microphone to make that happen.
I couldn’t get good staring at metrics (specifically downloads) and letting them be the driving force behind whether podcasts were the right medium for me.
This logic is the same for anyone in this space.
Ask any seasoned podcaster and they’ll tell you: they were many, MANY episodes deep before they found their groove.
Contrarily, ask any former podcaster who stopped recording before they hit their 10th episode (or less) and the most common response you’ll get is “I wasn’t getting enough downloads.”
That’s a shortsighted excuse for not hitting an arbitrary number.
What number constitutes “enough” anyway?
I digress, but I guarantee you this: if you ask ANY podcaster why they started their show, the answer won’t be “so I could get a thousand downloads.”
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The download metric gets glorified for all the wrong reasons.
Hell, it’s the first thing you see when you log in to your host account.
Right on the home page.
I wish they’d make that metric harder to find, but when you learn to block it out because your mission is much deeper than how an episode performs this week, where that metric is located becomes irrelevant.
Podfade is real and so many would-be, could-be great podcasters let low download metrics derail the train before it’s even left the station.
So instead of getting fixated on metrics early on, get fixated on building confidence in your voice, dialing in your message to the most precise listener possible, and telling compelling stories.
When your content gets listeners invested, the numbers will fall in to place naturally.
Metrics can help you build successfully, but fueling your confidence, passion, and mindset for podcasting is more critical to your staying power and the most impactful path to being a better podcaster.
Focus on building your skill set.
Get really good at storytelling and making connections with your audience.
Then use metrics wisely to assist you in making your efforts soar!
And if you absolutely DO feel the need to ignore my advice and look at metrics early, PLEASE use them the right way.
Don’t look at this week’s downloads and think you’re falling short.
Remember: podcasts get discovered at different points in their life span. Some today, some tomorrow, some in a year.
Instead, look at lifetime downloads for ALL of your episodes and see which ones are performing best.
This is an indicator that your audience likes what they hear on those episodes, so lean into that subject matter and create additional content around the same topics.
Give your listeners more of what they want and they’ll be singing your praises to anyone who will listen!