Podcasters always want to know how to get more listeners or viewers. But you should also consider what you may be doing that is preventing you from growing your audience.

1. You have weak content

“Weak content” can take many forms. It could be that you chose a highly saturated topic (like technology and gadgets). It could be that you aren't bringing any unique content to the field (like a TV show fan podcast mostly rehashing the episode's events). Or your content may not be something that others care to hear (like your personal life—sorry).

You've heard the phrase too often, “content is king,” but it's true. Choose content that is valuable to others.

Assume the content that fit in these titles, which seems more interesting to you? “Summer is coming up” or “10 ways to be awesome this summer”?

2. You present your content poorly

It's possible to have amazing, dynamite content that others will want to share, but presentation is just as important (some would even say it's more important). Learn how to present your message in a logical, understandable way.

This can mean improving your production quality, or it could mean improving how you speak.

Communicate clearly. Know what you want your audience to take away and present that as well as you can.

3. Your website is ineffective

More than half of my podcast audience comes through my website: Internet searches, links from others, internal links to my previous content, social media, and more.

Your website needs to present your content front and center, but also have a strong call to action. Get your visitors to turn into subscribers.

On way to do that is with my new Social Subscribe & Follow Links plugin for WordPress. This allows me to create awesome buttons like this:

4. You're expecting everyone to find you

“If you build it, they will come” is among the worst marketing advice ever from Hollywood. It's true that you need to optimize your content for searching. Stuff like writing great shownotes, using compelling titles, and coming up with a descriptive name.

But to grow your audience, you have to go find and invite your audience. This is hard work, but it pays off.

Whenever you try to market your podcast, always remember to contribute first, promote second.

Contribute to the conversation. Contribute with a solution.

Only after you've contributed should you consider promoting yourself, but only if it is relevant to the issue at hand.

Bad: “You can fix that podcast problem with ___. BTW, listen to my podcast about puppies.”

Good: “You can train your puppy with ___. BTW, I host a podcast about puppies with tips like this and more.”

5. You aren't building relationships

As the old adage goes, “It's not what you know, it's who you know.” This is true in podcasting. But you don't need to only know famous people. Know your audience!

Podcasting is far more personal than radio, TV, blogs, books, or almost any other medium. You're speaking directly into someone's ears or holding the attention of their eyes. Try to include feedback from your audience.

The most important word to everyone is their own name. So use names when you can, without seeming like a social club or a name-dropper. When you use a name, make it to lift up that person, not yourself.

Building relationships creates a community. And communities take care of each other and work together to invite others.

You can even build relationships with your “competition”!

Audience plateau?

It is possible for a podcast to plateau and reach its maximum potential audience, but I think that so few podcasters have reached that, that it's not anything the rest of us should worry about.

Success story from Carl Valeri

Thank you for the outstanding work you have done in designing my podcast cover art, rebranding my website, and for answering all my podcasting questions. You truly have played a key role in my podcasting success. I hope you will share my story with your listeners to encourage and to make people realize that you never know what doors may open in life due to podcasting.

This year I started working for a company with a large brand name. In my first week with the company I was approached by the Vice President of Communications who said she had seen what I had been doing with social media and podcasting. Her statement at first made me nervous because I thought I was in trouble for something I said. To my great surprise she wanted me to play a role in producing podcasts and videos promoting their brand.

As you can imagine I was shocked and excited at the same time. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

A few months later I was asked to play a key role in conducting interviews during an event where my employer was the first company in this United States to donate in such a unique manner to a non profit organization. This led to much exposure for me among the various company vice presidents attending the event. Because of my conducting these interviews I was asked to play an even larger role in promoting their brand through podcasts, internet, and television.

When I started podcasting I did not know it would lead to this amazing career and financial opportunity. What I did know when I started my podcast was I had a passion for my topic and I was driven to help others achieve their goals.

Please let your listeners know if they are thinking of starting a podcast or have been podcasting for years it is important to persevere and to podcast with passion! You never know what doors podcasting may open in your life. As you can see my show has opened doors to incredible opportunities in my life. I have faith podcasting will also open doors of opportunity and bring many blessings in your listeners lives.

Keep podcasting with passion!

Carl Valeri
Aviation Careers Podcast

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email (audio files welcome)

Connect with me


This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

You asked reasons why we stopped listening to podcasts. I’ll give a couple examples. Recently I picked up a new podcast. It was marked as explicit, but that doesn’t bother me. What did bother me, and the reason I stopped listening, was that the co-hosts regularly burped into the mic. Loudly. With no apology. That’s just nasty. F-bombs, sure, but don’t burp in my ear.

Another podcast I stopped listening to because the hosts spent entirely too much time talking about a mod (it’s a video game podcast) that makes it look like your female character is wearing a thong. Whatever if you get off on an animated character, that’s your business but you’d think there was nothing else to this game other than that, and I found it offensive. Further, one of the hosts continually made a voice which I thought was a derogetory to a certain group of people, which I also found offensive. Otherwise I really liked the show, but I can’t support that.

Joe Mastroianni
Joe Mastroianni
11 years ago

One pet peeve I have is audio quality. One podcast I listen to has amazing and incredible content on health, wellness and physical training. The hosts are authorities on their subjects, are enthusiastic, funny and engaging. However, the audio quality of their podcast is severely lacking. One host is echoey and distant while the other one is clear but much louder then the other.

It hasn’t stopped me from listening yet but it really does detract from an amazing and otherwise high quality show.

TJ Hale
11 years ago

HI Joe, i hear people all the time say “I love xyz podcast but the audio is poor” How do these people generate large audiences an not address this issue?
I know it isn’t difficult because I am of sub par intelligence and i have figured it out. You should do them a favor and let them know how you feel about it.

BTW Daniel – first visit to your site – Great Post.

Joe Mastroianni
Joe Mastroianni
11 years ago
Reply to  TJ Hale

I know it has been mentioned to them by others, I suspect it’s a question of desire. The content is good enough so you can get past it, just always bothers me a bit.

TJ Hale
11 years ago

Joe you got me to thinking…I get a lot of compliments on my audio, maybe that is people who don’t want to tell me to work on the content… uh oh

Joshua Rivers
10 years ago

Thanks for this Daniel. I need to re-examine my own podcast. I haven’t seen much growth, so I’m probably doing some of these things. I probably need to fine-tune how I present my content. I’m not always consistent from show to show and the transitions aren’t always smooth (or at least with transition music). I think my content itself is good, I just need the presentation to be better. I think my website is good, but I’m always looking at improving it.

I haven’t unsubscribed to many podcasts and it’s been a while, so I can’t think about exactly why I did. I’m sure that some where because the content just didn’t seem good enough or was overly repetitious.

Brent Price
Brent Price
9 years ago

Great advice. Building a podcast audience is like building any business. It’s all about creating good quality long term relationships. There’s no quick fix.


[…] Optimize your content for search engines. Write compelling show notes and titles. More importantly, invite your audience to listen. When marketing your podcast, contribute to the conversation, then promote. Also, only promote if your podcast can offer a solution. […]

Rob West
Rob West
8 years ago

TL;DR version:
1) You suck
2) You’re really sweet, but I just don’t find you attractive
3) You’re too cheap to pay for a professionally designed website
4) You’re lazy
5) You’re not important

Trying to avoid these 5 at


[…] an audience?, AIR Media 5 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Podcast’s Audience, The Audacity to Podcast 5 reasons your podcast audience isn’t growing, The Audacity to Podcast How to Build a Large Audience From Scratch (And More), Tim Ferriss […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Enter your name and email address below to learn “7 Ways to Get More Podcast Reviews” FREE!

Almost there!


See what Apple Podcasts and other popular podcast apps search with the Podcast SEO Cheat Sheet!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!


Before you go! Don’t miss this FREE checklist, “20 things you should do before recording every podcast episode”!

This form collects information we will use to send you podcasting-related updates with tips, offers, and news. We will not share or sell your personal information. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Almost there!