21 things podcasters should learn from the Podcast Awards

21 things podcasters should learn from the podcast awards

Hear several lessons you should learn for improving your podcast and standing out from the rest!

Over 5,000 podcasts were nominated for the 8th annual Podcast Awards. Only 220 made it in for final voting. These tips are based on the findings shared by Todd Cochrane in the slate announcement.

Lessons you should learn from other podcasts

  1. Make your website uniquely branded, not generic. 90% of the podcasts did this well.
  2. Ensure your audio quality is great! If you use BlogTalkRadio, don't publish that audio but record yourself and publish that. There were very few low-quality-audio podcasts.
  3. Make your podcast obvious on your homepage, don't make people dig to find it. 27% failed this.
  4. Make your podcast playable and downloadable on your site (PowerPress makes this easy). 34% of the podcasts couldn't be played from the site.
    • Of the podcasts using Blubrry's stats system, iTunes is accounts for 53% of the subscription, browser-based playing is second place by a large margin.
    • iPad is the #1 mobile device used for listening to podcasts via a browser
  5. If you publish video, make the video embeddable for your fans. 73% of the podcasts didn't do this.
  6. Create an RSS feed for your video podcast. YouTube, Blip.tv, other video websites aren't enough! 70% didn't do this!
  7. Ensure your RSS feed is valid and working. Only 9% had invalid feeds.
  8. Have a visible RSS link (I recommend an RSS icon) for your feed(s).
    • 33% offered a blog-only feed
    • 49% offered a podcast-only feed
    • 23% had the podcast feed buried
    • 28% didn't have any finable RSS or iTunes link!
  9. Have a backup plan for FeedBurner, or leave FeedBurner completely. 71% of the shows are still publishing their FeedBurner addresses.
  10. Cut down your RSS feed size! 26% had an RSS feed larger than 250 KB.
  11. Make your iTunes icon/link visible on your home/landing page.
    • 61% had a visible iTunes icon on landing pages
    • 57% had this icon somewhere within their site
  12. Make your feedback email and phone number easily accessible.
    • 12% had a visible email address
    • 8% had a newsletter sign-up
    • 21% had a feedback number or audio feedback widget.
  13. Get your own domain! 90% had their own domains.
  14. Write thorough shownotes. 73% had less than a single paragraph for shownotes for latest five episodes
  15. Blog on your website between podcast episodes. Only 16% of the podcasts have frequent blog posts, too.
  16. Spread your message across media. 23% of the podcasts were creating audio, video, and blog posts.
  17. Make your website mobile-friendly! Todd said that 31% are mobile-ready, but I have to question whether that's simply compatible or optimized for mobile.
  18. Be on social networks and link to them from your website.
    • 60% had a Twitter link
    • 72% had a Facebook link
    • 15% had a Google+ link
  19. Podcast weekly at the least for the best audience growth.
    • 25% podcast weekly
    • 23% podcast more than one episode per week and are seeing 8 times the growth
  20. Don't neglect your podcast during summer. Many podcasts had little or no summer dip (June–August).
  21. Be in iTunes and other podcast directories! Just posting YouTube or website media isn't good enough.
    • Most podcasts average 93 different devices or clients for downloading podcasts. Make sure you have as many of these, especially mobile apps, covered with your podcast(s).

Watch Todd Cochrane's full video

My suggestions for podcasts to vote for

In addition to the Ramen Noodle, ONCE podcast, and The Audacity to Podcast, please consider these other podcasts that I will be voting for in the Podcast Awards.

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 feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (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.
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11 years ago

Thanks Daniel for letting your fans know about Voting for MouseChat in the Travel category for the podcast awards. We hope to see you at the awards.

Mike Russell
11 years ago

Excited to hear about your nominations Daniel. I wish you the best of luck and it’s great to hear you’ll be at NMX. See you there!

11 years ago

This is such a valuable episode, I will be referring to this show many times in the future. Thank you so much for your support Daniel, I can’t believe our show made it to the finals! Good luck with your shows, I will be casting my votes for your shows, you can count on it.

Chris Christensen
11 years ago

You have another listener with nominated podcast in the travel category. Amateur Traveler is the only non-theme park podcast nominated and was also nominated (but did not win) in 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011. I am the Susan Lucci of podcast awards. 🙂

Ben Avery
Ben Avery
11 years ago

I can honestly say, without The Audacity to Podcast, we wouldn’t have made it into the finalists with our podcast, so, thanks Daniel! I always refer people to your site whenever they are looking for podcasting answers . . . although, I may have a harder time sending people this way during the voting period because you’re telling people to vote for our competition! 🙂

But seriously, our podcast would not be NEARLY as good without your help. Also, it was nice to have some of Tom’s video put into plain English. I still feel like I’m flailing in the dark when it comes to the technical sides of podcasting, even after a year.

Ben Avery
Ben Avery
11 years ago

Strangers and Aliens, in the religion category.

Kate Luella
Kate Luella
11 years ago

yes I saw your nomination in the podcast awards list Daniel – that’s fantastic, but not surprising really… you’re quite the expert these days, and a generous one at that! Is there an easy way I can vote for you???

Podd Socks
Podd Socks
10 years ago

Indie Aussie podcast doesn’t deserve no awards!



[…] content formats to the audio, whose distribution challenges have affected its creators. As Daniel J. Lewis point out, “ publishers that provide audio, video, and blog grow even […]

Lance Jones
2 years ago

what other news can you share with us. Do you have a sample podcast advertisement rate sheet?

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