You started a podcast and you want to achieve big download numbers as soon as possible.

These are all reasonable goals. And here’s how to achieve them.

According to research podcasting is growing fiercely. There are around 425,000 different podcasts available.

It will grow bigger and bigger and you will find it hard to be discovered this way as more and more media houses start investing into podcasting.

All not’s bad news though. The niches are aplenty and there’s a lot to explore still.

But even with the rising competition, you need to be able to differentiate yourself.

How to get that edge that can turn you into a rising star and yield rich dividends for your podcast?

Audiences have lots of options. And if you can make them pick your podcast, the heavy lifting falls square on you.

There are several podcasting hacks that you may use to grow your audience and get many downloads.

First understand the phases of a podcaster

There are three phases to any podcast. There’s the pre-launch stage, followed by launch and after that.

The key to growth is in being able to provide enough value.

The advice rings true in any industry. When you provide value success will go out of its way to meet you. Consistently deliver value to grow your company and brand your business.

Once you do that listeners can count on you and your ability of choosing guests.

Begin with Topic Research

Topic research is one of the first things you ought to start out with before jumping in all guns blazing with podcasting. Topic research lets you sketch ideas originating from a common point and be thematic around your content marketing efforts.

Podcasts are in audio format. That doesn’t make it very different from blogging. It’s just audio blogging. If you have ever blogged you can apply the same strategies that are available as part of blogging and research to discover ideas for this as well.

So I go and research in the same places I always do like and Quora to find out interesting questions on my core niche.

Quora is particularly useful with its vast base of users and ever growing number of questions and answers.

2. Produce quality audio without the cost 

Audio quality is directly dependent on the quality of equipment you use. That doesn’t mean that you have to purchase the most expensive equipment known to man. Far from it.

You cannot get by with shoddy equipment. Fortunately the cost associated with technology is coming down.

With a blue yeti mic and some more noise cancelling precautions you should be set to make your mark on the world.

Find your fans

Your fans are who drive referral traffic to your content. They tell all their friends and consume almost every piece of content you produce.

These guys listen to 13 podcasts a week and are generally millennials. They’re big on subscribing to podcasts. And attracting them holds the key to unlocking your own growth.

To attract them, first make it easy for them to subscribe to your content with a few easy clicks.

Create in-depth content and build on it from episode to episode so they’re addicted to the content you create and keep coming back for more.

FInd the right kind of guests

Don’t let the clout around guests and other factors blindside you.

Securing guests can seem like a catch 22 in the beginning.

It’s a chicken egg situation where you can’t grow your podcasts with big shot guests and big shot guests won’t give two hoots about you until you’re big enough for them.

So how to find people who are interested?

By reaching out to people who have a need.

Look for these people in the right place.

Authors with upcoming releases or publications are constantly scouting for platforms that let them talk about their work. That alone isn’t enough. Also look for and find out if the book or release the authors want to talk about are perfect for your own brand.

If the communities align you have found a ready audience mutually beneficial to both parties.

Amazon is a fantastic search engine to find these authors.

It’s a great tool to find ready authors.

Their coming soon page lists all the books that are soon to be released. All you need to do is hunt for ones that match your audience interests.

Go to conferences

Conferences are another avenue full of experts that fit the niche.

You will get a lot of willing experts who’d like another platform. As you invite more guests ask the current ones for referrals to build your own business. After only a few clients you get new speakers.

If your show speaks about entrepreneurship finding people on Medium who regularly write about the subject to come over to your blog is a good thing.

It adds value to the show.

Be clear and relevant with the podcast branding. It’s better to be clear so that people readily understand what its about.

Your audience should be able to tell what the podcast is by looking at the cover art.

The categories you use should be clear and relevant.

Take the time it requires to add clarity to your branding. You need well executed plan for it to succeed.

You want to stand out and put the art work that makes you appealing. At the same time don’t fall prey to overthinking your moves.

Get your podcast feed to directories

Before the advent of streaming services there was no way to syndicate your podcasts effectively.

That seems like a faded distant memory.

Podcasting is growing and its your onus to be on every channel your audience is on.

POdcasting is the call of the digital age that minimizes the inflexibility of having to choose froma limited number of channels. Its much less annoying and delivers us the right content on a short notice.

Podcasting is simply audio-on-demand.