Nowadays, it seems like everyone wants to start a podcast. But with over 2.5 million creators out there, it can seem difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Still, no matter what your content idea is, you can likely develop a popular podcast with the right strategy. When you narrow your niche and create a community, people will want to tune in to your episodes.
In this post, we’ll share the main elements of a successful podcast. Then, we’ll show you how to create one. Let’s get going!
Tools You’ll Need
Later, we’ll show you how to get your podcast online. To do this, you’ll need a few basic tools:
- MemberPress: A plugin that can turn a WordPress website into a community of subscribed members.
- Castos: A podcast hosting platform that provides the server space needed to store your episodes.
- Seriously Simple Podcasting: A free plugin that integrates your Castos-hosted podcast into WordPress.
Once you have these, you can start creating your podcast!
4 Elements of a Successful Podcast
As a beginner, you may not know how to successfully grow your podcast. Here are the most important elements to focus on!
1. Podcast Community
The best podcasts create communities where listeners can interact with each other. These communities connect like-minded people with shared interests.
Ultimately, a communitie can lead to more enthusiasm around a podcast and increase word-of-mouth referrals.
You can easily create a community for your podcast. Using MemberPress, you’ll be able to build exclusive memberships for your listeners:
Here’s just some of what you can offer in your exclusive subscriptions:
- Community forums
- Members-only content
- Early access to new episodes or merchandise
For example, Compelled uses MemberPress to protect its memberships. Visitors can sign up for early access to videos, live video calls, and unpublished interview footage:
By creating a private community, you can make your listeners feel like they’re a part of something exclusive.
Instead of listening to episodes alone, your audience can have discussions and actively participate.
Including exclusive elements in your memberships can significantly increase your sales.
2. A Focused Niche
Every popular podcast starts with a good idea. Therefore, before you begin publishing new episodes, you’ll need to develop a niche.
Your niche will be the defined topic for your entire podcast. This is what will interest your target audience.
Although you may have many different interests, podcasts built around broad interests only really work with celebrity hosts. If you don’t already have a large following, you’ll need a niche to hook new listeners.
Here’s some advice for narrowing your niche:
- Think about your personal interests
- Consider what makes your podcast different
- Hone in on your areas of expertise
- Consider topics that are relevant now
Once you choose a niche, you can create interesting and relevant episodes. For example, the British History Podcast (also built on MemberPress) publishes a chronological guide to historical British figures, places, and events:
Although you may want to focus on current trends, it’s best to stick to what you know. If you’re genuinely interested in your niche, it’s easier to develop an engaging program.
3. Regular Releases
When starting a podcast, consistency is key. Listeners will want to know when your new episodes release.
Stick to a schedule, and your dedicated audience will start anticipating your content. If your podcast is dependable, listeners can make you a part of their routines.
For instance, you may decide to publish new episodes every Wednesday morning. In this case, your audience could listen during their commute.
Plus, having a consistent schedule will steadily build your episode library – an important factor in generating passive income.
When they find your podcast for the first time, listeners can binge all this content. Then, they can look forward to your new releases!
4. Listener Participation
As we mentioned, many people don’t want to be casual listeners of your podcast. To create an engaged community, you can encourage audience participation.
One way to do this is by enabling listeners to ask questions. This can show that you actively care about improving your podcast:
Once you gain enough questions, you can dedicate an entire episode to answering them. You might consider publishing this Q&A privately for your subscribed members.
You can also create discussion forums. Here, listeners can post their thoughts and communicate with other members:
By encouraging participation, you can boost engagement and show your audience that you’re listening. This can transform your podcast into a valuable resource!
How to Start a Successful Podcast with WordPress (In 3 Steps)
So, you now know what makes a podcast successful, but you may still struggle to start one. That’s why we’re going to explain how to easily create and publish your first podcast with WordPress!
Step 1: Set Up Your Podcast Website
To build a podcast with a dedicated community, it’s important to create a website.
WordPress is an excellent choice for designing eye-catching yet straightforward sites, especially if you’re a beginner.
After that, you can monetize your podcast by creating exclusive memberships using MemberPress.
First, install and activate MemberPress in WordPress.
Then, go to MemberPress > Settings > Payments. Here, add your preferred payment methods:
Now it’s time to add your podcast memberships. This is what people will purchase to access your private episodes or exclusive content:
Here’s how you can customize your memberships in MemberPress:
- Add pricing tiers
- Create trial periods
- Choose recurring or one-time billing
- Select billing intervals
Once you’re finished, hit Publish. Simply repeat this process for every podcast membership you want to offer.
Step 2: Find a Podcast Host
Although you may think platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts will host your podcast, these are simply listening apps.
They work by pulling your media files from podcast hosting platforms like Castos:
With Castos, you’ll be able to:
- Create unlimited podcasts and episodes
- Accept payments from your audience
- View listener analytics
- Transcribe your episodes
- Publish your podcast on listening directories
To start your podcast, you’ll need to sign up for a Castos hosting plan. The most affordable option costs just $19 per month.
After you create an account, hit Connect to WordPress. Then, copy your API key:
Now you can add this hosting information to your WordPress website!
Step 3: Create Your Podcast
Next, we’d recommend installing the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin. This tool was developed by Castos, allowing you to easily create a podcast in WordPress:
Once you activate the plugin, go to Podcasting > Settings > Hosting. Then, enter the email address and API key from your Castos account:
Be sure to save these changes. On the All Podcasts page, you can add a new podcast by entering a name, slug, description, and image:
Next, go back to the podcast settings and click on Integrations. Since you’ve already installed MemberPress, you can enable this integration here:
Now you’ll need to sign in to your Castos dashboard. In your new podcast’s visibility settings, set it to Private:
When you go back to WordPress, you can customize access for the podcast. Next to the podcast’s name, you’re able to select one or more MemberPress memberships:
Finally, save your settings. Now, only registered members can listen to your podcast. This can help you build an exclusive community!
Starting a podcast can be a daunting endeavor. However, if you consistently post high-quality episodes and connect with your audience, your show will likely start rising in the charts.
To review, here are the main features of a successful podcast:
- Podcast community.
- A focused niche.
- Regular releases.
- Listener participation.
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