Want to know the secret to podcasting success? Time and consistency.

A recent poll of 1,076 full-time podcasters, many of whom make over 50k a year from their podcast, reveals what works across the board. Top of the list is time and consistency. Across the biggest shows and highest earners, you see a trend to success between the number of published episodes, months of podcasting and listeners per episode.

Top 5 Takeaways

1. Successful podcasters are 7.7 times more likely to have published over 100 episodes and 15.8 times more likely to have published over 200 episodes. This confirms the long game nature of content marketing, which requires patience and dedication.

2. The number of listeners per episode is highly correlated with podcasting success. Higher-income podcasters are 8.1 times more likely to have more than 1,000 listeners per episode.

3. Publishing 1 episode per week is a sweet spot formula for the vast majority of podcasters, and 63% of successful podcasters choose this consistent publishing schedule.

4. Higher-income podcasters are 1.7 times more likely to have a show addressed to a very specific group of people. Almost all higher-income podcasters spent time analysing the target audience of their shows.

5. Higher-income podcasters are very active in promoting their shows. They use on average 3.6 marketing channels, 157% more than lower-income podcasters. The highest-income podcasters use 4 or more marketing channels.

Favour the Fresh

Consistent publishing is important. Listeners typically subscribe to several podcasts and only listen to the latest episodes on top of their play queue. If you don’t publish new content for a long time, then it won’t put new episodes in the listener’s play queue. This consistency is also true for search engines where Google and Bing all favour fresh content.

Quality Beats Quantity

Many podcasts in the poll are making significant revenue despite having less than 1,000 listeners per episode. The key is having the right niche with the right target audience. When your audience is specific, and you know them well, that becomes a very significant asset for you.

Sell Sell Sell

Creating a podcast (or anything) and not telling people about it is a crime. Promoting and marketing your podcast is critical.

How?

List your podcast with every directory you can. Not just Apple. Use traditional online marketing channels from email to social media to YouTube. Guest on other podcasts. Advertise! A podcast website is also a must-have with additional content including transcripts and more.

Fortune Favours the Brave

These are great lessons learned the hard way by over 1,076 successful podcasters.

It may be hard work but it’s possible and you end up with very highly effective content marketing. The secret to success is to commit, know your audience, publish regularly and give it time.

You can see the full survey, conducted by Improve Podcast here