Disclaimer: I normally don’t talk technical aspects of podcasting, but I couldn’t find a good article on this ANYWHERE. So I created it.
I just hit the New and Noteworthy list on iTunes for my Eventual Millionaire Video Webshow. Before I launched I wanted to find out what it really took to get on this list now. So I talked with 5 other podcasters that landed on the list recently and the numbers astounded me.
The buzz around podcasting has been growing. It’s getting very popular, and many of the great bloggers are starting their own. A few amazing newer podcasters are Social Media Examiner, ViperChill and Chris Brogan (The Human Business Way).
But how do we get the coveted spot in the New and Noteworthy section especially if you don’t already have a list like these big name bloggers?
Itunes is very secretive on this, and even friends of friends that work there don’t know the secrets.
Cliff Ravenscraft THE Podcast Answerman said this: “It’s completely up to them! But I do know that you must have decent artwork and they must see that there is a great deal of general interest in your show.”
I don’t know the secrets but I do know all of my stats when I got featured this week and last year, and I’ve researched and have case studies on how others have done it. Even without ANY list to start with.
Years ago it seemed easier…
When I launched my first audio podcast I was following two of my friends who hit the new and noteworthy list.
This was back in 2011 when there weren’t as many new podcasts too. I created one podcast episode and it was NOT very well done. The audio quality wasn’t great and I was a horrible interviewer. (I think I said the word excellent like 74 times in 45 minutes 😉
I was on the new and noteworthy list within days, and was getting over 1,000 downloads per day.
But how hard is it now?
Recently I helped my friend John Dumas get his new podcast started. He had no list to start with, and no contacts in the industry.
Once launched he hit the new and noteworthy list within two days. He maintained that spot for almost TWO MONTHS. He was able to get over 120,000 downloads a month.
Here is what I learned from helping John and getting both of my podcasts on the New and Noteworthy List. Plus talking to many of the current podcasts featured. This information is from hitting N&N in the Management and Marketing section of iTunes. (it may be very different in entertainment or other categories!)
I was also VERY surprised by some of the numbers which you will at the end of the article.
Create a High Quality Show
What makes a high quality show?
Great Sound and Visuals
If it’s audio, make sure the sound quality is good. (Check out Cliff Ravenscraft who is the master of that!) You will get reviews talking about the audio quality, so even if it doesn’t matter to you it matters to A LOT of other people.
If it’s video, pay attention to the lighting and do your best to make the quality as good as you can. When you create a video podcast you do have to format it for mobile which is lower quality but do the best you can on quality. Sound is more important, even on a video podcast. If you can’t understand it clearly, then no one will want to listen in!
Get a High Quality Intro
Your intro is the first impression to your podcast. So whether it be someone from iTunes listening or a possible subscriber, you need to make a great first impression. You can get high quality voice overs inexpensively. My audio intro was $50. (You can find OK quality ones on Fiverr.com). If you need a video intro expect to pay around $200 – $300.
Learn, or have someone that knows how to edit your work. You don’t need to have everything perfect, but along with sound quality making sure the audio or video is cut, and looks professional. Now we have all of the tools at our fingertips to learn this ourselves or outsource it. (Check out Audacity for free for audio editing)
Professional Looking Artwork. Create a thumbnail that is 1400×1400 and looks good when it’s much smaller. The name has to be easily visible, and it has to look good. Check out the current ones that are featured to get an idea.
Get as Much Activity In the Shortest Time Possible….
This is just an opinion, but I don’t think it takes that many at first. Keep reading and you’ll see the case studies below. In general each podcast featured only had a handful of reviews at first.
Ask Facebook Friends
Now that we have Facebook friends, you don’t even need a huge following to get reviews. In fact, I found it easier to get reviews from my Facebook friends, then from my Facebook fan page which has 3X more people on it.
Personally Email People
A personal email to a friend that you know using iTunes works wonders. You don’t need a big list, you just need a few friends! If you have any contacts within your niche that are bigger players you may want to ask them. When a potential subscriber looks at your reviews and they recognize a credible person leaving a review that just gives you more credibility. Ask for written reviews too, not just a rating. That way potential subscribers can get an idea of what others say about your show.
Get Tons of Downloads!
It really depends on what category you launch in. In Marketing and Management it ranges from only having 10 downloads a day to hundreds and still hitting the list.
Create More Than One Episode When you Launch
I didn’t do this when I launched the first time, though I really wish I had. Since they are looking for “Activity” the more opportunity for activity the better. That means if you only have one episode to download at first that’s all they can download. If you have three or more that gives a lot more opportunity for
Create Great Copy for the Episodes
This is something that took me awhile to learn. Don’t be like me! I used to put the name and company of the millionaire. That doesn’t matter to most people. Write the episode name like you are writing the headline of a magazine. What will make your potential subscriber click?
Check out this post on using curiosity and the information gap to create compelling blog posts (but do the same for your podcast episode!)
Sheila Butler – Successful Women
Podcast live in iTunes for: 2 weeks
Amount of Episodes: 41
Amount of Reviews: 2
Amount of downloads before featured per day: 10
Amount of downloads after featured per day: 10
John Dumas – Entrepreneur on Fire
Podcast live in iTunes for: 1 day
Amount of Episodes: 3 at launch (1 each weekday after)
Amount of Reviews: 2
Amount of downloads before featured per day: A few hundred
Amount of downloads after featured per day: 3,000-4,000 per day (120k a month)
Jaime Tardy – Eventual Millionaire Video
Podcast live in iTunes for: 2 days (it went live on a weekend)
Amount of Episodes: 14
Amount of Reviews: 6
Amount of downloads before featured per day: 100 a day
Amount of downloads after featured per day: 250 (for the past two days)
Mike Thomas – Mike from Maine
Amount of Episodes at launch: 5 episodes
Amount of Reviews before N&N: One review
Amount of downloads before featured per day: I currently have 100-200 per day
Amount of downloads after featured per day: It’s stayed pretty steady ( I currently have 6625 views -that’s for two months)
Henri Junttila – Wake Up Cloud
Amount of Episodes at launch: 1 episode
Amount of Reviews before N&N: One review
Amount of downloads before featured per day: First day 250 but after was 20-60 per day
Amount of downloads after featured per day: Between 10 and 100
John Corcoran – Smart Business Revolution
Podcast live in iTunes for: One month
Amount of Episodes at launch: 2 episodes
Amount of Reviews before N&N: 0
Amount of downloads before featured per day: 5 downloads a day
Amount of downloads after featured per day: 20+
Is it Worth It?
Back in 2011, the friends that were on the New and Noteworthy list were getting over 1,000 downloads per day as soon as they were listed. Now, and looking at the data from everyone, it might not be as coveted a spot as it used to be.
In September iTunes changed from listing one row of large icons in the N&N list to two small rows of icons. I thought that might be part of the issue, but John was in the list when the change happened and didn’t see any drop in downloads.
Creating a top quality show that is capable of hitting the new and noteworthy section is definitely worth it. Most likely if you are trying to create the best show that you can, you have a really good chance of hitting the list. And it doesn’t hurt to be featured!
If you are excited about starting your podcast but need to learn more of the technical set up, check out this amazing series by Pat Flynn – How to Start a Podcast
Comment below: Do you have any data, tips or were you surprised by this information?