No matter how passionate you are about your podcast, achieving true podcast growth is still difficult. Reaching more listeners can feel like a Sisyphean task with a lot of work and little, if any, results. What if I told you that there’s a podcast challenge that could help you boost your audience growth in 30 days? There is! It’s National Podcast Post Month, and it happens every November. I’ve been participating in NaPodMo for the past three years and want to share with you the ways it’s helped me and other NaPodPoMo participants grow our listenership.
What Is National Podcast Post Month?
NaPodPoMo is similar in structure to the November novel writing challenge National Podcast Posting Month, NaNoWriMo. It’s also similar in that they’re both online international events with legacy messaging from their origin. How these events differ is best demonstrated by Adam of Odd Dad Out in the below tweet. It’s often easier to create daily podcast episodes than to write part of a book every day.
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to create something perfect and, in turn, create nothing at all. So fifteen years ago, Jennifer Navarette of Brewing Media created National Podcast Post Month to encourage people to start a podcast without overthinking everything themselves into inaction. This 30-day podcast challenge is meant to push you past your podcast doubts and move you toward experimentation and productivity. But it does more than that: it can help you grow your audience too.
Podcast Growth Is Downloads and More
I want to be super clear that podcast growth is most commonly tracked with podcast downloads. And with 30 short episodes in 30 days, your downloads will likely increase. Here’s how they skyrocketed for Karina Kantas, Host of Behind The Pen, during her participation in NaPodPoMo 2021. On the right side of the below chart, you can see her podcast growth in November during NaPodPoMo. Not only did her overall downloads increase, but due to the daily publishing schedule, the lull between episode publication days increased from 0 downloads (July to October) to about 70 downloads in November.
But downloads are just the beginning. It’s important to note that podcast growth includes every level of host-listener engagement like DMs, social shares, emails, podcast reviews, and more. How you measure your podcast growth is a very personal metric, and it’s important to set your podcast metric goals early and do regular check-ins to see if you’re reaching them.
How Can You Increase Your Podcast Growth During Napodpomo
#1:Streamline Your Workflow to Allow More Listener Connection Time
This month-long challenge is to publish 30 episodes in 30 days. Yes, it’s true; you can publish 30 episodes at any frequency and still get your I did it badge. But the easiest way to complete the challenge is to get something out there every day.
If you’re spending your time over-researching or over-planning how to make the perfect podcast, you’re not taking away from this valuable engagement time. You. Must. Simplify. Your. Workflow.
It was during NaPodPoMo that I personally found a workflow I loved. I recorded in live video and encouraged people to come to the chat room. Having chat comments on YouTube stopped me from editing the video AND increased the community aspect of the podcast. New viewers would see the chats and hopefully get a sense of community in the event/podcast. Then I’d write the video notes and add a few key links. Next, do the quickest sound cleanup on the single-track audio file with Hindenburg and upload it to the podcast host with a slightly revised version of the video notes. Lastly, I’d share a quick moment from the episode on social media with a link to the audio OR video (not both).
Simplifying the workflow allowed me to spend more time engaging with the listeners both during the live recording as well as after in the socials replying to their comments. It also gave me more time to share the challenge with content-specific groups I’d not been a part of yet. People love hearing about challenges and usually will cheer you on. This aspect alone helped attract new listeners who were already interested in my content. I could not have spent the time to do that without the streamlined workflow that the daily publishing pressure insisted on.
#2: Develop a Community-Based Promotions Habit
NaPodPoMo fosters an environment of community-based promotions that is very likely to produce podcast growth for you.
Podcast Cross-Promotion Experimentation
You’ve probably heard indy podcasts that employ cross-promotion tactics. This can be in the form of a trailer, episode, interview, or feed swaps. Even though you’ve heard these methods on other podcasts, it’s possible that you haven’t had time or community to try them out. That’s the beauty of the instant community aspect of NaPodPoMo. Cross promotion is not only common, but during a 30-day episode post-schedule, it’s a sanity-saving measure as well! For example, if you do an episode swap even once a week during NaPodPoMo, that’s four days of exposing your podcast to a new audience AND 4 days of less posting work at the same time.
Other Promotion Opportunities During NaPodPoMo
Here’s a quick list of some of the podcast growth-stimulating community and promotion opportunities within the NaPodPoMo community. Select the task or tasks that you can and want to do and do them.
Potential NaPodPoMo Community-Based Promotional Opportunities
Share your podcast with the NaPodPoMo mega RSS feed. Jennifer invited participants to share their RSS feed on the NaPodPoMo mega feed. This means that these 30 episodes will get another distribution place in addition to wherever you usually post your podcast episodes. Jennifer explains it in more detail in this video tweet. Listen to the other participants’ NaPodPoMo episodes and promote them in your socials during the event.Check in on other participants in the event Facebook group. Share your challenges and wins. Read and comment on others’ posts. Be an active participant in the event.Use the #NaPodPoMo hashtag to get new listeners’ ears on your podcastCreate or sign-up for another participant NaPodPoMo special event like this support event that Alessandra White shared in this tweet for the 2022 event.
#3: Overcome Your Podcast Promotion Shyness
Publishing an episode a day for 30 days can be like tearing off a band-aid: quick, painful, but very helpful. Bill from The EnergyPro Podcast admitted in this 2019 tweet that NaPodPoMo helped him gain confidence in promoting his own podcast.
This new confidence often makes it easier to promote your podcast on and offline. The sheer act of describing the podcast in the intro for 30 days can help you practice how you’d tell others who ask, “What’s your podcast about?” in a number of in-person or online interactions after the event. Practice doesn’t make perfect because perfect doesn’t exist. But, it sure makes things smoother and easier to share! Additionally, easing the stress of promotion shyness might free up mental space for you to be more playful in your promotion techniques.
How to Get Involved in National Podcast Post Month
NaPodPoMo happens in November every year. The main places to stay in touch with NaPodPoMo are:
The different community events vary each year. It’s best to follow one or more of these spaces for current activities. And even if you’re not ready to participate in the intensity of NaPodPoMo yet for potentially explosive podcast growth, you can watch how others manoeuvre through the event throughout the month to get ideas for when you’re ready.