July 15, 2024
10 Classes From 10K Downloads of Ahrefs Podcast
We’ve not too long ago crossed 10k downloads for Ahrefs Podcast. And, to be trustworthy with you, I assumed this 10k would come simpler.

I imply, Ahrefs is a reasonably mature model within the web optimization trade, and most of our channels are measured in hundreds of thousands:

So after we reached that 10k milestone I felt each completely happy about it, and upset in regards to the quantity being so low. It was kinda just like the “3rd Place Celebration Meme” scenario (which I assumed could be very becoming to re-create for the event on LinkedIn):

Tim's real-life version of the "3rd Place Celebration Meme."

My important takeaway: getting a podcast off the bottom could be very, very exhausting.

It doesn’t compound in the way in which web optimization does and the format of “Zoom interviews” doesn’t carry out very nicely on YouTube.

So if you happen to have been pondering of launching a podcast, I may give you 10 compelling explanation why you shouldn’t do it:

I’ve observed that too many individuals deal with podcasts as “straightforward content material”—get on a name, report, publish. Performed!

Properly… for us at Ahrefs, the precise interview is perhaps 40% of work.

Inviting visitors, scheduling time with them, doing first rate analysis, creating an interesting introduction, designing a thumbnail for YouTube, transcribing, including timecodes, writing titles and descriptions, importing to a bunch of podcasting platforms, reducing out snippets for promotion, writing copy for these snippets…

Working a podcast is A LOT of labor (if you wish to create a top quality present, after all).

I can’t think about doing Ahrefs Podcast alone. It’s a staff effort from fairly a couple of folks:

  • Michelle (our group supervisor) is doing a lot of the heavy lifting by way of researching visitors, enhancing the recording, and managing the entire course of end-to-end.
  • George and Nikita are those producing these cool intros.
  • Sergey is designing thumbnails for YouTube.
  • Helen helps with uploads.

Sure, you possibly can lower corners right here and there. However you danger compromising the standard. And a low-quality present will make all of your promotional efforts quite a bit much less efficient.

Earlier than beginning Ahrefs Podcast I did probably over a hundred interviews on other people’s podcasts. And I can let you know that being a number is a lot tougher than being a visitor. The strain to make the interview attention-grabbing is completely on you, not the visitor.

The visitor is generally in a “reactive” mode—they only have to reply no matter is thrown at you. However the interviewer is the one in the end chargeable for the success of an interview. You need to keep sharp all through, ask attention-grabbing questions, and know the place to dig deeper (and when to vary topic).

Too many podcast hosts like to chop corners right here and simply default to asking each visitor the identical set of generic questions, with out attempting dig slightly deeper into the solutions they get.

I really like how Ryan Vacation described it:

“They’ll ask you a query, you’ll give a solution after which you possibly can virtually hear their eyes scan the paper they’ve in entrance of them as they transfer on the following query on the record.

It’s disrespectful to the visitor, however that’s not my actual downside with it. My downside is that it makes for actually boring audio. Who needs to hearken to somebody actually telephone one thing in? Why do you have to hearken to a dialog that the host isn’t even listening to?”

Ryan Holiday

You would possibly disagree with me on this one, as a result of there are positively some good brief podcasts out there.

However after I tried interviewing my visitors for one hour, I noticed that it was not sufficient to squeeze some actually good data out of them. Particularly when your visitor could be very talkative and so they wish to digress—that may simply throw your complete interview plan off the rails.

However getting folks to decide to talking with you for 2 hours is a giant ask. Many excessive profile folks received’t chunk except your podcast is very well identified.

And when you do get somebody to spend two hours with you, staying sharp and alert for this lengthy with no break might be fairly difficult at occasions.

Some folks assume that touchdown a giant identify is all they should get their podcast off the bottom, and that may routinely assure views. No, it received’t.

In case you search round on YouTube, you’ll discover many podcasters who interviewed all the large names within the digital advertising and marketing house. And but the views on these episodes are principally in double digits.

However my largest gripe is individuals who demand that their visitors assist them promote the interview. As soon as the episode is printed, they observe up with a visitor, asking them to “please share it along with your viewers.”

Sorry, however no.

I did 5 podcast interviews this month, and so they have been all almost the identical. And if I have been to share every considered one of them on my social channels, I might solely irritate my viewers. And moreover, most social networks don’t actually prefer it while you submit hyperlinks, so the engagement and attain on these sorts of posts is tremendous low.

In case your solely promotion technique for the podcast is “my visitors will assist market it”—I’ve dangerous information for you. They received’t.

Take any “large” visitor that’s in your thoughts and go seek for their current podcast interviews. They in all probability did a couple of dozen of them simply this yr. So why would anybody be concerned about YOUR interview with that particular person?

There are solely two causes:

  1. You’re an attention-grabbing particular person your self, so of us would hearken to you even when it was a solo podcast.
  2. You’re excellent at selling (extra on that later).

Taking a look at my very own habits, 80% of podcast interviews I hearken to are by hosts I already know and respect: Nathan Barry, Eric Siu, Dave Gerhardt, Kipp Bodnar & Kieran Flanagan, and so forth. Solely 20% are by hosts I haven’t heard of earlier than, however they promoted the episode nicely sufficient to get on my radar.

Podcasting is a fairly ineffective approach to develop your personal viewers and recognition. However, quite the opposite, it’s a fairly good approach to leverage no matter current viewers and recognition you have already got.

I think about your finish objective is rising what you are promoting. Meaning it’s good to develop your gross sales. Which suggests it’s a must to pursue probably the most high-converting advertising and marketing ways out there.

Properly… a podcast just isn’t considered one of them.

Throughout my two-hour-long conversations with my visitors, there’s really little or no alternative to squeeze in some form of Ahrefs gross sales pitch. I attempt to point out related use instances the place it suits the dialog, however there have been fairly a couple of episodes the place our product didn’t get any shoutout at all.

A podcast is a superb instrument for branding and constructing belief along with your target market. However I’m not anticipating any gross sales to come back from the episodes that we’ve printed so far.

In case you want gross sales, you’d be higher off sponsoring some related podcasts in your area of interest (however even then, we tried it and didn’t see many sales from it). It’s a great way to raise awareness, but not make any immediate sales.

Every episode needs to be targeted in your visitor and THEIR enterprise. I imply… you didn’t invite some high-profile particular person on a name to simply discuss your self for a pair hours, proper?

And moreover, if you’d like the episode to land, it’s a must to deal with making your visitor look good. Your listeners are right here to be taught out of your visitor, and it’s a must to be certain that they’ll be taught a lot.

In my very own interviews, I attempt to dig actually deep into my visitors’ companies and careers. I’m genuinely concerned about what they do, why they do it, and the way they do it. Your complete dialog is all about them.

In consequence, my visitors have loads of room to advertise themselves and their enterprise with out feeling salesy. That’s one of many important explanation why they comply with be interviewed within the first place: they need to faucet into my viewers and promote their factor.

So in case your objective is to advertise your personal factor—it’s good to be a podcast visitor, not a podcast host.

Evaluate podcasts to web optimization. An article you printed 10 years in the past can nonetheless convey you guests (and gross sales) immediately. However as quickly as you cease publishing new episodes of your podcast… everybody will neglect about it.

We simply crossed a measly 10,000 downloads. It took us 3 months, 10 episodes, and a TON of promotion to get there. And Ahrefs already has a fairly large viewers. If I have been ranging from a clean slate, I might have barely reached 1,000 downloads by now.

Why is it so exhausting to advertise? Properly, we principally mentioned a lot of the causes above:

  • web optimization doesn’t work for podcasts.
  • “Zoom interviews” don’t fly on YouTube.
  • Your visitors are hardly ever eager that will help you market it.
  • Podcasting platforms don’t have an excellent “discovery engine”.

In different phrases, with out an current viewers to faucet into, it’ll take you a large number longer than three months to succeed in 10k downloads.

So there’s that.

“However Tim… if podcasting is so troublesome, why are you doing it?”

Properly… I didn’t say that podcasting was fully ineffective and completely not price it. I merely shared 10 explanation why it is best to assume twice earlier than stepping into it.

There’s clearly the opposite facet of the coin. I’ll share my 10 explanation why YOU SHOULD begin a podcast as soon as we attain the 50k milestone. Keep tuned! 😉