One of the most common calls to action is “leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.” I’ve long railed against this CTA, stating that you’re alienating a large portion of the audience.
But what if this approach is wrong? That's what we'll explore today.
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As you'll find out later in the episode, I am conducting a little bit of an experiment. So today I am going to ask you. If you are enjoying this podcast to leave me a rating and review. On apple podcasts. That's right. It's the call to action that I've always avoided. As long as I've been podcasting. But today I'm going to ask you to do it. I'll even put a link explicitly to apple podcasts in the show notes. Which you'll be able to find over at make money, pod.com/. 2 1 0. Switching up the linking to include the season number as well. That's 2 1 0. Okay. Uh, one of the most common calls to action is leave us a rating and review on apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts. I've long railed against this call to action. Stating that you're alienating a large portion of your audience. Some statistics show as little as 30%. Of listeners use apple podcasts. It's probably closer to half. But still let's assume half or slightly more than half. You are alienating half of your audience by saying, leave us a rating and review on apple podcasts. So I've avoided it. I've actively actively advise against it. But what if this is the wrong approach? After all convert kids winning strategy for growth was targeting specific niches at first. Building an audience there and then moving to a different one. So. What if. Leave us a rating and review on apple podcast is actually. A good call to action. That's what we are going to explore. In today's episode of make money podcasting So the convert kit strategy. What if. In the beginning, at least. I just focus on growing on apple podcasts. Apple podcasts is still wildly popular. Apple's actually putting more effort into it. And though charts are a vanity metric. There is social proof. Associated to. A podcast with good apple podcast ratings. With. Good reviews on apple podcasts and one that shows up in the charts. In fact, I think I could attribute a good bit of my own growth with my first podcast, how I built it, really my second podcast, but my first real podcast. Uh, how I built it. To growth because it charted in the top 30. On technology for a while, which is incredible. I don't know how it happened, but it happened. Over a couple of weeks. And the show. Has maintained a good audience size of the, since then. So again, maybe, maybe I'm taking the wrong approach here. And I've had coaching clients recently asked me specifically about apple podcasts. Descriptions categories, titles, how it all works. And so that got me wondering. What if I spent more time on apple podcasts? And then something somewhat serendipitous happened. Uh, Tanner. Kimball. A, uh, Kind of, let's say controversial, somewhat controversial podcast figure. Um, he does a lot of good work. He's a little bit bombastic and histrionic, but it's working for him. So I'm not going to criticize. I follow him and I subscribe to his sub stack after all. Uh, but. He recently published an article that said I hit the apple podcast top 103 days. For $30 and with 24 followers. And so this got me thinking, he's going to report on it again at the end of the month with the, uh, greater ad spend and, and things like that. But. His initial observations. R that. Charting definitely grows your podcast. And he actually wrote a follow-up post called do podcast charts matter. In which he believes they do. Uh, because, uh, it increases visibility. The two reasons he gives. Uh, is you gain visibility? And then in order to maintain visibility, your show must continue to grow and gain subscribers. So if you can create enough organic lift, he says I'm reading right from his article here. Lifts to chart, you will gain visibility right out of the gate. If your content is well produced, compelling, and resonates with the target audience, you will continue to chart and to climb the chart. And he's using his own podcast. Sierra's anecdotal evidence. Well, this podcast is right. More or less at the beginning of its life. I'm putting more effort into it. I'm thinking about it more. I'm scripting it a little bit more. And I'm wondering if I could. Leverage some of these practices. And leverage apple podcasts to grow it. So I'm going to take you. On a journey with me. As I build and experiment in public. And here's why I'm doing it. For make money podcasting. This is why it's a topic, right? Because. As we've discussed on previous episodes. Sponsorship is only one way to make money. There's affiliates. There's memberships, they're selling your own products, but all of these. Require you to grow. Yes, you don't need a lot of downloads to make money. That's true. I say it and I believe it. But the more downloads you have the more opportunities to make money. You have. And if you can do something like leverage a single platform. To boost your visibility, at least in the beginning. Why not try it, especially if it's free. Now Tanner says he's using. Um, about $10 a day on Facebook ads. Um, maybe I'll try that. I'll explain the parameters of my experiment after the sponsor break. And some caveats, but. I think this is something worth exploring because you put the effort into growing on apple podcast, increasing visibility. And then maybe you move on to other platforms again, taking that convert kit strategy of targeting a specific niche or a specific platform. First. Before moving on to a different one. So that's the experiment you're going to come along on the ride with me uh i'll i'll get into the parameters of the experiment but first a word from our sponsors Okay, so let's talk about this experiment first. Let me be totally transparent. With the number of downloads. I currently have. As of August 17th, the day I'm recording this. The latest episode of this podcast, the wrong way to make money with your podcast has 32 downloads. Which frankly puts it in the top 50%. Um, my most popular episode is why you should start a mini podcast. That's at 51 downloads. Overall in the last 30 days, I've had 201 downloads, 73 of those coming within the last seven days. And all time. At least since moving to Buzzsprout, I've had 254 downloads. So I've seen. Growth. In the month of August already. The other important thing to note. Is that I am currently. At the start of this experiment about halfway. Through, uh, An ad. I have purchased on overcast where in the business category. Sometimes make money podcasting. We'll be promoted now so that you have an idea of. Uh, what that looks like we add expires on September 3rd. It currently has. Gotten 66, almost 67,000 views. It's gotten 531 taps, which is a 0.8% conversion rate. And then it's gotten 19 subscriptions. In overcast, which is a 3.6 conversion rate. I ran an ad like this last year for how I built it. The taps rate is right on point. The conversion, the subscriber conversion rate is about half. Of what it was on how I built it. So that's what I'm seeing right now. Of course, taps could mean downloads subscriptions doesn't necessarily mean downloads. Any other way, 19 subscriptions is pretty negligible. So. With that in mind. Uh, also it's worth noting that, that one more thing. Buzzsprout does tell you the most popular. Uh, apps. And so. Right now. 33% of my listens or my downloads come from overcast. 28% come from apple podcasts. In the last seven days, actually, that's been pretty consistent over the entire life of the podcast, probably cause most of my downloads have come in last 30 days. So. That's something important to remember, uh, 33%. Of listens come from overcast. Overcast is also the app that I use. Not that I. Li, like, not that I listen fully to my episodes, but I am subscribed to make sure that the feed is working. So. All of that in mind, I will recap all of that next time. Or Ellie saw I'll compare. Uh, when, when the results are in from this experiment, but here's what I'm going to do for this. This experiment. Uh, first I have set my category correctly category with something I've been working with. I thought I'd be smart and like avoid the V the business and technology categories completely because they're pretty saturated. That didn't work. But I also noticed that I said it to business marketing. That's not really right. Either. I noticed that similar podcasts were in education. How to, so that is the primary category that I've set this podcast to. If that feels like I'm lowering the bar a little bit, maybe I am right. Because the business chart or the business category is very competitive. However. I think that this podcast is better aligned with that category. So that's why I said it that way. And the takeaway, the lesson here is that you need to make sure with your podcast, that you're set, you're setting the appropriate category. Because people are going to be looking for that. Right. At first I had it set to like arts or something and my podcast was amongst a bunch of. Spiritual podcasts. That's not what people are looking for. Just like in the marketing category. People are looking for marketing advice. This show doesn't offer marketing advice. This show tells you how to make money with your podcasts. So that's first. Second. My call to action. Is leave a review on apple podcasts. I am explicitly saying apple podcasts and not, or wherever you get your podcasts. I will make a small assumption here that if someone's listening in Spotify, Then they'll leave a review on Spotify if they're so inclined. But my call to action is going to be leave this show a rating and review in apple podcasts. I'm also going to offer a small carrot here. My friend, Sam. Has a podcast and this seems to be working pretty well for her. Uh, so I am going to. Uh, do a monthly drawing. Of, uh, a $25 gift card to anybody who reads or who leaves a review. And each week I will read at least one review on the show. So, uh, if you do leave her a view, I guess I need to figure out the logistics of this right. If you leave a review, you'll be able to click a link in the show notes to submit a screenshot of your review. And, uh, your email address. So that you can be entered into the drawing. So that's the carrot. Uh, and then. Or the incentive. Uh, number four. So we've got setting the category correctly, the call to action, the carrot slash stick carrot, and stick the incentive. Number four, I'm going to make sure title and description are optimized, even though description does not. It does not. Um, factor into search or search terms. I still want to make sure that's right, because it's going to, if, if people see it, it'll entice people. Um, and then I'm also going to check in on apple podcast stats. Pretty more regularly than I have one of the things. One of the reasons I want to do this. Experiment. Is because I have largely ignored apple podcasts. I just didn't feel like it was something I should be checking. Um, but now that I'm starting a new podcast, Uh, this podcast with a relatively new audience, I'm not really leveraging the audience. I have. I'm wondering if, if this experiment is worth it. So. I'm logged into apple podcast connect. Right now. I've got two ratings, five out of five. Thanks everybody. All two of you. Uh, no reviews yet. Uh, because I don't ask for them. Um, And I think most of my stats are probably too low, too. Uh, Too low to really, um, Show any appreciable difference. Looks like the show has nine followers in apple podcasts. Um, But again, the stats are pretty low here. So, um, this will be something that I'm keeping an eye on. Like I don't even have, I don't think I have enough data for, for trends. Um, Yeah, I don't. So hopefully. Uh, in a month or so maybe six weeks. I'll have enough data for a trend. So that's the experiment. Come along with me for the ride. I'll check in, in a few weeks to see how it's going. I'm also going to keep my newsletter. Uh, up to date sooner. So I think you've probably heard a call to action for a free email course. Uh, if you join for that right over at make money, pod.com/fixes. Um, you'll get these updates with screenshots even more regularly. But that is it for this episode. Of make money podcasting. I want to thank you for listening. If you liked this episode. Give it a rating and review on apple podcasts. Every month, I'll pick a. Person who left a review to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Thanks so much to our presenting sponsors, nexus and podcast left off. And until next time i'm joe casabona and i can't wait to see what you make