At SquadCast, the number one question we get from aspiring and beginner podcasters is: How can I get plugged into the podcast world?
We love this question. Going beyond content creation and engaging with community is one of the reasons we love podcasting. We bet you will, too.
Here, we share our top 10 tips on how to engage with just about every aspect of the podcasting space. Find guests (and friends!), attract listeners, grow your professional network, understand the industry, sharpen your skills — the possibilities are endless when you’ve got connections.
1. Subscribe to ~all~ the newsletters
Your podcast is part of a huge ecosystem of shows. Podcast recommendation newsletters and industry newsletters help you stay in the know about news, new shows, job openings and the latest technology. Here are some of the newsletters we love:
- Inside Podcasting: Focused on “impact and quality” instead of articles “optimized” for clicks, this subsection of the Inside platform is straight-up industry news, no chaser.
- Sounds Profitable: Detailed, data-driven analysis on adtech delivered weekly.
- Podcast Marketing Magic: “Making a beautiful show is only half the battle. How do you get people to listen to it?” asks Tink Media founder Lauren Passell, whose newsletter is stuffed with real-world, accessible ways to grow your audience.
- Podcast the Newsletter: Lauren’s “weekly love letter to podcasts and the people who make them.”
- PodNews: No-fuss daily news briefs with a global perspective.
- Podcast Brunch Club: Thematic monthly listening lists meant to drive IRL and virtual conversation — “like a book club, but for podcasts.”
👉 Go deeper: 21 Podcast Newsletters You Should Subscribe to Today
2. Attend podcast industry and community events
In-person events are back, baby! There’s no better way to connect with a larger community of creators than a good old-fashioned hotel ballroom, lobby or lounge. These are just a few of the conferences we try to attend every year. We’re betting they’ll be pretty unforgettable after a hiatus of a year or two. Dust off that suitcase, book some tickets and leave plenty of room for swag.
- Blk Pod Festival: Born in the midst of the pandemic with a one-day virtual experience, Blk Pod’s mission is to showcase and connect Black audio creatives. Its first in-person event is scheduled for May 28-29, 2022 in Atlanta.
- Podcast Movement: The world’s largest podcast conference has been an industry fixture since its launch in 2014. Mark your calendar for August 23-26, 2022 in Dallas.
- On Air Fest: Think of it as the HBO of podcast festivals. Radio veterans, musicians, scientists and journalists converge on Brooklyn every winter to celebrate creative audio as high culture. Past speakers include Ira Glass, Jane Goodall and Chuck D. as well as star talent from studios like NPR, Gimlet, Crooked Media, VICE, Vox and PRX.
- Third Coast International Audio Festival: Born in Chicago in 2000, Third Coast isn’t just an annual conference; it’s an umbrella for a nonprofit that produces two podcasts, ongoing public programs, an artist residency and a prestigious competition.
- Podfest Expo: Scheduled for May 26-29 in Orlando, Podfest is big, buzzy and business-y. Choose from practical tracks like audience growth or monetization/marketing to customize and focus your experience.
3. Listen to podcast-industry-specific podcasts
It’s really quite (small-“m”) meta, but podcasts about podcasting are some of the best ways to learn about trends, creative people, companies and strategies for growth. We already know you’re a fan of podcasts, so this is a no-brainer.
Some of our favorites include:
- She Podcasts: Hosted by Elsie Escobar and Jessica Kupferman, who started She Podcasts as a Facebook group in 2014. Now, the organization is a show, a conference and an inclusive support network for women as a counter to podcasts run by what Jessica calls “young white dudes interviewing other young white dudes.”
- Podcast Accelerator: Entrepreneurs with dreams of podcast stardom tap founders Michelle Sorro and Ginni Saraswati for “white-glove-service, concierge-curated podcasting and coaching.”
- Sounds Profitable: The weekly newsletter from Adtech Applied is, naturally, also a podcast.
- Podcast Pontifications: Short, incisive, business-focused thought leadership on podcasting from Podcast Hall of Fame member Evo Terra.
- PodNews: The daily email briefing for podcasting and on-demand audio, delivered right to your earbuds.
- The Profitt Podcast: Stay-at-home mom turned content marketing guru Krystal Proffitt’s show is geared toward podcasting for, well… profit.
- Between Two Mics: We’re a bit biased, but we highly recommend this wide-ranging weekly show (covering podcast tech, culture, marketing and more) hosted by our very own Zachariah Moreno and Rockwell Felder.
4. Join the SquadCast community
All SquadCasters are invited to join our free community. We mostly hang out on Flag, where we discuss news and events, share ideas and find guests. But we also host virtual and IRL events. Visit our community page for more information and to apply.
5. Catch some AIR
We’re big fans of (and contributors to) the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a membership organization that provides educational opportunities, mentor-mentee relationships, a talent directory and a bustling Slack channel.
Membership benefits include discounts on software, tools and services; access to an exclusive job board; and a huge library of resources on everything from contracts, fair practice and compensation to storytelling and professional development.
6. Get into podcasting Twitter
A few months ago, Twitter released its Communities feature in beta. We were psyched to see one dedicated to the podcast community. When you post on Podcasting Twitter, your tweets only go out to other podcasters. It’s an easy, organic and (yeah, we said it) addictive place to connect, learn, and grow.
7. Be a guest
Collaboration FTW: One of the best ways to grow your show and meet other creators is guesting on someone else’s podcast (bonus points for having them guest on your show in return). Plus, if you’re new to the form, being a guest might even help you become a better interviewer.
And if your podcast is a marketing initiative for a product or service, there’s no better way to introduce it to an audience that will likely include your ideal customers. Just don’t use your airtime to do a hard sell.
Some of our favorite tools, groups and hubs to find guests, or to find the ideal show on which to appear:
- PodMatch: Like a dating app for booking podcast interviews, using “the same(ish) technology for automated matching.”
- Guestio: Find, book, and communicate with guests and show hosts, all on the Guestio platform.
- Podcast Movement: The world’s largest pod-con is also the world’s largest community of podcasters. Connect with fellow creators IRL at meetups, on a dedicated Facebook group, or via its education arm, “Podcast Movement University.”
- SquadPod: Apply to join an online community of SquadCasters and podcast enthusiasts that offers mutual support and collaboration opportunities.
8. Discover podcast search tools
Collaborating with other podcasters on promo swaps and feed swaps is another strategy for growing your show. To find other shows in your niche, try Rephonic’s graph tool.
Plug in your podcast and behold: a magic web of connections appears. You can easily view each podcast’s genre, audience demographics, listener numbers, social reach and contact information. It’s an elegant, effective alternative to scouring the charts for ideas.
For more unique search tools, watch this space.
9. Join (reputable) podcast communities
Online communities like these are some of the best places to ask questions of your peers, find collaborative opportunities and meet fellow podcasters.
- Blk Pod Collective: Seeks to elevate Black creators through community, education and visibility.
- BIPOC Podcast Creators: A community of “Black, Indigenous and people of color podcast creators who are ready to go beyond the 101 and grow into the world of podcasting.”
- Podcast Movement: Global, expansive, influential — “by podcasters, for podcasters.”
- Asian American Podcasters Association: Open to AAPI-identifying folks at all levels of podcasting, “from aspiring show-runners who are planning to launch to those with many years of experience at critically-acclaimed shows.”
- Afros & Audio: An “exclusive, invitation-only Mastermind group for Black podcast creatives and audio professionals.”
- WOC Podcasters: With more than 4,000+ members from 75+ countries, this is the first-ever community dedicated to the growth and representation of women of color in the podcasting industry.
- She Podcasts: A community with a mission to support and nurture female-led podcasts through group coaching, workshops, webinars and its flagship podcast.
- /r/podcasts: The “front page of the internet” has a busy, knowledgeable subreddit dedicated to all things podcasting.
- Podcasters’ Support Group: Helmed by The Allusionist creator Helen Zaltzman, this Facebook group is a lively crew of mostly UK-based podcasters and podcast enthusiasts.
10. Always keep learning
Want to learn about how to make money from your content, source music legally or create a community around your show? We’ve got you. You can learn about our events by going to SquadCast’s resources page.
Whether you’re new to podcasting or just need a boost of camaraderie after a long pandemic, just remember: there’s a world of resources, platforms and people out there — if you know where to look.
P.s. to see a YouTube version of this article, check it out here.
Audrey Mast is a Detroit-born, Chicago-based writer, editor, educator, obsessive podcast listener and amateur astrologist. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.