This might sound a little counterintuitive, but building a successful podcast and listener community doesn’t have to stop with producing great podcast episodes. In fact, if you really want to make a splash with your show, it probably shouldn’t.
Creating additional content streams tied to your podcast can be an effective way to grow your reach and build your brand.
Producing a newsletter for your podcast is a fantastic place to start.
Newsletters are an ideal starting place because they’re relatively easy to write and distribute. They don’t have to be very long and won’t take a lot of time to put together. Plus, when it comes to the kind of content you include in a newsletter, the possibilities are basically endless. Your newsletter can be whatever you want it to be.
Popular podcasts with thriving newsletters
Need further proof that a newsletter is worth your time as a podcaster? Many successful shows already have them!
The Call Your Girlfriend podcast — which launched in 2014 in an effort to inspire “long-distance besties everywhere” to stay connected through conversations about everything from politics and careers to sex and relationships — offers a newsletter called The Bleed. Every month, the hosts of CYG curate their favorite links, reads, causes, memes and purchases and circulate them to their community through the newsletter. Smart!
Encyclopedia Womannica supplements its audio content with a newsletter too. Womannica Weekly provides pod fans with “the latest wisdom, research, insights and inspiration from the pages of Encyclopedia Womannica.” The weekly resource gives listeners food for thought on top of what they learn on the show, which shares the often untold stories of women in history.
While newsletters like The Bleed and Womannica Weekly were inspired by podcasts, there are also examples of podcasts that were inspired by newsletters. Skimm This — a weekly podcast that breaks down complicated current events to help you understand why they matter — grew out of The Skimm, an email newsletter that has been doing the same thing on a daily basis since 2012. Similarly, the Business Casual podcast began as an extension of the Morning Brew daily email newsletter.
Whether a podcast comes from a newsletter or a newsletter comes out of a podcast, the mediums have the power to reinforce each other in a major way.
4 reasons to start a newsletter for your podcast
Here’s why you should seriously consider building a newsletter for your podcast.
1. It creates more opportunities for content
If you have — or are starting — a podcast of your own, I probably don’t have to tell you that content is king. But it’s the truth!
One of the keys to launching just about anything in 2021 is creating a consistent cycle for content. People who love the things you make should be able to count on hearing from you on a regular basis, whether in the form of new podcast episodes, new YouTube videos or fresh written content. Creating a newsletter to go with your pod is a solid strategy for introducing that written content.
Whether you choose to release installments of your newsletter on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, it’s a great tool for building a greater connection with your audience and for reminding them to check out the other awesome things you’re doing… like creating a podcast!
2. It will attract other audiences for your podcast
I know it’s hard to believe, but there are some people who aren’t quite in on the podcast thing.
I don’t get it, either! Podcasts are the coolest — and I can’t wait for the day when everyone digs the medium as much as I do. It will be so fun to have the whole word listening to podcasts.
In the meantime, though, you can invite a wider population into the work you’re doing by mixing up the types of content you release. People who haven’t quite made the move to podcasts might, for example, love receiving a high-quality newsletter to their email inbox! If you can impress and intrigue them with your written content, they’ll be more likely to follow their curiosity to your show.
For this reason, while you shouldn’t have identical content between your podcast and your newsletter, it’s a good idea to have some overlap in terms of tone and subject matter. This will help you target potential podcast listeners more effectively.
3. It’s a great way to promote what you’re doing on the pod
Are you super excited about an upcoming guest or topic on your show? Are there some cool behind-the-scenes developments that you’d like to pull back the curtain on? Do you want to tease a big announcement for listeners?
A newsletter is an ideal place to promote all of these things and more.
Even the most dedicated of podcast listeners occasionally misses out on listening to an episode of one of their favorite shows. When you use an email newsletter to preview and promote what’s happening on future episodes, you’ll build anticipation, ensuring that fans engage with your show.
4. It allows you to test out other kinds of content
Once you’re in a good groove with your podcast, it can be a little stressful to innovate or change things up. And while the old adage about not fixing something that’s not broken is true to an extent, it’s also important to keep things fresh and interesting with your podcast and the brand that goes with it.
After all, you’ve gotta keep your listeners on their toes!
If a change to your podcast format or subject matter makes you a little nervous, you can use other types of content — like a newsletter — to test things out. See how your audience responds to different topics! Prompt them with questions about the evolving structure of your show! You can learn a lot from their replies, clicks and other engagement metrics. From there, you can apply your learnings to your podcast itself… with a little less risk.
Do you still need to start a podcast before you can launch a newsletter to go with it? Cool! If you’d like to use SquadCast to record awesome remote podcast interviews, you can take advantage of a 7-day free trial here.
Alli Hoff Kosik is a writer, editor, content manager and podcast editor based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the host and producer of The SSR Podcast. Alli is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Temple University. This content was produced collaboratively with PodReacher.