Since I announced that we will be launching a podcast from the three years and 1,000 pitches of Pitch Practice, I’ve received lots of encouragement, but more than a few weird looks and variations on this question:
“Why do you need all this help to launch a podcast?”
Well, truth be told, we don’t. You don’t. Nobody needs “all this help” to launch a podcast. You can do it in less than half an hour, very similarly to launching a blog. The keyword here is “successfully.” Do you want to put some mp3 files out on iTunes and hope? Or do you want to win?
This is a fine point that I had never heard of, much less considered, until Scott Alan Turner’s talk last week at DGM Camp. You see, just like Google has an algorithm for ranking your website in search engine results, Apple has an algorithm for rankings on iTunes. Generally speaking, here’s how it works.
Once you publish your podcast on iTunes, there’s this period of 8 weeks during which you are automatically featured in the “New & Noteworthy” category. So what, right? Not so fast. It’s during that time that your podcast has the best possible opportunity to be on the first page, much like appearing on the first page of a Google search. If you don’t take advantage of that time period, and most people don’t, then your mp3 files will begin to gather dust.
How do you do that? With help. Lots of help.
Specifically, you need as many people as possible (hundreds) to do three things:
- Subscribe to your podcast
- Rate your podcast
- Review your podcast
Those are the top 3 ranking factors in the Apple algorithm. I helped Scott last fall, and I’ll be asking him (and you) to help me when the Pitch Practice Podcast is ready for launch. It doesn’t take long at all, like most internet tasks, but it’s the getting people to (a) agree to help and then (b) actually do the subscribing, rating, and reviewing that’s so difficult. People are busy and it’s hard to get and keep anyone’s attention.
But let’s say you get all this done, get 200 or 300 people to subscribe, rate, and review your podcast within 48 hours after you launch. So what? What does it mean to be #1 on iTunes? Think of it like that restaurant that’s always crowded vs. the restaurant that always has a bunch of empty parking spots and seats. People are attracted to what their peers and influencers say is good. If you go searching for a podcast in a certain category, you usually start at the top of the list to see what’s popular, then you try it.
The “why” of all this business about a pitch practice podcast is pretty simple really: a dozen or twenty people come to pitch practice every week, and we always have fun, learn something, meet someone new, and hear some great pitches. I see a podcast as one way to share that experience with anyone and everyone who has any interest in startups and entrepreneurs. I’ve learned so much in those couple of hours after Startup Chowdown every Friday, and I want to share it with anyone who might benefit from it.
Will you help launch the Pitch Practice Podcast? If so, click here. I’ll be sending you an email in a few weeks asking you to – wait for it – subscribe, rate, and review it. I hope you’ll join me because I need your help.