Here’s the Part 2 of Creating a Podcast, make sure you’ve read part one!
Ryan: How did you build your listenership? (As of posting Jason and Karen’s podcast had 134 reviews on Itunes with 5star rating out of 5 stars)
Jason: A huge part of it is just podcasting about a subject that already has an audience. These days anytime a new TV show debuts–especially if it’s genre TV–people go to iTunes looking for podcasts about it.
Beyond that, we just try to make a quality podcast. We think genuinely having fun with it and including listeners in on the fun helps attract people to our show. We do all the social media interaction I mentioned above, which is a pleasure for me. We hold contests every now and then, and rather than force people to, say, like us on Facebook to enter the contest, we like to base it around something we think is funny or fun. We had a long-running “best zombie haiku” contest, and right now we’re giving away a set of limited edition zombie posters to the listener who sends in the creepiest zombie sound.
And it’s important to balance having fun with giving good, critical, enthusiastic analysis of the show, and hopefully increasing people’s appreciation of it. I watch each episode twice and spend a lot of time thinking about how I can provide a deeper perspective. When I pull news about the show to present to listeners, I only talk about the stuff that I genuinely find interesting.
Finally, we invite cast and crew members on for interviews, which probably gives us credibility as a good source of information for The Walking Dead, but more importantly it’s fascinating to be able to talk directly with these people and have them answer our questions about the show.
Ryan: What was you process for getting members of the show on your podcast? (They have had on Robert Kirkman creator and several members of the cast)
Jason: When I want to interview someone, I simply contact his or her agent or publicist and request an interview. I keep my communications short and to the point. If I don’t hear back, I might try again later, and mention any interviews with other cast members we may have had in the interim.
In the beginning, I think it helped that we were pretty popular out of the gate, and as time goes on and we get more interviews under our belt, I think that helps people feel good about coming onto our show.
Ryan: How do you utilize social media?
Jason: We have a WordPress blog, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page. Every time I post a new episode, I create a blog entry about it, and that automatically gets pushed to Twitter and Facebook. I also like to interact with the listeners as much as I can. I respond to most tweets and comments on our site, and we have a pretty active conversation going on on Facebook. We also read listener emails on the podcast and play their calls (which we get using a Google Voice number).
—If you are thinking about starting a podcast, I would suggest re-reading all of Jason’s answers. He provides a very good how-to guide. Oh and I did ask him one final question.
Ryan: Who would survive longer in a zombie apocalypse you or Karen? And why?
Jason: Well, Karen’s a runner and has a lot more stamina than me. And she’s prettier so she’d get more help. But, eh, I’d say me 😉