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In a recent episode of our “Podcasting Resources Guide” podcast we cover the benefits of using press releases for promoting and marketing a podcast. We explore the important elements to include, template options, and which press release distribution services to use for wider reach. And, as always, we cover how AI based tools, such as ChatGPT or Anthropic’s Claude, can help craft professional press releases for your needs. As a bonus, we are sharing our own best ChatGPT prompts for this.

Podcasting Press Releases Primer

Podcasting Press Releases Primer
Photographer: AbsolutVision | Source: Unsplash

Let’s talk about the power of podcast press releases. They’re often overlooked, but they can be a super helpful for podcasters looking to promote their shows. A well-crafted press release has the potential to grab the attention of the media and attract new listeners to your podcast.

Now, you might be wondering, what exactly is a press release? Simply put, it’s a formal statement that you send to targeted members of the press, with the hope that they’ll cover your podcast in their publication.

When a publication reads your press release and decides to write about your podcast, it can bring a whole new wave of potential listeners your way.

Absolutely, the ripple effect of media coverage can be incredibly beneficial for your podcast. It not only increases your visibility but also builds your reputation as an authority in your field. This can lead to more opportunities such as guest appearances on other podcasts, speaking engagements, or collaborations with other industry influencers.

Benefits Beyond Media Coverage

Benefits Beyond Media Coverage
Photographer: The Climate Reality Project | Source: Unsplash

Furthermore, press coverage can also boost your search engine optimization (or SEO). When reputable media outlets link to your podcast in their online articles, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable, thereby improving your ranking in search results.

Lastly, being featured in the press can also attract potential sponsors or advertisers to your podcast. Companies are always looking for popular platforms to promote their products or services, and a podcast with a growing listener base and media coverage can be an attractive option.

So, if you haven’t considered writing a podcast press release before, it’s time to give it some serious thought. Next, let’s look at when to issue press releases…

When to Write Podcast Press Releases

When to Write Podcast Press Releases
Photographer: Donald Wu | Source: Unsplash

So, when should you write a podcast press release? Well, the key is to only write one when something newsworthy happens involving your show. Sure, every new episode may seem exciting and newsworthy to you, but publications have specific criteria for what kinds of stories they share.

The answer lies in the distinction between ‘exciting for you’ and ‘newsworthy’.

So, it’s important to pick your press releases carefully and focus on the quality of updates, rather than quantity. Let’s take a look at some examples of newsworthy events that you can write press releases about.

First, if you’re premiering a new season, that’s definitely something worth announcing. It’s a fresh start for your show and can generate excitement among your audience.

Another opportunity to write a press release is when you’re announcing a new show. This is a big deal because it means you’re expanding your podcasting portfolio and reaching new listeners who may be interested in your content.

If you have a noteworthy episode coming up, that’s also press release material. Maybe you have a special guest or you’re covering a trending topic that’s sure to grab attention. These are the kinds of updates that publications love to share with their readers.

Speaking of special guests, if you manage to snag a high-profile guest for your show, that’s definitely press release-worthy. It not only adds credibility to your podcast but also attracts a wider audience who might be interested in what your guest has to say.

When a network picks up your podcast, that’s another moment to write a press release. It’s a validation of your hard work and a chance to gain exposure to a larger audience through the network’s platform.

Lastly, reaching a certain download milestone is also something to celebrate and announce. Whether it’s 10,000 downloads or 1 million, it shows that your podcast is gaining traction and resonating with listeners.

Remember, when crafting a press release, don’t just focus on any event, but rather concentrate on those that have the potential to captivate publications and intrigue their readers. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of getting the attention and coverage your podcast deserves.

How To Write and Structure Press Releases

How To Write and Structure Press Releases
Photographer: Vishal Vasnani | Source: Unsplash

How do you write a press release that will catch the attention of journalists and make them want to write an article about your podcast? Let me break it down for you.

First things first, when writing a press release, you need to think like a journalist.

Journalists are always looking for the 5 “w”s: who, what, when, where, and why.

So, make sure you answer all of these questions in your press release. Who are you? What are you announcing? When are you announcing it? Where are you? And why are you announcing it?

Another important thing to remember when writing a press release is to avoid using first-person pronouns. You want your press release to read like a news article, so keep it formal and objective. And speaking of keeping things short, try to keep your press release to a maximum of one page. Journalists are busy people, and they don’t have time to read through a lengthy document.

Now, here’s a pro tip for you: include some quotes from yourself about the news story.

This adds a personal touch to your press release and gives journalists some material to work with. Journalists love quotes, so give them something juicy to include in their article.

Oh, and don’t forget to attach some catchy images that they could use in their article. Visuals are always a plus and can really help make your press release stand out. (However, adding images cost extra on some press release distribution platforms, which we will get to later)

Lastly, be sure to include your contact information in the press release. You want journalists to have an easy way to follow up with any questions or clarifications. And who knows, they might even want to contact you for future stories.

Keep in mind that your podcast website is like your podcasting resume.

Make sure it’s up to date and includes all the necessary information about your show and any guests you’ve had. This way, journalists can easily access all the information they need to accurately cover your podcast.

So, when it comes to the structure of press releases, here is one more killer tip: Did you know that Chat-GPT is already expertly trained at writing press releases — right out of the box?

We have some prompt engineering for you in the show notes, but if you ask it to create a press release using “best practices,” it does an awesome job of structuring and formatting the content you provide. Which is key: You need to, of course, give it the background info, but we have found that generating press releases with AI turns out consistently great copy. Also, you can generate infinite variations of your release, and your feedback will improve it even more. One note — you need to use Chat-GPT4; the older versions of 3.5 do not nearly work as well.

Press Releases and SEO Considerations

Press Releases and SEO Considerations
Photographer: Austin Chan | Source: Unsplash

So, you’ve created an amazing press release for your podcast, and now you’re ready to send it out into the world. But you might be wondering, how do you actually get it in front of the right audience? Well, I want to share with you three cost-effective press release distribution platforms. But before we do, a word about SEO value of press releases and how some platforms are using links to your site.

Do Follow vs No Follow

In the SEO world, “do-follow” and “no-follow” are essentially directives given to search engines regarding how to view a link. They are part of the HTML code that is used when creating a hyperlink, and their importance is paramount.

A “do-follow” link tells search engines to, quite literally, follow the link. It’s a sort of invitation, if you will. When search engines follow these links, they help boost the SEO of the destination website, increasing its visibility in search results, which can propel a podcast towards a larger audience.

On the contrary, a “no-follow” link is the bashful sibling of the “do-follow” link. It tells search engines not to follow the link, and as such, it doesn’t boost the SEO of the destination website.

As we at Polymash are self-confessed fans of SEO, we invariably look for “do-follow” backlinks. The benefits are multifold. Not only do these links drive direct traffic to your podcast, but their SEO benefit helps more potential listeners discover your show when using search engines. It’s like striking two birds with one stone!

But what should one consider when selecting press release platforms? It’s simple, really. Look for platforms that allow you to have “do-follow” links. This ensures that your press release campaign will not just reach the immediate audience of the press release platform, but also potentially improve your podcast’s appearance in search results.

Tracking Links

Another aspect is “Tracking Links”. Tracking links are common practice with many press release platforms. While these links serve an important purpose in the realm of analytics by tracking user behavior and link performance, their impact on SEO is far from ideal.

This is mainly because tracking links are essentially redirects. They don’t really lead directly to your podcast website. Instead, they first take you to a different domain (usually that of the press release platform or the tracking service) and then redirect you to your website.

It’s like being sent on a little detour before you reach your actual destination. The intention behind this detour is good — it helps the press release platform measure how many people clicked on the link.

However, this detour has a collateral effect on SEO. Because the redirect link isn’t directly pointing to your website, search engines like Google assign the SEO benefit of this link to the redirect domain, not your website.

So, even though these tracking links might seem beneficial at first glance, they don’t offer any direct SEO boost for your podcast website.

This is why at Polymash, we place immense value on direct “do-follow” links, the kind that leads straight to your content without any detours. They not only increase your visibility by driving direct traffic to your site but also provide significant SEO benefits.

Press Release Distribution Platforms

Finding a press release platform that offers direct “do-follow” links can be a real benefit in your podcast promotion strategy. It increases the SEO authority of your podcast website.

In our pursuit of the best press release resources for podcasters, let’s move on to Press Release Distribution platforms and how they each implement these exact benefits.

First up, we have EIN Presswire

This platform offers plans starting at just $99.95 for a single press release, making it one of the most affordable PR distribution services out there.

With EIN Presswire, you’ll get instant content distribution, analytics reports, and a quick editorial process with free embedded media. It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking to get your press release out quickly and efficiently without breaking the bank.

Now, let’s talk about PR Newswire

While it may be a bit more expensive, with prices starting at $299, it’s widely regarded as an industry leader, especially if you have an international audience.

PR Newswire allows you to deliver your press releases across 170 countries in multiple languages, ensuring extensive reach and visibility for your podcast. If you’re looking to expand your podcast’s global presence and target a larger audience, PR Newswire is definitely a platform worth considering.

Lastly, there is “Brand Featured”

The benefit of “Brand Featured” is that a lot more of the links and mentions they generate are “do-follow” links, and that has huge SEO value.

We use Agency SEO tools like A-H Refs to check on our backlinks, and so we have studied and compared the amount of incoming back-links from all the press release platforms we have tried. And “Brand Featured” by far yields the most results there.

Also, this is the platform that sends you “as seen on TV” style logos — after the press release has been distributed. You can then use these on your website as social proof.

This is because they partner with TV affiliate stations from some of the largest networks like FOX and NBC, and send your press releases to them. “Brand Featured” costs are comparable to PR Newswire, but they often run special promotions, so you might want to look for that.

Additional Considerations

If you are on a budget, or you happen to have journalists on your email list, you could consider handling the distribution and outreach for your press release yourself. But mostly it makes sense to use distribution services to help you save time and effort. Remember, getting your press release in front of the right media outlets is crucial for generating buzz and attracting new listeners. So, instead of trying to reach out to 600 media outlets yourself, why not let the pros do the work for you?

By utilizing these cost-effective press release distribution platforms, you can ensure that your podcast gets the attention it deserves. Whether you choose “EIN Presswire” for its affordability and efficiency or “PR Newswire” for its international reach, or “Brand Featured” for it’s SEO value and social proof logos, these options can help you promote your podcast effectively and reach a wider audience.

And, of course you can use a successful press release as an occasion for a blog post on your own site. Then share links to it on social media and include it in your newsletter or email list.

Pro tip: when sharing your press release, do not link to the press release directly: Instead, link to your own blog or podcast website article featuring the press release and key outlets where it has been featured.

This way, you benefit from the traffic and social media shares from friends or colleagues.

Press Releases For Podcasters — Take Aways

Consider writing a press release whenever there is something newsworthy about your podcast. If you’re looking to save time and reach a wider audience, consider using services like “EIN Presswire” or “PR Newswire” for press release distribution. And if you want to increase your podcast websites SEO domain authority, consider using “Brand Featured”. Thanks for reading about or listening to today’s episode!

In today's episode of the Podcasting Resources Guide, we continue with part 2 of our series on "The Digital Presence Spectrum." This spectrum consists of three stages: Building an Audience, Building Your Platform, and Scaling Your Platform. Today, we'll focus on the importance of owning your platform and avoiding digital sharecropping.

The Risks of Digital Sharecropping

The Risks of Digital Sharecropping
Photographer: jean wimmerlin | Source: Unsplash

Digital sharecropping refers to building your digital presence on platforms you don't own or control, such as social media or third-party websites. This can expose content creators and businesses to potential issues when these platforms change their rules or algorithms. Let's look at some examples:

  • Facebook: In 2018, Facebook made significant changes to its News Feed algorithm, prioritizing content from friends and family over public content from businesses and brands. This led to a massive decrease in organic reach for many content creators.
  • YouTube: The "Adpocalypse" in 2017 saw YouTube implementing stricter monetization policies after facing backlash from advertisers. Many content creators lost their ad revenue overnight.
  • Twitter: Under Elon Musk's leadership, Twitter has suspended accounts and removed verified status for various reasons. This can result in a significant loss of followers and credibility for content creators.

These examples highlight the risks associated with relying solely on platforms you don't own or control. It's crucial for content creators and businesses to diversify their digital presence by investing in building their own platforms.

Jane's Story: A Cautionary Tale

A Cautionary Tale
Photographer: Andrej Lišakov | Source: Unsplash

Let's take a closer look at Jane Smith (a pseudonym), a content creator who built her digital presence solely on Twitter, or “X” as it is now called. When policy changes were introduced by Elon Musk, her account took a significant hit. Her reach and engagement dropped drastically, threatening her livelihood.

To overcome this challenge, Jane had to quickly explore other platforms like Instagram and TikTok to reach a wider audience. She also started diversifying her digital presence by creating content for other platforms and investing in building her own website.

"Adapting to changes in the digital landscape is crucial for content creators like Jane Smith. When her Twitter account suffered, she didn't give up; instead, she explored new platforms and diversified her digital presence to protect her livelihood."

Jane's story serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the importance of owning and controlling your platform. By diversifying their digital presence and investing in their own platforms, content creators can avoid the pitfalls of digital sharecropping.

Taking Control: Building Your Platform

Taking Control: Building Your Platform
Photographer: Anthony Ciancio | Source: Unsplash

Now that we understand the risks of digital sharecropping, let's talk about how to build a platform that you actually own. Here are three essential steps:

1. Purchase a Domain Name

Claim your own corner of the digital universe by purchasing a domain name. This gives you control over your brand and provides permanence in the ever-changing online landscape. Without a domain name, your brand is like an uninvited guest at someone else's party.

Are you tired of being at the mercy of social media platforms? Learn how to avoid digital sharecropping and build your own platform with these tips!

Why is a Domain Name Important?

  • Having your own domain gives you control over your brand and content.
  • You're at the mercy of platform rules, algorithms, or potential shutdowns.
  • With a domain name, you are in control and set the rules for your podcast.

Connect Your Custom Domain

  • If you use website builders like Podpage or rely on your podcast host's website, connect your custom domain.
  • This setup helps build SEO rank for your domain rather than relying on others'.

AI-Assisted Domain Search Tools

Check out our recently added AI-assisted domain search tools on the Podcasting Resources Guide.

These tools can help you find an SEO-friendly domain name that ranks high in search results and drives organic traffic to your website.

2. Choose the Right Platform

When you hear the term "building your platform", your mind might instantly picture a website. However, we believe it's time to broaden that perspective. We view a "platform" as a dynamic fusion of where you have a public presence. It's not just about the web, but also about thriving content hubs such as Medium and establishing a robust social media footprint. And it's also about also about being a guest on other podcasts, or being featured on TV or news media.

Think of it as a strategy that embraces all these elements, not one over the other.

But for this particular discussion, we're going to focus on the traditional interpretation of the term. So let's dive into the art of crafting a compelling website.

Advantages of Using WordPress for Your Website

WordPress is a powerful platform that offers several advantages for creating and managing your website. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Full Control Over Content
    With WordPress, you have complete control over your website's content. You can easily create, edit, and organize pages, blog posts, images, and other media elements.
  2. Customization Options
    WordPress provides a wide range of themes and plugins that allow you to customize the design and functionality of your website. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes to create a unique look for your site.
  3. User-Friendly Interface
    The user interface of WordPress is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for beginners to get started with building their websites. You don't need any coding knowledge to create or manage your site on WordPress.
  4. SEO-Friendly
    WordPress is built with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. It offers various SEO plugins and features that help improve your website's visibility in search engine results.
  5. Mobile Responsive
    Most WordPress themes are mobile responsive by default, ensuring that your website looks great on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  6. Scalability
    Whether you're starting a small blog or running a large e-commerce store, WordPress can handle websites of all sizes. It's highly scalable and can accommodate the growth of your business without any issues.
  7. Community Support
    As mentioned earlier, WordPress has a large community of developers who actively contribute to its development and improvement. This means you'll always have access to support forums, documentation, tutorials, and updates to keep your site running smoothly.
  8. Regular Updates & Security
    The team behind WordPress releases regular updates to fix bugs, introduce new features, and enhance security measures against potential vulnerabilities.

By choosing WordPress as your platform for creating websites or blogs, you gain full control over content, customization options, a user-friendly interface,
SEO-friendliness, mobile responsiveness, scalability, community support,
and regular updates and security.

3. Embrace SEO-Friendly Practices

Optimize your platform for search engines by utilizing SEO-friendly practices. WordPress comes with built-in features to improve search engine rankings, and there are various SEO plugins available to further enhance your website's visibility.

By following these steps and taking control of your brand and content, you can build a platform that withstands changes in social media algorithms or policies.

Remember, it's important to diversify your digital presence beyond just one platform or social media channel. Explore other avenues such as Medium, guest appearances on podcasts, or being featured in news media to expand your reach.

To learn more about picking an SEO-friendly domain name or explore case studies on driving organic traffic to your website, here are some additional resources:

Migrating Content from Third-Party Platforms

Building a Platform: Migrating Content from Third-Party Platforms
Photographer: Julia Craice | Source: Unsplash

If you've been publishing your content on platforms like Medium or social media, it's time to bring it home. By migrating your content to your own website, you retain complete control over it. Plus, it helps generate SEO value that can benefit your website in the long run.

Bring Your Content Home and Let It Flourish

Don't let your captivating Facebook posts, YouTube videos, or Tik-Tok clips merely linger on these platforms. Transform them into compelling blog posts on your own domain. This way, you can maximize the reach of your content and ensure its longevity.

Remember, migrating content from third-party platforms not only gives you more control but also provides an opportunity to repurpose and expand upon existing ideas. So why hesitate? Start bringing your valuable content home today!

Building Your Platform Means Diversifying Your Content Distribution

While having your own platform is essential, it's also important to diversify your content distribution. Don't limit yourself to just one channel. Maintain a presence on social media, content hubs like Medium, and other content distribution channels.

Start with Your Blog

At this point in the digital presence journey, you should change your approach. Instead of starting by writing and posting articles on Medium, create content exclusively for your blog. This allows you to establish your website as the heart of your digital presence.

Repurpose and Share

Once you have created valuable content for your blog, you can then repurpose it for other platforms such as Medium or social media. Change podcast episodes into detailed, SEO-friendly show notes that can be shared across various channels.

Casting a Wider Net

By spreading your content far and wide through multiple channels, you are able to reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to your website. Think of it as casting a wider net to catch more fish.

Remember: while diversifying is important, always make sure that your website remains the central hub of your digital presence.

Last but Not Least, Create an Email List

Building an email list keeps you directly connected with your audience and ensures you have control over your relationship with them. With an email list, you can communicate directly, share exclusive content, and keep your audience engaged. This becomes particularly valuable if social media platforms change their algorithms or policies. So don't underestimate the power of email marketing in maintaining a strong and loyal audience.

WordPress easily provides lots of ways to capture emails and sends them to your favorite email platform like MailChimp or Active Campaign.

Building Your Platform Episode Summary

In conclusion, transitioning from building an audience to building your platform is a crucial step in cultivating and expanding your digital influence. By avoiding digital sharecropping and investing in your own platforms, you can protect your digital presence and ensure future success.

Stay tuned for upcoming articles and episodes where we'll dive into the nitty-gritty details of platform scaling and development. There's a lot of valuable information coming your way!

Follow @Polymash on Medium:

*Note: The content provided in this blog post is based on the Podcasting Resources Guide podcast episode "Transitioning from Building an Audience to Building Your Platform."

We here at Polymash have come up with this cool concept called "The Digital Presence Spectrum". Well, we think it’s cool. Not only cool, but useful in helping our clients, podcasters and followers figure out their digital strategy. In this article and series of podcast episodes, we are going to introduce you to the three main stages of the spectrum: Building an Audience, Building a Platform, and Scaling a Platform.

The Digital Presence Spectrum Overview

And today, let's dive into Stage 1: Building an Audience. This stage is the most important if you want to make a real impact online. We will explore all the strategies and techniques that can help you attract and engage with your audience. Additionally, we will also explore using platforms that have existing audiences built in, such as Medium.

The Digital Presence Spectrum Overview

So you might be wondering, what exactly is the Digital Presence Spectrum? Well, we think of it as a high level roadmap for embarking on your digital journey with a bit more confidence and wisdom. It’s simple, but useful way of prioritizing where to spend focus and energy.

Let's break it down into three stages that are distinct – yet interconnected.

1. Building an Audience

The first stage is all about 'Building an Audience'.

Building an Audience

This is where you focus on creating high-quality content that tells your story and helps you establish relationships with your listeners or readers.

“How do you measure success at this stage? By looking at the growth of your audience and listenership.”

2. Building a Platform

Once you've built an audience, you move on to the second stage, which is 'Building your Platform'.

Building a Platform on the digital presence spectrum

At this point, you may be asking yourself, where do I want my audience members to go?

"Building your platform is not just about having a website or landing page. It's about creating a space that you truly own and can serve both your content and audience well into the future."

It's crucial to have your own platform, not just a website or landing page, but a platform that you truly own and that can serve both your content and your audience well into the future.

3. Scaling your Platform

And finally, we reach the third stage, 'Scaling your Platform'.

Scaling your Platform

This is where the power move happens.

“Scaling your platform means discovering new ways to serve and attract audiences while growing your capabilities.”

You start expanding your efforts, reaching wider and deeper, and discovering new ways to serve your existing audience while attracting new ones.

Digital Presence Evolves Gradually

Digital Presence Evolves Gradually
Photographer: Red Zeppelin | Source: Unsplash

As you navigate through the Digital Presence Spectrum, you'll notice that your goals, focus, and the ideal platforms and tools all evolve along the way. This growth is just as much a part of your podcasting journey as the content itself.

It's also helpful to think of the spectrum as a continuum — a transition from 'Early State' goals to 'End State' goals. You'll move from easy tasks to tackling the hard yards, from basic features to advanced capabilities, and from needing low-level skills to acquiring high-level competencies. You'll also shift from quick tasks to making long-term commitments and from low-cost solutions to making significant investments.

"Your digital presence journey is not just about creating content, but also about evolving your goals, skills, and investments along the way."

It's important to keep in mind that every digital presence journey is unique. Each one has its own starting point, detours, and redirections. So no matter where you currently stand on this spectrum, know that your position is temporary. With every piece of content you create, every interaction you have, and every platform you adopt, you are propelling yourself forward on this ever-evolving journey.

The Stories and Issues That Triggered This Series

Stories and Issues That Triggered This Series
Photographer: Patrick Tomasso | Source: Unsplash

So here's the thing: when it comes to navigating our way across the digital presence spectrum, we need to really look at the common issues that people encounter in the early stages. Many podcasters and entrepreneurs, that we've had the privilege of working with as a digital strategy agency, tend to dive right into their projects with a lot of excitement and zeal. They have this incredible motivation to make their podcast or business idea a reality, which is commendable. However, they often find themselves struggling with some fundamental issues.

Digital Presence = Website = Simplistic Thinking

One of the biggest issues we see is simplistic thinking. Now, don't get me wrong, it's fantastic to see people so passionate about embarking on their podcasting journey. We usually start with the basic idea of wanting to create a digital presence because we have a podcast, a cool project, or an amazing business idea. Some of us are driven by our love for writing or blogging about a topic we're truly passionate about.

For many of us starting out, digital presence translates into ‘I have to build a website’

Everyone Has a Different Starting Point

But here's the thing to watch out for: everyone has a different starting point and prior experience, and this kind of thinking often leads to a significant pitfall. What tends to happen is that we overlook the real goal and focus on the wrong thing, and end up uncertain about our audience. There's this mindset of "build it and they will come," which can really hinder expectations, momentum, effective planning and budgeting.

The "Let's Just Do This Quick" Mindset

And guess what? This simplistic thinking usually leads to the next stage of the issue: the "let's just do this quick" mindset. People tend to jump right in, picking the easiest option available and ignoring any features that they don't immediately require.

No surprises here! This approach often leads to the third stage of the issue – where frustration sets in and people realize the complexities involved.

Frustration Sets In

Suddenly, their initial thought of "building it myself" turns into "this is much harder than I thought." This realization usually hits after they've already invested a considerable amount of time. At this point, the challenges of building an audience, creating an email list, offering a paid service, or optimizing SEO become overwhelming tasks.

"While developing a great website is important eventually, it's crucial to remember that the focus early on should be on creating compelling content to attract and grow followers."

Here's where it gets tricky: the simplicity of modern website platforms can be deceiving, because there's so much more to it than just having a basic website.

  • You need great copywriting, appealing graphics, and seamless user experience design to draw and retain an audience.
  • And most platforms don't just magically provide this. It takes work.
  • It takes experience to communicate your unique value proposition or approach effectively. This cannot be solved in a few hours using AI tools or "templates".

Back to the Drawing Board?

Often our clients feel they need to go back to the drawing board a few times before everything becomes crystal clear. That can be a good thing. Eighty percent planning, twenty percent execution.

We should question what our original real goals are. Who our audience is, really? Where our audience is. What platform is the right fit for our project — at this point in time?

Do we even need a website at first, or should we perhaps first build an audience on platforms that already have a "built-in" audience?

It sure is a winding path we embark on, but being aware of these common issues early on can help us navigate our digital journey more effectively, and avoid the pitfalls that many content creators encounter.

Digital Presence Stage 1: Building Our Audience

Stage 1 on the Digital Presence Spectrum: Building Our Audience
Photographer: Alexandre Pellaes | Source: Unsplash

So, let’s talk more about the first stage of the Digital Presence Spectrum, which is all about building an audience. And in this stage, it's important to focus on creating quality content. Think of your content as the sunlight and water that helps your project … or podcast … grow and flourish.

Website Considerations — Do You Really Need One at This Stage?

Now, when it comes to building an audience, you might think that you need to have a fancy website right from the start. But that's not necessarily the case. In fact, you can totally use a free website provided by your podcast host. Sure, these free websites might not be the best in terms of SEO optimization, but that's okay. Especially in the early days of establishing your audience, it's more important to focus on creating engaging content.

If you haven't heard about this before, we have an episode titled 'Podcast Website Builders and Landing Pages' where we discuss the pros and cons of using free website platforms.

Now, here's the thing you might be wondering about: Should you invest a lot of time and money into creating a custom website at this stage? Or even a membership site with features you think you might eventually need? Well, maybe there's an alternative path that can add more value to your audience-building journey.

Consider Platforms With Built In Audiences

Instead of solely focusing on creating your own website, why not explore platforms that already have an audience and are specifically designed for discoverability and audience growth?

“Platforms like Medium and Substack are great options to consider at this stage.”

But wait, does that mean you should abandon the idea of having a website? Not at all. If you already have a starter website, then think of using these platforms as an "in addition to" rather than an "instead of."

You can take your podcast content, transform it into long-form written content, and then cross-post it on platforms like Medium and Substack. This way, you're not just reaching your podcast audience, but also a wider audience who prefers consuming written content.

Now, you might think that this is just about creating better show notes. And to some extent, it is. But it goes beyond that. With these platforms, you have the opportunity to expand, elaborate, and dive deeper into your podcast topics. It's a way to provide additional value to your audience and attract new readers.

And here's the exciting part – many of these readers could be podcast listeners or potential ones. Once they discover your content on platforms like Medium or Substack, they might become interested in checking out your podcast as well. It's like having a funnel that guides readers towards your audio content. In fact, many successful podcasters have already adopted this approach as a key strategy in building their audience.

How do Medium and Substack Compare?

So, let's take a closer look at Medium and Substack. These platforms offer you the chance to showcase your podcast content in a different format – … written articles or essays. It's a way to repurpose your audio content and attract a new audience that prefers reading. And if those readers like what they see, they might become loyal listeners to your podcast.

Medium Overview

Medium, for instance, is a platform that allows writers to share their stories and expertise with a wide audience.

You can create your own publication on Medium and publish your podcast-related articles there. It's a great way to establish your authority in your niche and reach more people who are interested in your topics.

Substack Overview

Substack, on the other hand, is a platform that focuses on newsletters. You can use it to deliver exclusive content to your subscribers.

This is a fantastic opportunity to engage directly with your audience and build a community around your podcast. You can share insights, behind-the-scenes stories, and even exclusive bonus content through your Substack newsletter.

So, don't only think of Medium and Substack as alternatives to having a website. Instead, think of them as complementary channels that allow you to expand your reach and connect with a wider audience.

By leveraging these platforms, you can attract new readers who could become dedicated podcast listeners.

Exploring Medium in Detail

Exploring Medium in Detail

So, let's dive into Medium, shall we? It's this awesome online publishing platform that has been around since 2012 and it's been empowering writers to share their thoughts, ideas, and narratives. But here's the cool thing – it's not just for writers and readers, it's also a fantastic space for podcasters like us to bring our content to life in a different format!

Medium Statistics

Now, let's talk numbers and see just how big Medium is. Brace yourself because this platform has over 100 million active monthly readers. It's one of the top 150 most engaged websites worldwide. Talk about a buzzing platform, right? And here's what's even more impressive – Medium has a high domain authority of 95, which means your content has the SEO potential to reach a massive audience.

Niche Publications on Medium

One of the reasons why Medium is such a success is because it caters to a wide range of reader interests. It has over 10,000 niche publications. What does that mean for us podcasters? Well, no matter how specific your subject matter is, there's a good chance that there's a dedicated audience for it on Medium. It's like a goldmine for niche content!

Medium Demographics

Now, let's talk about the age demographic on Medium. The majority of its visitors fall between the ages of 25 and 34. And you know what? This age group is not only tech-savvy, but they also love listening to podcasts. So, when they're not busy devouring books, they might just be tuning into their favorite podcasts. And hey, guess what? They might stumble across your long-form podcast content while they're scrolling through Medium and hit that play button on your latest episode. How awesome is that?

Using Medium Digital Presence Instead of a Website

But here's the best part – using Medium allows you to focus on creating amazing content without worrying about the technical aspects of website building. It provides you with an instantly available digital presence that is visually appealing and user-friendly. You can develop your content strategy and messaging right on the Medium platform. No technical headaches, just pure creativity and content creation!

Pros and Cons of This Approach

Let's take a deeper look at the pros and cons of using Medium. First, the pros: Medium has a built-in reader base, so you already have an audience waiting for your content. The platform itself is beautiful and showcases your content in an elegant way. Plus, there are minimum technical hurdles to overcome. And guess what? You can even embed podcast player widgets on Medium, and it looks great, especially with Spotify!

Now, let's move on to the cons. One thing to keep in mind is that if you don't have your own website to publish to first, the SEO benefits will go to Medium's domain, not your personal platform. So, it's important to consider that. However, if you do have a website, you can use a technical term called a "canonical tag" to send the SEO benefits to your own site when publishing on Medium.

Another factor to consider is that while you can export the email addresses of your followers, it's not applicable to everyone. You can only export the email addresses of those who choose to opt in with email notifications for your content. So, keep that in mind if you're planning on using Medium to build your email list.

All in all, Medium is a powerful platform for podcasters like us. It has a massive reader base, a wide range of niche publications, and it's user-friendly.

So, why not give it a shot? Publish your stories and podcast content on Medium, watch it reach a whole new audience, and who knows, maybe you'll be the next big thing in the podcasting world!

Exploring Substack in Detail

Now let's shift our attention to Substack. So you've built up an audience on Medium (or other places) and you're ready to start making some money. That's when you should start considering Substack.

Exploring Substack in Detail

Here's the deal – Substack is a platform specifically designed for sending newsletters. And, they have over 1 million users with paid subscriptions. This makes it a pretty attractive option if you already have a solid email list or if you've been working hard to build one.

A lot of writers and podcasters reach a point where they've successfully grown their initial audience and now they want to start monetizing their content. And while there are many ways to do this on podcasting platforms, when it comes to online publications, many people make the move from Medium to Substack.

An Edge on Monetization

You know why? It's because of Substack's awesome monetization features. You see, on Medium, it's a bit tougher to earn money because they only pay you if your content gets featured in their partner program.

But with Substack, writers can charge their readers for access to their content, and here's the best part – they get to keep all the money they make. Talk about a win-win situation, right? Substack not only allows you to monetize your writing, but it also provides you with tools to build relationships with your readers and gather feedback. It's a top choice for writers who want to turn their passion into a full-fledged career.

So if you're a writer or podcaster who's already built up an audience and you're ready to start earning money from your content, Substack is definitely a platform worth considering. It offers a range of features that can help you make some serious cash from your amazing writing, and it also provides a space for you to connect with your audience. You can design beautiful emails, set up newsletter operations, and have a tried-and-true approach to monetization. And the best part? You get to keep all the proceeds you earn.

It’s a Journey: Why Substack Comes After Medium

Okay, before you jump into Substack, let me just share a small caveat. Unlike Medium, Substack may not have the same built-in audience and the web experience might not be as visually appealing. Also, Medium is better at SEO and attracting Google Search traffic. But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

Digital Presence Spectrum Main Take Aways

Remember, at this stage, you have a variety of platforms to choose from to grow your audience effectively.

“But here's a pro-tip: focus on where your ideal audience already hangs out.”

That's the first step – building your audience. Once you've done that, you'll be well on your way to reaching new heights with Medium, Substack or any other platform you choose.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions we are frequently asked by bloggers, podcasters and entrepreneurs who work with us as a their digital strategy adviser.

Hopefully this Q&A offers detailed descriptions of the digital presence spectrum, a roadmap to building your digital audience, and various tools for building and scaling your platform:

1. What is The Digital Presence Spectrum?

The Digital Presence Spectrum is a concept developed to help podcasters and entrepreneurs understand where they should invest their time to create a meaningful digital presence. It's a roadmap for digital journey and consists of three key stages, namely Building an Audience, Building Your Platform, and Scaling Your Platform.

2. How can the Digital Presence Spectrum help in my digital journey?

The Digital Presence Spectrum serves as your guide for embarking on your digital journey with confidence. It helps you understand how to grow your audience, build your platform, and scale it. It allows you to focus on the most appropriate tasks, capabilities and investments at different stages of your digital presence.

3. What is the first stage of Digital Presence Spectrum?

The first stage of the Digital Presence Spectrum is called "Building an Audience". This is where you create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, fostering relationships with your listeners or readers and growing your audience base.

4. Can’t I just grow my audience on Social Media?

While social media can be a useful tool for maintaining engagement with your current followers, it is not the most effective way to grow your audience. Your posts on social media will predominantly reach people who already follow you. Relying solely on the chance of a post "going viral" is not a sustainable growth strategy. Rather, it would be beneficial to leverage platforms designed for discoverability and visibility, such as Medium and Substack, to attract new followers and grow your audience in addition to your social media activity.

5. What common issues do people encounter in their early digital presence journey?

People often dive into their projects with simplistic thinking, operating under the assumption that "if you build it, they will come.” However, this can lead to overlooking the importance of knowing their audience and planning properly. This mindset often leads to initial quick and easy solutions, but eventually, the complexities and challenges of building an audience and creating a email list can become overwhelming.

6. What is simplistic thinking and how does it affect my digital journey?

Simplistic thinking is the belief that having a cool project or a great podcast will naturally draw an audience. However, this approach often overlooks the real goal of understanding and building a dedicated audience. This mindset can lead to inadequate planning, ineffective budgeting, and a lack of understanding of the challenges involved in building a strong digital presence.

7. How can I overcome the challenges of building an audience?

The best approach is to reflect on your true goals, understand your audience, and think thoughtfully about the best platform for your content. It involves transitioning from immediate, simple tasks to long-term commitments with significant investments. You need to be prepared to shift from quick tasks to more strategic endeavors, learning from each interaction, and using these lessons to propel yourself forward.

8. What are some alternatives to having a website in the early stages of building an audience?

Instead of focusing heavily on creating a website early on, explore platforms that are designed for discoverability and audience growth. Platforms like Medium and Substack allow you to transform podcast content into long-form written content to attract a wider audience. These should be considered as an "in addition to" rather than an "instead of" having a website.

9. How can I utilize Medium and Substack for building my audience?

Medium and Substack allow podcasters to expand onto platforms where users prefer consuming written content. By repurposing your audio content into written content and cross-posting it on these platforms, you have the opportunity to not only serve your existing audience with additional value but also attract new readers who could potentially become podcast listeners.

10. How can transforming my podcast content into written form help my digital presence?

Repurposing audio content into a different format like written articles creates a funnel that guides readers to your audio content. Many successful podcasters have transformed their podcast content into written articles or essays to present their ideas to a wider audience and draw potential listeners to their audio content.

11. What is Medium and how can it help in building an audience?

Medium is an online publishing platform that allows writers to share their stories and expertise with a broad audience. It has a built-in reader base and high domain authority, making your content reachable to a massive amount of audience. As a podcaster, you can use Medium to publish your podcast-related content, expanding your reach and possibly attracting new listeners to your podcast.

12. What is Substack and how can it contribute to my digital journey?

Substack is a platform that focuses on newsletters. You can deliver exclusive content to your subscribers, allowing you to engage directly with your audience and build a community around your podcast. When you're ready, Substack also provides features allowing you to monetize your content and turn your passion into a career.

13. Why should I consider moving from Medium to Substack?

As you grow your initial audience and start to think of monetizing your content, Substack can be a great platform to consider. Unlike Medium, Substack allows writers to charge for access to their content and keep all the money they make. It also provides tools to build relationships with your readers and gather feedback.

14. How do I decide between a website, Medium, and Substack?

Your choice depends on your specific goals and where your audience hangs out. In the early stage of audience building, leveraging platforms with built-in audiences, such as Medium and Substack, can be beneficial. As you grow, owning your own domain and building a scalable website becomes essential. Over time, you'll likely use a combination of these platforms to reach and engage with your audience effectively.

15. What are the challenges of building a website in the early stages of podcasting?

In the early stages of building a digital presence, the focus is on basic tasks and low-cost solutions. Building a website can be complex and time-consuming, often requiring advanced skills and significant investments. Therefore, it's crucial to evaluate if having a website is necessary at this stage, and if not, explore different platforms like Medium and Substack for content creation.

16. What are the SEO benefits of Medium?

Medium has a high domain authority, meaning that your content has the SEO potential to appear in Google search results and reach a wide audience. However, the SEO benefits go to Medium's domain and not your personal platform.

17. What if I don’t have a website when starting with Medium?

If you don't have your own website, you can still begin building your digital presence on Medium. Medium provides creators with an instantly available digital platform that is user-friendly and visually appealing. You can focus on creating your content rather than dealing with technical aspects of a website.

18. What are some of the downsides to using Medium?

While Medium offers a built-in audience and a visually appealing platform, SEO benefits will go to Medium's domain, not your personal site. Also, exporting the email addresses of your followers can only be done for those who opt for email notifications for your content.

19. What does Substack offer that Medium does not?

Substack offers a deep connection with your audience via email newsletters and an opportunity to monetize your content, with creators able to charge for access and keep all the proceeds. Though it may not offer the same SEO benefits as Medium, it's an excellent platform for turning your passion into a profitable endeavor.

20. How can Substack benefit podcasters with a substantial following?

For podcasters with a significant following, Substack provides an opportunity to monetize their following by providing exclusive content and direct engagement with their audience. By charging for access to their content, podcasters can generate income from their audience while delivering additional valuable content.

21. What is the difference between the growth on Medium and Substack?

While Medium provides a platform with built-in audiences for growing your reader base, Substack offers direct engagement with your readers and a clear path to monetization of your content.

22. What are the benefits of using podcast player widgets on Medium?

Embedding podcast player widgets on Medium allows your content to be available in both audio and written format to Medium's large base of readers. This can drive potential listeners to your podcast right from your Medium articles.

23. Can I use Substack to send out regular newsletters?

Yes, Substack is designed specifically for sending out regular newsletters. It's an excellent platform for sharing insights, behind-the-scenes stories, and exclusive bonus content directly with your podcast's audience.

24. Can I monetize my content on Substack?

Absolutely. Substack provides tools for creators to charge their readers for access to their content. This allows you to monetize your podcast or any other content you create and share on Substack's platform.

25. What is the demographic of Medium readers?

The majority of Medium's readers fall between the ages of 25 and 34, a group that is tech-savvy and likely to enjoy podcasts. So, they might stumble across your long-form podcast content and could become listeners of your podcast.

If you’re passionate about podcasting and want to learn how to be successful, this episode with Alex Sanfilippo is a must-listen! He discusses his journey as a serial entrepreneur in the industry, the challenges he’s faced, and his vision for the future of podcasting. You’ll also get tips on how to find guests for your podcast and build valuable relationships with other podcasters.

Foreword and Disclosure: Alex was kind enough to help me test a number of A.I. tools as part of this interview. We feature and review these A.I. tools on our Podcasting Resources Guide and the latest Podcasting Strategy Insights newsletter.

  1. Rumble Studio: We conducted the interview using Rumble Studio, which is an A.I. asynchronous remote recording tool where I pre-recorded questions, which Alex then answered in his own time. The entire episode audio was mixed and generated using 1 click.
  2. Swell and Melville: The show notes you see below were generated by Swell.AI and Melville. The A.I. generated content was left un-edited, something I do not ordinarily recommend, but left in place for the purposes of evaluating these tools. (thank you Alex!)

Table of Contents

Show Notes Article

(Generated by Swell A.I.)

Entrepreneurial itch: podcasting.

Podcasting has been a major boon for entrepreneurs. It not only provides a platform for people to share their stories and ideas, but it also allows them to connect with like-minded people, build relationships, and gain valuable insights. One such entrepreneur is Alex Sanfilippo, the co-founder of PodPros.com.

In an episode of the Podcasting Resources Guide podcast, Alex shared his story of how he developed an entrepreneurial itch after spending fifteen years in the corporate world. He had a passion for helping independent voices within the podcasting industry get their message heard by more people, but he didn’t know how to become an entrepreneur. That’s when he decided to start a podcast.

Through his podcast, Alex was able to connect with other entrepreneurs and gain valuable insights. He was also able to share his story and ideas with a larger audience. This allowed him to build relationships and gain valuable experience which he used to create several amazing platforms for podcasters, such as PodMatch, PodcastSOP, PodLottery, and PodTalks.

Alex’s story is a testament to the power of podcasting. It is a powerful platform for entrepreneurs to share their stories, ideas, and experiences. Not only does it provide a platform for entrepreneurs to connect with like-minded people, but it also allows them to gain valuable insights and experiences which can help them in their entrepreneurial journey. So if you’ve got an entrepreneurial itch, podcasting may be the perfect way to scratch it.

Find an area of passion.

Alex’s story is a great example of how to find an area of passion and use it to create a successful business. He started by attending a conference, where he heard a common problem that many podcasters were facing: finding the ideal guest for their show. Alex then took this problem and offered a solution: PodMatch. He didn’t spend time and money on logos and branding, but instead focused on creating a minimum viable product that could solve the problem. He also used the same model as dating apps, which was a successful way of matching hosts and guests.

The success of PodMatch is a great example of how to find an area of passion and use it to create something successful. Alex’s story is also a reminder that the key to success is to start small and focus on continuous improvement. It is also important to remember that when creating a product or service, it is important to validate the problem first. This can be done by talking to people in the community and asking them what they are struggling with.

Alex’s story is inspiring, and it shows us that if we focus on finding an area of passion and creating something that solves a problem, we can create something successful. So if you’ve got an entrepreneurial itch, podcasting may be the perfect way to scratch it.

Help podcasters impact lives.

Podcasting offers a unique opportunity to impact lives. Through podcasting, creators can reach a vast audience and share their stories, knowledge, and experiences. Furthermore, by creating a podcast, podcasters can connect with people around the world and build relationships with them. This connection can lead to meaningful conversations, collaborations, and even business opportunities.

Alex’s story demonstrates how podcasting can help podcasters impact lives. He has helped countless people keep going, even when they were ready to give up. His services have enabled podcasters to reach a wider audience and make an impact on their lives. Furthermore, his services have helped some podcasters reach the seven-figure mark.

Alex’s passion for helping podcasters is admirable. He believes that even if a podcaster doesn’t change the world, they can still have a positive impact on one person’s life. This is why he is so passionate about helping podcasters succeed. He wants to make sure that the independent voices on either side of the mic are heard and that their content is reaching the people who need it most.

In order to help podcasters impact lives, Alex is passionate about protecting the decentralization of podcasting. He doesn’t want it to become like YouTube, where only certain content is allowed to be seen. He believes that podcasting is the ultimate form of media and that it allows people to find what they need.

Alex’s story is inspiring. He is passionate about helping podcasters succeed and make an impact on people’s lives. He wants to make sure that independent voices are heard and that podcasting remains decentralized. He is also passionate about simplifying the administrative process for podcasting, so that podcasters can spend more time with their listeners. Through his passion for podcasting, Alex is helping podcasters impact lives.

Keep podcasting to serve.

Alex believes that the key to keeping podcasting alive is to help those who have a passion for it and a purpose to serve. He wants to reduce the high failure rate of podcasting by helping those who have the right intent. He believes that 50% of people who start podcasting are doing it for the wrong reasons, such as fame or money. He wants to help the other 40%, those who have a message and a passion to serve, stay in the game longer.

Alex has developed software to help podcasters succeed. His software, Podmatch, Podcast SOP, and Podlottery, are designed to make the administrative process easier and to help podcasters stay focused on their listeners. He also wants to help podcasters by connecting them with established podcasters who can help them take the next step. He is a strong advocate for collaboration, believing that it is the only way to make a bigger impact on more podcasters’ lives.

Alex’s passion for podcasting is inspiring. He is dedicated to helping podcasters stay in the game longer and make an impact on people’s lives. His dedication to helping podcasters succeed is evident in the software he has developed and the collaborations he has formed. His vision for the future of podcasting is one of collaboration and service. He wants to see more podcasters serving their listeners and having a positive impact on their lives. Alex’s passion for podcasting is a reminder that we should all strive to keep podcasting to serve.

Key Points From Alex Sanfilippo

(Generated by Melville A.I.)

[00:02:00] Podcasting allows independent voices to be heard by a wider audience, something that excites me and that I am committed to.

[00:02:47] The Pod Pro’s team has worked hard to build a great resource for podcasters. I’m excited to see what they come up with next!

[00:10:11] For us, hearing stories of people that wouldn’t have connected without our product is really gratifying. We have a lot of people that come to us and say, hey, I’ve been trying to book this one guest for six months, and I couldn’t get ahold of them. I used your tool, and I connected with them within two weeks. And that’s really gratifying for us because that’s what we’re here to do. We want to make those connections happen. And so when we hear stories like that,

[0:12:57] The Pod Pros team is focused on helping passionate podcasters with a message to serve others, by providing the best tools and education possible.

[0:14:50] I would like to see more podcasters focused on community building and less on consumption. I believe this will lead to a more positive and healthy industry overall.

[00:19:00] Podcasting offers entrepreneurs the ability to share their stories and connect with listeners on a personal level. This intimate medium has the power to make a real impact on people’s lives and businesses.

About Alex

Alex Sanfilippo started his first business at the age of 10. He began selling used golf balls in his neighborhood and realized that he enjoyed generating sales and keeping track of profit margins. (Yes, odd for a 10-year-old!)

Fast forward to his late teen years, and he launched a technology company that created virtual tours of properties listed for sale on the MLS. Alex fell in love with real estate and decided to invest as soon as he turned 18. REI was a short-lived career choice due to the 2007 – 2009 recession.

He pivoted to an industry that was thriving during the recession years.

At an aerospace company, he got my foot in the door. He was a part-time receiving clerk who broke down boxes and took out the trash. (Humbling for a guy who was on the way to the Forbes 30 under 30 list!)

He discovered a passion for aerospace and corporate business. He worked my way up in the industry and eventually became a senior executive in a large publicly traded aerospace organization.

After 15 years, He decided to return to my first love of entrepreneurship.

Memorable Quotes

00:04:00 So two things happened. First, I learned how to become an entrepreneur. But two, and more importantly, I realized I was passionate about podcasting. And what I learned when it came to becoming an entrepreneur, there’s a little bonus for everybody. Here is how you do it is you find an area of passion, you get into that community, you find out what that community is struggling with and you create a solution for that struggle.

00:11:03 “If we can help that one person keep at it, I know that their content is serving the world and adding value to somebody’s life.”

00:12:48 “What really matters to me in this podcasting space, and I’m probably saying a little bit repetitive by saying this, but again, it’s about the listener. It’s about that one person who needs the content that podcasters are creating.”

Alex Sanfilippo Portrait

Links and Resources

Podpros Software Solutions

Connect With Our Guest: Alex Sanfilippo