There, we said it. You’re probably way better at podcasting than you think you are. Unless you were already a celebrity before starting the podcast, chances are you had to put in the hard work to grow your audience to what it is today. We tend to set unrealistic podcasting goals for ourselves – and end up disheartened when we can’t achieve these goals.
Setting reachable benchmarks is the best way to ensure that you feel successful and confident in your podcasting journey. But what is a reachable benchmark today? Everybody probably starts with their podcast download numbers. So do we. These are the easiest to get hold of,, and it feels great when you see your download numbers growing. It’s tempting to use all of your effort to improve there, but aren’t you already almost where you need – or want – to be?
All you need is a good benchmark
Do you know how many downloads per month you’ve got? Number in your head? Alright, hold your breath.
When your podcast has more than 1,000 downloads, you’re probably in the top 20% of all podcasts. That doesn’t sound bad, right? The Feed, a podcast published by Libsyn, gives regular information on how the podcast industry is doing based on the shows they host. Check out the latest episode for up-to-date info, but it won’t be super different from the average podcast download numbers for shows today (we looked at April 2021).
- If your podcast episodes are getting more than 126 downloads in 30 days, you’re in the top 50% of all shows.
- If your episodes get more than 1,000 downloads, you’re in the top 20%.
- If your episodes get more than 2,800 downloads, you’re in the top 10%.
- More than 6,800, and you’re in the top 5%.
- More than 30,000, and you are probably part of the top 1%.
Do you need to make any adjustments after reading this?
A few tips you can start with today:
1. Rather than telling yourself you need to have tens of thousands of listeners by the end of the year, set monthly goals for audience growth.
2. By focusing on the short-to-medium term, you are setting yourself up for success so that you stay motivated and persistent even if growth has slowed.
3. Try to be as specific as possible with your growth goals and establish short-to-medium-term targets rather than hoping to go viral.
Remember: listeners don’t come overnight, and you’ve been steadily growing your audience. Whether you have 5 or 5,000 listeners per episode, you’re reaching and influencing people with your fantastic podcast. Take pride in each new person that listens to your show, visits your website, or follows you on social media. Especially when you’ve started your own show, learned how to produce independently, and grown your online following and listenership, reaching new audiences can be the most rewarding aspect of the podcasting journey. Every new fan is a new connection and a new opportunity to continue growing.