How do I advertise my niche Podcast?
March 26, 2008 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Whats the best way to advertise and get the word out on my very niche comedy news/talkshow podcast so that it winds up being listened to by the right audience of interested people?

I've currently done about 6 episodes. From my Talkshoe host I know that I've had around 47 people download my last podcast, since I recorded it in Febuary. I've posted links and updates about it on Improv forums like Improv Resource Center and but it obviously doesn't bring in that many listeners. I would definitely like a larger audience and I would like much more interaction between me and my listeners, I've only received about 2 emails from listeners and that was waaay back around my first and second episode.
posted by Del Far to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You should talk to Jesse Thorn, who runs The Sound of Young America, another good comedy show that is now hosted on select NPR stations. He has really gotten his shit together and also runs a hilarious podcast called Jordan Jesse Go. His is a mefite, but you can find him on
posted by parmanparman at 11:27 AM on March 26, 2008

By the way, by "good" comedy show, I did not mean to imply your show was good. I have queued it on Itunes, but have not heard it. Plus, I thought that "reporter at the comic book convention" has been done way too many times.
posted by parmanparman at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2008

Mod note: Link to podcast removed. Put it in your profile, folks can check it out that way if they like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:34 AM on March 26, 2008

Response by poster: By the way, by "good" comedy show, I did not mean to imply your show was good. I have queued it on Itunes, but have not heard it.

Understood, I know you were talking about Jesse, and I know we definitely need to improve the rapport and find a format. I would just like some tips and good ways to advertise.

Plus, I thought that "reporter at the comic book convention" has been done way too many times.

This I do not understand, what are you actually talking about? I have no clue what your mentioning.
posted by Del Far at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2008

I guess you know your target audience, right? You are looking for people who can put you in line with developing the show into something. Depending on where you are, this matters, but the first place I would go is the Upright Citizen's Brigade, people like Aziz Ansari seem open to hearing new stuff and might come aboard if they feel like they have time. Sometimes, it's just about putting the tape in one hand for everything to go right, but carry business cards.
posted by parmanparman at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2008

Are you listed on iTunes and Podcast alley?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:27 PM on March 26, 2008

Best answer: sorry for posting so many times, I have a lot of public radio producing experience and you can contact me by mefi mail if you want some more advice. But it seems to me, from a cursory listening of your fifth show, that what you really need is a strong booking schedule and access to a medium that will allow you to do phone interviews. Comedians, generally, are interested in getting the word out about themselves. You need to be too. Get as many e-mail addresses as you can and send out two reminders that new shows are out. The key is to really be consistent on both of these fronts. There are like a million people who are looking for publicity at any time and you should be on as many lists as possible and in contact with agents to line up good guests. Then, tell your listeners about who will be appearing and when the next show will be online. It takes time to grow programs, but one good guest with enough forward planning notice can quadruple listening. Then, once you've got a good list, you can do something that is pretty common: trade your list with someone who is also doing this, or get yourself on some other radio shows as a guest or guest host. List trading is an important, if undervalued by beginners, part of the building of programs. Conservatively, I think you would need a list of 500 names before you would be considered for lists, generally.
posted by parmanparman at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: parmanparman: I'm not sure that I'd call TSOY comedy... it's light-hearted, sure, but it's serious interviewing.

Del Far: OK, I've just found it in iTunes, and would strongly suggest that you change its description to something that actually sounds interesting. Seriously, that copy is a wishy-washy apology to potential listeners instead of a self-confident promise of comedy gold. No wonder people aren't clicking: I wouldn't either.

So the niche is people who are interested in performing improv, particularly at the UCB Theater in New York? I had to google it, because in my mind UCB doesn't translate to the Upright Citizens Brigade. I recognize them from the teevee! It's a name to conjure with! So... why, exactly aren't you conjuring?

You know, I'm listening to excerpts of your shows, and looking at the blog, and I'm thinking that what you're doing just isn't particularly accessible to me. It's an insider-thing, and since I'm not a participant in the NY improv scene, I think maybe I just don't know enough to be engaged. I do think you might could stand to open-up your notion of the audience a bit more and purposefully contextualize what you're talking about for the uninitiated audience. Unless you think that would lose you too much cred.

There's so much that your blog isn't doing for you. For one thing, buy already and either develop something there or redirect it, but get a decent canonical url that's memorable, stickerable, etc. Subdomain is fail. Switch your blog format so that you have solid posts to support each episode. (if only like the MeFi podcast entries, with a description and helpful links). You can intersperse random entries when you want, but definitely have a post-per-episode, and provide a comment mechanism to involve your audience. It's a much lower psychological hurdle to post anonymous feedback to a blog than it is to send an email, and public participation begets further participation. It's an old philosophy, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work: be a resource and link, link, link. Seriously, if your audience is the world of improv, then become a resource to that world, linking to the forums, blogs, venues, other podcasts, whatever. People who run similar sites will see referral and follow it back. If they like you, they may get reciprocal. Don't count on it -- for god's sake, it shouldn't be your primary strategy -- but it can add some traffic and love to the mix.
posted by mumkin at 12:34 PM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Jesse's here!

You can, of course, always buy some underwriting on Jordan Jesse Go or The Sound of Young America ;).

I must say, though, that I've never bought any advertising, I just don't have the resources.

Here's what I've done and you might consider...

Reached out and become an active member of online communities on my topic (soudns like you're doing this, but there's more than just the ones you named). Not just spamming them, mind you, but putting a link in my signature and contributing.

Reached out and built relationships with like-minded bloggers and newsmedia, and actively done PR work on my own behalf.

Sponsored and been involved with live events.

Built relationships with people I admire and involved them in what I do in a way that benefits both of us.

Built relationships with other podcasters I like or admire and tried to help each other.

Worked really, really hard to make the best thing of which I was capable, so that if I recommended it to someone, they might actually like it.

Did not expect immediate success.
posted by YoungAmerican at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

Meh. I shoulda gone back and revised the first couple of paragraphs there once I figured out what your podcast is actually about. My complaint about the copy still stands, but obviously you don't want to promise comedy gold so much as quality reportage.

Also, see if you can improve the quality of your audio. Particularly the difference in levels between the local and call-in audio. It's not the smoothest listen I've had in the world of spoken-word.
posted by mumkin at 12:42 PM on March 26, 2008

If your show is about the NYC improv scene, you have a strong possible audience of at least hundreds. Look at The Apiary and how he's built his audience.
posted by YoungAmerican at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thank you parmanparman, mumkin, and YoungAmerican! I have a huge To-Do List to write down and then Cross off. You guys have been a big help.
posted by Del Far at 1:06 PM on March 26, 2008

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