From Follower to Fan - Podcast Community Building

Podcast Community Building by Podigee

Podcastermania versus Beatlemania...

Sold out concert halls, screaming fans, earning crazy money from merchandise and millions of followers on every social media outlet. Possible? Well it's not impossible but let's start with some baby steps.


Cultivating a Loyal Podcast Community

Podcasts have evolved into vibrant communities, driven by authentic connections between hosts and listeners. Building a loyal podcast community requires genuine engagement and a welcoming atmosphere. In this blog post, we'll explore real-world examples of best practices that will help you cultivate a loyal and engaged community around your podcast.

So where did you find out about your favorite Podcasts. In this digital world we live in you might think that a google search would most likely be the answer. In podcast-land however things are slightly different. Most podcasts are likely to have been recommended to you either by friends, family or even other podcasts.

But now you are the podcaster and most likely your first followers really were your best friends and family. Often if you are an expert in the particular field of your podcast either through work or as a hobby then you can access a core group of people that share your passion in this field. Either way you know your core listener group far better than anyone and don’t need to do a lot of research to know what will trigger them positively. Think of it as buying a birthday present - but for a group. One simple way to learn more about your podcast listeners is to use the Podigee analytics. Click here for more Podigee analytics info

Many podcasters rely heavily on ratings and reviews to build their podcast numbers and while this might work for larger companies and well established podcasters your time is better spent really building and nurturing your community grass roots organically. No matter how few your followers, they are your best place to gain new followers, through their support and recommendations.

NDR community building


Amazing example of community building

Not too long ago I was lucky enough to attend a workshop about podcast community building at re-publica digital media conference in Berlin held by the eat.Read.sleep podcast team from NDR who have one of the most loyal communities in Germany. They explained how they built their community. Two things that struck me most was their level of commitment to the small personal touches and also giving the fans the opportunity to self organize. What I mean by small personal touches are for example the fact that when they do competitions, or do live podcasts Katharina Mahrenholtz, one of the podcasters, actually hand makes gifts and merchandise and even regularly bakes for the fans. She can't obviously bake for the entire audience but the first few rows at live shows and competition winners. These creations look amazing on social media and show how much she genuinely cares. This baking and cooking was helped by the fact that even though it is a podcast about books they introduce a recipe related somehow to the topic every week which also creates a nice interaction with their fan base. The fans have even taken to bringing their own baking creations to the live shows. Sometimes some of the hosts' ideas didn't work out such as the Hula Hoop reading challenge but they were able to laugh about it, learn from it and it hasn't stopped them trying new ideas.

The second thing that impressed me is their live shows. Their live shows pop up all over Germany with interesting guests that are always different. What is more impressive is that their live concept has been copied in weekly and monthly book clubs named after the podcast all over Germany, sometimes several in one city. The fan clubs have a life of their own and grow independently of the podcast while still keeping its style, values and charm. Fans use the branding of the show but have reinvented the Logo in creative ways. This is of course supported by and nourished by excellent social media work and shout outs from the podcast and constant touring with their own live shows in areas all over Germany allowing the fans to come together to interact with the hosts live and in person. 

Now while few podcasters can really be expected to bake for their fans, it was through such genuine passion at the beginning and constant attention to small details that their podcast from Northern Germany is now well known countrywide. They paid attention to what their fans liked and together with having excellent social media posts that showed they cared. Giving their public something extra such as baking, cooking and crafts for their fans to join in really meant they were interacting with their fans with similar interests outside of the reading world.

podcast community building


Ten great tips for building and maintaining your community

  1. Build a Homebase: Take the time and build a website. It doesn’t have to be super-professional to start with. Use the website that comes with your Podigee podcast or configure and embed your Podigee Player simply and trouble free into your existing website.  For more Info on the Podigee Player click here. Personalize and fill your website with follow ups, relevant links and things to make it a central point for your community to gather.
  2. Authenticity is Key: To build a loyal podcast community, be yourself. Embrace your unique voice, quirks, and personality. Listeners are drawn to authenticity, so let your true self shine through your episodes. This genuine approach helps foster trust, making it easier for your audience to connect with you on a deeper level.
  3. Consistency Builds Anticipation: Consistency is crucial in podcasting. Stick to a regular publishing schedule to keep your audience engaged and create a sense of anticipation. When listeners know when to expect new episodes, they become more invested in your content and are more likely to actively participate in the community. 
  4. Foster Community Interaction: Create opportunities for your listeners to interact with each other. Establish a dedicated community platform, such as a forum or a Facebook group, where they can discuss episodes, share insights, and connect with like-minded individuals. Encourage conversations and facilitate a supportive and inclusive environment. Here again Podigee has simplified things for you with their export Podigee podcast to Headliner feature. In the export settings of your podcast dashboard you will find the general settings for Headliner. This is an online service that allows you to create short video snippets from your podcast episode on Podigee. These are ideal for promoting your podcast on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Click here for more info.
  5. Actively Engage with Your Listeners: Don't just broadcast your podcast; actively engage with your listeners. Encourage feedback, questions, and suggestions. Respond to comments on social media platforms, emails, or voicemails. By showing genuine interest in what your audience has to say, you make them feel valued and appreciated.
  6. Engage differently: For something really special use a program like or  for voice messages and surveys so you really stand out from the crowd and allow your followers to be heard in your discussions. Just be careful to get their permission before ;)
  7. Spotlight Your Community Members: Make your community members feel special by featuring them in your podcast. Highlight their contributions, such as comments, questions, or even fan art. This recognition not only fosters a sense of belonging but also encourages others to actively participate, knowing they could be in the spotlight next.
  8. Collaborate and Cross-Promote: Collaborate with other podcasters in your niche. Guest appearances on other shows or inviting guests to your podcast opens new doors to expand your audience and build cross-promotional opportunities. These collaborations introduce your podcast to fresh ears and help foster a sense of community across different shows.
  9. Offer Exclusive Content and Perks: Reward your most loyal listeners with exclusive content or perks. This could be bonus episodes, early access to episodes, or even merchandise discounts. Providing these incentives not only shows appreciation for their support but also reinforces their commitment to your community 
  10. Create Memorable Experiences: Think beyond the audio experience. Organize live events, virtual or in-person, where your community can come together. Whether it's a live recording, Q&A session, or a virtual hangout, these experiences create lasting memories and forge stronger bonds among your listeners. Here again Podigee's Analytics are an integral part of your strategy to figure out where your listeners are based for example. Click here for Podigee Analytics Info. 

Listen to your listeners

To build a thriving podcast community, it's essential to listen to your listeners and think outside the box.Forge connections and foster belonging by being authentic, consistent, and engaging. Encourage interaction, collaborate with fellow podcasters, and offer exclusive perks to nurture loyalty. Remember, this will transform your podcast into a thriving community.

Take advantage of Podigee's amazing features: Analytics for understanding demographics, the stylish Player for your website, and export to Headliner directly to easily promote your podcast snippets on social media. Enhance your podcasting journey and reach and nurture a wider audience. Remember, it's the sense of belonging you build that will transform your podcast into a thriving community.

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