OK, so I will try not to rant in this post. But seriously people. The levels of anxiety I see in new podcasters about getting into New & Noteworthy is enough to make a grown woman cry. Loudly. Messily.
And so I wanted to tell you, as far as I know, what you need to do. And then, why I think you also shouldn’t care as much as many do.
Firstly, what is New & Noteworthy?
It’s a category in iTunes that is listed above the ranked charts. It’s a place where iTunes will profile – shockingly – the new and the noteworthy podcasts on iTunes. You can get in there in your first 8 weeks of being live, but you can also end up there at other times for being, well, worthy of note!
Yep, it’s great to be listed at the top of iTunes in your first 8 weeks. People (who are scrolling iTunes on their desktops looking for podcast listening inspiration) are much more likely to see you and find you and potentially try you. It does great things for your download numbers. It does even better things for your ego.
So how do we get IN there?
Apple have never revealed exactly what the algorithm is to determine your N&N status, but time and experimentation tells us it’s a magical combination of:
- Listener downloads
- Ratings and reviews
So, this is why in my podcasting course – PodWell – I include a number of strategies in my Launch Checklist that will help you amplify both of those results and give you the best shot of making a play for N&N.
1. Launch with multiple episodes
I suggest having a few episodes up your sleeve when you go live so you’re not stressed about the next publishing date. But you definitely want to use some of that stock to launch on launch date. Minimum 3.
Why? Because people who listen to one episode and like you will subscribe and are likely to look for what else you’ve got on your back catalogue. So with 3 episodes, you’re potentially getting three episode downloads and listens from one person instead of just one.
2. Consider a series
Launching with a series – 7 days to … 31 days of … – can be a fab way to release more frequent content and keep listeners coming back for more.
Darren Rowse from Problogger did this when he launched the Problogger podcast with 30 Days to a Better Blog, releasing a new episode every day. Was he in N&N? Hell yeah.
The great thing about this strategy is you can repurpose something you’ve already made, an email series, a blog collection, a book, whatever! 30 Days to a Better Blog is actually a successful e-book from the Problogger site.
3. Have a launch strategy
Treating your podcast launch like any other product launch is key to getting early subscribers. Creating buzz, building your list, creating urgency to head over and listen to your new show – all critical.
Inside that launch strategy you will need to know:
- Your launch date
- The day of the week you’re going to publish (stick with earlier in the week)
- Your primary and other categories you will list in iTunes
4. Craft some hot copy
Many new podcasters actually don’t tell anyone when they launch. It’s a mindset thing and I won’t go into it here. But if you want some N&N time, you have to let go of that and tell everyone. And don’t just tell them…
5. Tell them how, and beg them to, subscribe, rate and review in iTunes
This is directly feeding the magical potion that will determine your N&N status. Tell them on the podcast how to do it, and tell them in your emails, blogs and social media – if you don’t ask, no one will find their way over to iTunes and do it for you!
The bad ... okay, the rant!
I agree, being in N&N comes with excitement, kudos and bragging rights. It likely will give your downloads an absolute kick up the butt. Which is great, like a little shot of caffeine to get the pod momentum going.
Not everyone who listens when you’re in N&N are your ideal listener and will hang around. The drop in numbers after N&N can be like a comedown off a great party drug.
I believe, and I teach, that you need to understand who your ideal listener is, and have a strategy for getting in front of them – not relying on iTunes to do it for you.
Really crappy podcasts get into N&N, it’s definitely not a stamp of approval, brilliance on longevity.
If you have a strong strategy for your podcast, a workflow that fits your life, a commitment to consistency and a strong promotional plan you might achieve N&N status – you probably will. But even better, you will achieve the real holy grail of podcasting – an ongoing, high value podcast whose numbers continue to organically grow because you’re creating something awesome and your ideal listener is finding it and listening. And telling their friends.
And it doesn’t get any better than that.