Tell me if this sounds familiar. Someone recommends a new podcast so you check it out. You open it up and start to scan the different titles looking for something that sounds interesting.
This is a common experience that almost every podcast listener has had. What happens next? It could go one of two ways:
- They click on an episode and listen
- They decide nothing looks interesting and leave
By now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is driving their action.
It’s your titles, dum-dum!
And yet, so many podcasters put absolutely zero effort into crafting a great title for each episode. This leads me into the tip for today — pay attention to your titles!
Grab Attention the Right Way with a Great Title
Here are three common mistakes that podcasters make with the episode titles.
- No Respect! This is listed as the number one mistake because it is the biggest mistake and the most common. Your title is everything. I don’t care how amazing your sound or what brilliance you unleash in your episode – if you have a crap title nobody will click on the episode and nobody will listen. If you want to be found, you need to have a good title. If you think your title is just for organization, you’re thinking about it wrong. Your title is a HUGE part of your marketing. This is the one shot you have to convince people to click play (or atleast read the description). Don’t disrespect the power of the title. Don’t short change it (or your show). Put a little effort into crafting an SEO-rich, enticing title and you’ll reap the downloads. Check out episode 83 for more on this.
2. Focusing on the What Instead of the Why. How many times have you seen an episode title follow this format: episode number, guest name. Or, this format: episode number, topic. Hello? Sure these might be the facts of the episode but it does absolutely nothing to tell a listener why they should tune in. And, while we are on the topic, unless you have Oprah on your show, your guests name is not reason enough for a new listener to click play. I don’t care how big a ‘get’ you think the guest is, their mere presence isn’t going to convince me I should listen. Tell the listener what they are going to get out of clicking play. Use the title of your episode to lay out the benefits of listening. Marketing 101 – what’s in it for them.
3. Clickbait. Sometimes the pendulum swings too far the other way. While I respect the extra effort of not just putting a guest name or general topic, over-promising in your titles will win you exactly one play. Once you fail to live up to the promise of your title, that listener will never listen again. Don’t try to trick or fool people into listening. You should be aiming to build an audience not just score high downloads.
Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be creating titles that serve to attract your ideal listener. Make sure you deliver on that well crafted title and you’ll build an audience of loyal listeners.
The title is a critical part of the process and a key to marketing your show organically. So, don’t phone it in.
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