Welcome to another episode of The Numbers Game! Since our last episode we’ve changed the look of our website with a new template, so our story focuses a lot on that.
We also chat in more depth about that for our lesson – talking about the pros and cons of working with a web developer versus going it alone. We chose the latter, but why?
It’s the turn of our content output for the data segment, looking at how many podcasts, videos and blog posts we put out, as well as our social media. And for your homework we’re getting you organised with your output and social media by creating a content schedule. Enjoy!
Story | New style: Changing our Website Template & Eye-Opening Figures
For the past year or so we’ve been looking into using a new template for the website, and we’ve finally done it!
One issue that came about when putting this into practice was that the ‘featured images’ on every post would be duplicated. This meant having to manually remove images from hundreds of posts!
We’d used the last template for around three years, with a lot of edits done over that time, and it was getting too convoluted.
The new template lets us be more user-friendly and content focused. Simplicity is the name of the game.
The other interesting thing that popped up was during the content refresh work carried out by Matthew. Last summer, Matthew worked on a blog series on growing your audience, and he’s now in the process of turning it into an eBook. During this process and in ensuring everything was up to date, we spotted a big update on listener stats from Libsyn
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Alitu is a tool that takes your recording, polishes it up, adds your music, and publishes the episode, all automatically.
In June 2016, within the first 30 days, if your new episode received:
- More than 169 downloads, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts.
- More than 1,300 downloads, you’re in the top 20%.
- More than 3,800 downloads, you’re in the top 10%.
- More than 9,600 downloads, you’re in the top 5%.
- More than 27,000 downloads, you’re in the top 2%.
- More than 52,000 downloads, you’re in the top 1%.
However, the updated statistics for February/March 2017 show an increase. They’re now:
- More than 212 downloads, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts.
- More than 1,900 downloads, you’re in the top 20%.
- More than 5,800 downloads, you’re in the top 10%.
- More than 14,000 downloads, you’re in the top 5%.
- More than 41,000 downloads, you’re in the top 2%.
- More than 88,000 downloads, you’re in the top 1%.
This shows a massive increase in the number of podcast listeners!
But…don’t be alarmed if you aren’t hitting these figures. While it’s an interesting statistic, it all depends on the show and the niche you’re in. What’s big for one niche, could be only small for another.
Data | Content Output: Our Podcasts, Blogs, Videos & Social Networking Stats
On today’s data segment we’re looking at the content output here at The Podcast Host.
We’re also going to track our social growth on Twitter and Instagram, as well as YouTube subscriptions and views.
In March, we put out 13 blog posts, with this dropping down to 11 in April. The aim is to publish at leastthree a week.he decrease this month is partly down to bad planning, to be honest. I was away at a few events so our content calendar wasn’t managed as well as it could have been. But we hope to be back up to at least 12 posts in May.
For The Numbers Game, we got three episodes out in March and two out in April. The target is to average three per month and we hope to be able to achieve at least that in May.
Podcraft has been on a bit of a hiatus just now and we’ve only been uploading interviews. There’s only one episode of that posted in April and nothing in March, but that’s planned at the moment.
In terms of YouTube, we had 14 videos out in March and eight in April. The amount of videos is mainly down to The Numbers Game, with around four or five videos coming from one podcast. But we do have a couple of extra videos in there as well.
Finally for Mountain Bikes Apart, which is meant to be a fortnightly show, we got two episodes out in March but fell down in April. This was a month where consistency failed because of a few away days and a lack of planning ahead.
Now, onto the social stuff.
Our main Twitter account has around 2710 followers – up 3% from last month. We’re putting up around five or six custom-made tweets a day showing off previous content, which builds up traffic. We’re also using Twitter as a way to engage with our audience a lot more.
We’ve been doing a bit of work trying to up our Instagram game, with the figures rising from 472 followers last month to 523 now. This growth is without any real strategy, but we might attempt some experiments around Instagram in the future.
YouTube is doing well, with our subscribers going up from 470 in March to 506 in the last month – purely down to ramping up the video output with The Numbers Game. In terms of views, we’ve increased by around 3% on the previous month to a total of 231,270.
We hope that gives you an idea of the amount of content that we’re getting out there on a monthly basis, as well as our levels of social interaction.
Lessons | Outsourcing Pros and Cons & Picking the Right Template
The lesson today is related to the problem we had around updating our website – it was around a year in the making but it could’ve been done a lot sooner!
This largely came down to the idea that we wanted to outsource the web design. For six months Colin spent time interviewing various web developers – with many coming up with, quite simply, bad ideas and bad designs. It was incredibly time-consuming to try and find someone to do the job justice.
“The look and feel of the website is so key to what we do, from our sales funnel to promoting the content that we put out there.”
In the end, we decided that we would go it alone. Colin then spent a day looking at several different templates and ended up with ‘Extra’ from Elegant Themes. The new theme is very customisable and suited to a ‘magazine’ type page.
Over the next few months we plan to customise the page heavily, but so far in it’s basic form it’s great.
If you wanted to do this, the best advice would be:
Take some time out until you find a decent template library and one that’s right for you. Buy something that you can see has a good dashboard to manage the customisation.
In our opinion, all of the templates on Elegant Themes have this, so by all means give them a try. If you want to use our affiliate link we would greatly appreciate it.
Similarly, StudioPress has a great collection of themes and is great for really heavy customisation. Again, we have an affiliate link if this is something that you are interested in.
Overall, if you do it yourself, you have so many options in terms of customisation. The plan now for us is to continue to look for a developer, but for them to now work closely with us to customise the base template that we’ve already set out.
We’re also looking into WP Curve type services, where you pay a set fee for a job-a-day type thing, but it’s hard to find one with decent terms since WP Curve closed up.
Hopefully that lesson was useful. Not all tasks are good to outsource straight away – often it’s good to do it yourself first, then outsource once you have a set base.
Experiment | Continuing with Popups: Does it Annoy your Readers?
Last episode we kicked off a new experiment, looking at popups again but in a different way. We’re testing the assumption that popups really annoy people and will stop them coming back to your site.
The experiment will run two weeks from Friday 21 April, when we launched our new site template. They’ll be timed popups that will occur after a user has been on the site for 60 seconds – and this will be the generic “How to Podcast” eBook.
Then, from May 7 to May 20, we’re going to do no popups whatsoever across the site. From that, we can compare the engagement metrics in comparison to the previous fortnight.
Because our popups are desktop only – i.e. they don’t show up on mobile devices – we will have to split up our data to show a true reflection of the engagement.
For the last week or so, since we’ve been running the popups, the number of pages per session haven’t changed much. It’s sitting at around 1.47 pages – meaning people are viewing on average a page and a half every time they come to the site.
People are spending around 1.40 minutes on the site, the bounce rate is 75% and the number of new sessions is also at 75%.
For page depth, 80% of our sessions are just one page. 11% make it onto a second page, 3.8% onto a third and 1.7% onto a fourth. Only one in every 100 readers make it onto five pages.
So, this means the vast majority of people are making it only onto one page when they visit The Podcast Host – which is something that we want to improve.
In the next episode we’ll be able to report back on the end of this first section of using popups and how we’re getting on with engagement without them.
Task | Get Organised: Set Your Schedule & Be Consistent
It’s time for your homework! We want you to get organised and make a plan for your output.
Set yourself a content posting schedule, whether that’s once a week, once a fortnight or once a month month (or anything in between) and decide what you want to post.
Pick one medium first (podcast, blog posts or videos) – the one thing you can’t fail to get out regularly – and make a schedule. Then, get your content calendar setup and stick to it.
Same goes for your social media. Pick your main social platform – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – and decide how many posts you’re going to have each day. Remember, make it realistic!
By doing this you should start to get a bit of consistency within your work – so you know what you need to be doing and when you need to be doing it.
What do you think?
We’d love to include some listener questions or feedback within the show so let us know what you think!
We want to know what you like and what you don’t like, or just leave some general comments. We’d particularly like to get some audio questions sent in, so if you’re able to record something (even just on your phone) then we’ll include them in future episodes.
Or, if you’re feeling keen, drop us a review on iTunes/Apple Podcasts by the link or by searching for The Numbers Game – it really helps to get us get the show out to more people.