It's already a lot of work to run a podcast. So, why would you tack on joining a podcast episode discussion group (or a few) to the mix? Honestly, it's a fair question.
But while maintaining an active presence online takes some time and dedication, it really is a great way to market your podcast. Whether you're participating in a discussion on a related topic or you're talking directly about your show, there's an opportunity to find and connect with new listeners.
But beyond that, discussing podcasts can help you:
- Connect with listeners in a more intimate manner
- Strengthen your podcasting community as a whole
- Get feedback and improve your show
- Source ideas for new topics
If you make the time and effort, participating in online discussions can seriously benefit your podcast.
Best Places for Podcast Episode Discussion
There are plenty of places online where you can get in on the podcast episode discussion. Here are some of the more popular options:
Reddit is a good place for discussion on many topics, including podcasting. You can find people of all interests there, and chances are at least some of your audience is hanging out on Reddit.
You'll want to explore around a bit, find out which subreddits are active, and where your ideal listeners is hanging out.
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2. Facebook Groups
There is a Facebook group for pretty much anything podcast-related. Whether you want to talk about creating a podcast or dig down into specific shows or episodes, chances are you can find the right fit.
Most podcasts come out of the gate with some sort of Facebook group set-up — even if they don't necessarily keep it up down the line. But you can expand your audience by checking out different niche groups that you think might be interested in your show.
Just make sure you read the rules before you start sharing promotional content because not all groups allow it.
For those that aren't familiar with Discord, it's a VOIP messaging platform where you can post video, audio and text messages, and live chat with those that are currently online. It's used by gamers, influencers, and hobbyists alike — and there's no reason you can't use it for podcast episode discussion.
Like Reddit and Facebook, you can find general podcast-related groups, niche groups (podcasting and otherwise), or create a Discord specifically for your podcast. There are different benefits for participating in any of these:
- You can connect with a fan base you already have
- Source ideas for upcoming episodes
- Get feedback on your show
- Expand your audience
It's important to note that if you're creating a server specifically for your show, you'll have to put in some work to manage it. Of course, you may be able to connect with some trusted fans and distribute the workload.
The YouTube comment section is kind of the wild west of the internet — anything goes and the conversations are not always the most productive. That said, they do provide an opportunity to interact with listeners (or viewers) that want to engage with your show.
Now sometimes this section is a dead prairie landscape with a tumble weed rolling by, but you can add a call-to-action sometime during the episode or provide some sort of bonus if they throw a comment down below. It's not guaranteed to get the comments rolling in, but it sure doesn't hurt.
It's worth it to note that you're not obligated to respond to every comment that's posted. If people are being obnoxious and rude, you're free to just ignore them.
You also want to take note that YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world. Unlike some of the above options, people don't necessarily have to dig around or join to access comments — so you'll want to respond to comments accordingly.
5. Your Website
Having a website for your podcast is important because it's the only place where you have complete control over the content.
Ideally, this website is through a content management system (or CMS) like WordPress or SquareSpace which allows you full control over what you put up. Your CMS can be independent of your host platform or you can use it to self-host your show. Either way, if you want to stimulate a conversation, you can turn on commenting so listeners can reach out.
But not everyone's ready to build their own site from scratch. So, for those that want a slightly easier route, there are CMS platforms like PodPage that are built specifically to create podcast websites and have commenting capabilities.
Regardless of where your website is hosted, giving your audience the ability to make comments on your latest episode can build a more engaged community. You can help boost this by adding podcast episode discussion topics or a call-to-action question at the bottom of the post.
Picking the Right Avenue
If you want to connect with your audience, there are plenty of ways for you to do that. But you probably don't want to do them all.
Engaging with your audience will really only be fruitful if you do it on a regular basis. Between planning, recording, editing, and publishing your show, you probably won't have the time to check in on a bunch of different platforms. It makes the most sense to figure out where your audience is, and focus there.
If you're itching to start your own PodPage so you can start get in on that podcast episode discussion action, The Podcast Host Academy has a course you can check out.