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PodSchool Podcast | Should you launch your podcast with multiple episodes?

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Do multiple episodes guarantee success?

I get a lot of questions from people confused about whether they should launch their podcast with multiple episodes.  As I always say, the best option for your podcast is the one that makes the most sense for your audience and your content.

If that’s dropping multiple episodes, great!  Go for it.

But if you’re doing it because you’ve read 50 articles telling you it’s what you should do, I’m going to tell you why I don’t think it’s a smart move.

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Launching with multiple episodes doesn’t get your podcast into New & Noteworthy

I think the whole multiple-episode obsession came from old advice where people suggested dropping more than one episode to trick the New & Noteworthy algorithm into featuring your show.

I’m not sure whether that used to work or whether doing that made Apple take notice back in the days when there were fewer podcasts. But these days New & Noteworthy is curated so if you’re doing this to get your show featured, it’s not going to work.

How to get your podcast featured in New & Noteworthy

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Launching with multiple episodes doesn’t guarantee a spot in the podcast charts

I’ve heard people suggest launching multiple episodes helps get your show into the charts because you’ve got the opportunity to get multiple downloads from every listener.

The exact science behind Apple’s charts is a tightly kept secret but most experts agree the biggest influencing factor is new subscribers in the past seven days NOT downloads.  And since people subscribe to a show, not individual episodes having more episodes doesn’t necessarily mean more subscribers.

Some people say you’re likely to get more subscribers because people have more opportunities (more episodes) to find your show via search.  But, depending on what search terms you’re trying to rank for, it’s pretty rare your podcast would be at the top of the search results after just launching so I’m not sure if I buy that either.

Even if you’ve SEO’d everything like a pro and people are finding you that way, it’s not going to be the difference between one and one million subscribers.

A beginner’s guide to podcast SEO

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Launching with multiple episodes uses up valuable content

If you’re opening with a story told over three parts or three tips covering one topic then maybe it makes sense for your audience to get their hands on all the content at once rather than having to wait three weeks.

But if you’re just releasing three random unrelated episodes, you’ve just blown what could be three or four weeks of content in one go.

Since the best (and most boring) way to succeed is to deliver quality content consistently the choice between dropping three episodes to see if it makes an impact and being three or four weeks ahead of yourself is a no brainer for me.

Having multiple episodes up your sleeve will help reduce the chances your podcast will fade out because you’re overwhelmed.  So I think if you can get ahead of yourself that’s going to have a much greater impact on your success than flooding your feed with content.

Why you need a trailer for your podcast

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Launching with multiple episodes can reduce your chances of getting in the charts later

I’ve launched over 25 podcasts and I’ve tried everything from dropping multiple episodes at once to launching a trailer and then releasing weekly episodes.

With multiple-episode drops, I often found shows would jump into the charts at launch and then never get back there again.  However, when we’d drop a trailer, promo the show a week out from launch and drop weekly episodes with a lot of corresponding promotion, each subsequent episode would often reappear in the charts.

Ideally, you want your podcast to get new subscribers constantly so success is about more than just that first week.  And in my experience delivering episodes, one at a time (unless that doesn’t make sense for your content) leads to better long term results.

What makes a great podcast?

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So, is launching with multiple episodes a bad idea?

Nothing is a bad idea if it works for your show.

My opinion is based off my experience but if dropping multiple episodes makes sense for your content and your audience, go nuts!  I just want you to do it for the right reasons.

This “multiple episodes at launch” thing has always felt like an attempt to find a ‘quick fix’ solution when the only real way to have a truly successful podcast is to deliver content an audience loves, consistently.

I know that’s not terribly sexy but it’s true.

So, do what works best for your show but don’t release multiple episodes because you think you should.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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