Podcast Guesting for Authors

Day 2: Research

Before you can start to pitch podcasts, you need to do some research. I wish I could tell you that you could just shoot off a random email and cross your fingers, and maybe if you do that enough, something will stick. But your time is valuable, so use it wisely. Let’s breakdown the steps you need to take to do your research:

  1. First, you want to spend some time thinking about keywords and buzzwords around your message. We know you are an author so you can include in your research any podcasts about authors, writing, books, publishing, traditional publishing, self-publishing, indie publishing. You get the idea. Then you layer on some other details. Let’s say you are from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You’ll look for any local podcasts for your city, country, and state. Then you want to think about other aspects of your identity. Search for podcasts that want to interview people from your background: this could be your ethnicity, your age, your gender, whether you are a mom or a dad, your religion, any LGBTQ+ affiliation. Now, you need to do this within reason. If you were raised Catholic, but don’t practice and your book has nothing to do with your faith, then it might be a stretch to apply to those related podcasts. But if you practice and your book has a plotline that heavily focuses on your faith, then it would make sense. Beyond who you are, you can also look for podcasts about what you do. Many authors that I know have day jobs. Some are doctors and have been on medical podcasts talking about how they balance their careers with their love of writing. Maybe you are an entrepreneur and your book is related to your business. Well then you can look for business podcasts, entrepreneur podcasts, entrepreneurship podcasts, startup podcast, business owner podcasts, business leader podcasts. And so on. These keywords or buzz words will help you to find a wide pool of potential podcasts. 

As you are doing this initial research save the links to each podcast in a Google Sheet or Excel Document and group them by your categories. 

  1. As you are adding these links you need to look at these factors and add notes on:
    1. The number of subscribers or the rankings for the podcast in your app. You want to know their reach. The bigger podcasts will be tougher to land, the smaller ones may be easier. In general, you want to pitch to a wide array. 
    2. Look at the episode titles and when they were posted. This will answer a few questions for you: do they usually do interviews? Some podcasts are solo shows only. Have they interviewed someone in your vertical/niche previously? Be sure to listen to those so you can know what else you can add to the conversation. Do they usually have seasons or do they run straight through? If they are on seasons are they currently on a break? When was the last episode aired?
    3. You can also make note of the name of the host or co-hosts and the style of podcast. Is it long or short form? Is there usually a video component as well? 

This research is going to help you as you craft your pitch. You’ll start to notice patterns in the podcasts that you are finding.

You may start out with a list of 100 podcasts, but you’ll be able to whittle those down quickly if they don’t do interviews, or if they haven’t published a podcast in a while, or if you don’t match their exact criteria. (Some podcasts are VERY niche, which is great for their listeners, but be sure to not pitch podcasts that you clearly aren’t a fit for. )

Now it’s time to do your research. Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to craft that perfect pitch!


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