As a master podcaster, Jason Hartman knows that building a loyal and enthusiastic audience is important for a successful podcast. One of the easiest ways to build a loyal community of listeners is to give back to your audience. Though it might seem like an intimidating prospect, giving back isn’t as hard as it might seem, and your listeners will thank you for it.

Without enthusiasm, it’s going to be awfully hard to build a loyal audience. If you’re enthusiastic about your podcast, your readers will sense it, and begin to adapt that enthusiasm. So, provide enthusiasm to your audience and don’t forget to include lots of personality. Try to give to the audience in any way you can think of, and provide them with useful content.

Guests can create interest in podcasts, and sometimes your loyal listeners are the best guests of all. Inviting listeners as guests creates loyalty and strengthens your podcast community. If you can’t locate listeners who would make great guests, look for other ways to include them. Try to personally interact with your listeners by:

• Conversing with listeners on relevant topics and comments.
• Encouraging conversation and debate during your podcast.
• Responding to any communications, such as Twitter or Facebook messages.
• Giving listeners assignments and running contests.
• Encouraging and responding to feedback within your podcast.

Feedback is an important tool to make listeners feel important and to improve your podcast. So, make leaving feedback as easy as possible for your listeners, ask for feedback within your podcast, and listen to your feedback. Give your utmost attention to your listeners and show a willingness to change. Constructive and critical feedback has immense value, so treat it as such.

Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to play promos. Give listeners a chance to promote themselves within your show; they’ll probably appreciate it. While not all shows are appropriate for promos, they can sometimes help your readership. You can even encourage promo-swap’s to bring in new listeners. Contests are also a great tool. Whether the prize is small or large, they’re a fun way to give back to your listeners. Contests are fun and beneficial to everyone involved.

Be yourself during your podcast, and be sure to find ways to say thank you to your listeners. Remember that your listeners tune in to listen to you, not anyone else. Don’t forget simple thank you’s, and look for creative ways to show gratefulness to your audience. (Top image: Flickr | Roberto Verzo)

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