How We Grew Our Storytelling Podcasts to 1,000,000 Downloads

Seems to us that if you’re a podcaster, especially a fiction podcaster, the title above should be irresistible. It certainly was for us.

a Project Hatch Interview with Travis Vengroff and Kaitlin Statz

We had been working to create podcasts as a hobby and side hustle for about a year and a half before we came up with the idea to brand ourselves as a single company (or duo) creating multiple shows. As we create more shows, we established Fool & Scholar Productions as a way to organize our works and establish brand recognition.

It was a gradual decision to start our own company. We saw that, over time, the podcasting space was becoming more prevalent in our lives and amounting to more of our income, so we sat down, worked out the numbers, and set about starting the company and solidifying our lives as entertainers. By the time we started Season Two of The White Vault, we knew we were in for the long haul.

How did you get your first hundred listeners?

Travis: We surprised ourselves quite honestly. It was a mix of good timing, word of mouth, advertising at live events, and marketing on social media. I feel like if there’s a particular event that got us over the 100 listener mark it was maybe a particularly successful Imgur post that Kaitlin put together showcasing Modern Audio Drama. The post reached the front page of Imgur overnight, and got a spike in listeners for almost every show on the list.

Kaitlin: We tried a lot of different things in the beginning, from normal social media marketing, to spending hours making curated lists of shows to help establish ourselves as quality listeners and creators. There are a lot of shows out there, so when you say ‘Hey, I make a show you may enjoy’, people need to trust you enough to believe you. We work on Twitter to discuss our favorite shows, we started talking to others about how we wrote/designed/edits our works, and we built from the (digital) ground up. Our first 100 listeners seems to materialize rather quickly, and after that, everything kept growing.

How did you validate the idea?

Travis: Podcasting is still a new and growing medium, with only about 70% of Americans even knowing what a podcast is, so the metrics by which creators in our space can validate their work is ever shifting, based on the growth of the industry….

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