How We Got Em Rusciano’s Podcast to the Top of the iTunes Charts and How You Can Do It Too

When Omny launched Em’s podcast on December 2, 2015 we were very excited. She’d been pestered for years to do a podcast and with her strong following on social media we knew that with the right launch tactics her podcast would be a success. And we were right – it went straight to number 1.

So how did she achieve it? What tactics and processes did we use to help get it there? You can follow the journey of Em’s podcast from our Omny Recording Studio in Melbourne to this:

First Contact

Em Rusciano came to us in mid November 2015 with a list of guests she wanted to interview for her first Podcast. Em has a radio background hosting “Em and Sam Mac” – a breakfast radio show in Perth on 92.9 for a couple of years so she knows what works and has a very methodical approach to organising and executing her projects.

Recording

The first step was to record all of the interviews that she had scheduled over the course of three weeks. She recorded seven episodes in total and in the blink of an eye it was done!

Here is the equipment we used for the interviews:

2 x NT1A Condenser Mics

1 x Zoom TAC Pre-amp

1 x Macbook Air

1 x Garageband

Once we were done, Em was keen to have an intro voiced by her daughter Odette at home so I lent her my portable recorder – a Tascam DR40. Here’s the full recording of Odette:

So we just about had all the pieces in place to edit but we still needed some music!

Music

The music in a podcast can be tricky with licensing issues and finding the right fit. One of the best ways to avoid the confusion is to write or commission a piece of music which is exactly what Em did. Em’s “Musical Director” Jeremy whipped up an 80s intro theme in a day!

And threw in a little ukelele ditty for good measure:

Jeremy Diffey’s Website

If you don’t want to fork out for an original piece of music then read our “Head of Content” Matt’s blog post about music in podcasts here.

Editing

Once we had all of the elements Em and I were ready to edit this thing up. A big part of what made this Podcast successful is that a decent amount of time and effort was spent making the episodes short, interesting and to the point.

I used to work with Em as an audio producer in Perth (complete coincidence) so I brought in my laptop with Protools and we discussed the best edit points. Like I said at the start of this post – Em is a pro and she was brutal and methodical in her editing. She was very conscious of her podcast becoming boring and didn’t let any topic or question meander for too long. This is how most of our conversations went whilst editing:

Em: How much have we saved Mitchy?

Me: 1 minute 38 seconds

Em: YES!

And it went like this for about an hour per episode. On average we edited about 15-20 minutes of non-essential chat from each episode.

I then compressed and EQ’ed each track in Protools:

Edited interview in Red and Purple

Artwork

Meanwhile, Em organised some great artwork with her artistic director:

Using Omny Studio to Release the Podcast

With Omny Studio we created some tease clips using the inbuilt online audio editor. Here’s the tease clip that we created for the first episode with Australian comedian Joel Creasey:

Omny Studio automatically generates an MP4, which was downloaded and uploaded as a native video to Facebook. Note, Facebook prioritises it’s own video service over any other link shared.

This post was shown to her Facebook followers:

So we had recorded, edited, produced and got some artwork for Em’s first podcast. We’d also carefully chosen Joel Creasey as the first episode after considering the content and the release order of the other episodes. Em wanted the first episode out on Tuesday December 2nd so we hastily submitted the RSS feed on Thursday November the 26th and crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t take longer than 4 business days.

And just as it was looking too late for our planned December launch, I got this email!

Perfect! It was sitting there in iTunes but Em wasn’t too worried if someone downloaded before she let everyone know. One of Em’s sneaky Facebook fans, Alissa found it early:

Anyway once it was officially released on December 2 and Em let her fans know – it went crazy!

I can’t share exact numbers, but we know that the iTunes charts are based on new subscribers and if you were to say get a number that sounds like foo shmowzend subscribers for your podcast in 24 hours you would probably go to number 1.

We followed all the iTunes best practices that made the podcast easier to find and more likely to be featured. Matt has done a great blog post about this here:

How Can I Get Featured in the iTunes Store

So there you have it, the full journey from recording to releasing “Deeply Shallow”. Congratulations to Em on her raw, honest, funny and “deeply shallow” debut podcast!

This is a message from Em to her fans four episodes in and going strong:

Lessons for every Podcaster

Obviously Em has a loyal legion of fans which is going to have an impact on her success but there are lessons that we learnt along the way that we can apply to every launch.

1) Be organised – be methodical in organising interviews, scheduling tease clips regularly and producing your podcast. This leaves you more time for creating the content.

2) Consider recording multiple episodes before launching – by recording the whole season before the launch, Em could map out which order to release the episodes. Also if you release multiple episodes at once it can be a clever way of boosting your download numbers because every new subscriber often automatically downloads all the episodes.

3) Make your podcast feel personal – from Em’s daughter Odette’s introduction voice-over to the cheesy 80s intro song, Deeply Shallow very much reflects Em as a person and the audience can relate to that.

4) Create tease clips and post them on Facebook as a native video – every episode of Em’s podcast was teased with a clip and shared on Facebook with the mp4 that is generated in Omny Studio. The native FB videos play automatically. Until Facebook releases “Native Audio” this is the best way that we found to share with Em’s audience.

5) Make your artwork look great! There are so many resources out there these days to create a nice looking piece of artwork and this becomes the branding of your show.

6) iTunes is still the best platform to promote – once someone is subscribed in iTunes they will automatically download your latest episode so for consistency and growth iTunes is still number 1 but also make sure you have a web-based option like this.

7) Engage with and thank your audience – Your audience is your most important asset and you need to let them know they are loved so that they show you love back!

To listen to Em’s podcast on Omny Radio click here

To listen to Em’s podcast on itunes click here

Or download Em’s very own app (built by Omny) here

Get your very own app for just an extra 10 dollars a month on top of a podcasting account with Omny Studio.

About Mitch Secrett:

Mitch is the Operations Manager at Omny dealing mainly with the implementation and support of Omny Studio for radio stations and podcasters. Sign up for a free trial at omnystudio.com or send him an email at mitch@omnyradio.com

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