Episode 17: The Foundation of a Profitable Podcast: Searchable, Accessible, and Community-Building Content

On this week’s episode, Laura puts a bow on the content strategy mini-series. In episodes 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16, we talked about search engine optimization, brand strategy, visibility and sharing your story, showing up authentically, content strategy, content planning, and community building. Be sure to go back and listen to any episodes you missed, as the guests all did an amazing job sharing their expertise.

The Building Blocks of a Profitable Podcast

A profitable podcast is built on the foundation of consistently creating content that is searchable, accessible, and community-building. Any monetization strategy you try will not work if you don’t have an audience that knows you, likes you, and trusts you

These are really the building blocks to creating and growing a profitable podcast. Any monetization strategy you try will not work if you don’t have an audience that knows you, likes you, and trusts you. Whether you’re selling your own products and services, doing affiliate marketing, or running sponsored ads, you need to continue to add listeners who align with your target audience. Nobody will want to buy everything you offer, but the hope is that eventually everyone will want to buy something!

As a podcast strategist, I focus on the marketing it takes to continue to grow that audience. You want to see your downloads increase, but you don’t necessarily want to have to chase after people individually to get them to listen to your show. You need to have a strategy in place so you can consistently put out content that draws people in organically.  As Amanda Warfield reminded us in episode 15, being consistent doesn’t mean you have to be constant - it means your audience has to know what to expect from you. In the marketing world, it also means that search engines like Google and Pinterest will recognize you as a consistent source of quality content. This gives you a bump in the algorithm, making it easier for more people to find your content.  If you’re worried about being able to show up consistently, tune in to Amanda’s episode for some valuable tips on content batching.

As more people find your content, they will continue to be exposed to more within your sphere of influence. They may listen to your podcast, then follow you on social media, and then subscribe to your email list. More touchpoints means more chances for you to share your story and show up for your audience, as Jenessa MacKenzie and Britney Gardner talked about in episodes 13 and 14.

So when it comes to content, I focus on three pillars. You want your content to be searchable, accessible, and community-building.

Searchable Podcast Content

We talked a lot about searchability with Cinthia Pacheco in episode 12. One of the major points was that, if you want searchable content, you need your show notes to rank on Google. Yes, this means we podcasters are not excused from producing written content. Of course, you can always outsource that task if you dislike writing or don’t have the time to create blog posts for each episode. But keyword rich blog content is super important for ranking on Google, and then you can also pin to your blog on Pinterest. Google and Pinterest can be a dynamic duo when it comes to driving traffic to your podcast, but you have to have that written content for them to point to.

Accessible Podcast Content

Accessibility is one we haven’t done a deep dive on yet, but I have plans for an episode on this in the future. Broadly, when your content is accessible it means it can be used by someone with a disability.. Not to mention, there are laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities and if your website is inaccessible you can be subject to penalties depending on the laws in your country. This is why accessibility is key.

If someone is deaf or hearing impaired, for example, they cannot access your podcast in the traditional sense. But they absolutely should be able to access your expertise, and you should be able to convey your message to and potentially work with them as well. They can read your blog style show notes, whether they search for your show specifically or they type keywords into a search engine.

If someone is blind or visually impaired, they would likely prefer to listen to your podcast. If they find your content on your website, they may be using a screen reader. If you have any images on your webpages, you have the option to include alt text. Make sure you provide descriptive alt text, so the person using a screen reader can understand the full context of what you are putting out on your website.

Community-Building Podcast Content

Lastly, as a podcast host you want your content to be community-building. This relies on providing your audience opportunities to connect to your story, but it also requires your intentional calls to action.  People need to know where to find you, how to continue to receive content from you, and what to look for between episodes. 

Again, this means you are not excused from written content. I definitely recommend building an email list, because it removes the constraints, frequent changes, and potential disappearance of social media platforms. Offer your audience free and low ticket content to bring them onto your list so you can nurture them in your email marketing.

You may also build a community on a social media platform or two.  Check out episode 6, one of my solo episodes, to learn more about the demographics and what to consider when figuring out where your audience hangs out online. If you want your audience to hang out with YOU, you have to tell them! And then, you have to show up for them. Engage them in conversations, ask them about themselves, and seek their feedback about your podcast.

If you want your listeners to buy from you, whether it’s your own products or services, something you’re an affiliate for, or something you’re advertising through a paid sponsor, they have to feel as though they belong to something. They need a sense of community. For tips on creating community, check out Hayley Luckadoo’s episode (16).

Your Podcast is at the Top of Your Sales Funnel

Remember, your podcast is at the top of your sales funnel. For more information about funnels, be sure to check out episodes 8, 9, and 10 with Sarah Talbert, Renee Nichole, and Christina Bernhard.  We want our content to be searchable so people find our podcast organically and enter the funnel. If it’s not accessible, you’re repelling people who may otherwise be your ideal clients.  And in order to build up that know, like, and trust, you have to cultivate a sense of community and tell your listeners what to do next in order to connect with that community.

Be Consistent

If you want to profit from podcasting, your content must be searchable, accessible, and community-building. If you don’t want to, or don’t have the time to, consistently produce content across platforms, I highly recommend outsourcing. If done well, your organic marketing efforts will pay off.

I always have the link in my show notes, but I want to direct your attention to The Podcast Vault Directory - my directory of rock star podcast service providers. They can help you with everything from editing to writing show notes to social media marketing. You can search the directory based on the tasks you want to outsource. That’s at thepodcastvaultdirectory.com.

I also repurpose content based on these three pillars of searchability, accessibility, and community-building, so if you’re interested in my VIP Content Day I’d love to hear from you. Reach out to me on Instagram at laurabauderco or email me at hello@laurabauder.co.

If you’re looking for something more DIY, The Podcast Vault is for you. I provide keyword research, hashtags, graphics, tutorials, and other resources to take the guesswork out of marketing your podcast and reaching your ideal audience. And you can check that out at thepodcastvault.com.


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Check out this directory of podcast service providers.