Counter Programming with Arielle Nissenblatt: Tips for Driving 100,000 Downloads

Arielle Nissenblatt's “pandemic distraction-cast” was downloaded nearly 100,000 times. She and her co-host weren't backed by a network, didn't pay for ads, and published seasonally. How did they pull it off? The EarBuds Podcast Collective founder is glad to drop some knowledge.

Note: This article was crafted from a number of tweets from Arielle. You can read them here. 

On Counter Programming with Shira and Arielle, the two friends talked about literal ‘counters’ to the news. (Think countertops, Count Chocula, and county fairs.) Nissenblatt’s case study breaks down five actionable tips for those interested in running a podcast show, including how you can take advantage of free in-app promotions.

Clear and succinct language

  • Eye-catching logo – The podcast image artwork for On Counter Programming is great. It is attractive and easily catches the attention of the average podcast listener scrolling through a podcast app for their next possible show to listen to.
  • Clear description – The description for the podcast is easy to understand. Here is a summary. You can check out the full description here.

On Counter Programming with Shira and Arielle, these friends become the ultimate counter-programming duo. Please tune in for some great ideas to help you find a distraction from the pandemic news headlines they inspire.

They'll focus on countertops (namely, doing a series on marble, granite, and quartz), time counters, calorie counters, other counters of some kind… Each episode will be a mix of comedy and facts that no one knew they ever needed.

These two friends met when they started their jobs after college, four doors from one another in Jackson, Mississippi.

Now that they're on opposite coasts and anxiously following coronavirus coverage in the news, they decided to create an episode-long diversion.

Tune in for weekly episodes every Wednesday containing stories, useless knowledge, and more.

  • Their social media used the same attractive colors and fonts as the website – Despite what you may think, it's not always obvious to many podcasters that branding is crucial.
  • Over-communication – Arielle, and Shira took these extra steps to make sure their listeners were aware of the release schedule or any possible delays.

Promo and Social Outreach

They created a list of podcasts with the same demographics as them and pitched all of them individually.

Arielle and Shira also made a list of micro-influencers (sometimes friends of friends) and pitched them the show. The pitch would include asking them to post a screenshot of the show.

Pitches and Catches

They created an aesthetically pleasing pitch deck that featured their download forecast and audio clips.

Arielle and Shira both accepted pitches for guests, social swaps, and ways to improve the show.

Guesting sporadically

On Counter Programming, Arielle and Shira teach each other about a different type of object called “counters” every week. Episode highlights include examples such as countertops, count Dracula…etc.

However, the show did include high-quality guests, including Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Pew Research Center, and Jesse Cerrotti.

They focused on their relationship as co-hosts most of the time, madke sure they had a good rapport with each other, and crafted content that was in line with their audience.

They’d bring on an occasional guest to bring something new into the mix, which was basically a chance for them to amp up a little more.

In-app promotion

Most apps like Castbox, Bullhorn, and Goodpods have in-app promo opportunities. 

Arielle and Shira took advantage of these by applying to be featured, pitching their show to be placed in their carousels, and claiming their podcast, so they had the option to analyze their data from the apps.

Their highlights include being featured on Castbox's homepage, making it to Apple Podcasts' New & Noteworthy section, and being featured on various websites and blogs.

In summary, Arielle and Shira attribute their exciting results to hard work!

They almost hit 100k downloads which is incredible considering a network never backed them, did not pay for any ads, and they published seasonally. 

They had a positive experience with the show because it was a good time to create content with a best friend. They also learned that podcasting still has a long way to go, but experimenting with the above methods may bring others some success as well!

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