Top 5 Strategies to Receive iTunes Reviews Even If You're a Nobody

Top 5 Strategies to Receive iTunes Reviews Even If You're a Nobody

Your podcast has just made its debut on the New and Worthy section in iTunes. The good news? It’s now visible to literally millions of people, giving you the chance to start growing your audience and getting a huge following.

The bad news? iTunes only gives you only 8 weeks to make a stellar impression and live up to the title of being New and Worthy. After that, its algorithm will now decide whether to keep your podcast still in their list, bump it down, or take it off completely.

The weight of podcast reviews

Just like Google or any other search engines, iTunes uses an algorithm that determines the ranking of the different podcasts they feature in the New and Worthy section as well as the What’s Hot section. This algorithm looks into different aspects about your podcast throughout the entire 8-week period they give you. These include things like:

  • Your thumbnail’s artwork;
  • How many people subscribe versus how many unsubscribe;
  • The number of downloads you get per episode; and
  • The podcast ratings and reviews left by your audience.

While the exact weight given by iTunes to podcast ratings and reviews given may be top secret, one thing is for certain: podcast reviews are essential to help grow your podcast audience, whether they are good or bad.


Because ratings and reviews have a strong influence when it comes to getting people to choose which podcast they listen to.

In a study done by Cisco Systems on consumer shopping behavior, they discovered that 52% of the respondents to the survey say that they base their decision on the reviews and ratings they have read online.

Getting quality podcast reviews from your audience is also very important if you’re just starting out and nobody has heard about you, let alone your podcast. According to a research conducted by Northwestern University, “reviews matter when the likelihood of a consumer purchasing a product is inherently low…especially true when a brand or product is relatively unknown, or when the product is completely new in an existing category.”

5 Ways to Get Podcast Reviews

1. Upload podcast episodes in batches.

One of the secrets of Nick Loper, owner of the podcast The Side Hustle Show, is that he waits until he’s got 4 edited episodes before he uploads them onto his podcast in iTunes.

Doing this allows you to achieve two things. First, it gives your target audience more options and increasing the chances of them finding something that will peak their interest.

Second, having more episodes of your podcast means that you increase the number of downloads happening in your podcast. This is something that the iTunes ranking algorithm really likes so this will work in helping to keep your podcast more visible.

2. Announce the launch of your podcast to your email list.

People that subscribe to your blog’s email list do so because they see the value of the content that you give them. Take advantage of this loyalty and following by announcing to them beforehand that you are launching a podcast over in iTunes. Follow this up with another email telling them that the podcast is live, and include a link where they can leave a review.

Adding the link in your email that directs email list subscribers to where they can leave their podcast reviews is important. The easier it is for them to do something that you request, the more likely they would follow through.

3. Get the support of your network.

That’s right! There’s absolutely nothing wrong about asking people in your network to listen and leave a podcast review. Just as long as you do it the right way.

By the right way, that simply means that you will need to email them personally letting them know that you’ve just launched a podcast and ask them for a review. Again, make sure that you include the link that would direct them where they can leave their podcast review so that it would make the task easier.

4. Include a Call-to-Action in your episode and ShowNotes.

Just with blog posts, make it a point to include a call-to-action (CTA) snippet at the end of your podcast script and Show Notes encouraging them to leave a review for your podcast. Be sure to include relevant links in your Show Notes to make things easier for them. After all, you won’t get something unless you ask.

5. Leave podcast reviews to others.

Often called the Pay-It-Forward method, this is one of the favorite ways podcasters are able to get podcast reviews.

This is how it works: first, go through the different podcast and select those that are either within your niche or working in a niche related to yours. Actively listen to a few of their episodes and leave a quality podcast review. Then send an email directly to the podcaster letting them know that you’ve just left them a podcast review and politely request if they can do the same in your podcast.

In addition to getting podcast reviews, this method can also help you start building relationships with other podcasters within your niche or in related niches. This can open doors for collaborations, interviews, and other projects with them that would benefit both your business and theirs later on.

One Last Thing…

Getting podcast reviews is only half of the battle. The kind of reviews you get is just as important—if not, more important—as the number of podcast reviews you can collect. You may have 100 reviews posted, but if all of the reviews that are left are not good, then this could even hurt the ranking of your podcast even more.

Remember, at the end of the day, providing your audience with quality content in your podcast episodes and connecting with your listeners should be the number one goal. These 5 ways to get podcast reviews will help you get things started. But, the quality of the content that you put out, and your ability to connect with your audience and build a following will keep the good podcast reviews coming.

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