I don't typically like to double post my blog posts. I just published the following on our gspn.tv network blog at http://gspn.tv/biggerthanoprah. There is no doubt that there are going to be many people who frequent PodcastAnswerMan.com who are not subscribed to the gspn.tv community blog.

The following blog post was written to the gspn.tv community as a whole. For those who don't know it, I consider any person who listens any of our podcasts on an ongoing basis as members of our community. When we talk about “Joining The Community” our about page shares several ways people choose to “Join The Community.” Check out the list at http://gspn.tv/about.

I thought this post would be of interest here as it gives some insights into how a podcast can rise in the rankings within iTunes. Before you read this, I want to warn that publicly asking for reviews, in the way that I have done here, can potentially backfire on you. I had done this for our LOST podcast many years ago and we received a large number of 1 star ratings and negative reviews because we had done that. However, in that case, a majority of this came from another podcast in that niche field who saw us as competition, rather than just another community of people who shared a passion for the same topic as another set of podcasters.

People questioning my motives for doing things is not new. All you need to do is listen to Podcast Answer Man Episode 198 to learn that. However, you will read, at throughout the post, why I took the time to bring the topic of ratings and provide clear details on how to help our new podcast rise to the top of the charts.

With that said. Here's the post….

In all fairness to Oprah, the way that iTunes ranks podcasts is favorable to podcasts that have a great deal of “recent activity.” Many of you know that we just launched the Hunger Games Fan Podcast a few weeks ago. The podcast has only been in iTunes for two weeks now and we have already risen through the charts and have ranked 26th out of all podcasts in the “Literature” category, just barely beating out Oprah's Book Club podcast!

This simply means that within the last several days, our podcast has had more activity than Oprah's, in iTunes. By activity in iTunes, I mean written reviews, ratings from iTunes users (giving a 5 star rating really boosts the ranking), and simply having people actually click the Subscribe Button from within the iTunes Directory itself.

Why would I even care about our ranking for this new podcast? It's because our Entertainment podcasts have always been what has provided the largest amount of exposure to the gspn.tv community and our overall network of content. Our LOST, Greys Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, and Twilight Podcasts together have brought tens of thousands of new subscribers to gspn.tv over the years.

The Hunger Games podcast is on target to do the same. Getting featured in the “Literature” category is a big deal to a podcast devoted to one of hottest new series of books out there. This will change throughout the days, but right now, if someone were to go to the iTunes Store and then browse through the podcast categories looking for Podcasts in the Arts/Literature section, this is what they would see.

The fact that we are so prominently featured in the “New & Noteworthy” section, along with the initial activity of the gspn.tv community is why we have risen to where we are today. The goal, however, is to get iTunes to really take notice of our new show. So much so that they put us in the “Featured – What's Hot” Section. The icon for our show won't be as big. However, being on the the front page for this category of podcasts will be much longer lived than our feature in the “New & Noteworthy.”

So how does iTunes choose who get's in to the featured What's Hot section? It's completely up to them! But I do know that you must have decent artwork and they must see that there is a great deal of general interest in your show.

With all that said, I ask if you have checked out the podcast and like it, please be sure that you are signed into your iTunes account and do one or all of the following three things.

1) Go to the iTunes Page (LINK HERE) and Subscribe to the podcast from iTunes.
2) Click on the number of starts for the rating you think we deserve.
3) Write a sentence or two review of the podcast or our network.

Here's an image that shows where you would click to do the above three things:

If everyone reading this post were to do the above, we would easily rise to the top 10 podcasts in Literature and if we can hold a spot in the top 50 for a week or more, we could very well get featured by our friends at iTunes for this category.

I feel that it is important to stress that the reason for my desire to do this is to bring more people to an awareness of what we have going on here at gspn.tv. It's time to invite more people to “Join The Community.!

Here's a screen grab showing our current standing, as I am writing this post, just above Oprah! Thank you all so much!

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