When you finally have your first show done and uploaded to the Net and have validated your RSS feed, it is so tempting to want to go out and tell everyone. Before you do, take a step back and read carefully: Don't do it! Wait until about your fifth show before you really start to promote.
"Why wait?" you ask. Simple: Your first show is going to stink, but your second show will stink less than your first show, and your third show will stink less than the second show. By the time you get to show five, the majority of the foul odors will be behind you.
When you add your feed to all the different podcast directories, many will have a section that reads "New Shows." A number of people like to listen to new shows. If you wait until show five before adding your feed, then listeners of new shows will be comparing your new show to that from someone who released a typical first show, and yours will seem that much better.
Like everything new in life, there is a learning curve. Most podcasters agree their first few shows were horrible. Some even joke about taking them off their site and feed shortly after they were initially released. If you have never done audio recordings before or you were not on a college radio station, you will probably find it does take some time to get your podcasting legs under you. You only get one shot to make a good first impression.
Granted, if you only release one show a month, you may not want to wait five months before promoting. Also, if you are releasing a show on a subject that is time sensitive (such as coverage of the Olympics), you may not want to wait. But for most shows, we highly recommend you get past the point where you are still trying to figure out how to work with your recording setup. When you reach a point where you are able to concentrate on the content of your show, where you feel more comfortable talking into a microphone, that's when it's time to consider promoting your podcast.
What we suggest you do when your first few shows are released is to tell just your friends and family and ask for their feedback on your show. Tell them to be honest, brutal even. When Rob first started podcasting, he had a good friend who was constantly giving feedback, and it was very good and constructive criticism. You need to find a few people whose opinions you value and who are willing to tell it to you straight. And there is nothing that says your first few shows even need to be on an RSS feed. Simply upload them to a server and send the links to friends to check out. This is exactly what PK and J did before they created their RSS feed.