There is probably a not-so-small part of you that gets a little obsessed with your show's download numbers. Most podcasters go through a phase of over-focusing on the download data, but here's why you need to let it go.
You want your audience to look forward to your shows and really feel like they get quality, entertaining information from your podcast. Create a community of subscribers who engage with what you share, join in discussions of the topic, and even give you a few pointers on topics that they'd like you to cover in the future. Numbers in isolation don't mean much; how you serve your listeners is the key. If they anticipate your new show dropping because what you say is sound, they will likely stick around and critically recommend you to others.
You probably started your podcast with your ideal listeners in mind. Whether your audience are true-crime aficionados or budding authors looking for marketing advice, your unique perspective on the topic makes them listen to your show.
If you follow other shows in your niche, you might have seen those social media posts trumpeting the podcast's huge download numbers. But when we dive a little deeper, do those download numbers matter?
What matters is that if your show is interesting and people find your content valuable, they'll come back for more. Whether your download numbers are single digits or in the thousands, concentrate on making those listeners feel like your podcast is the best thing since sliced bread. When your audience knows that they can rely on you to deliver white hot content every single time, word will spread, and the number of people you reach will grow.
Theodore Roosevelt said that, and he wasn't wrong. Don't get wound up over numbers. Give yourself a reality check if you feel like you're teetering on the precipice of obsession.
If you get hung up on your download numbers, there is a real danger that you're going to lose sight of the big picture. No stats are 100% accurate, either. Concentrate on making your show the best it can be and serving your current listeners with great content. You are, however, permitted to take a peek at your numbers from time to time and give yourself a pat on the back when you see those downloads grow.