This piece is a collection of great stories from different podcasters on why they started their podcast, how they got listeners, and what the experience has been like for them so far. It’s my hope that this can inspire you to start your own podcast, OR give you some actionable, useable tips for when you do. 🙂
The interesting thing about podcasts is how fast they’re growing. Taken from this BusinessInsider article:
In the US, eMarketer estimates there will be 105.6 million monthly active podcast listeners by the end of 2020, more than double the 45.8 million monthly listeners in 2015.
Moreover, as you’ll see from the stories below, there are LOADS of different podcasts on practically any topic you can think of — these days, if there’s a blog on some topic, good chance you can find a podcast on it too. Personally, I found it pretty interesting reading about the different podcasts people started below as it really opened my eyes to what’s out there.
It’s also cool that the majority of podcasts weren’t started with a business-focus. Rather, most podcasts seem to be started by people who have an interest and/or expertise in some specific field (in the stories below, you’ll see a lot of professionals in different fields who started their podcast to share their knowledge gained from their work), and you do not need to hire a professional recording studio or buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment. The most important thing, rather, is the actual content of your podcast.
To put this together, I reached out to a lot of different podcasters and put out a query on some of the journalism sites I belong to. And if you have a podcast yourself, you are very welcome to add your own story (it’s free). I welcome input from all podcasts big and small.
So far, I’ve collected 34 stories that I feel are worth reading. Here’s a breakdown of the different stories (links in the bullet points below will take you to their stories, otherwise just search the podcast name on Google to find and listen to the podcast):
- A couples therapist starts a podcast on how to heal after infidelity has wrecked your relationship (Healing Broken Trust)
- Someone with friends in the beer industry wants to learn more about beer, so starts a beer-related podcast (Building Breweries)
- A Chick-fil-A fan starts a Chick-fil-A podcast with her husband (the first one) (Chick-fil-A Podcast)
- A sports enthusiast starts a sports podcast (For the Love of Sports)
- A language teacher starts a language podcast (The 5-Week Linguist Show)
- An author starts a podcast relating to her book for moms raising boys (The Boy Mom Podcast)
- A recently self-employed entrepreneur starts a podcast on switching careers and to comment on stories from her life (My Simplified Life Podcast)
- A reader starts a podcast on interesting novels with his partner (Spell Bound)
- Two Nashville sisters with a love for the American South start a podcast on southern culture (Steel Magnolias Podcast)
- A teacher with over 20 years of experience starts a podcast about why schools are the way they are (Ed Infinitum)
- A former public health professional starts a podcast for people working in school nutrition food service departments (School Nutrition Dietitian Podcast)
- A YouTuber starts a podcast to get more reach (The Confused Jew)
- Two dermatologists start a podcast on skin-related topics (Skin the Surface)
- A political science major starts a podcast about different people’s careers and life experiences (First Hundred Days)
- A podcast listener is inspired by business podcasts featuring women and starts her own podcast interviewing women entrepreneurs (The Hustlenomics Podcast)
- A career coach starts a podcast interviewing people about their careers (The Global Advocate Career Podcast)
- An athlete starts a podcast on endurance sports (Finding Finish Lines Podcast)
- An author on the future of work starts a podcast about career change, and what to do if you’ve been laid off recently (50 Conversations)
- A Yoga teacher starts a podcast about yoga and meditation (The Silent Bit Podcast)
- A writer starts a writing podcast with her best friend (Pencil Me In)
- An audiologist and parent coach starts a podcast sharing her expertise on audiology (All About Audiology)
- A talk show host for many years starts a podcast about all sports (The JAYREELZ Podcast)
- A comedian starts a popular podcast sharing his take on news (Weird AF News Podcast)
- An entrepreneur starts a podcast interviewing CEO’s and business leaders (Ignite Podcast)
- A pharmacist, unhappy with her career, discovers there are many happy pharmacists and starts a podcast exploring pharmacy professions (Brown Skin Stories)
- An invisible illness sufferer interviews people with invisible illnesses (With Love, Alexa)
- A recent graduate starts a marketing podcast per their bosses suggestion (20 Minute Marketing Podcast)
- An author interviewing entrepreneurs for their book starts a podcast to continue the interesting conversations they’d had (The Entrepreneur Ethos Podcast)
- Someone tasked with marketing remote work starts a podcast interviewing remote work leaders to help them learn (The DistantJob Podcast)
- A fashion designer starts a podcast to connect with their audience on a deeper level (Impact Fashion)
- Someone legitimately fascinated by life starts a podcast to share things they find interesting – such as that rainbows are circles (Rainbows Are Circles: Waking Up to Wonder!)
- A marriage counselor starts a podcast to help couples improve their relationships (Marriage Steps Podcast)
- A sex therapist starts a podcast about women’s sex lives (Closet Freak Chronicles)
I have a podcast called, Healing Broken Trust, and my wife and I have been doing it for about 3 1/2 years. It started as a way to try to make the world a better place after our son was born. I am a couples therapist and had spent 2 years creating a program that walked couples through the complete process of how to heal an affair, but had struggled to sell it once we were done making it. So it sat on a digital bookshelf until we turned it into a podcast. It's just my wife and I discussing what needs to be done. We don't record episodes every week anymore, because we don't have to, to keep our numbers up. The business numbers I get from it are just as high as when we were recording fresh content every week.
One of the things I'm most proud of is hearing from people I've never met how we've helped them and looking at our analytics and seeing we've helped people in about 140 countries during this time. So far we've had over 1.5 million downloads and it's allowed me to make more money and work less. It's also helped me land a TEDx talk, and gain the attention needed to write a book.
--Brad Robinson, Healing Broken Trust
I started an interview-based beer podcast in 2016. I started it for two reasons.
1) I got my first full-time office job and felt like I needed something to do for me in the evenings.
2) I had friends in the beer industry but I felt like I didn’t know anything and couldn’t keep up...but really wanted to learn. Knowing that I wanted to start a project of some kind anyway, and knowing that I liked to listen to podcasts, I thought the best way to learn more about the beer works was to talk to as many people as I could about it. The podcast was a vehicle, an excuse, to do that.
Have you been able to get it off the ground:
I think I did at first. Initially, I was pumping content out a lot. It has slowed down significantly now because I have other beer-related projects to focus on.
What’s the experience been like for you and are you glad you did it:
I’m so happy I did it. I am proud of what I built and the guests I had - ranging from brewery owners to senators and governors.
Every episode was an improvement on the last. Was I the best to ever podcast? Hell no. But without doing it, without learning how to land guests and communicate stories about an industry I grew to love, I probably wouldn’t have my day job in public relations in food & beverage right now. The podcast lead to so many opportunities. Not because I did it well, but because I did just went out on a limb and did it.
--Michael Moeller, Building Breweries
After deciding to not return to my position as a morning radio host following the adoption of our daughter I was struggling to understand what I was supposed to do with my life. My husband and I went for a hike and after reaching the top of the lookout we sat down on a rock and started talking about life, goals and ideas. My husband was struck with an idea for a Chick-fil-A fan podcast. Being a Chick-fil-A super fan (and knowing how many of us there are in the world!) I thought for sure there were already 10 of those. That night we got back down the mountain and I started researching the idea. Turns out there wasn't a podcast for Chick-fil-A fans! On top of that, ChickfilaPodcast.com was available, which to me seemed like a sign from God!
At the time I was also working with a Christian life coach so within one week in between our sessions I took my husband's idea and ran with it. I bought the URL, hired a graphic designer on Fiverr, launched the social media accounts, created a freebie to encourage email subscribers and recruited a cohost/editor. I set up a photo shoot with a friend and started working on curating products for our online store. I also started reading every Chick-fil-A book I could get my hands on and listening to podcasts about marketing.
I selected a launch day and got to work scheduling guests and recording interviews. From that day on the mountaintop to launch day was exactly 6 weeks! It was fast and furious, but sometimes I think that's the best way to go. I'm focusing on progress, not perfection! And every day I'm making progress!
--Alison Storm, Chick-fil-A Podcast
I have a podcast called For the Love of Sports.
I wanted to talk with more people in the sports industry about why they love what they do. In just about every episode we cover how the guest got their first job in sports and what mindset they employ to take it to the top everyday! The goal of the show is to impart wisdom onto the listeners through the stories of our guest. This has allowed me to meet many more people in higher positions, and it has also helped me land a position with a Sports Media company, Win Daily, as an on-air personality. One of the first episodes I recorded was with Jason Mezrahi, the Founder of Win Daily. He really enjoyed my style of interviewing and recently lost his co-host for his show because he had a baby. He invited me onto his show and the first one I ever did was for the Super Bowl! I now host a show on SiriusXM every weekend where we talk about fantasy sports and sports betting.
I have been able to speak with multiple Vice Presidents at Octagon, a CEO of a gigantic sports marketing firm, start up founders, and first time employees. Learning about each of their stories allows them to impart wisdom, knowledge, and their expertise onto others.
--Michael Rasile, For the Love of Sports
I am a language teacher and have taught languages on three different continents. I speak six different languages to varying degrees of fluency. One of my very favorite things to do during the summer is to create materials for teaching and learning. One of the places I like to start is with language for travel and beginners.
I started a website nearly a decade ago as a content management system and started sharing these materials for teaching and learning languages there. I discovered a couple of years later that I could add a feed to the iTunes Store so people could download my bite-size language files for travel and beginners that I created in 11 different languages, as well as conversations in French and materials for advanced Spanish learners. I was astounded a couple of years later to discover that I had hundreds of thousands of downloads.
I've recently started a podcast called The 5-Week Linguist Show. It's all about showing people how to master languages with time you already have, in five-week intervals, as I have done over many years. I currently have 1.7 million downloads and the project became a book proposal that is in the hands of a major publisher right now.
I've used the bits that I've learned over the years to launch my latest podcast. I'm so glad that I did it. While I love writing, having a podcast is a great way to publish content, especially for this busy teacher. I can do interviews, I can talk, and I don't have to worry about the same things that I do with writing like grammar and style.
It's also a great tool for search engine optimization and putting yourself out there. I think that most podcast listeners are people who really want to improve themselves and improve their lives. There's a lot of teaching and learning out there, and as far as I'm concerned, we're all experts in something. It's a great way to connect with more people who need to hear from you.
--Janina Klimas, Real Life Language blog
I started The Boy Mom Podcast in June 2019 to create a new platform for my readers to find encouragement on raising boys. It also helped support the launch of my book, Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You.
I want moms who are raising boys to feel like they have a support system, and somewhere to turn to with their questions, frustrations, and hilarious boy-mom moments. I try to make every episode practical and helpful, so moms will end each show feeling empowered to parent better, and to enjoy the journey!
I’m growing as a podcast host and having a blast. It’s great to be stretched and to realize you are good at things you might never have guessed before! To learn how to get started, I took Pat Flynn’s course. I highly recommend it! I was also inspired by Heather MacFadyen, host of the Don’t Mom Alone Podcast. Her style and warmth inspire me to be a better podcaster. Networking with my online friends was (and is) a huge help in my learning experience as I podcast on an island (literally).
I’ve released 54 episodes so far on The Boy Mom podcast, and I love it. It’s so fun getting to know my listeners and I encourage others to do the same. Ask your listeners questions, answer them, and take the time to care about them. Read their comments, reviews, and emails. Connect with them on social media and serve them well.
--Monica Swanson, monicaswanson.com
I'm a big believer that everyone has a message and/or story that someone in the world needs to hear and podcasting allows that to happen. A persona can launch a podcast for almost nothing and listeners don't pay anything to be educated by podcasts, learn any topic they can think of and become inspired. I started my podcast because I wanted to encourage other people to take charge of their future. I spent 18 years in a job that I wasn't excited about. I made a complete switch and am now not only working for myself, but also loving what I do.
I began with solo episodes that shared stories about my career, my life journey and somewhat random topics, such as Why I Love Funerals. I have pivoted a bit and do more business tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners. I also have guests on and every single one of them has made a career switch and shares that story along with business tips that my listeners will find useful.
I love my podcast and wish I'd started it sooner. It's amazing when a stranger, or even when someone you actually know, says they loved a particular episode....people are listening!
From a business perspective, it's also great. It allows potential clients to hear directly from you and a lot will decide to work with me (or my clients) just by listening to our podcasts. They don't have to vet who you are or what you're about if you're being your genuine self on your podcast, so it definitely helps business, which is a bonus.
I recently launched a course on how to launch your podcast because I think people deserve to have a simple step-by-step way of creating their own. Whether you want to share your business tips/advice, your personal story, the stories of others, or educate the world on something, you should start a podcast!
--Michelle Glogovac, My Simplified Life
I'm Jeff and I make The Spell Bound podcast with my partner, Chloe.
I have been making content for most of my life, finding moderate success on Twitch, YouTube and Instagram. Chloe is passionate about reading and asked if I wanted to blend my content creation passion with that.
Our initial intention was to create a YouTube channel. Knowing that cross-promotion across platforms is always a good idea I asked if we could start a podcast, too.
This would mean more traffic for our YouTube channel and it would also give us a way to turn our informal discussions about books into content.
There were a couple of hurdles beyond just turning on a mic, recording, then uploading. I recorded and produced an intro theme and began to research best practices for marketing podcasts.
After a couple of weeks of posting I realized how valuable podcast subscribers were. They're captive for much longer than our YouTube viewers and they're more invested in our personalities.
This inspired me to double down on my podcast marketing research. To date, I'm practicing the following to get our podcast out to broader audiences:
- SEO optimization through show notes, chapter markers and metadata.
- Cross-promotion in our video content (YouTube, Facebook Video, Twitter)
- Seeking guest spots on other podcasts.
I was more proud of our 50 podcast downloads than the hundreds of views our YouTube has accumulated.
Now I'm learning how to best edit the podcast for audience retention using other podcasts for inspiration and by studying our analytics with every release.
Chloe and I are also adjusting our ideal client profile to make sure we're talking about the things our actual listeners are most interested in.
We use the Reaper digital audio workspace and plugins to record and edit our podcast. The plugins we use are, in order:
- ReaFIR (Reduce noise)
- Limiter6 (Even out loudness)
- mcompressor (Reduce room reverb)
- TDRnova EQ (Equalize)
These are all available for free from their respective creators.
Our podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout but is distributed to all of the popular podcast listening platforms from there.
We also make a blog post for each of our podcast episodes to improve SEO reach. For this we host on Bluehost and use WordPress software to create the posts.
While we only have 20 active listeners right now we hope our consistency and attention to our audience will help us explode into a popular podcast.
I'm thankful for our growth already and I've fallen in love with the podcast medium despite being such a new creator in the niche.
It's liberating to be encouraged to more at ease while creating content. There's also a much lower barrier to entry because of the rising popularity of the medium. Learning whatever you want about podcasting in the current environment is as easy as Googling your problem.
Furthermore, approaching other podcasts for valuable guest spots is also less intimidating than approaching YouTube channels for collaborations or blogs for guest posts. I'm ghosted by YouTubers and bloggers 99% of the time whereas most podcast hosts will respond even if they're rejecting us.
--Jeff Cook, Spell Bound
I knew nothing about sound/production/scripting/distribution and all the facets of podcasts before starting. I DID know that I enjoyed listening to podcasts and I had a topic in mind I wanted to share about that not many people were tackling. I love the culture of the American South and wanted to share about the food, the people, the entertaining, the dialects, the regional events, etc so in November 2018 my sister and I launched Steel Magnolias Podcast. I am a subscriber of southern magazines but none of them were putting content into podcast form. We thought maybe we could fill that gap for those that, like us, love listening to podcasts.
It’s been a slow and steady grow for the last 18 months but we are now regularly in the top 100 of Apple Podcasts “Places & Travel” category… no small feat! My background is in marketing and that has been a huge help to bringing awareness to Steel Magnolias Podcast. We use Instagram as our most regular form of connecting with listeners and we send out a monthly newsletter with giveaway features and highlights of what is coming up in future episodes.
Just recently we opened up our format to include interviews. We haven’t done very many yet, but our first Zoom interview featured Peggy Noe Stevens, the world’s first female master bourbon taster! What a delight it was to connect with someone full of the stories and experience Stevens carries! We were also delighted to receive a signed copy of her book plus one to giveaway to our listeners. These are moments that make our podcast more than a weekly news story; we have built a community of people that share a love for southern culture.
We’re excited about the future and we release new episodes every Tuesday!
--Laura Beth Peters, @SteelMagnoliasPodcast
I launched Ed Infinitum at the beginning of 2020, so I came rather late to the podcast game. What drove me was a realization that school was this shared experience that almost all Americans have gone through, yet most of us don't really know the history or the why's behind how schools operate. Why do we divide subjects into separate classes, why do we have bells, why so many standardized tests, what sorts of things engage students and why do schools so often fail to do those things? There is so much that we either don't know or take for granted, yet this is a system that we turn our children over to...not to mention a system that, in theory, we control through our votes.
Even after 20 years of teaching in a public high school, I didn't learn much about this stuff until I became an education scholar. Now it's my job to study these things, to train teachers and consult with school leaders, and they too are often in the dark...so I thought hey, there's this untapped need here, why not do a podcast to help illuminate the history and mechanics of school?
There was a steep learning curve, as I had zero background in any kind of audio engineering. I had to train myself on Audacity, buy the right equipment, figure out through many hours of trial and error how to get the sound levels just right and cut out background noise and make cuts and transitions not sound awful. I'm really indebted to the tech support folks at Blubrry, who walked me through so many of the mechanics - and the concepts - behind getting my podcast published and out there on Apple Podcasts, etc.
Ed Infinitum premiered in January, and I ran a launch contest with over $300 in prizes to try and spur subscribers...and only two people entered the contest. Two people. One of which was my best friend. It was pretty discouraging.
It took many weeks of knocking on every door in my social network, of putting my episodes on YouTube as well as Apple/Google podcasts, to start getting listeners who didn't already know me. I put a link to my show in my email signature file, mentioned it in every article I wrote or interview I was in. I had pre-recorded about 12 episodes and was dribbling them out on a biweekly release schedule, but when COVID-19 shut most of the country down I just released the whole season at once, and that's what really broke the dam. Maybe people just had more time on their hands now, but my listener base grew to the triple digits. I know, still not huge, but it's a good start.
I've been releasing on a weekly schedule since April, though I may have to go back to biweekly once social distancing ends and my job life returns to normal. I got accepted into Audible's partner program, and I'm hoping to woo more advertisers as my listener base grows -- and it is growing, slowly but surely. At the moment I'm making absolutely zero dollars off this show, and hosting fees continue to pile up. My goals are modest - I'd be happy if some day I was at least be able to break even, but from the start I knew this would be more of a passion project than a money maker.
As more people listen to the show, they spread the word - it's so hard to break into a crowded field (some say we've already hit peak podcast), but I'm really encouraged by the positive feedback I've received from folks who do listen. The show does fill a niche, and as word gets out, I think more and more people will enjoy learning from it. If nothing else, I've learned a great deal from this process, and what more could a scholar ask for?
--David Nurenberg, ed-infinitum.com
My podcast is a professional development show for people working in school nutrition food service departments. I worked in public health for years prior to moving to K-12 where I saw a need for a body positive approach to nutrition education in schools. I created the podcast to serve as a one stop shop for tips, purchasing and management best practices and inspiration for professionals in school food service. I use the show to capture the wisdom of veteran employees that are retiring and to stress the importance of offering students evidenced based nutrition education, untainted by diet culture. My listenership continues to grow but more than anything having the show has helped establish me as an authority in my field. Podcasting is labor intensive but it is the most powerful way I have found to connect with professionals you admire. I have no regrets about starting the show. I'm sure I will be podcasting for years to come. I'm already working on launching a second show in the fall.
--Dalia Kinsey, School Nutrition Dietitian Podcast
I've had a YouTube channel for a little over a year and kept thinking about starting a podcast to get more 'reach'. After watching several videos, I discovered it was much simpler than I had thought. So, I created my podcast, The Confused Jew.
Choosing a name was challenging. Initially, I considered using my name as a brand. But, no one is searching for my name. Then, I considered a topic, but didn't like that either. Many of my videos relate back to my Judaism and my 'mixed marriage' as I'm a Reform Jew and my wife is Orthodox.
Then, it sort of hit me...do people search for the word 'Jew' in podcasts? So, I did a search and learned there aren't that many Jewish podcasts out there. The Confused Jew was what popped into my head.
Research confirmed no one else was using it or had a web address with that name. So, I’m now The Confused Jew. In the show notes, I always put links to my website and to a sign-up page for my email list. I've picked up a few folks who found me via that podcast. I connected with them and inquired why or how they found my podcasts. In every instance, they said they were looking for a 'Jewish' podcast. Go figure.
I use Transistor to host the files and they then download the recent episodes to several places, like iTunes, Google, Stitcher, etc. and I also have my episodes connecting to my website.
I use Screenflow for Mac to record my videos for the YouTube channel. After completing the recording and editing, I just rip the audio, convert it to an MP3 file and upload it to Transistor. Then, I add the title, description, and any links.
So far, it hasn't made me famous. But, I keep hoping someone will find me, listen, like it and ask me for an interview. Alas, I continue to hope!
I enjoy doing it and as long as it doesn't take up all my time, I'll keep working at it.
--Lew Dennen, LewDennen.com
Dr Larijani and I started a podcast discussing various hot topics related to the skin and skin health called Skin the Surface. Skin the Surface podcast as a unique opportunity to encourage and empower individuals to take an active role in their skin health. Skin the Surface podcast is intended to serve as an educational resource tailored to the average listener. As dermatologists we have the amazing opportunity to join forces with other specialists to educate members of our community about the impact of potential dermatologic implications.
Our podcast is available on majority of media outlets including Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, among others. We have reached listeners in over 17 countries, of all ages. The purpose of our podcast is to encourage our listeners to take an active role in their skin health.
How we started our podcast & how we tackled budgeting! Appropriately budgeting when creating a podcast can be a daunting task for any new podcaster. Here are some of our helpful tips without breaking the bank!
1. Creating & Recording a Podcast: An application that is available on both desktop and mobile devices that we used when creating, recording and distributing our podcast is Anchor (anchor.fm). Anchor is a free resource that enables podcasters to host and record from any location with unlimited free hosting with a user-friendly interface. All previously recorded media is saved and can be re-used at any time and for any episode. The quality of the recording using the Anchor application alone on the computer without any additional microphone(s) is suitable for a first-timer podcasters. To enhance the quality and allow for better control the volume of our sound recordings we purchased a Fifine USB Microphone (Amazon $29.99). This microphone is compatible with Anchor software and has features that allow you to better control background sound.
2. Creating an opening song for our podcast was a fun task. We used an free application called Music Maker JAM. This application is available on both desktop and mobile devices that allows individuals to create, compose and share their own unique songs and medleys using various instruments.
3. Distribution of the podcast: Anchor distributes the podcast through multiple audio outlets including Apple Podcasts and Spotify among many others as well as allowing an option for manual distribution wherein the host(s) can better control where their podcast is distributed. With the increasing influence and popularity of social media, we had created various free accounts on Twitter and Instagram to share our podcast with members of our community. Through social media we have been able to reach an even larger audience including internationally. We had created a website through Wix (www.wix.com) to create an interface that consolidates all of our resources, audio outlets and social media accounts as a landing page for all of our listeners and followers.
--Rina Allawh, Montgomery Dermatology LLC
March 1st I officially launched my podcast, First Hundred Days. It focuses on the idea that if the first hundred days for a president's administration is hailed as the 'most important' then this time period must also be important for the start of any other career or life moment.
I started it because I was a PoliSci major in school and was missing the academic side of myself. I wanted to tap into politics without being completely entrenched like in campaigns and news, plus I already owned a business I was working at full time. Then as we expanded the podcast to talk about various life experiences, I got more obsessed with learning about various folks' careers. It was so heartwarming to have candid and personal conversations with folks who are pretty important and who have done important things.
I am so glad I started my podcast because amidst the chaos, it felt like I was contributing to the world and those who are curious about other parts of the world.
--MK Andersen, First Hundred Days
I started listening to podcasts while I was still working my corporate 9 to 5 job. I was feeling uninspired and realized podcasts were a great way to learn something new while at work. I started listening to business podcasts and was in awe of the creative, independent women who weren't that much older than me who had started their own businesses. They shared their passion, mistakes, triumphs, advice, and encouragement through these podcast interviews, and I was hooked. I felt called to not only start my own business but also start my podcast, The Hustlenomics Podcast, that could inspire other women out there who are were in the same position I was when I started.
I have a background in journalism and radio, so I had some interview skills, but I still put the time and work into learning the ins and outs of podcasting. I invested in the right equipment and software and began reaching out to women that I wanted to interview.
Now, two years later, I have interviewed tons of amazing female entrepreneurs, and we are about to release out 100th episode! I think podcasting is not only a great way to grow your business and get your message out there, but it is a medium custom made for our current culture. It provides free education and entertainment on the go, and almost anyone can start their own podcast about anything they are passionate about!
--Katie Thompson, Modern Darling Media
My name is Michele Lee Clarke-Ceres and I am the Host/Creator of The Global Advocate Career Podcast. As the Co-Founder of my company WorldCeres Inc. and a Career Coach, I decided to create this podcast where I interview fascinating individuals I gave gotten to know from around the world who discuss their careers and how they got there.
I launched it in May 2019 and my listeners are growing exponentially. Starting my own podcast has been challenging but very rewarding. By challenges, I mean constantly needing to expand my technical skills (editing, using related applications), managing my time (launching timely episodes, promoting, outreach to potential guests.) Even with these challenges and more, I really enjoy interviewing and getting to know my guests more – as well as sharing their lives with listeners from around the globe. I am also about to launch shows in Portuguese and Spanish. Hosting my own podcast has enabled me to network and gain exposure for my brand. I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
--Michele Lee Clarke-Ceres, WorldCeres Inc
I am the creator of the Finding Finish Lines Podcast. I am an average athlete who willed my way through a few marathons and a half ironman distance triathlon. I believe that endurance sports hold the key to unlocking your power, even if you are the gal who skipped PE class on mile day as a kid. My show exists to convince you, as I am convinced, that anything is possible for any woman who just decides to try.
I started the podcast because I wanted another way to reach women who feel like they are missing something right now. It is so easy to become bogged down in the 21st century, western life, busy hardness of motherhood and careers and balancing all the things. Enter: endurance sports. Here, you get to feel what physically hard is like. You get to push your boundaries, spend time outside, and be alone with your thoughts.
Podcasting seemed like the perfect medium for my message! Busy women could listen in their cars or while running errands and maybe start thinking about lacing up the old sneakers later that day.
I have no background in tech at all. The gear, the editing, and the publishing system really was not all that hard to learn. It is a much bigger investment of time than I originally anticipated, but it feels worth it to me. Each week, I publish one full length episode - about 35 minutes- and one Five Minute Fridays episode, where I share a quick boost before the long training days on the weekend.
I attended Podfest Expo in March and I cannot recommend that enough for a new podcaster. I met incredible, helpful, inspirational folks and left feeling so confident that I was on the right path. With their encouragement, I even helped launch a new show for a friend.
I just published my 25th episode! While it has been a slow-growth experience, it's ok! That's what endurance sports have taught me: slow and steady wins the race.
--Sally Bulavko, Finding Finish Lines
I started my podcast, 50 Conversations, as a marketing tool for my new book about the future of work, Punch Doubt in the Face: How to Upskill, Change Careers, and Beat the Robots.
It's easy to start - I just found a host (I use Simplecast), recruited interview participants, and interviewed them all via Zoom.
I chose an interview style podcast because I love storytelling. We don't talk much about career changes and my goal is to show people how to do it through the stories of every day people who did it.
Then, COVID hit, and it seemed awkward to talk about career changes and the future of work as companies began laying off employees in huge numbers. So I pivoted.
Now, I'm using the podcast to help people who have been laid off. I keep joking that we're a podcast with an identity crisis, but then again, a lot of people are going through an identity crisis after a layoff.
It's a change but still aligns with my book marketing strategy.
--Nicolle Merrill, 50conversations.com
I'm a Yoga Teacher and LIVE Broadcaster with 55,000 followers around the world. I had been thinking of starting a podcast for a very long time, and even though I'm busy because most of my business is online, I thought this was a good time to start my podcast. Mainly because technology caught up making it super easy to begin.
The Silent Bit Podcast is only a few weeks old. I started it using the Anchor App, where I can invite, record, and edit. I invite yoga teachers to have a discussion about what their main message is, allowing us to dive deeper into the practice of yoga and meditation from a different perspective. Then they lead us through a guided meditation.
For me personally, I love hearing everyone's stories and how they came into the practice. I love for the moment being able to be the student instead of the teacher. Like in life, coming to the same place but from a different perspective.
I believe when you start any project you should focus on your intention and why you're making the effort. I believe the intention/purpose is what will keep you going. My intention is always to guide people towards having peace within and a greater wellbeing. Because I was sad for many years, and once I figured out how to live in a way that brought me peace and happiness I felt compelled to share it with the world.
The podcast is growing daily as we reach new listeners and we've already been heard in six countries. So I'll take that as an indication that I'm on the right path and to keep moving forward.
--Donna Melanson, AzulYoga
I'm a writer & editor and I co-host a podcast called Pencil Me In with my best friend of two decades, who's also a writer. We started it because I'm working on my first novel, and she's self-published a handful of her own—though I hope to get traditionally published, we were spending a lot of our time talking through the writing/editing process, and so we launched the pod! Prior to working on this novel, I'd written on a freelance basis for clients and under my own byline on topics like sobriety, personal growth, etc. I also run a weekly jobs newsletter for women of color called Will & Way (all links in my signature if needed!).
We launched in February 2020 and are actively working to grow our reach; we currently have a catalog of 8 episodes (1 of those is just a 10-minute intro) and almost 600 downloads. It's been an intensive learning experience; I learned how to edit through Audacity, and we've both learned much more about sound quality than we ever thought we wanted to know! I think we continue to get better and to grab new listeners from our different areas of interest: she's a married, white mother of 3 and I'm a single, childless, sober Asian woman, and I think the differences between us and the things we talk about really interest people. We're just making our way into affiliate marketing, and I'm curious to see how that goes. Right now I'm glad we did it; it's definitely brought us closer together and allowed us to both pay it forward in the writing community by sharing our knowledge, and also given us the benefit of connecting with others who are interested in the craft and in us as people. I think there are a lot of intangible benefits to us working the project together. We'd love to get to a place where we can host writing events or retreats where we hold space for people to write and invest in themselves.
--Nikki Carter, Pencil Me In Podcast
I'm an audiologist and parent coach, helping families navigate life and parenting after their child's hearing loss diagnosis.
I launched the All About Audiology podcast in January of 2019.
While working as an audiologist in schools and in clinics, I saw that families were really struggling in navigating their children's hearing loss diagnosis.
The mission of the podcast is to support the parents' journey, not just the technical aspects, -but also the grief, the need to process how life is different for their family now, and learning to advocate for their children.
The response to it is has been so lovely and welcome from families and professionals all over the world. So far, the podcast, with over 37 episodes, has been downloaded over 13,000 times.
On a train ride home from a training workshop in a nearby city, I brainstormed and thought up the topic, name and first twenty episode titles. Interviews with professionals, parents sharing their stories, and listener questions are all included in the show.
With some help from my tech-savy sister, we created a website, integrated a hosting service, recorded on my iphone headphones and edited on free software for the first several episodes. It doesn't take much equipment, just a strong message and the courage to share it. I have since invested in a $67 microphone! And I've outsourced some of the editing, but still prefer to do it myself.
One of my core values is about accessibility, and so all episodes have full transcripts available on the website, transcribed by a real person!
Using instagram has been the main mode of organic growth to connect with listeners. I frequently share photos and stories about the behind the scenes of upcoming episodes. Tagging the guests who have been featured on the show has been a great way to bring on new listeners.
The podcast began as a complete labor of love, and of service. I built the platform I wanted to have so I can share my message that parents need to be cared for, not just their children.
Slowly, it has served to established my expertise and my passion for parent support. I have since been invited to speak to non-profit organizations about advocacy and other topics.
--Lilach Saperstein, All About Audiology
I started my podcast back in March of 2018. I independently produce, write, edit and host a sports podcast based in New York City. It’s a weekly podcast, sometimes bi-weekly (released every Monday afternoon) discussing the latest newsworthy topics, stories and events of the week in the world of sports. I do have an occasional guest (i.e. former athlete, writer and fans) My goal is to build a stealth portfolio of guests and become a ‘sports version’ of Joe Rogan, Bill Simmons or Rich Roll.
It has been a challenge, considering I have a full time job. Everything falls on me to search for guests, build a strategy for the long term, make tweaks to my website, market myself through social media and a myriad of other things. Despite it all, I do love what I’m doing because I’m laying the foundation for what lies ahead in hopes of making this my ‘full time job’.
I’ve done various types of communication from hosting a talk show at a local community center (2001-08) an online talk radio station (BlogTalkRadio from 2008-13) AM radio on Long Island (2015-20 sparingly as a fill in) to this endeavor of podcasting. To me, there aren’t many podcasts that will discuss ALL sports as they’re usually targeted to one sport or niche (i.e. fantasy football) I cover it all and go in-depth with analysis that many other shows dare to explore. My style is critical, unapologetic, yet fair. It’s all about entertaining and informing the audience with credible insight, filled with passion and knowledge of whatever it is I’m discussing.
--Jason Nazario, The JAYREELZ Podcast
I'm Jonesy, a comedian and host/producer of Weird AF News podcast. I began the show over two years ago and recently surpassed 700 episodes and a million downloads.
Originally I was hired to produce this show for a third party podcast creator startup, who eventually decided eight months in they could no longer pay their creators. By then my show had garnered a respectable audience on their platform as well as Google, iTunes, Stitcher, etc. and therefore I decided to continue putting out episodes despite not being paid.
I moved from 7 days/week to just 5 and I maintained a sizable active fanbase made up of these daily listeners of the show. The emails and call-ins and social media reactions were tremendous and I could see that my news podcast was a daily part of many people's lives. I felt obligated to continue the journey and I'm so happy that I did so. I am back to making money with the podcast thanks to ads and a Patreon and my audience of loyal listeners has only become larger.
As a comedian, musician and actor who has been on television, I am surprised say that nothing I have attempted in the world of entertainment has ever received the kind of success that Weird AF News has brought me. I have many listeners reaching out to tell me how my show and my humor is helping them get through this difficult time that we are facing worldwide. I am being broadcast into homes of folks that are in need of a comforting voice and a few laughs and it makes feel good about what I do.
I was seen the Letterman Show by millions back in 2012 and yet I've never felt more proud about the reach that this show I record in my bedroom closet 5 days/week has.
I urge you to try something new without expectations. You never know what may come of it.
In 2018 I launched the Ignite Podcast for Cardinal. I use it as a channel for attracting prospects, sharing expertise, and showcasing clients. On Ignite I interview CEOs and top business leaders to hear the gritty stories on how they have ignited growth in their companies. I’ve been able to leverage the Ignite Podcast to expand our footprint in targeted industries, such as healthcare, education, and restaurants.
As an entrepreneur, I love getting the opportunity to hear from fellow business leaders on their perspectives and experiences. The podcast episodes are easy listens that keep the audiences’ attention from beginning to end.
I use the podcast as a channel for attracting business leaders and industry influencers. This allowed us to showcase them, while they in turn talked about us (typically on social media).
For example, I connected with one of Atlanta’s top entrepreneur influencers, Steven Carse, CEO of King of Pops. His brand currently sells 3 Million Popsicles a Year.
Additionally, to help increase my marketing agency’s footprint in the Restaurant Industry, Ignite featured the CMO, Rob Crews, of Premier Restaurant Group, which includes Church’s Chicken. Since featuring Rob as a guest, we have expanded our restaurant group client base and our brand awareness in that space.
--Alex Membrillo, Cardinal Digital Marketing
My name is Ijeoma Ekeocha, the host of Brown Skin Stories: Representing Women Pharmacists, the podcast. I started this podcast to share stories from Black people from their perspective. My intention was to inspire individuals by sharing stories from people who turned their trials and tribulations into testimonies (Season 1: Brown Skin Stories: Overcoming to Become). I loved interviewing and learned from the guests that courageously told their stories, but I quickly realized that my audience wanted to hear from me. They wanted to learn what I had overcome.
A few months into season 1 of my podcast (launched in October), I dug deep and thought about my own personal story. My experience within the pharmacy profession and how I could use my experience to add value to other women of color that shared similar experiences.
I've been a PharmD for over 10 years. I was frustrated, burned-out and ready to quit and embark on a completely different career. During my research, what I saw was astonishing. People in pharmacy that actually loved what they did...they were happy Pharmacists. I knew there was something I missed along the way, so I had an epiphany and I acted on it. I decided to learn more about the happy PharmDs by interviewing them. Not only would I learn from them, but I could share this with students and other pharmacists so that they don't get burned out like I did. I could share my story with my listeners and add value.
In Pharmacy school, we often learn about hospital pharmacists, and retail pharmacists. But the reality is, having a Doctor of Pharmacy degree allows you to practice in a variety of settings. From poison control to communications, to marketing, Pharmacists have the ability to serve consumers and organizations in different capacities that are rarely explored.
We do wayyyy more than just count pills and take orders from doctors, and I know that if pharmacists we're taught about the different settings early on, we could actually increase satisfaction within our profession by teaching people about ALL the different ways they could serve. In the world of Pharmacy, one size does not fit all, and I know that from experience.
Brown Skin Stories: Representing Women Pharmacists explores Pharmacy professions from a different perspective. I want to give my supporters the information I wish I had at the very beginning of my career. I focused on Black Women because our experiences are unique, and this is a safe place where women of color can be open and honest about their experiences. And unfortunately, that includes race inequities and gender inequities, because that is all apart of the Black Woman experience and I'd be remiss if that was not part of the conversation. On this podcast, our students get the chance to learn firsthand from a pharmacist that has been there, done that, and they get to learn whether or not a particular practice setting is an area they wish to explore.
--Ijeoma Ekeocha, Pharm.D., Brown Skin Stories
I am the podcast host of With Love, Alexa. I started my podcast to raise awareness on Invisible Illness. I am an invisible illness warrior who suffers from a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Central Pain Syndrome. CPS is a neurological disorder due to damage to the brain, brainstem, or spine. I was in a bad car accident 4 years ago.
I started this podcast in September 2019. Each episode is about 30 minutes where I interview different people about their stories with chronic illness, chronic pain, mental health as well as finding inner strength. It has been such a rewarding experience and I have loved meeting people. Everyone has a story and it should be shared.
--Alexa Randolph, alexarandolph.com
If you'd have told me two years ago that I would be hosting a podcast, then I would have laughed in your face. I was the type of person that would cringe when hearing my own voice in videos. In college, I'd be a nervous mess when it was time to present or answer detailed questions. So, the idea of recording myself speaking and then having to listen back and make edits sounded like a terrible idea to me.
This all changed when I took on a graduate role in December 2018. After a few months at the company, we began brainstorming new channels that could increase brand awareness and potentially generate new leads. One idea that my boss was eager to try was podcasting. I was slightly apprehensive, maybe through low self-confidence, but understood the value that it would offer and agreed to give it a shot.
I'll be honest, I had no knowledge whatsoever. I didn't know how to record, how to find guests, or how to get our show live. After a quick Google search, I found a platform named Anchor. It allows you to record on your smartphone and you can invite friends, add interludes, and edit from inside the app. It is exactly what we needed and required zero investment other than time. And so, the 20 Minute Marketing Podcast was born.
The next step was to find guests. We started by reaching out to existing connections that my boss had developed locally. We managed to record seven episodes, which was enough for an opening season. I'd later discover sites such as SpotAGuest and MatchMaker.fm which make it extremely easy to find guest speakers in your industry.
It has now been over a year since we launched the show and it is continually growing and reaching new listeners organically. The main benefit is that it has provided me with a great networking tool. I have used the show to connect with numerous industry leaders on LinkedIn and it has also given us insightful content to share with our clients. With more episodes under our belt, we are now able to attract high-quality guests that share episodes with their network too.
My biggest piece of advice is that it takes time and effort to grow your podcast. So, don't be put off if you only have a handful of listeners when you begin. As you launch new episodes, you will start to pick up new fans. The key to growth is promoting your show across numerous channels. Creating an Instagram profile, searching for relevant Facebook groups, sharing on Reddit, and posting on YouTube is a great place to start. And, of course, if you have the budget then you can use paid advertising to get in front of your audience quickly.
--Liam Quinn, Reach Interactive
I started The Entrepreneur Ethos Podcast on March 16th, 2020 which is both my mothers birthday and the 1st day of Shelter in Place for San Francisco. I guess you could say I either have great timing or the worst timing ever.
I started the podcast to continue the great conversations I was having while interviewing entrepreneurs for my book, The Entrepreneurs Ethos. I know a lot of entrepreneurs and the conversations we have about life and being an entrepreneur were both educational and inspirational. The goal of the podcast is to take a deep dive into the traits, values, beliefs, and skills that all sorts of entrepreneurs have to build a more ethnical, inclusive, and resilient world.
Originally, I wanted to do all my interviews in-person. My idea was to get the feeling of being at a cafe talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. In fact, the first four were in person but then COVID-19 hit and I had to move to video conferencing. I still try to get that in person feeling by having a free flowing conversation about whatever is on our minds. For me, it's the interesting threads that you find and pull on that make the interviews engaging.
It's taken a lot of work to get it off the ground but the experience has been stellar. I'm so glad that I took the time to do it since the conservations have been enlightening.
--Jarie Bolander, The Entrepreneur Ethos Podcast
I started the DistantJob Podcast because I was hired to market remote work, and I felt that I needed to educate myself in the matter. I had managed remote editorial teams before, but marketing was another ball game.
I was a nobody in the field and everyone who was somebody had no reason to tutor me. So I decided to give them that reason: a platform where I would interview the top remote leaders and learn their secrets, tools and strategies!
The show started small, with me interviewing a couple of consultants that I met and with whom I enjoyed talking shop, and also the higher-ups at my company. Then, I leveraged that portfolio of a few episodes to get me better-known guests. One key technique that I employed was that I would, at the end of each episode, ask the guests if they had enjoyed being interviewed. If the answer was positive, I would ask them to introduce me to three people they would love to hear me interview.
My hare-brained scheme worked out much better than I anticipated. I’ve managed to have very insightful conversations with people from a star-studded cast of companies: Microsoft, Mailchimp, Buffer… The whole gamut!
I’m certainly glad that I did it. I got a world-class education in remote leadership, from people who actually succeed at it on a day-to-day basis at the highest levels! And the show is ongoing, so… I keep on learning, and my audience, too. -Luís Magalhães
--Luis Magalhaes, The DistantJob Podcast
I’m a fashion designer and podcast host at Be Impactful presented by Impact Fashion.
I started Be Impactful in August as a way to connect with my audience on a deeper level. When you have a good friend, you introduce them to other people in your circle and that’s how I view the Be Impactful podcast.
I have been able to get it off the ground, mainly by leveraging the audiences of my guests. Viewership grows each week as more and more people become aware. Currently we are at over 12,500 downloads.
The experience has been great. My favorite part about podcasting is that the barrier to entry is so low. I bought a mic on amazon, plugged into my computer, sent a zoom link to a friend and starting talking. Some Youtube-ing later and I figured out how to edit audio. I am a natural people person so any excuse to chat with people I find fascinating and call it work is something I cannot get enough of.
--Rivky Itzkowitz, impactfashionnyc.com
I started my podcast Rainbows Are Circles: Waking Up to Wonder! because I am simply fascinated by life. There is always something new to learn, someone new to meet, a different way of looking at the same thing. For example, I first realized that rainbows are circles when I was flying in a helicopter above the island of Kauai. We saw a huge rainbow in the form of a circle and we flew straight through it! How had I never known that rainbows are circles? Because up until that moment, I’d only ever seen a rainbow with my feet on the ground. That experience made me think, What other wondrous things might we learn by softening rigid beliefs and expanding our perspectives? How might the world blow our minds? What possibilities are lurking out there beyond our rigid perceptions? That’s what this podcast is all about - exploring new ideas with curiosity and an open mind. On the show I interview passionate guests on topics related to personal development, alternative healing and “mystical” practices.
Getting the podcast off the ground was not an easy task, mostly because I had to overcome self- limiting beliefs and fear of judgement. I am happy I finally did with the help of many people to whom I am forever grateful, including Pat Flynn and Bold Woman Brands. This podcast is my gift to the world and a platform for me to share something positive and inspirational with others. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with amazing guests who are serving humanity in their own unique and powerful ways and I’m honored to share their work with others.
Maintaining the podcast has been challenging. I didn’t realize how time consuming and how much work it would be, especially doing it on my own. I initially wanted to release one episode a week, and now I’m down to 1-2 per month. While I enjoy interviewing people, I find the editing process very tedious. However, it has become a little easier in the last few months as I am not being so nit-picky about editing out every stutter and stumble or obsessively re-recording introductions. I am learning to let go of the idea of perfection and am beginning to express myself more freely. The process of creating the podcast has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to grow in many ways. It’s not easy, and whenever I feel stuck or unmotivated, I have to remember my intention behind creating the podcast: to share the passion and wisdom of my guests with listeners in the hopes that the information will bring value to their lives.
Now I’m at the point where I need to stay disciplined in creating episodes and share the podcast with more people. I’d love to be able to monetize the podcast and hire someone to help with editing and marketing. I feel confident that things will happen organically as I stay aligned with my heart and continue to take one step at a time. It’s been a beautiful journey and I am looking forward to where it may lead.
--Julie Mallari, Rainbows Are Circles
I started a marriage podcast about 10 months ago called Marriage Steps. The podcast industry seemed to be growing and I was searching for a new way to help couples from a larger platform. Eighty six episodes later I'm very glad I started it. I'm passionate about helping couples improve their relationship and it's given me an outlet to do that. In addition, it's helped potential clients get to know me by listening to the podcast, which has encouraged them to move forward with an appointment. I've also been humbled and honored to hear success stories from couples on the other side of the world listening and benefitting from it. For example, I had a man from England contact me on Facebook to explain how greatful he and his wife were for my podcast because it saved their marriage. My podcast has been a continual work in progress of refining my methods to make it more effective but it's been well worth it.
--Wyatt Fisher, drwyattfisher.com - Marriage Podcast | Marriage Steps
That’s how long I had been sitting on my podcast. I knew it was a good idea, my friends told me it was a good idea, but I was petrified to do it. You know that petrified that comes from the pit of your stomach…makes your tongue dry…all you want to do is curl up in a ball…yep that kind of petrified.
The Closet Freak Chronicles podcast was born from my blog posts. My blog started off as my journey becoming a sex therapist, but then I just wanted to talk about sex LOL. Then I came up with the idea of allowing women to share their stories in a podcast.
I wanted people to realize that women are out here having some really amazing sex lives that just isn’t talked about. This would also give women a chance to ask questions they normally would be too afraid to ask. How often do women talk openly about wanting to be choked or how to get their partner to have a threesome….cue the podcast Closet Freak Chronicles, I answer it all.
My launch has been fairly new, I released my trailer 4 weeks ago and record a new episode every week. This has been such new territory for me because I worry about judgment. Not being technologically savvy made me nervous as well.
So many questions run through my head when I’m getting ready to record:
Do I sound okay?
Will they know how nervous I am?
Is it long enough?
Did I give enough information?
Does anyone really want to hear me speak?
At this moment I don’t have a big following. Mainly friends, family, and a few people I've been able to share it with on social media. The one thing that keeps me going is that I love what I talk about. Even thought the listener pool is small, those few people have given me great feedback.
My goal is to consistently show up and continue to learn. I believe that someone will listen to my podcast and say, “I’ve always had that question” or “I finally felt comfortable enough to ask for what I want from my partner.”
Am I glad I did it…hell yes!!! I have no clue what is going to come of it, which is the exciting part. Who knows I could be doing live shows in a city near you soon…
--Natasha Chentille, Closet Freak Chronicles
Latest posts by Katie Holmes (see all)
- How To Be More Optimistic: Stories, Tips & Comments From 21 Different People - January 12, 2021
- Stories on the Benefits of Minimalism - January 11, 2021
- How To Control Anger - January 5, 2021
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