These are stories of the struggles and triumphs of the best podcasters

Featured Stories of podcasters that found listeners

Think Like a Journalist to Grow Your Audience

Think Like a Journalist to Grow Your Audience

Jenna Spinelle reveals the surprising parallels between journalism and podcast marketing

If you hang out in podcasting communities online or offline, one of the questions that comes up most frequently is, “How do I grow my audience?” Everyone is always searching for more downloads, more subscribers, more listeners. Much like a […]

How to Pitch a Podcast to Radiotopia (with examples)

How to Pitch a Podcast to Radiotopia (with examples)

How Helen Zaltzman became one of podcasting's most beloved mentors and built the hit show The Allusionist

How do you  pitch a podcast? People on the web Have Answers. A Google search tells me I need to “know the right person” (1,000-word essay), “listen to the shows” (lo-fi YouTube vid), or “if you’re doing good work, the […]

Lina Misitzis. Featured.

Lina Misitzis. Featured.

This one time Lina won a Pulitzer with the same Ira Glass
who had not hired her a few years before

The night of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize ceremony, Lina Misitzis and her colleagues at This American Life were together only as squares on a video call, sheltering in place around the country as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. Their episode, […]

What Mic Does Matt Gourley Use?

What Mic Does Matt Gourley Use?

How Matt Gourley went from goofing off on a podcast no one listened to to cracking wise with Conan O'Brien

Matt Gourley says he might have been the first analog podcaster,  which makes perfect sense if you’ve ever heard Conan O’Brien roasting him for his love of vintage items—like, say, his beloved phone that was once owned by Dwight D. […]

Recent Content

Behind the Scenes of Hysteria

Behind the Scenes of Hysteria

A conversation with Erin Ryan about the show's creation and ongoing production

Erin Ryan is among the quickest, funniest people I know. We once worked one desk over from each other at the blog sweatshop that was early 2010s Gawker Media, her at Jezebel and me at Gizmodo. She moved on to […]

Podcasts and Publishers Tips and Tricks

Podcasts and Publishers Tips and Tricks

How authors, podcasters, and publicists can help each other reach new audiences

If you listen to interview podcasts, chances are you’ve heard at least a few authors come on as guests to talk about their latest books. A book is long enough to provide a podcaster with multiple angles for an interview, […]

Completely Relax with This One Weird Podcast

Completely Relax with This One Weird Podcast

Do you want to be an animal? Like actually? Listen to Animal Meditations

Sometime in 2016, Jon Leland became enraptured with Jeff Bridges’ Sleeping Tapes, a strange but soothing album wherein the Dude, who is a meditator and student of Zen philosophy, intones quirky affirmations over a bed of crackly sound, overlaid with […]

Audiences Clamor for Fiction Podcasts

Audiences Clamor for Fiction Podcasts

How Jude Brewer's Storybound podcast snowballed from thousands to millions of downloads

Take an author, have them read their story, add music and sound effects to create a narrative soundscape, and presto, you’ve got Storybound. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. And yet, this simple podcast began netting a million […]

This Show is Drugs for Your Ears

This Show is Drugs for Your Ears

Why Ross Sutherland's Imaginary Advice podcast is so good it should probably be illegal

A robot, force-fed Jerry Seinfeld routines, performs a stand-up set that starts out unfunny, veers into the meta, then becomes wistful and deeply melancholic. A chain-smoking exorcist named Dave Stewart takes on a challenging case of demonic possession, armed with […]

How to Be A World-Renowned Podcaster

How to Be A World-Renowned Podcaster

Misha Euceph's rise from independently creating Beginner to being Michelle Obama's choice to produce her podcast

Misha Euceph went from pursuing a career in law to being the producer of the Michelle Obama Podcast. It seems like quite the leap, but it’s the result of years of a certain mindset: taking risks, prioritizing creativity and not […]

A Podcast Built on Ruins

A Podcast Built on Ruins

Paul MM Cooper tells us how he built a subscription driven powerhouse in Fall of Civilizations

Since Paul MM Cooper was a child, he has had a fascination with ruined places. He would stare at pictures of mossy, overgrown churches and castles with crumbling walls, and feel them transport him to another time. The images felt […]

“When I Started Podcasting I was Stealing Everything I Could”

“When I Started Podcasting I was Stealing Everything I Could”

How Jack Rhysider Built Darknet Diaries

When Jack Rhysider started Darknet Diaries, he had a blog that got a few thousand hits per day, 3,000 Twitter followers, and a full-time job as a network security engineer. Now, nearly three years and over 70 episodes later, the […]

Metrics Schmetrics!

Metrics Schmetrics!

Dylan Marron found a new way to measure success that keeps him motivated

Dylan Marron has created two praise-worthy podcasts, but he—intentionally—does not know how many listeners he has. Conversations with People Who Hate Me features Marron facilitating loving conversations with online feuders who are encouraged to get to know the human on […]

Off Broadway

Off Broadway

Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle bonded over a love of the big stage. Their show, True Crime Obsessed, shows how friendship and fandom sells.

Patrick Hinds has been into podcasts for a long time. Back in 2009, the Broadway obsessive was spending an hour commuting to work from his home in New York City—just enough time to tune into interview pods with his favorite […]

In the Adventure Zone

In the Adventure Zone

How one RPG podcast went from paternity leave filler to its own blockbuster franchise

To the average podcast listener, the process of finding a role-playing game (RPG) podcast is not like landing on whatever the new Serial is. For one, a new Serial is more likely to land on you, through the sheer weight […]

Listening With Your Eyes

Listening With Your Eyes

Eleanor McDowall’s Radio Atlas makes non-English podcasts accessible to non-Anglophone audiences

Eleanor McDowall’s mantra has long been to “make the radio you would like to hear.” In an industry increasingly most hospitable to podcasts that deliver narrative twists and turns or breathless commute-sized information-delivery, which both translate into raw, monetizable download […]

He Turned The Thing He Loved About His Commute Into His Career

He Turned The Thing He Loved About His Commute Into His Career

Eric Silver found an audience in non-sports people for his basketball podcast HORSE.

Before mentioning anything else about his old job, Eric Silver brings up the commute. “It is important for the setting here,” he says. To understand why he left behind a career in education after getting a master’s degree from NYU, […]

Three Million Listens a Month Without a Big Name or Network

Three Million Listens a Month Without a Big Name or Network

Drew Ackerman credits his consistency for the year-over-year audience growth of Sleep With Me.

The world’s “most boring podcast” brings in three million listens per month and has been Drew Ackerman’s full-time job for the last three-and-a-half years. Sleep With Me is a podcast that helps people fall asleep. Ackerman recites bumbling bedtime stories […]

How Hard Could It Be To Make a Top-Tier Daily Podcast?

How Hard Could It Be To Make a Top-Tier Daily Podcast?

How the ESPN Daily podcast keeps earning it's listeners every day

Producing ESPN’s Daily Podcast Is a Team Effort Since launching in 2019, ESPN Daily has been downloaded over 15 million times (as of May 31), averaging more than 585,000 listeners a month. Even as sports disappeared due to the COVID-19 […]

The Academic Whose Podcast Is Trying to Change the Law

The Academic Whose Podcast Is Trying to Change the Law

Probable Causation wants to bring research out of the ivory tower and into the fabric of our lives.

For that class of workers known as “the media,” reach is everything and having an audience is the ultimate goal. For academics, however, the equation is inverted. Writing for the public can be considered a quirk at best and, at […]

She Set Out to Change the World, Not Entertain It.

She Set Out to Change the World, Not Entertain It.

Rabia Chaudry's story of creating the breakout, genre-busting hit, Undisclosed.

As soon as Serial ended, Rabia Chaudry knew she needed to act. It was 2014. Sarah Koenig’s 12-parter, about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, had just changed podcasting forever. The New York Times called Serial “podcasting’s first breakout […]

A Breakthrough in Growth From Advertising

A Breakthrough in Growth From Advertising

The Growth of Pessimists Archive, with Jason Feifer

All great podcasts have to start somewhere. Many of the behemoths of today began in someone’s closet and with just a handful of friends for listeners. So, what changes that? How does a little, independent podcast spread, ultimately growing to […]

How (and Why) To Start a Sports Podcast

How (and Why) To Start a Sports Podcast

Light Years didn’t grow in the blink of an eye.

To be honest, Andy Liu didn’t want to start a Warriors podcast. By 2016, he’d already spent years blogging about the team and had tried multiple times to launch podcasts, YouTube shows, and the like. “It was a lot of […]

Social Media Audience Stalking FTW

Social Media Audience Stalking FTW

Scott Yager tells the story of building Challenge Mania's audience.

You might not have heard of Scott Yager’s first podcast, appropriately titled A Shot of Yager. Despite having celebrity connections, magazine promotion, and Yager’s natural interviewing and podcasting ability, the numbers were simply never there.  “I read the feedback,” he […]

The Science Journalists Who Don’t Care If You Don’t Like Their Vocal Fry

The Science Journalists Who Don’t Care If You Don’t Like Their Vocal Fry

The hosts of science podcast Weirdest Thing are young, casual, chatty, and female—traits that some say are their weakness, but to them is their strength.

Another day at work. Your coworker tells you about an archaeological dig that uncovered the skeleton of a baby that, apparently, was born in the grave itself. You’re completely unfazed. “Oh yeah,” you say. “Coffin birth.”  That was one of […]

JP Davidson on bootstrapping a career in podcasting

JP Davidson on bootstrapping a career in podcasting

If you love podcasting, there's more than one way to make it your life

Four years, 100 episodes, and 2500 listeners; JP Davidson credits his full-time career in audio to a “bootstrap” podcast that’s now offline. Davidson is a Canadian podcast producer, studio owner, and radio journalist. He makes a living running Pop Up […]

Narrowing Her Focus Expanded Her Audience

Narrowing Her Focus Expanded Her Audience

Food Psych host Christy Harrison believes in focusing on the subjects that inspire you

When Christy Harrison started Food Psych in 2013, she was a grad student seeking a creative outlet and a chance to talk about a topic she was passionate about. With a history of disordered eating and a degree in nutrition, […]

Finding the Tone that Listeners Love

Finding the Tone that Listeners Love

Anderson Cowan, co-host of The Film Vault and The After Disaster, has turned building his audience into his life's work.

For filmmaker and podcast producer Anderson Cowan, what started out as a bed-ridden radio obsession turned into a decades-long career in podcasting. Today, he’s the co-host of The Film Vault and The After Disaster, two radio shows-turned-podcasts that began the […]

How to Magically Grow Your Podcast

How to Magically Grow Your Podcast

Erik Tait has found a winning formula for an audience of magicians

The Penguin Magic Podcast, hosted by comedian and magician Erik Tait, might bring to mind descriptions of tricks and discussions of great magic performances. And it is that—but with a little bit of interview savvy and a lot of magic, […]

About Timber Media

About Timber Media

Learning together about how to succeed in podcasting

In March of 2020, just before coronavirus shut down the world, I was attending Podfest Expo in Orlando, Fla. The night before the show started, my podcast co-host Chris Hickman and I were on the phone with each other and […]

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