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How to Make a Successful Podcast: 15+ Effective Tips to Try

Wondering what makes a podcast successful? Here are 15+ tips to help you learn from the greats and start a successful podcast of your own!
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
March 18, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Podcast popularity is on the rise, with over 5 million active shows now available. There's never been a better time to start a podcast of your own!

But where do you start on how to make a successful podcast?

We know it can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. With the right skills, techniques, and strategies to support you, it's possible to create a popular podcast that audiences love to listen to. Podcast success relies on a variety of factors. You need the right equipment and skills to produce high-quality audio content. That's not to mention an interesting, engaging podcast topic to start the conversation!

We’ll guide you through the process and share with you 15+ tips on creating a successful podcast show.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio broadcast, designed to be listened to on a digital device.

Using popular podcast streaming services, you can choose from millions of podcast episodes and listen to your favorites on the go.

In many ways, podcasts are like radio broadcasts. However, podcast streaming allows you to choose what you want to listen to, accessing specific content directly from your phone or mobile device.

Different types of podcasts

There are many different types of podcasts. These include:

Solo podcasts

Solo podcasts are a great choice for beginner podcasters, hosted by just one person speaking to the audience.

These podcasts tend to be clear and straightforward, making them popular among listeners. Solo podcasting is a popular path if you want to retain all rights to your content or don't have anyone to record with.

Multi-host podcasts

Multi-host podcasts are another great option, with several hosts getting together to discuss topics within a niche.

One of the best things about multi-host podcasts is that they allow for organic conversation between hosts. This can be engaging for the listener, giving energy to the show.

Interview podcasts

Finally, interview podcasts are one of the most common formats. These podcasts include interviews with people relevant to a specific topic or niche.

By using the interview format, you can get the best of both worlds! You'll retain all your rights, just like a solo creator, but you'll still get to chat with guests in the studio.

What genres of podcast are there?

There are also many different genres and categories of podcast, each appealing to a different audience demographic. Potential podcast genres include:

  • Entertainment
  • Comedy
  • Fiction
  • History
  • Education
  • Science
  • News
  • Crime
  • Sports

What makes a podcast successful?

There are many factors that can contribute to making a podcast successful.

Sometimes, a podcast's success is a result of an interesting topic or effective editing and production techniques that improve the broadcasting quality.

In other cases, a podcast's success might depend on marketing and advertising or the creator's existing platform and audience. Alternatively, your podcast might generate success based on another podcasts it is related to.

For some podcasts, luck can be a major factor in determining podcast success too. However, there are still plenty of things you can do as a podcaster to improve the chances of your show performing well.

How much money can you make from a successful podcast?

If your podcast achieves a high level of success, it's possible to earn a steady income. What you earn, however, will vary greatly depending on your genre, your style, and your show.

When you first start podcasting, it may be difficult to earn money, but over time, your earning power will grow with your listener base. You might also secure sponsorships from companies!

Usually, podcasters can charge advertisers on average around $18-$25 CPM or cost per one thousand monthly active listeners to place an ad in a single show or episode.

With the right systems in place, this means you could earn around $2 500 for an ad in an episode with 100 000 listeners. The more listeners you have, the more you can make, and there are other ways to monetize your podcast and turn it into a full-time income. For example you can try affiliate marketing, podcast merchandise and more.

How much does a successful podcast make a year?

Different podcasts achieve different levels of success, both in terms of audience and earnings. Generally the more listeners you have, the easier it becomes to make money from your podcast.

On average, podcasters can make $0 to $6,000 per year. But some of the most successful podcasts can earn millions every month! Again, a lot of factors contribute to making money out of a podcast so each case is different. 

For example, Joe Rogan earns approximately $100,000 per episode of his popular podcast show The Joe Rogan Experience. Publishing regularly, Rogan can earn as much as $5 million per year, just from podcasting.

How many listeners do you need to make money on a podcast?

There's no set number of listeners needed to start earning as a podcaster. However, the amount you can earn will be higher when your audience grows.

Typically, in order to start securing sponsorship and advertising opportunities, according to Advertisecast, you'll need a minimum of 10 episodes and 200 active podcast listeners per episode.

Is creating your own podcast worth it?

If you're passionate about your topic and interested in hosting a podcast to discuss it, creating a podcast is a great idea and can be financially worthwhile.

While podcast success rarely occurs overnight, it is possible to build an audience for your show and achieve your income goals. With time and effort, you can become a successful podcaster!

Is it hard to make a podcast successful?

Making a podcast successful isn't easy, and along the way, you're likely to face many setbacks and challenges. However, many podcast hosts do achieve success. There's no reason why your podcast can't be the next success story.

What do you need to start a successful podcast?

To start a successful podcast, all you need is a good idea and quality recording equipment. Once you have these tools on your side, you can get started straight away! 

Equipment you’ll need may include:

If you’d really like to invest in your podcast setup you can also buy:

In order to make your podcast a success, you'll also need a strong work ethic and a passion for podcasting. This will help you face the challenges of the podcast world and strive toward your goals.

Top 16 successful podcast tips

Want to start your own podcast and turn your show into a mega hit? Watch the video below, then read on for 16 tips to keep in mind for successful podcasting.

1. Choose your topic wisely

Your podcast's topic and genre are important! These decisions take place before your podcast goes to air, but they have a significant impact on the trajectory of your podcasting career going forward.

If you want to start a podcast, the key is to choose a topic you know well and are confident talking about. It's also a good idea to consider how popular your topic is likely to be among listeners. Ideally, choose something that is unique in a particular niche to help your podcast stand out from the crowd.

2. Make quality a priority

High-quality podcasts are always better equipped for success! Producing quality audio can help your podcast appear more professional. It can also allow you to improve your overall business model, appealing to paying advertisers.

In the long-term, quality recording equipment is a worthy investment in podcast success. It saves you time in post-production, but most importantly the better your podcast sounds, the more positively listeners will engage with your content.

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3. Learn from the professionals

While there are no set rules for podcasting, there are tips you can follow to improve your chances of succeeding. These relate to episode length and publishing schedules.

Generally speaking, it's best to record podcasts that are between 20 and 30 minutes long. Aim to publish new episodes at least once a week, and if you can, try to post on Tuesday or Wednesday. Learn from the professionals whenever you can!

4. Try live streaming

Streaming services are the best places to share your podcast content with listeners from around the world, so it's important your podcast is available on all the popular platforms. Live streaming can help you achieve higher rates of success by allowing you to reach new audiences, all in real time. 

Some of the best places to stream podcasts include Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. For the best chances of success, upload content to as many streaming services as you can.

5. Invest in equipment

As your podcast career grows, investing in good equipment can help you improve sound quality and the overall professionalism of your podcast. This could lead to new podcasting opportunities!

A good microphone is a podcasting must-have. Choose a model that works for your set-up and sound goals. We also suggest getting a good pair of headphones and a camera if you’re recording a video podcast. You can actually turn your phone into a webcam, which is not a bad idea considering some phones record in up to 4K resolution. Other than these essentials, you may consider accessories such as a pop filter, mic stand, audio mixer and more.

6. Use professional recording software 

One thing you should choose wisely is your podcast recording software. It’s best to choose a platform that specializes in podcasts so you have all the features you need. Separate track recording is best for more editing control and you want to make sure your software can capture high-quality audio and video in your ideal setup. 

We suggest aiming for software with at least 1080p video resolution and 48kHz audio. If you’re recording with remote guests, then definitely consider software with local recording. This software captures everything directly on your device, instead of relying on the internet for recording quality. 

Riverside offers all the above and a whole lot more. You can learn about us here, or you can jump ahead and start recording podcasts seamlessly.

7. Don’t skip editing 

Your podcast doesn't have to go to air without any editing fixes. Audio and video editing software for podcasts can help you enhance audio quality, improving the listening experience for your audience.

When you edit your podcast before publishing new episodes, you can ensure that you're sharing your best work. The editing process is also an opportunity to cut unnecessary content, allowing your broadcast to focus on a few key messages.

8. Stay consistent

As with many other creative pursuits, consistency is the key to good podcasting! To build success, stay as consistent as possible with your podcasting style and schedule.

Consistency means that you stay on topic and on brand, helping listeners know what to expect from new podcast episodes. Likewise, maintaining a consistent posting schedule helps audiences predict when new content will be available.

9. Know the market

If you want your podcast to be the best podcast in your niche, it's important that you do your research and get to know the podcast market you're in. Understanding market details will help you respond to audience interest and demand.

When you're not recording new podcast content, you should be listening to other podcasts in your genre or industry. This allows you to identify new trends and come up with ideas that could work for your audience too.

10. Work with other creators

One of the great things about podcasting is that it can be a collaborative process! When you can, work with other creators by inviting guests to record your podcast. There are so many benefits!

Podcast guests can offer interest for your audience, allowing you to have new and informed conversations. Additionally, working with guests from other podcasts can help you reach new potential listeners. A guest can grant you marketing power!

11. Actively seek sponsorship

After you launch your podcast, you'll need to start considering financial opportunities to support you as you create more content. Sponsorship should be at the top of the list!

Ad placements and sponsorships can be a great way to earn money as a podcaster. Sometimes, ads can be as simple as telling those listening to check out a new product! Sponsorships offer great income as your podcasting career grows.

12. Don't forget SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is an important part of improving your podcast's reach. When you write a title or description for your latest episode, try to include keywords relevant to your topic.

Incorporating SEO keywords in your podcast's metadata can help your podcast show up in search results. This will allow you to reach more people who are interested in what you have to say.

13. Add video content

While podcasts focus on audio content, sound doesn't have to work alone. Many podcasters also film video content to share on YouTube as a supplement to their podcast episodes.

Adding video content to your podcasting strategy can allow you to broaden your audience and impact. It also allows you to list your content on new platforms, building your reach potential.

It’s worth mentioning that video podcasts are also becoming more popular. Recently Spotify, one of the biggest podcast distributors, launched video podcasts on their platform. Luckily with Riverside's Anchor integration you can create a video podcast in top-quality, and  seamlessly distribute to Spotify's millions of users through Anchor.

14. Market your podcast on social media

Social media marketing can play a key role in helping you create a successful podcast by allowing you to communicate with listeners and share your latest podcast news. You can even share some of the recording process!

Ready to launch? Start posting about your upcoming podcast on social media! Hosting with a new guest? Advertise it on your social accounts! Social media is a great way to get people to subscribe to your podcast content. Include different branding materials like logos, brand colors, email newsletters, and other marketing channels to expand your reach.

Another good tip is to create short shareable clips from your full podcast and use them as trailers to entice viewers to watch your show. You can do this effortlessly with Riverside's Magic Clips tool. At the tap of a button, Ai will identify key moments in your recording and turn them into short, shareable clips.

15. Listen to your audience

As a podcaster, you should always care about your audience and the content they want to listen to. Try to pay attention to audience interests and listening analytics, taking note of trends.

By understanding what your audience cares about, you can begin to create related content. This will allow you to target audiences more effectively than ever before. You'll also show your listeners that you care about their opinions!

16. Never stop learning

The true key to creating a successful podcast is to never stop learning. Whether you're listening to other creators or working on your own podcast, you should always be trying to improve your skills.

By remaining committed to the podcasting craft, you can ensure that your podcast remains effective and popular. Every time you learn something new, you'll have another chance at podcasting success.

Are you ready to start your own successful podcast? Use to begin your journey and capture studio-quality audio!

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