How to Grow a Podcast in 2024 (With ZERO Experience)

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 10/11/23 •  12 min read

Trying to figure out how to grow a podcast quickly? There may be no one on the planet better qualified to teach you how to do this than John Lee Dumas, of Entrepreneurs on Fire. So I’ll let him take over from here!

When I first came up with the idea to start a daily podcast interviewing today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs, I didn’t know what to expect.

Like most when they first take their entrepreneurial leap, I was scared, and I was more or less prepared to launch a podcast that no one was going to listen to.

While I didn’t see a significant number of downloads in the first couple of days after launching EntrepreneursOnFire, I am now seeing massive downloads every day. To give you an idea of this number, EntrepreneursOnFire had 419,721 unique downloads a month less than a year after starting it.

I’m often asked by others, “How did you get to where you are now?”

Well, I came up with the idea to start EntrepreneursOnFire after running out of podcasts to listen to.

At the time, I was driving a lot for my job as a commercial real estate broker, and there were several daily activities I did that seemed like ideal times to be soaking up entertaining and educational content. In addition to my drive time, activities like working out and taking my dog for walks were ideal listening times for me.

I loved business podcasts, especially those that interviewed entrepreneurs. I was always so interested in the entrepreneur’s story – how they came up with their idea, and the steps they took to turn that idea into a scalable business.

It got me feeling really fired up, and even though I didn’t realize it at the time, this passion that was building inside of me for this specific type of content would be exactly what would push me over the edge and into my own entrepreneurial venture.

So back to the day when I ran out of podcasts to listen to during one of my drives…

At that moment, I realized that no one was coming out with a daily podcast that interviewed Entrepreneurs. I knew I wasn’t the only one who found myself in a car, working out, or walking my dog on a daily basis. If I want this type of consistency, others out there must want it, too.

This idea for more consistent content, paired with my love for hearing about entrepreneurs who had a passion for something, and who found a way to turn that passion into their work, resulted in the creation of EntrepreneursOnFire.

So this sort of answers the question, “How did you get to where you are now?” … but let’s really dive in:

If you have a passion for something, or if you’ve discovered a niche that you want to fill, or if you simply want to add podcasting as another medium to get your message out, here are the very first steps I took – and that you can take, too – in order to make it all happen.

How to Grow a Podcast Step 1: Establish Your Topic

What’s your niche?

Ask yourself very specific questions about what niche you are trying to fill. If you think you’ve found your niche, then niche again. Niche until you simply can’t niche any more… niche until it HURTS.

It is so important that you target a very specific market with people who are looking for a product, a service or a solution to a problem or need they currently have. If you’re trying to talk to everyone, or even to multiple types of people, then you’ll end up talking to no one. Get specific!

This video covers niche selection from an affiliate marketing and blogging standpoint, but the concepts are exactly the same:


Who is your avatar?

Create an avatar for yourself so you know exactly who you’re talking to. What do they look like, what are their habits, where do they hang out, what do they like and not like?

Being able to name your niche and identify your avatar will help you in establishing why you’re different from the other businesses (or podcasts) in your industry.

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Step 2: What type of podcast do you want to create?

There are several questions to ask yourself when deciding what type of podcast you want to create. Here are a few that will help you narrow it down:

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your task list moving forward. For example, if you’re going to self-host your show and do an interview format, then you need to start figuring out who you’re going to interview.

Step 3: Create your mission statement

It’s important to be very clear about what it is you’re offering your audience. By creating a mission statement you’ll not only help yourself stay focused (this is a great piece of information to constantly refer back to as you continue to grow), but you’ll also be creating the backbone of your communications.

What is your podcast about and why should your audience want to listen to it (how is it going to help your audience)? Why is it different from other podcasts already out there? What are you trying to accomplish from starting your podcast?

Step 4: Establish your podcast goals

Setting up goals for yourself that you can refer back to at any stage in your business is integral to actually being able to achieve those goals. There will be a lot of crazy things happening at once sometimes, and there will be a lot of distractions along the way.

Keeping yourself focused on your goals is integral to achieving success. You can do this by continuing to ask yourself when a new project or opportunity presents itself: “How does this fit into my goals for the business?

If it isn’t helping you get one step closer to achieving the goals you’ve set, then you should put it on the backburner and revisit at a later time.

Revisiting and setting new goals on an annual basis can also be incredibly beneficial for giving your business the proper focus and direction it needs to thrive.

Step 5: Start building your platform

Your platform is the foundation from which all of your communications will spring. It’s important to have at least a few things in place prior to launching your podcast, but don’t feel as though everything has to be perfect for you to start.

Here are a few key things you should lead with in order to build a strong platform:

  1. Set up your website so that once your podcast goes live you’ll have a place to direct your audience to for other goodies like show notes pages, tools, resources, videos and more. Here’s exactly how to set up a website.
  2. Make sure you create an opt-in for your homepage that allows people to sign up for your email list. Having a giveaway to offer those who signup for your list is a great way to get targeted prospects who are interested in the products you may be offering in the future. Here’s one for Location Rebel. Building an email list is an important element to being able to communicate with your audience in an effective way.
  3. Social media is important(ish). When you’re just starting your podcast you’re going to have a LOT to do. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to create a presence on every single social media channel. Choose one that resonates the most with what you’re trying to do and focus on that. Then as you grow your can scale.

Step 6: Create, Grow, Monetize

Once you’ve figured out what your podcast looks like, who it’s for, what your purpose and goals are, and where you’ll drive your audience for more information, the fun begins!

How to Create a Podcast as a Total Beginner

When you first launch, regardless of whether your show will be bi-weekly, weekly or daily, you should start off by publishing 3-5 episodes on the first day. You should also be sure to have a “bank” with several episodes ready and waiting so that you don’t find yourself up against a wall.

You want to create as much consistency as possible so that your audience begins to learn they can depend on you and your content.

How to Grow a Podcast

  1. Maximize your time in the Apple New & Noteworthy section. You only have 8 weeks to take advantage of this prime real estate in Apple Podcasts. Being in this section will allow your podcast to be found organically, and therefore, you’ll be reaching potential audience members who would have otherwise never heard of or found about your podcast.
  2. These days more and more people are getting their podcasts from other platforms like Spotifygoo and Google. So make sure you’re publishing your episodes on all of the major platforms.
  3. Another way to gain momentum for growth is, if you’re doing an interview show, to ask your guests to share their episode when it goes live. This will also open the door to a new audience that you may have never been able to reach otherwise.
  4. If you’re not doing an interview show, then ask your audience for support. Ratings and reviews in iTunes are very important for rankings, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your fans and followers for this support.
  5. Finally, check out resources like HARO to find opportunities to get your name out there. This might be through being on other podcasts as an interviewee, writing guest posts for blogs or other online resources, or even PR opportunities.

How to Monetize Your Podcast

I started EntrepreneursOnFire not expecting to make a dime for a really long time – monetizing was not at the core of my strategy with the podcast by any means. I was focused on providing value first, which is what I would recommend to anyone who is starting a business.

That said, there are multiple ways to monetize as you grow your audience:

Affiliate Commissions

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to monetize a brand new podcast.

If there are products or services you love, see if they have an affiliate program. The easiest way to do this is to look at the footer of their website and see if they have an “affiliates” tab.

If not, try doing a google search for “[product name] affiliate program”.

If this is all new to you, check out our detailed guide on how to start affiliate marketing to get the full rundown.


This takes time since sponsors really look for opportunities to be on shows with a lot of downloads and a big audience. I wouldn’t focus on this if you’re just starting out, as it could take away from the attention you should be putting into creating a great podcast that people want to listen to.

But as you grow your audience this may be the single most lucrative way to make money with your podcast.


If you have a specific skill or knowledge set that you know your audience wants to learn more about, then you can offer coaching packages. For example, if your podcast focuses on leadership principles, you could offer coaching packages to help people become better leaders.

Products & Services

Once you’ve identified a problem or pain point that your audience has and that you can solve, you can start creating products and/or services that can help them. This is another monetization option that may take some time since you’ll want to allow your audience to become familiar with you, and come to know, like, and trust you. Once you’ve gained authority and credibility, your audience will believe that what you’re providing will be of benefit to them.

So, if you’re looking for tips and techniques on how to get started with your own podcast, and better yet, how to grow your podcast from zero to a whole lot of downloads in a short period of time, then follow these steps to success!

What stage of your podcasting journey are you in, and what are the next steps you’ll take to achieve your goals?

Final Thoughts on How to Grow a Podcast in 2024

There’s a reason that podcasting has become one of the most popular new online businesses to start over the last decade. There’s an incredible demand for them, they can position you as an expert, and you can literally do it from anywhere.

Learning how to grow a podcast isn’t that difficult. The hardest part is getting started and staying consistent over the course of those first weeks and months.

But if you can do that? Starting a podcast may be the single best decision you’ll ever make.

And if a podcast feels a little too intimidating for you? Perhaps you should consider starting a blog instead. Even in 2024, there’s still so much potential to create a sustainable business for yourself.

If you’re interested in joining a community of podcasters who are looking to create, grow and monetize their podcast, then join us in Podcasters’ Paradise. Enjoy video tutorials that will walk you through every step of your podcasting journey, a live Forum filled with other podcasters who you can connect with, and monthly Webinars from podcasting experts.

John Lee Dumas is the Founder of EntrepreneursOnFire, a podcast that interviews today’s most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs. EntrepreneursOnFire has generated over 150,000,000 downloads since it began, with past guests such as Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Guy Kawasaki. Recaps of the more than 4,000 episodes can be found at

And if you’re looking for a starting point, I’d definitely check out the EntrepreneursOnFire interview with Location Rebel’s very own, Sean Ogle!

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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31 comments on "How to Grow a Podcast in 2024 (With ZERO Experience)"

  1. Sean, thank you for this amazing opportunity to engage with your incredible readers. It’s great timing as we are having our sneak peak webinar for Podcasters’ Paradise tonight!

    You rock!

  2. Hey John and Sean,

    I’m glad to see you over at one of my favorite blogs John, way to go! This is an awesome post with a lot of valuable information on podcasting. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Keep up the awesome work!

    – Navid

    1. Thank you so much Navid! I’m glad you liked the post, and I’m SO stoked to be featured on Sean’s blog!

  3. Donnie Law says:

    It’s amazing how quickly John built his audience! After listening I can understand why.

    1. Donnie, thanks for listening to EntrepreneurOnFire! It’s been a wild ride thus far, and I’m loving every minute of it!

  4. Thanks John for the great post! Your book Podcast Launch: A Step-by-Step Podcasting Guide Including 15 Video Tutorials was instrumental in helping me launch my podcast. I am following all your guidelines to a “T” and have been blessed to stay in the New and Noteworthy section during this introduction period. My very niched down audience is growing slowly, but the progress is there and I am grateful for all of your help. Thanks again!

    1. My pleasure Celest..can’t wait to see you IGNITE!

  5. Amber Hurdle says:

    WAIT, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…where is the step or headline for F.O.C.U.S.???? I read it and re-read it. You touched on it, but the acronym is MIA. Did I miss it? Did you really not say it, John?! 🙂 What restraint! Ok, now that I’m done picking on you, great blog post, John. And Sean, I’m looking forward to poking around your site. Nice selection for a guest blogger. 😉

    1. hahahha..true laughter coming from this guy Amber. 🙂

  6. I will be launching my podcast next week! Yipee!!! and if it wasn’t for John, I would have no idea what I was doing. In fact I don’t even think it would even have occurred to me to launch a podcast!

    This is a great outline for what it takes to have a great podcast! Thanks for sharing and for all of the valuable insights you provide!

    1. JW, can’t wait for your podcast…it’s gonna ROCK DA HOUSE!

  7. Christine says:

    Such practical step by step advice. I’ll definitely be passing this on to some friends looking at starting a podcast. Contains a wealth of information. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Christine, I am truly glad you enjoyed!

  8. Aaron says:

    Just found out about his podcast, now where was I previously? Hiding under a cave? His podcast is AMAZING! Going to spend my weekend listening to all of it.

    1. Aaron – rock on! Glad you found EntrepreneurOnFire, and I hope you are enjoying listening to all the episodes!

  9. Chas says:

    This is a kind of off-track question and not specific to podcasting itself, but, I had issues trying to set-up an email account with Apple, and am wondering if I should use the same user name and password to set-up an iCloud account as an iTunes account? I know this is basic, but, I am only asking because of your experience. I have to take these baby steps before I can even dip my toes in the waters of podcasting. Thank you.

    1. Hi Chas! Great question. I actually don’t use Apple for my email account, so I definitely can’t claim to be a pro in that area. From what I know about Apple IDs, yes, it is true that you use the same ID for all of their services (iTunes, iCould, etc). I hope this helps!

  10. Dean Patino says:

    John, wow! You just keep on giving and giving and giving out valuable information for the masses to take advantage of to build and grow their own business. Thank you for such an outstanding, detailed article explaining how everyone else that desires can follow the model you laid out on their way to becoming truly successful on so many levels let alone financially.

    Congratulations on Entrepreneur on Fire’s success and for doing all you and Kate do to help so many live out their dreams!

    1. Dean thank you so much! I’m all about providing valuable tips for those who want to follow their passions. If those passions involve podcasting, then great! Thanks for reading and engaging here 🙂

  11. John is THE guy I credit for my A-Ha moment of, “I can do this.” I will be launching next month. I love the advice in this article, John’s continuous transparency, and the ongoing value of Entrepreneur On Fire. Keep up the great work my friend!

    1. Paul – WOW – I’m so honored!! Can’t wait for your podcast to go live… I’ll best one of the first in iTunes to listen, rate and review!

  12. Jan Koch says:

    Hey Sean and John,
    you both are truly inspiring me everyday! Thank you for putting all the work in!

    As I’m about to quit my job tomorrow so that I’m working on my own from 1.12.13 (my personal break-free day!) I’m thinking about starting a vlog where I’m talking about the single steps I’m taking to convert from employee to entrepreneur 🙂 John’s everyday podcast really proves to me that anyone can do it, with enough work and passion.

    Though I’m scared, I can’t wait to get this started and to start working for my dream!

    All the best and thank you for being as motivational as you are!

    1. Jan, CONGRATS on the move into entrepreneurialism! It’s a tough leap to make – scary, unknown, difficult – but when you put everything you have into it, what you get in return is invaluable. I couldn’t be more grateful for listeners like you who continue to inspire me to do what I do every day. Thank you for your comment!

  13. Anthony Tran says:

    John, is an amazing Entrepreneur and coach. He is a great example of what could happen if you simply just take MASSIVE ACTION. Some of he tips may sound oversimplified, but that is because John doesn’t over complicate things… he just puts things in perspective and goes forth and conquer.

    1. Thanks for the shout Anthony! I appreciate the kind words. Ever heard the saying “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn”? Simple, consistent steps create massive returns.

  14. YoProWealth says:

    Killer resource from you, John! This is as useful as an entire book. Seriously, I have already shared this with several folks that are trying to find their story and niche for their podcast.

    Stellar info!

    1. Thank you Austin! Sharing is caring 😉

  15. alexdesigns says:

    Recently started following John and he really knows how to provide a ton of value. Looking forward to Paradise.

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