Learn the stories behind the top podcasts in the world!
4 Lessons on Growth from a Top 0.1% Podcast

How Pods Grow
May. 6 2024

Hey Podcast Friend,

You’re reading the first issue of the How Pods Grow newsletter, and I couldn’t be more excited to have you here! I may be biased, but I’m predicting wonderful things for us here.

I’ve been on a podcasting break for the last four months while I built out the initial PodCharm platform. Now that it's live and people are using it, I’m back to podcasting regularly, and I’ll also be spending a lot of time learning from our users and continuing to build awesome new features to help grow their podcast communities.

I just finished recording the first episode of the How Pods Grow podcast and I have to say, it feels good to be back and shake off the rust.

Episode #1 of the podcast is all about the lessons on growth we can learn from Founders, a top 0.1% podcast in the history and business genre hosted by David Senra. For our inaugural newsletter issue, I want to share four key takeaways and how you can apply them to your podcast.
Podcast Growth is Never Linear

Depth over fluff
Often the best way to gain a following is to separate yourself from the herd.

We’re inundated with superficial content these days. From microposts on sites like Threads and Twitter/X, to short clips on Tik Tok and Instagram. Even many of the most popular podcasts that dominate the charts focus on surface level interviews and banter.

Instead of getting lost in the crowd, one way to stand out is to drill down deep.

The host of Founders reads an entire biography every week, and then dissects the content on each 60-90 minute episode. David provides tremendous value for his audience of history and business lovers, including myself, who don’t always have time to read as much as we’d like, but still want to learn as much as we can.

Don’t talk to the audience, talk to the listener
This is a subtle and rarely used tactic, but I also find it incredibly powerful. Instead of speaking to an audience, David makes it a point to talk directly to the individual.

He doesn’t address the group like most podcasters do, saying things like “Hey everyone”, and he doesn’t have a collective name for his listeners, like Alex Cooper’s “Daddy Gang.”

Instead, he makes statements like, “Do you remember when you and I talked about Steve Jobs in Episode #5?”

It's not for everyone, but if you listen to Founders, you'll notice the difference between how David and most other podcasters speak to their listeners.

Don’t give up too early
Most shows never make it past episode #3 before their host throws in the towel. But it often takes dozens or even hundreds of episodes before a podcast really starts to grow.

David began recording Founders in 2016, and he says the show didn’t really start to take off until 2019, when he was about 150 episodes in.

What kept him going for so long when not many people were listening? He chose a topic centered around his 4 primary interests: podcasting, reading, entrepreneurship and history.

Become a great storyteller
The best podcasters share a few things in common. One is that they’re usually great at telling stories.

Effective storytelling makes concepts more relatable, ideas more persuasive, and can even strengthen relationships.

If you’re a solo podcaster, you’ll often be telling entire stories on your own. If you host an interview show, your job is to ask the right questions and provide the right commentary to get the guest to tell a compelling story.

There’s a lot of advice on the internet about how to get better at storytelling. This TEDx talk by David JP Phillips on YouTube is one of my favorites. Check it out and learn how the simple act of storytelling can help you get the desired effects you want in life.

That’s all for today. If you want to learn more ways the Founders podcast grew to one of the top podcasts in the world, check out episode #1.
By signing up, you agree to receive email from this podcast.