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Podcasts: Expectations vs. Reality

When starting a podcast, or thinking about starting a podcast, there is typically a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. You have a great idea, you can’t wait to record, you know everyone is going to love your content. Today, let’s set the record straight on the reality of launching a new podcast.


  • You’ll be able to have a number one show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify immediately
  • Each episode will have thousands of downloads
  • You’ll be producing episodes several times a week
  • You don’t need a graphic designer to create your cover art
  • Transcripts are a nice to have
  • You’ll rely on directories, and you don’t need to build a website


  • Ranking on Apple and Spotify, will take time and A LOT of self promotion
  • The most successful podcast episode had around 50,000 downloads in only 30 days. An episode with 9,000 downloads earns a place in the top 5% of podcasts, and 3,400 downloads puts you in the top 10%. The average podcast racks up 141 downloads in the first 30 days. (Small Business Genius)
  • Use the rule of 4 to plan your production. On average, it takes 4 times the length of your episode to edit the content
  • Canva can create great stuff, but designers can be cover art wizards worth the investment
  • Transcripts are a must for SEO and ADA compliance
  • A website, or at least a web page, is the best way to build a central location for your future audience to follow your podcast

We love podcasts, and half the battle in create a great show is getting off your a$$ and doing the work. It’s too often we see podcasters fail because they don’t have a clear understanding of the work required. Go into your podcast knowing it is going to take time, and the investment will eventually pay off if you stay committed.

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