How to Successfully Grow Your Podcast Audience: Insights and Strategies

Aadil Verma

Hatched by Aadil Verma

Apr 18, 2024

3 min read


How to Successfully Grow Your Podcast Audience: Insights and Strategies


Growing a podcast audience can be a challenging endeavor, especially when faced with limited viral and paid growth opportunities. However, by understanding the principles of sticky growth and leveraging unique strategies, it is possible to achieve exponential growth. In this article, we will explore the experiences of Shaan Puri and Steven Bartlett, as well as the insights from Eric Reese's "The Lean Startup," to uncover actionable advice for podcasters seeking to expand their audience.

The Power of Authenticity and Niche Audiences:

Shaan Puri's hiring of Steven Bartlett, who later achieved great success with his podcast "Diary of a CEO," highlights the importance of authenticity and targeting niche audiences. Bartlett's ability to promote his failed startup by partnering with themed Instagram and Twitter accounts demonstrates that understanding your target audience and approaching them in a genuine manner can yield impressive results. By identifying platforms where your target audience already exists and engaging in meaningful conversations, you can attract new listeners to your podcast.

Understanding the Engines of Growth:

To effectively grow a podcast audience, it is crucial to comprehend the three engines of growth outlined by Eric Reese. The first engine is viral growth, which relies on the organic spread of your content from one listener to another. While podcasts may not be inherently viral, understanding the social nature of music and applying similar principles to your podcast can help generate word-of-mouth recommendations.

The second engine, paid growth, is not suitable for podcasts due to the lack of advertising platforms and the difficulty of targeting broad audiences. Podcasts thrive on personalized and niche interests, making it challenging to achieve a positive return on investment through paid advertising.

However, the third engine, sticky growth, offers a valuable strategy for podcasters. By focusing on creating a compelling and engaging podcast experience, listeners will develop a deep connection with your content, leading them to voluntarily share it with others over time. This slow but steady growth relies on building a loyal and dedicated audience that becomes your brand ambassador.

The Challenges of Podcast Growth:

One of the primary reasons podcast growth can be challenging is the lack of immediate feedback and data. Unlike other mediums, podcasts offer limited insights into the audience's preferences or areas for improvement. However, this opacity can also work in your favor, allowing you to attract high-profile guests to your podcast, even with a small listener base. As your podcast gains traction, it becomes essential to establish a feedback loop to continually refine and enhance your content.

Actionable Advice for Growing Your Podcast Audience:

  • 1. Identify and engage with niche communities: Seek out platforms and communities where your target audience already exists and engage in meaningful conversations. By establishing yourself as a valuable contributor, you can attract new listeners to your podcast.
  • 2. Create a sticky and engaging podcast experience: Focus on delivering high-quality content that resonates with your audience. Prioritize authenticity, storytelling, and providing value to keep listeners coming back for more.
  • 3. Leverage the power of networking and partnerships: Collaborate with other podcasters, industry influencers, or experts in relevant fields to cross-promote each other's content. By tapping into their established audiences, you can expand your reach and attract new listeners.


Growing a podcast audience requires a strategic approach that leverages authenticity, niche targeting, and sticky growth principles. While viral and paid growth may not be viable options, the power of an engaged and loyal audience should not be underestimated. By implementing the actionable advice outlined in this article, podcasters can overcome the challenges and achieve exponential growth in their audience size. So, embrace the slow and steady path to success, and watch as your podcast becomes a force to be reckoned with in the digital realm.

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