How To Start A Million Dollar Podcast In 2022 (Step By Step)

Here are the 7 steps to launch a top-ranked podcast.

Ryan Pineda

January 11, 2022

The podcast industry is exploding. Recently, Spotify signed Joe Rogan to a deal worth over $100 million. When that deal happened, a lot of people thought, “It's Joe Rogan. So that's kind of just an outlier. That's not gonna happen again.” Well, it wasn't too long after that Alex Cooper ended up signing a deal for $60 million. It's my belief that these trends are going to continue to happen even for smaller creators. I'm gonna give you my number one secret for how you can start a podcast today and get ranked in the top 20. 

Let me start off by saying that podcasts are my favorite form of content to not only consume, but to also make. I like consuming it because I get to dive deep into an idea and I love hearing different people's perspectives. Usually it's a lot more raw and you get a lot more transparency than when you watch it on TikTok or YouTube. Typically they're a lot more fast paced. They gotta leave a lot of things out in order to keep the viewer engaged. So I think that the content is much better overall when you're listening to a podcast, trying to learn something new.

As a creator, I like making podcasts better because there's way less prep work on my end. I get to just bring in a really cool guest and then freestyle and figure out what kind of cool things they're doing to be successful. I get to ask questions I personally want the answer to so that I can apply them to my life. It's way easier to make an hour-long podcast with somebody than to do a video like this, where I script it out and make everything very detailed bullet point by bullet point. 

If you go on TikTok or Instagram, you'll notice that almost all of my content is repurposed from my podcast. My editors are going through the podcast, listening for the best nuggets, and they're just putting them out there on TikTok. Just doing that for the last year has got me to almost a million followers on TikTok. So if you get good at making a podcast, you can also grow your other platforms as well. 

After talking about what Joe Rogan did, after talking about how I do it, hopefully you agree that a podcast is a great way to create content and to build your brand and build value for your audience. 

Now, let's talk about how to do it step by step. 

  1. Pick a niche

For your niche there’s a few things you need to think about. Is there an audience for the niche? How big is the range? Why should you be talking about the niche? Why would anyone wanna listen to you about it? Do you enjoy talking about that topic?

For example, when I started to think about my niche for the podcast, there were a lot of different ways I could go. I could talk about real estate and general business. I could talk about creating content and YouTube. There are many podcasts that just service those different industries, but I realized that I would get really bored only talking about that. Plus the audience size for those specific niches are pretty small. 

I want to have a really big brand where it can reach a lot of different people, not just one small niche. So I decided my podcast was gonna be about general entrepreneurship. We're gonna talk about building businesses. We're gonna talk about different investing strategies, how to use social media to build your business. All of this just falls under the general entrepreneurship category. 

It is easier to stand out when you do niche down. So I'm not saying that what I did is the right way by any means. I actually think that by niching down and picking something very unique, you're gonna get a smaller fan base, but they're gonna be much more loyal and dedicated. There's no one else servicing them. So I would just pick a niche that you have something to contribute to, that you can add value, something that you can talk about a lot, because you're gonna be making a lot of podcasts in that niche and something that you have an audience for. 

  1. The format of the podcast.

Are you going to interview guests? Are you going to do it solo? How long is the podcast going to be? you want to figure out how to create a format that is consistent for your audience. Without consistency your audience gets confused. They don't know what to expect. So you need to be consistent with the format. I decided that I enjoy listening to hour-long podcasts. I also enjoy listening to different guest speakers. So for that reason, that's the style of podcast that I'm using. So the format you pick is very important. 

The last thing you should think about is do you wanna have a co-host? Do you want to have somebody who's good at asking the tough questions and somebody who's there for comedic relief? If you are going to have a co-host make sure you have different types of personalities so you both are bringing different flavors to the podcast. If you both are the same exact person, it's kind of boring for the viewer. Don't partner up with your buddy just because you guys are buddies. Make sure that you guys both bring something unique to the table. 

  1. Name and a podcast cover

So I've talked about this a lot. On YouTube the most important thing you can do to get views is have a good thumbnail and a good title. The content itself doesn't matter if no one ever clicks on it, the same thing applies to a podcast. If they've never heard of you before, the very first thing they're looking at is your podcast cover. How does it look? Is it something that I want to click on? And what's the name? Does the name tell me anything about what this podcast is about? 

So this is where I also differ again, from what I did versus what I would tell you to do. I picked the name, the Ryan Pineda Show, and it's worked out great for me because people know my name from the other platforms. I've got a pretty big following across everything else outside of podcast. So if they search for Ryan Pineda, then they're gonna find my show.

If I was brand new and no one knew me, I don't think picking your name is something that you should do. I would pick a name that is relevant to your niche. I would make the title very captivating so that people knew exactly what they were gonna listen to. So unless you're already famous, do not use your name. Now that doesn't mean you can't have your name in the podcast cover. You can definitely have your face on the cover. You can have your name at the bottom, but it's not the title of the podcast. When it comes to the cover, make sure that it stands out and it looks really good. By looking at the cover, they should be able to tell what the podcast is about. 

  1. Get the right equipment

The most important thing with podcasts is audio. You need really good mics. We use a brand called Shure. It's one of the higher end ones, but you don’t have to go that route. You can get the rode podcaster which is a great entry level mic. 

You're also going to need a camera. You should be filming every single podcast. Do not make the mistake of going audio only. That is a huge mistake. It doesn't allow you to repurpose the clips. You're also not going to be able to put it on YouTube and other platforms where people could watch it and you can make even more money and get more eyeballs. So make sure you film all your podcasts. You can go get any camera you want. One I highly recommend for beginners is the Sony A6400.

Lastly, when it comes to equipment is to make sure that you get a good set. You're perfectly fine doing it at your house and just getting a nice backdrop. Everyone's got some kind of nice backdrop at your house. Just make sure that it's somewhere where you don't have a lot of echo and that you're not gonna have any distractions. 

  1. Launch with multiple episodes

So one of the biggest things that I did was launch with 10 episodes all at once. The reason I did that is because it helps the algorithm. If you launch with only one episode and all of your friends go and watch it, you're gonna get a certain amount of downloads and views for that one episode. But if you launch with 10, they can now binge watch you like Netflix. It's going to send a signal to the algorithm that says, “this guy just launched and he's already got 10 times the download as somebody who only launches with one episode”

That's going to help you rank high. This is the exact strategy that I used when I launched my podcast. I also did a giveaway on top of that and said, “Hey, if you go and subscribe to my podcast and you leave me a review, I'm gonna go pick a bunch of winners. I'm giving away cash. I'm giving away courses. T-shirts, all that stuff.” Guess what happened? I got over 1,000 5 star reviews. I launched in the top 20 of business overall. For a few days I was above Gary Vee and all these big guys for my podcast ranking. Apple podcasts saw that and said, “okay, this guy's legit. We are gonna go push his stuff throughout the year because people who've launched this big are usually gonna continue to do it. And we want people to listen to podcast on our platform.”

So that was the biggest thing I did for launch. That's the number one thing I say for you guys to do. If you're going to launch, make sure you have a lot of episodes and do something for your followers so they're incentivized to go listen, subscribe and to leave you a five star review.

  1. Be consistent and make sure that you're adjusting your message as you go along

I see too many people that do a big launch, and then all of a sudden, they're not consistent with the podcast. Their fans don't know when the next one's gonna be. You should be releasing your podcast every day at the same time. Your audience should know how often it's going and what day it's going. 

Also make sure you're repurposing the content on the other platforms. If you've already spent an hour filming, I'm sure you said something smart that's gonna give people interested in what you're doing. Just take those clips and go throw 'em on TikTok, throw 'em on Instagram, throw 'em on YouTube shorts. It's gonna redirect people to your podcast and give it a better chance to be found.

  1. Pay attention to the data 

If you're seeing your statistics go down on a certain topic or when you do things a certain way, but you see them going up when you are doing something different or you're interviewing this type of guest, start getting more of that guest or more of that content do what works. Once you have enough data, pay attention to it so that you can be more successful.

 I think it is a huge industry that is going to continue growing as time goes along. 

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