How I Built a #1-Ranked Podcast With 60M+ Downloads

The kitchen table where I've recorded the majority of my podcasts.
The kitchen table where I’ve recorded the majority of my podcasts.

This is my first public exploration of the business and art of podcasting. I still have much to improve, but I’m ready to share a few lessons learned. It’s my hope that they’ll save you a ton of time.

I’m still flabbergasted by how this experiment took on a life of its own.  It started with too much booze with Kevin Rose, and I expected it to die a quiet death after six episodes.

That said, here are a few quick stats on The Tim Ferriss Show after 150 episodes of mucking about, screwing up, and refining (as of this writing):

  • Nearly 70,000,000 downloads as of April 2016 [Update: As of January 2023, more than 900M]
  • More than 2,500 reviews on Apple Podcasts, 2,100+ 5-star reviews
  • Selected for “Best of iTunes” in 2014 and 2015
  • Out of 300,000+ podcasts on iTunes, it’s generally the #1 business podcast and an overall top-25 podcast
  • Won “Podcast of the Year” in 2015 for the Jamie Foxx episode (via Product Hunt)

I’ve certainly stumbled a lot, but that’s how you figure things out.

I’ll share the first batch of big lessons in this post. If you like it, there’s a whole lot more to divulge (e.g. exactly how I get guests, etc.). If the response is a collective “meh,” I’ll play with my dog instead.

I’ve formatted this little ditty as a Q&A, based on the most common questions from readers, podcasters, and journalists.

Hope you find it useful!

The overarching principles explored apply to a whole lot more than podcasting…


QUESTION: Why did you start the podcast? How has it evolved over 150 episodes?

The podcast was never intended to be a business.

I was burned out after The 4-Hour Chef, which was nearly 700 pages, and I wanted a casual but creative break from big projects. Since I enjoyed being interviewed by Joe Rogan, Marc Maron, Nerdist, and other podcasting heavies who really move the needle, I decided to try long-form audio for six episodes. If I didn’t enjoy it, I would throw in the towel and walk.

My rationale: Worst-case scenario, the experience would help me improve my interviewing, which would help later book projects. This is a great example of what Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, would call “systems” (win even if you lose) thinking. He discusses this at length with me here.

Flash forward to the current day, the podcast has found a nest in my “business,” but there is a clear hierarchy. Here are the pieces, in descending order of importance:

1) E-mail newsletter and 5-Bullet Friday — Unlike, say, Facebook or Twitter, I own this communication directly and it’s less subject to the whims of algorithm changes (e.g. “Oops! Now you only reach 10% of your audience.”). Some people insist that e-mail is dead for younger generations, and they’re right… until those young people get jobs. E-mail will stick around for a while, despite attempts to kill it.

It’s still the most reliable delivery mechanism, although mobile push notifications are increasingly interesting to me. Though I use Slack for internal team communication, email is still #1 for external.

2) Blog and website — Based on WordPress VIP, ditto for the above. Even if Automattic goes out of business (disclosure: I’m an advisor, so I think this unlikely), WordPress is open source and I’ll survive. Video and audio are fantastic, but few things travel as well as text. Unlike video and audio, I feel there is a greater appreciation of page value with solid long-form, evergreen text content. The vast majority of my most popular posts are years old (e.g. Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days, Scientific Speed Reading). The best SEO is good, non-newsy content that remains relevant for years.

3) Podcast — This is the fastest growing piece of the puzzle, and I’m heavily investing here. Unlike the above two, audio can be a secondary activity. In other words, people can listen to my podcast when they commute, cook, walk the dog, work, etc. There’s also no degradation of experience when moving from laptop to mobile. Last but not least, I’m currently having the most fun with audio.

All that said, I put “business” in quotation marks in this answer because I don’t rely on my writing, etc. for money.

The majority of my finances come from early-stage startup investing, which I started in 2007 (portfolio) and stopped about six months ago. For this reason, I don’t feel pressured to monetize, per se. I put out what I want to put out, when I want to put it out, and that’s it.

Paradoxically, this seemingly lax approach appears to generate more revenue than if I focused on pushing product. My fan dedication (and occasional conversion) is high precisely because I don’t constantly bombard them with sales pitches and calls to action. Sure, I could make $5-10M additional per year for 1-3 years until I burned my audience out, but these people (you!) are worth far more to me than that. They’re a high-calibre bunch, people I want to be friends with rather than irritate.

Your network is your net-worth, and there are many ways to build it. Content is definitely one tool.

QUESTION: Does the podcast make any money directly, though?

Yes. If I wanted to fully monetize the show at my current rates, I could make between $2-4M per year, depending on how many episodes (“eps”) and spots I offer.

So why “if I wanted to fully monetize?” Because “fully monetizing”–bleeding the stone for all it’s worth–is nearly always a mistake, in my opinion.

I want to convert casual listeners into die-hard, fervent listeners, and I want to convert casual sponsors into die-hard, fervent sponsors. This requires two things: 1) Playing the long game, and 2) Strategically leaving some chips on the table. As a mentor once told me, “You can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin him only once.”

So, don’t skin your fuckin’ sheep, kids. In practical terms…

The podcast over-delivers for sponsors (here’s one example), partially because I deliberately undersell downloads. If I hypothetically get 1M downloads per episode, I might only guarantee (and charge for) 750K downloads.  This has attracted and kept sponsors ranging from Audible and Wealthfront to MeUndies and 99Designs.

I don’t have any sophisticated “funnel” or loss-leader campaign. I charge each sponsor per thousand downloads/listens that I guarantee. This cost per thousand (e.g. downloads, impressions, delivered email, etc.) is abbreviated as “CPM,” and the amount you charge per M (“thousand” in Roman numerals) is your “CPM rate.”

I’m not going to give my exact rates in this post, but I’ll give you something better: the bigger picture.

Premium podcasts tend to charge between $25-100 CPM. By “premium,” I mean high-converting, (often) single-host (due to Oprah-like sales impact), iTunes top-50 podcasts.

Let’s look at some numbers. If you can hypothetically guarantee 100,000 downloads per episode, as measured at six weeks post-publication (which seems standard for some odd reason), here is how the math shakes out at different CPM rates:

$50 CPM x 100,000 = 50 x 100 = $5,000 per sponsor per episode

$75 CPM x 100,000 = $7,500 per sponsor per episode

$100 CPM x 100,000 = $10,000 per sponsor per episode

Now, if a podcaster can guarantee 500,000 or 1M downloads/listens, you can see how the numbers add up.

To put these rates in context with other advertising, consider banner ads and email newsletters targeting high HHI (household income) demographics.

On the cheaper end, display/banner ads often cost less than $10 CPM, but a high-converting email newsletter can sell ads/sponsorship at $200-250+ CPM (with no guarantee of opening, only delivery). Premium podcasts currently fall in the middle.

Some podcasts charge $100 CPM or more and are worth it, but… I like setting numbers I can easily beat.

Any marginal short-term loss is made up for by repeat sponsors and larger, long-term purchase orders.  I also rig the game to tilt ROI for sponsors by including blog posts (~2.5M uniques/month), e-mail newsletter (500K-1,000,000+ with sharing), and social (2M+) in the podcast sponsorship versus charging separately a la carte. That might change, but it currently guarantees that 90%+ of my sponsorships clobber competitors, as the cumulative CPM is probably 50% below market.

(Related: If you spend at least $100K per year in marketing and are interested in test sponsoring the podcast, click here for more. Minimum test spend is, at least, $50K-$100K. Seriously inquiries only, please, and pricing is non-negotiable.)

Note to everyone asking “How do I get sponsors?”:  It’s critical to realize that I didn’t accept advertisers for the podcast until I had 100,000+ downloads per episode, as measured six weeks after publication.

Novice podcasters (which I was) and bloggers get too distracted in nascent stages with monetization. In the first 3-9 months, you should be honing your craft and putting out increasingly better work. Option A: you can waste 30-50% of your time to persuade a few small sponsors to commit early and stall at 30,000 downloads per episode because you’re neglecting creative. Option B: you can play the long game, wait 6-12 months until you have a critical mass, then you get to 300,000 downloads per ep and make 10x+ per ep with much larger brands. If you can afford it, don’t be in a rush. Haste makes waste; in this case, it can make the difference between $50,000 per year and $1,000,000+ per year. To reiterate a phrase more often used for blogging: “Good content is the best SEO.” Read The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing to be different, not just incrementally better.

But…all this advertising talk is important to consider in the context of higher-level strategies. In podcasting, it’s easy to get stuck in the CPM and what-preamp-do-I-need? weeds. Decide on your larger framework and philosophy first.

Example — In general and across the board, I split my content in a very binary fashion: free or ultra-premium.

“Free” means that 99% of what I do is free to the world (e.g. podcast, blog) or nearly free (books). I write on topics A) that I enjoy and want to learn more about, and B) that I think will attract intelligent, driven, and/or accomplished people. This is what allows “ultra-premium.”

“Ultra-premium” means:

  • Once in a blue moon, I offer a high-priced and very limited product or opportunity, such as an event with 200 seats at $7,500-$10,000 per seat. I can sell out a scarce, ultra-premium opp within 48 hours with a single blog post.
  • I use the network and contacts I’ve built through “free” to find excellent non-content opportunities. I already mentioned one example: my early-stage tech investing. This came from the first book, blog, and social. I found Shopify, for instance, via my fans on Twitter while updating The 4-Hour Workweek. I started advising Shopify when they had ~10 employees. Now they have 1,000+ and are a publicly traded company (SHOP).

An openness to indirect paths means I don’t obsess over selling my content, and I never have. If the podcast sponsorship stuff turns into a headache, I’ll just drop it. Not to beat a dead horse, but let’s restate the most important takeaway — my network, built through writing, is my net worth. That travels with me. If you’d like more practice thinking laterally, try the work of Edward de Bono as an introduction.

Back to the money…

Whenever possible, I avoid what I consider the “blood-bath zone” — products or services priced from $20-100. This is where your customers will be at least 1/3 high-maintenance and cost-sensitive. For my minimalist preferences and operation, that’s too much customer service headache for the ROI, unless it’s automated like my book club with Audible.

[Afterword: I asked my Managing Editor to proofread this post, and he gave me the below comment. I’ve decided to simply copy and paste it.]

*** Tim: I think you should dig in more on just how much money you actually pass up. Including:

1) You don’t do more than 2 sponsors per ep (you could).

2) You vet [and use] all products and turn down >80% of advertisers.

3) You turn down sponsors that want you to do ridiculous reads. I’ve seen it multiple times where advertisers are like, “We need this to be longer” and you tell them to fuck off. This is important. You value your listener waaaaaaay more than they ever realize, and do it to the tune of legitimately millions “lost.” It’s not lost, but is worth mentioning and understanding.

4) You want the ads–like the content–to add value. You’re hoping when you hear it for the first time that you think it’s cool, new, different, or interesting. Otherwise, you wouldn’t share. When you hear it the 4th time, are you tired of it? Maybe. But your fourth time might be someone else’s first. It’s like complaining about shared content on social media. Just because you’ve experienced something before, that doesn’t mean everyone has, and your job is to best serve the audience. You do pre/post roll [instead of mid-roll] to make avoiding this easy: if you don’t like it, they can simply fast forward.

QUESTION: What’s your long-term revenue strategy with the podcast?

There is no long-term revenue strategy. I focus solely on making it as fun as possible for me to do. But — perhaps this itself is a solid strategy, not a lack of one. Simple can be effective. At least 50% of the venture capitalists I’ve met over the years laughed at my simplistic “scratch my own itch” investing approach. Net-net, I’ve now beaten most of their IRR. (Don’t get me wrong; many investors perennially kick my ass.)

For me, the moral of the story is this: Revenue opportunities often present themselves if you focus on creating something you’d pay for yourself.  If you can easily sell it to 10 friends and do some basic market research on top of that, the odds improve.

Of course, “scratching your own itch” doesn’t always work, but I think of it as necessary but not sufficient. If you have enough at-bats, and if you know how to limit losses (knowing when to fold ’em and walk away, like my six-episode commitment), you’ll eventually hit the ball.

The recipe is straightforward — Study the craft like it’s your job (e.g. Find people like master interviewer Cal Fussman), make yourself smile, don’t rush, don’t whore yourself, test a lot of wacky ideas, and think laterally. If you want to increase your income 10x instead of 10%, the best opportunities are often seemingly out of left field (e.g. books → startups).

Just remember that, even in a golden age, podcasting is a squirrely opportunity and not a panacea on a silver platter. Even if you work smart, you still have to do the work and take your lumps.

Amelia Boone, the world’s top female obstacle racer, said on my podcast that she’d put the following on a billboard: “No one owes you anything.” I think that’s a good mantra for life.

Try your best, take notes, and do better the next time.

QUESTION: What gear do you use for the podcast?

The recording gear is better and cheaper every year. It’s extremely easy for me to travel with a small recording studio in my backpack. If you’re on a budget, even an iPhone will do, but–bang for the buck–the ATR-2100 is hard to beat.

My mantra for gear is borrowed from my podcast with Morgan Spurlock: “Once you get fancy, fancy gets broken.”  Keep it simple.

For post-production and editing, I used Garageband for the first 30-40 episodes, but I now outsource to people who use primarily Ableton and Hindenburg. The simplicity of the latter is very appealing to me, but as a pure editor, it doesn’t include sound effects, transitions, etc. as a Garageband does.

Pat Flynn, a seasoned podcaster who’s helped me a ton, made a great and free podcast-editing tutorial for you all. This covers nearly everything you need to know for basic post-production.

For free options, Audacity is also popular. My suggestion: use the simplest editing software you can, or pay someone to do it for you. If Garageband appears too amateur for your first 1-3 episodes, I’d bet money you quit before episode 5. Keep it simple.

Regarding consumption and promotion — I love Marco Arment’s Overcast, both as a listener (smart speed) and podcaster (can link to specific time stamps). My wish and ask for them: to embed a small player on my blog instead of having to link out.

QUESTION: Is it too late to start a podcast? Don’t you feel pressured by all the competition? it seems like thousands launch every week.

Competition makes you better.

Everyone should try podcasting for at least 3-6 episodes, even if just to get better at asking questions and eliminating verbal tics. Those gains transfer everywhere.

If someone ends up better than me (or ranking better than me), they deserve to beat me. I’ll be the first person to buy them a beer. Remember that podcasting isn’t a zero-sum game, and a rising tide raises all ships (Check out the “Serial effect”). There’s plenty of room for more good shows, and the pie is expanding. Bring your A game and the cream will rise to the top.

Of course, you don’t need to be perfect (and you won’t be), but you need to try your best.  As Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, told me over coffee before I wrote The 4-Hour Workweek: “If you’re going to write a book, write a fucking book.”

If you start out bad but are incrementally improving towards awesome, that’s totally fine. If you’re half-assing it and coasting, find something else you can whole-ass.

QUESTION: How much time do you put into the podcast? Aren’t you The 4-Hour Workweek guy?

The 4-Hour Workweek is, first and foremost, about 10x’ing your per-hour output. I have no problem with hard work, as long as it’s applied to the right things, and I never have.

This is partially why The 4-Hour Workweek and the podcast have attracted some of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers and start-up founders. They might work 80+ hours per week, but they value efficient and elegant solutions.

The objective is to control your time — a non-renewable resource — and apply it where you have the highest leverage or enjoyment. For me right now, the Archimedes lever is clearly the podcast. I get to interview the most fascinating people I can find, including Rick Rubin, Jamie Foxx, Maria Popova, General McChrystal, Tony Robbins, and dozens of others. I would pay a small fortune to do this. Instead, I somehow get paid. For the time invested, especially when batching (e.g. I try and record eps on Mondays and Fridays, two weeks a month), it has the most disproportionate hours-to-ROI imaginable.

I don’t want my readers to be idle. Mini-retirements are wonderful (here’s a month-long example), but I’m not going to spend my entire life on the sidelines. This is all covered in the “Filling the Void” chapter of 4HWW, but it bears repeating.

For those curious, here’s what one of my days looks like. No two are quite alike.

QUESTION: But–for God’s sake–I don’t have bestselling books or a big blog! You had an unfair advantage. What can I do?

Get started.

Remember Amelia Boone, the most successful female obstacle racer in history? No one owes you anything. So… gird your loins and fucking get amongst it. Prepare to bloody your knees and learn a lot.

Yes, I came into podcasting with a text-loving audience, but guess what?

#1) Like everyone else, at one point, I had zero readers and zero listeners. We all start out naked and afraid. Then your mom starts checking out your stuff, or perhaps a few friends give a mercy-listen, and the fragile snowball grows from there. Here are a few ugly first versions of popular blogs. Mine was incredibly unpopular and hideous.

#2) Coming to the party with a pre-existing audience isn’t enough. Celebrities, YouTube icons, and bestselling authors start podcasts every week that get abandoned three weeks later.

Fortunately, the most common pitfalls are easy to avoid.

Here are a few things I found helpful that might help you:

1) Upload at least 2-3 pre-recorded episodes when you launch your podcast (real-world example). This appears to help with iTunes ranking, which — like bestseller lists — can be self-propagating. The higher you rank, the more people see you, the higher you continue to rank, etc.

2) Keep the format simple. Most would-be blockbuster podcasters quit because they get overwhelmed with gear and editing. Much like Joe Rogan, I decided to record and publish entire conversations (minimizing post-production), not solely highlights. I also use a tremendously simple gear setup and favored Skype interviews for the first 20 or so interviews, as the process is easier to handle when you can look at questions and prep notes in Evernote or a notebook.

As Tony Robbins would say: complexity is the enemy of execution. You do NOT need concert hall-quality audio; most people will be listening in the subway or car anyway, and they’ll forgive you if recordings are rough around the edges. Audio engineers will never be fully satisfied with your audio, but 99.9% of listeners will be happy if you’re intelligible and loud enough.

3) Don’t pursue or even think about sponsors until you have a critical mass. I discussed this earlier. It’s a distraction. Play the long game.

4) Get transcripts and send highlights with pitch ideas to print/text journalists. I have done this with several outlets, and it’s resulted in some outstanding original pieces like this one from Business Insider, who came up with the story angle on their own. I suspect this type of coverage also helped the Jamie Foxx episode win “Podcast Episode of the Year” on Product Hunt.

5) If you use blog posts, utilize graphics to increase podcast downloads/listens for your target platform. This is a tip I got from podcasting veteran John Lee Dumas. Here is one example of mine, where the iTunes button is exceptionally clear.

6) Experiment constantly. I have tested conversations in a sauna (Rick Rubin), solo Q&As based on reddit submissions (e.g. Maria Popova, Round Two), drunk dialing fans via Skype, audiobook excerpts (e.g. Tim Kreider), and more. It’s easy to assume that labor-intensive, polished episodes get the most downloads. Luckily, sometimes the opposite is true—the easy, low-labor stuff kills. This experimentation also keeps things fun for me. Podcasting isn’t radio, and there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules. Go nuts and let the world tell you what works.

A Few Closing Thoughts

There is no reason to bore your listeners (or yourself) because you’re slavishly following someone else’s playbook.

This post explains a few things I’ve found useful, but they’re guidelines at best, not rules.

Borrow, be ridiculous on occasion, and be yourself. This is one medium where it can pay 100-fold to simply be you: warts, weirdness, and all.

How about throwing chimpanzee screeches in the middle of an episode? Fuck it, sure. Making weird Mogwai noises during the intros with no explanation whatsoever? If I’ve had enough wine, definitely.  Recording last-minute guest bios in an airplane bathroom? Done it.

If you make yourself laugh every once in a while, at least you will have fun.

And that is perhaps the best strategy of all.


Last but certainly not least, I want to thank a few smart people who generously spent many hours educating me on the details, tech, and craft of podcasting. In alphabetical order by first name (and if I forgot anyone, please let me know!):

Jason DeFillippo of Grumpy Old Geeks

John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire

Jordan Harbinger of The Jordan Harbinger Show

Lewis Howes of The School of Greatness

Matt Lieber and Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income

Rob Walch of Libsyn

You can find the most popular episodes from 2021 here, from 2020 here, from 2019 here, and some earlier popular episodes here.

If you enjoyed this and would like more on podcasting, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll write more. Specifically, what would you most like to know?

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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266 Replies to “How I Built a #1-Ranked Podcast With 60M+ Downloads”

  1. Tim, dude, this was so thorough I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I should first say, “THANK YOU!!!!” So much valuable information, direction, support, encouragement and honesty. It seems, quite often, that many Internet Celebs would rather perpetuate a persona of Wealth and Success rather than be honest. They would rather try to be The Great OZ rather than step out from behind the curtain. I applaud you, and appreciate you for being such a great model of honesty, tremendous work ethic and humility. Thank you so much for doing such great work, for all to enjoy and benefit from.

    -james scott

  2. Hi Tim… I love your podcast (and your blogs) and for sure would like to know more of your thoughts on how to make a great podcast… by the way I´m reading the 4 hour body and I´m amazed by all the information and I´m starting to test things… I love it…

    Keep up the amazing work..



  3. Love how you break down the bits and pieces that seem to overwhelm me into simple and straight forward common sense !

    Excited to hear more about rolling out podcast content as I have many great ideas to share with both current and future listeners.

    Reading this today has sparked the fire of motivation within me… Appreciate your support !

  4. This was great to read – good ideas for my own podcast – you never disappoint. I’ve got a podcast, and I can attest that it is a highly levered mechanism for meeting people and being able to give value up front. It is also deeply psychological – putting a mic in front of people – even my best friends – has a profound effect on what people will talk about, and how they will talk about it.

    Question for you: how is “live” different than “recorded” podcasting? Will you do more live podcasts?



  5. Very interesting post, thank you! I’ve been listening to your podcast for some time and I can see how you have become a better interviewer, cutting back on your own speaking and eliciting more and better answers out of your outstanding guests. I have no plans to start a podcast anytime soon, but it’s fascinating to take a peek behind the curtain. More!

  6. How do you determine iTunes downloads?

    Do you use Skype to interview guests that can’t be with you live?

    1. You can get download data from your host (Libsyn in Tim’s case). I’d guess their analytics features may be one of the reasons Tim went with Libsyn.

  7. Your patience in playing the long game is extremely appreciated and a lesson to many looking for the get-results/rich-quick answer. Unfortunately, most will not heed this advice. Having hosted an interview show for 2 years now, I continue to be fascinated by the compelling conversations that 2 people can have, as long as the host works to keep it interesting. If the host is bored, the listener will pick up on it right away. I’m always looking to improve my craft and have learned a lot from your interviews. There’s always a tidbit that I take note of. And I’m always asking myself, “why did Tim ask that question?”

    I would be interested to learn more about any tips for how to efficiently prepare for a guest and maybe more importantly, when you decide that you have enough. Also, what’s your criteria for searching out guests. Is it solely scratch-your-own-itch as well?

    It was a pleasure to meet you at the very first Tim Ferriss Live in Los Angeles a few months back. Inspiring stuff indeed. Cheers! -Harry

  8. That was an absolutely fascinating read. As an avid podcast listener, I’ve always wondered about the numbers behind the business so I genuinely appreciate your transparency. Thank you for writing this.

  9. Your authenticity shines through everything that you do, Tim – congratulations on your success and contagious attitude.

    I’m curious as to your guest selection criteria?

  10. Very cool. My podcast on death, near-death and the afterlife has garnered very few listeners (gee, I wonder why?) but I am very proud of my show’s quality. And my new opener? Modeled directly on yours! Good stuff Tim. Thanks!

  11. I love listening to your podcast so thank you for writing such a great post about it. It’s one of those I have bookmarked so that I can read it over and over to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing when I’m down on myself. There are a lot of great questions already here, so mine is a bit more technical. I’m planning on starting a podcast for my blog, but I’m afraid I sound like a 10 year old girl when my voice is recorded and that I won’t be taken seriously. Is editing software able to fix something like that or do I need to take some voice or speaking classes? Thanks! and Yes Please! to more posts on podcasts.

  12. Amazing blogpost. I hope you continue with the series. I’m super happy that you can monetize the podcast so it’s a little extra motivation to keep doing it. It’s amazing and I’ve spent countless hours with you and your guest learnings.

    Things I’d love you to cover in next blogposts:

    1) What’s your process to decide who to interview? You must meet dozens/hundreds of interesting people.

    2) How does your prep work look like on your end? and do you send some prep work to the other part? (it will be great to know if you send them special mics tips, internet, etc.)

    3) Do you have a strong preference between skype or same room? or is just a mtter of content?

    4) How do you approach people to interview them? Do you need to sell them to be on your podcast? What is a sample email that you would send to somebody you don’t know

    Great work! Thanks for sharing

  13. I love the way you let the guests talk without interrupting- Oprah n Charlie’s rose interrupt all the time-so aggravating! Thank you for everything-have learned sooo much! Maybe interview Lolo jones? N Jerry Seinfeld?

  14. Any advice on best length for a podcast? Has there been research on when people drop off if they don’t stay for the whole thing?

  15. Very good to know and YES please post on this again. This was linked from the She Podcasts group on Facebook. I started podcasting almost exactly 1 year ago (the Spark My Muse podcast). It’s so much fun to speak to people I admire (come on and talk about Seneca sometime Tim! Rolf Potts came on my show and it was awesome.). I love to do a deep dive with guests and I love listening to them, too, instead of the garbage pop music on radio.

    The money isn’t there in podcasting unless you have tons of listeners and I think people think it’s a gold rush and they’ll leave once they realize it can be work. I do it because I love getting to know people, learn things, and make things other people might love.

    A few QUESTIONS:

    The questions you ask every guest are often the least interesting part of the episode …but the off the cuff and unexpected things are often the best. I noticed you started asking less of these standard questions. SO–Do you see yourself continuing with them for a while or dropping them out? And what was your particular rationale for asking each guest the same things? (and do you send them the questions ahead of time?—some guest seemed surprised and unprepared to answer them.)

    Thanks for taking the time to share your findings, tips, and insights about podcasting. It’s gracious. I appreciate learning from you.


  16. Tim your podcast is awesome. I was listening to the recent Josh Waitzkin episode while hiking in Utah yesterday and was thinking to myself how awesome it is to be able to listen to these conversations with high performing, interesting people. Hearing about their experiences and approach to life helps to change my life habits for the better. I also appreciate what you said in this post about not drowning the audience in sponsors and only pitching things you yourself appreciate. I have bought things you have pitched like the Myles everyday short and absolutely love them. It’s lead me to believe that your pitches are sincere and I take them much more seriously and am more likely to try what you are pitching. I also listen to Ben Greenfields podcast and his recent pitches have led me to believe the opposite, and I doubt I would purchase things he recommends anymore. Anyway, keep up the good work, keep bringing in the interesting guests, keep having fun, and count on me to keep listening!

  17. All your hard work enriches my life. Thanks do much. Am really keen to hear you interview Oprah! Kia kaha, Debbie from New Zealand (ex-pat American)

  18. This actually got me from here’s this thing I listen to on my way to work to I am 99% going to start a podcast in the next year. Already have the name – it’ll be full of hacks for teachers. Don’t really care about the money side, would be good to expand on what you found works content wise. Do you just talk and hope for the best?

  19. One of your best yet Tim. I operate a business in an incredibly small niche and my big question to myself is “is it big enough” to allow me financial freedom. It’s the biggest question I ask and I am often wondering about changing course – but I’m hesitant as I have put years of effort into this one!

  20. For someone who has so many protect-able Intellectual Properties, you continue to make as much of your secret sauce available to the masses. And for that, I thank you 🙂

    Also, your point about audio quality taking a back seat to great content couldn’t be more true. A few episodes sounded less-produced than others, but my attention never skipped a beat.


  21. I’m curious to know how much do you research before each podcast. The reason I ask is that I think it’s normal to research everything about the person before an interview and I think it’s great if it’s an interview about the person life. But for example if I’m curious about how to brew a beer and I want to interview this person to learn more about this then I start research, then I know the answers to questions I have before and don’t feel as excited to go and talk to that person anymore. So should I take the questions to the people I interview or should I find the answers beforehand and still ask the questions for listener’s sake. How much is too much to research. How do you prevent yourself from spending all your time in research about that person.

  22. I have to make a podcast. You have got me so excited to get it moving and started. I have been living 4hww for about a year and a half now. Started it and someone I met in Germany recommended your book. I read it on the plane on the way home on one of my flights. I have been inspired by you, I have learned so much between you and your great guests and I have enjoyed just about every minute. We spend a lot of time together. I am not quite a stalker but you are on my list of people to meet. Please let me know if there is ever an opportunity when your on the east coast. I would love to teach you how to do hair as I have spent my life dedicated to teach stylists how to build an exceptional career as a hairdresser and to say F off to the stereotype. Small in scale but huge on results.

    Please just don’t stop what your doing and thank you.

  23. Your timing on this post could not have been more perfect, I’m in the planning stages of launching a podcast too. Thanks for the constant reminder to play the long game. It would be easy for me to want to try to get sponsorship’s too early, assuming I have a level of success because I don’t want to be where I am for too much longer day-job wise, but at the same time would be willing to continue in order to ensure real success once I go full time. Also, I will tell you this, I’m going to be using a modified version of your rapid fire questions, so thanks for that inspiration.

  24. Great post. I do not (yet) have an interest in starting a podcast, but I appreciate how you weave a lot of great advice into the post that is applicable to life in general.

    Have you ever considered setting a limit on the length of your podcasts to no more than 60 minutes? I will admit that I found enough of your podcasts too long that I stopped listening. I felt a lot of the content could be edited out. Still a subscriber to the newsletter and five bullet Friday though 🙂

  25. Hey Tim! This is an awesome post! Thanks so much 🙂 I’m a huge fan of your books and podcast!

    I’ve recently gotten my wife to read the Four Hour Work Week and we are planning to get out of London in the next 6 months!

    I have also been inspired to start my own long-form interview-based podcast (week two and episode 5 on it’s way!) thanks to the Tim Ferriss show, so this post is perfectly timed too 🙂

    Please keep writing posts around the podcast process… I guess my main question is how to get more listeners… Though I have my awesome PA in the Philippines working on a list of organisations related to my podcast topic (Complementary and Alternative Health) to ask for a newsletter mention or social share… Lets see what sticks…

    And I really appreciate the point about not trying to monetise until reaching critical mass…

    What are your thoughts on Patreon?

  26. What good timing! I was just this afternoon talking/planning/wondering about whether I should do a blog and a podcast, or if I’m rather late to the game. I feel a bit more encouraged by your post!

    I’d love to know more about how you arrive at “content” for your podcast and how you choose which topic to explore. You must have a thousand ideas — how do you edit?

  27. I’d love to hear more on podcasting: Specifically, how do you find/pick guests and persuade them to come on your show? How would an unknown newbie obtain guests?

    I listen to your podcasts every day in my car, even when my wife wants to hear Jack FM. Keep up the awesome work!

  28. Excellent post.

    I’d love to learn more about the reasoning and process behind your email newsletters, #1 on your hierarchy.

    It would also be wonderful to see more detail about your binary free/ultra-premium mindset and your high-level philosophy for managing all your activities.

  29. I would definitely like to hear more about podcasting. Specifically, how do you choose guests/persuade them to join your show? How could an unknown newbie line up quality guests for an interview?

    I listen to your podcasts every day in my car. Keep up the awesome work!

  30. Hey Tim, amazing blog today. I’m totally inspired because I began my podcast about a year ago and have seen what impacts it makes on my patients who come see me from my podcast, they are educated, motivated and ready to move forward. The influence is complete in many cases. I just learned from you that 99% of what you do is “free” content and I realized I need to do better at this for my audience. I’ve probably sold over 200 copies of the 4 Hour Body and deeply appreciate the work you do. Thank you!

  31. Mate easily one of your best posts. I’d love to know more about how you get the guests you get? or more specifically, without naming names were there any guests that were reluctant to do your show that you eventually got on to your show and if so how? As someone who is just getting into this I would like to learn how to get big names on my show when I seemingly have little to offer them in return.

    Thanks a bunch and keep doing what you’re doing Rockstar


  32. Thank you Tim. I have never commented before, but I came across this post at exactly the right time. A friend and I are about to launch a podcast and newsletter and I am even more excited after reading this post. Gotta love when the universe (or Tim) steps in to show support of your plans!

  33. Besides the knowledge and effectiveness-hack sharing, it is your long-term dedication to not constantly shear the sheep that inspires most. Many thanks!

    Also, adding my voice to the others who are PRAYING that you got a usable podcast while with Dan Gable. Although having interacted with him through his friendship with my dad and uncle, I would be impressed if you got him to stay in one place long enough to get any audio!

    As you probably found out, he is a fantastic story teller. How can you even sleep after talking with Gable and your “No one owes you anything” quote from Amelia Boone?!

  34. Tim – Thanks for sharing! I’m nine episodes into my own podcast and enjoying the journey. I appreciate the transparency and the advice to just build the f@#$ing thing you enjoy without worrying about the money.

  35. Great article Tim!

    If you want small players have you seen Omny Studio? Their players are sweet and you can clip out small bits to share. I also track my Podcast reviews in there.

  36. I found that the idea about starting something and not being too worried about how you go because you will get better is best summed up by a quote about lifting.

    “The best time to start lifting was 10 years ago. The second best time is right now”

  37. 70 million downloads, of 150 episodes! Impressive, I would never have guessed that.

    The post made for interesting, behind the scenes reading for me. I enjoyed reading it.

    Not that I have any ambition to go podcasting right at the moment, but as you say, it’s evergreen information, that will be here for years to come.

  38. Tim – absolutely, positively, without a doubt, please continue down this path of exploring the behind the scenes and under the hood. Very helpful, and immensely entertaining!

  39. Tim! Thank you so much for this email about Podcasting. It came at the right time as I am starting a Podcast soon about Wedding Planning. I have been listening to your inspiring Podcasts for a long-ass time and followed your 4 hour body diet for almost a year. I am saving this email and I know I will refer back to it soooo much! Keep giving inspiring tips on how to be a good podcaster. I especially love the How-to video with Pat Flynn as I’ve been learning Garage Band and will be editing today so I will be watching. Keep it coming with whatever tips you feel are relevant. I’m a huge fan. Keep on doing what you are doing. You rock!!! Thank you again.

  40. I thought the content was excellent. I wish you had an edited g- rated version I could share with other professionals.

  41. Tim, thanks so much for all the interesting info. Not that I don’t want you to play with your dog, but I hope you’ll take the time to share more.

    I’m particularly curious about the actual interviewing process. Being a good and engaging interviewer is clearly so much more than having a few questions ready. What do you do to prepare – for yourself personally and also what you say to prep the people you interview? What do you think are some of the characteristics that distinguish the great interviews? We got some of this with Cal Fussman recently along with his incredible stories. What interviewing skills are you working on?

  42. Thanks for this Tim. Loved the insight and the general nature of this post, with the links to explore specifics. I love podcasts and see that tremendous value they bring to listeners (eg. Hardcore History), and as you say, the creators themselves. I’ll be starting mine this June and yes, the long-game is the plan!

  43. What a great post Tim! I’m listening to the podcasts almost daily and was great to see the “making of” of them.

  44. Great info. I am starting a podcast myself and had no clue where to begin except to begin. You are AMAZING! FFL ( Follower For Life)

  45. Thanks for your candor Tim, as always. I just started my podcast and hope to make it for the long haul. This post is incredibly helpful. One of my favorite eps you did was with Tara Brach. I would love to hear you interview more people in the “spiritual” space as it seems a little out of your comfort zone (You’ve mentioned you’re somewhat uncomfortable with that word). Thanks for consistently wonderful work!

  46. You know how you mentioned you make each piece of content not for the majority of your listeners who will think it was average, but for the minority who will say “THAT FUCKING ROCKED”. Well, the second one…With all the sincerity you can muster through a keyboard – THANK YOU.

  47. Honesty. Brevity. and Impactful. Please keep sharing this quality flow of refections. Say, how about Wealthfront? How did you get involved?

    Thank you for bringing value into my life!

  48. Really helpful post Tim. As a “novice” podcaster like you once were, it’s really great to get guidance along the path from those at the top. John Lee Dumas and Pat Flynn have also been leaders in this way as well.

    One thing that I would love to hear more about is how you have gone about outsourcing your editing and post-production. I received a tip from Jordan Harbinger on a recent Thrive Conference hangout to record and edit your first 10-20 episodes yourself and so that’s what i have done – his point was that it forces you to listen to yourself interview, and after the 100th y’know, pretty, or um you had to delete, you start cleaning up your act and speaking better, and he’s right – but I would like to soon move towards creating a team to take care of some of the post-production and promoting.

    What aspects of your process do you specifically outsource? Did you create templates to follow? Your descriptions sound like your writing, so do you still do those, or is that someone else as well.

    On one of your recent episodes you were also talking about how you were doing 80/20 analysis on the primary tasks involved with podcasting, such as the blog post, promoting on social, editing, etc. I’m curious to know what tasks passed muster and what got nixed.

    Also, your introductions – where you set the context and introduce your guest – are super polished. Do you riff those on the spot, or do you write out a script or outline first and then follow that?

    Thanks again for your books, the podcast and everything you are doing. You are constantly inspiring me to step up my game, and I appreciate that a ton.

  49. We connected ever-so-briefly 3 years ago in the blog comments over this exact strategy ( and its great seeing it fully fleshed out to fruition. Not everyone realizes that you can get MORE and not less by being generous and playing the long game. I wrote about it as an anonymous neckbeard in my grandma’s basement (not literally), meanwhile you went out and did it. Though the meta theme in this post is a breezy “no pasa nada”, us diehards know the true amount of hard work that went into it, arguably 80%+ of which being between 2005-2011 in building your base. This post wasn’t three years in the making but 11-20 years.

    The stats involved are bigger than I would have imagined, which brings things to the next phase. If I were to pontificate further (and if those thoughts had any merit whatsoever beyond ranting into the void), now that F*ck You money is being thoroughly secured, it’s important to continue steering your brand towards generosity and abundance, as you are already doing. This post gives a good contextual rebuke to Derek Sivers’ friendly “coke machine in the monastery” slight, but you’ll keep attracting those sorts of jabs as the perception widens that you’ve already attained a rich bounty. So fan giveaways, live events where you do free or reduced admission, the Colbert/Donors donation, etc I see as only becoming more important in the future.

    Guess I don’t have much else to say other than good work, and to reiterate that there are people out there who truly get what it is you’re doing and are super appreciative for it.

  50. Just wanted to say Derek Sivers episode should have been on that list. That list says so much about the society, but for the sake of keeping it positive, and I still think you have a lot of intellectual followers here, I will keep the evaluation to myself.

    If you could make a “random show” with Derek Sivers like you do with Kevin Rose, that would be fantastic. I don’t know if it is possible. And I would love to hear Seth Godin and Alain De Botton again. Those episodes were top notch.

    You are a great conversationalist, Tim Ferriss. Someone can devour all the above info and can still suck at podcasting if he/she is not a good conversationalist. It is a skill on its own. And it is not something you learn in a couple of months. It is something you develop over the years. I’ve met tons of people who like to talk, but I met only a handful of good conversationalists.

    Best xx

  51. Once again AMAZING!

    One thing I would suggest is that if your amazon links are affiliate links, you should put a UK link up as well (even at the bottom). I can’t be the only one in England that buys all the books you suggest!!

    Please don’t stop!!!


  52. Thank you so much for posting Tim.

    My questions:

    A) The open and honest space you create with your guest makes me feel like I am with you. How do you do that?

    1) What do you wish you could do with your podcast that you can’t do today?

    2) What do you consider to be the most frustrating part of podcasting if any?

    I love this post. I plan to start a post to empower latinas and african american women. Thank you Tim for being an inspiration in my life.

  53. As a world-class listener, I’ve enjoyed learning more about you from how you interview your guests. Do you think that someday you can turn the tables on Krista Tippett?

  54. Tim! I see you were able to settle on a managing editor. I had forgotten all about that search… 😉 Congrats to the lucky individual… and, you! Cheers, Doc

  55. Tim,

    I heard about your blog post on podcasting from Elsie Escobar’s & Rob Walch’s podcast, The Feed #069. Btw: My question on microphones is answered in the same episode! 😉

    I am in it for the long run. I started in 2006.

    All the Best,


  56. This will help me start the blog I’ve dreamed of having but never as of yet made a mark on the intimidating blank page. I appreciate the effort you took putting this post together and I will be referring back to it often. 🙂

  57. Hey Tim,

    Paul here, one half of the Diapers Off! team. Love your generous guidance on this stuff, as you’ll save me and Peter valuable time. We’re old friends with Jordan Harbinger, as well, and he’s been an inspiration. I did an early podcast with him in my tomcatting days.

    I’ve settled down and moved to London but I’ve still got lots to say at 40. Our podcast deals with issues that men face in the Golden Decade. Pete’s 31, so he’s just entering his thirties, and I’ve just left them and gotten married, so I have thoughts on the decade as it fades in the rearview. It’s not a prescriptive show, but more philosophical about the choices we make as men and how those choices shape us.

    Thanks, again, for leading the charge. We’ve already implemented many of the ideas/recommendations you gave.

    Cheers from London,

    Paul Janka

  58. Tim,

    Thanks for all that you do! Your podcasts (love the Chris Sacca, Cal Fussman and Starting a ‘Startup’ podcasts to name a few) definitely set the bar high for fellow podcasters to reach!

    My question involves your intro. You seem to have audio clips from the Bourne Identity and T2 in your intro. I think this is a great idea; however, I’m worried about copyright issues. Can you recommend how to go about creating a similar intro? Did you need to ask permission in order to use those audio clips? Thanks again!

  59. Hi Tim,

    Completely enjoyed the tutorial, Thinking of doing a podcast from Central America in English and the incite was excellent. Looking forward to part 2.


  60. I appreciated this as much as anything you’ve done because you say it straight. The thing that surprised / enlightened me most was your philosophy on free vs. paid content — thank you.

  61. Incredible blog post, thanks! I have not listened to as many podcasts of yours as I would like. Pretty busy with full-time work, family, and my personal projects. Have you thought of having someone do some sort of ‘Cliff Notes’ / synopsis of the podcast in writing (not simply a word-for-word). I bet there are time-crunched folks like me who might even pay a subscription for that!

  62. First I didn’t wanna read the post, as I don’t want to start a podcast!

    But wow – there is so much great, general stuff in there. So many good reminders! And after reading it – I kind of want to start a podcast 🙂

    As always Tim, so grateful for everything you do!

  63. Love your podcast Tim, and your work – it’s had a huge impact on me and many others that I know. I was a podcaster for over a year (58 ep/weekly), and it never fully gained traction. So, I stopped it. (The podcast remains up on itunes and other places as I still believe in the content and think it’s useful)

    One question I’m exploring now is how/when to move on from a project or business. I’ve been in the dating world for over a decade now (pal of Neil Strauss btw), but have decided recently to move on with business. I’m married, expecting our first child, and dating advice is very much in the rear view mirror for me. Not sure where this will lead, but do think a useful topic for many entrepreneurs is navigating the logistics of moving on and the “how” of finding a new way.

    [Moderator: link removed]

  64. Hi Tim,

    I’m reading your book The 4-hour Workweek and I’m loving it…I’m still in the first few pages. Anyways, can you tell me where I can print out the Dreamline printable worksheet? I can’t seem to find it here. Thanks!

  65. Hi Tim

    I am so grateful to you and your work, I love and look forward to your podcasts as I do with many of your posts.

    Really love your thoughtful and great thinking behind your questions. You sound deeply present in interviews too which is so nice. Thank you.

  66. Thank you so much for posting this. More on this topic would be greatly appreciated and utilized! One question, do you have your guests sign some sort of agreement or waiver that indicates you own the audio and/or they can’t come back and require you to edit or remove the recording/podcasting?

  67. Hey Tim!

    Loved the article. Your podcast is the only one I listen to, and I’m genuinely excited every time I get a new episode. The amount of useful information I’ve gotten from these interviews is unbelievable. With only one exception, the last 15 books I’ve read have come from recommendations you or your guests have given, and I find myself recommending and rereading these books often. I also value immensely the depth of sharing you achieve with your guests – seeing their human side and mindsets is an amazing learning experience.

    I hope there’s a follow up to this! I’m curious about:

    – How you reach out to people outside your circle,

    – How do you prep for interviews and how long before – do you consciously prepare a way to get people to open up?

    – What do your guests know before starting the conversation (particularly those you don’t know well or at all)

    – How much is edited out, in average, and why.

    SO much learning. Can’t thank you enough!

  68. Exceptional as always! Thanks for this.

    All so informative and clear with laughter thrown in, such as point 3 from you Managing Editor….that has made me rock with laughter!

    This will be so helpful for us through our research process, as we are compiling experts educational and clear cut, non nonsense solutions for all relating to the property sector across London and further afield.

    We really admire the quality of your work and love!!! episodes: Jamie Foxx, Rick Ruben, Peter Theil, Ramit Sethi…. there are too many brilliant ones to list. I’m working my way through all episodes.

    I thinks you’ll enjoy the following if you’re not already familiar with them.

    Book: Howling at the Moon by Walter Yetnikoff

    Documentary: Supermench

    Fab work and love your books!!

    Any additional elements regarding automation of podcasting would be super.

    Many Thanks,


  69. Tim. Excellent tips in this post. Your long-form posts I’ve read have been so helpful as they are chock-full of valuable tips.

  70. Great info Tim! I started a podcast 10 months ago about the voice-over industry, and 3 months before launching I knew nothing about podcasts. I had taken a course with your friend Marie Forleo who encouraged me to reach out to experts in my field. I sent my first email to a potential guest, said a prayer and hit send. He said “yes” and I was off to the races. I’ll be launching episode # 32 this coming week (hard to believe!) I’m having a ball and learning along the way. Your advice about keeping it simple is spot on. Concentrate on creating a compelling logo, find engaging guests, and provide valuable content to your listeners. I’m excited about the future possibilities – I learn so much from each of my guests as I know you do – and I appreciate all your advice!

    Mike Lenz

  71. Excellent as always.

    One question…..

    How in god’s name do you get these people on the podcast?

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Costner, Ed Norton et al?

    Surely they are not one’s usual ‘Network’ kinda guys!

  72. Timmy!

    By far the coolest thing about this post is the fact that 2 of your podcast mentors, Dumas and Flynn, got their inspiration from YOU and your work with the 4HWW! Well played!

  73. Awesome post, loved it! My name is Ben and as a podcaster myself, I am amazed at what you have been able to achieve. I am working up to that number which is insane, congratulations, what an accomplishment!!! I was thinking, I think I could really bring some cool insight as a guest on our podcast. I would be honored to have the opportunity to be a guest on your podcast. Hope to hear from you.


  74. Thanks so much for sharing your lessons, this stuff is gold!

    Would love to read about how you approach guests and invite them to the show, and how that process has changed from the times when you were just starting out to present.


  75. Tim; you are a real joy to read. Some of the stuff you say are real head scratchers and sound pithy as hell…. but…. they all make sense.

    Keep on keeping on.

    P.S. I loved 4 hour workweek. You are absolutely right; its not about working 4 hours a week, its about maximizing your time to get something done.

  76. Great post! I love hearing about the nitty gritty!

    A few questions:

    1. How do you prep for each guest? How do you research?

    2. How do you select guests?

    3. How do you get such amazing guests? Tony Robbins, Arnold, Jamie Foxx. That’s about as A-list as you get!

    Thanks Tim. Love the content. Keep it coming!


  77. Great post and thanks for sharing your insights on building an audience. I feel like I’m constantly learning whenever I listen to the podcast or read the blog, thanks for putting out all this free content.

  78. Thanks, Tim. That was very informative, and helped me to gain better context to how podcasting and monetization work together inside of great content..

  79. Lots of great tips here, Tim! I especially liked the idea of remembering to have fun yet still doing the work. I usually swing too much from one extreme to the other & you’re reminding me to keep things on an even keel.

    Your thoughts on competition were also refreshing. It’s easy to dig our ideas into a hole thinking of everyone who’s doing it better when we should just start & muddle along.

    Will definitely be sharing this awesome post! Thanks for sharing your insights from your venture into podcasting!

  80. Hey Tim! Love your work and super positive attitude. I’ve been hanging onto this email for a while, and just got around to reading it. Would you be willing to do a similar post on blogging, as well as resources? I’m a 42 year old mother of two (three and four) just starting to realize that I can do anything, and that life is much more than school, college, work, family, retirement and death. I am a public elementary school teacher with TONS of student loan debt. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own elementary school, but would feel MUCH more comfortable if I had some other income on the side. My idea is reading picture books aloud on a website or blog and finding a way (eventually) to generate some income from it. Any thoughts?

  81. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

    Please give us more!

    Would love to know more about your interview outline and prep process.

  82. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for this post.

    After 80+ episodes myself a lot of this stuff resonated.

    I think an interesting question would be based around how many times you personally get asked to be interviewed on others podcasts and under what circumstances do you say yes? What criteria does it generally have to pass?

  83. Stellar stuff, Tim: thank you! I have lots of content, a good number of contacts, and the perfect face for radio (I spent rather too much time in the local radio station when i was at college, and kind of feel in love with talk radio, which is basically, the roots of podcasting).

    Love the overall tone, and yes: the advice about the value in the long tail, and about stacking episodes to release en masse when starting out. The Pat Flynn YouTube video is similarly excellent in its thoroughness. Many, many thanks for your solid advice.

    Question: When interviewing people (mine would be mostly over the phone, when they happen), do you recommend giving the interviewee the questions in advance? I’m not talking about scripting things here: simply giving guests the courtesy of not having them flummoxed by some unexpected ass-hattery?

    Thank you again for all the inspiration you’ve given me. It’s time to pull my finger out!

  84. LOVED this Tim! Implementing many of your tips and tricks straight away as I get ready to launch my baby, The Metamorphosis Chronicles, mid July! Keep it coming, I’ll devour it 😉

  85. Tim:

    We should all be grateful that an expert of your caliber takes the length you do to share your ingredients of success. The specific subject matter may not even be relevant to my areas of interest, but their general construct pollinates interesting and novel thoughts on anyone’s subjective minds (it certainly has on mine!). Posts like this are testament to the principle that one’s worth is not in “secret” ingredients.

    I am a deep diver on anything that gets my bell ringing. I have just started listening to your podcast from number 1, and will work though whatever number you are when I catch up. I look forward to internalize a lot of your #4HWW principles in my life.



    P.S. I also just started the 4HWW book yesterday, despite multiple recommendations over the years, including several esteemed guests on Bloomberg’s Masters in Business podcast, another deep dive of mine.

  86. Hi – your tips on being a great host, presenter and interviewer please. How to be yourself whilst also driving the show. I’m about to start my own podcast where two experts in different fields will converse – but I will need to host and take part in these conversations. I have zero experience. Am worried if I’ll be up to the job but I’ve got to do it! For myself! Any practical tips on improving these skills? Thanks a million. Alexia

  87. A few months ago I read this post, got inspired, set my mind to it, and started DOING. I followed as much of your advice as was applicable (my audience isn’t big enough to employ your sponsorship wisdom, yet). You suggested committing to 5 or 6 episodes. BANG! I did it – look up MAKE MOVES on iTunes if you want proof. I’m having a blast and your advice has been very valuable. Thanks for the good guidance. Keep up the good work. You have an open invitation to be a guest on my podcast. Just say when! Thanks again. Be well.

  88. Hey Tim!

    Thanks a ton for sharing. This post was great, I really enjoyed following along. Especially since I’ve been hitting critical momentum in my journey of self-awareness.

    I currently work for an education startup that is aiming to unlock the written word for everyone. I’m very curious to hear your thoughts about education and English Language Literacy. I recently listened to your podcast that outlines a framework to learn anything.

    Who would you go to if you wanted to find the “one page” framework for teaching our youth how to become literate in the English language? Once they become “literate” they can now start to build their critical thinking skills, which is something we could definitely improve in our country.

    Thanks again Tim and I look forward to hearing your response!


  89. this is quite an inspiring blog i’ve read. i really enjoyed from this blog is your encouragement to others to be yourself & have fun in your work as that makes the outcome the most effective towards the audience.

    i would like to know how you managed to attract so many people to your podcast? as you’ve mentioned in the blog, you didn’t accept many sponsors at the start, wouldn’t this have made the first step more difficult?

    i look forward to learn more from your blogs.

  90. Thanks for this Tim! You are so generous with your information! I’m excited to launch my podcast soon. As a female listener, I always appreciate the male perspective.

  91. LOve it! I’m purchasing my podcast equipment this cyber Monday. I’m a big believer that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So in order to change my life, I must change the people in my life. I’m going to “deconstruct”, as you put it, successful people (within their own right) within their respective fields. People who have created a life for themselves rather than ahere to a life set out for them. Your an idol of mine! Thanks for always producing rich content. Oh, and shopify is fucking dope. (Ottawa native)