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. Hi, Tim really loves this post. Lots of amazing insights. Can’t wait to read your book 4HWW. Hope you have a great day.

  2. Dear Tim, I cannot thank you enough. You transformed my life to be better, happier, and more productive! I am so grateful for your work and I always pray for your well-being. Thank You Tim! Truly, Raphael =)

  3. This has to be the best “real talk” I’ve read all week. You’re so down to earth, connected, and sincere. I’ve learned so much from you and thanks for my new Bible, “Tools of the Titans,” within it is so much inspiration to pull from. Love & Light Tim.

  4. Extraordinary, Tim. Your mindset so matches my own that I’m making a project of studying this and picking out the bits that can help my own efforts then applying them to what I am doing.

    I am a blogger trying to do the left-brained SEO things properly and get myself up to speed on all the number-dance. I’m drowning in the whole thing. As an inchworm, I am a slow learner, I find.

    I’m feeling like I’m supposed to be writing for robots and I only know how to write for people. (Sigh!)

    Thanks for raising my eyes back up to the sky.

  5. Solid advice Tim! I’ve been procrastinating with my podcast because I wanted it to be “perfect” right out the gate. After reading this, I think I’m going to take your suggestions to heart and just do it, improving it along the way as it gains traction.

  6. Jon Morrow sent me here to read this. Been lightly following you for about 8 years and want to say thanks for keeping me alive man.

  7. Thank you, Tim–this is amazing and generous of you to share. I am a psychotherapist in the planning stage for a podcast as a way to share what I know and what might help people move forward in their lives. I would love to hear more about your process in podcasting, certainly including how you get your guests. Again, thanks so much.

  8. Always good to read some success stories. I’ve executed on 3 startups that got no traction. Glad you are having success. Thank you for the content.

  9. You use too many acronyms. Makes this annoying to read. Why say “eps” when you can say “episodes”? Feels like a teenager texting.

    Just some friendly criticism.

  10. Your podcast is one of the few I recommend to my coworkers and some even know who you are!

    Keep it up Tim! Happy New Year!

  11. Can someone to direct me to where Tim writes about how he books his notable guests? I’d love some insight and support with this as I seem to be getting more no’s than yesses.

  12. @ Tim. Awesome post. been a follower for years. Read all the books. Pareto 80/20 deconstructed learning got me to Convo Fluency in Japanese thanks to your blog.

    Q: Do you think you will ever have PDF summaries (Slideshare beautiful style) of each podcast? Free or Paid regardless, I think it would be awesome.

  13. Thank you for sharing and insisting that getting sponsors on day one is a waste of time. I am launching my podcast this month [Moderator: name of podcast removed.] (with three episodes). I am very grateful that you have shed light on how you charge sponsors. One thing that I feel was maybe left out is Affiliate commissions from sponsors (such as Four Sigmatic). Do you get affiliate commissions or merely charge by CPM up front? Your numbers are very encouraging and even a fraction of your success could be huge!! Thanks for sharing the details and inspiring me. Well… I am (and was) already inspired but fuck, now I can mentally justify why I do what I do! I love talking about music and interviewing artists. Hope to gain some traction and pay the bills with what I love doing. Cheers!

  14. This is a great article, kudos sir! I’m currently putting together a podcast and am looking for resources for an introduction song/title. Do you have any recommendations? The lines you have in your intro sound like they are taken from movies, did you have to obtain rights for those?

  15. I agree with your point of view. But not everyone have the patience (or the will) to go for the long run, and wait for sponsors to come. And that doesn’t happen until you have a big audience, and years of experience. I have to admit I am one of these people. I started monetize my podcast using [Moderator: product name and link removed.] a tool that insert ads during shows. The tool is free, and very easy to use. You don’t have to change hosting platform every time, so you will save a lot of time.

  16. Hey Tanguero,

    Can you direct me to any of your writings about strategies to grow your podcast?

    There are many other good interview podcasts out there, but they haven’t grown as fast as yours.

    I started a podcast six month ago. Every month I grow a little bit, but my growth is very slow.

    Any tip would help.

    I wish you many happy milongas. 🙂

  17. Hey Tim,

    These are awesome tips; thank you very much. Your follow up podcast episode is also exceptionally helpful as I start this journey myself.

    That said, one thing I would be interested in is how you get guests.

    You have a large pull (I mean who doesn’t want to be on the Tim Ferriss podcast? I sure do!) but what’s your approach to pitching guests? Do you ask other guests to recommend people? Do you just reach out via your network? Do you ever get recommendations you don’t want to follow up on? Do you every cold-call/email, and if so how?

    It would be super helpful to get an insight into this process.



  18. I love learning from you! Thank you.

    I just read this article you wrote on how you built #1 ranked podcast. I have the question about the word ‘Borrow’. How do you legally borrow content to include/share that are the property of others and share one of your own eps? I have experienced downloading your podcast to learn that it isn’t you speaking on the topic but someone else from another interview. Just wondering about copywrite and if that is what you meant by borrow??

    Much love!

  19. I’m a huge fan of The Greatbattlefield Podcast and I’ve asked the podcaster to transcribe the episodes.

    He already gets automatic transcription but wants to publish a more polished version like you see of your podcast.

    He has over 200 podcasts running 30 to 70 minutes each.

    Do you know what he will need to budget to get this work done?

    Can you recommend any vendors?

  20. Me and my husbands have had crazy lives book writable lives because of addictions felonies rehabs insane hilarious stories during addictions raising kids marriages divorces and 7 kids together with funny crazy stories. Ive experienced prison also crazy stories funn ones too. Sexual abuse throughout my life horrible marriages w abuse and craziness. Life as felons as a couple the shit we face and run into. We are considered aliens in the USA as felons. How to start over fresh sobriety and our crazy lives and families. Do u think we could have a good podcast and i have no clue a good name? Any advice?? Thanks

  21. Awesome content and thank you for taking the time to share. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts or ides on Stitcher? Also, would you recommend using a website as a sort of “home-base” for all content? Cheers!

  22. Dear Tim Ferriss,

    My name is Briggs Fultz. I would first like to say that I love your podcasts and found you book, “The 4-Hour Work Week” extremely inspiring and interesting. I am a graduating senior this year, and I am involved in the Sangamon Valley CEO Program — a branch of the Midland CEO Program. This is a nationwide entrepreneurship program for high school juniors and seniors that is designed to teach entrepreneurship through guest speakers, site visits, and real world business start-up experiences. With recent school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have begun to do weekly Zoom meetings with every CEO program across the nation. Last week, one of the Facilitators challenged us to reach out to a speaker we would like to hear. After reading, “The 4-Hour Work Week” last summer, I immediately thought of you. Your’s is an entrepreneurial and life journey I would love to hear more about. There are around 200 of us that join these calls each week, and — even though we are no longer in school — we all still want to learn. All of us would love to hear your story and advice. I know you are always busy, but am only asking for an hour of your time. Thank you in advance. Myself and all of the Midland CEO Program are looking forward to hearing from you.

    -Briggs M. Fultz

  23. Hey Tim, love your podcast and appreciate this article. Thinking about starting a podcast (waaaaaaay late), but I think a lot of what you say here is timeless. From a gear standpoint, does much of this still hold up? For example, instead of the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB good?

  24. Thank you Tim! Marvelously detailed for those of us considering starting a podcast. I’m curious what platform you use to host it and distribute it to outlets such as iTunes. I’ll keep listening. I wish you continued success!

  25. Hey Tim,

    really enjoy your work. I also find your website appealing, well laid out and functional. Did you use a particular wordpress theme to build your site and if so which one? Cheers!


  26. I really love listening to Tim Ferris, Keion Henderson, [Moderator: link removed.] when it comes to business news podcast and videos! I literally started my own business from scratch with the help of podcasts like this! Thank you so much!

  27. Cannot find anywhere the suggested podcast hosting partner Tim recommends? And if applicable an introductory code? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Justin –

      Thanks very much for your note. It appears that one of the links got a .com TLD where it should have gotten a .co TLD. This has been corrected. Thanks again for letting us know!


      Team Tim Ferriss

  28. Hi Tim,
    First of all, love your podcast, has been very influential on me, along with your books, so appreciate all your work.
    I have been going over this blog in regards to podcasting as I am looking to start a podcast of my own.
    I was hoping to find out, even in brief, how things work with your guest, i.e do you have some sort of contract/agreement with them in regards to intellectual property for the podcast?