Putting One Episode in Front of the Other: Building Habits for a Successful Podcast

What separates podcasts that get 20,000 downloads per episode from the ones that get 20 downloads per episode? What if it was just about putting one episode in front of…

Podcasting is a fantastic medium for sharing your message and connecting with an audience. However, getting that audience can be challenging. So, what separates high-traffic podcasts from the rest? It’s not the goal, because if it were, we’d all be in Apple’s top 100. Instead, it’s about putting one episode in front of the other and building a system to execute on. In this post, we’ll explore some habits and strategies that can help struggling podcasters find new audiences.

Consistency is key

Consistency is one of the most important factors in building an audience for your podcast. Setting a desired action and building a system is far more effective than just setting a desired outcome. Rather than setting the goal of getting 20,000 downloads per episode, set the intention of serving your audience and evaluate each episode by how well it serves that intention.

When you put out episodes consistently, people know when to expect new content from you. This makes it easier for them to build podcast listening into their routines, and it helps build trust with your audience. If you’re inconsistent with your publishing schedule, it’s easy for listeners to forget about your show or to lose interest altogether.

The power of habits

Building habits is key to consistent output. James Clear’s book Atomic Habits offers many insights into how to build good habits and break bad ones. One of the most helpful concepts in Clear’s book is the idea of making small changes that accumulate over time. By making your podcast 1% better each time you produce an episode, you’ll eventually end up with a much-improved show.

Clear also suggests setting a desired action and building a system to execute on it. If your desired action is to produce a weekly podcast, then build a system to make that happen. This might mean creating a schedule for recording, editing, and publishing each episode. By building habits and systems, you can make podcasting a regular part of your routine and improve the quality of your show over time.

PACTs vs SMART goals

When setting goals for your podcast, it’s important to set goals that are purposeful, actionable, continuous, and trackable (PACTs). This is an alternative to the SMART goals framework that many people use. PACTs goals are aligned with your purpose, actionable, continuous, and trackable. They help you focus on the actions you can take to improve your podcast and make it more successful.

Imposter syndrome

One of the biggest challenges podcasters face is imposter syndrome. This is the feeling that you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve to be successful. It’s important to recognize that everyone feels this way from time to time, and that it’s possible to overcome imposter syndrome with hard work and persistence.

If you want to be successful as a podcaster, you need to commit to doing the work. This means setting a desired action, building a system to execute on it, and making small improvements each time you produce an episode. By building habits and focusing on purposeful, actionable, continuous, and trackable goals, you can overcome imposter syndrome and build a successful podcast.


Building a successful podcast takes time, effort, and persistence. By focusing on consistency, building habits, setting purposeful goals, and overcoming imposter syndrome, you can improve your chances of success. Remember that success is a long-term goal, and that building a successful podcast is an iterative process. By putting one episode in front of the other, you can build a loyal audience and achieve your goals as a podcaster.

About the Author

Mark Steadman

Mark Steadman

Helping seasoned, soulful entrepreneurs use their podcast to build trust and create long-lasting, rewarding relationships with their listeners.