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3 Steps for Podcast Growth: Insights from Christian Podcasting Expert Andrew Rappaport

3 Steps for Podcast Growth: Insights from Christian Podcasting Expert Andrew Rappaport

3 Steps for Podcast Growth: Insights from Christian Podcasting Expert Andrew Rappaport

  • Apr 30, 2024

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Rappaport, the Executive Director of Striving for Eternity and the Christian Podcasting Community. Andrew has achieved remarkable success in the world of faith-based podcasting, with two shows reaching the top 100 in Christianity and a podcasting community generating over 4.5 million downloads. His insights on merging faith and podcasting, as well as his strategies for podcast growth, are invaluable for any podcaster looking to expand their reach and impact.

Andrew's podcasting journey is rooted in his passion for discipleship. As he explains, "Everything I do is about discipleship. It's about looking to raise up the next generation to train others who, with everything I've learned, look for others to teach me everything they've learned." For Andrew, podcasting is a means to this end - a way to teach, share knowledge, and disciple others, even in a world that is increasingly turning against faith and Christianity. 

What's particularly impressive about Andrew is his dedication to helping other Christian podcasters improve and grow. His podcast community produces 40-50 hours of content per week across over 50 shows in the Christian Podcasting Community, and he personally listens to all of it in order to provide feedback and guidance. This hands-on approach, combined with his own success in the medium, makes Andrew a true expert in the field of not just faith-based podcasting but podcasting in general.

Now, let's dive into three steps for podcast growth that Andrew shared with me:

Step 1: Produce Amazingly Valuable Content

Andrew's number one piece of advice for growing your podcast is simple but not easy: produce really good content that other people want to share. That's how you're going to get most of the growth—by having something that other people like, and they’ll post it online for you. That goes far more than you posting it. When you post it, it's self-promotion. When other people post it, it's a recommendation from a trusted source.

Creating truly valuable, share-worthy content is easier said than done, of course. But it's worth putting in the effort because no amount of marketing or promotion can make up for mediocre content. So, how do you create amazing content? Here are a few tips:

Focus on providing value, not just entertainment. Ask yourself what your listeners will learn or gain from each episode.
Go deep on topics that matter to your audience. Don't be afraid to get into the nitty-gritty details.
Share unique insights, stories, and perspectives that listeners can't get anywhere else.  
Put in the time to research, plan, and edit your episodes well. Quality beats quantity every time.
Constantly seek feedback from your listeners and use it to improve future episodes.

Remember, creating amazing content is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to figure out your unique angle and voice. But if you keep putting your audience first and striving to provide as much value as possible, you'll eventually hit your stride.

Step 2: Collaborate, Don't Compete 

In the crowded world of podcasting, it's tempting to view other shows in your niche as the competition. But Andrew believes this is the wrong mindset. Instead, he advocates for collaboration and cross-promotion between like-minded podcasters.

One of the best ways to gain an audience is to be on a podcast with somebody who is in the same genre as you. You’ll be able to put your voice and your podcast in front of another audience that will also be excited to check out your show.

The lesson here is clear: In podcasting, a rising tide really does lift all boats. By seeking out opportunities to collaborate and cross-promote with other podcasters in your space, you tap into the power of exponential growth.

Step 3: Play the Long Game

Finally, Andrew emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence in growing a podcast. With over 2 million podcasts out there and more launching every day, overnight success is exceedingly rare. And if you're podcasting primarily for fame or downloads, you're likely to burn out fast.

In other words, play the long game. Focus on consistently putting out valuable content, building relationships, and serving your audience. Trust that slow and steady growth will come as a byproduct of doing good work. Above all, make sure you're podcasting for the right reasons—because you genuinely believe in your message and mission, not just because you want to be popular.

There's no magic number of downloads that equals success. Andrew shares the example of podcasters who get discouraged with 'only' 50-200 downloads per episode. "I'll ask a simple question," he says. "If you taught Sunday school at your church, and in that Sunday school, there were 50 people or 200 people, would you be excited about teaching? Of course, you would! That's what you're doing every week with a podcast. You just don't get to see the faces."

No matter how big or small your audience, remember that every single listener is a real person who has chosen to give you valuable time and attention. Honor that by continuing to show up and deliver the best content you can, week after week, month after month, year after year. That's how real, lasting growth happens.

Your Next Steps for Podcast Growth

Interviewing Andrew Rappaport was a masterclass in what it takes to grow a successful, impactful podcast. His insights on creating valuable content, collaborating with other podcasters, and playing the long game are applicable to anyone who wants to use this medium to share their message with the world.

But knowledge alone isn't enough - you have to put it into action. Here's my challenge to you: Commit to creating one piece of amazingly valuable content for your podcast this week. Pour your heart and soul into it. Make it the best thing you've ever made. And it again next week. And the next.

Because that's what it takes to succeed in podcasting—not tricks, hacks, or shortcuts—just a relentless dedication to serving your audience and craft.


Key Takeaways

1. Podcasting allows you to build an audience and share your message without the risk of getting "canceled" on other platforms. 

2. Think of your podcast as teaching a class - even 50-200 listeners represent an engaged audience worth investing in.

3. The #1 key to growth is creating excellent content that people want to share with others.

4. Avoid "clickbait" titles that trick people - you'll lose credibility and trust.

5. Collaborate with other podcasters to cross-promote episodes and audiences. 

6. Promote other shows genuinely - they'll remember this and promote you back over time.

7. Focus on helping others succeed rather than treating them as competition. 

8. Optimizing discoverability through SEO and keywords helps people find your show.

Thanks for joining us for this episode. I wish you success in building an audience around the powerful message you want to share with the world.

Thank you, Andrew, for the inspiration and wisdom! If you'd like to learn more about Andrew and his podcasting journey, check out Striving for Eternity, Christian Podcast Community, Andrew Rappaport's Rapp Report, and Apologetics Live.

If you're looking for a great all-in-one podcasting platform with 35 integrated modules, you can get a free trial at 

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