Getting to One Million Listeners

2 min read

Lex Rofeberg of the popular podcast Judaism Unbound recently surpassed the million-listen milestone with the help of Simplecast. To celebrate this awesome achievement, we spent some time chatting with Lex about his podcasting journey. He was more than willing to take questions from Simplecast users and offer up some advice on how you can follow in his footsteps and lead your own podcast toward one million listens. Let’s dive into what he had to say!


Lex and his co-host, Dan, started their podcast in March of 2016. With one host located in Chicago and the other in Providence, RI, they have both had to navigate the logistical challenges of recording episodes from two different locations. Although they do not have top-of-the-line sound quality and are not professional audience engineers, Lex and Dan have found success with their podcast by focusing on quality conversation over technical wizardry. Here are a couple of their podcasting tools for success.

1. Guests Build Listenership Incrementally, Not All At Once

Lex warns podcasters against expecting one guest to launch them into a huge listenership. Instead, they relied on the consistent presence of insightful guests to gradually build credibility among their target audience. Having a big-name guest can give your podcast a small bump, but it’s more important to make the most of your guests’ time and effort by fostering great conversation.

2. Edit Diligently

Lex says that each 45-minute episode of Judaism Unbound starts out with roughly 90 minutes of raw audio content before it is edited down. “You have to make vicious cuts,” he said, noting that episodes will have boring patches if they’re not edited with care.

3. Release New Episodes Frequently… or Frequently Enough

Lex notes that listeners who subscribe to podcasts via Apple Podcasts stop receiving automatic downloads if they have not downloaded or played an episode in four weeks or more. For this reason, it’s important to release your podcast frequently enough to avoid subscriber lapses. Budget your time so that you can release episodes regularly, even if they’re on the shorter end of the spectrum.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Promote

Everyone has felt annoying at one point or another when using a public forum to promote their own stuff. Lex says that podcasters have to overcome this feeling if they want to get the word out about their shows. “You need to think that the world needs the wisdom you’re putting out there,” he said. He also recommends asking trusted friends and family members for help in advertising your work.

Ready to learn more? Read on for how to know your podcast marketing is working, how to host a listening party, and some great benchmarks to measure for your new show. And if you've got questions about podcast hosting, let us know!