Being A Guest On Top-Tier Podcasts

“I want to be interviewed on the big shows!” 

As providers of a podcast interview booking service, the above statement is something we hear often. After all, potential guests who are considering podcasting as a marketing strategy want to make sure it is a method that will be worth their while. Surely, being on the biggest podcasts, or top-tier shows, is the best way to guarantee the most value for your time and money!

This article discusses why big is not necessarily better, and what factors should be more important to podcast guests wanting to get the most benefits and returns from their podcasting experience.

Top-Tier Shows

There is no end of podcast shows to choose from, with more joining the ranks every week. Naturally, there is a small percentage of shows that can be classified as ‘top-tier’ or a ‘big show’. This handful of podcasts have gained their popularity because their hosts have worked extremely hard, usually for many years. They have earned large size audiences because of clever marketing, consistent posting, and quality content.

Increasingly, hosts of these shows are charging a fee to guests wanting to appear on their podcasts - we’re talking a whooping four-figures, per episode.

Suitability Over Size

Undoubtedly being on a show with a good size audience is desirable and has its benefits. But often a potential podcast guest thinks that the bigger the audience, the greater the chance of success. This is often not the case. You could speak to the largest audience, but if they're not interested in your subject, or they don't need your service, you're not going to get much from them.

For example, when you go to Pat Flynn’s, Smart Passive Income Podcast, what subject do you expect to learn about? You expect his guests to be an authority in which areas? Imagine you downloaded one of Pat’s episodes thinking you are going to pick up some great tips about how to grow your online business, but instead, the guest is talking about the benefits of medical marijuana. It might be great info, but the chances are you won't listen for long because it's not what you want, or need, at the time.

What good is an audience of 50,000 if they are not interested in your info. On the other hand, an audience of 5,000 engaged individuals interested in your subject/expertise is far more likely to result in listeners visiting your site, and potentially gaining new clients.

One of the most important factors in getting ROI benefits from podcasting is this: ensure you are featured on shows within YOUR areas of expertise and that have YOUR ideal audience type.

Quality Over Quantity

The concept of quality over quantity is very applicable in podcasting and is a much more reliable gauge of a shows’ worth than the claim of size.

Shows that are of good quality will prove to be of value to any guest. But what does “good quality” mean in terms of podcasting? There are hundreds of thousands of great podcast shows. Put simply, a “good quality” show is one that is well-established. A lot of time and commitment is involved in producing a podcast show. The hosts who are not up to the task will not be able to grow an audience and ultimately, won’t last long.

Check to see how long a show has been airing and how many episodes they have posted - a minimum of around 50 episodes is a worthy number. If a show has been airing for a good amount of time, consistently delivering quality content and interviews, then it is guaranteed to have a good size audience, which will only continue to grow.

Another indication of a good quality podcast is show notes. Does the host have a professional website with a dedicated area for posting all their episodes? Does each interview include show notes with back-links to the guest's website and/or social media pages? If you are doing podcast guesting you will want the extra benefits that this brings. The more websites you appear on, the better your search engine ranking becomes, not to mention that it's a great way for listeners to gain direct access to your site.

Podcast Download Stats

Download stats for podcast shows are not published. They are not searchable or available anywhere online for the public's viewing. This is private information belonging to the show host only. There is no other way of knowing a shows figures unless you ask the host directly.

If an individual or a booking service promises that they can get you on to top-tier shows, be sure to question this further. Find out exactly which shows they are guaranteeing, and why they can promise those particular podcasts. They may have a special relationship or arrangement with certain show hosts. Or they may be promising something that they cannot, in reality, guarantee.

The term “top-tier” or “big show”, or anything similar, could actually be used by any host or booking service, regardless of audience size. Nobody would be any of the wiser unless they took an actual look at the facts and figures related to the shows download stats if the host will provide them.


As you embark on your podcasting strategy don’t be fixated on those “top-tier” shows. Be open-minded to different types of podcasts, as long as they are well-established, within your areas of expertise, and have your ideal audience type.

As with any digital marketing service, it's the cumulative effect of a long-term guesting campaign that yields the highest ROI. So commit to doing podcasting with a long-term goal in mind. As you gain your guesting experience and focus on becoming the best guest you can be, you will reap the great marketing benefits that podcasting offers...and who knows, you may even eventually get onto those “big shows”.

For great advice on how to be an awesome guest, check out this article - Podcast Interviews: The Art of NOT Selling