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Advice · All About Podcasts

All About Podcasts

I have been hearing a lot about “podcasts” lately and wondering what all the fuss it about. Then I heard “podcasting” referred to as “blogging out loud” and I simply had to learn more! Despite the fact that podcasting has been around since 2004, many people still don’t know what podcasts are or how to listen to them. Luckily Kaitlyn is an aficionado and is going to teach us everything we need to know to get in on the podcasting craze!

Kaitlyn writes….  I am so excited to talk to you today about one of my new favorite things – podcasts! Up until a few months ago I only had a vague idea of what a podcast was. I first found out about the wonderful world of podcasts through one of my favorite bloggers, Jess Lively. I’ve read Jess’s blog for a few years and quickly got hooked on her podcast, The Lively Show. I loved Jess’s show so much that I decided to search the iTunes Store for similar content and found so many wonderful shows!

I live in a small town that is about 30 minutes from any major shopping and entertainment. That means I do quite a bit of driving and podcasts have made my drives so enjoyable. In fact, sometimes I find excuses to drive places just to listen to podcasts. I also listen to them while I cook, do chores, and even while I shower! The possibilities are endless.

I’m going to tell you a bit about my favorite podcasts below, but I wanted to start with some podcast basics.

What is a podcast?

Here is the definition right from Apple, “Podcasts are episodes of a program available on the Internet. Podcasts are usually original audio or video recordings, but can also be recorded broadcasts of a television or radio program, a lecture, a performance, or other event.” I also found this great definition on BizChix.com, “Podcasts are to radio as Netflix is to cable.” I love that description! I am a major Netflix junkie because I’m super picky about what I watch and love having my favorite shows available when I want them. I’m the same way with podcasts! I have some radio shows I love but rarely remember to listen to them when they air. Podcasts allow me to get my favorite content on demand and when I have the time to listen.

Who can start a podcast?

Anyone can actually! If that’s something you’re interested in doing, Apple has a page that shows you how.

Do you have to pay for podcasts?

Nope! The best part of podcasts is that they are completely free to download from the iTunes Store.

How to podcasters make money?

Just like radio, television, blogs etc. podcasters make money through advertising. Those that don’t advertise directly on their podcasts may be using their shows to bring traffic to their own websites or paid products.

How do you listen to podcasts?

If you want to listen to podcasts on your phone or tablet you’ll need to download the Podcasts app. Within the app you can search for podcasts and subscribe to your favorite shows. When you subscribe it a show it will show up on the “My Podcasts” page of the app. New episodes of those shows will automatically download to the app.

You can also subscribe and listen to podcasts on your computer through the iTunes Store. Simply click on the “Podcast” button at the top of the iTunes Store page.

When you click on any podcast you can choose to Subscribe, download individual episodes your iTunes library or listen to individual episodes right on iTunes.

Your own iTunes library will have a Podcasts section where you can see everything you’re subscribed to and listen to shows.

Outside of Apple, you can actually listen to podcasts on the programs websites. Many people who run podcasts will put their shows on their own websites and provide updates on their sites and social media. If you have favorite blogs or websites be sure to check if they have podcasts you may want to listen to.

What kinds of topics do podcasts cover?

Anything and everything! There is literally something for everyone. You’ll find lots of podcasts that are purely for entertainment, but I think the coolest thing about podcasts is how much you can learn from them. And it’s all for free! I have learned so much about business, social media, blogging, marketing, nutrition, current events, mental health etc.

My husband just recently discovered that there are tons of podcasts dedicating to learning a language! Just type in the language you want to learn into the iTunes Store search bar and you’ll find tons of options. How cool is that? And did I mention it’s free? 😉

My Favorite Podcasts

The Lively Show

The Lively show is a weekly podcast designed to add a little extra intention to your everyday. Episodes will touch on various aspects of our lives including possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career. Entrepreneurship and online business also appear from time to time. There is a special emphasis on the blogging world and each episode is designed to uplift, inform, and inspire.

Like I said above, The Lively Show is what got me into podcasts in the first place. I seriously cannot say enough good things about this show. After listening to lots of different podcasts it’s still my favorite. The show’s host, Jess Lively, is a fantastic interviewer! She asks very insightful questions of her guests and adds so much insight into whatever topic she and her guest are discussing. She’s had some fabulous people on her show like Pat Flynn, Brooke White, Lara Casey, Joy Cho, Noah Kagan, Joy Wilson, Erin Gates, Grace Bonney, and Erin Loechner. All of the episodes are great but I suggest starting with Episode 37: Purpose, Intention & Uncertainty with Jess Lively. In that episode Jess has a friend and writer interview her. It’s a great episode to start with because it gives you a feel for what Jess is all about. The second season of The Lively Show starts Thursday and I am so excited!

The TED Radio Hour

The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. 

I cannot say enough good things about The TED Radio Hour! I can’t tell you how many of my conversations with my husband have started with, “So I was listening to this episode of the TED Radio Hour…” If you just love to learn, this is the show for you. I’ve always loved TED talks but rarely remember to watch any of them. This show makes them much more accessible and the format is fantastic. Each episode has a theme and they usually interview the TED speakers in addition to playing excerpts from their talks. They make even seemingly mundane topics so fascinating! I recently listened to an episode entitled “Solve For X” that was all about math. I am my no means a math person but learned so much from that episode!

This American Life

This American Life is a weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 1.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced by Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards.

This American Life is just so, so good. If you listen to NPR you’ve probably already heard of it or listened to it. They take the weekly radio show and make it available as a podcast. The topics vary from week to week but the format is generally 3-4 stories told my various journalists. The stories are generally about everyday people. They’re funny, informative, heart-warming, tear inducing, thought provoking and much more. They put up new episodes on Sunday and each episode is only available for a week on the iTunes store.


Serial is a new podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. 

Where do I even start with Serial? This show took the internet by storm last year and was probably a lot of people’s first introduction to podcasts. The first season tells the true story of Adnan Syed who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. I won’t say anything else about the story because I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who haven’t listened to the show yet. All I’m going to say is that Serial is a must listen. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Tim Ferris Show

Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

I can’t quite remember how I discovered The Tim Ferris Show. I think I happened to notice it while browsing through the iTunes Store one day. I recognized Tim’s name from his book, The 4-Hour Workweek and decided to subscribe to his show. I am so glad I did! He interviews the most fascinating people and always asks the best questions. The only downside to his show is that there is some foul language. But if you can get past that you will learn so much from his interviews!

Additional Podcasts to Check-Out

These are all podcasts I’ve had recommended to me and have been meaning to listen to!

Smart Passive Income

Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. Discover how you can create multiple passive income streams that work for you so that you can have the time and freedom to do what you love, whether it’s traveling the world, or just living comfortably at home. 

Stuff You Missed in History Class

What was the Great Moon Hoax of 1835? Join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class in this podcast by HowStuffWorks.com. 

Car Talk

America’s funniest auto mechanics take calls from weary car owners all over the country, and crack wise while they diagnose Dodges and dismiss Diahatsus. You don’t have to know anything about cars to love this one hour weekly laugh fest.

On Being

On Being with Krista Tippett takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you’ll love to meet. Updated every Thursday, a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.

The British History Podcast

The BHP is a chronological retelling of the history of Britain with a particular focus upon the lives of the people. You won’t find a dry recounting of dates and battles here, but instead you’ll learn about who these people were and how their desires, fears, and flaws shaped the scope of this island at the edge of the world.

The Dan Patrick Show

Listen to the Dan Patrick daily radio show. With exclusive insider access, Patrick brings A-list guests from the world of sports and entertainment to The Dan Patrick Show. Sharing his perspective on pop culture and sports, Patrick also brings a dose of humor to his fans.

Planet Money

Money makes the world go around, faster and faster every day. On NPR’s Planet Money, you’ll meet high rollers, brainy economists and regular folks — all trying to make sense of our rapidly changing global economy.

The Dave Ramsey Show

The Dave Ramsey Show is about real life and how it revolves around money. Dave Ramsey teaches you to manage and budget your money, get out of debt, build wealth, and live in financial peace. Managing your money properly will reduce stress, improve your marriage, and provide security for you and your family.

The Moth

Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. 


Weekly film podcast/WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. 


Endorsed by top doctors at Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Yale, & UCLA, backed by over 1,300 studies, and hosted by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Bailor, your SANE SHOW will make “healthy 2.0” easy and enjoyable while enabling you and your family to live better than you ever imagined! 

New Yorker: Fiction

A monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates bring Oxford-style debate to America – one motion, one moderator, two panelists for the motion and two against. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues.

The Classic Tales Podcast

Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world’s greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.

The Chalene Show

Tips, resources, interviews and practical steps to help you improve energy, balance, organization, health, fitness, relationships, focus, faith and happiness. Each episode is designed to give you strategies and simple steps you can implement today to become a better, more balance, happier version of yourself. 

Power of Moms Radio

Power of Moms is an online gathering place for more than 30,000 deliberate mothers. In this podcast, Co-Directors April and Saren will bring you lively discussions, thought-provoking interviews, and inspiring ideas to help you find more peace, purpose, order, and joy in motherhood (and person-hood!).

Good Job, Brain!

Part pub quiz show, part offbeat news, and all awesome. All the time! We here are nuts about trivia. And we are darn sure there are people out there who share our unusual obsession. Do you relish beating your friends at Trivial Pursuit? Do you blab out the answers at the gym when Jeopardy! is on? Then this podcast, fellow trivia nut, is the ultimate mental nutrition for your very big brain. So eat up!

Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young

Kirsty Young asks castaways to choose eight records, a book and a luxury to take with them to the mythical desert island.

Ask Me Another

Ask Me Another blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music into a rambunctious hour-long show. Play along as Host Ophira Eisenberg invites in-studio guests and listeners alike to stretch their noggins, tickle their funny bones, and enjoy witty banter and guitar riffs from house musician Jonathan Coulton. 

Song Exploder

A podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

The Longest Shortest Time

A bold, daring show about parenthood and childhood with This American Life contributor Hillary Frank.

A Slob Comes Clean

Nony (Dana K White) from ASlobComesClean.com shares reality-based cleaning and organizing tips based on her own deslobification process. As she finds ways to keep her own home under control and combat “Slob Vision” she shares cleaning, decluttering, and organizing strategies, that work in real life. And she’s funny.

Sword and Scale

The Sword and Scale True Crime Podcast covers the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions. We cover high-profile trials, unsolved murders, serial killers, weird news and missing persons cases.

StarTalk Radio

Science meets comedy and pop culture on StarTalk Radio! Astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities and scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe.

Grammar Girl

Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer.

Online Marketing Made Easy

“Facebook Marketing All in One for Dummies” co-author and online entrepreneur Amy Porterfield shows you exactly how to monetize your online marketing and blogging efforts using her own tested, ACTIONABLE lead generation strategies — so you can successfully launch and promote a new program, grow your email list, get more leads, build your authority, turn your customers into raving advocates OR simply find the time (and mindset!) to rock your social media and content marketing. 

The Art of Simple

Did you know there’s more to life than answering email and vacuuming LEGO? Of course you do. Tsh Oxenreider loves to talk about all that “other stuff” with some of her favorite people around the Internet. Together, they chat about simple living, food, good music, writing, books, parenting, productivity, and the challenges of working from home. Join them—it makes you run faster; it makes laundry folding more fun.

This is Your Life

This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt is a weekly podcast dedicated to intentional leadership. The goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.

Balanced Bites

A practical and modern approach to holistic & Paleo/real food nutrition with a healthy dose of humor. Hosted by Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe (of Real Food Liz).

What is your favorite podcast?

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