The Business of Podcasting Ep012: From 0 to 10,000 Podcast Downloads Per Day with Pete Smissen

The number of your podcast downloads is one of the metrics you can use to measure the success of your show. Knowing that your content resonated enough with your audience for them to download episodes is rewarding.

Today, Pete Smissen of the Aussie English podcast joins us to talk about what it takes to grow your podcast downloads. His podcast has grown from zero up to 10,000 downloads a day. He also shares with us how he worked to monetise it and make it his full-time gig. We also chat about how he uses YouTube in conjunction with podcasting.

This episode will be very insightful for every podcaster. Subscribe, tune in to the show, and find out how you can take your podcast to the next level!


Taking Your Podcast from 0 to 10,000 Downloads

The Aussie English Podcast

  • Aussie English started because Pete wanted to help people.
  • It is an online platform where his audience can use or purchase extras from the podcast: episode transcripts, downloads, and a custom player that reads the transcript as they listen.
  • He also started the Aussie English Academy, where he sells courses of content from his podcast and more to help people improve their English and understand Australian culture and history.
  • It was his listeners who brought up conversation classes and monetising content.

Using Podcasting and YouTube Together

  • He noticed how he would skip Google and head to YouTube when he was learning French, which gave him the idea to take advantage of the platform.
  • Pete has a lot of competition in the niche of teaching English.
  • Constant internal fight: Should you go broad or stay in your niche despite the small market? His solution: Ask the audience what they think.
  • YouTube viewership is affected by the algorithm; his podcast is more consistent with 200,000 monthly downloads.
  • Even if you have 2.5 million subscribers, you can still end up getting around 50,000 views because of the algorithm.
  • Pete shifted to using YouTube as a way to introduce his podcast and other content.
  • The ad revenue he receives from YouTube is used to fund his ads on Facebook or Google.
  • You are your own sponsor, and you can control your ads.

Growing Your Podcast

  • Start with why: Ask yourself why you are doing something and how you are helping people.
  • Before working on an idea that interests you, ask yourself if it will generate revenue.
  • Be open to pivoting your content as you learn and experience more.
  • His mindset: He creates content his audience can engage with to make learning easier. His audience can then use that on their own to solve their problems.

Getting Your Message Across

  • Focus on your content. Make sure it is solid and consistent.
  • There is no shortcut. Don’t rely on virality or hope for overnight success.
  • Aside from consistency, work ethic and trying different things are also essential.
  • Take advantage of networking: Interview people and guest on each other’s shows. 
  • Listening to quick success stories can be motivating, but some don’t realise how uncommon it is.

Identifying What Works and What Doesn’t

  • Getting to know his niche was “irritating” because it’s the clickbait materials that gets views.
  • Ultimately, you can’t fight with what people are watching.
  • Study what other people are doing and what works for them, then give it your twist.
  • Experimenting: It’s a trial and error process. Continue to evolve.

Converting Listeners and Viewers to Customers

  • With podcasting, your audience feels like they know you on a personal level.
  • Introducing them to paid content: Talk to the audience about what you are working on and ask them for feedback.
  • People can tell if you are authentic or not.
  • Utilise email marketing.
  • Keep the door open and continuously remind them about what you can offer without overdoing it.
  • Scent marketing: The pieces smell like they fit together; it inspires loyalty.
  • Show them the why and the what, and sell them the how.
  • Including a deadline funnel works.


  • There’s no easy way to organise pricing. 
  • What worked for Pete is starting with a low price and gradually moving it up.
  • The higher you go, the fewer complaints you’ll get, the fewer refunds you will have to give, and the more people will use your content.
  • People find it easier not to use your content and ask for a refund if your product has a low price. Whereas if they spend more on something, they are bound to use it more to get their money’s worth.
  • Keep an eye on complaints and refunds.
  • If possible, track how much people are using the content. 
  • It’s good to have a few options when it comes to payment options (one-time payments, monthly subscriptions, annual subscriptions) and products (cheaper and premium products).
  • Come up with a membership or payment system.

What’s Next for The Aussie English Podcast?

  • Pete wants to keep doing what he is doing and improve on what he has.
  • He wants to help more people by developing online platforms to learn languages while keeping it fun and effortless
  • He also wants to create an app similar to Duolingo that will bridge the gap from late beginner to advanced speakers.
  • Pete also aims to take what worked for Aussie English and apply it to new languages that garner a lot of interest.



About Our Guest:

Pete Smissen is the founder of Aussie English and the host of the Aussie English podcast. After completing his PhD in evolutionary biology in 2017, Pete decided to give up his career as a scientist and pursued teaching Australian English. His niche is one that caters to people who want to learn and understand Australian English, whether for work, travel, or leisure.


Learn more about Aussie English and Pete’s courses on his website and connect with him on Facebook and Instagram. Check out his YouTube channel and listen to his podcast.


Learn more about Charley Valher and Valher Media


If you would like to get booked on more podcast shows, check out Valher Media’s Resources.


Visit Charley’s The Parenting Co website.

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