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8 Podcasting Tips From the Hit 'Girls Gotta Eat' With 2.5 million monthly downloads, their podcast is a booming business.

By Frances Dodds

Dylan York

Trauma may sound like a strange starting place for comedy, but then, Lenny Bruce once said, "All my humor is based on destruction and despair." The ladies behind the sex, dating and relationships podcast Girls Gotta Eat are no strangers to this truth. When Ashley Hesseltine found herself in a relationship she badly wanted to work, but kept hitting road blocks, she did a deep dive into the psychology of relationships. That knowledge became the foundation for Girls Gotta Eat, which she started in 2018 with Rayna Greenberg, who'd experienced her own romantic traumas, including a broken engagement. Now, the podcast gets 2.5 million downloads a month, is a top 20 podcast on iTunes and Spotify, and after 50 live shows last year, Girls Gotta Eat is going on tour in Australia.

It's easy to write off entertainment successes as tales of pure talent, but Hesseltine is not starry-eyed about that: "We treated the podcast like a business from day one," she says. Being an entrepreneur has always been a goal for her, given that, "I've had quote-un-quote "problems with authority' my whole life." Greenberg agrees that the greatest gift of building their brand from scratch has been the independence that comes with it. "I'm in control of my own life and all the success and failure is my own."

Hesseltine's background is in writing and stand-up comedy with stints in TV and radio. She began freelance writing in 2010 and ran a blog before starting the viral Instagram account @BrosBeingBasic, which now has 959K followers. Greenberg started out in the restaurant industry, and eventually moved into startups before going to work at Amazon. Meanwhile, she started her hit food blog One Hungry Jew, and when she passed 200,000 followers, she quit her job. Now, her personal Instagram account, @Rayna.Greenberg has 383K followers. The ladies met on a press trip, and after becoming friends, decided to start the podcast. Fans come for self-help swathed in jokes about dating app mishaps and hot doormen. Greenberg and Hesseltine riff on their lives and respond to funny listener questions, and experts share their knowledge on a range of topics. Here, the ladies share their takeaways from building a podcast into a brand and a business.

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