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How to avoid podfade

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How to make sure your show survives

Podfade is the inevitable consequence of jumping into a podcast you’re not prepared for.  And it happens when a show stops releasing episodes and fades into podcasting obscurity.

This is usually because the creator loses interest, realises their idea doesn’t have legs or because they seriously underestimated the workload.

So how do you make sure your podcast doesn’t become another statistic?

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What are the statistics?

According to a 2018 interview in Amplifi Media with the CEO of Blubrry, Todd Cochrane.  Of the 540,000 podcasts out at the time, only 25% had released a new episode over the previous year.

That means approximately 75% of all podcasts in 2018 were NOT in production.  And every day that passes there are more and more podcasts.

Of course, within that number are shows that were only supposed to last for one season like the hugely popular S-Town.  But a huge proportion are people who got about seven episodes in and went “URGH! This is too hard!”

What are the different types of podcast?

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Podcasting isn’t easy

People often let their shows podfade because they don’t realise how difficult it is.

If you’ve already started your show you’ll know how much work goes into creating each episode.  But if you’re yet to launch I want to take you through a few ways you can avoid the dreaded podfade.

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?

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Make sure you know what you’re in for

It’s incredible that if you have an idea, you can buy some equipment and get your podcast in front of an audience in a relatively short amount of time.  But getting your show started is often the easy bit.  Keeping a podcast alive is the part that can be difficult.

The more you know about how long it REALLY takes to get each episode into people’s ears, the better prepared you’ll be.  And the more likely your podcast will survive.

Learn how to podcast in PodSchool

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Practice before you go live

People think if they record an episode they have to share it with the world straight away.  But you could be recording podcast episodes for years before you feel comfortable enough to press publish.

Not only will time spent ironing out the kinks help you improve your presenting skills.  It will also get you in the swing of how much time you need to set aside to plan, present, produce and promote your show.

If you do a dry run over a number of weeks or months you’ll get a sense of whether this is do-able or whether you’ll be pulling your hair out by week two.

The content you create during your practice period also doesn’t need to go to waste.  If it’s strong enough you can bank those recorded episodes so when you do launch you’ll be way ahead of yourself.  Or if they’re not strong enough, at least you’ve rehearsed the content so you know what works and what doesn’t.

Having this in your back pocket will give you more of a buffer and decrease your chances of podfade.

The steps to release a podcast episode

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Work out if you’ve got enough content to go the distance

One of the main reasons for podfade is a lot of podcasters run out of ideas.

Coming up with content is incredibly taxing so the more you can do to set yourself up for success in this department, the better.

Before you start I suggest sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen and jotting down as many ideas as possible.

I often set myself a goal of 52 because that’s a year’s worth of content.  Obviously, that’s a big number to get to but if you start the process and find it pretty easy to get to 10 or 20 that’s a good indication you’ve got something there.

If you’ve written two ideas and you’re struggling to come up with a third maybe this isn’t the kind of show you should do week in, week out.

How to find content for your podcast

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Batch record episodes

This is the process of recording as many podcast episodes as you can ahead of time so you’re not trying to get everything done week to week.

This is only possible with content that doesn’t date so if your show is based on news or current events you might not be able to do it.  But if you can get ahead of yourself this will help you avoid the content stress and burnout a lot of podcasters face.

Why you should batch record your podcast

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Choose a topic you’re passionate about

There’s a lot of time-consuming stuff that needs to be done around your podcast so you need to be really passionate about your idea or it’ll be hard to keep going.

This is especially the case when you’re podcasting to no one.

Building an audience takes time and consistency and that means you need to be showing up every week even if no one else is.  This can be difficult if you’re not doing something you love and that’s a sure fire way to find yourself in the land of podfade.

The steps to release a podcast episode

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Don’t expect to make money

If you’re waiting for the dollars to roll in from day one you’ll be ready to podfade real quick.

Sure, you might be one of the select few who monetises their show quickly but chances are it’ll only happen after you’ve been creating content for a really long time.  If it happens at all.

You have to go into podcasting with the passion for the idea first and the money second.

To make your show something that will last long-term it has to be something you’re happy to do for free. If this isn’t your mindset you’ll be disappointed and nothing leads to podfade quicker than disappointment.

How to make money from your podcast

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Be strategic when planning your show

Not every idea is suited to releasing episodes every week forever so think about what best suits you and your content.

Your show might work best in seasons where you release 10 episodes then take a break and plan the next 10 e.g. Lady Startup.

Or your idea might work best as a single season and that’s it e.g. Before The Bump.

If you’re releasing your show in seasons you can take a break in between to plan and record new episodes.  That way when you go live with the next season everything will be recorded, scheduled and you can get on with your life.

How to make podcasting easier with seasons

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Be clear with your audience

Whatever you decide make sure you communicate clearly with your audience.

If you start out promising a weekly show and then disappear without explanation they’ll be pissed off and your reviews will reflect that.

However, if they know this is a single season, or that they’ll be getting 12 episodes and then you’ll be taking a break to create more, they won’t be disappointed.

There’s nothing wrong with dishing up your show in smaller batches or trying an idea for a season and moving onto the next one.  Just be open and honest with yourself and your audience, know what you’re getting into and you’ll be fine.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!