Before we dive into ways to maintain motivation and avoid podfade – let’s first discuss, what exactly is podfade?
Podfade is when a new podcast produces a few episodes and then gradually starts releasing fewer and fewer until they stop entirely. Essentially, the podcast stops existing because the podcaster is unable to keep up with producing shows and it fades into podcasting oblivion.
There can be many reasons for this – everything from the creator losing interest or motivation, realizing their idea doesn’t have legs, or underestimating the amount of work it takes to not only produce a show but do so consistently.
But if you’re feeling overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel, know that you are not alone. There are over 2 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts alone and only a little over 20% are active, which means they’ve released an episode in the last 90 days. Hence, most podcasts have technically podfaded.
However, fret not. We are here to discuss five practical tips (plus one bonus one!) that will allow you to continue creating your show and avoid podfade.
It’s important to manage your expectations and be clear about the amount of time it will take to consistently create quality and engaging episodes. Developing a realistic publishing schedule is step one. You have to be honest with yourself about how often you can release a show.
Although a weekly show is great, it is not necessary. Several successful podcasts publish monthly or fortnightly episodes.
What is most important is to ensure consistency, so your listeners and fans know what to expect. And apart from your fan base, you will appreciate knowing clearly what they are working towards.
One of the biggest reasons people’s shows experience podfade is because they run out of fresh ideas. Coming up with content consistently can take a toll so it is important to set yourself up for success from the get-go.
Before you launch your show, it’s critical that you brainstorm as many ideas as possible. A great benchmark is coming up with 52 strong themes for episodes because that covers you for a year’s worth of content. And if 52 sounds overwhelming, even coming up with 25 means that you will have enough content once you get started and the creative juices start flowing.
One important thing to remember when developing content ideas is to ensure that your podcast topic is not too broad. If the theme is too broad, it not only makes focused ideas harder, but it can mean that your followers might not get as much value out of it. At the same time, don’t be too narrow with your subject matter because you want to have some creative flexibility.
Before you begin your podcasting journey, make sure you learn all the ins and outs of what it takes to create a successful show. It’s also key that (at least on a basic level) you understand how to use your recording and editing software.
When you intimately understand your podcasting tools and resources, it not only allows you to budget enough time, and be efficient but also avoid you (and the team!) from getting overwhelmed by the task at hand.
The more you know, the higher the chances of success!
Recording a few podcast episodes before your scheduled publishing dates not only reduces your workload and ensures you are not stressed with a tight publishing schedule. There’s a bit of a dance required when batching recordings – you want enough canned content to be able to release consistently but you also want to ensure that your content is not outdated when it is released.
Obviously, this is only possible with podcasts that are not news-based or about current events. But for most other shows, getting ahead of schedule allows you to avoid content stress and burnout that can lead to podfade.
Aside from thinking about scheduling and content creation, an important factor to consider is what will ensure your listeners will tune in and consume your show (which will keep you motivated to keep creating!). The following strategies can increase the effectiveness and engagement level of a podcast:
Most listeners will understand if you need to take a break, as long as you keep them informed about why you won't be releasing new episodes for a while, and stay honest with them (most will appreciate the vulnerability).
Until you decide how to move forward with your show, you can continue to post smaller pieces of content on social media, so you maintain the connection with your audience you've worked hard to develop. Plus taking a break allows you to come back with fresher ideas and renewed passion and motivation to keep delivering your best work.
And lastly remember, you know yourself best. Be patient with yourself and what you have the capacity for.
A team of driven podcast experts, the CoHost marketing teams goal is to provide content to help brands boost podcast growth, understand their data, and equip themselves with the resources necessary to scale.