Plan Your Work - And Work Your Plan
Listen to your favourite podcast. How many episodes are there? How long have they been going? Odds are that the answer to the first questions is "loads" and the answer to the second is "ages".
It takes time to build a successful podcast, building and nurturing a following and this sometimes is inadvertently the reason many don't start their own series - or give up after just a few weeks when all the promises of ad revenue and 5 star reviews don't rush in. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that out of the 1.2 million-and-counting podcast series out there, only a third are being regularly updated. 800,000 podcasts are dormant, many of them just after a couple of episodes!
Now I'm fully aware that there are some excellent limited-episode series out there that were never intended to be longer (two of my favourite, big budget productions are the BBC's '13 Minutes To The Moon' and Wondery's 'Business Wars') but most podcasts are started with the intention of carrying on... and on... and on. And that's cool.
Putting aside your podcast drifting off the "to do" list or disillusion settling in, what's the other reason that podcasts stumble and cease? I would suggest the answer lies in overwhelm and lack of planning.
Here are my two suggestions to ensure a happy, healthy and lengthy podcast journey:
- Create a focus for your podcast at the outset (I'm going to avoid using the word "niche" as it is so overused!)
- Plan your episodes in advance (just by planning, you'll realise how many episodes you have in you)
We have a bespoke 5 page planner for our paying clients but the basics are as follows:
- What is the one problem/need your podcast solves for your listener? Whatever it is, that's what the podcast needs to be about
- Think about the broad subject areas that you could cover and then, on a separate piece of paper, split them into smaller individual subjects - these are your episodes.
So if you were working on a legal podcast that made complicated information simple for the consumer, and chose to niche (there, I said it!) on conveyancing, one of your subject areas might be the process of buying a house; the small individual subjects could then be information for first time buyers, putting in an offer, negotiation, applying for a mortgage, finding the right conveyancer, surveys, estate agent fees etc.
That isn't an exhaustive list, especially as I'm not an expert in conveyancing (!) but you can immediately see how three subject areas with 10 small individual subjects each could easily mean 30 episodes planned and in the diary.
And the great news is that each small individual subject can be approached in a number of ways - you explaining it one week, a conversation with a client about their experiences another week, and a Zoom recording with an expert or fellow podcaster another week. 30 multiplied by 30 is 90. That's getting on for two year's worth of material if you produced a weekly podcast.
I hope this blog in particular encourages you to "keep going" if you're already going or persuades you to start the podcast you've been promising yourself for months.
And if you'd like a little more advice and support, you're welcome to book in a free 30 minute podcast consultation with as at Verbu. Click here and we look forward to chatting.