Characteristics of a Podcast Dropout

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(By Troy Price) In a previous Podcast Business Journal article, Robin Kinnie describes podfading as when “releasing a few podcast episodes and then… Nothing.“ Podfading is horrible. Podfading affects the listeners eagerly anticipating your next episode, and it also greatly affects you, the podcaster. If podfading is your greatest concern, there are a few decisions made early in any podcasting endeavor that can ensure you achieve your podcasting goals. Here are some pointers to avoid podfading that do not come not from the podcasting sphere, but from our friends in the field of Education.

For decades educators have been concerned about students not finishing high school. Educators have researched and know at least four behaviors that first graders demonstrate that makes a student likely to drop out of school later. I think these predictors are so specific and logical that with just a little tweaking, they could offer us some guidance from dropping out of podcasting (podfading).

These early predictors include:

1) The student underperforms in Reading and Math in first grade.

2) The student is suspended in first grade.

3) The student has 9 or more absences in first grade.

BONUS: Another study presents that a student does not initially choose to drop out of school, they just do not do their work. They get behind on their work and believe it is easier to quit school rather than make up the missing schoolwork.

Here is what any podcaster can learn from this as they start their own show.

  1. New podcasters should familiarize themselves with the basics of podcasting before they start and keep up-to-date with podcasting news. This is easy to do, consistently listen to a podcast about podcasting.
  2. New podcasters should follow existing podcasting rules. Students get suspended by breaking rules. Podcasters must invest time, effort, and stress into breaking established podcasting rules. New podcasters may be best served by following such podcasting conventions as:
  1. Release an episode weekly.
  2. Make your episode length from 20 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Host your podcast with a reputable hosting company that you pay for.
  4. Edit your show.

3) New podcasters should not miss releasing a significant amount of episodes once they start their show.

BONUS: This may be the most beneficial insight for a new podcaster. Students that stayed in school kept doing their work. A new podcaster can break the above rules and still be successful if they just keep doing the work. If a podcaster misses releasing an episode or two, the only episode they should be worried about is the next episode they are going to release. Focusing on the work ahead and not the missed opportunities in the past will best prevent a new podcaster from podfading.

Have you podfaded or are considering podfading now? What advice could you give to a new podcaster to keep them going? Please share in the comments below.

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Contact Try by e-mail at  Troy@frontporchstudios.com.