(By Troy Price) What day should I release my podcast? Should I release on a holiday? How can I reuse my content? Should my podcast have seasons?
These are questions that are asked and asked and asked by new and seasoned podcasters alike. And these questions are answered and answered and answered individually. However, the answers to these questions have a unifying thread that offers structure and continuity to podcast producers who can see the nexus of where these questions intersect.
Let me start with a story. I used to manage a booth in our local antique mall. I was a picker, a foot soldier in the storage wars, and a retail arbitrage aficionado (you should have seen my business card back then). There was one thing I learned quickly. I placed my most profitable inventory in plain sight when the most people were shopping. Not surprisingly, the times for high retail traffic are weekends and holidays. So I planned to have my best stuff in my booth on the weekends and holidays. When I did this, the sales reports demonstrated that it was a solid strategy and I continued that practice. During the weekdays, I then offered sale prices and less-than-perfect items to boost sales during the slow times. I also put less work into the booth during the coldest months because (other than Black Friday) crazy deals do not make people fight ice and snow.
I learned many lessons that I apply to podcasting during those years selling in that antique mall. Here are my answers to the above questions, highlighting that unifying thread that I learned during those days.
1) Release your episodes when more people are downloading podcasts. Research shows for which most downloads happen during weekdays. So, a quick answer is: release your show on a weekday.
2) Research shows a reduction in podcast downloads on holidays. With that bit of knowledge and a look at the calendar, I do not release episodes on Mondays or Fridays because those are the weekdays when holidays are frequently observed. So any day Tuesday through Thursday are the really good release days.
3) Also, knowing that holidays are not good download days, I plan to release episodes during that week that require less production work than my usual highly produced episodes. For instance, I usually release “unplugged” episodes that are less produced, or I rerelease “classic” episodes with a brief current introduction. This allows me to know when I will have weeks that require less time dedicated to podcasting and give me a bit of a break.
4) A scheduled break in podcast production is one of the best arguments for having podcast seasons. If you can recharge your pod producer batteries using the holiday calendar, you do not need an artificial podcast season schedule. Also, re-releasing your classic episodes allows you to repurpose your content and share it with an audience that would intrinsically appreciate hearing your current comments on some of your best prior work.
So, there you go. Answers to four of the most-asked questions out there. There are benefits in knowing the simple answers to these questions. But it is better to know the rationale the answers are based on. The answers to these questions are based on when the most podcast downloads happen and capitalizing on both the high-traffic times and the low-traffic times.
I encourage you to keep learning the rationale behind the answers to the questions you ask.