Podfade: What It Is and How To Avoid It

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(By Robin Kinnie) We’ve all been there. It’s New Year’s Eve and we’ve pledged to start saving more money or working out. New Year resolutions are the quintessential example of the “personal pledge.” However, studies show that by March most of us have gone back to our old ways.

Hey, it’s cool. We’ll do better next year, right? Next year comes and the cycle starts all over again — unless, you decide to actually make that change. That’s easier said than done. It takes dedication, perseverance, and planning.

As of June 2019, there are 750,000 podcasts available (Source: Edison Research Infinite Dial 2019). However, at least a quarter of those only have a few episodes. So, what happened? The dreaded “podfade.” Podfade is defined as launching a podcast, publishing a few episodes, and then…nothing. Life gets in the way. Work picks back up, and well, you’re busy. As the owner of Motor City Woman Studios, I’ve seen my fair share of podcasters with the best intentions only publish a few episodes. I get it. But, with a plan of action, any podcaster can avoid fading out into the podcast black hole.

1. Launch with at least five episodes recorded
This is a recommendation I share with all of my clients. By recording numerous episodes up front, you give yourself some breathing room and the opportunity to create a database of shows. Plus, it’s easier to hook new listeners if they have more than one episode to binge on.

2. Create a list of show ideas
Most podcasters can relate to sitting down at the microphone and saying, “Now, what am I going to talk about?” With a list of show ideas already compiled, you can align your shows with quirky holidays like International Left Handers Day (which is August 13, 2019). This can help with SEO and make you seem like you’re super-organized.

3. Have a standard show outline
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Create a show outline that can be customized for each show. Instead of typing out a complete outline, use a template. For each episode, your only job is to swap out the show topic, guest info (if applicable) and announcements. You’re opening and closing remain the same — saving you much-needed time.

4. Get some help!
In this age of virtual assistants and platforms like Fiverr and TaskRabbit, it’s never been easier to outsource. For your podcast, consider outsourcing the creation of your show outlines, post-production editing, or coordinating guests. This frees you up to focus on content and creativity.

5. Podcast your passion
Losing interest is probably the most common cause for podfading. You thought you could talk about the latest TV series forever. But, after three episodes, you are tapped out. To avoid this, you want to put a lot of thought into the subject of your podcast. Is it broad enough to spark numerous subtopics? Is there a pool of people who may make ideal guests? If you’re having trouble finding people who share your interest, start researching local Meetups or Facebook groups. Consider following a keyword hashtag related to your podcast theme as well.

By following these five recommendations, anyone can avoid being a podcast drop-out. I can’t guarantee that you will be the next breakout star. But at least you won’t have to keep adding “start my podcast” to your list of New Year resolutions.

How many episodes did you launch your podcast with? Tweet me or shoot me an email at robin@motorcitywoman.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Robin Kinnie is an experienced podcast producer, entrepreneur, and #womanowned advocate. Driven by community, she takes pride in creating access to underrepresented groups within the podcast industry. As the President of Motor City Woman and Audio Engineers of Detroit, her goal is to amplify the voices of women. Robin also serves as the head of Soundgirls.org, Detroit Chapter. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @RobinKinnie.