Have you heard of podfade, but you’re not really sure what it is? Or you know exactly what podfade is and you’re hell-bent on avoiding it? Then this article is for you. We’ll cover what exactly podfade is, why it happens and what you can do to prevent your podcast from taking the same sad ending.
What is podfade?
Podfade simply means that either slowly or abruptly you stop publishing new episodes without that having been planned. I’ve found that it mostly starts with missing an episode or two here and there. Then the stretches are getting longer and longer before it fizzles out completely.
What do the numbers say?
First off (as with pretty much anything podcast related) there are no firm statistics on podfade and how often it occurs but estimates run as high as 50%. I (Jess) have personally experienced this and I’ll share my perspective a bit further along as well in case it helps you to be more aware.
Why does podfade happen?
There are numerous reasons on why a podcast may stop putting out episodes. I’ll run through some of the more common ones, before giving you some strategies on how to avoid this happening to you as well.
1. Lack of goals and planning
It’s easy to get started with your podcast but excitement will only carry you for so long. After that it’s pure systems and execution that will make you publish a new episode every week. So if you don’t know WHY exactly you’re doing it, WHO it is for and WHAT you’re going to talk about then it’s going to be very difficult to be consistent in creating relevant content.
The second part is more related to planning and organisation. If you do not have a workflow for your podcast and a clear system that you follow for each and every episode it’s super easy to become completely overwhelmed and confused. And then it becomes as we like to call it a “dragon” that now needs to be fought every time you work on it.
This is something I have experienced myself. I started a podcast without knowing the exact reason WHY I was doing it. And it very quickly led to me realising that it’s too much work to put in without know how this is going to get my life or business in the direction where I would want to take it – and then there were of course a couple of other factors that I’ll get to a bit later.
2. Being overwhelmed with editing
We have by now had plenty of clients who effectively said that they would have stopped putting out episodes if we weren’t around to help them edit their episodes. They hated the process of editing, didn’t know how to use the software and weren’t happy with the overall end result, so it became something that put them off even recording and episode.
3. Poor time management
New podcasters often underestimate the time that goes into publishing a podcast episode – not just the part BEFORE publishing, but also the promotion that’s needed to get your episode seen afterwards. So this can very easily cause issues with time-keeping and then a small disturbance in your routine causes you to fall behind with your timetable.
That is another issue I have personally experienced with my podcast, because I started it on top of 2 existing businesses at a time when I had not much else going on. Then I was suddenly forced to move house, had new clients join and shortly after my Dad passed away and I had to go back abroad for a few months to support my Mum. I could hardly get the basics of work done every day nevermind engage in the passion project that my podcast was.
4. Not enough passion
Sometimes we experience short-term passions for topics that fizzle out naturally 2 or 3 months later once we’ve explored all aspects of it. If this happens with your podcast topic it isn’t as easy to keep going because it’s no longer exciting. It’s now just a thing that you do every week or every month, because you said you would do it – and that’s by far not as fun.
5. “No results”
A podcast takes time to build and it takes a lot of promotion if you do not have an existing audience (for example because you run a business in that niche), and it can be come very frustrating when it seems as though your numbers are not growing. Podcasting can take a while to build up steam and it can feel as if you’re not improving enough. You have to push past this, so that you don’t decide NOT to put out an episode because no one is listening anyways.
7. Feeling resentment
If you have been trying to actually get paid to do your podcast and you have a feeling that you’re reaching a dead end with this, then resentment for the podcast can start to build up.
So, what can you do to avoid Podfade from hitting you?
1. Make a clear plan
You need to have a clear plan, a why, make a list of 100 episodes minimum, so that you KNOW you have content lined up. You need to have a podcasting workflow that works and that fits in with your schedule. Also have a clear plan on editing and what it takes to turn the podcast episodes around from idea to promotion. Make a schedule for yourself and factor in buffer time for emergencies.
2. Make sure the topic is a passion of yours
You will find yourself repeating the same topics from different angles, if you get bored of this or you don’t feel excited by the list of 100 episodes you made in the first step, then maybe this isn’t for you – and that’s ok. Try another topic on or maybe try a different medium – or decide to commit to it anyways and to keep delivering no matter what.
3. Treat your podcast as a business from day one
For some of our clients their podcast is simply a marketing tool for their existing business. For some it IS the business. The podcast is the product and they earn revenue in a variety of ways as a payment for producing the episodes. If you approach your podcast as a business or a tool that HAS to generate revenue for your business, you look at different opportunities from a very different angle.
4. Don’t expect it to pay you for a while
A podcast is NOT a get-rick-quick-thing (these don’t exist by the way), so although you should treat it and run it as a business (or a business tool) don’t expect it to bring major results over night. There are many podcasts that took 1-2 years before showing any return on the investment of time.
5. Be happy to invest further if needed
There maybe times where life hits you hard and you don’t have the time to dedicate to doing it all. So be ready to invest as and when needed.
Invest in programs/software that make your life easier, people to help you turn things around faster or courses that get you to be more organised or do things more efficiently. You’re either going to end up investing time or money. Money you can get back – time you won’t – and the faster you understand that the better.
6. Batching and working in seasons
An easy way to get started with your podcast is to work in seasons. Pick for example 12 episodes, then plan for a break for a fixed number of weeks. Get started with recording all 12 episodes and edit them. Then you publish them 1 per week and focus on the promotion. In the 6 week break you record and edit the next 12 episodes etc. and then you keep going with this cycle. Make sure you have a plan on how to not lose your listeners when you’re off-season!
I hope these tips helped you to see how easy it can be to lose yourself in the podcast production cycle. If you want to get help with staying consistent, then consider getting our team on board to help manage the whole process for you.
You may also be interested in:
Podcast Motivation – How To Maintain Your Motivation in 2021
Podcasting With Confidence – How To Boost Your Confidence
Ready to get serious about your podcast?
Then reach out today to get our team to take over your editing today.