Starting a podcast can be a lot of fun, but it's not as simple as just hitting the record button. Most podcasts end as early as their seventh episode. Some research suggests that the podfading rate is as high as 50% among new shows.
So, how do you avoid this? You plan ahead.
Before you begin recording your first episode, you should consider your goals, audience(s), your format, the relevant themes, the call-to-action for your listeners, what an attainable schedule looks like, scripting, and more. By having a plan in place, you'll increase your chances of creating a consistent, successful podcast that resonates.
When I say goals, I mean what are you hoping to accomplish by doing this? Are you looking to build a community, promote your brand, or share your expertise? Whatever your goals may be, it's important to have them clearly defined before you begin this project. Once you know your goals, you can then work on creating content that aligns with those goals. You’re not just podcasting to podcast, right? There should be something strategic you’re trying to achieve by taking this on.
Once you’ve determined your why, you'll want to think about your audience. Who are you trying to reach with your podcast? What are their interests, pain points, and needs? Understanding your audience will help you create content that resonates with them. When they like what they hear, when they find your episodes valuable, they’ll keep tuning in. Knowing your audience also helps you choose the right format and schedule for your podcast.
When it comes to formatting, you'll want to think about what type of content you'll be covering and how long each episode will be. Will you be doing interviews, panel discussions, or solo episodes? Are you taking a storytelling approach or more of an informative read? And will each episode be 20 minutes or an hour long? These are all important considerations to make when planning your podcast.
Themes and your call-to-action also play a big role in the success of your podcast. It's important to choose themes that align with your goals and audience and to have a clear call-to-action for your listeners. This can be something as simple as asking them to leave a review or to visit your website for more information. You also want to outline some kind of instruction for them so they continue their journey with your content.
You'll also want to think about the schedule. When will you be recording, editing, and releasing episodes? That takes time. Will you be releasing episodes weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly? What is sustainable for you? Podcast listeners expect consistency when it comes to having access to new episodes.
Will you script anything before recording? Following a script is a great choice when producing a podcast because it helps the host stay on topic and gives a clear direction of where the episode is headed. Using a script also allows you to prepare and practice beforehand, which can greatly improve your presence and the overall quality of the podcast.
By having a podcast plan in place, you'll increase your chances of being successful and creating a show that your audience will adore. If you need help with your podcast plan (or want to ask someone “ummm... am I doing this right?”), please reach out.