The Profitable Podcaster

How to be a Consistent Podcaster

Recently on Twitter, I asked a series of questions about podcasting, the challenges, and what would make it easier. The conclusion I came to based on the answers was consistency is the biggest pitfall for podcasters (or would-be podcasters).

As someone who puts out 3 weekly shows, I totally get that. Podcasting can be a grind, which is why 75% of shows don’t make it past 7 episodes. So this week, I decided to put together some of my best tips to avoid the dreaded podfade and be consistent.

Show Notes

Define Your Podcast

First is something we talked about back in episode 1: define your podcast. Your purpose, your format, and even your schedule. Remember you don’t need to publish weekly starting off. And you can always experiment with your format…so pick 1-2 that you think you’ll be able to do well.

Batch your content

If you’re pre-launch, have 10-12 episodes ready to publish. That gives you three months (or more if you post less than weekly) of content in the tank, allowing you to get ahead of your show before it even starts.

If publishing ten episodes sounds daunting to you, remember to start slow and have shorter episodes focusing on what you know or having focused interviews. Having a batch of “easy” episodes that are timeless also means you have some podcast “savings” for when you don’t have something to publish!

Post-launch, It’s important to set aside time on your calendar dedicated to content if, like me, you’re producing 4-5 weekly pieces. Even for news-based shows, you can get ahead by having a few timeless episodes – something in the cards for my WordPress podcast, WP Review. I’m in the process of pre-recording more solo episodes that don’t rely so much on current events.

Of course, it can be hard to get motivated to produce one, let alone multiple pieces of content in a single shot. That’s why idea capture is so important.

Capture Every Idea You Have

You can’t create content if you don’t know what to create. That’s why I’ve put processes in place to capture every idea I have, no matter what I’m doing.

I recommend keeping a notebook handy, or a note on your phone at the ready. I have a shortcut so that I can quickly capture ideas via text or speech.

That doesn’t mean you need to use all of them; it just means that you have a pool of ideas for when you’re ready to batch, or struggling to figure out what to write. Some of those ideas are bound to be low-hanging fruit!

Note: I’ve actually improved my process and created a “Dashboard” note, which Creator Crew members get a tour of. Become a member for less than $5/mo.

Look for Inspriation Everywhere

Similarly, look for inspiration everywhere. I’ve told stories about baby clothes, plumbers, and Rita’s Italian Ice, relating them back to understanding customers and being a business owner.

Drawing those lines is a skill you can learn. It starts with recording the experiences.

Repurpose Content

If you’re really struggling to come up with something, you could repurpose previous content. This could be something you originally wrote for a newsletter, Twitter thread, or even an older post that could use refreshing.

I used to fall victim to the mindset that I already wrote it, so people will find it. But they (probably) won’t…or at the very least, you will know what content is already doing well, and the good but forgotten content.

Taking something and making updates for new perspectives, or for a new micro-segment, could give you a great jumping-off point to kickstart those creative juices.

Create a Schedule that Works for You

You also don’t need to publish weekly.

When I first started How I Built It, I intended to publish 3/4 weeks per month at most. I went to weekly episodes when I started booking more interviews than I thought I would; plus, I got sponsors. Those things made it feasible for me to do a weekly show.

On the other hand, I recently took my YouTube channel weekly to fortnightly. Once per week turned out to be too much for me, and I wasn’t putting out the kind of quality videos I wanted to put out.

When working on your schedule, figure out what you can comfortably publish. Some of my favorite shows publish monthly, which is perfectly fine for them.

Block Time on Your Calendar

The final step, when you have the other pieces in place, is to make sure you have time to create the content. I have times (Monday and Thursday mornings) that are dedicated to my own content creation.

Getting it on your calendar and treating it like any other project allows you to get in the right mindset. Knowing Mondays are content days means I go into my office knowing what I’m working on.

Outsource what you can

And that’s the next piece of advice: outsource what you can. I know that if you’re not making money, it’s harder to spend money, but hiring an editor or even a VA to do some of the tasks can be a HUGE time saver.

I knew early on that editing would be the biggest hurdle to publishing. After spending too much time editing episode 3 of How I Built It, I hired an editor and never looked back. Now I pay around $40-50 for something that took me 2 hours or more. That’s time I can spend promoting, booking guests, recording more episodes, or finding sponsors.

Automating is a low-cost way to take things off your plate if you don’t want to hire anyone. And the less you have on your plate, the more time you have to create content.

Don’t Pay Attention to Downloads

It’s easy to think you’ll launch a podcast and start to see money coming in with sponsors and memberships. Or that your downloads will skyrocket. But the truth is podcasting takes time, work, and consistency. Podcasts that don’t make it to 8 episodes never had a shot at growing.

Downloads can be the most demoralizing stat for new podcasters; I say ignore them. Publish helpful content consistently, and the audience will come. But if you’re regularly checking, it’s easy to think, “all of this work for ten measly downloads.”

Just remember: you’re also building your content library, trust, and expertise.

If you come in thinking you’ll put the work in for six months and see how it’s going, how you can improve, and what you can change, you’re sure to see tangible results (and maybe even some income). And that’s my last piece of advice for you.

Experiment

Mix up the types of content you put out. If a guest cancels, do a solo show. If you don’t feel like writing a script, bring a guest to chat. Try a short-form episode or read a blog post as a podcast episode.

Especially early on, your show is your sandbox. It keeps the show fresh and the ideas flowing. Experiment and see what resonates.

And remember…Not every piece of content you create needs to be your magnum opus. As long as you share what you’re doing and offer 1 actionable tip, or share a good story with your audience, your content is a win.

Intro: Real quick before we get started, I want to tell you about a free email course I have called Five Fast Fixes to grow your podcast.

If you’re wondering why your podcast growth is stagnating or non-existent, you likely just need to make a few small tweaks to see growth. This free email course will go over what they are, why they work, and how you can implement them. To get this totally free email course, you can head over to [makemoneypod.com/fixes]. That’s [makemoneypod.com/fixes] F-I-X-E-S for Five Fast Fixes to grow your podcast. That’s [makemoneypod.com/fixes]. 

Recently on Twitter, I asked a series of questions on podcasting, the challenges of podcasting, and what would make podcasting easier. 

The conclusion I came to based on the answers I got was that consistency is the biggest problem and a pitfall for podcasters or would-be podcasters. And as someone who puts out three weekly shows, I totally get that. Podcasting can be a grind, which is why 70% of podcasts don’t make it past seven episodes. 

So this week I decided to put together some of my best tips to avoid the dreaded pod fade and be a consistent podcaster. But before we get to the intro, I do want to tell you about a free resource I have to help with one of the toughest parts of being consistent in coming up with fresh episode ideas. 

If you go to [makemoneypod.com/ideas], you can get my free PDF of 52-plus episode ideas. If you have a weekly show, that is more than a year’s worth of content. That free resource again is over at [makemoneypod.com/ideas] to get those creative juices flowing and to get 52-plus ideas for potential podcast episodes.

All right. Now, let’s get into the intro.

Welcome to Make Money Podcasting. The podcast that teaches you that monetizing your show is no longer just about getting sponsors. On this show, you’ll learn tried and true methods to increase your revenue and turn your podcast from a money pit into a money maker. 

Hi! I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And I’ve been able to make six figures with my podcast. I’ll share everything I know with you here on Make Money Podcasting presented by Nexcess and Podcast Liftoff.

Joe Casabona: All right. Now, let’s get into those ideas for fighting the dreaded pod fade and for being a consistent podcaster.

The first is to Define Your Podcast. Something that we talked about back in Episode 001: Define Your Podcast. Define your purpose, your format, and even your schedule. Remember that you don’t need to publish weekly to start off and that you could always experiment. Your format is a great place to experiment. If you are doing an interview show, but you can’t line up a guest, try a solo episode or a News Roundup. 

As a matter of fact, the idea that I had for this week was to look at a new set of data from infinite dial about podcast Super listeners. But I know that soon they’ll release their full podcast statistic report on the state of podcasting. So I tabled that.

But seek inspiration from other places, and work on different formats. I think you should pick two or three formats that you think you’ll be able to do well.

Next up is Batch Your Content. If your pre-launch, which is the best time to batch your content, you should have 10 to 12 episodes ready for publishing on the day you launch. This gives you three months or more If you publish less than weekly of lead time and saved up content. And so you can be ahead of your publishing schedule. You can also look at how current episodes you’re doing while you come up with the next batch of content.

And if publishing 10 to 12 episodes or producing 10 to 12 episodes at a shot sounds daunting to you, remember to start slow and have shorter episodes focusing on what you know or have focused episodes. Having a batch of easy episodes that are timeless means that you have some podcast savings, “for when you don’t have something to publish.”

When it’s post-launch after your show has gone live and your episodes are published, it’s important to set time aside on your calendar dedicated to content if, like me, you are producing four to five pieces of content a week that’s a podcast, YouTube video, blog post, etcetera. 

Even for news-based shows, you can get ahead by having a few timeless episodes. This is something I’m doing with my WordPress podcast, WP Review. I’m in the process of pre-recording more solo episodes to have them ready for all of my podcasts so that I have some margin. And even though WP Review sometimes covers news, I can have things like my top 10 plugins or how to evaluate hosting. These are things that are more timeless. 

Of course, it can be hard to get motivated to produce one piece of content. Let alone multiple pieces of content in a single shot. And that’s why idea capture is also really important. 

So my next piece of advice for you is to Capture Every Idea You Have. You can’t create content if you don’t know what to create. That’s why I’ve put processes in place to capture every idea I have no matter what I’m doing. I recommend keeping a notebook handy or a note on your phone at the ready on iOS. You can have a single note that you just can tap on and start typing. I have a shortcut. I have an iPhone, so I have a shortcut so that I can quickly capture ideas via text, where I press an icon on my home screen and I can immediately type in ideas or via speech by saying, “Hey, assistant. I have an idea.” And then I can verbalize that. So if I’m out on a walk or if I’m driving, or if I’m doing something else where I need my hands, I can still quickly capture those ideas. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to use all of those ideas. It just means that you have a pool of ideas for when you are ready to batch or when you’re struggling to figure out what to podcast about. Some of those ideas are bound to be low-hanging fruit. This episode is actually one of them. I hadn’t planned when I made those tweets to turn this into an episode. But I thought, the takeaways were so important that I actually bumped this topic up further in my production schedule.

And I should say at this point, I haven’t mentioned this on the show, but I do have a membership, [joincreatorcrew.com] where members get to see my idea capture process as part of my automation library. So if you want to become a member of the creator crew to get a tour of my idea capture process, you can do that over at [joincreatorcrew.com] for less than $5 a month.

Now, when you’re trying to come up with ideas, I know that could also be hard. That’s another common thing that I hear from people when I talk about, you know, how do you capture ideas or how do you come up with what’s a podcast?  Look for inspiration everywhere. 

So, I’ve told stories about baby clothes, about plumbers, about Rita’s Italian ice, relating them back to understanding customers or being a business owner. Right?  So one example is with baby clothes. I was up in the middle of the night, changing my newborn and he was very squirmy and hungry, and I was really tired. And the baby clothes I had made it was like a reverse zipper and made it super easy for me to dress my child in the middle of the night. And I thought this is somebody who really understands what it’s like to be a parent. And so I was able to quickly capture that idea and I wrote a blog post about it. And then I made it into a podcast, which is the next Idea or the next piece of advice I have is to Repurpose Content.

If you’re really struggling to come up with something, you can repurpose previous content. This could be something you originally wrote for a newsletter, a Twitter thread, a Twitter conversation that you started, or even an older post that could use a refresh.

I used to fall victim to the mindset that I already wrote something and so people will find it if they’re looking for it. But they probably won’t or at the very least, you’ll know looking at your analytics, what content is already doing well, and then the good but forgotten content.  So taking something and making updates for new perspectives, or for new micro-segments, or for a new medium taking a blog post and turning it into a podcast episode could give you a great jumping-off point to kickstart those creative juices. 

And so let’s hear from our sponsor, speaking of kickstarting, those creative juices. And then we’ll get into more advice. 

Sponsor: This and every episode of Make Money Podcasting is brought to you by Store Builder from Nexcess.

As a podcaster, you might be wondering what’s the best way for me to implement some of the things that we talk about on this show. How can I easily make money with my own website? And when it comes to setting up an e-commerce site, you kind of have the choice between an easy but limited platform or a limitless platform that you need to manage yourself, taking precious time away from your podcast.

Until now, Store Builder is e-commerce made easy for everybody. It saves you time and delivers a storefront that lets you get to business. As someone who has set up multiple e-commerce sites, I can tell you that store builder has been a much easier experience than anything else I’ve tried. Answer a few questions, add your content, and sell. 

Store builder was created and is supported by the e-Commerce experts at Nexcess. I host all of my important sites, including the membership for my own podcast and this podcast at Nexcess. Get the speed, security, and support you need when you need it. Whether you’re selling podcast merch, offering a supplementary course, or you have a membership or subscription. 

Are you ready to monetize your podcast the way you want to? Head on over to [makemoneypod.com/storebuilder] all one word, to try it for free for 30 days. That’s [makemoneypod.com/store builder]. 

Thanks so much to Store Builder and Nexcess for sponsoring this and every episode of Make Money Podcasting. 

Joe Casabona: Once you do have a back catalog of content and you’re repurposing and batching, you need to create a schedule that works for you. You don’t need to publish weekly. I know a lot of podcasts do. My podcasts do. But you, don’t. 

When I first started How I Built It, I intended to publish three out of four weeks per month at most. I went to weekly episodes when I started booking more interviews than I thought I would get. Plus, I got sponsors. Those two things made it feasible for me to do a weekly show. 

On the other hand, I recently took my YouTube channel from weekly to fortnightly. Once per week turned out to be too much for me for producing videos. And I wasn’t putting out the kind of quality videos I wanted to. If we look at some hugely popular podcasts, there are some that publish multiple times a week, like Stuff You Should Know. But there are also hugely popular podcasts that only published monthly. My favorite monthly podcast is Cortex with CGP Grey and Mike Hurley, usually popular and they publish once a month. The goal here is to make sure you have the right content to talk about and that you manage the expectations of your listeners. So when you’re working on your schedule, figure out what you can comfortably publish. Some of my favorite shows, like I just said, published monthly. And that’s perfectly fine for them.

All right. So you have your batched content. You have a schedule. Now, you need to block time on your calendar, or I should say you have your ideas, and you have your schedule. Now, you need to block time on your calendar. The final step, when you have those other pieces in place is to make sure you have time to create the content. I have times Mondays and Thursdays in the morning that is dedicated to my own content creation. Getting it on your calendar and treating it like any other project allows you to get into the right mindset knowing Mondays or content days means going into my office, and knowing what I’m working on that day.

Now, my next piece of advice here is to outsource what you can. I know if you’re not making money, it’s harder to spend money. But hiring an editor or a VA to do some of the tasks can be a huge time saver. I know, or I knew early on that editing would be the biggest hurdle for publishing for me. After spending too much time editing Episode 003 of How I Built It, I hired an editor, and I never looked back. Now, I pay around $40 to $50 for something that took me two hours or more to do. That’s time that I could spend promoting booking guests, writing scripts, recording more episodes, or finding sponsors. 

Now, automating is a low-cost way to take things off your plate if you don’t want to hire a person. It’s a way of outsourcing certain tasks to a computer. And the less that you have on your plate, the more time that you have to create. 

So those are your workflow ad pieces of advice. 

  1. Capture Ideas. 
  2. Batch Your Content.
  3. Put it on Your Calendar.
  4. Create a Publishing Schedule That Works For You. And;
  5. Outsource What You Can. 

But this next piece of advice is more about your mindset and managing expectations. And that’s, don’t pay attention to download.

It’s easy to think you’ll launch a podcast and you’ll start to see money come in with sponsors and memberships or that your downloads will skyrocket. You have 5,000 Twitter followers so you’ll get at least that many downloads per episode. But the truth is, that podcasting takes time, work, and consistency. Podcasts that don’t make it to eight episodes never had a shot at growing. 

Downloads can be the most demoralizing stat for new podcasters. So I say, ignore them. I right before this episode, I checked in on the downloads for this. And as I record this, I’m getting…I don’t know, 20 to 40 downloads per episode. But I know that this is a new show and it’s going to take time for people to discover it. It’s going to take me time to figure out what people want from this show. So the most important thing to do is to keep publishing. See what resonates, and get feedback from your audience. 

Publishing helpful content consistently is what makes an audience come and stay. But if you are regularly checking downloads, it’s easy to think I’ve done all of this work for virtually nobody to listen. 

Just remember, you’re building your content library, you’re building trust and you’re building expertise. If you come in thinking you’ll put in the work for six months and see how it’s going, how you can improve, and what you can change, you are sure to see tangible results and even make some income. And that is, I think something really important for podcasters to remember. 

And it also leads to the last piece of advice here, which is to experiment. Mix up the types of content you’re putting out. If a guest cancels, do a solo show. If you don’t feel like writing a script, bring on a guest to chat. Try a short-form episode or read a blog post as a podcast episode. I did that a few weeks ago on How I Built It because I was sick and I didn’t have an interview ready for that week. It was the only week in a three-month span where I didn’t have an episode ready to go. So I just read an older blog post especially early on, your show is your sandbox.

So experimenting keeps the show fresh and the ideas flowing. Experiment and see what resonates. 

And remember that not every piece of content you create needs to be your Magnum Opus. As long as you share what you’re doing and you offer one actionable tip, or you share one good story with your audience, your content is a win. 

That’s it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening to Make Money Podcasting presented by Nexcess and Podcast Liftoff.

For all of the show notes and to get those free episode ideas, you can head over to [makemoneypod.com/004].

Thanks so much to our sponsor, Nexcess. 

Until next time. I’m Joe Casabona, and I can’t wait to see what you make.

Podcast Booster Blueprint

Use my 10-year podcasting journey to put your podcast on the right track. 

Get my free Podcast Booster Blueprint now. I’ll walk you through 5 changes you can make in minutes to:

  • Attract and keep your ideal listeners
  • Skyrocket your downloads
  • Start making money (now) 

No hacks. Only Real actionable tips I test for you.