Recently I’ve been spending a lot of my time rethinking and reorganizing my business. I’m looking at the different systems that I’m using, events that I typically attend and aggressively eliminating anything that doesn’t serve me well in my business. It has been a very enlightening process. And one of the content areas that I absolutely love to focus on is podcasting. The problem with podcasting? Even with a podcast editor it’s really time intensive. If you’re starting a new show or are 3 years into an established podcast you may be asking yourself the following question: how often should I publish episodes of my podcast? I have some thoughts continue reading on.
How to Be a Consistent Podcaster
Most podcasting hosts ask themselves several questions before taking the leap and staring their show. These questions are an important part of working through the following:
- How often can I publish an episode?
- How long should an episode be?
- Should I have guests on my show or should I do “talking head” episodes?
- Do I need to edit my podcast episodes and how does that work?
- Seasons vs. Weekly publishing schedules
There are a number of questions that podcasters find themselves working through before, after and during the podcasting process.
Best Podcasting Practices
It’s painful for me to say this but the newer the shows the more consistently a show should be published. During the first year or so, it’s best to stick to a fairly consistent publishing schedule. In order to achieve success, simplify your publishing schedule. This could mean releasing an episode every other week. Or, recording short an easy episodes that you know you can get done in time for your release dates. You’re looking for a schedule that you can stick to. By doing this, you’re focusing on achieving the following goals:
- Connect with your community
- Build up your backlist of episodes
- Create trust within your listeners
There is a point, however, when it’s time to reevaluate your process, time expenditures and goals of your podcast. Recently, I’ve hit that point.
Why I’ve Stopped Publishing Podcast Episodes Weekly
At the time of this post, I’ve worked on podcasts for around 4 years. Because of that I have a pretty extensive backlist of content. I’ve won awards with my show and I’ve worked with high paying podcast sponsors. And for those 4 years I’ve basically released an episode a week.
Towards the end of Spring 2022, I was…tired. We were going on year 3 of a pandemic, crazy people were roaming the streets and I was struggling with anxiety.
I’d hit my limit and was dealing with capacity issues. I began cutting things out of my schedule. I broke up with out of state events for the next two years and looked at other areas of my business that I could change without hurting the growth of my brand.
I decided to stop releasing my podcast episodes weekly. Instead, I decided to completely change the format and I think it’s important to walk through what helped me make that decision.
Observing My Podcast consumption habits. Have you ever paid attention to how you find and listen to new and favorite shows? My observations of myself and others helped me make decide that releasing on a seasonally schedule would not negatively impact my brand.
How Are People Finding and Listening to Episodes?
- Even though I know of several of my favorite hosts schedules-I’m more likely than not going to listen to their shows on MY schedule. During walks, cleaning the house, on a drive or at the coffee shop.
- I pod binge and will listen to several episodes in a row
- The key is the back catalogue vs. current releases
- I listen to a lot of podcasts so remembering everyone’s schedule is too much work.
It’s my thought that my podcast consumption is more the norm than the exception. People are busy and have their favorite shows. They will listen to their shows when they have the time to multi-task or when they are able to get back to it.
Related Podcast Episodes
- Is Podcasting Dead?
- 21 Additional Mistakes Podcasting Hosts Can Avoid
- 15 Mistakes Podcasting Guests Should Avoid
- 7 Reasons Why a Podcast Should Be a Part of Your Brand
- Do You Have to Publish Your Podcast Every Week
Larger Content Creators Have Begun to Release at Will
There are a number of amazing large content creators that I love to follow and listen to their shows. One of the things that I’ve noticed is how their shows are designed and I think that it’s important to pay attention to what they’re doing.
- Stu McLaren’s Marketing Your Business podcast is part of a well-thought out lead warming process that comes alive before his Tribe/The Membership Experience course goes live. Then, despite his best efforts (in his own words) he doesn’t record new episodes until the following year.
- Launch Your Blog Biz with Lauren McManus of Create and Go has had a long pause. I think she had a baby. Doesn’t matter because I didn’t know she had a podcast so I’ve been making my way through her back content.
- Do You Even Blog-Pete McPherson has been working through redesigning and reigniting his passion for different aspects of his content creation business (I can relate) this has meant that he isn’t really releasing podcast episodes consistently anymore. Instead, he’s releasing when he feels like it which is fine.
Podcasting is a lot of work. And, for many content creators keeping up with the sheer scope of creative energy needed to run a podcast weekly, monthly is a pretty large ask-especially if they’re not getting paid to do it.
As long as a show has a fairly decent backlist, I’m ok as a listener if a host isn’t releasing shows on a strict schedule.
Best Practices for Podcasts That Don’t Have a Set Schedule
Maybe you’ve released your show on a schedule for years like I have and have decided to switch things up. Here are some suggestions on how you can create momentum around your show when you’ve decided to break up with release schedules.
- Have a pretty decent backlist
- Create a mini-podcast series and really focus on marketing and sharing the series when it’s time to be released.
- Share previous episodes within an episode that addresses an additional problem or concern
- Record evergreen content that extends the usefulness of the episodes.
- Direct listeners to a helpful tool or resource that moves them to your email list.
- Record one off episodes when you’re creatively inspired
- Batch episodes when your focus and energy picks up
- Have guests record episodes for your show-highlight someone else’s expertise
- Focus on marketing your past episodes. This is why evergreen content is so important.
You can stop publishing on a schedule but there are definitely some important logistics and stylistic components to consider before moving forward. I’m committed to trying out this system for at least the next year and already I’m really happy with how much of my time has been freed up with this change.