3 Ways to Beat Podfade

Liveblog of session by Vergel Evans & Brent Morris

How to avoid running out of content, avoid “podfade”.

Three [sic] things they have figured out to prevent podfade:

  • take some time to think about the technology you are using. If your technology is too difficult to use on a regular basis, figure out how to simplify it.
  • at some point you become obsessed by the statistics. You may change the direction of your show to follow the stats. If you engage with people commenting and get to know them. This gives you a responsibility to not fade.
  • if you can’t get a show out, put out a “best of” show to at least get something out to your listeners to keep things going while you are trying to figure things out.
  • change things up! if you are doing a podcast; want to keep going but don’t like the topic any more, change the subject. Instead of fading, he did podcasts (audio) in between video podcasts to keep himself going.

What about committing to a limited run? That gives you an objective so you are less likely to fade out unexpectedly. You set up that expectation for your listeners. A lot of people podcast without a set goal.

Changing things up – E.g. CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York – they create a new location for the show to change things up. Star Wars spin-offs.

Ask your listeners for ideas. Work with your audience, let them know if you are having a hard time. Perhaps they will have solutions for you. Interact with your audience, respect your audience, value your audience. They will help you through. People won’t resent you if you disappear. Be up front and honest if your interest has waned. They don’t feel betrayed if you disappear on them.

Why is it important to overcome podfade? The time you have invested in your podcast, your audience has spent a fair amount of their time to absorb what you have put together. If you respect and value your audience, they hope you give a little extra to keep things going. If you started it as a daily show, and decide to change to weekly show, let your audience know. It also gives you a chance to engage with your audience.

Even if you have nothing specific to talk about it, the audience still likes you to talk about that. We are in a world, unlike TV, where there are no rules of engagement; however, your audience are real people. As consumers, they have those expectations.

You have to be passionate about what you are talking about. If your interest changes, change things up. As long as you are passionate about connecting with your audience, try something new. Brent Morris changed his format – now breaks his show up so that he has music episodes, talk episodes – he told his audience he was going to break things up, and it is now easier for him to get more shows out.

Do a “best of” episode. Do a “how to” show, how you do what you are doing.

Two kinds of content:

  • time sensitive (e.g. Rocketboom – lasts about 2 days)
  • “evergreen” content – always relevant

If you do evergreen content, people can refer to it again later.

If you are doing video and don’t feel like turning on a camera, put audio with PDF for example – explore new formats. You may find more things of interest to your audience as you experiment.

If you are prolific at one point, save some of it for later for the times when you don’t have time. Create content that isn’t live that can be shelved for later.

Audience comments: you have to keep your energy up:

  • instead of sitting down, stand up
  • switch everything to Castblaster – everything timed, keeps the energy up
  • get a new piece of equipment or new interface – buy, borrow – try new things in your set up
  • if you are busy/on the road, put together a short piece talking about where you are, what you are working on, that you are gathering great material for future shows – just be honest with your audience
  • interview someone confrontational/combative to wake yourself up

Record yourself when you are fresh, not when you are tired. If it is late, go to bed and get up the next morning when you won’t sound so tired. Your audience will pick up on the difference.

If your circumstances have changed, e.g. you have a show about being single when you have just gotten married, you can bring in experts OR better pass it along to someone else.

If you plan on ending a podcast:

  • let your audience know
  • give them an alternative (CSI ended; they made CSI Miami)
  • package your content – make it available as the final result – gives your audience closure and they are more likely to listen to your next show.