Consistency begets consistency. If you wish your audience to continue tuning in to your podcast, then you should maintain the same commitment to producing the episodes they’re expecting. In this episode, Tom Hazzard dives deep into this single most important issue and aspect of podcasting: consistency. He provides real life samples and context that highlight the importance of being consistent in publishing your episodes. While this can be challenging for those who are pressed for time, Tom tells you not to worry by sharing tips on how. Tune in to find out what these are and lead your show to success!
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How Podcast Consistency Leads to a Successful Podcast
In this episode, I want to talk about a very important subject every podcaster needs to be aware of. This doesn’t matter if you’re preparing to launch a show, you’ve just launched a show or you’ve been podcasting for many years. This holds true for everyone. I want to talk about consistency in publishing episodes.
This is the single most important issue and aspect of your show you have control of as the host that is going to help grow and/or maintain your reading audience in the short-term and the long-term. It always surprises me how many people think, “It’s no big deal. I can skip here or there or take a long break.” Don’t get me wrong, you’ve been podcasting for years and you want to pivot your strategy either with your show as a whole or whether you’re going to podcast or not or making a big change in your business and you don’t have the time do it anymore and you’re going to stop.
By all means, take a break or stop. However, I’m here to tell you. The most successful podcasts show up consistently for their listeners. Whatever their normal cadence is of publishing, if it’s consistent, it will serve you best and your listener best. Their expectation of you showing up for them regularly is maintained but if you don’t show up consistently, I’m going to give you several examples here because I’ve experienced this with a lot of podcasters when I meet them and do an audit of their show.
They wonder why they’re not getting more out of their show. I’m like, “You haven’t published an episode in almost three months.” Others maybe did publish the last few weeks but I look back at the history of the last 6 months, they publish a total of 8 episodes. When I look at the timing of them, they’re not consistent at all. What I want everyone to understand is how important consistency is. Hopefully, all of you who are already podcasting know this and those that are researching and considering launching a show, you need to understand what’s wonderful about podcasting. You do it on your time. This is not radio.
You don’t have to show up at 3:00 PM every Thursday because that’s your slot and if you don’t show up live, no one’s going to hear you. It’s not that. I love podcasting because, to an extent, it’s on-demand listening. Listeners will listen when they want to listen, regardless of when you publish. If somebody has subscribed to your show and they’ve said, “I choose you. I see you’ve been publishing episodes for a long time, once a week,” they have the expectation you’re going to show up for them once a week on their app that day. Whether your day is Monday, Thursday or Wednesday, it does not matter.
After supporting thousands of shows, I don’t believe there’s any better day to publish an episode. People are going to listen when they want to listen but pick your day and that’s your day and show up consistently because when you stop showing up consistently and you publish randomly here and there, you’re not giving your listener anything to expect.
They feel that you’re flaky, inconsistent and not showing up for them regularly. Whatever your cadence is, I do recommend growing and maintaining an audience in the best way possible. I believe you need to show up at a minimum weekly for your guest. I believe you should publish once a week. Some say, “That’s too much for me. I can’t do that.” Every other week, whatever it is, show up consistently.
I have one show that publishes on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. That’s a little weird because some months there are 5 Tuesdays and some months there are 2 Tuesdays. I don’t like that so much but that’s what they’ve been doing even before they were working with us so that’s what they do. It does create some inconsistency.
You get 2 episodes a month but sometimes there might be 2 weeks between an episode. Other times, there might be three weeks between an episode because of the length of the month and where that day of the week that you publish falls within the context of the whole month. Consistency, I truly believe a weekly show is what podcast listeners on the whole are looking for and wanting. You don’t have to do it every week. You can binge-record. You can set up one day a month and record 6 episodes and schedule them to publish each of the next 6 weeks and get your breathing room.
This is one thing you do to reach your audience and provide them with content. It’s one thing you might do if it’s a context of a part of your business. It’s not the dominant thing you’re having to do in your business. Most podcast hosts who are in business have some expertise and something they do to make money and you need to spend the lion sharing your time doing that.
Podcasting’s one thing you do to support your community, lead generate or raise awareness of who you are for your business. It doesn’t have to be all that you do but what is important is if you want to have podcast listeners choose you more than show them through the history of your show that you’ve shown up consistently.
I’m going to share a little trick with you on Tracy’s show, The Binge Factor. In 2022, Tracy got quite busy and didn’t consistently show up every week. She saw a drop off in listenership and said, “I’m going to fix this. I need to practice what I preach.” We talk about this, whether it’s in this episode or with anyone we talk to about podcasting. We talk about how important consistency is.
What Tracy’s been doing is publishing more episodes, 2 a week or 3 on some weeks on The Binge Factor and publishing them new so that her audience gets that content. They’d be getting more content lately but then a week after, those episodes that were published, she’s taking one of those two that week and backdating it to fill in a gap in the past so everybody new subscribing gets it right away but then she’s moving it.
In some of those weeks where she didn’t have one that was published in 2022, one of those episodes is being moved back to fill that gap. The reason is so that after a couple of months of catching up if people look back at The Binge Factor, they’re going to see there’s not a week in 2022 that there wasn’t an episode. That’s to make the impression to show new listeners finding the show when they look back at its history and say, “She’s published every week on this day. She’s been very consistent.”
It sets the expectation that she’s going to keep showing up every week going forward, which is her intent. I can’t tell you how critical it is. People come to me and say, “I don’t know how many people are listening to my podcast.” I ask, “Let’s look at your show,” and they’ve published six episodes. They’ve published them all on one day a year sometime and they’re wondering why nobody is listening to their show. You’re not continuing to publish and show up. This is not Netflix.
The vast majority of shows have very few exceptions. There are some exceptions. I’m not going to go into detail on that but having a show where you record a limited set of episodes and drop it in a bunch all at once may make sense. If you’re intending to be successful in podcasting in the long run, I very strongly recommend you do not do that.Listeners will listen when they want to listen, regardless of when you publish. Click To Tweet
One of the most successful shows that we’ve ever supported is called Passive Real Estate Investing with Marco Santarelli. He’s the host. He publishes one episode a week. He’s only done one episode a week but his show is always a top-ranked show on Apple. It’s because he’s been doing it for 7 or 8 years, showing up every week. It is a very popular subject matter but my point in sharing with you about his show is not to say you need to show up in the top charts on Apple too.
There are too many shows. Everybody can’t be there but it’s to say that the shows that continue to show up week after week, month after month or year after year, get the most traction and have the most loyal listeners. People are coming back and listening. Your show will eventually, if you do that, achieve great success within your niche and be rewarded.
Your show will be rewarded with a larger listenership and more people going to your website for your show, reaching out to you and engaging with you. Showing up consistently is important. What I’m trying to say is you don’t have to do 5 episodes a week, 3 episodes a week or 2 episodes a week to achieve some of those goals and rise in the charts. You can do one episode a week but you’re going to have to do it for a longer period.
People often say, “I record a bunch of episodes. When I have 3 or 4 done, I have someone put them up. I don’t know how they do it. They just put them up.” I see this as a pattern in shows. I’ll evaluate a show. In October, they published four episodes but they were all on the same day. In November, they published three episodes but again, they were all on the same day.
There’s a real inconsistency of not only how many episodes are published but how often they’re published. People don’t always think about this and it shocks me how many shows I find are like this. That’s why I’m spending the time helping to share this with you and recommend you to not do it. Please, pick a day of the week or if it’s not going to be every week, pick a day of the week, show up and publish.
Show up on their phone. It’s not so much about you. I understand that we all get busy. We want to take a break during the holidays and not have to worry about publishing. That’s great. I got news for you, I do that too but I’ve recorded and banked up half a dozen episodes before I get to the holiday so that I can keep publishing one a week and show up for my listener.
It’s less about you. When it comes to listeners, it’s all about them. What’s in it for them? If you stop showing up consistently for them, they’re going to go find someone else to listen to. They’re going to go find another show and subscribe to that show. It’s very similar to what we see happening on television. I know all of you may not be television watchers but I’m sure some of you are. I like to watch some late-night comedy shows that come on at usually 11:30 or depending on your time zone, maybe 10:30 at night.
Nothing frustrates me more than getting ready to watch, go show up and turn it on and this week, they’re not publishing. They’re rerunning an episode. I hate reruns. I almost wish they wouldn’t put the show on at all. It doesn’t lead me to believe there’s going to be a new one because it’s going to air but it’s an old one. I wish they would even pre-record some to run during that week they’re going to be off.Podcasting is a marathon. It's not a sprint. Click To Tweet
Everybody needs a break but that doesn’t happen on television. It’s much more expensive to put out a television show so I get that. In podcasting, it’s not that hard for us as podcasters to pre-record episodes and bank up enough of them that we can take whatever break we want. We can check out and not think about recording episodes for weeks or a month or more but we can still show up for our listeners.
If you want a loyal audience, that’s what you need to do. That’s my strong opinion. I’m a big believer in it and there are other benefits to it also beyond podcast listenership through the apps. There are benefits to showing up on social media with clips from that episode, quote graphics or maybe a video meme if you do yours as a video as well that you can schedule ahead of time.
Some tools let you schedule social media posts ahead of time so you’re showing up there on social media so your presence is still there. There are also benefits for your website if you’re putting a blog for each episode out there. The consistency and the authority you get for your website through Google for continuing to publish a new blog every week is also invaluable. Podcasting is a marathon. It’s not a sprint.
I’m going to tell you one other little thing I experienced from recording this that was jaw-dropping for me. I’m always meeting new prospects of podcasters and especially authors that are going to publish a book. They’ve purchased a service from a company to help them with either publishing and launching their book or they’ve decided to publish a book a different way and they’re working with a PR agency to help raise awareness of the book in advance of its publishing and when it’s first released.
I had this experience. Someone that came to know us through a referral and organization was a part of. They scheduled a call with me and their PR agency. The PR agency had sold this person on, “A great way to market your book is to launch a podcast.” I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that. I may disagree on the timing. You should launch the podcast when in advance of the book coming out so you have time to build a listening audience before you try to raise awareness of that book. If the book’s already out and you launch a podcast, you don’t have any listeners at first.
That’s not going to set the world on fire by raising awareness of your book. I’ll move on because that’s an aside point. The main point is this PR agency said, “We’ll help you launch a podcast. We know how to do that. You need to record just six episodes. That’s all, just six and we’ll drop all those six about when the book launches. You’re a podcast host and an author. That’s going to help you.” I’m like, “Really? That’s going to help you?”
You’re going to get a little bit of organic play and awareness through the listening app if you put out six episodes of a podcast and drop them all at once. If you’re not going to come back and keep producing any new content, that podcast is not going to set the world on fire. I don’t care how good those episodes are or who you are.
Podcasting is a long game. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not a quick hit. You’re not going to get a shot of adrenaline for much by putting six episodes out and never doing anymore. Unless you’re somebody incredibly famous and people are going to know about them because you’re already well known. That’s not what most of us are doing with podcasting. We’re usually not already well-known.
We are using podcasting to raise awareness of who we are, to elevate our level of authority as a center of influence in our niche, in our area of expertise and be found by more of our ideal listeners, potential customers and many more facets of that. Showing up and serving first is how you build it and you’ve got to do it consistently.
I’m not going to belabor that point anymore. I’ve made my point or expressed my opinion. I’m sticking to it. I highly recommend all of you show up consistently and publish regularly for your listeners. Show up for them and you’ll be rewarded. Anything else, you’re podcasting probably more for other reasons than what I would say are the best reasons. It’s not going to achieve your goals at the end of the day if you don’t do that.
There you go. I hope you find value in this. We have a lot of other great episodes and topics on our website for Feed Your Brand, which is Podetize.com. At the top, there is a menu item for podcasts. You can click on Feed Your Brand. Click into any of the episode blogs and this is a great search feature. If you have a question about anything regarding podcasting, type in that search. It’s going to bring up the history of all of our episodes and topics we’ve covered.
Hopefully, we’ve covered the topic that you need support with. If we haven’t, reach out to us on social media, anywhere at Feed Your Brand or in the contact form on Podetize.com and make a suggestion. I’d love to hear from you and address a subject that you need support on in a future episode. Until then. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.