What is pod-fading and how to avoid it!

One thing every hobby podcaster needs to know is what is pod-fading? Pod-fading, or to pod-fade, is to stop producing a podcast when there wasn’t a pre-determined end date put forth.

Microphone-podfaded-no-background

This is heartbreaking. People don’t just start a podcast because they were bored, they start because of the excitement this medium brings! Then after releasing 7-8 episodes the “new car smell” vanishes and the newbie podcaster’s dream gets shattered. They pod-fade, quit, retreat to the corner to lick their wounds.

It is perfectly fine to record a show that will eventually end. Hundreds of fan podcasts, like Galactica Watercooler, will cease to offer new content because the television show ends. That is not pod-fading.

To podfade is to quit, and it's a really sad thing to experience.

The 7 Show Itch

Most newbie podcasters are not warned about the challenges of launching a new show. It’s kind of like Multi-Level Marketing: they hear about all the glamour and success and are told how easy it is to get started. While it is true, that success comes at a price.

Newbie podcasters quit after 7-8 shows when they realize:

  • Recording and releasing podcasts takes four times longer than they thought
  • They aren’t seeing the downloads they were expecting
  • Comments from the audience are almost non-existent

These are the most common reason shows pod-fade. It is sad and as deflating as a failed business.

Before recording your first episode download 7 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Podcast

How to keep from pod-fading

There are a few things you can do to keep your podcast from pod-fading:

  • Realize that it takes time to grow a tribe. Nobody starts at the top. It takes time to grow an audience. The power of the internet is that people can find anything and Google will give them the most accurate results possible. If someone is interested in Underwater Basket Weaving and stumbles across your podcast about underwater basket weaving then they are likely to become a fan if they like podcasts. One down, thousands to go.
  • Set a regular schedule. I struggle with this ALL THE TIME. Have you ever scrubbed a dish that had been sitting in the sink for two days? It took more effort and time to clean the dish than if you would have just cleaned it immediately, didn’t it? Podcasts are the same way: If we don’t set a regular schedule to “scrub some audio” then we make it harder to get back on the microphone to record another show. Also, your listeners will reward you for being consistent.
  • Have a higher calling to serve your audience. The other day I questioned myself, again, asking “Why am I doing this?” Then someone commented on a post and it all came back to me: If I don’t teach people how to avoid debt then who will? Sure, there are others speaking similar messages but that commenter listens to MY show. He/she is MY listener and it is my calling to speak into their lives with the MoneyPlan SOS podcast. How can I quit now?

While these aren’t WordPress plugins or cool gadgets they are things to be aware of before launching your first podcast or during the growing stages. Remember that podcasts are time-shifted conversations. Someone may discover your podcast a year after it was posted. If they like it they will want to download all your shows and you now have 12 months of content to listen to – unless you pod-faded!

Other resources to help prevent podfade:

Listen to Daniel J. Lewis's 10 Tips To Prevent Podfading

Before recording your first episode download 7 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Podcast

A list of What Every Hobbyist Needs To Start A Podcast

The John Lee Dumas Effect
John Lee Dumas Interview on the Podcasters Roundtable

3 Comments

  • Carol

    May 20, 2016

    I’ve seen the stat that “most podcasts don’t last more than [6, 7, 8] episodes” in a lot of places but I’m wondering if anyone knows where it comes from. Do you know where you got that info? I’m looking for some reasonably reliable statistics about podcast failure rate. Thanks!

    • Steve Stewart

      May 20, 2016

      I would like to know that myself. It’s a statistic I have heard over and over again for years – first from Cliff Ravenscraft and Dave Jackson, then Daniel J Lewis and others. It’s possible they know.