As you know, we are all about championing your success with podcasting, YouTubeing, and all your online media creations. However, part of being your cheerleaders is calling out the blind spots you might not be aware of. So this week on the podcast, we answered an audience question and covered the top reasons why podcasts don’t make it. Why they start, stall, and die off.
In this episode Tiff and Christine share the top 3 reasons podcasts die and how to make sure your show thrives.
“Over the long haul, who are you serving and how is this bringing you joy?”Tiff Tyler
- (1:30) Reason #1: Lack of clear vision
- (5:09) Reason #2: Comparison to other audience sizes
- (9:17) Reason #3: Underestimating the monetization process
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly, to learn how to think like a producer.
Yeah. Just remember to smile for the first 60 seconds of the video so that I can cut to you. Okay. Um, happy Thursday. Welcome to this episode of think like a producer, we’re answering a direct question. I love the direct questions, right? From our Instagram. Why do podcasts die? Sounded, you know, a little, a little scary when he’s things like that, but they do they’re you, I mean, you can browse Apple podcast, Spotify. There’s plenty of episodes that you can find or shows that you can find where maybe they have five episodes, maybe 50 episodes, and there’s no exit, no, like close of the season, start of a new season. You go to the web page. There’s nothing new. It’s been kind of abandoned for two years. This is a, it’s a free platform. It’s a free, you know, um, media source that you can create.
It’s just like a YouTube channel. We see YouTube channels die. It happens. And I know for some people who are listening right now, you’re thinking of starting a podcast. And the biggest fear that pops into your head is I don’t want it to die. I don’t want to start this. And then I don’t continue. And what happens? What, what kind of drives people away? Christine and I like, you know, we’ve been produced on podcasts for the last four to five years and we’ve seen podcasts come and go. Luckily, we’ve been a part of, most of them, they’re still alive and that stay living. But the ones that die, we have a couple of tips or maybe just a couple of observations of what we’ve seen, that hopefully you can avoid or make it better. If you decide that you want to start your podcast, what’s going to keep it going.
What’s going to keep it alive and vibrant. And people coming back. Number one, which is just, you know, it’s my thing. Especially if you follow me on Instagram, clear vision, understanding, not just, I want to start a podcast, let’s do it. But who are you serving? Who are the people that you really want to listen to this podcast? Is there a purpose behind it? It could be educational like Christine and I are doing here. It could be that no one is talking about, um, this funny show that you really love and you want to break down every episode and why it’s so funny. You want to bring joy and entertainment to people. It can be anything on that kind of spectrum, but why you’re doing it? Who are you serving? That is one thing that I would say that some people, when they just decide, I’m going to start a podcast, I hit that upload button.
I got everything going by the time you hit episode three, four, five, six, and you kind of forget who’s listening or why anyone would care that clear vision of who you’re serving is going to be very important. Also, what is this podcast doing for you? Right? I always start with other people because I think service is number one. But for you as a person, what kind of fulfillment? What kind of joy? Why do you want to do this? Is this something, is this something that you feel is missing in the space that you really love? Is it just that, like I said, a topic that’s really comedic and you want to entertain people. Are you a comedian? And you’re like, you know, all the standup comedy clubs are closed right now. I live in Los Angeles. So I’m just going to do all my own standup on a podcast.
And I want to get myself and my career and my talent out there being very clear on why you want to do this podcast. What kind of fulfillment and joy it’s going to bring for you every day? Because Christine could probably attest to this. I mean, your relationship with anything that you start is going to change day after, day over and over and over again. I know that I’ve had a camera since I was 10. When I look at a camera, even the camera that I’m looking into right now, I have a totally different relationship with this camera that I have. And the camera that had when I was 10 years old, my career, my business, how I make money, everything changes year after year, decade after decade of doing the same thing. So think about that over the long haul, who are you serving?
Very clear. How does this bring you joy? Very clear. And if you actually want an end date, do, are you the kind of persons like, I don’t want to record a thousand episodes. I actually just want to record 50 really cool episodes and I’m not letting the podcast die. I’m just leaving it alone. One of my favorite shows Christine, uh, by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag on Amazon, love it. Season one was gold and people are like, you got to do a season two and she was fighting. And she was like, she didn’t want to start anything. That would be eight, 10 seasons. She didn’t want that show to be so long. She wanted it to have a clear message and to be done with it. And she adapted it from a play that she did a theater play that she had, and she did season two, but she’s like has no plans.
Even. I really wish I really wish she would feed me, but she has no plans of, uh, having a season three for that show because she was very clear that she wanted to come in. It’s 12 episodes it’s done. It’s complete from start to finish. So you might be that kind of person, but making that clear on your website, on your show notes or anything on letting people know this podcast did not die. I clearly just wanted to have this start in this clear finish. Now anyone and everyone can listen to it from start to end. And it’s complete. Well, think about that. There’s a couple of things to think about in your vision of the podcast, but if you want to know why podcasts die, typically as we just kind of start, but don’t know where we want to go with it or who we’re serving the joy that it brings to us. But Christine, I would really love that. The next one just hits my heart a little bit more about why podcasts, dive. I love for you to explain the next reason why we think that podcasts die.
Okay. So number two, people can get into podcasting and they can be in it for just a few months or for a couple years. And they often can get to a crossroads and be like, nobody’s even listening, like why even bother. And this is more common than you might think, even for really big shows that you love that host might actually think no one’s listening because as you know, comparison is a beast and in our world of social media and vanity metrics and glamour shots, it’s so easy for you or any podcast hosts, to be honest, even if you’re quite successful to look around at the people on social media or in your space and be like, no one’s listening compared to them, they might be flashing their fancy, like thank you for a million podcast, downloads posts. And you’re looking at yours and you’re like, um, maybe a hundred thousand.
And I was like, thinking that was bad. No, a hundred thousand downloads means a hundred thousand times. You’ve impacted someone which is incredible. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. 5,005,000 downloads is 5,000 moments. You impacted someone it’s just so easy for people to get in their heads and compare and be like, no one is listening. What’s the point. Now we’ll do future episodes where we talk about how to like accurately rank and track your performance and get a really accurate picture of how well you’re doing compared to your peers. But this is a big reason why podcasts die. And we want to just call it like it is because you may have come to that point or you may get to that point in the future a few months, a couple years into your show and just look at your numbers and be like, what’s the point?
Well, back to Tiff’s point that she just made reason. Number one, if you have a clear vision and you understand your why those download numbers take on a whole different meaning. Obviously if you launched your show to become a top ranked influencer who gets a ton of vanity metrics. Yeah. You’re probably going to give up four. He reached those unless you’re already at that level. And you know, you are, but that’s a huge reason why people give up on podcasting. They just think no one’s listening. And it’s totally relative to Tiff’s point earlier, if you’ve set the intention for your show to be more of just an audio journal and exploration, a reason for you to connect with awesome people and have impactful conversations. And the numbers really don’t matter to you, then this is going to not be an issue like your podcast could go on for years and just have a few hundred subscribers.
And you might be really happy with that. And we’ll have future episodes where we break down all the different ways. You can use a podcast to serve your brand. It doesn’t need to have a ton of downloads to be a really powerful brand asset. You might have a show that’s purely educational for your current clients. So that would kind of be like, you know, a moot point where you’re like, well, this is an educational resource that I give to clients or something, but we want to call it like it is. And just let you know, the reason a lot of people leave off and abandoned their podcasts after even just a few months is they think, no, one’s listening now. There’s some merit to the fact that no one is going to listen to your show when you launch, unless you tell them about it.
That’s just the truth. Like your show will get featured exactly. Zero places without you doing a lot of the legwork. So yes, you have to hustle for every single listener in the early days. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact. So we want to, you know, put some reality in there. However, your avoiding this reason of your podcast dine down the line is to really get clear early on, why am I doing this show? Who am I serving and how am I promoting it? So that over time, your expectations can match up with your reality. And if after six months of podcasting, you have 10,000 downloads, you’re super stoked about it. So, well, that’s enough for now on that topic, but that’s a big reason why people abandoned shows they just get in their heads about comparison and they think, no, one’s listening. So Tiff, we have a third one we’re going to cover, what is it?
Money, money, money monetizing. Um, it’s interesting to me, the misconception of a bit about monetizing and making money off of a podcast. I think there’s some people that understand that this podcast is just going to kind of keep their audience warm. It’s another vehicle for them to talk to people, talk to people there already that are already in their community already in their audiences, for sure, but for some people who are starting out and they’re like, this is going to be my first community builder. This is going to be my first way that I really show up and show out online. This isn’t really my first product or my first offer, or however you thinking of it, the monetizing, um, thinking about numbers and downloads, and unfortunately the misconception that numbers and downloads lead to money immediately monetizing a podcast is very different from starting a podcast.
They are not in the same category at all. Even if you’re clear on your vision, even if you’re not comparing yourself necessarily to other people. And you’re like, I know exactly what I want to do, how you want to monetize is a whole different question. And when we think about why podcasts die is because people think the money is going to come from me, just starting for me getting a hundred thousand downloads and just going with it the money is going to be there. Very different. There are sponsors that could be involved. You could be selling your own digital products. You could have zero digital products. And you’re like, I’m trying to pull up a whole podcast, which we’ll talk about a different episode, how much time that takes, but I’m trying to pull up a whole podcast right now. Now I’ve got to think of this new product or new thing that I’m going to sell.
How do I talk about it? Am I being kind of like icky? Which some people feel icky when they talk about money or selling anything on podcasts, monetizing and starting a podcast or not in the same category and why podcasts. Some people might just give up thinking that if I had a podcast even for a year, and I’m not making any money off of it, then maybe it’s quote, unquote unsuccessful. Maybe this actually isn’t something that people care about. Like we were talking about a little bit earlier, maybe this is something that people want to spend money on, but I would argue Christine, who has more experience than me would argue that you were thinking of a whole different strategy that does not exist. Starting a podcast and making money two different concepts, two different ways of going about it. So podcasts may die because people aren’t making money off of it because we haven’t put the time in.
We haven’t really thought about that process. And Christine and I before this episode actually, cause we just have conversations and we just like, man, people making money off a podcast. How can we help them? We’ve talked about this. So actually on a future episode, we’re going to go a little bit more into what it’s like, what it takes to make money off of podcasts. Um, cause like I said, some people don’t even care about the cash, but most people that we’ve noticed do and once and learn what it’s like to make money online. If this is your first digital product, if this is your first income source of making money, then there’s just a lot to learn about it. So those are just some of the reasons why we think podcasts die. I would absolutely love for you to send us a message through Instagram, leave a comment below on this YouTube video, if you’re watching us on YouTube.
And uh, maybe even after you leave that review that five star rating and leave that review. Maybe you send over an email, but we would love to know why you think podcast. I have any of your favorite episodes or any of your favorite shows kind of just come to a close and you’re wondering why, or you’re like actually they were doing this and this happened. We’d love to know if you have more reasons that you think podcasts die. And then also if you don’t have a podcast right now, and you’re thinking of starting one, Christine and I are very empathetic, don’t worry. Please send over what maybe your biggest fears of starting a podcast. What do you really think is going to happen? If you start a podcast, do you think you’re not going to be able to keep up with it? Do you think that, you know, it’s just something you see all your friends doing and you just made me feel peer pressure. I’ve heard happier that Christine, maybe people into podcasting,
Sometimes people call me and they’re like, I feel like I have to have one. Is that too late? If I missed the boat? And my first question is, no, it’s not too late, but why do you want one? So we absolutely don’t want your podcast to die. And these are the things that we want you to take super seriously when you’re starting your show or if you’ve already started your show to just have a moment, check in with yourself, carve out some time and get really clear about how you’re going to navigate around these obstacles this year. One super clear on your vision. Why are you podcasting? Who are you serving and how is it helping you to what our expectations around listenership and what’s realistic for how many people are listening? What are your comparison points? And are those actually based on proper comparisons, take a look at other shows in your specific category and what it looks like in your rankings, make sure you’re doing this properly. And then third of course have some really clear expectations around money. Be real with yourself. Have you even tried to properly monetize your podcast? Have you created an offering? That’s going to make sense to your podcast audience and are you doing it in a way that is going to serve your longterm and your short term goals?
Very good question. So please send us over. Everything is at think like a producer. You can check out our website worthfullmedia.com/tlap. Send us a DM, all the different things that you can communicate to us, you can communicate to us through. Please let us know, but thank you so much for watching this episode of why we think podcasts die. Um, and be sure to subscribe, not only to the podcast, if you’re listening through audio, but also on the YouTube channel, if you want to see our faces and our expressions, as we talk about these topics, feel free to subscribe and turn your notifications on YouTube. So you can always know when the new episode is out, but thank you so much for watching again, happy Thursday. And we will see you on the next episode of think like a producer.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production. Massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you want to learn more about how to market, monetize, and grow your podcast, we have a membership group where you can get more access to us and feedback on your show. As a special bonus, you get free access to Christine’s DIY, do it yourself, podcast course when you join the group. Check the link in the show notes for more information.