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Today I want to talk about the power of consistency.
So many people, myself included, struggle with recording and releasing a podcast consistently. There are a few reasons for this:
- We underestimate how much time it will take
- We don’t say no to other things and our schedule gets filled up
Steve Luvender asked: What’s more important: creating consistently or publishing consistently? When you’re publishing on the same schedule every week, do you find a difference in quality and depth of your podcasts or content when you dedicate regular time for creation, versus creating whenever it’s convenient? Does it matter as long as the release schedule is consistent?
If you want to grow an audience, you have to release shows consistently. I absolutely believe that dedicating regular time for creation will make your podcast much higher quality.
The focus of my show today is going to be on what steps you can take to make creating consistently a habit.
Highlights, Takeaways & Quick Wins
- If you want to accomplish something, it’s the doing that matters, not the thought or the wishing. Stop daydreaming. Start working.
- If you really want to be successful in podcasting, you have to show up and do the work.
- We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
- Work on your podcast in the morning when you’re recharged from sleep. Don’t wait till after work when you’re drained and tired.
- Schedule 30 minutes every morning to work on something related to your podcast. Create that space in your day. Protect that time.
- You have to invest time in learning the tools. This is a not a distraction that is taking time away from podcasting, it is podcasting.
- If you want to podcast consistently, find someone to be accountable to and work on your show a little every day.
- 3:16 The first thing you need to know is that there is no such thing as overnight success.
- 3:30 Wanting something (money, fame, success) gets you absolutely nothing.
- 3:40 If you have a thought or a wish, write it down. “I want to have 10,000 listeners.” Great. That’s a goal, write it down. “I want to become a well-respected programmer and get to work with great teams on awesome projects.” Great. That’s a goal, write it down.
- 3:56 If you want to get there, you have to figure out what the steps are and start doing the work.
If you want to accomplish something, it’s the doing that matters, not the thought or the wishing. Stop daydreaming. Start working.
Want to Build an Audience? Show Up.
- 4:12 If your goal is to grow an audience, you have to create and release content consistently.
- 4:24 There are two different kinds of podcast content:
- News and Current Events
- Evergreen Content
- 4:34 News and current events is just talking about whatever is new in the world (what’s been happening lately?) This kind of content is usually only relevant for a little while; most people aren’t going to want to go back and listen to you talk about the iPhone 5 launch or listen to a review of a video game that came out 3 years ago.
- 4:55 Evergreen content, on the other hand, is content that is timeless. It will still be interesting and valuable 5-10 years from now.
- 5:04 I’m not going to tell you that one is better than the other; it depends on your goals and what you are passionate about.
- 5:11 I can tell you this; consistency is especially important for podcasts that aren’t evergreen. You have to be on top of news and consistent with your releases otherwise your audience will likely hear someone else talk about it. Or, they’ll read about it somewhere else online and then they won’t be as interested in listening to your episode unless they are just huge fans of your voice and the way you present the content.
- 5:36 Skip enough episodes or release sporadically, and your audience will start to listen to other people. There are very few podcasts that are so niche that they don’t have competition.
- 5:47 If you do a show focused on news and current events, you have to release shows on schedule. You have to be on point. It’s how you build trust and long-term relationships.
If you really want to be successful in podcasting, you have to show up and do the work.
Your Podcast Archive Can Be Your Biggest Asset
- 6:06 One of your goals should be to build a massive archive of valuable episodes.
- 6:11 If you are being intentional with your titles and your show notes, your show will get more traffic from organic search results. People will find your shows and link to them. Your archive will be an asset to you; someone will visit your site and see the 50+ episodes that you’ve done and boom, you’re instantly an expert in their mind.
- 6:35 So if you’re just starting out, and what I’m saying is resonating, you’re thinking, “Yes, Aaron, that sounds awesome and I want to do a great podcast and have an archive of 100 episodes. Where do I start?
Make Your Podcast Part of Your Daily Routine
- 6:48 I’ll say it again; make your podcast part of your daily routine. This is great for two reasons:
- You won’t be doing everything last minute
- Creating will become a lifestyle for you, not just something you do “when you have time”
1. Don’t do everything last minute.
- 7:20 You know what I’m talking about. You recorded a show Monday, and you’re supposed to publish it Friday, so you figure that you can get it edited and published Friday morning. So you get up Friday, but your dog runs away and a tree falls on your house and your computer’s hard drive crashes and all of a sudden you can’t edit and publish the episode so it slips a couple days.
- 7:57 Ok, that’s a little extreme, but you get my point. Life happens. This is why you need to make working on your podcast a daily habit.
2. Creating needs to become a lifestyle for you, not just something you do “when you have time”.
- 8:03 Even 30 minutes every day will add up to something great in a week, a month, or a year. Or even ten years.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
- 8:35 My friend Austin Saylor said: “If the only consistency in your life is Netflix, you’re doing consistency all wrong.”
- 8:44 Now, there’s nothing wrong with watching movies or Netflix. I love movies, I love Netflix. Especially those Marvel shows that have been coming out recently. Daredevil? Jessica Jones? So good.
- 9:03 But I’m not defaulting to watching those shows. My focus is on creating something everyday. I wake up and I think about creating. If I’m super productive and I’ve reached all my goals and I’m tired from creating all day and I want to relax, then Netflix or a movie becomes an option.
Work on your podcast in the morning when you’re recharged from sleep. Don’t wait till after work when you’re drained and tired.
- 9:25 You might think, “that’s fine for you, Aaron, you work from home. You just edit podcasts all day, you get to choose your hours.”
- 9:31 Yes, I do, but I still treat my job as a job. I intentionally wake up at 5 or 6am every morning and spend an hour or two working on my things, because I know after a day of editing podcasts, I’m not going to have the mental energy to create.
- 9:53 Is it possible to get work done and be creative after work? Sure. I just don’t think it’s ideal. I would rather work on my personal projects first thing in the morning after shower, breakfast and coffee.
Show Up Every Day
- 10:15 If you do any kind of writing, you’ve probably heard this advice before: write 1,000 words per day. Yes, sure. That’s great advice. I don’t disagree. But what worked for me wasn’t setting a goal to write 1,000 words everyday; it was making a commitment to sit down and work on my podcast every day.
- 10:58 What does it mean to work on a podcast everyday? Well, it’s a lot of different things. Here’s my list:
- Researching new topics
- Talking with peers or fans on Twitter
- Responding to listener emails
- Working on the outline for next week’s show
- Working on show notes for last week’s show
- Editing last week’s show
- If you have a co-host, chat with them or a close friend about ways to improve your show and grow your audience
Schedule 30 minutes every morning to work on something related to your podcast. Create that space in your day. Protect that time.
- 11:58 If you need to go to bed early to wake up before your family, or before you have to get ready to go to work, go to bed early so you can wake up before you have to do anything else. Create time for yourself.
- 12:10 You need to get into the habit of creating. You need to get to a place where you don’t have to think about creating, you just do it. In order to do this, you have to make your podcast a thing you do everyday.
Get Familiar with Your Tools
- 12:28 Make a list of all the tools you’ll need to learn, and get familiar with them. Learn them and master them.
- 12:41 This is where many people get stuck. They have an idea, they think about it for awhile, and then they try to excecute and they hit a wall when they realize that there’s a tool or app that they don’t know how to use.
You have to invest time in learning the tools. This is a not a distraction that is taking time away from podcasting, it is podcasting.
- 13:05 Here’s a few things that I learned for podcasting:
- Recording apps (Logic Pro X, Garageband, Audacity, Quicktime)
- Writing apps (most people know how to use writing apps, but if you haven’t learned Markdown yet, get on that)
- Mindmapping (You don’t have to learn mind mapping, but it’s a great way to write outlines)
- Podcast hosting (Simplecast, WordPress, Libsyn)
- Graphic design apps (Photoshop, Pixelmator, Sketch)
If You Want to Podcast Consistently, Find Someone to Be Accountable To
- 14:54 If you struggle with consistency, you need someone to give you a push when you’re slacking, or a deadline to make you get it done.
- 15:14 This was a huge struggle for me, and I bet it’s a struggle for many of you. I’m lucky to have a boss to be accountable to. I’m lucky. If I didn’t have Sean McCabe and the Community expecting me to make a show every week, I’m not sure that I would have been so consistent with my output. I’m not sure that I would have discovered that making time every morning to work on my podcast worked much better than trying to get it all done in a single day or in a single setting.
If you want to podcast consistently, find someone to be accountable to and work on your show a little every day.
- 25:04 Emily Carlton said: I’d love for you to discuss being consistent through change. Whether that’s changing careers, focus, topics/content, schedule, etc.
- 25:18 The most important thing is to make time in your day for working on your goals. If you don’t have any clear goals yet, spend time on figuring out what those are. Think about where you want to be in 3-5 years, and figure out what you need to do to get there. Invest time in mastering the tools you need to acheive your goals.
- 26:17 Keshna asked: What should you do when your schedule doesn’t go according to plan when trying to implement that consistency?
- 26:26 This is why I like first thing in the morning. I wake up, make breakfast, then work on the thing that’s most important to me.
- 26:51 Calendars can be really useful for this; figure out when you have time in your day to create. If you have to get ready for work at 8am, get up at 6:30 or 7 to work on your thing.
- 27:22 Sometimes life happens. Sometimes you’ll get an emergency call and you have to drop everything and go take care of something. There are things that you can control and things that you can’t. Don’t stress if something happens and you miss a couple days. Acknowledge that it happened, and get back on track as soon as you can.
- 27:50 Robert Guzzo asked: If you fail to produce consistently, should you acknowledge to your audience that you realize that you aren’t delivering on your commitment to them, or should you move on and just try harder to hit the mark?
- 28:04 Don’t talk about how you’ve failed. Don’t talk about how you’ve been inconsistent. Instead, focus on creating processes and systems to keep it from happening again.
- 32:02 Daniela Anne said: I struggle with not leaving everything to the last minute and finding a process that works well for me without added pressure and stress. Originally I was writing on one topic all week but panicking and being too much of a perfectionist to declare it ‘finished’ before Wednesday night (since I send my newsletter/blog out on Thursday).
- 31:52 This is why accountablity and scheduling is so important, but you can’t wait till everything is perfect before shipping it because everything can always be improved.
- 32:12 My roommate has been working on an album with his band for almost 4 years. They’ve been producing it themselves, and it’s been 90% done for the past 2 years and they haven’t released it yet because they keep trying to make it better. Their bass player recently quit, probably because of the lack of progress. If they would put it out and move on, people could listen to it and enjoy it (it’s a great album, I’ve heard it), but instead, they keep trying to make it perfect and it’s keeping them for moving forward. Don’t fall into this trap of perfectionism; give youself a release date, make your thing as good as possible and ship it. Ship something imperfect, learn from your mistakes, and make a better thing next time.
- 35:16 Steve Luvender asked: I find that repurposing things you’ve already published as a means of creating more output into a backlog or queue is a great way to become more consistent. But what’s a good balance of new content and repurposed old content? Is it more important to have a consistent output, or fresh content topics?
- 35:39 New content is great, but old content is fine. You should be working on new content as much as you can, but if it’s been 6 months or a year since you talked about a topic, you’ve probably learned a lot in that time and you might have some new insights and a new perspective to bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to revist your old content, especially if it was really popular.