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So… I’m pausing my podcast.
The decision to quit or pause a podcast shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many reasons to stop doing something, and many reasons to keep going even when it’s hard.
In this episode, I want to share why I’m pausing my show, and hopefully give you some clarity if you’ve been thinking about quitting or putting your show on hold as well.
Highlights, Takeaways & Quick Wins:
- If you’re considering quitting your podcast or putting it on hold, think about what’s best for your audience.
- If your relationships or your personal health are suffering, it’s time to stop your podcast.
- There are a lot of topics and circumstances where video works a lot better than audio.
- Tell people what you’re doing and why.
- There’s a huge benefit to sticking with something for a long time, because it takes people time to notice you.
- Once you’ve had a strong impact on someone, it’s okay to take a break and step away for a while. People won’t forget you.
- If you want to make massive progress on one project, say no to everything but that one thing.
Why Am I Pausing My Podcast?
- 01:23 A lot of you know that I’ve been working on podcasting courses this year. I’m pausing my show to focus on finishing them and getting them launched. At the beginning of 2016, I said, “I’m going to get these courses done this year.” I started writing this big master course called Successful Podcasting.
- 02:08 I wanted to teach everything you’d need to know to start a podcast: planning a show, recording a show, getting good gear, getting the hosting set up, interacting with your audience, and everything that goes into making a great podcast. I wanted to do videos, screencasts, PDF downloads, checklists, and more.
- 02:32 I got it done (well, almost). I hustled so hard, especially in the springtime. Cory McCabe (the video guy at seanwes) came up from San Antonio to help me shoot all the video lessons in the last two weeks in July.
- 03:02 I wrote something like 30,000 words for the course, and finished shooting all the videos in July (we ended up with 75 video lesson). The next thing was recording a short screencast course called GarageBand for Podcasters. That was six or seven screencasts about how to get started using GarageBand for podcasting. I got that done, too. The very last thing was my Logic Pro X for Podcasters course.
- 03:34 I knew my Logic Pro X course was going to be challenging. I knew it was going to be anywhere from 30 to 50 screencasts about everything I know about editing podcasts in Logic. I’m not quite done with that yet. I’ve recorded 90% of the screencasts and I have the other ones outlined, but life got crazy. There’s so much to do. There’s so much I’m still doing with editing shows on the seanwes network, trying to produce content, interacting with my audience, trying to answer questions for people, making videos.
It’s hard to do big, important work when you’re doing lots of shallow work.
- 04:12 I’m also still playing in a band. I was trying to do all these things and I wasn’t making much progress. The primary reason for me pausing The Podcast Dude is so I can finish the Logic Pro X course, get it edited, and get all of these things launched. That way, people can invest in them and go through all the lessons at their own pace, on their own time.
- 04:39 I’m really excited about this pause. I know that it might be a bummer for you, because I’m not going to be in your podcast player every single week, but you can still find me on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
- 04:57 I’m not going away completely. I’m pausing my podcast to free up time to finish my courses and get them launched. I’ll be returning to make more podcasts after I’m done with that.
I want to interact more with my audience and create more content that helps them specifically.
- 05:22 I want to get the basic curriculum done, which is the Successful Podcasting course, the GarageBand course, and the Logic course. Once I get those done and out, then I can focus on making more videos, screencasts, and podcast episodes for you. Another reason for the pause is that I’ve decided to move to San Antonio.
- 05:51 Why San Antonio? That’s where all my people are: Sean and Cory McCabe, Kyle Adams, and Ben Toalson. They’re all awesome dudes and I want to be able to collaborate with them more on writing, podcasts, screencasts, videos, and courses.
- 06:18 As I’m recording this, it’s December 5th (you won’t hear this until January). The lease on my house here in Fort Worth is up in February, so I have to move in less than eight weeks. That’s not a lot of time, so I have to start packing. It’s going to be crazy few months, but I’m really excited about the move.
- 06:56 I’ll get back to podcasting after I get settled in San Antonio and get my courses launched. I’m not going to promise a date for the return of the podcast, but it won’t be too long.
When is the Right Time to Pause a Podcast?
- 07:38 The biggest reason to stop podcasting is if your podcast no longer aligns with your long term goals. Let’s say that you’re doing a podcast about fixing cars, and you decide that you want to make videos for a living. You built this audience of people who are interesting in repairing cars or building up fast cars, and you still kind of want to do it in your free time, but it’s no longer your main focus.
- 08:16 It’s no longer your full time passion. You want to do something else. It’s okay to stop the podcast. It’s okay to change, to go from caring intensely about one thing to caring intensely about something else. You’re supposed to evolve as a human. I jumped on a call before this episode with Cory Miller, who is one of my favorite people. I said, “Cory, what would cause you to stop a podcast?”
- 08:49 Cory said, “If my wife came to me and said, ‘I feel like our relationship isn’t good, like you’re investing a lot of time in this podcast and you’re sacrificing family time or personal time with me to do this podcast,’ that would cause me to quit the podcast.”
If your relationships or your personal health are suffering, it’s time to stop your podcast.
- 09:18 You might be doing too much. This is a trap a lot of people fall into, at least in America. We fill every second of our time with doing stuff, trying to get to the next level. At some point, you wake up exhausted, you’re out of shape, you don’t feel good about yourself or your life. If your relationships or things that are important to you are suffering, pause the podcast. Put your podcast on hold.
- 09:49 If your audience isn’t growing and you don’t see a way to make money from it, if it’s a huge time investment and you’re not enjoying it anymore, it might be time to quit. You can change the format so that it takes less time to produce, or you can admit that the investment isn’t worth it for you, and that’s fine. Maybe you should be doing five minute YouTube videos instead. Maybe you should be writing instead.
- 10:14 This comes back to knowing your audience and what they want. I was listening to a writing podcast the other day, and they had their podcast editor on to talk about podcasting. Their guest said that she started a podcast for vapers (people who love electronic cigarettes). She thought, “There’s a huge, strong vaping community. They’re going to want to listen to a podcast.” She started a podcast about vaping and got no response.
- 10:58 She didn’t understand why the show didn’t get any traction. It might have been because she wasn’t well known enough, or maybe she hadn’t done it for long enough (she did it for four episodes and then cancelled it). She said she realized that her target audience really wanted videos. They wanted to show off their gear and their clouds of smoke (it’s the dumbest thing in the world, but people get excited about blowing these huge clouds of smoke when vaping. Ridiculous.) She said that they wanted video, and the audio podcast just didn’t work for them.
There are a lot of topics and circumstances where video works a lot better than audio.
- 11:41 Some topics just aren’t right for podcasts. For example, it’s really hard to explain how to do audio mixing and mastering on a podcast. It’s so much easier to record a screencast so your viewer can see what you’re doing.
Don’t Quit Just Because You’re Bored
- 12:05 Podcasting is a long term investment. You have to be thinking in terms of years rather than months when doing a podcast. There are lots of benefits to podcasting: meeting awesome people, growing your network, building an audience, and even getting clients (depending on what kind of show you’re making). You’ll learn a lot of valuable skills, but in most cases, podcasting won’t make you a lot of money right away. You won’t get to 10,000 listeners and $5,000/month in sponsorships overnight. Most podcasters won’t ever get to that point.
- 12:41 If you’re looking for a quick return on your investment, podcasting is not the way to go. This ties into what I said earlier about your podcast not aligning with your long term goals anymore. If your heart’s not in it, if you don’t really care about this thing that you’re podcasting about, it’s okay to shut it down.
Think about what’s best for your audience.
- 13:06 Cory and I talked about this too. He said, “There’s one guy I know who always starts stuff and then stops and goes to something else.” That’s Shiny Object Syndrome: You get excited about doing a new thing, and then it’s not as fun as you thought it would be or you get bored with it, and you move on to the next new thing. You bounce from thing to thing and never get really good at anything.
- 14:00 I see that happen in podcasting a lot. People get really fired up about the idea of starting a podcast, so they start a podcast. When it doesn’t turn out to be everything they dreamed it could be, when they don’t get Tim Ferriss levels of money coming back from it or tons of people talking to them and investing time in their show, they quit. They forget that getting good at podcasting and growing an audience takes time.
There’s a huge benefit to sticking with something for a long time, because it takes people time to notice you.
- 14:40 It takes time for people to notice you. You can announce, “Hey, I have a podcast,” one time, and most people aren’t going to notice. You know what they’ll notice? They’ll notice if you post about your new podcast episode every single week for a year straight. They’ll notice if you consistently talk about the same subject all the time. There are authors who don’t get noticed until their 10th, 20th, or 100th book.
- 15:15 Sometimes it’s hard to know when you should keep going or when to quit because the thing you’re working on just isn’t working out. Just be careful of Shiny Object Syndrome.
Quit Permanently, or Just Pause for Awhile?
- 15:36 You don’t have to quit permanently. It’s okay to take breaks, like I’m going to do. Bands take long breaks all the time. There was a band I used to listen to when I was 14 (I think they were called Johny Q. Public). They put out a great CD in 1995, one of the first CDs I ever got, and I loved it. 5+ years later, I was browsing through the CDs at a record store and I came across a new record from this band (I hadn’t thought about them in years). They released a new record and I bought it, because I’d loved their first album many years before.
Once you’ve had a strong impact on someone, it’s okay to take a break and step away for a while. They won’t forget about you.
- 17:03 People don’t forget the people who make a strong impact on their life. Momentum is important, and a track record of consistency is great, but sometimes you need to take a break to plan your next move, and that’s what I’m doing now.
Thank You for Listening!
- 18:02 Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. This podcast been one of the coolest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I want to say thanks to you for listening, sharing my show online, and for all the encouragement.
- 18:43 I hope I’ve had an impact on your life, encouraged, helped, or inspired you in some way. That’s why I do this.
- 19:18 In the meantime, I have a few suggestions for you. Head over to seanwes.com and check out the other great podcasts there. Join the seanwes Community. If you want to talk to me and ask me questions, I’m in the Community app every day, along with tons of other amazing people who are making cool stuff. It’s the best place to brainstorm and get feedback and encouragement. Finally, I would really appreciate an iTunes review if you haven’t done that yet. It helps other people find the show, and I really appreciate it. Thanks again, and I’ll talk to you again soon!