Do you REALLY need passion? Is consistency THAT important? – TAP173

Do-you-need-passion-or-consistency-for-podcasting

Passion and consistency are two qualities that most podcasters herald as requirements for podcasting. But do you really need these qualities to succeed with your podcast? Let’s challenge this podcasting assumption and find out!

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Challenging the Podcasting Assumptions

This is a special miniseries to challenge the ideas podcasters have accepted as truth for years. Some will stand up against the challenge while others crumble, and some will reveal new options you may have never considered.

Do you have to be passionate?

What is passion?

Dictionary.com defines “passion” as some of the following.

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
6. a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: “a passion for music.”
7. the object of such a fondness or desire: “Accuracy became a passion with him.”
8. an outburst of strong emotion or feeling: “He suddenly broke into a passion of bitter words.”

In podcasting, your passion is that subject you could talk about for hours, even if no one was listening. When you speak, you are full of energy and enthusiasm.

Preparing for your passion sometimes means hard and stressful work. But it’s the burst of energy you get in the middle of and after your activity or subject that reveals your true passions.

I’m passionate about podcasting. When I lead a Podcast Master Class session, I’m ready to conquer a city! I’m also passionate about public speaking and my audience will always tell you that I enjoy the command of the stage and my enthusiasm is contagious.

Passion doesn’t always mean talking fast, making people laugh, or jumping around. Just consider how a funeral leader can be passionate—encouraging, a foundation of hope, a desire to help, and even a joy from what they do.

What are you passionate about?

Why is passion important?

You’ve probably heard all of the podcasts about podcasting talk about passion, as if we have a “crush” on it. People are highly attracted to passion. It’s like sugar and salt for personalities and presentations; passion both sweetens and enhances relationships and communication.

When a marriage lacks any form of passion, we call it dead. When a speaker lacks passion, we call him monotone or boring. When entertainment fails to connect with your deep interests, you go somewhere else.

I see that everyone’s needs come down to two things: they want to be either helped or entertained. The most successful people usually do both.

Tech companies give us amazing tools that enhance our lives (help), and these often bring fun, style, or status (entertainment).

Passion can make your helpful information also entertaining, engaging, and more memorable.

What does a lack of passion look like?

I’ve attended many conferences and seen a variety of presenters. One recent presentation was so horrible that I and many others left before the presenter was finished. He lacked any passion (as well as presentation skills).

Imagine how unsuccessful salespeople would be without passion. They just gave you the raw facts with no energy.

Like a marriage without passion, a podcast without passion may look dead, but it can still possible to survive. You may build an audience, but your messages may not be as viral if your audience isn’t excited about it on some level.

Why would you podcast without passion?

There are plenty of reasons to continue podcasting (or do anything in life) even after the passion is gone.

  • To keep a commitment
  • To fulfill expectations or responsibilities
  • To build character in yourself
  • To get out of the rut and enjoy the other side
  • To avoid failure, giving up, or quitting
  • To find a new approach and new passion again
  • To pay the bills

That last reason is possible for many people if podcasting is your job. You may not be passionate about the subject, but maybe just the act of podcasting and getting paid for it is enough to keep you going.

How we lose passion

Short and simple, we lose passion because we shift our focus. Even when you burn out from working too hard, too long, or getting too overwhelmed, you have shifted your focus away from the future and onto the stresses.

Shifting your focus doesn’t mean there’s even another object in focus. You could be completely out of focus from everything and in a downward spiral feeling like you have no purpose, past success, present satisfaction, or hope for the future.

How to get the passion back

Every situation is unique. But getting your passion back can take some time. Here are some suggestions.

  • Take a break—go on an announced hiatus
  • Reduce your responsibilities—delegate some tasks or retire some extraneous projects
  • Simplify—if you’re spending too much time preparing or editing your podcast, find ways to simplify your workflow by either adjusting your standard or investing in helpful solutions
  • Re-adjust your schedule—maybe you’re not podcasting at the right time for you, or maybe you need to switch to a seasonal schedule

Conclusion: do you need passion to succeed?

Passion looks different on everyone. But I do think that passion is mandatory for any kind of success—even when the passion is in the technique and not the actual subject.

Have you struggled with passion? Please comment with your story and especially how you worked through it!

Do you have to podcast consistently?

We often hear and say, “You must be consistent to build an audience.” But I also think there are some unreasonable assumptions.

Even the TV show Once Upon a Time learned a hard lesson about consistency in their second season. Their weird and unpredictable schedule cost viewers who were expecting to tune in at a specific time and see their TV show.

Benefits of consistency

Consistency builds and breaks habits. It also gives you a better history of work over time. Even if your publishing schedule is once a month, you can count on having twelve episodes every year.

Consistency keeps you in the front of mind and helps prevent you from being forgotten. But I don’t believe people will flock to unsubscribe if you don’t release an episode after a couple weeks. (I’m still holding out for another “Ask a Ninja” podcast episode!)

Growing your audience is a lot easier when you’re publishing content on a regular basis.

Consistency also helps your current audience. Many people will learn your schedule (if it’s consistent) and look forward to a new episode on particular days. They’ll often be disappointed or concerned if they don’t see that new episode when they expected it.

Google and iTunes will learn your publishing schedule and start prioritizing publishers who produce content consistently.

What affects consistency?

Passion and consistency are closely tied together. Apathy is at the core in our struggle to build healthy habits or break bad ones. If you don’t care, you’ll have a hard time being consistent.

Life certainly gets in the way for many of us, because we can’t control everything in our lives. But I think we often have far more control than we realize. Ray Edwards recently said, “99% of all the results I’m experiencing in my life are 100% appropriate.” Essentially, the results we see are directly connected to the causes we create or allow, and we’re responsible for nearly all of them.

Do you have to publish weekly?

Most consistent podcasts are weekly or even daily. But for you, consistency may mean biweekly, twice a week, or maybe even once a month.

Consistency isn’t a contract you can never change. Many podcasts are switching to seasonal consistency. This works very well for television shows and is usually built around highly researched media-consumption habits. Primarily, consumption goes down during summer and the winter holiday season.

You may have better success maintaining consistency and passion by following a seasonal schedule. It could be five months on, one off; three months on, three off; 50 straight weeks, two off; and so on.

When you’re “in-season,” you can be consistent with whatever schedule you set. But even when you’re “off-season,” I recommend releasing some content, even if it is a short episode only once a month. (Why it sounds better to contrast “in-season” with “off-season” is beyond me, but I didn’t like the alternatives.)

You have probably wondered, “When is the best day to publish my podcast episodes?” My answer is simple: the same day as last time.

Your publishing frequency is often tied with the length of your content: more frequent generally works better with shorter content. But RawVoice has consistently seen that more frequently published podcasts grow much faster.

My general recommendation is to podcast weekly, blog weekly, and get a short video on YouTube weekly (even if just promoting your podcast or blog content).

Tips for becoming more consistent

Trying some of the following ideas if you’re struggling with podcasting consistently (some of these may look familiar).

  • Reduce your responsibilities—delegate some tasks or retire some extraneous projects
  • Simplify—if you’re spending too much time preparing or editing your podcast, find ways to simplify your workflow by either adjusting your standard or investing in helpful solutions
  • Re-adjust your schedule—maybe you’re not podcasting at the right time for you, or maybe you need to switch to a seasonal schedule
  • Set a new pattern—if a particular release schedule isn’t working for you, try a different one. If you struggle with semiweekly, try weekly. If you struggle with biweekly, try weekly (yes, try publishing more often!)
  • Split your tasks—instead of trying to prepare, produce, and publish on the same day, spread them out and use WordPress’s (or other content-management system’s) schedule feature to schedule your episodes to publish consistently even when you can work on them consistently

Learn more about finding and making time to podcast.

Conclusion: does consistency really matter to growing your podcast?

I do believe absolutely that consistency will help every podcast grow more. You’ll grow a larger audience, get better at presenting, and also form good habits from being consistent in one area of your life.

Whatever schedule works for you, your content, and your audience, stick with it consistently! But it’s also okay to take a short hiatus when necessary.

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  • http://audio.theopenmat.com Jason Bryant

    Great episode DJL, because as many of you in the podcast space explain, podfading when you don’t stick to a consistent schedule is almost imminent. One thing with the podcasts I’ve hosted in the past were being consistent. In a news-based niche, trying to capitalize on the news can be great, until other things get in the way. With my current podcast, I’m setting consistent release times and I’m starting to see consistent numbers and some steady (slow, but steady) growth. I find I was initially doing the podcast (at first) the same day as a release and there was no rhyme or reason to it. Now that I’ve found a good MWF (two of the shows I produce and host myself) format, listeners are starting to become aware they are released on certain days and they’re already downloading the episodes before I even hit the social media blast on Twitter, Facebook and G+. This series has been fantastic. For some reason, I feel like I’m coming off as a fanboy with listening live and incessant commenting, but this series REALLY is helpful, even to those like me who think they’ve got some of the timing stuff figured out.

    • http://DanielJLewis.net/about Daniel J. Lewis

      With a MWF schedule like that, what do you do when you travel?

      • http://audio.theopenmat.com Jason Bryant

        I always travel with a computer in case news breaks. I’m generally internet connected when I need to be. But I’m starting to make sure I have content in the hopper ready to go. An example is this coming week. I’m going to North Carolina for a wedding for about 5 days. During that time, I’ll have two shows to release. They’re already done. Just plug them into wordpress and auto post when the time comes and hit social media the days they auto post. It’s something I actually did when I traveled on my old show long before I’d ever heard of the John Lee Dumas, who I’ve actually only listened to once.

        So I have Friday (of this week), and Monday (of next) already loaded and ready. Wednesday is the only show that’s recorded and released the same day, but that’s actually another show within my podcast. We record that show from a radio station in Iowa as part of our podcast, so that’s the Wednesday show. The only problem that can come up there is little tech knowledge at the station, so I use Audio Hijack to get the audio off the live stream (which can be risky at times, no the studio doesn’t seem to want to record the show for us unless they absolutely have to).

        I’m trying to build up non-timely shows (since my offseason is interview based) to have ready to drop in within a two week period and then have the ability to move shows based on relevance. On Monday, I’d already released a podcast and was waiting for Friday to release a big name interview. Then there was a hire at a Division I wrestling program (new head coach). So I’ve got that person as Friday and bumping the previous guest show to Monday. I don’t actually publish the show on blubrry until I know my order, so I’m not saying “Episode 61″ when it’s actually 62 or 60.

        I also have the Roland ready to roll if I need to do things on the road. I always travel with my computer, even though I might not turn it on.