I'm retiring my 5-episode pattern for Audacity focus, but I'll give you several tips to help when you decide to make big changes to your podcast.
When should you change formats?
- When your current format isn't working
- When you've been squeezing too much into each episode
- When your content would work better in a different format
- When you need new life in your podcast
- When you've run out of content or passion
Question your motives
- Don't change just because a couple people don't like something—if they've already left, they won't come back after you've made the change
- Don't change from a small bad experience
- Don't change to be like someone else
Stay true to your “brand”
What is your podcast's theme and tone? This is it's brand. If you want to change formats, make sure it fits in line with why you're doing the podcast, the direction you want the podcast to go, and is mostly consistent with your historical content.
Put as much thought into your change as your launch
Planning your podcast before you launch is the most important thing you can do. If you missed this, then you need to put even more attention into planning your changes. This may be the chance to have the podcast you really wanted in the beginning.
Take caution when completely rebranding
My opinion is that podcasts should never completely rebrand and carryover their episode numbering, website, and RSS feed. If you want a complete rebrand, then maybe you should start a separate, new podcast and retire your current one.
Mixing two different generations of a podcast will confuse your new and many of your current listeners.
When you know what changes you want to make, you can test them out either privately or publicly. You may want to switch from audio to video, but you might not have realized the extra time it would take to produce.
Or maybe you want new segments, so try a couple and see how your audience responds.
Make sure you've been patient
Don't give up on a new idea after one try. Some ideas just need to sink in a little bit before you can really know whether it's a good idea or a bad one.
Make little changes over time
I'm not a fan of complete rebranding. Sometimes, big rebranding can also confuse your listeners. Take little steps and it will be easier for you.
Be ready for mixed feedback
You'll probably receive three kinds of feedback from your audience when you change stuff:
- Fanboys who will love and support anything you do, no matter how ridiculous
- Constructive feedback praising the change or offering other suggestions
- Negative feedback hating the change, possibly just because it's different.
What has been your experience making changes to your podcast? Please tell me your story in the comments below!
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Learn Audacity in an upcoming webinar
My first Audacity webinar was a great success and was highly praised. This is where I teach the basics and some of the more advanced techniques of using Audacity for podcasting and other audio-editing. If you want to edit your own audio for high quality and with efficiency, then join me for my “Learn Audacity” webinar on Saturday, May 18, at noon (EDT/GMT-4).
Tickets are $100 for this 2-hour webinar (including Q&A). Reserve your space today!
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