Life can get crazy and unpredictable. It can be joyous moments like a birth or marriage. It can be sad moments like a death or job loss. It can be trying moments like a move or transition of any kind. Here are 10 tips for keeping your podcast going, despite life's challenges.
1. Make life your highest priority
Whatever is making your life unpredictable is probably more important than your podcast. It's far better to invest yourself in your life and relationships. Like the instruction on airlines to put on your oxygen mask before helping others, you may not be able to help others through your podcast if you're suffocating your life.
2. Reduce your expectations
Is it truly reasonable to think you can keep up your podcast during an unpredictable season of life? You may have had a great schedule for consistency, and I think we all know how important consistency is. But when life is crazy, you may have to drop your expectations altogether.
3. Be open with your audience
Podcasting is already a more intimate form of media, so it's okay to be open with your audience. You don't have to share all the dirty details. But if you open up to let your audience know something's going on, they will usually be amazingly supportive!
From February, 2016 to February 2017, I published ten fewer episodes than usual. During that year, I took three breaks—a sabbatical, an emergency break for a death in my extended family, and time off for the birth of my first child. Never did anyone criticize me for those decisions. You and the rest of my audience were amazingly supportive! (THANK YOU!)
What you express is what you attract (one of my most-tweeted quotations). So when you're human with your audience, they'll be human back.
4. Discard old plans and make new ones (with flexibility)
Before your life changed, you may have had your schedule all planned out. You knew you could podcast on a particular schedule and have your episodes published consistently by a particular time.
Throw that all out.
During an unpredictable time, you need to make new plans. And yes, you should make plans, but they'll be very different from before.
With whatever plans you make, remember to be flexible.
5. Focus the time you do get
In his book Why We Want You To Be Rich, Robert T. Kiyosaki defines “FOCUS” as “Follow One Course Until Successful.” The core idea is that “focus” means doing nothing else but that task you mean to do, and doing that until you're finished or out of time.
Because your time may be so short for the tasks you have, it's vital that you spend that time entirely focused on those tasks. Even if it's only a few minutes, isn't that better than no time at all?
Here are some episodes, from fellow podcasters on my network, that I highly recommend to learn more about focusing effectively.
- Consistency: Srinivas Rao of The Unmistakeable Creative talks about consistency, comparison, the resistance and focus
- Staying Focused & Paying Attention
6. Continuously plan and prepare new content
You may no longer get the hours of preparation time you're used to. Instead, make it a regular practice to always be planning and preparing new stuff for your podcast.
You may find that carrying a notepad works better for you. Whatever your method, capture every idea and develop it as much as you can whenever you can.
The point is to have developed content ready for when you have an opportunity to record.
7. Have bare-minimum solutions ready
It's common for podcasters to obsess over their gear. While it's good to record at the highest quality you can afford, that may not be possible when life is unpredictable.
Even if you have a multi-thousand-dollar setup, have a bare-minimum option you can use if you must. Here are some suggestions:
- A portable recorder, such as the Zoom H1
- A USB microphone (such as the ATR2100-USB/AT2005USB/Q2U) and your computer or even your smartphone and an adapter (such as the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter for iOS devices)
- Your smartphone—yes, used well, it can still sound great!
It's okay if you don't sound as pristinely as you usually do. The main things are for your audience to be able to hear and understand you. You don't have to apologize or maybe not even explain why your quality is different.
8. Seize opportunities to record
If you've been continuously planning and preparing new content, then be ready to record at any moment!
New parents know the rarity and unpredictability of silence. Whatever your situation, when that opportunity comes up that you can record and you have content ready, jump on it! You may have no idea when you'll have another opportunity like it.
9. Enlist helpers
When you're open with your audience (back to tip #3), they may also be eager to help you. Such help could be in writing show notes, editing your episodes, publishing on your site, and more.
This may even open up opportunities for future help, and be good practice for delegation.
10. Create a new normal after this season
Your life will probably be forever different after everything settles down. Embrace that difference and redefine your “normal.”
During the unpredictable season, you may have discovered new hacks that can drastically improve your workflow. You may have discovered that you can cut out certain things from your process without negatively affecting anything else.
Like consuming certain foods after an intense diet, you may discover a new appreciation or even a new distaste for what used to be normal. Thus, you may face some difficult decisions about the future of your projects.
Whatever you decide, be open and respectful toward your audience, and they'll understand.
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- From the UK, Tim Lewis, host of Begin Self-Publishing Podcast, said, “Great show for more advanced podcasters. Daniel gives information that more experienced podcasters need. The internet is awash with people who have run a few podcasts and start a podcasting course, but Daniel really knows his stuff and takes you through without too much waffle the important points a modern podcaster needs to know.” Look at Tim's site for some great examples of “getting started” and “what is a podcast” pages!
Personal update: It's a boy!
My wife, Jenny, and I are thrilled to have finally met our son, “Noodle Baby”! We're thankful to all our friends and family for the wonderful support.
I don't normally ask for “handouts,” but if you know of any podcasting-themed baby things, you know they'll be perfect gifts for Noodle Baby!
The Audacity to Podcast
PO Box 739
Burlington, KY 41005
- To help celebrate and contribute to my upcoming 300th episode, listen to my first episode of The Audacity to Podcast. Then send me feedback and critiques as if you want to help that podcaster improve.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.