When your podcast has goals, you have the right focus, you know where you want to be, and take steps to get there, nothing will stop your vision!
1. Have a reason/goal (or many)
Why are you blogging or podcasting? Most reasons and goals fall into four basic roots:
- for your pleasure/hobby or to entertain others,
- to make money,
- to educate or encourage, or
- to build branding or promote something else you do.
But your reason for producing content needs to be more specific to you!
I believe your content should also have a goal. Do you want to get a new job? Do you want to change your lifestyle? Do you want to become the expert in a field? Do you want to connect with others in your niche or start a new community?
Without reasons and goals, our content will drift around in and out of relevance and quality.
2. Don't focus on audience numbers
Creating great content should never be about the number of followers! It's helpful to know and track your numbers to see what is well received or gets the most attention. But focusing on your numbers will make you a people-pleaser.
Think of churches that focus on just filling their pews and taking up huge offerings to pay for their debts. These churches are missing the point!
Imagine you're in the small audience and the presenter is spending more of their time trying to bring new people in. How would you feel? Wouldn't you feel neglected, like you didn't matter as much or that you were just a number?
Focus on the audience you already have more than trying to gain a new audience.
3. Know the kind of blog or podcast you want yours to be
Setting numbers aside, what do you want your content to be like in a year, two years, or even five years? Do you want your content to be timeless and still relevant in five years? Do you want your new content to be better? Do you want your podcast to achieve something bigger?
Don't think about doubling your audience. Think about how much better you want to reach the audience you've already earned. Pursue greater content, and building your audience will be easy.
4. Do something daily toward where you want to be
When you have an idea of where you want your blog or podcast to be in the future, find ways that you can work toward that! For example,
- if you want to produce more episodes, publish regularly and consistently;
- if you want more community interaction, focus on relationships, ask great questions, and respond to feedback;
- if you want nicer equipment to enhance your quality or do something you couldn't do before (like live-streaming or high-quality video), skip coffee or soda regularly and save that money; or
- if you want to get better at any aspect of what you do, invest the time to learn and grow in your knowledge and technique.
5. Revisit and refocus your goals often
Write down your goals and post them somewhere visible. Reread these and sometimes you'll find new ways to focus, or you'll realize you strayed from your goals and need to get back on track, or you may even realize you now have better vision and want to redefine your goals.
When I came up with The Audacity to Podcast's tagline, “a how-to podcast about podcasting and using Audacity,” I defined my niche and gave myself something to regularly refocus. This is a “how-to” podcast, so I try to give a lot of practical and thorough “how-to” information. Look at how many episodes are titled “how to …,” “# ways to,” or “# steps to.”
Whenever I struggle over my content (and I do many times!), I come back to this and consider how I can make my information practical, thorough, easy to follow, compelling, and even timeless.
Stuff you should check out
- Cliff Ravenscraft from Podcast Answer Man has several great episodes on vision and motivation, mostly inspired by Earl Nightengale’s The Strangest Secret.
- Podcasters' Roundtable to hear podcasters talk about podcasting—and give us some controversial stuff to fight over!
- Send in your podcasting tips for the 100th episode!
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— Daniel J. Lewis (@theDanielJLewis) August 20, 2012
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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.