Improve Podcast School – episode 5
In the past episode, I have discussed the Journey from Beginner to Pro Podcaster and beyond that will take you approximately 24 months if you apply focus, dedication, and hard work.
The 24 months mark is essential as 69% of higher-income podcasters have shows older than 24 months.
But the passage of time doesn’t guarantee anything. 20% of all lower-income podcasters also have shows older than 24 months, and they haven’t found their financial success yet.
Knowing that there is a moment in time when your chances for monetization rise significantly is motivating.
But there are many things you should plan for if you want almost to ensure the chance for success, or even bring that success closer, and achieve it much faster.
What you should be doing is you need to stack additional elements on top of your show’s quality, to make sure you become successful.
This episode will discuss what you should plan to add to your podcasting strategy within the next 24 months.
5 things to make sure you do in order to have a financially successful show
1. How and why should you use an editorial calendar for your podcast?
First, you need to decide on what schedule you are creating your show.
Some people start a week with a blank page knowing that by the end, they will have to have a new episode,
This can work well in a few podcasting configurations – it is ok for a solo or co-hosted show.
Or if you can repurpose some high-quality content, then you also have this liberty.
However, you need a better process if you want to book guests or if you plan to publish more than one episode per week. Or simply if you don’t want to chase weekly deadlines constantly.
A good editorial calendar will have days planned for researching, scripting, booking guests, recording, editing, and publishing.
I find it most effective if every significant activity is grouped into clusters. It is easiest for me to script and research in blocks.
When booking interviews, of course, you need to be flexible and keep in mind the availability of your guests. But after your recording is complete, the editing and setting episodes for publishing can again be grouped.
Find a solid calendar and task management tool that works for you.
You can do it using Google calendar or Apple’s calendar. Whatever you are already using.
Start with the most simple solution you already have on your phone and computer and if you need more features, then transition to something more complex.
When you are just starting using an editorial calendar, you want to focus on simplicity instead of getting delayed with learning how to use complex tools.
But your editorial calendar is not everything. There are other daily tasks you need to manage to keep your mind focused.
2. How to manage daily tasks to avoid delays in publishing?
Publishing for extensive periods is very demanding.
Not only because you have your editorial calendar but also because your other tasks or life responsibilities also demand your time and attention.
And there are always dozens of tasks that require your attention.
The best system I have for these is to simply have a very long list of to-do tasks.
I add new tasks to this list daily as new big things come up that require my attention.
The important thing is to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Immediate tasks that will put a lot of pressure on you should get a due date within a few days.
The rest of the things you need to do in a slightly longer horizon can be added to a tasks list without a due date. Each Sunday evening, I review the long list and pick a few of them that I will take care of during the upcoming week.
This is extremely important. You want your mind to be free from distractions and fully focused on your most creative and productive tasks like podcasting.
You need this system of managing daily tasks to avoid big backlogs and feeling constant pressure.
Here again, I recommend the simplest tools possible.
Pen and paper can work well – the act of physically adding tasks to the list and then crossing them out is very rewarding for our brains. I used this system a lot.
Now on a daily basis, I just use the Reminders app on my Mac and iPhone. It has the bare minimum required to get simple stuff done. And being fast and always available is what I need.
I know this doesn’t appear to be directly connected to your podcast, but don’t skip it.
Your free mind, which is not forced to constantly remember things, will have more creativity available for your podcast.
Now that we know how to manage daily tasks, let’s move into managing monthly and even yearly tasks. And the next thing you need to have planned for the 24 months is your product roadmap.
3. How to use a product development roadmap in a podcast?
First of all, a product roadmap is a key to your monetization.
Your show may be very successful, very quickly, so you will quickly start earning a lot of money from sponsors through host read ads, which is, in fact, a number one monetization channel for shows older than 24 months.
There is a high chance that you will need to actually spend around 24 months growing your show before your ads revenue will be significant.
The good news is that according to our research, almost 1/3 of higher-income podcasters start making money before the passage of 24 months.
Here lies the importance of the product roadmap.
The number one monetization source for younger shows is selling their own services,
So you should spend time planning what kind of services you can launch and make available to your audience.
Ideally, you should make simple services available just after the launch of your show,
If you are new to this, spend time thinking about what you can offer in a high-quality. Usually, some form of product or knowledge-sharing consultation works well.
If you already have an existing business and your podcast is another marketing channel, offer free consultations, and don’t be too pushy from the very first episode.
Your product roadmap should plan for the ideal offer you might have for your podcasting audience.
This is something you will craft and develop over time, so don’t worry about if your first services are simple. Improve your offer over time.
Speaking of better offers, you also need to make your show better over time.
4. How to become better at podcasting over time?
You need to have a checklist consisting of improvements to implement.
Periodically review your show and its quality and make a list of future fixes.
If you don’t know how to make a podcast audit, I have a free template for you. Just go to improvepodcast.com and subscribe to the mailing list, and you will get a free copy of an episode quality checklist.
You will find dozens of suggestions there, what you should be looking at when reviewing your current episodes.
The idea is to understand the flaws and limitations of your show and then gradually create a path of improvement.
You won’t be able to fix everything in one afternoon or even a week, so you will need to plan it over time.
When you are just starting with your show, the improvements will be easy to spot, and in many cases, quick to fix. But eventually, the list of quick wins will end.
You will be left with bigger improvement leaps you need to make, maybe get a better mic, or find a more soundproof recording location, or get yourself a premium royalty-free music subscription.
If you did your quality audit thoroughly, you probably have a list of improvements you are going to implement for another 6 months.
Once you have fixed your issues, celebrate for a while, how your show is getting gradually better over time.
But then don’t rest on your laurels. Make another audit and find new places where you can make your show better again. You should repeat this cycle a few times before you nail your show’s format.
But even then, to avoid your show becoming stale, still make at least yearly quality checklists. But we are talking right now, beyond 24 months of podcasting.
Finally, the last thing you need to plan for your podcast is a marketing strategy.
5. How and why do you need a marketing plan for your podcast?
This point alone could be a series of episodes.
In short, your marketing plan should have a list of marketing channels you will develop over time and keep them alive, which means do not abandon them.
Keeping them alive is very important. It is very easy to set up accounts on social media, but unless you are active in the channels of your choice, you won’t see any effect.
In most cases, you need to be consistent and patient with your marketing channels for them to show significant results.
So instead of setting up accounts and then immediately abandoning them the following month after your enthusiasm settles, you should plan ahead.
Armed with this knowledge, in your first year of podcasting, choose 2 marketing channels you are going to focus on, and make sure you develop those channels, create content dedicated for those channels, and then interact with your audience there.
My advice is that you should allocate your time wisely and into channels that will support the growth of your show and monetization.
Actually, I’m going to talk about how to monetize your podcast in under 12 Months in the next episode, so make sure to follow the show.
But you should plan when you will launch new marketing channels in the next 24 months.
And it is ok, even highly recommended to launch one just every 4 to 6 months.
Of course, only under the condition, you will keep it alive, and you will make sure it generates new listeners and increases your monetization from your podcast.
In summary, 24 months podcasting journey is much more than just a plan to produce and release new episodes regularly. It is about having a coherent strategy for managing tasks, developing your products, and promoting them in the most effective way.
Once you start your podcast, 24 months will go by very quickly, so it is good to plan the path ahead instead of getting surprised at each turn.