Successful podcasts all have one thing in common: consistency. From steadiness with podcast content to establishing a regular content release schedule and developing frequent marketing strategies, staying consistent with podcast production and marketing is key for fostering podcast growth.
But maintaining the production of quality content and keeping up with scheduling and marketing responsibilities is easier said than done.
To learn more about how to achieve podcast consistency we spoke with Rita Bautista, founder and CEO of Latino Podcasters Network and Latino Pods, Tony Dec, founder and consultant at December Strategies, and Danielle Desir Corbett, host of The Thought Card Podcast and founder of WOC (Women of Color) Podcasters.
Sticking with a chosen podcast topic is one of the first steps to achieving podcast consistency. But while it’s important to stick with your topic, it’s also important to put out content that consistently appeals to your audience. Bautista says that analytics will be your best friend here.
“That’s the beauty of analytics. Analytics tell you what your audience is listening to the most. That way you can pivot and utilize that information to your advantage to then start putting out more content in that space,” she says.
“The biggest thing is mindset and remaining flexible. Know that your podcast isn’t for you, it’s for your audience,” she adds.
In addition to consistency with topics, quality podcast content also necessitates consistency with technical aspects of podcasting, such as sound. Listening is one of Dec’s five key ways to achieve consistency. The other four are flexibility, seeking out mentorship, scheduling better and considering scope of podcast topics.
Dec recommends listening to and critically analyzing your podcast content before publishing. In particular, he notes that ensuring quality of sound will allow your listeners to focus on the actual podcast content, rather than distracting sound inconsistencies.
Paying attention to quality of host voice also contributes to sound consistency. “I don’t know anyone who has recorded their voice, heard it and thought wow, that sounds so great,” Dec says. “You might consider spending time with a voice coach and becoming more comfortable using your voice.”
In addition to content creation responsibilities, podcasters must also remain consistent with scheduling. While it may be tempting to put out a ton of content all at once, Bautista says that aiming for a sustainable and realistic content release will be more profitable in the long run. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” she says.
Dec says that scheduling is especially important for those dividing their time between jobs and content creation.
“Once you start a regular schedule, things can start to fall apart pretty quickly,” he explains. “You’ve got to meet [with your team] at least once a week and get into that habit to maintain momentum, and support and continually inspire each other — to reach beyond your immediate grasp on your journey to creating a successful show.”
Outside of content creation and scheduling, marketing consistency will help grow your podcast. Juggling podcast creation and marketing can be hard, but repurposing your content can save time and ensure consistent thematic messaging across podcast episodes and podcast marketing content.
“One way to stay consistent is to use existing podcast materials for marketing pieces,” says Bautista. “So you can take one big podcast and cut it up into multiple snippets, and utilize that on different platforms to help market the podcast. Work smarter, not harder.”
Danielle Desir Corbett also says that repurposing content can help podcasters stay on top of regular content creation tasks.
“One of the biggest challenges to staying consistent is scheduling the time to work on your show,” she says. “From researching to scripting/outlining, recording, editing, and promo, there are a lot of tasks to complete for each podcast episode. It’s easy to waste time on repeatable tasks without the proper systems to organize, streamline and automate.”
To stay consistent with her own podcasting responsibilities, Corbett uses a production workflow tracker and automates guest bookings using Calendly. She also uses templates for guest and sponsorship email pitches.
“Repurposing scripts for show notes and hiring an editor has also saved me a lot of time while improving the quality of my show,” she adds.
Dec was a founding co-director of a podcast training and development program for four years at Stony Brook University. He says that all of these podcasting tasks can sometimes take beginners by surprise.
“I’ve had several of our students come up to me at various times during the eight months of our fellows program and say ‘wow, I didn’t realize how much work goes into this,’” he says.
While rewarding, podcast creation work can be stressful. Corbett says that podcasters should be open to taking guilt-free breaks to avoid burnout.
“Plan regular breaks from your content if you’re going the seasonal route. Tell your listeners when you plan to return with new episodes and follow through.”