Is it Worth it? What Are You Hoping Will Happen?


Are you considering throwing in the towel on your podcast? Are you just starting a podcast and wondering if you will be able to push through enough episodes to really establish yourself?

I feel too many podcasters give up before they should. I could wow you with stats about how many episodes most podcasters last before giving up or abandoning their show. But, I am not interested in statistics. Instead, I am thinking about your show. You were excited when you started it, but sometimes you think it is time to move on. Maybe it is time. But, maybe it is not.

Some of the things that cause podcasters to call it quits:

  • It takes more work than you can afford.

  • It is not growing big enough, fast enough.

  • You've run out of stuff to talk about.

  • It has honestly run its course.

That's all fine. But what was your reason for starting in the first place?

Unless it is really time to call it quits, you can push through those other things if... and this is a big if... you know what you hope will happen.

Measuring Outcomes

What goals do you have for your podcast?

What goals do you have for your podcast?

As a strategist, I think a lot about outcomes. If I were coaching you through starting a podcast, I would start with this question, "What are you hoping will happen?" If that didn't get a response, I would reframe it. "Close your eyes and think about a year from now. Your podcast is going really well. You know this because…"  What are you measuring by? Is it a number of listeners? Is it income? Is it pushing traffic to your website?

What Does Success Look Like?

Let me ask that another way. "What does success look like for your podcast?"

If you can't answer that question, you may want to take a breath and work on a reply. There is no correct response. Your answer doesn't have to be the same as anyone else's answer.

Just for example, here are some possibilities what your definition of success might look like:

  • The podcast will be a success if 1000 people listen to each episode.

  • $2000/month in advertising revenue is what I would consider success.

  • The podcast will be successful if one person who is going through what I went through gets to realize that they are not alone.

  • Success for this podcast looks like 20 people who are struggling with their small business making a breakthrough.

  • I will consider my podcast successful If I get to interview three of the people whose writing has inspired me.

  • The show will be a success if I see a 10% increase in purchases on my website.

Your Vision of Success

What does success look like for your podcast?

What does success look like for your podcast?

Your vision of success doesn't have to look like any of those. However, if you want to keep moving forward, you need some goal to aim at. Without thinking through what you are hoping will happen, it is going to be very difficult to push toward that goal. Sure, some people just love the act of recording their podcast, if that is you, keep at it! For everyone else, you need to know what you are aiming for. Without it, you won't know if you’ve reached the level of success you're aiming for.

Think about it that way. What if someone asked you if your podcast was worth the work? How would you measure that? Is it worth what? What is the value of my podcast? I can't tell you if it is worth it if I don't know what I was trying to create.

Clarity Matters

Clarity answers with, "Yes, the 10% increase in sales is worth the 5 hours a week I spend on my podcast" Or, "Well I have been at this 10 weeks, and I have already gotten 3 letters from people thanking me for sharing my struggle so they wouldn't feel alone." Or maybe, "The 1000 listeners per episode is definitely worth the time I put in."

Podcasts don't last forever. At least none have yet. Even if you love your podcast right now, even if it is doing what you had hoped, there will come a day when you will have to look again at what you thought was success and see if that is still a goal for you. If not, it may be time to move on. If so, it is good to ask again, "Is it worth it?"

Will Rice