We all know that the realm of podcasting is a crowded one, where hosting a popular show takes a lot of time and energy. While content is is the star when it comes to podcasting success, developing habits and routines can make your podcasting workload way more manageable and sustainable–no one wants to get halfway through 2019 and hit podcaster burnout! The new year is the perfect time to start developing these helpful podcaster routines.

#1. Make Time for Your Show

This may seem like a given, but so many people forget to actually make time for the new and special and unique thing they’re creating! When you first start your podcast, it likely won’t be very lucrative. (Sorry! Those are just the facts.) It’s completely understandable that you’ll still work a Monday-through-Friday job. However, you need to pencil in time to work on your podcast between your 9-to-5.

Like any job, you should schedule concrete shifts for you to work on your content. This way, you’re holding yourself accountable. Plan out when you’ll edit, when you’ll interview guests, and when you’ll take care of the admin work associated with your show (scheduling guests, paying your hosting bills, getting in touch with that freelance editor you wanted to hire).

When creating your schedule, make sure it’s realistic. If you give yourself six months to get your pilot episode online, it should be done in six months. On a smaller scale, if you say you will edit a project in two hours, make sure that’s something you can really achieve (because we’re not all editing wizards!0. For smaller-scale projects that will take only a few hours or less, you should set a timer to keep yourself on track, or use something like the Pomodoro Method.

After all, you take your show seriously–and so do we! By setting aside specific time for your show, you’re committing to the project and giving it the attention a serious undertaking deserves! We know your podcast isn’t a hobby, so it shouldn’t get hobby-levels of attention.

#2. Be Consistent

To have a successful show, consistency is key, since it builds trust with your listeners. People like familiarity and may tune out if every episode sounds like it belongs to a different show. Before you put your show out into the world, you should set some guidelines. Of course, overtime you can make some adjustments to the show, but you shouldn’t make large changes week-to-week.

Most important, you should establish a consistent publishing time. Your audience should always know when to expect the next episode. Templates for your show can keep you on track, especially when you feel like you are falling behind. If life gets in the way and you need to publish late or skip a week, make sure you have a reliable way to tell your listeners.

#3. Collaborate with Others

It takes a village to create a successful podcast! If you want your show to grow, you should be collaborating with others–and that includes your listeners! Your listeners are your community, and it’s exciting to build something with them, not just for them. Radiolab from WNYC is a great example of collaboration between a show and an audience. They invite their listeners to be a part of the show by having them to recite the credits each week. You can also do listener-submission episodes, like Spirits’ urban legends episodes, or the My Favorite Murder hometown murders!

You can also use your platform to cross-promote other podcasts. Invite other podcasters onto your show, and in return you can ask to be a guest on theirs. Networking is a great way to grow your platform. If you aren’t sure if any podcasters live in your area, you can find new friends at the Podcast Brunch Club, your local Meetup, or podcasting community spaces, like recording centers.

#4. Invest in Personal Development & Self Education

Audio equipment isn’t the only thing you can invest in! As your show grows, you should invest in your own personal development as well. Set aside time to learn new skills related to podcasting and creative audio. These don’t even need to cost money! There are plenty of free tutorials online to learn about ear-training so you can be a better audio editor, graphic design so you can crank out your own episode artwork, or budgeting for a business so you can start monetizing. Remember habit #1? In addition to scheduling time to create your show, you can also schedule in time to learn!

#5. Request Feedback From Your Audience

You can have great interviews, unique content, and the best audio equipment money can buy, but if you aren’t listening to feedback from your audience, your show might fumble. Plus, almost all great podcast hosts ask their viewers to submit comments, questions or concerns at the end of every show. You should request feedback from listeners whenever possible, especially when you are first starting out. Utilize tools like Google Forms to ask your audience specific questions about their listening experience. You should also provide listeners with your email, but don’t worry–it doesn’t have to be your personal email. Create an account specifically for viewers so that you can quickly read all of their feedback, (and you won’t have to go hunting for it past all those shipping confirmations and newsletters you don’t read).

When you engage with your audience, not only will you be able to tailor your content to their likes, but you can also start to monetize your show. Engaged communities are more likely to be willing to buy perch or support you on Patreon–but you won’t know that unless you talk to them!

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