Last week, you didn't get to listen to any new episodes of or read new articles from Podcast Pontifications because I was exploring the jungles and beaches of Belize. And yes, I had a lovely time.
Strangely enough, I also didn't get to listen to any new episodes of any podcasts over that same time. Why? Because I was exploring the jungles and beaches of Belize, that’s why!
Except for some approvals—my team was busy working while I was playing—I didn’t put on headphones or put in earbuds for six whole days. And I gotta tell you… that was rather nice.
On the seventh day, when I boarded the plane for the first four-and-a-half-hour leg of my journey back home, I resumed listening to my podcast episodes. I subscribe to a lot of podcasts, so a lot of episodes can (and did) pile up after six days of neglect.
But I didn’t start at the top of my listening queue. Not with a backlog that large. No, I had to make careful choices. My choice was to catch up on two serialized podcasts I’m listening to more or less in time with the show’s release schedule. One is a fiction podcast. The other is not. After that, I listened to the latest episodes from only three different podcasts that I could fit in until we landed. And that was it.
There’s a very good chance I'll keep current on the next episodes of those serialized shows and the dozen or so other serialized shows in my queue. But there’s little hope of me going back and listening to the missed episodes published on the episodic shows I’m subscribed to, whether they release week, daily, or on a less-than-consistent schedule.
Keep in mind that I subscribe to these shows on purpose. I genuinely enjoy the episodes they put out. But I know that those shows will soon release a new episode, probably this week, which will let me get my fix from each of those shows. Without having to go back and listen to what they published that I missed.
Can I go back and listen? Sure. The episodes are in the feed or already downloaded in my listening app. But will I? Unlikely.
In a similar vein, a week or so ago, I had a great idea for an episode. Not an episode of my show, but an episode of a show produced by a friend of mine. A show to which I’ve been a dedicated listener for years and one I consider among my favorite podcasts.
Because we’re actual, IRL friends, I texted them with this idea, detailing why I thought it’d be great for them to cover. I had no expectations that they’d drop everything and do it just because I asked, but I was certain it was just the type of topic they’d love to dive deep into.
To my embarrassment and surprise, they responded back with “I did that a month or so ago”.
Oops. I missed it. Completely. But hey, that happens. Like I said, I listen to a lot of podcasts.
But what I didn’t do may surprise you. Knowing full well that a favorite podcaster of mine had already covered the exact topic I wanted them to cover... I didn't go back and listen to that previously produced episode.
Crazy, right? I mean, I wanted to hear their take on the topic so much that I requested it. But apparently it was too much effort for me to seek out the episode in my podcast listening app or their webpage, which is just a reverse chronological dump of episodes.
So… what's the point of all of this, you may be wondering? The point is to illustrate to you that this happens a lot. A lot more than we probably want to admit to ourselves.
And, yes, I know I can count on a few—a very few—dedicated listeners listening to every or almost every episode I produce without fail on a regular basis. Just as I'm sure you also can count on a few—perhaps a very few—dedicated listeners who’ll faithfully listen to every single episode you put out.
But neither of us can count on every listener we have doing that. Heck, we shouldn’t even say that most of our listeners will do that.
This is the point where many podcasts consultants would offer up Six Ways To Make Sure Your Audience Never Misses Your Episodes or some other such bullshit... but that's just what it is. Bullshit.
No one can ensure that every episode of your show will be listened to by every one of your listeners. Granted, listeners of serialized podcasts have a much lower chance of skipping episodes. But that’s only good news for producers of serialized podcasts. Not so good for me and perhaps not so good for you.
My advice? Don’t sweat it. And also don't assume that every one of your subscribers hangs on your every word. Some do, for sure. But many more do not.
A big thanks to podcast editing powerhouse Steve Stewart for this nice five-star review on Podchaser:
Seth Godin is a marketing genius and always makes me think. Evo is like the Seth Godin of podcasts about podcasting.
At least 80% of the time, Evo makes me think - and re-think - about all kinds of podcasting topics, best practices, and "big picture" strategies.
I no longer produce a podcast of my own. However, listening to Podcast Pontifications helps me work with my clients (podcasters) better.
High praise for sure, Steve. Thank you!.
And thanks to Coach JD of the podcast Health Talks With JD for a lovely 5-star review left on Podchaser and on Apple Podcasts:
I love being given the opportunity to think rather than being instructed what to do. This show allows someone who's just getting into podcasting or has been at it for a while the chance to consider what choices they can make to build a better show for themselves. A much-needed show for anyone interested in podcasting to put in their rotation.
Thank you, Coach JD!
Props to Biray Seitz for being the first person to use Venmo to pass some value my way, along with this nice note:
Thanks for all the valuable tips you share on podcast pontifications.
You are welcome, Biray. I’m looking forward to seeing how your new audio project takes shape. Ha! Meta joke just for you!
And to wrapping up this long Boostagram Corner, big thanks to long-time podcaster and TikTok super-star Gary Arndt from Everything Eveywhere for using Fountain to pair the 1776 sats he sent with the message:
This show is part of my daily routine and one of a handful of daily podcasts I always listen to.
Very kind words, Gary. And a fitting way to end the episode, since that’s just what we’ve been going through.
If you got value out of this episode or any of the episodes that I produce and you wish to return that value—we call it value for value—you can go to PodcastPontifications.com/value-for-value and find links to all of those ways and more to support the show.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Allie Press proofed the copy, corrected the transcript, and edited the video. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.