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Podcasting requires productivity prioritization. I say this not because I like alliteration (although I really do like alliteration) but because it's the predominant advice in the podosphere. And, generally speaking, I tend to agree with the sentiment.
There are countless things about and adjacent to podcasting you can waste your time on. There's no shortage of Top 10 Things To Improve/Grow/Blow Up Your Podcast articles, posts, and courses you can take. And there’s a very good chance you’re not doing some or even most of those Very Good Things.
Prioritization of your podcasting efforts is important because you have a limited amount of time during the day/week/month to invest in your podcast beyond the actual process of producing your podcast, which may already take up a big chunk of your time. So, yeah. Prioritize as a survival tactic, for sure.
So it’s with a very big nod in that direction that I tell you that I'm a fan of doing pointless things.
Or rather, things that seem pointless. Things that don't lead to an immediate, measurable payoff for your podcast. And quite often, I do them.
Finding The Payoff Out Of Pointless
For the last seven months or so, I’ve been producing a second daily podcast that I call Minute of Pod Zen. If you’ve listened to the podcasts Sounds Profitable, Podnews, or Ear Brain Heart, you had a chance to hear my little show in those bigger shows. But only if you listened all the way through to the end, which we know very few people actually do. Especially busy podcasters!
I suppose it’s possible you’ve added MoPZ to your Alexa Flash Briefing. But the stats provided by Amazon tell me that’s unlikely, as the number of installations is in single-digit territory, with little chance of breaking into double-digits anytime soon. So likely not.
So it stands to reason that the time and effort I’ve spent on the 60-ish episodes of Minute of Podzen is pretty pointless.
Or, should I say, was pretty pointless. That changed a couple of weeks ago.
Minute of Pod Zen was designed by me to be a much-abbreviated and takeaway-only version of each day’s Podcast Pontifications episode that I could syndicate across other podcasts about podcasting. But beyond the aforementioned shows ran by Bryan, James, and Mark, broad distribution of my syndicated content—arguably the measure of syndication success—has failed to materialize.
If I were measuring the success of MoPZ by the original goal of wide syndication, then the extra time it takes me to write and produce the truncated version every day—about 30-45 minutes more, I reckon—seems rather pointless.
Or at least it did until a few weeks ago, at which point I realized that the words I condense out of Podcast Pontifications to create a Minute of Pod Zen could serve a completely different purpose. One that you very well may have seen if you follow me on Twitter.
That pointless and time-wasting effort has completely changed how I announce each episode on social media, particularly Twitter. The MoPZ script now becomes a Twitter thread I share each day. It also becomes a longer-form share on my show’s Facebook page and my own LinkedIn profile.
Prior to this change, my social posts about the episode were nothing more than text from the cold open and a link to the episode’s page. I’d rinse and repeat that across all my social channels in a low-effort fashion. So the results were predictably pretty mediocre. But better than nothing, right?
Now I’m doing better than better-than-nothing, and I’m seeing excellent results. More engagement, yes, but it’s more than that. The new posts are getting more exposure and resulting in more traffic back to Podcast Pontifications. I’m also seeing an uptick in activity in the Advancing Podcasting community. Unexpectedly, people start conversations about the concepts brought up in the text of my social shares, even if they haven’t (yet?) listened to the episode or read the article.
I’ll be honest: I was thinking of dropping Minute of Pod Zen. But now I know how well it’s working for me and my show in ways I hadn’t considered. With that small change, MoPZ suddenly went from pointless to powerful, to keep the alliteration going for a bit longer.
What about you? Are the things you've always wanted to try to do with or in conjunction with your podcast? Things that seem like they may be a worthwhile experiment to try, even if there isn’t an immediate payoff? Try it!
And don't kill it off too early, especially if you like doing it. I produced over 50 episodes of Minute of Pod Zen, thinking they were all pretty pointless, before I realized how else I could use the content. Now those efforts are a staple of my production process. In fact, I’ve sometimes forgotten to actually record and produce the episode of MoPZ. But I still use the text in that new, much-better-performing social shares.
So remember: those things that you think are pointless may not be pointless after all. Do the things that don't matter. Because sometimes they wind up mattering for you and your podcast.
Hey, Evo! I heard your podcast mentioned somewhere in the 2.0 community and so wanted to come here and check out what you are up to. Lots of handy advice, will definitely check in every now and then to find out some small snippets to make me a better podcaster.
Just about to go listen to you on Podland as well, haha! GO PODCASTING!!!
Thank you very much, Kyrin. I appreciate the kinds words. And the sats!
If you’ve figured out the complexity of sending boosts from your value for value enabled podcast listening app—and yes, it’s still exceedingly complex—send a boostagram my way. And if not, no worries! You can use BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra to buy me a virtual coffee and send me a message like Josh Liston did recently. They said:
One of my favourite shows about our medium. The discussions are thought-provoking, but it's the entertainment value that keeps me listening.
Thank you very much for listening and for your support, Josh. I do appreciate that.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifictions is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Links to everything mentioned in today’s episode are in the notes section of your podcast listening app. A written-to-be-read article based on today’s episode is available at PodcastPontifications.com, where you’ll also find a video version and a corrected transcript, both created by Allie Press. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media. Find out more at Simpler.Media.