Podfade: The Podcaster’s Nemesis

by Apr 28, 2023

As a podcaster, it’s important to have the right gear, the right show concept, the right guests. But what you may not realize is that it’s equally important to have the right mindset. Podcasting success is a long-term goal, and if you get into podcasting with the idea that you’ll become an overnight success, you’re setting yourself up for a bad case of Podfade.


What is Podfade?

Podfade is the reason that most podcasts don’t last, and you probably already know the symptoms. 


  • Infrequent or irregular posting of new episodes
  • Fewer posts on social media promoting the show
  • Podcast host sounds burnt out, disengaged, or quality has otherwise gone down


When these symptoms appear, it’s usually a matter of time before the show unceremoniously ends. There’s typically no formal announcement and the way you find out is that the podcast simply goes ghost. This is an unfortunately common phenomenon in the world of podcasting, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your podcast. 


What Causes Podfade?

A few things can cause Podfade, but the number one cause is simply unrealistic expectations. Podcasting is hard work, and it takes time to see and build upon your success. The odds of you “going viral” in the first 10 episodes and landing enough sponsorships to quit your full-time job are slim, simply because podcasting success is a long-term endeavor. You need to build a relationship with your audience to really gain a strong following you can monetize. 


On top of that, many podcasters don’t realize how much work it takes to produce a podcast. It’s time-consuming to write a quality show! Plus you have to spend time tracking down and booking guests, scheduling interviews, editing your show, creating social media posts and engaging with your audience – nevermind trying to sell sponsorship deals!


It typically takes 6 hours of post-production work for every 1 hour of audio recorded – and that’s for professionals. If you’re trying to learn the ropes of audio/video production for the first time, you can easily double that. So it’s easy to see why so many podcasters get burnt out after a few months of producing a show – putting in this much time and effort is a real sacrifice, and if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s hard to keep it going. 


How to Prevent Podfade

Luckily, preventing Podfade is totally doable. Here are some tips for preventing burn-out when starting your first podcast:


  1. Take a realistic look at your goals and schedule. It’s important to have a measurable benchmark that you can hit to keep you motivated. It’s also important to understand how much time you actually have to devote to podcast production. For example, you may want to generate 4 new clients a month from your podcast. But in taking on 4 new clients, you may not have time to continue producing the podcast yourself. This is where it may make sense to consider partnering with a podcast production company, like HumblePod.


  2. Do your research and learn new skills upfront. When you’re in the midst of producing a podcast, it’s a real stretch to also add in public speaking classes or figuring out how to use ProTools. Rather than waiting until you’re in the middle of hosting a podcast to start developing these skills, start now! Sign up for that video editing course on Udemy, or join your local Toastmasters club. Read up on starting a podcast, or better yet – check out a podcast on it, like The Humble Podcaster. This way, when the time comes to launch your podcast, you’ll be ready.


  3. Understand what success actually looks like. Not everyone needs to have a million followers to be successful in podcasting. What’s most important is reaching your goals and celebrating the small wins along the way. Do some research and find out what your target audience is looking for in a podcast like yours, so you can deliver value upfront. This will help you get positive feedback and word-of-mouth advertising, which will help your show grow and keep you motivated long-term. 


What If I Already Have Podfade?

It’s not too late! The best thing you can do is reach out to a professional for guidance. You may need to outsource production, change the format of your show, or the frequency of releases. There’s a million different ways to have a successful podcast, and the best way to figure out what will work for you is to speak to someone experienced about your goals and challenges to find the best path forward. 


It may sound impossible now, but podcasting can be something you actually enjoy doing long-term and see consistent success with. You just have to find what’s going to work for you.