Podfade. I came across this term last week, as I was listening to my typical slate of podcasts. It’s when a podcast loses momentum in creating and releasing episodes. Maybe the podcaster misses a week here and there and then that becomes more the norm rather than the exception, until the episodes are only slowwwwly trickling out every few weeks (or months). Eventually the new episodes just stop coming all together.
For those of us who enjoy podcast content, I’m sure we have all experienced at least one example of this. It was likely a podcast which we all enjoyed, since we kept coming back for more episodes. When podfade happens, it’s a disappointment.
While podcasts may still reign content king in many spheres, podcasts are not the only sources of education and entertainment. Blogs, for instance, come to mind.
Springtime is a good time for re-evaluating where you’re at and where you want to be. When I began this blog, I planned to release a new post every week and then that goal became every other week, then every month… Still, there are some months I miss posting.
I thought it would be worthwhile to try to evaluate why. Why do people podfade? Am I blog-fading? How can I overcome and keep blogging?
I think there are many reasons that podcasters might podfade, but I kept coming back to a few possibilities that I felt were universal.
First, most podcasters probably do not just podcast. They have other commitments in the form of jobs, other projects, families, life in general. Sometimes it’s a balancing act and not always a perfect one. As a blogger, I feel this too. I have a day job that’s not writing or blogging. I am working on my (never-ending) WIP. I also happen to want to provide quality blog content. There’s a lot going on.
Second, it can be a great deal of pressure. Podcasts and blogs alike gain a number of loyal followers and supporters. Most of us have probably seen that meme with the person sitting by the picture of the group of people, laughing like they’re one of the gang and titled, “How it feels listening to podcasts”. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel that meme. Ultimately, I’m not just a casual consumer of the podcasts and blogs I love the most, instead I feel almost as if I’m getting a regular update from a friend. As a podcaster or blogger, if you’re not putting out regular content to meet your listener or reader’s expectations, it can be a major letdown. And content creators know that and take that to heart. It can feel like a lot of pressure. Avoidance may seem like the best way out.
Third, it can feel sometimes like shouting into the void. Sure, podcasters and bloggers may say they’re making content for the joy of making content, but everyone wants to see their work appreciated. Especially when it takes a lot of time and effort to create content the maker is proud of. We wanna feel like we’re not just entertaining/educating ourselves, because what would be the point? If you have very few listeners or followers, it can feel like you’re not accomplishing what you set out to do. It can be hard to remember that it won’t always be that way–it may take awhile, but hard work and persistence (eventually…theoretically?) begets an audience.
Since beginning this blog, I have felt all three of these at different moments and in varying degrees. The question is now, how to rise above and prevent blog fade?
I suggest a two-step process. (Can it really be that easy?)
The first step to preventing blog fade is admitting that it’s happening. The second step is to recall what you’re doing all of this for.
It may sound like I’m over-simplifying, and that’s probably true. But don’t think this two-step process will necessarily result in a resumption of podcasting or blogging for everybody. You may have found that your priority/goal has changed somewhere along the way and that means you should be investing your time elsewhere.
Don’t worry, this blog isn’t going anywhere any time soon. But in re-evaluating my motivations for this blog in the very beginning, I remembered that my main goal in blogging was to continue to build my writing skill and my own voice. Everything else that might come from blogging is just an added bonus.
If you’re a blogger, podcaster, or other type of creator, have you experienced fading? I’d love to hear all about it and what you’ve done to overcome. Let’s all help motivate each other!