From Doubt to Determination: Pushing Through the Podcasting Dip

What really makes someone a successful podcaster? Is it a certain number of episodes, downloads, or reviews? Is it whether content creation has become their full-time job? Or could it be because they’ve been recognised with a prestigious award?

In truth, we can gauge success in many ways, but ultimately, there’s no certificate and a great degree of subjectivity. One thing we can all agree on, though, is that the best way to get to a position where you or your audience consider your podcast a success is to create quality content, consistently, over a prolonged period of time.

If there’s one single answer to the “How do I make podcasting work for me?” question, that’s it. It’s an answer that sounds way too simple and obvious. And yet, actually doing it is much harder than choosing the right mic, the best software, and getting listed in all the major listening platforms.

Starting a podcast is relatively easy. Riding the wave of early enthusiasm to publish your first couple of episodes is easy, too. But to keep doing it for upwards of 300 episodes, or for over ten years? That takes something extra.

In this season of Podcraft, we’re speaking to some of the best indie podcasters in the game. We want to really dig into how they’ve kept on going, the ways they’ve navigated each challenge or roadblock, and the many lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Listening to this series won’t automatically pop a few hundred episodes in your own back catalogue, but it’ll certainly arm you with enough knowledge and motivation to get there under your own steam.

In our opening episode, our Indiepod Legends share their insights into why they started out in the first place, and in many cases, it’s because they made the podcast they wanted to listen to.

We’re also going to talk about the thing that defeats many fledgling podcasters—quitting. You’ll learn that many of our panel members have either wrestled with thoughts of giving up or taken long breaks to regroup and get back on track. Consistency over several years or hundreds of episodes isn’t a straightforward, linear journey. If you do it for long enough, you’ll hit many snags. But, as you’ll learn in this episode, your podcast doesn’t need to fall at the very first hurdle.

Transcription: From Doubt to Determination

Meet Our Indiepod Legends

“I just thought, you know what? I can’t find this podcast. But I still think it would be a really good thing for people to have. So I’m going to start it myself.”

Vicki – Bring Your Product Idea to Life

“I thought of a way that I could still convey my passion for travel in Scotland without actually having to travel, and also provide something that would be useful for people, even if they’re not travelling.”

Kathi – Wild for Scotland

“The goal of the show is for me to creatively express myself. A byproduct of that just so happens to be that I can bring other people along with the content that I am interested in.”

dCarrie – Travel N Sh!t

“The world’s a big place. Eight billion people is a lot of people. More than likely, you’re not the only one feeling a thing or thinking a certain thing. There’s a lot of other people out there that probably have the same opinion or idea or need or want.”

Gabe – Board Game Design Lab

“I had just gotten into podcasts and podcasting and was like, what is this? This is so cool. And so when Samra was talking to me about the book club, and I initially asked her, what if we made a podcast out of it? I don’t think I knew what we were doing then, what it would turn into and what it is now. To see the evolution in front of our eyes over the past five years, it’s really crazy.”

Alana – She Well Read

“I’m only the third person in the world who’s read some of this stuff… introducing people to material that’s never seen the light of day.”

Paul – Fighting Through

“I started interviewing bartenders, how they got where they did, and how someone went from working in the back bar or working in a kitchen to becoming a really famous bartender, where they’re winning awards. That journey really interested me, so I just thought, I’m interested in it, someone else might be interested in it. So let’s just go crazy.”

Susan – Lush Life

“And it was more like, how do I create these stories that are so impactful? I always go back to the driveway moment where you get into your driveway and you can’t wait for the episode to end.”

Daren – The One Percent Better Runner

“A lot of my potential clients would go back and listen to podcast episodes before hiring me for social media. So, I started talking about my strategies and my skills and interviewing other people in the space. It really just started off as a curious way to create content outside of YouTube. And then I completely put all of my energy into my podcast. Now, it’s just my favourite medium.”

Andrea – The Savvy Social Podcast

“Yes, we weren’t the first Eurovision podcast, but we were probably the first Eurovision podcast that reached out to do feature-length interviews with previous artists and contestants. We were the first ones that kind of dove a bit deeper into kind of the journalism and the news side of things as well. And we’ve evolved the podcast more into that direction as we’ve gone on.”

Rob – The Euro Trip

“I remember getting a rejection and being absolutely sure that not only did they reject my story, but they put my story up on the wall as a guide of what not to buy and never to buy from this author. And even though feeling all of that, I knew it wasn’t reality. I didn’t set out to chronicle my rising career because I didn’t know I would have one, but I just wanted to let people know… look, it sucks. I’m experiencing it too. It’s okay.”

Mur – I Should Be Writing

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