Dan Misener of Pacific Content recently published some interesting statistics on podcasting.
- 12% of podcasts have only published a single episode
- 6% haven’t made it past two episodes
- Half of all podcasts have 14 or fewer episodes
How are you going to get good at podcasting and get clear on your message without actually podcasting?
And when you're not good at podcasting or don't have a clear message, you're going to be rejected a lot, either by being completely ignored or via bad reviews from people who gave you a shot.
Your early work always sucks. Nobody is a born podcaster. This is one of the reasons I recommend doing 30 podcasts in 30 days -- it helps you to get better as a host and it helps you to develop a clear message.
To do this, not only do you have to do the work of outlining, recording, and editing your podcast, you also have to face rejection.
Rejection Proof Your Podcast
Just to be clear, "rejection proof" doesn't mean your podcast will never be rejected or you'll never receive negative feedback. These things are part of podcasting and will always be there.
"Rejection proof" simply means you and your podcast won't be derailed from rejection, bad reviews, and other negative feedback.
The more time you spend working on something, the more you're likely to be confident about its value.
I've seen this a lot in my music business work. It happens when you're successful and also when you're rejected.
If you've ever wondered why young artists have trouble with success, this is part of it. When an artist has quick success, he may not feel he's deserving of it. There's a mismatch between his internal (negative) belief about the work that he does and the external things he's experiencing, such as money and fame.
The result in these cases is often self-destructive behavior from artists, such as drug use, drinking too much, or even suicide. It sometimes shows up writers block or internal resistance -- anything to stop the incongruence that comes from the artist's internal experience not matching his external one.
Time in the game, meaning the time you've actually put into the work you do, means you're more likely to feel that work is deserving of success. A byproduct of this is that related rejection is less likely to affect you in a negative way.
What Rejection Looks Like
This is what rejection looks like on the outside. It's a letter I received in 1996 after entering a song I'd written in a songwriting content.
At the time it stung, not only because my song didn't make the cut, but because the contest didn't feel it deserved a response that was more than a glorified form letter.
Today, it's funny to read. Are there really people who would forget to put a song on the tapes they submitted? Apparently.
This the second way time will help to rejection proof your podcast is that rejection, even rejection that stings when it presents itself, dissipates with time. By focusing your effort on what it takes to outline, record, edit, and publish podcast episodes, you'll notice that negative feelings surrounding any podcast-related rejection you receive will disappear even quicker.
My time in the game has also given me a more realistic view on what things like contests and other "magic bullets" mean for a career -- not much. There's never one thing that makes or breaks a creative career.
How The Numbers Work
Dan Misener put it best when he said, "Popular shows tend to have deep back catalogs."
And his research of 674,566 unique show listings backs this up:
- The top 100 most-played shows in Castbox have a median episode count of 203.5
- The top 1000 most-played shows in Castbox have a median episode count of 191.5
If you want to be successful "time in the game" matters. You'll not only have more clarity and skill to attract listeners to your podcast, you'll also feel deserving of this success when it comes.