I appeared on an episode of the In and Around Podcasting show called, Why Do Podcasters Quit by Episode 5? and I wanted to deep dive into this discussion a bit more, and also spotlight some things that people are tripping over. Podcasting can be so much work while also being the best thing in your life.

Unrealistic Expectations

So many people measure their success in days, maybe weeks, and occasionally months. You should plan on your success taking years if you truly want to do this full-time (and for the record, you can also just do it for fun).

Write Down Ten Ideas For Episodes

So many times, we get excited about starting a podcast without thinking it through. It's great to have that passion, but you do need to mix in some logic to avoid making the common podcasting mistakes. One way to involve your logical side is to write down ten ideas for episodes.If you can't come up with ten, it doesn't mean you shouldn't have a podcast. It means you may want to slow down and brainstorm a bit. If you feel extremely ambitious, go for twenty ideas. These are not scripts, just ideas.

It Is A Slow Growth – Here is Where Some of the Giants Started

Here is the progress that was achieved by three large YouTubers when they published their 100th episode:

MKBHD shipped 100 videos to get 74 subs.

MrBeast shipped 100 videos to get 760 subs.

PewDiePie shipped 100 videos to get 2500 subs.

How Many Downloads I Got After Two Non-Promoted Episodes

I started a new podcast to help me measure and remember what it's like to have a brand-new show.

Your Podcast Website Stats








Do The Math to Measure

So, I have 26 downloads for one episode. If I grow my show by 5% in one week, that would be 27.3 downloads (26 X.05 = 1.3) shows looking at the Captivate feed. If we make it easy math and say I got 100 downloads for the month, a 5% growth is 105 downloads next month. If you're wondering why I chose 5%, podcasting listening goes up 3-5% yearly. See Edison Research.

The bottom line is that you want to see the numbers increase with each episode. You want to pick a consistent time frame. For example, how many downloads did you get per episode after 30 days? It doesn't matter what the timeframe is as long as it is consistent so you can measure growth.

To grow your show faster, it has to be WOW content (a phrase used by Michael Hyatt in his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World).

If you want your show to grow, quit obsessing over stats and start obsessing over your audience. When you give them information that solves their problems, they are more likely to share your show. If you want to calculate your grow here is a Percentage Growth Calculator

Remember, There is More Than Downloads When it Comes to Measuring Podcast Success

Average Consumption RateAverage Consumption Rate

Average Consumption From Apple


Yes, we often measure “if our content is working” based on downloads, but a much better resource is your average completion rate along with follower numbers people don't follow shows that are “meh”).

What is a good consumption rate? That is you to decide. I'm a teacher so for me above average is anything above 80%. I prefer 90% and above.

You can also judge success by growing your network. When I do an interview on another show, I want to bring value to their audience. I also want to plant the seed that if someone asks the hosts if they know a “Podcast Guy” they go, “I've got the person for you!- Dave Jackson.”

I judge the success of this show by the number of people who join the School of Podcasting and the growth of my network.

Some people judge their success on their content. They podcast to practice assembling their ideas and presenting them in a way to engage their audience.

Some people do podcasting for fun.

Most people miss the invisible features of the transformation from idea to finished podcast. You will learn new skills and sharpen many of the skills you already have. The benefit isn't the podcast episodes. It's the journey you went through to make the podcast.

Don't Try to Be Mr. Beast

There is already a Mr. Beast, and being Mr. Beast comes naturally to him. He OBSESSED about YouTube after doing it for seven years. He and three friends would spend 10+ hours a day for 1000 days (that is 2.7 years straight), almost going frame by frame looking at thumbnails, titles, lighting, and more. Mr. Beast on Joe Rogan

Money For Nothing

So many people talk into a microphone, and money falls from the sky. Keep in mind that it took Amazon (now one of the biggest retailers) took NINE YEARS to make a profit. If you want to monetize your show, check out my book Profit From Your Podcast: Turn Your Listeners Into a Livelihood.

That doesn't mean it will take nine years to monetize your show (in my travels three years is when things start to really move), but you do need an audience to monetize (and that can take some time).

It's Getting Too Hot In Your Triggering Kitchen

Tim Pool shared how he had three videos removed by YouTube after they had been on his channel for THREE YEARS. It does sound crazy and unpredictable (see video). Tim does a good job rallying the troops, throwing in some fear of having to lay off people, and a lovely passive-aggressive mention of his membership. Having “an enemy” is nothing new in entertainment. Rush Limbaugh raged against the demographic party. Howard Stren raged against competitor John Debella in New York (and staged a funeral when he beat him in the ratings). When they receive pushback, they trigger their community to rise and help push back against their rivals.

Now, I'm not a fan of people having their content removed (it's something I call censorship), but you need to keep in mind that when you decide to do a show where you mention:

  • Religion
  • Abortion
  • Pronouns
  • Sexuality
  • Politics

You are going to get some flack from people who REALLY disagree with your viewpoint. This is especially true with political shows. You start off with 50% of the potential audience disliking your content. With this in mind don't be surprised if you get removed from platform, have advertisements rejected, and people refuse to network with you. Those topics are “hot potatoes” and come with some extra baggage.

Yes, there is freedom of speech. However, that does not mean freedom from consequences.

I'm not saying you shouldn't discuss these topics. In the same way, if you walked on a frozen lake and I said, “Careful, that is thin ice,” I want you informed. After all, if you fall through the ice, you don't get anywhere blaming “the enemy” and blaming the world. Move on to a different pond.


Why Do Podcasters Quit by Episode 5?

Mr. Beast on Joe Rogan

Tim IRL Has Three Videos Deleted From YouTube

Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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