There will come a time in your podcasting journey where you need to take a step back and assess the situation. This could be because you’ve lost a little of your podcast passion, your content is feeling a little stale, or you don’t seem to be racking up the download numbers you once did. These are just some of the signs indicating that your podcast might need a little refresh. Knowing what to look out for can help you take the necessary action sooner, rather than later.
Today, we’re sharing 10 signs we think you should look out for which could indicate that your podcast needs a little extra TLC.
1. You Feel Like You’re In A Rut
First sign of your podcast needing a refresh is if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You’re just doing the same thing episode in, episode out, you’re following the same routine, which is not necessarily bad, but you just feel like you’re in a rut. You haven’t quite hit boredom yet (we’ll address that later on!) but you’re also not exactly excited or invigorated by your show anymore. This is a major sign that your show needs a refresh in some shape or form. Maybe you just need to change up the format, or try a brand new episode idea. It could even be as simple as recording from a new space, or finding a new cafe to write your content. A small change can make a big difference in helping you get out of your rut and feeling excited about your show once again.
Related read: 6 Ways to Come Up with New Podcast Episode Ideas
2. Your Artwork Needs an Update
Take a look at your artwork. When was the last time it had a fresh lick of digital paint? Now we’re not saying that you need to totally rework your podcast artwork, as your artwork is what listeners use to identify your show after all, but a little sprucing up can go a long way in giving your show a nice little refresh. If your show runs in seasons, you might even consider updating your artwork for each new series. Again, you don’t have to completely change what works for you and your show, but a small change each season could keep your show feeling fresh and exciting. Remember, your artwork is often the first thing people notice about your show, so it is certainly worth your while to reevaluate it from time to time. You want make sure it is always attractive and enticing to listeners, and you also want it to tell people a little something about your great show. If it is currently not checking these boxes, it’s time for a refresh!
3. Your Niche Has Changed
Sign Number 3 that your podcast may need a refresh is if there has been a change-up with regards to your niche. Remember, all the elements that make up your podcast should reflect your chosen niche. And that might have been the case when you first started your podcast, but along the way, you may have made slight changes to your topic, and you need to make sure that all elements of your podcast reflect this. One area that is often overlooked is your podcast bio. You may still be using the same bio you wrote on Day 1, but does it still describe your show correctly? Does it accurately depict your niche? Does it tell potential listeners what they can expect from your current format? If the answer is no, then your podcast needs a refresh!
4. You’re Bored
If you’re getting bored with your podcast, this should be a bright, red, flashing warning sign that your show needs a serious refresh. Pronto! Think about it. If you’re bored, are you going to be giving your show your best? My guess is no! So if you are feeling bored with your podcast, it’s time to do something to fix that. Maybe it’s the format that needs to change, or maybe you need to do something that challenges your skills in new ways. Either way, you’ve got to come up with some new ideas to breathe some excitement back into podcasting. A great place to start is a good ol’ fashioned brainstorming session. Set aside some time in your schedule, brew your favorite beverage, and allow your creative juices to flow. Don’t think too much about what you’re writing, sometimes the best ideas come from the ones that seem crazy at first! Narrow down your options, and then put Operation “Banish the Podcasting Boredom” into action!
Related read: How To Improve Your Podcast Creative Writing Skills
5. Your Audience is Bored
Knowing if your audience is getting a little bored with your show may be a little more difficult to identify than your own boredom, but it is a definite sign that your podcast needs a refresh! You may have a wonderfully loyal audience, but even your most loyal of fans will find it difficult to stick around if they find your episodes lacklustre! But how do you know if your audience is getting bored? Well, if you’re bored, chances are they are too! But there are other signs you could look out for. Keep an eye on your ratings and review sections on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or other podcast-focused sites such as Podchaser or GoodPods. If you start noticing your ratings slipping, or you start getting some less-than-stellar reviews, that is a great sign (although negative reviews or ratings are, in themselves, not great!) that your audience is not getting the quality episodes that they want from you. And while seeing these negative reviews and ratings can be hard, they do give you the opportunity to give your podcast the much needed refresh.
Related read: 7 Strategies for Dealing with Negative Podcast Reviews
6. Your Download Numbers Have Stagnated
Another clear sign that your podcast may need a refresh is a stagnation in your download numbers. If you’re using your social media platforms, or other marketing options, to promote your podcast, you should be seeing a steady climb in your download numbers, but if they start plateauing, or worse, they start dwindling, you need to take a step back and reassess the situation. And while download numbers are certainly not the be-all-and-end-all, they do serve as one of the ways you can gauge how your podcast is doing. If your download numbers do start heading downhill, or if they remain stationary for an extended period of time, it’s time to take some measures to spruce up your show.
7. Your Audience Is Not Growing
In the same vein as your download numbers stagnating, your audience not growing is another sign your podcast is in need of a little TLC. If you’re doing all the promoting you can do – you’re sharing audiograms on Instagram, you’re tweeting snippets from your show, and you’re even posting fun TikToks – and your base of loyal listeners isn’t growing, then you might need to do a little re-evaluating and then a little tinkering. It may be that your target audience and your niche are just a little misaligned, or there’s just a small tweak you need to make to your show’s format in order for it reach your intended audience. Make these necessary changes, and you’ll once again be able to build your podcast community and grow your base of loyal listeners.
Related read: How To Build A Strong Podcast Community
8. Your Podcast Doesn’t Reflect Your Brand
You may need to refresh your podcast if it no longer reflects your brand. Over time, as new opportunities become available, and as you grow in authority within your niche, you may find that your brand evolves from what it was at the beginning of your podcasting journey. And if your podcast has not evolved along with your brand, it may be time for a podcast refresh. Get a game plan ready for just how you’re going to “rebrand” your podcast – whether that’s a few tweaks, or if you need to consider doing a full 180 change-up – just remember to fill your audience in on your plans! Without proper communication, there may be a lot of confusion, which may lead to subscriber numbers dropping. But if they know what to expect, they will more likely to follow you wherever you’re heading on your grand podcasting adventure.
9. Nothing Has Changed
So in general, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” However, sometimes, if nothing has changed in a while, that in itself is a sign that something needs to change! (I know, what a paradox, right?) Whether it’s adding a little spice to your usual intro, a change-up in your standard segments, or just revamping your music, a small change that freshens up your podcast can surprise your listeners with a little something new and it will remind them once again just how great your show is! Periodic revamps, or little tweaks every now and then can really help keep your show feeling fresh and exciting, which can only mean good things for you, your podcast, as well as your audience.
10. You’re Not Getting Any Feedback
Whether it’s in comments on your social media posts, or ratings and reviews on Podchaser, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts, if you’re not getting anything anywhere, it’s a really good sign that your podcast needs a refresh! A healthy podcast with a strong core audience will usually get frequent interaction from their loyal listeners. If this is not happening for your show, or if you’re noticing a decline in this sort of interaction, your show may need a little sprucing up. Maybe you need to invite some guests your audience will love onto your show, or perhaps you need to look at adding a unique new segment. You could even consider reaching out to your loyal listeners to get some firsthand information about how you can get your show back on track. And once your podcast emerges from its refreshing, you should find that you’re getting regular, positive feedback in favor of your podcast.
Everything in life needs a little pruning or sprucing every now and then in order to stay healthy and, most importantly, to grow. And your podcast is no different. From time to time, it’s a really good idea to take a step back and take an in-depth look at all the parts that make up your show. It may then become apparent that your podcast needs a little refreshing. Maybe it’s your artwork or intro music. Maybe you need a new segment or more guests. Whatever it is, hitting “refresh” on your podcast could be just what you need to do to take your show to the next level. These 10 signs will help clue you in as to whether or not your show needs a little TLC, but remember, you have another handy resource at your disposal…your audience! There is a special bond that forms between a podcast host and their loyal listeners, and in most cases, they want your show to succeed just as much as you do! So from time to time, check in with them and ask them for some honest feedback. Together, you’ll keep pushing your podcast to be the best that it can be.