Missed An Episode Of Your Podcast? Uploaded A Bad One?
Which is worse?
There are so many things that can go wrong when you’re trying to get an episode of your podcast together.
Life gets in the way.
You could have a family emergency or an illness. You could have house trouble, maybe the toilets back up.
Maybe recording your episode goes bananas. Your guest cancels at the last minute, or goes on a weird tangent during an interview and you can’t get them to stop.
Maybe you listen back and notice bad distortion, or construction noise going on outside that you didn’t notice at the time.
All of this could lead to a bad episode, or missing one altogether. Neither one is great.
So what could happen?
I’ll start with missing an episode.
If you’ve been doing a podcast consistently, and have trained your audience to expect an episode at a certain day and time, they could become confused. They may wonder what happened. If they’re fans, they may listen to something else that day, but they’ll keep checking to see if you put another show up. If you have a social media or online presence (and you should), they may reach out to you. It’s probably a good idea to share online that another episode will be coming soon.
If your podcast is relatively new, this could be a bit more difficult. Since you have little history, people may wonder if you’re coming back. They may search out another show and may not come back.
A major problem that can occur if you miss an episode is that it may break your consistency.
You may get out of your flow, and may start missing more and more episodes, leading to pod fade. It’s like having a cheat day when you’re on a diet. It can become a habit.
Is missing an episode a time problem?
You didn’t allow time for preparation, or couldn’t figure out when to get everyone together. Obviously a hard look at your schedule is needed here. If you can’t commit to the time needed, that’s an answer all on its own.
What if you record a bad episode?
If the issue is sound quality, there may not be much you can do. Distortion is impossible to fix. Issues like bad mic levels and outside noise could make the recording impossible to listen to.
I don’t recommend posting this just to have something out there. If someone is a new listener, you’re setting a bad expectation. Either they’ll think all your episodes are like this, or they’ll think you don’t care about what you put out there. Either way, kiss of death.
Maybe your problem is content.
Everyone rambled for an hour, but when you listened back, you noticed a lack of anything interesting. Or you went way off topic and never came back.
Maybe a guest turned out to be super annoying. Or wouldn’t talk about what you agreed to.
What can you do?
It’s better to get a short episode posted than none at all. If you and your co-hosts (if any) have a little spare time, try recording a new, short conversation. Even if it’s not as long as your usual episodes, it will give you a chance to explain. You may even have a better conversation about the topic. Since you know you need to keep it short, everyone will be more concise, and you’ll even get a chance to say something you wished you had said last time.
If you don’t have the time to get back together, missing a show may be your only option. Do your best to get back on track.
If it’s a bad guest, can you at least edit it down to be a short but interesting blurb?
Now this advice doesn’t help in the moment, but maybe save some conversations for a rainy day. Say you record an episode and there’s a chunk you can’t use because it’s off topic. Set that audio aside, and bring it out when you need to post something quickly in the future.
Maybe your problem is coming up with show ideas.
Maybe it’s time to get everyone together and brainstorm more topics. Set a time, then don’t stop until you’ve reached at least 25 ideas. If everyone is having trouble, maybe the podcast has run its course and it’s time to regroup in a different direction.
Bottom line, have some perspective.
If missing an episode or posting something that is less than your potential is the worst thing that happens to you today, you’re going to be fine. You just want to avoid making it a habit. Make adjustments to limit this from happening, and keep doing your best.