Whether it’s due to time management, repetitive topics, or dissipating passion, creative burnout among podcasters can happen for a number of reasons. In fact, burnout can lead to podfading, where podcasts are published less and less frequently until uploads eventually stop. If you’re struggling with podcast burnout, here are some tips to help you recover and get back into the routine!
Choose a Niche that Interests You
Before anything else, make sure you’re creating podcasts for your enjoyment! Finding a podcast niche that you’re passionate about can help you build momentum over time to keep your podcast sustainable—making you less likely to burn out.
To find podcast topics in your niche, remember that they should drive audience interest and offer something new. Ask yourself: “What gap can my podcast fill? What new perspective can I bring to this topic?” Finding your niche can help you overcome burnout by making podcasting fun again, while also allowing your content to flourish!
Reflect on Your Podcast Goals
Burnout can sometimes be a result of getting bogged down in day-to-day tasks and losing sight of your larger purpose. Why did you initially start podcasting? Take time to remind yourself of your initial goals and identify what you currently want to get out of podcasting, then use those goals to inform your format, topics, workflow, and more.
To avoid podcast burnout in the first place, set aside time in your schedule to gauge what’s working and what’s not. This can be done during a creative break, during a hiatus, or when planning your content schedule. Podcasters can use this self-reflection time to journal about their feelings, improve processes, or develop new routines and sustainable habits that avoid stress and other causes of burnout.
Optimize Your Recording Schedule
Have a burst of creativity while recording a podcast episode? Use that inspiration to batch record material in advance. Then, release those pre-recorded shows when you’re feeling the symptoms of burnout and need a brief break from podcasting.
While working on your podcast, try to incorporate 20-minute creative breaks or transition time to step away from your regular routine. Take a short walk, daydream, meditate, freewrite, or do other activities that boost your creativity. You may also consider a longer break like going on a hiatus. Hiatuses can give you a chance to catch your breath and refine your podcast without losing all your listeners. If you want to take a podcast hiatus, make sure to clearly communicate your plans with your audience and leave them with a great last episode.
Create a Manageable Release Schedule
Sticking to a realistic and consistent release schedule can help you stay on track with your podcast while keeping yourself from feeling overwhelmed. You can publish your podcast as often as you like—daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or seasonally.
If you can’t commit to an ongoing show, aim to do a season of episodes or a set series. Regardless of your podcast publishing frequency, a consistent release schedule helps you manage expectations and set realistic goals for your podcast to engage listeners and avoid creative burnout.
Share Podcast Responsibilities
Podcast burnout can occur when you take on too much alone, so a great way to combat burnout is to build a podcast team. Consider working with a podcast cohost to alleviate the pressure of working alone, both in front of the mic and behind the scenes. Try outsourcing podcast tasks like booking guests, post-production work, or even topic planning, so you can focus on the parts of podcasting you enjoy the most.
You can also turn to your listeners for audience participation, episode ideas, and user-generated content submissions. Or lean on automation tools and content calendars to manage your workload. If you’re still feeling like you don’t have capacity, you may need to learn to say no to new projects when you have too much on your plate.
Try a New Format for Your Show
Your existing podcast format might be holding you back. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, one of the best ways to treat burnout is to try something new! A new podcast format might help you deal with burnout by challenging you and boosting your creativity. Just be sure to align your show’s format with the goals of your podcast.
For example, if you want to…
- Focus on building your personal brand, solo podcasting allows you to have more creative control.
- Establish credibility and authority in your industry, an interview podcast format lets guest experts share their knowledge of the topic.
- Create a deeper connection with your audience, a conversation format can help your listeners feel as though they’re included in a chat between friends.
Ideally, your new podcast format should also help manage the reasons for your burnout. While a conversation format might help if you’re struggling to prep scripts before shows, repurposed content might work best if you’re lacking creativity or new topic ideas.
Be Honest with Your Audience
Another way to treat burnout is to talk about it openly, sharing whatever level of detail you’re comfortable with. Not only is this a way for you to release some built-up pressure about your feelings and be transparent with your audience, but it also gives you a new podcast topic.
If you’re gearing up for a podcast hiatus, create a special episode that shares any upcoming details your audience might need before you go away. The most important thing is your return date—it doesn’t have to be specific if you’re unsure, but a general timeframe (such as spring, next year, or around Thanksgiving) will set clear expectations for your listeners and give them something to look forward to. It’ll also hold you accountable.
Find New Sources for Creative Inspiration
Burnout can sap your creative energy, so you may need to recharge by finding inspiration from other podcasts or creative outlets. Conduct brainstorm sessions with friends and teammates or jot down notes when ideas appear in day-to-day life. Read everything you can—internet forums, billboards, product labels—anything can generate an idea! You can even turn to your old work for inspiration. How can your successful work be repurposed? Or how could you make old content better?
You should also consider joining podcaster communities for support. Connecting with others in your field can give you a community to support you during times of creative burnout and help you find healthy coping strategies to keep your podcast on track.