It’s hard to believe a new year and a new decade are just around the corner. The start of a new year often has us focused on reinvention, on change, and on new beginnings. We cut our hair, clear out our wardrobes, and cover our walls with a new lick of paint as outwards expressions of this fresh start. As podcasters, we often want to do the same with our show. We aren’t looking to start a brand new podcast, but we want to make what we have fresh and new, which is not quite so easy as picking a new shade of color for our walls…or our hair for that matter! But fear not! With a few simple strategies, you can breathe new life into your show and put a new skip in your podcasting step.
So let’s dive right into a few strategies that you can apply to your podcast in the new year to give you a brand new(ish) podcast for 2020.
1. Change Up the Format
A quick and easy strategy to revamp your show is to change up your formant. If you’ve stuck to a fairly similar structure for each episode, chances are, you may be feeling like things have become a little too predictable, and maybe even a little bit stagnant. The start of 2020 could be a great time to change it up! You don’t need to completely overhaul your structure, particularly if certain segments are integral to the identity of your podcast. But you could look at adding new segments, putting fan-favorite segments or questions at a different place in the episode, or by exploring some of your usual segments from a new angle.
Another great way you could change up your format is by introducing new bonus episodes. These can be short “thought of the day” or “daily musings” episodes – episodes dedicated solely to answering listener questions or episodes where you record from a different location or while doing some sort of activity. On top of that, if it’s not something you’ve done before, invite guests to be featured on your show. This is a great way to bring some new perspective into the conversation and give your listeners fresh content to look forward to.
2. Change Your Podcast Intro and Outro
Sometimes, as podcasters, we can get a little too attached to our intro and outro. But guess what? That is the one thing that listeners tend to totally skip over, especially if it is the same old tune or intro message for each episode. So how about a brand new intro to revamp your podcast for the new year? Adding in some fresh, new intro music that still keeps the essence of your show is a great way to recapture your listener’s attention all over and again, right from the offset of your show. You could also record a new introduction, to add new interest and engage your listeners.
Another revamp option is to consider a new call to action. Generating honest listener reviews for your podcast should never end up on the back-burner, but the same call to action over and over again will most likely have your listeners hitting “skip”. Why not think of a new, catchy line to motivate your listeners to head over to their favorite podcast apps and leave a review? You could even add in a little contest or incentive as further motivation. If you are launching a new course or opening up a new online community, a call to action is a great way to give those some exposure. Get creative, and give your audience some new action steps to take!
Related read: 10 Key Elements of a Strong Podcast Intro
3. Repurpose Old Content
As your podcast grows, you are bound to gain new listeners along the way. This is a great opportunity to repurpose old content such as popular episodes that new listeners may not yet have had a chance to listen to. These episodes can either be released as bonus episodes, or you can simply turn them into a downloadable PDF with a clear outline and takeaways that listeners can implement today. You could also get creative with some of your best quotes or insights and turn them into attention-grabbing images that you can splash across your Instagram or Twitter feeds to add pops of color and pique renewed interest in your show.
Another great way to repurpose your content is to do a roundup episode or blog post to showcase some of your most popular episodes from the previous year. This is a great way to give your audience a recap of all the incredible guests you had on, and the most important lessons that you really want them to take into the new year.
4. Rearrange Your Recording Environment
We’ve covered rearranging your show’s format for a fresh feel, now let’s look at a personal refresh. If you’re needing new inspiration for content creation, don’t overlook a revamp of your physical environment. A new or improved space can help you feel refreshed and invigorated, and help spark your creativity for new content ideas. It doesn’t have to be a major revamp; you could start by simply changing up your recording space. Rearrange your furniture, add in some new visual elements, like new artwork or some plants, or just change up your view. Research shows that having a view of the outside or adding plants into your home or office space can boost your mood, and give you a renewed energy. Your listeners will be able to hear your enthusiasm and feed off of your rejuvenated tone, leaving them feeling great as well! It’s a win-win all-round!
Another option is to create a new recording routine. This could simply mean recording your podcast at different times of the day. Find out when in a day you feel most energized – and aim to schedule your recordings then. You might even consider trying out a new pre-recording routine. This can be a simple as going for a walk, spending a few minutes doing creative writing, or just winding down with one of your favorite podcasts for some new inspiration.
5. Increase Audience Engagement
There’s no better way to breathe some fresh life into your podcast than by getting your audience more engaged! An actively engaged audience is the life force of a podcast. Your show may be crammed full of amazing content, but it’s the audience that sustains a show. There’s a whole host of things you can do to increase your audience engagement for the new year. Often one of the most successful ways to accomplish this is by hosting a fun giveaway or contest. This draws your audience in, encouraging them to participate in something that everyone in your podcast community is passionate about. The prize can be anything you imagine, whether it’s something specific to your audience or just something fun and creative.
Another way to up audience engagement is to introduce a Q&A type format. This can be added as an additional segment in your podcast or it can be a whole new episode on its own. A Q&A session really allows your audience to engage with you on a personal level and can strengthen their connection to your show. There is so much scope for the imagination when it comes to Q&A sessions! They could be niche-focused, where listeners can ask specific “how-to” type questions, or they could be a lot more informal and fun, which opens up another opportunity – inviting an audience member to co-host! What better way to enhance audience engagement? This can be a great chance for a lucky listener – or a contest winner – to run the show with you or even share their own story. This could be a really fun and unique way to engage your listeners and increase your loyal fan base!
Related post: 11 Steps For Attracting New Podcast Listeners
6. Create a Community
When it comes to giving your podcast some new life, there’s nothing better than giving it life beyond the podcast. Doing this is simple; create a podcast community! More often than not, people simply want a place where they can connect with others who share a passion or a similar outlook on life. Providing a space where your listeners can come together not only helps to grow your podcast but also helps your audience find a place to belong. You can do this by launching a Facebook group for the podcast where listeners can share ideas, ask questions, and discuss episodes even further.
Another great way to build a community beyond the podcast is by doing live streaming events. This gives your listeners yet another way to stay connected to you and the podcast by tuning in to these “bonus” events. Live streaming can be done through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or even YouTube. Listeners can tune in and ask you questions right on the spot. Your relationship with your listeners will be greatly strengthened, you’ll really get to touch base with what’s important to your audience, and you’ll get some great immediate feedback on any questions you ask.
7. Try New Activities
Finally, what better way to refresh and evolve your podcast than hosting a live podcasting event! This may sound daunting – podcasting live, in front of an audience (eek!) – but it could also be a great new experience for you and your listeners. Not only will you and your audience get a chance to meet each other in person, but it’s a great way to stretch and develop your podcasting skills. Recording technology has come a long way to really make getting high-quality live audio a breeze, making these live recording events that much easier to pull off successfully.
In the same vein, another way to breathe new life into your show is through hosting a podcast meetup. Meetups can range from informal gatherings where you chat about the show and its topic, or you can even go as far as to organize a conference where your listeners can buy tickets to see you and your guests present on specialty topics and even do a workshop to boot! The options are really endless, and it is just up to you to get the ball rolling and make these exciting things happen for your podcast and your community.
Related read: Top Tips for Successful Live Podcasting and Hosting a Live Podcast Event
So there you have it! Some fairly simple but super effective ways to spruce up your podcast and breathe new life into your show for the new year. Give some of these strategies a go and you’re bound to get some great feedback from your loyal and new listeners. A few simple changes will go a long way to intensify and reignite your passion for what you do and invigorate you with new energy to face this new year and all that it has in store for you, your show, and the podcasting industry.