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The devil is in the numbers

So i am still here, still publishing, still excited and amazed by the people it allows me to meet and the life changing stories they are willing to share with me. Which brings me to a moment of reflection on how it all went and how it all started.


I launched my podcast, yeah! - insert mini dance here- but the thing is: if no one is listening, then what's the point. right? In all honesty i have had a few moments like this.


At first i was excited by this new adventure. the adventure itself. I am pretty good with planning things - some people at work jokingly called me " the organiser"- . So once i had decided to do this, i set everything i thought a podcast needs very fast. When i say very fast, i mean it. I was ready to go in ONE WEEK!


Decided the name.

Finalised my objectives.

Secured social accounts.

Created my website.

Researched and subscribed to a hosting platform.

Arranged tools and softwares to record my episodes.

Lined up my initial guests.

Created the first month full content plan.


I probably forget some things but you get the point. I was going for it. There was no doubt about it. My mind was set. Everybody get out of my way. - lol-.


Getting to launch day was nerve wrecking.


And then... the devil showed up: i started becoming completely obsessed with the numbers.

Every morning, i woke up and checked the numbers: 2 people listened overnight, 3 people subscribed, 1 more person follow me on social ...yeah! Every morning, every lunchtime and every evening i was checking.... always expecting the numbers to keep growing, always expecting some activity, desperately waiting for some reassurance that what i am doing has value, has a place in the world. Step by step, and without noticing my growing addiction, it consumed my soul. It affected my confidence. The negative thoughts started taking over.




For those who know me, you know that at work i like to measure the impact of what i spend time doing. It's how i know what i spend my time on makes sense and actually adds value. Otherwise, let's be clear, i will spend my time and energy on doing something else. Good luck trying to convince me otherwise.


So it is no surprise that as soon as the first milestone was done - the launch of the first episode-, i started looking at the numbers. But the funny thing is that i was looking at them but had no specific idea of what i was looking for. Whats the magic number? what s the download number that i aspire to? what is realistic in the podcasting world? What are the best and worst numbers for a newly launched podcast? What do these numbers tell you?


So many questions came to mind so i did what i do best, and i researched. Looked for some answer on the World Wide Web.


To my horror, the answers were utterly unsatisfying to me: It depends. It takes time.


Also, there is no norm. There is no one number you can evaluate your success against. The world of podcasts, like much of any content created actually, is too varied to clearly get a sense at such an early stage. It depends on your category, how many episodes, if its with guests or a monologue, the topic makes a big difference, who your audience is and their podcast habits.... All the stuff that i completely forgot to look into and understand before i started. My ambition was in the driving seat and my brain was in the trunk of the car. Some would tell me it was passion though... lol. But i should have known better. After all, i do better at work...so why did it go this way?


Because i just started.


But you know what? I regret nothing. I hope to have the time and the energy to continue. let me know if you have any tips on how to keep the fire on long term! ;-)

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