Podcasting 996 — Path To Success Or Early Burnout?

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Many podcasters sacrifice the majority of their free time so they can podcast. Some of them seem to love that, while others wonder if they’re missing out on what life has to offer. Which are you?

You may have seen the news from China on the growing pushback against the “996” way of doing business. 996 is a shorthand reference to the assumption-and in many cases, downright compulsion-that workers bust their hump and work from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM six days a week.

No one is likely to confuse me with an expert on foreign affairs, but after reading that article, I was struck by how similar that sounded to the way many podcasters approach podcasting.

A quick disclaimer to save you the trouble of typing out a nasty email to me: I am not trying to make a political statement with this episode. Nor am I trying to somehow conflate the hellish conditions exploited workers around the globe face every day with the “job” of podcasting. Take a breath, and read on.

Today’s episode is brought to you by My Podcast Reviews-because you need to know what your audience is saying about your podcast! With My Podcast Reviews, you’ll be notified anytime anyone anywhere in the world leaves a review for your podcast on Apple, Stitcher, Podchaser, or Castbox. Even though podcast ratings and reviews don’t affect your podcast’s ranking, podcast reviews are still extremely powerful ways to know, engage, and even grow your podcast’s audience! So make it easy for your audience to follow, rate, and review your podcast with a free three-week trial of My Podcast Reviews when you sign up at MyPodcastReviews.com/pp.

The Tyranny Of The Podcasters’ Clock

Many podcasters do work incredibly long hours. Those hours are often made even longer for many podcasters with day jobs who podcast on the side. Day jobs that not only pay their bills but also afford them the discretionary income and the opportunity to podcast.

Even full-time podcasters or those of us who work full-time in podcasting often find ourselves facing long hours. Yesterday, I started working at 6:00 AM and finally called it quits at 9:00 PM. That’s a lot of hours.

And while that’s unusual for me, it may not be all that unusual for you. I know many working podcasters who proudly proclaim podcasting as their “second shift.” For them, 996 is just getting started. They seem to thrive on something more akin to 8–12–7. And judging by some of the Twitter responses I get when I know it’s the wee hours of the morning for the sender, some of you are on the 10–3–7 kick. For many, that’s their choice.

Make The Right Choice For You And For Your Podcast

Many of us are fortunate enough to have a lot of choices in our lives. However, everyone’s circumstances are just that: their own individual circumstances. I don’t presume to know your individual circumstances, so I can’t tell you how you should or should not spend your time, even on your podcast.

The entire purpose of this missive at the end of what has been a long week for me is to say that if you have a choice, and if you feel like you need to make a choice, it’s okay to bug out early on your podcast from time to time. It’s OK to take a day off from your podcast when you need it. Heck, it’s OK to take the long weekend to do whatever you want. And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to go on vacation and just relax for a week or more.

If you want to take a break, and if you can take a break, it’s OK to take a break. Podcasting will still be here when you get back. I’d much rather have you in podcasting for the long run than see you burn out too quickly, as far too many would-be podcasters do. Do what’s right for you.

Boostagram Corner

Fellow long-time podcaster Paul Culligan from The Podcast Partnership slogged through the agony of funding his Podfriend wallet and boosted 500 sats my way with the short note of just simply:


Thank you very much, Paul. I will enjoy. Now go spread the love to other podcasters!

I also want to thank Andrew Clews of The Motoring Podcast for becoming a supporting member! Andrew used BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra to set up a recurring coffee contribution each and every month. I’ve added his show’s link logo to the Supporter section of the website for Podcast Pontificaton and included your name and links in the supporter section of the newsletter.

Speaking of the newsletter, PPIYI- Podcast Pontifications In Your Inbox-is about to hit 400 subscribers. Hooray for round numbers! If you’ve not yet signed up for the newsletter… why not? It’s a free service that sends the fully rewritten article-this very text you’re reading right now-directly to your inbox in an easy-to-read format. Even if you listen to the audio in a podcast listening app, having the emailed article is a nice archive for you to have locally. And it’s a good reminder to spread the word when you hear me say something that strikes a chord with you. Go to PodcastPontifications.com and click the big subscribe button and enter in your email.

We’re coming up on a holiday weekend in America, so there will be no episode of Podcast Pontifications published on Monday of next week. Tuesday is questionable, as I’m traveling that day back to Phoenix. I’ve a plan to get something ready ahead of time… but after reflecting on the purpose of today’s missive, I’m not so sure I’ll do that.

What I do know is that I shall be back next week with yet another Podcast Pontifications.


Podcast Pontifictions is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Links to everything mentioned in today’s episode are in the notes section of your podcast listening app. A written-to-be-read article based on today’s episode is available at PodcastPontifications.com, where you’ll also find a video version and a corrected transcript, both created by Allie Press. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media. Find out more at Simpler.Media.

Originally published at https://podcastpontifications.com.



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