Re-Running Podcasts – Revitalize old Episodes by Going on Vacation.

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty

Hi, it’s Mignon Fogarty. I’m on vacation this week so I hope you enjoy this re-rerun of a podcast that originally ran in January of 2009…

This is the first line in Mignon Fogarty’s podcast: Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tricks for Better Writing a couple weeks ago. She then went on with the podcast while relaxing at the Panama Canal.

We all need a vacation from things – especially our podcasts. But we also know that if you don’t run a consistant show the audience might just leave. So what do you do? Re-run a show!

Re-Run an older podcast – Update an Episode

This is the best way to continue the content while you relax on a beach, go see the sights or – in Mignon’s case – float down a canal. It instantly gives you content without much work. All you have to do is pick the show you want to promote again, then get it ready for a re-release.

You can also update the show. I always remember the TV show Unsolved Mysteries when it comes to updating. Host Robert Stack would be explaining the perp in the segment, then you would hear “UPDATE” followed by new information or a capture of the criminal.

There are a few episodes I can think of putting an update to it. In my iPad365 show (when the iPad app updates) there may be new features that have been added. If a camera app gets geotagging, if a game gets new levels or new features or if the app gets rebuilt from the ground up – all great reasons to redo an episode.

Mignon Fogarty Panama Canal

Mignon Fogarty at the Panama Canal

Keep Your RAW Audio or Video

Whereas my weekly podcast I don’t keep the RAW file (which can be a few GB in size), my iPad365 show RAW video files are all kept and backed up. Since this show is what’s considered Evergreen content (content that stays relevant for a long time) I could run episodes at any time and it still get the same reaction to it.

Make a High Definition Version of your Video

When I mix my videos I make a 1080p version (8,000 kbps) , then mix-down to 720p – 2,500 kbps and upload to my server for the RSS feed. If I don’t want to keep the RAW version or have a lot of re-mixing to do, I have the 1080p version to use for re-mixing. The 1080p version usually is about 600 MB in size whereas the 720p 2,500 kbps version comes in at about 100 MB. This makes for faster download to a Roku or Samsung device. It also helps on my wallet when Amazon comes knocking.

Re-mix Several Episodes to Make One

You can also take 2-3 episodes and condense them into one episode. Maybe you rambled on too much on a certain episode. Maybe there is information in that old episode that is not relevant anymore. This is your opportunity to fix and give it another chance. If that episode got a couple hundred views before, it might get another couple hundred views.

Mignon Fogarty Going Through Panama Canal

Mignon Fogarty Going Through Panama Canal

Top 5 List Re-run

Find 5 shows you want to highlight. Grab snippets of those shows, then record passthrough vignettes where you explain the clip. Mix in the previously recorded content and get it ready for publish.

Here’s a Tip: Remember to link back to the original episodes. This adds Google juice with backlinks. There is also something about a “Top 5” show that brings audience. If you are a blogger you know all about traffic boosts with top number lists.

Half a show and a Re-Run

It’s also possible to condense your show, then add clip(s) from previous episodes to supplement  That way you are still giving people new content and previous shows. Once again, link to the old episode to give people a path to what they are watching.

YouTube Editor

Make a compilation of old shows using the YouTube editor

This might help your YouTube numbers. YouTube has an editor feature where you can take clips from previous episodes to make a new video. It looks like it saves your project as you go so you could work on this over time. When done you have a great compilation of video clips people can watch.

Should I Tell People it’s a Re-Run?

Good question: It’s a good idea to let people know it’s a re-run and the reason why. In the mention above, Mignon states this episode is a re-run because she is on vacation. I still listened to the episode but did it knowing I might have heard it already.

Another example of not saying it’s a re-run is my Day in Tech History podcast. After the first 365 days it’s all technically a re-run. I re-mix and add content – sometimes re-recording the show due to quality issues or additional facts I uncover. I suppose I could say “First recorded on…” but that adds to the intro length.

Frequency of a Re-Run

It’s probably best not to re-run too much. If you do 2-3 shows a week, a couple re-runs every 4-6 months might be acceptable. On YouTube they suggest you put a tag at the end of a new video to an old video. Using annotation tool you can then point a link to that episode.

Should I Delete the Old Episode?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If it’s an exact duplicate of the first time you ran it, you might want to delete the original. If you modify it or do a condensed version, I would keep the original and point back to it.

The most important thing is what you write about in the description. If you are planning to keep the old episode available to the public, then make sure the new version has a completely different description AND title. If your old title was “I Interview President Obama,” change the title to “President Barak Obama: A Personal Interview.”

Re-Run of Expirable Content

It is possible to take a show that has Expire-able content and turn it into a re-run show. You would need to host and explain what is going on in the clips. It might be a funny moment in the show or even a pivotal point. A good look back of where you were to where you are now not only can give audience insight, but might also help you focus on where your show is going.

Heres a Tip:  Promote that you are back in the next episode. Thank everyone for suffering through the repeat. If you received any feedback from the re-run, thank those who replied and maybe even quote an email you got.

I am back from vacation. Thanks to all who listened last week. I got a lot of great feedback on that episode. Tim wrote me saying “Thanks for re-posting. I missed that episode the first time around”. 

So with that, go take a vacation! Put together a nice break where you don’t have to worry about this week’s episode. When you get back you can be invigorated to start doing the show again. Your show has a continued regular run which means no loss of audience.

Personal note: Thanks to Mignon for letting me use her (and her vacation pictures) as examples.

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  • Mignon Fogarty

    Hey, great article, Jeff! Glad my vacation could be an inspiration.

    A funny bit of inside information is that I actually had to rerecord the show to run it as a “rerun” because I couldn’t find the original audio file. I nodded heartily at your “Save Your Raw Audio and Video” section. Still, using the existing script saved me the time of having to write a new episode.

    I struggle with the idea of when to replace a file. Since I’ve done 300+ show and there’s only so much to say about grammar, in the last year or so, I’ve taken to updating old episodes every 4 to 6 weeks. I look in the comments section and see if there’s something that was confusing that I can clarify or if there are new questions on the topic I can work in to make the show better. Also, if an old show had a news hook, I’ll rewrite it with a different, more current news hook. How much I’ve rewritten the show will influence whether I replace the old one or post the rewrite as a new show.

    • I know. I’ve gotten podcasters block before. You just have to keep the eyes and ears open for ideas.