Starting a podcast is no small feat. There’s equipment, episode topics, artwork, show notes, and on top of that there is growing an audience. However, there definitely is a way to succeed. Countless of podcast hosts have found success doing what they love and sharing their unique message with their trusted listeners. It all comes down to creating valuable content that draws others in, helping them solve their problems, and not be afraid to do the work that’s need to get it up and running week after week. After all, consistency is key!
So how can you ensure that you do not become one of those one-hit-wonders, left in the dust while others go on to success? Let’s explore the 7 reasons why most podcasters give up, and how you can put plans in place to help keep you on the right track.
1. Don’t manage expectations
Podcasting isn’t new, but the hype around it somewhat is. Because of the influx of new shows, it adds a level of competition to fight your way through a lot of listings to garner a steady audience. Because every second person has launched a “How to podcast” segment either on their show, blog, or newsletter, people have been pushing the boundaries on customer/client expectations. With such a crowded podcast marketplace, it is important to set realistic and actionable goals so that you are not left disappointment or feeling like a failure. You have to be strategic, laying out a plan for consistency to help keep you on track with delivering content to your audience when promised. This way you can measure your progress and adjust ask you go forward and even adapt to your audience’ needs. Managing expectations is key to keep your motivation levels high and give you that boost you need to keep going.
2. Make Time Assumptions
Never forget, anything worth doing will take time to do well. The same goes for your new podcast. The initial time-commitment will be the greatest because there is a lot that goes into having a successful launch. You have to ensure that your logos and branding are complete and that you have created well-designed artwork for your show. Then there needs to be time set apart to create a buzz around the launch of your show, to get your audience excited and sure to tune in. On top of that, each episode requires time for planning, recording, editing, writing a blog post, double-checking, and publishing. Now it doesn’t stop there; once the episode is published, you have to take the time to promote the episode on social media, and perhaps even send out a newsletter to your subscribers with the information and links to the new episode. Don’t underestimate the time needed. Get the appropriate help where it applies, and set yourself up for success.
3. Don’t set clear goals for your podcast
Just as with anything in life, you have to set goals. The purpose of goal setting is to give you a long-term vision and the short-term motivation to get there. It helps you to focus on equipping yourself with the tools and knowledge to carry out your goals, and allows you to organize your time and resources in the most efficient way to realize your goals. Each goal also comes with metrics that allow you to assess your progress and make the appropriate adjustments if you do not see any success. If you do not know where you are going with your podcast or what the purpose is, it is easy to lose motivation and give up too quickly. Do not let your message go unheard. Plan ahead, pursue your vision, and make sure to have milestones in place that will guide you to your ultimate goals.
4. Focus on generating money
We all know that time is money, and since we have already established that running a full-time podcast is quite a big time commitment, often times podcasters become completely consumed with trying to focus on generating money. Their time and energy become completely diverted and the show gets almost “left behind”. Now don’t get me wrong, once you have put in the hard work to grow a following, build your audience, and consistently put out valuable content there is no reason you should not be thinking about monetization strategies. However, this should not be your main focus. When you know that you have something valuable and that your listeners are committed to your message, then it can be beneficial to turn your podcast into a self-sufficient enterprise through monetization. But if that core foundation of value is missing, then it is a pointless venture.
5. Don’t create engaging content
As simple as it is to come up with a catchy idea and start a podcast, it is important not to let your content suffer under the mindset of “oh, it’s going to be easy”. There is a reason why podcasts are successful and why they garner the audiences they do; valuable, engaging content. In the sea of podcasts available to listeners, what makes them come back? Why do they wait in anticipation for the next episode to release? It is because they know that their lives will be enriched, left for the better with the content they consume. People today live busy lives and are constantly being bombarded with messages and promotions, non-stop distractors, that they are very careful with where they spend their precious time. It is critical to make your content as engaging as possible. Listeners want to feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. Engaging content creates a sense of community, which is truly what we all live for – a place to belong.
6. Underestimate Marketing requirements
As we mentioned before, there is so much more that goes into running a podcast than just simply recording and hitting publish. Once your episode is live, you have to get eyes on it and you certainly cannot rely on others to do the promotion for you. You have to be intentional with getting your podcast out to your audience, and going that extra step to market your content in unique ways. Whether that is posting show notes to Pinterest, reaching out to others in your network, getting guests to promote you to their email lists, or even creating a YouTube audio version of your show, the key is not to sit back and hope that someone will see it. Be active, implement specific marketing strategies, and your podcast will see a much higher rate of success.
7. Lack patience and determination
We’ve all heard the sayings; “patience is a virtue”, “there’s no such thing as an overnight success”, or best of all, “determination is doing what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel like doing it”. Well, these classic quotes did not just arise out of thin air; they bear some incredible truths. Starting a podcast and diligently growing it takes time, patience, and most of all, a strong sense of determination. When those around you are falling away and giving up, you have to be the one that keeps going to the very end. You have to constantly be renewing your motivation to help you to continue in your podcasting journey. A great way to do this is by focusing extra time and energy in building a strong sense of community. This creates an internal drive to give you the determination to carry on, knowing that lives are being changed and impacted by the work that you are doing.