Just call us Adam and Jamie because today, we’re busting wide open some common podcasting myths! That’s right, we’re digging deep, and exploring all available avenues to sort the facts from the fiction when it comes to podcasting myths.
And we’ve got ten such myths to debunk on today’s post. So grab your fedora and bullwhip (a tribute to the great archaeologist, Indiana Jones) as we find the truth buried under these half-truths and whole lies!
Here we go!
Myth #1 I can’t start a podcast, I don’t have the skills.
Right out of the gate, we can tell you this one is a straight-up lie! Anyone can start a podcast! Yes, certain aspects can and will be that much easier for those that have a certain level of skill in any of the areas that make a podcast come to life – be it writing knock-out scripts, a voice trained for delivering a powerful message, or some seriously mean editing skills.
But the great thing about podcasting is that you can learn all you need to know from scratch. There are great books, YouTube videos, and even other podcasts to help you find your spot when it comes to finding your own brand of podcast magic. So don’t let this myth keep you from getting into the podcasting game!
Myth #2 You need a lot of fancy equipment and a special recording space to start a podcast.
This is a common misconception! Yes, there are some pieces of equipment you should definitely invest in, like a good quality microphone and a decent pair of headphones or earphones, but that’s almost all you need to dive into podcasting! You don’t even need a podcast studio! You can simply find a good, quiet, insulated spot in your home, and you’re A for away!
Don’t let what others are spending on their show stop you from starting yours! All the fancy equipment and state-of-the-art recording space are lovely, don’t get us wrong! They can certainly help you produce a high-quality end product that sounds amazing. But, you can get a great-sounding show with some careful planning, great script-writing, and entry-level gear.
Myth #3 I don’t need an actual niche, I can just talk about whatever interests me.
This is a big myth! Another mistake podcasters make is not having a clearing defined niche. This is a big blunder! While you might have many topics that interest you or that you have a fair amount of knowledge on, you still need to find a niche where you can let your own unique voice be heard.
It’s important to remember that there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, and it’s super easy for your show to feel like a tiny drop in a sea of podcasts. But when you find your niche, suddenly you have a segment carved out just for you. This then helps you find your loyal audience, and sets you on the path to podcasting success! So put the time into finding and honing that niche pronto!
Myth #4 I don’t need a narrow topic, I like having freedom.
I’m going to waste no time busting this myth and say that, no matter how much you love freedom, the next mistake podcasters make is having too broad a topic. Your first step (after deciding to actually start a podcast), is to hone in on your niche – that area where you have both interest and some level of expertise. You then need to survey your potential audience and understand what it is that they want. You will then be able to narrow down your topic and match your content to their needs, and then your listeners will keep coming back for more of your valuable content.
If your topic is too broad, or if you are not clear on your topic yourself, your podcast will no longer be what your target audience is looking for as they no longer get what they are after from your show. To avoid making this mistake, make sure you really put research into locking down your niche and narrowing down your topic. You will then be able to attract and keep listeners who will become your loyal audience.
Myth #5 I don’t need to edit my podcast, they’re supposed to sound natural.
While this statement may have had an element of truth to it a few years ago, when podcasting was in it’s beginning stages and there were not a whole lot of options out there, it is definitely not true today! With such a multitude of shows available, listeners can afford to be picky with what they choose to listen to. And as listeners listen to more and more podcasts, they learn quite quickly how to sift the wheat from the chaff.
You may have some truly great content to share with your audience, but if you bury it under countess “ahs” and “ums” or you muddy the waters with tangents and side tales, you’ll quickly lose your average listener. You don’t have to go overboard with the editing if your raw recordings are of themselves, of a pretty high standard, but for most podcast hosts out there, some minor editing will always be needed to maintain a high-quality podcast.
Myth #6 You have to be a tech guru to use editing software.
Yes, it’s true that there are some top-of-the-line editing software out there that do require above-average computer skills. Skills you can learn, of course, but it will take time and effort, and some mentorship to master.
But, there are also many editing programs that, after a few tutorials and a read through the manual, will have you clipping and splicing like a pro! You just need to find the one that best suits your needs.
And in case you’re overwhelmed by all the choices out there, check out our Overview Of The Best Podcast Editing Software. Proving that you certainly don’t need to be a tech guru to use podcast editing software! Consider this myth busted!
Myth #7 It’s only the quality my content that really matters, not the quality of the recording.
While we’re firm believers in the old adage, “Content is King,” when it comes to your podcast, your content is really only half of your package, even though it is what your whole podcasting journey is centered around. Your succinct, mind-blowing content all comes to nought if your audience never gets to fully appreciate it because they can’t get past a poor-quality recording or scratchy audio!
In today’s competitive podcast environment, you need more than a great mic to make your show stand out. An unedited podcast episode will typically have a lot of dead audio in the recording, or too many pauses between segments, and sooner or later, this will become a turn-off to your listeners. You might have great content, but more and more, listeners are after great content that is delivered expertly. So what actually matters is finding that balance between delivering great content and delivering it well, and great delivery includes capturing great recordings!
Myth #8 Podcasts have a discoverability problem, that’s why no one is downloading my podcast.
This is another myth birthed from a half truth. Yes, podcasts did, and still do to an extent, have a discoverability problem when it comes to Internet search engines. But there has been some great progress made in that regard.
So if you are finding that you’re struggling to hit the download numbers you’re after, perhaps it’s because you’re not promoting your show in the right places or via the right ways. Social media is often the key to getting the word out about your podcast. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok all offer unique ways and platforms for podcast creators to share their content and get more people connected with their podcast. So if you’re not using these, now is the time to change that!
But if you are using them and still see little movement of the download numbers, perhaps you’re not using the platforms that are right for your audience, or not sharing the content they’re looking for. Perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board and see how you can up your social media game. Maybe it’s creating audiograms or funny Instagram reels, or perhaps its sharing hacks on TikTok, or niche-related long-form content via Twitter threads. Do whatever works for you and your audience! But the bottom line is that the supposed podcast discoverability problem should not be what you are relying on to get your show out there.
Related read: Social Media Marketing Options For Podcasts
Myth #9 It’s too hard to find great new podcasts to listen to, so you should just stick to the most popular ones.
To this I shout a loud “FALSE”! Yes, I know there are an overwhelming number of podcasts out there, and I know that it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for, particularly if the algorithms are only showing what’s popular, and not necessarily what’s good. But, there are so many amazing shows out there that you are missing out on if you only stick with what you know.
And thankfully, there are so many other ways to find those incredible shows, other than popular podcast directories! There are sites like Podchaser, apps like Goodpods, or podcast discovery newsletters like Find that Pod, the EarBuds Podcast Collective, or Podcast Delivery. Give these methods a try, and you’ll soon fill up your favorite podcast listening app with so many amazing options!
Myth #10 My episodes have to be at least an hour long
Last but not least, Myth #10 – podcast episodes have to be at least an hour long. Let’s be honest, we probably have Joe Rogan to thank for this one, the man is certainly the king of long interviews! But just because it works for Mr. Rogan, it doesn’t mean that your episodes have to go on for hours (and in the spirit of honesty, they probably shouldn’t…)
We could give you data and say, according to our own calculations at least, the average podcast episode in 2021 is around about 37 minutes and 30 seconds (please note, a guess at best) but again, that doesn’t mean that’s how long your episodes should be. And that makes this myth a little harder to bust. But what we can tell you, is that your episodes should be as long as you need them to be to share all that valuable content with your audience, but not too long that your audience loses interest or you have to water down your content to fill up the episode.
Related read: How Long Should A Podcast Episode Be In 2021?
And there you have it! 10 podcasting myths busted wide open! And whether these were half truths, whole lies, or just plain urban legends, today we’ve set the record straight. So if you’re looking to get into the podcasting game, or have been letting some of these myths hold you back from reaching new heights, it ends today!
Now that we’ve set the record straight, there should be nothing stopping you on your podcasting journey.