There are so many amazing podcasts out there, but podcasters don’t always get it right 100% of the time; they also make mistakes. Creating a podcast takes time and effort, especially if you want to create something worth engaging in.
Many of us know that often times it’s not about succeeding the first time, but rather it is about getting up and trying again when we fail. However, we can’t forget to use all the resources at our disposal, especially if it will help us to succeed faster! And of course, the best way to do that is by learning from the mistakes of other podcasters to help steer you in the right direction right off the bat.
To get you started, we’ve dug into a few of the common mistakes that we’ve seen podcasters make to give you a guideline of what not to do on your podcasting journey. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
1. Unrealistic Expectations
From the start, it’s important not to have too many expectations about what you’re podcast will achieve. Now, this does not mean that you shouldn’t dream big and have a vision. On the contrary! You should have the biggest vision board on your wall stating all you want from your podcast, what you want to achieve, and the plan you have to get there.
Just know that podcasting is hard work and you might not be famous right off the bat. You need to be happy and passionate about podcasting whether or not you make the top or get into the New & Noteworthy section. Work hard to achieve your dreams, don’t expect them to just happen by simply wishing them into existence. Make a plan, do your best to reach each milestone, and constantly revisit your progress along the way.
2. Not Knowing Your Niche
First things first, remember there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there being listened to at this very moment! And a few of them might even be on a similar topic as your podcast. So, instead of being intimated and becoming discouraged by the competition, go check out all of the possible podcasting platforms and find those podcasts similar to yours.
If you are truly passionate about your topic, try to find out what makes your podcast unique! Finding your podcast niche is the best way to stand out from the rest and tell it from your perspective. No one can tell the story the way that you do; you are unique, so really pull from the specifics that you have to offer your audience.
3. Spending Too Much Money
One of the most important parts of starting a podcast is the equipment. Of course, as the quality of podcasting equipment goes up, so does the dollar amount attached to it. This is where you have to make the executive decision to find your budget sweet spot. If you’ve set aside an amount to invest in your podcast for the long run, then you are well-prepared to spend that money on the best equipment and be off to a good start. However, if you aren’t sure how long you will be podcasting for and you only have a small amount to invest right off the bat, then there are a lot of options to go with to fit your budget.
Another option would be to rent out a studio space that is already equipped with the top-of-the-line equipment where you can simply go in, record your episode, and that’s it! This way you do not have to worry about making that initial investment, and still be able to get the benefit of having the best equipment at your disposal. Keep it simple and remember that sharing your message is the main objective!
4. Overlooking Copyright Laws
Laws are put in place for a reason and it is your job as a podcaster to know exactly what these are, in regards to copyright. Using music from movie clips or songs without permission from the copyright holders is a violation of the copyright laws. Keep in mind, you can freely use portions of copyrighted materials for commentary and criticism, but this does not apply to the use of copyrighted material in your podcast in any way you wish.
There’s no reason to set yourself up to be shut down or sued for misuse of someone else’s creation. Instead, find your music either by subscribing to a music platform or simply using royalty-free music from other platforms. There are a ton of great royalty-free music sources out there. Check out the article below for a complete list.
5. Choosing a Hosting Platform
One of the first decisions to make when you launch your podcast is to find the right hosting site. These hosting sites provide everything your podcast needs, including essential publishing tools, generating an RSS feed for podcast directories, a dedicated podcast website, podcast statistics, and more!
There are tons of podcast hosting services already out there for you to choose from. Their goal is to be user-friendly and easy to use, to help you get your podcast out there. Hosting platforms provide you with the perfect place to store all of your podcast episodes and increases your podcast discoverability, allowing for your listeners find and download episodes on their chosen podcast listening apps or directories. To find out more about which hosting platforms are available, read our article below.
Related read: 21 of the Top Podcast Hosting Companies
6. Having Too Broad a Topic
Remember when you started your podcast and had a targeted audience in mind, a group of people you want to share your knowledge and experiences with? Well, if you set the structure of your podcast to be business-focused and a few episodes later you start hopping back and forth discussing marriage and relationships, then there is no doubt that you will lose listeners and subscribers, and lose them quickly!
When you build your audience, again, it all comes down to knowing your niche. Your listeners tune in because it is a specific topic that they are interested in, and they become reliant on finding value from your content. However, if you no longer answer their questions with your content because you keep switching the overall topic, then there is no reason for listeners to return. Now, this does not mean you can’t change the topic and tone of your podcast at all but perhaps gauge the interest from your audience first, and then decide if you want to launch a new podcast or completely rebrand the current one.
Related read: 6 Ways to Create Loyal Podcast Fans
7. Sub-Optimal Sound Quality
Rule number one of podcasting is putting out great quality content. Be sure to always listen through your episodes before you post to make sure that the sound is up to standard and that listeners won’t have a hard time hearing what you or your guests have to say. Keep in mind, you can find great equipment that suits your budget but that won’t take anything away from your amazing podcast.
Never release anything that doesn’t sound great! If the episode has already been edited and the quality still isn’t there, then it’s time to face the facts and re-record the episode. It is much better to record the episode again rather than ruining your consistent quality. If the sound does not improve, try recording in a different room, using a higher quality microphone, or finding a podcast recording studio to help eliminate the background noise.
Related read: 5 Simple Tips For Improving Your Podcast Sound Quality
8. No Passion
Podcasting is very popular at the moment and a few people are starting a podcast just to start a podcast and be apart of the latest trend. Do not do this! When you start a podcast, it’s important to have a ton of passion and excitement for it. It takes a lot of work and effort but if you love your topics and you love sharing with your listeners then you are a true podcaster at heart.
Listeners will know whether or not you’re doing it for passion or because it’s simply something you’re doing to be on-trend. If there is no passion and hard work to back up your podcast, it simply won’t become a success and all the effort to publish will have been all for nothing. Whenever you feel yourself losing that original motivation, try and remember the reason why you started the podcast in the first place. Maybe it was to feel creatively fulfilled or that you love your topic and sharing it with other people like-minded. Whatever it is, hold on to it, nurture it, and use it to fuel the success of your podcast.
9. Lack of Consistency
One of the most important pieces of advice we can give to new podcasters is to remember that consistency is key. Listeners want to know what they’re subscribing to and whether or not it will fit into their daily lives, because that is exactly what you are doing; you are taking a few minutes out of their day to share your knowledge and story.
It is not just the length of your episodes that you keep consistent it is also your posting schedule, topics, tone, and responses. Staying consistent can be hard when your days are already busy with regular life, but using a content schedule and a well-thought-out plan will help ease some of the stress. Using rough drafts and recording well in advance of the posting date will give you time to edit or re-record if necessary, while still publishing on-time, every time.
Related read: 7 Reasons to Implement a Podcast Workflow
10. Not Using Directories
Using a podcast hosting site is not enough to get your podcast out to the world. Listeners use podcast apps and directories to search for new podcasts and discover new shows to listen to. Start by listing your podcast to at least the top 3 directories out there such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. Listeners often use different devices, whether that’s iOS or Android, so submitting your podcast to just one podcast directory means missing out on all the potential listeners who are not using that directory to find their podcasts.
For instance, if you only use Apple Podcasts then many Android users won’t have the luxury and privilege of listening to your podcast, and that works the same vice verse if you only use the Google Podcast App. It’s not hard finding a podcast directory that will work for you, as there are so many options for you to choose from. Each directory is different and has unique features that you might prefer. Read our article below for more details.
Related read: 20 Best Podcast Directories