There’s a lot to remember when you start a podcast. But the last thing you want is to have a dozen episodes completed before you realize you are making one or more of these common podcasting mistakes.
1: Poor audio quality – Sound quality is crucial for podcasts. Listeners will quickly lose interest if the audio is too quiet, too loud, or has background noise. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this problem on new podcasts.
2: Inconsistent posting schedule – It is important to establish a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. If you post inconsistently, your listeners may lose interest and stop tuning in.
3: Lack of planning – Many new podcasters jump right into recording without much planning. It is important to plan out the structure of each episode, the topics you want to cover, and the guests you want to interview.
4: Not promoting your podcast – If you don't promote your podcast then how will anyone know about it? You might share your podcast on social media, posting several times for each new show as well as remind them of previous shows. Reach out to influencers and other podcasters and see if they might like to promote your show in exchange for promoting theirs. And be sure to tell your email list when you post a new podcast, giving them 2 or 3 dynamite reasons to check it out.
5: Ignoring your audience – Your listeners are the lifeblood of your podcast. If you don't respond to their questions or take their feedback into account, you may lose their loyalty. Think of a time when a podcaster or blogger responded to your comment or question… how did you feel about them? No doubt you liked them more and maybe you even became a fan. Conversely, think of a time when you were ignored and remember how you felt then. Not too good, right? If you don’t have time to respond to questions and comments, you might get an assistant to do it for you.
6: Not investing in good equipment – High quality equipment is essential for high-quality audio. Invest in a good microphone, editing software, and other tools that will make your podcast sound professional. If you’re on a shoestring budget, get what you can afford and then upgrade when you can.
7: Rambling or talking too much – It's important to stay focused and on topic when recording your podcast. Rambling or talking too much can make your listeners lose interest. And as a listener, I can tell you it about drives me crazy and is the number one reason I turn it off.
8: Not being authentic – People listen to podcasts because they want to connect with the host and guests. If you are not authentic or true to yourself, your listeners will sense that and may tune out. There’s absolutely no reason to sound like a robot. Laugh, joke, sound surprised, show keen interest in your guests, get upset when it’s appropriate and essentially be a real life person.
9: Not editing properly – It's important to edit your podcast so that it is easy to listen to and engaging. Remove any awkward pauses, irrelevant conversations, or mistakes. If you’re not good at this, outsource to someone else to do for you. Do not skimp on this.
10: Trying to be perfect – Perfectionism can be a serious roadblock to your success. You don't need to have a perfect podcast to be successful. In fact, I can tell you right now that you will never have a perfect podcast. It simply is not possible, so stop sweating it and start making mistakes. Then focus on improving with each episode and you will eventually find your stride.
11: Giving up too soon – New podcasters get frustrated when their listener numbers seem to holding at 2 – their spouse and their mother. Your first 10 or 20 or maybe even your first 50 episodes are for practice. Continue to create great content, continue to actively and vigorous promote your podcast, and the audience will indeed come.