Whether you are just working on launching your podcast or you have had your podcast for a little bit of time, there are a number of mistakes that you should do your best to avoid. And, the best way to avoid mistakes is to learn about them to ensure you know everything you possibly can to steer clear of the mistakes. Basically, the more you know, the better. So, we decided to create a list of some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid no matter what stage of podcasting you are in. Check them out below!
Dismissing Marketing and Promotion
After launching your podcast and uploading episodes, it is essential that you spend time on marketing and promotion. After putting time and effort into creating your podcast, it may seem like your work is completed and the listeners will come. Unfortunately, that is just not the reality of any content creation online. Creating content and not gaining listeners can be disappointing, but listeners can't know about your content unless you let them know about it. You know your podcast is awesome, so tell people! Utilize social media, your podcast website, your email list, and anything else you can to spread the word.
Selecting an Obscure and Over-Sophisticated Name
You should aim to have a unique name to make your podcast stand out from the crowd and to ensure you aren't engaging in trademark infringement by using someone else's podcast title. However, having a unique podcast title does not mean that you should have an over-complicated title that is confusing, hard to say or understand, or vague. Having an over-complicated title will negatively impact your podcast's growth. Many people take the title into consideration when deciding to listen, so if potential listeners can't understand your title, you might lose out on listeners.
Additionally, your podcast title is very closely related to your podcast's discoverability, so an over-complicated title means a podcast that is hard to discover. For example, consider if someone uses a voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, to listen to your podcast and they can not get their chosen voice assistant to understand the title of your podcast. Or, perhaps a listener is telling a friend about your podcast and their friend does not understand the title. In both of these instances, you are unknowingly and unintentionally making it harder for people to listen to your podcast. With that being said, take some time to brainstorm unique podcast titles, but evaluate how understandable any of your title options are before making a decision. You might even consider asking for feedback from others to nail down exactly what title is unique, but comprehensible.
Using Amateur Grade Graphics
Aside from your title, the graphics that represent your podcast have a large impact on whether people tune into your podcast. When potential listeners take a look at your social media, website, or page on any given directory, they will see your title, graphics, and maybe a short description. That means that what your graphics look like are, in most cases, one-third of a person's decision to listen or not.
As a podcaster, graphics might not seem all that important since your medium is all audio, but that's simply not the case. This is why it is important to ensure you are using high quality graphics to represent your brand. If you aren't great at graphic design yourself, then you should consider finding a freelancer or even a friend to help you out. Getting graphics made does not have to be incredibly expensive or complicated, but it is immensely important. Do yourself a favor and don't settle on graphics because they can truly be the difference between gaining a loyal listener and that potential listener never tuning in once.
Failing to Have an Accompanying Website
A podcast website is the centralized location for your podcast. This is where listeners can directly listen to your podcast, and access updates, various podcast information, an archive of episodes, repurposed content, and more. If you don't have an accompanying website, you are missing out on owning your content, monetization opportunities, increased discoverability, community building, and boosted brand reputation, to name a few. While it may seem like a podcast website is unnecessary since your medium is the podcast, there is huge benefit that comes from having one. The podcast growth and future business opportunity are just two of the biggest benefits. With that being said, what are you waiting for? Get started with your podcast website now so that you can really make the most of the awesome podcast you have created.
To learn more about why you should have a podcast website, see our article entitled 8 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast Website, and for information on how to build a podcast website, read our article here.
Being a Generalist
Undoubtedly, you've heard it before, find your niche for your podcast and stick with it. If you begin your podcast without a specific topic and with a generalist aim, it will be much more difficult to find your target audience that will be consistently loyal to your podcast. Creating a podcast on too vague of a topic results in inconsistent listening because who's to say a previous listener will be interested in the completely different topic you cover in the next episode. If you have a specific podcast topic, your listeners will know what they can expect from all of your episodes. This then translates into loyal listeners. So, make sure that the topic that you choose is specific, and something that you love, are knowledgeable about, and want to learn more about.
If you need assistance nailing down your podcast topic, check out our article entitled How to Come Up With an Idea for Your Podcast.
Not Investing Money When Possible
While podcasting can be incredibly inexpensive, investing money when possible will ultimately level up your podcast and make it that much more likely that you can create a real business from your podcast. Not only that, but you will alleviate the stress of the amount of money that it costs to improve your podcast in the future. Or, it will alleviate the stress of the amount of time that you would put into figuring things out that could otherwise be quickly accomplished with a small investment.
Little investments over time will help you achieve a better quality podcast without having to dump thousands of dollars at once to level up your podcast down the road. And, small investments will help you learn more about your podcast quality and what exactly you need to make your podcast better. At the end of the day, you may be able to start a podcast with equipment that you already have, but to grow your podcast and achieve whatever goals you have, you need to invest some money to improve your podcast quality. And, podcast quality plays into how engaging your podcast is, so help your future self and your bank account out by making little investments when possible.
Not Collecting Subscriber Emails
Having an email list is a huge asset as a podcaster. Email is a valuable point of contact that you have with your listeners where you can give them updates, get feedback, and so forth. Right from the beginning, you should collect emails to begin building an email list. If you aren't collecting emails, you are missing out on an important marketing and general business resource. There is a lot of opportunity that comes with having an email list, so do yourself a favor now and set up an email collection that will change the game for you in the future.
Over-recording and Over-editing
When creating your podcast, you most likely have ideals for your episodes and your podcast overall. This can translate into recording audio over and over again and/or editing for hours on end. The problem with rerecording and spending a lot of time editing is that you most likely will never stop coming up with things to improve. Not only can you get stuck in a cycle of rerecording and over-editing that will ultimately hold up the progress of your podcast, but rerecording and over-editing will take away from the authenticity of your podcast. Authenticity is an incredibly important quality of an engaging podcast that is fostered by genuine moments with the host. Rerecording and over-editing is the production of moments, meaning the very nature of those processes automatically takes away from authenticity although that may not be your intention at all. So, if you need to limit your recording and editing processes, set time restrictions or any other constraint to make sure you never get carried away.
Not Having a Plan
Planning your podcast should be the first phase of launching your podcast. The planning phase should be when you decide on all of the details of your podcast and develop them further from ideas to reality. If you don't have a plan going into your podcast, then your podcast will lack consistency, be of lower quality, and won't be very engaging. Planning is integral for flushing out all of your thoughts related to your podcast. You might have awesome ideas, but the problem comes with the execution of the ideas when you forgo the planning phase. So, take a little bit of time to plan out your podcast before running with your ideas. Even just a small amount of time will transform your ideas into action steps that will result in a podcast that is engaging and that has growth potential.
To learn how to plan your podcast, read our article here.
Delaying Your Launch
While planning your podcast is incredibly important, you don't want to get caught delaying the launch of your podcast without good reason. It can be easy to get into the mindset of "it's not ready yet." Or, maybe you have anxiety, doubts, fear, or nerves about launching your podcast. However, once you get into those kinds of mindsets, it is hard to get out of them because you will never feel like your podcast is totally ready to launch for whatever reason.
Ultimately, delaying your launch can result in you never launching your podcast, meaning a lot of time, effort, passion, and potentially money will be wasted. It is best to launch your podcast soon after you create your plan and prepare the absolutely necessary materials for your launch. You will face challenges in launching your podcast no matter how much you prepare and delay, so just do it! Launching sooner than later will be better in the end, you never know what could come of your podcast in the future!
So, there you have it- 10 of the most common mistakes no matter what stage of podcasting you're in. There's no doubt that producing a professional podcast is incredibly challenging. However, knowing these mistakes is the key to ensuring that you avoid them along your podcasting journey. And remember, podcasting is all a learning process, so sometimes you will learn by trial and error, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Happy podcasting!
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