The 7 Podcast Mistakes That Can Kill Your Show’s Growth
Podcasts can be an exciting, creative, and lucrative experience. The medium continues to grow at a rapid pace, with over 30 million podcast episodes online. Starting a podcast is quite easy. With apps like Anchor.fm, you can start a podcast in a few hours. At the same time, easy does not equal good. Most podcasts online don’t get the downloads and listens they probably deserve. That’s because some simple podcast mistakes are hampering the growth of what’s probably an excellent show.
If you’re deep into your podcast journey, but you do not see any movement in your figures, engagement, and revenue, it’s time to evaluate your podcast. Chances are, you will find that one (or more) of these factors are at play:
1. Are you showing up? Consistency matters.
Consistency is probably the most crucial factor when it comes to creating a podcast. With any type of media, you need to be committed and consistent.
Imagine your favorite show on TV.
It comes on each Wednesday at 8 pm.
You tune in on Wednesday, popcorn in hand, and there’s no show because the show’s creator just wasn’t feeling it, forgot, didn’t schedule it in, or ran out of content. You’d be pissed.
You must think about your podcast in the same way. If you post on Mondays, you have to show up every Monday. Even your most loyal listeners will forget about you. Your growth will stall and you’ll shelf it. Joe Rogan was consistent for almost a decade before he had a 100 million dollar podcast.
Figure out how often you’ll be posting and stick to it. If you’re afraid of burning out, create bulk work and schedule the episodes in advance or break your work up into seasons so you’ll get some much-needed rest.
Consistency is 90% of the battle.
2. A lack of focus on the listener experience.
You can indeed start a podcast with just your phone and your phone headset. If your content is excellent and consistent, you’ll begin to build an audience. At the same time, they’ll start to expect more from the podcast, meaning the audio quality and editing quality.
They’ll only stick around for so long.
After all, there are hundreds of other choices in your niche.
Start working on audio quality as soon as possible by investing in a mic, headphones, mixer, and recorder.
Consider the room you are recording in and how it affects the overall sound quality. Then work on learning how to edit your podcast or outsource editing to an audio engineer.
It does not mean you need to have movie-like sound quality. However, there should be some consideration to your listener experience.
Your listeners will love you and recommend you to others. Don’t lose growth over something like quality.
3. Not connecting with your audience beyond the podcast
What makes podcasts an excellent medium is how convenient and versatile they are for your listeners.
Your podcast can be streaming while your listener is on the way to work, at work, cooking, cleaning, or gaming.
But when your episode’s over, what’s next? Well, they move on to the next thing and forget about you and your podcast. At least temporarily…
That’s also the bad thing about podcasts; there’s no automatic way to build the audience and relationship. There’s no link to click, no email opt-in, no lead magnet.
It’s important to encourage your listeners to subscribe to a newsletter, video channel, or some other form that you can connect with them. The more you communicate, in different styles, the more they will know, like, and trust you.
Listeners will be happy to share your show with others. Word of mouth is the best form of Marketing. Create an email list, a podcast website to capture the emails, and spend time engaging with them and adding value.
4. Are you planning your content?
For beginner podcasters, it makes sense just to wing it.
You want to know if it’s something you’re interested in, if you can keep it up, and if the juice is worth the squeeze.
As time goes on, podcasters need to be more intentional with their content.
That means planning out each episode. All TV shows have a Story Board where they map out the characters, scenes, and plot. You need to map out your content too.
It could be just a few lines outlining your subject, key points, questions, and objective.
Use what your listeners are gravitated towards as a guide for your style and future subject matter.
Not having a solid plan can jeopardize your future growth.
5. Setting unrealistic goals/having unrealistic expectations
Podcasts can take a while to really pick up steam.
You can put in some serious effort, only to garner a few hundred listeners a month.
That can be demotivating, especially if you’ve set some lofty goals for your podcast.
It’s essential to have some realistic goals based on your niche, skill level, and content. Yes, some podcasters take off with thousands of listeners and revenue. But these are outliers. Set SMART goals, assess your performance, then work on ways to increase your audience.
6. Not promoting your content.
Blogs have the benefit of Google SEO.
The millions of people using search engines will eventually come across your blog content.
The same goes for YouTube videos.
Podcasts, unfortunately, aren’t as searchable as other forms of content.
Podcasts are usually distributed on several platforms, each with their methods of search and algorithms that govern how your content is discovered.
And Google only recently started indexing podcasts to show up on the SERPs.
So you can’t just build it, and they will come. You have to put a promotion plan in place to give your podcast some momentum. That includes promoting clips on social media, adding video content, transcribing the content, and guest interviewing.
If you’re not spending time promoting your podcast and content at large, you’ll be missing out on some serious growth.
7. Forgetting to sell!
Yes, it’s noble that you want to share content and add value to your podcast listeners.
But at the end of the day, what you want is to make money.
- Your business is investing in a podcast as a form of Content Marketing to earn more revenue.
- You started a personal brand podcast so you can sell your courses, products, or services.
- Or you want to be the next Joe Rogan.
Whatever your motivations, it involves revenue. A big mistake podcasters make is not thinking about selling a product or service. By not selling, you train your audience only to get free content. If you come months later to sell, you can confuse them.
If they know you sell a product and you’re clear with promotion, your listeners may not buy the first time.
But they may buy the 8th time or the 23rd time they hear about you.
If you never advertise on your podcast, you will never earn.
And it will all be just a hobby.
It’s essential to keep these factors in mind when running your podcast. These simple podcast mistakes can cost you listeners, time, and money. If you take anything away from this post, it must be that consistency wins.
There are hundreds of thousands of people who like the idea of starting a podcast.
However, they aren’t committed to grinding for months and even years before making serious inroads.
Be consistent, and you’ll win by sheer force of will.
If you need more Content Marketing and podcast help, I’d be happy to provide you with more posts, tips, and even coaching. Let’s connect here. And since we covered promotion, feel free to listen to my Brutally Honest podcast!