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podcast obstacles

Looking To Start A Podcast? Here Are Some Podcast Obstacles To Expect

podcast podcast setup podcasting Nov 13, 2020


Podcasts are a great way in audio form to build your brand, increase customer loyalty, and earn revenue through ads or other monetization methods. Believe it or not, there are over 750,000 active podcasts today. While that sounds like a lot, podcasts are still somewhat in their infancy stages. Compare them to the 500 million blogs in existence, and you’ll see what I mean. 


That info is enough to make you want to start your own podcast. What you’ll come to find, however, are several obstacles in your way to podcast success. If you can understand them and put things in place to overcome them, you can take off in the podcast space. 

1. The long game

Podcasting success won’t happen overnight. Hundreds of thousands of podcasters have low numbers. Libsyn, a podcast platform, revealed that more than 125 downloads per month get you in the top 50% of podcasts, while 1000 downloads get you in the top 20%. 

That means submitting podcasts to popular platforms like Spotify or iTunes won’t guarantee you listens and downloads. You will have to learn marketing, networking, SEO, and even go on other podcasts to promote your brand. 

It can take 18 months or more to see meaningful progress. Even the best in the game, like Joe Rogan, was podcasting for years (since 2009) before his mainstream success. 

This timeframe can be demotivating and is the biggest obstacle to podcast success. Before starting, it’s crucial to explore WHY you’re doing the show. You must know what value you’ll get out of it and what you’ll be giving to your audience. Spend as much time writing your podcast mission and vision. So when the going gets tough, you can fall back on your WHY.

2. The psychological obstacles

Do you ever wonder why some people can get things done in short order, while others only talk about it but never take action? It’s all down to mindset. There are psychological obstacles that prevent even the most talented persons from achieving their goals. The same goes for podcasting. You’ll have to overcome these mental blocks like:

  • Imposter Syndrome: Who am I to preach to you about my topic?
  • Shame: I don’t like how my voice sounds! What will my friends/family think?
  • Fear of failure: What if I put time, money, and effort into this, and it sucks?
  • Fear of success: Can I take on the responsibility that comes with a successful podcast?
  • Procrastination: I can only start when I get the perfect mic, set-up, website, and an excellent guest.

Each of these can put you back months. If you feel like these will affect your progress, explore them through journaling or hire an accountability coach. 

3. Consistency and scheduling

In podcasting - and most endeavors - consistency can make or break your success. In this post, the author analyzed over 650,000 podcasts. The figures show that half of all podcasts have 14 or fewer episodes. Life gets in the way, and you can miss your podcast dates. This can reduce the level of credibility with your initial audience. Commit to a consistent schedule and make it non-negotiable. You can also consider a limited series or season, where you can create a few episodes, rest, then start again for the second season.

4. The price of high-quality equipment

If you get started with what you have, you’ll be further along than 95% of the people who are yet to start. Over time, you’ll realize that you need to improve the quality of your podcast. If your listeners love your content but complain about sound quality or editing, it’s time for an upgrade. 

High-quality microphones, mixers, recording software, and other helpful pieces of equipment can burn a hole in your pocket. 

But it’s an excellent investment in yourself and your product. You can run a high-quality podcast with as little as $500

However, there are advanced pieces of equipment like the RODECaster Pro you would want to get your hands on. 

If this is an obstacle, look for ways to earn the cash. You can sell unused items, set up a Patreon for your listeners, or take on a side hustle. Or you can bring on an investor to help push things forward. It will take a little more effort and creativity, but you can get a fantastic set-up in short order.

5. Speaking ability and energy

With podcasting, you’re communicating with an audience using only your voice. 

You can have the highest quality equipment available, but it will come across to your listeners if your energy is low. You have to be upbeat - without being fake - and show passion for the topic. 

If you have a guest on, you should be engaged and enthusiastic the person took the time out to speak with you. With podcasts, you’re judged by your energy, not the sound of your voice. 

So practice your tone and inflection in the mirror as often as possible.

Listen to yourself whenever you can.

Go on other podcasts. 

Whatever you can do to improve your speaking ability. 

It would be best if you also looked for energy leaks. If you’re more upbeat in the morning, that’s when you should get your podcasts recorded.

6. Marketing your show

Podcasters need to find ways to attract new listeners. As stated before, publishing on platforms is not enough. You’ll need to share your content on social media, learn SEO, try joint partnerships, and even invest in sponsored posts. If you can learn the marketing side of things, you can gain traction faster. If not, it will be a significant obstacle in terms of podcast growth. Neil Patel is an excellent resource for podcast marketing, showing you what you need to know about Podcast SEO and Marketing. 

Handle challenges head-on

Podcasting can be a fulfilling experience. It can position your business for success or become a viable income stream. And for some, podcasting can catapult the host to celebrity status. 

However, there are many challenges you’ll face starting, maintaining, and sustaining your podcast.

 You’ll come to find that many of these obstacles are mindset related. If you can work on your attitude and focus on growth, you’ll make significant progress.

Use what you have and get those episodes out there. And remember, don’t compare yourself to your favorite podcasters. They had to start from the beginning too. 

If you need help with podcast set-up, growing your audience, or monetizing your show, join my email list. 


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