Looking To Start A Podcast? Here Are Some Podcast Obstacles To Expect
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 podcasting journey. 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. So let's look at some of the biggest podcasting mistakes to avoid.
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 one of the best in the game, 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 people 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 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, so you don't end up only creating one single podcast episode then quitting. 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 audio 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 about the person who 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 platforms, 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. You can also check out other blogs on my website where I share tons of ways to keep your podcasting growing for years to come!
7. Give Your Show the Time and Energy It Deserves
Most people stop producing their shows within a handful of episodes. Sadly to grow, it's almost impossible to grow if you give up to early. Many people look at some of the biggest podcast shows and wonder how they got so big. Its consistency and time. I mentioned it in the beginning of the post, but the most common podcasting mistake is giving up to early. Sure, things like audio quality, a loyal listening base, and a good hosting platform are important, but many people don't keep up with their show.
Slam Agency did a study that found only 20% of shows will continue for more than a year. That means only 1 in 5 are going to continue for more than a year. Worse than that, the number of shows that make it more than a year is even lower. When I was studying shows, many quit in less than 20 episodes, with the vast majority quitting well before 10 episodes. You need to give your podcast a bit of time to mature and get found. There are many ways to grow your podcast, but consistent output and longevity are the keys to success regardless of what your show is about.
8. People Don’t Follow Up Their Podcasts With a Website
The largest challenge with a podcast is being discovered. There are millions of podcasts, and sadly, it's hard to get found. Unless you happen to have some virality or guests that help you grow your show, it's difficult to get found. The easiest way to give you the best chance of success is to start a website. Leveraging your shows as the core of content and then creating blog posts about what was discussed is a surefire way to keep getting traffic. Even if you want to convert your podcasts into blog posts through transcription, it gives you a better chance of growing than just letting sit in the podcast app. The second benefit of a website is it gives you the opportunity to add to your email list. You now give your show the opportunity to be found on the largest search engine, and a well-structured blog post will help drive people to subscribe to the show.
9. Not Leveraging Social Media
TikTok is currently the fastest growing social media platform online. Podcasts are launching through the rankings because of social media. While the content you share may be hard to find in a few months, it's the easiest way to get more exposure. Create 15-second to 3-minute clips of the best parts of your show and share them. Leveraging social media is an easy way to get found, and people that find you interesting will become loyal listeners for years to come. If you are unsure what to post, the easiest way to figure it out is to start. Just like you started a podcast, it's time to start sharing on social media and giving yourself the best odds. The podcasting boom is still happening, and now is the time to leverage all your other outlets to give you the best possible chance to succeed.
10. Stop Over Analyzing Your Show
If you're just starting out, this is the best advice you can get. The easiest way to succeed is to just post it, promote it and share it. While it's not technically considered the biggest mistake you can make, failure to start is a guaranteed not to succeed. Creators are rewarded when they publish. Without producing content, you will never know if anyone is interested in your show if you need to make it. Podcasts overall are easy to start, and if you don't love your show, you can always start another. Record the show, upload, and publish. Give your show the opportunity to succeed, and over time, you will get it dialed in. Most podcasters, including myself, have either had multiple shows before they found one that worked or changed their show over time. It's inevitable, but the key to success is starting and giving up analysis paralysis. Create great podcast content and let people listen!
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; after all, it's a learning process.
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 experienced 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.