I’ve been podcasting for over a decade now, and I love it. Through my two podcasts, Marketing Speak and The Optimized Geek,I have met dozens of fascinating people, explored topics of personal interest, and had whole new worlds of knowledge opened up to me.
I recommend it to anyone who’ll listen. (No pun intended!)
Podcasting is great for building your personal brand, but it’s also a great self-education tool for those with a passion to learn.
The problem is, there’s a lot of competition. While it may seem like you can just set up a mic and start babbling away, you really need something to distinguish yourself from the sea of voices in your niche.
Don’t let the challenges dampen your enthusiasm. Just put a little thought into it, and avoid these five fatal rookie mistakes.
Otherwise, it’s likely that your podcast will fail…
1. You Don’t Have a Replicable Formula
Often, what sounds like a good idea in a brainstorming session doesn’t translate into engaging content. Or, a topic that worked well for one show can’t be expanded into a weekly format.
If your premise is too broad, it will be hard to attract a dedicated audience. But your show also needs to be flexible enough to change over time. One example of a good premise is The Splendid Table, where a seasoned food writer is paired with experts on specific cuisines from around the world. The format is easily replicable, yet it allows for a broad range of topics and guests to keep things interesting.
2. You’re Obviously Trying to Sell Something
Most people don’t mind ads in a podcast. But, if your podcast is an ad for your business, then it’s likely to be a turnoff.
No one wants to hear you hawking your product or service.
Instead, charm your listeners with your expertise, or take them on a journey and let them discover new things with you. Find noteworthy guests and experts, and tackle interesting or controversial subjects. And remember, not everything needs to relate directly to your business. As long as it fits with the theme of your podcast, any topic is fair game.
Building a podcast audience takes time, especially if you are a smaller player. Try not to get impatient or frustrated when you don’t see results straight away.
Develop a long term strategy, and thoroughly research your topics. Checking out what works for other podcasters in your niche can be a great way to get ideas. Big name guests can raise your profile, and inviting other popular podcasters on your show can help you gain access to their listeners.
4. Poor Quality or Inaccessible Format
Is your podcast on iTunes? Can people listen on their phones, or do they have to download it? Are you using cheap recording equipment?
If you want people to listen, make it easy for them. If you don’t have the technical know-how to host your podcast on your own site, there are plenty of hosting services like Libsyn, Podbean, or Spreaker.
Audio quality is also important. Many audio manufacturers now put together affordable podcasting kits with microphones, mixers, and digital audio interfaces. If your technical abilities are limited, consider hiring a sound engineer to help you out.
5. Boring Content
The idea of simply switching on the mic and talking for an hour is what many people find appealing about podcasting. However, without a focus, this format can quickly get boring.
The most important thing is to make sure that you’re telling relatable stories, sharing interesting facts, and have a message that resonates with your audience. Other tricks, like dividing your podcast up into segments or including audience feedback, can also help to keep things moving.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, as it might take time for you to find your voice.
Remember: creating engaging content takes hard work and perseverance. While you may not see results overnight, if you put in the effort, you’ll definitely be rewarded in the long run.