Like any creative endeavor, podcasting requires careful planning and execution to ensure a successful and engaging show. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to podcasting, steering clear of some common mistakes can significantly enhance the quality and impact of your podcast. In this article, we'll explore these pitfalls and provide insights into how to avoid them.
One of the most prolific mistakes we see creators doing when they start a podcast is going full throttle without a clear vision or a brand. They get really excited about starting a podcast and jump in without a plan in mind for how they’ll make their podcast consistent and marketable.
Launching a show without a clear purpose or a target audience in mind can really hinder your ability to gain a loyal audience, which is a fundamental part of having success in this industry. Before you start recording, it’s worth taking the time to sit down and make a clear plan of action to define your mission, goals you’d like to achieve with a podcast, who your target audience is and why you want to reach them, and your branding. How do you want your podcast to look online? Does your content match your brand imagery in tone and feel? It’s important to have these items figured out ahead of time so you stay consistent with your overall branding and content planning, ultimately making future marketing strategies effective.
Additionally, having a clear purpose and consistent branding establishes your podcast as an authority in the space, which lends credibility to your efforts.
As we always say at LPM, consistency is key to long-term success in podcasting. Inconsistent episode releases can deter listeners from tuning in regularly. Setting a consistent publishing schedule is crucial for building an engaged audience. Whether you choose a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly release schedule, make sure you can stick to it.
This is where creating a content plan comes into play. Planning your episodes in advance and creating a content calendar can help you stay on track and reduce the stress of last-minute content creation.
We recommend to nearly all of our clients a once a week posting schedule at the bare minimum. This is doable for most creators as this schedule allows plenty of time for planning, recording, editing, and publishing.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, we can’t forget audio quality! Considering that podcasts are an audio form of entertainment, it’s extremely important to have good audio quality. Like watching TV, if the camera quality is poor, people are less inclined to watch it. If the audio quality is poor, people are less likely to tune in.
Invest in a good microphone, headphones, and soundproofing spaces however possible. You can find our guide here for the equipment you need to get your podcast started.
Soundproofing is often overlooked as an essential part of making a quality recording. If you can, take the time to soundproof your space with blankets, rugs and pillows. Edit your recordings to remove background noise and other distractions like unnecessary “umms” and other filler sounds. Remember, listeners expect a clear and pleasant audio experience that won’t strain their ears.
While podcasts often have a conversational tone, it's essential to have a clear structure and plan for each episode. Disorganized content often leads to disinterested guests. It’s off-putting to listen to a host that rambles on and on and on without an end in sight. This can be confusing for listeners and makes it difficult for them to follow your message. Create an outline or script for each episode to ensure you cover all key points and maintain a coherent flow.
This doesn't mean you have to stick rigidly to a script, but having a structure will help you stay on track, especially in guest interviews where the conversation can easily float away.
Post-production is where your podcast truly comes together. This is your chance to get creative with the editing for flow and continuity. During this stage, you can remove long pauses, speaking mistakes, background noise and irrelevant tangents. Consider thoughtfully adding music and transitions that improve the overall listening experience and add to the tone of your show. Listeners are quick to click off of a poorly-edited podcast. A well-edited podcast demonstrates your commitment to quality and professionalism, further establishing your show as an authority in your niche.
So many people start a podcast with the idea of making money as fast as possible with their content. Unfortunately, rising to the top of the ranks and commanding the attention of potential brand sponsors isn’t as simple as it might seem.
Sponsors want to partner with podcasters who have garnered a significant amount of episodes and listeners, which takes a lot of time and consistency. While monetizing your podcast is a legitimate goal, making it your sole focus from the very start can hinder your progress because it takes your attention away from producing quality content, instead focusing on producing what you think will get the most sponsors. Once you’ve established a strong listener base, you’ll be in a better position to explore podcasting as a revenue stream.
Don’t forget to market your podcast as much as possible and creatively as possible through social media. Here are links to learn more about how to promote your podcast through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
All too often we see podcasts lose steam because they refuse to listen to audience feedback. Your listeners are a valuable source of ideas and feedback that can aid in your content planning process. When you create content based on listener comments, like recommended topics or leads, it communicates to your audience that you read what they’re saying and appreciate their feedback.
Try engaging with your following online and encourage listeners to leave reviews with topics they want to hear or suggestions they may have for improving the show’s quality. Of course, you ultimately get to decide what kind of content to make, but it doesn’t hurt to engage with your listeners and plan content around points they want to hear.
Podcasting isn’t a race. There are no emergencies in podcasting. Keep in mind that creating an industry giant takes time to gain traction so it’s important to not get discouraged if you don't see instant success. Remember that building a loyal audience and establishing your podcast's presence in the crowded podcasting landscape is a gradual process. Stay committed, keep improving, and have patience – success often comes to those who persevere.
Remember that each mistake presents an opportunity for learning and growth, so embrace the journey and enjoy the process. Happy podcasting!
Book a time with one of our podcast experts and launch your brand into orbit. Or don't... we can't really tell you what to do.