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5 Mistakes New Podcasters Make (And How to Avoid Them)

May 17, 2024 Deciphr AI
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IN A GIST

Podcasting is the new black, but don't let rookie mistakes cramp your style. Get to know five common slips and sidestep them like a pro.

  • Mistake #1: Not defining your niche. To fix this, research your target audience, and consider what sets you apart from other podcasts in your niche. Develop a clear and concise message and stick to it.
  • Mistake #2: Neglecting audio quality. The only workaround is really to invest in quality equipment, choose the right recording space, and edit your audio well.
  • Mistake #3: Inconsistent scheduling. Get your ducks in order by planning ahead, following a schedule, and communicating with your audience if you need to take a break.
  • Mistake #4: Lack of promotion. Leverage your network, reach out to other podcasters, and attend events and conferences to get your pod out there.
  • Mistake #5: Not engaging with your audience. To fix this, interact with your listeners, encourage them to provide feedback, and create opportunities for them to participate in your podcast.

Making mistakes is part of the process, but with a little bit of guidance and some helpful tips, you can avoid these common pitfalls and keep your listeners coming back for more.

MAIN ARTICLE

Mistake #1: Not Defining Your Niche

Are you trying hard to be everything to everyone? Newsflash: you're not Beyoncé. As seasoned podcasters, we know that one of the biggest mistakes newbies make is not defining their niche. Here's how to avoid it:

  • Research your target audience and what topics they are interested in. It's important to understand who you're creating content for and what they want to hear.
  • Consider what sets you apart from other podcasts in your niche. What unique and new perspective do you bring to the table? How can you set up your show so it stands out and calls attention?
  • Develop a clear message and stick to it. Don't try to cover too many topics or change your style to cater to different audiences. Your niche is your brand, so stay true to it.

Mistake #2: Neglecting Audio Quality

Ah, audio quality—the difference between sounding like a professional, or like you're recording your podcast from a bathroom stall. Trust us; we've been there. Here are some ways to make sure your listeners don't feel like they're in a crowded subway station:

  • Invest in quality equipment. It might be very tempting to go for the cheapest microphone on Amazon, but it'll only lead to subpar audio. A high-quality microphone will make all the difference in the world.
  • Choose the right recording space. Your bedroom might seem like a great place to record your podcast, but your low-hanging ceiling and clothes on the floor are going to cause unwanted echoes and noise. Pick a room with minimal ambient noise and invest in acoustic panels or sound-dampening curtains.
  • Edit your audio. Even with the best equipment and space, there might still be unwanted background noise or inconsistent levels in your recording. That's where editing comes in. Remove unwanted sounds, adjust levels, and add sweet tunes or sound effects to spice things up.

Remember, audio quality is not just important for your current listeners, but it can also affect your potential listeners. So, take the time to make sure your audio sounds great, and you'll keep your listeners coming back for more.

Mistake #3: Inconsistent Scheduling

Life can be chaotic, but nothing says "unprofessional" like flaking on your audience.

Do you want to keep your audience coming back? Here's what you can do to avoid falling into inconsistent scheduling:

  • Plan ahead like the boss you are. Create a content calendar and stick to it like your life depends on it. Trust us; your audience will appreciate the consistency and reliability.
  • Avoid biting off more than you can take, fam. It's better to release one amazing episode per week than five mediocre ones. Be realistic about your load. Quality over quantity is the name of the game.
  • Communication is key, people. If you need to take a break, let your audience know in advance. A simple heads-up can go a long way in maintaining trust and respect with your listeners.

By avoiding this mistake, you'll be well on your way to building a loyal and dedicated audience. Plus, your organizational skills will be on point, and who doesn't love a well-planned content calendar?

Mistake #4: Lack of Promotion

So, you've poured your blood, sweat, and tears into creating great content for your podcast. You've edited and re-edited until every ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ has been eliminated. You're ready to hit publish and let the world bask in your genius, right? Well, not so fast.

If you don't promote your podcast, it's like throwing a party and forgetting to send out the invitations. 

Nobody will know it exists, and you'll be left alone with your snacks and your microphone. Here's how to avoid the mistake of not promoting your podcast:

  • Leverage your network. Do you know all those friends and family members who have been listening to you blather on about your podcast for months? Well, it's time for them to help you. Ask them to share your podcast on social media and spread the word to their own networks. They'll be happy to help, and you'll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make.
  • Reach out to other podcasters in your niche. Remember, podcasting isn't a zero-sum game. Collaborating with other podcasters in your niche can help both of you grow your audiences. You could invite them to be a guest on your podcast or do a joint episode together. Alternatively, you could simply promote each other's podcasts on social media. It's a win-win situation.
  • Attend conferences and events related to your chosen niche. Networking in person can be a great way to promote your podcast and connect with potential listeners. If you're attending an event, be sure to bring some business cards and mention your podcast to anyone who will listen. You never know who may be interested in checking it out later.

Promoting your podcast isn't something you can do once and forget about. It's an ongoing process that needs consistent effort. But with a small bit of creativity and persistence, you can build a loyal audience that will have your back.

Mistake #5: Not Engaging with Your Audience

You're busy creating quality content and don't have time for all that small talk. But here's the thing - your listeners are the lifeblood of your podcast. Without them, you're just a voice in the void. Don't be that person. Here are some ways to keep your audience engaged and grow your following:

  • Respond to listener feedback. You know that feeling of being seenzoned? Don't let your listeners feel that way. Encourage them to leave comments and reviews, and make sure to respond to them. Whether it's a simple thanks or a thoughtful reply, your audience will appreciate the attention.
  • Use social media to interact with your audience. You're probably already using social media to promote your podcast, but are you using it to connect with your audience? Ask for their opinions on topics you're covering, start fun polls, set up an online event if you’re feeling extra. Build a community around your podcast and keep the conversation going outside of your episodes.
  • Host Q&A sessions with your audience. Do you know those live events where fans get to ask their favorite artists all sorts of questions? You can do that too! Host a Q&A session with your audience and get feedback on your content. It's an effective way to connect with your listeners and show them that you value their input.

Remember, your listeners are your biggest fans and supporters. Don't be afraid to engage with them and build a relationship beyond the mic. They're the reason you're doing this in the first place, after all.

Wrapping Up

Starting a podcast is an exciting and rewarding experience—but it also takes time, effort, and a bit of trial and error to create a successful podcast. Avoiding these five common mistakes like the plague can help you set a solid foundation and improve your chances of success.

Remember to define your niche, prioritize audio quality, stick to a consistent schedule, promote your podcast, and engage with your audience. Whether you're looking to grow your brand, share your expertise, or simply entertain, the key to success is to stay true to yourself, provide value to your audience, and have fun along the way.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start podcasting!