We’re sure you’ve heard plenty of people say the phrase, “I’m starting a podcast.” Plenty of them go on to start one, too! But, how many of them do you hear about six months later? Not many, probably. In fact, 75% of podcasts stop production after 12 months. 

That’s a staggering amount of failed podcasts! So, what makes a failed podcast? How can you avoid becoming like the vast majority of new podcasts? We’ve dedicated our post today to beginner podcast mistakes that’ll make your production flop. Once you know the blunders, you can avoid them to ensure your podcast’s success. Let’s get into it:

Why Podcasts Fail

You didn’t hit your niche. 

Finding your niche is hard sometimes. This is true for a few reasons. For one thing, if you keep your topic too broad, you may fail to stick out in the over-saturated topic. When this happens, you miss out on the opportunity to make valuable connections with your listeners. Additionally, if you zoom in too much, your target audience may be too small to create a viable listenership. 

And, that’s not all the issues you may have with your niche! Perhaps when you start recording, you think your focus is one thing, but then you realize it’s another. For example, maybe you thought your niche was apartment gardeners. But, after a few episodes, you realize your target audience is apartment dwellers looking for a way to bring nature into their industrial space. The distinction is small, but knowing or not knowing your audience will make or break your podcast!

Your podcast isn’t consistent. 

Podcasts are a lot of work. When you launch a podcast, it seems as simple as hitting record and then upload. But, if you’ve been podcasting for any amount of time, you know there’s a lot more to it than that! It takes a lot out of you, yet uploading consistently is key to success. 

Once you select an upload day, you can’t miss it! Your listeners will be waiting for it and many streaming platform algorithms demand that you regularly upload. If your posting is inconsistent, people will forget about your podcast, stop expecting new releases, and eventually fall away. And, without consistency, you probably won’t see much organic traffic from search engines either! 

The quality just isn’t there. 

With so many podcasts out there, listeners demand a certain level of quality. Think about the early days of YouTube. You could record a video recorded on a Nintendo D.S. with poor lighting and messy delivery. Then, you would hit upload, spare no thought to SEO, and see your viewership jump and jump. But, now, the quality expectation for YouTube videos is on-par with big-budget cable TV shows! 

Podcasts are the same. Your recording, presentation, and content must be top-notch. If it doesn’t reach the listener’s quality standards, they’ll find someone else speaking on the same topic that reaches their high expectations. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Make sure you keep focus on the audio quality, as well as the overall production quality of your podcast. 

You haven’t mastered your vocal delivery. 

This goes right along with quality! People want a voice that’s entertaining and easy to listen to. When you set out to start a podcast, maybe you didn’t think about how your voice would actually sound on recording, but it’s an important thing to consider! Podcast hosts need to practice their vocal delivery [LINK VOCAL DELIVERY ARTICLE WHEN LIVE], script their episodes, and be willing to do multiple takes to get the perfect recording for their listeners. 

Your content is nothing new. 

Great content must bring a new perspective. Don’t think of your podcast as simply informative. Truly, what does it do for your listener? Ask yourself questions like, “How is my content counter- traditional wisdom?” or “How does my podcast challenge the listener in a new way?”

Your podcast must stand out in your niche. You have to bring something new to the table that no one else has done before. Are there tons of beauty podcasts? Sure. Are there a ton of beauty podcasts focused on people with chronic illness who are frequently in the hospital? Probably not! Finding your niche isn’t just about locating a general topic. In addition to your general topic, you’ve gotta find the people who feel like they haven’t yet been heard. That’s how you build a loyal following!

You’re not marketing and engaging. 

Is podcast SEO a thing? Sure. However, banking on gaining listenership exclusively through organic search traffic isn’t a wise growth plan. You need to market! Get into your online communities daily and engage with future podcast listeners!

You can market on social media, online forums, and via other podcasts! When you speak to your target audience, offer expertise, and subtly direct them to your content. This way, you not only grow your listenership, you also build credibility! Once you produce a podcast, don’t just upload it and leave it. Push it out there. And, when you have followers, engage with them daily. 

Your expectations of results are too high. 

Another reason a lot of podcasts fail is because the podcast host loses motivation after a lack of results. Really, podcasts are a long-term game. Do research on reasonable benchmarks and don’t set your expectations too high. It’s okay if you only have a small, committed audience at first. Just keep grinding, and in time – you’ll reach all your podcast goals!  

It’s not distributed widely enough. 

It doesn’t take too much effort to upload to every popular podcast platform. And when you do, you expand your reach exponentially. No one is going to download a podcast app specifically to listen to your podcast (at least not at this point.) So, don’t let anyone’s excuse for not listening to your podcast be, “Oh, I don’t have iHeartRadio.” Be on all the platforms, so you can say, “That’s okay, I’m on Spotify and Apple too!”

No focus on reviews and ratings.

Reviews and ratings are the currency of the podcast world. One of the biggest search ranking factors on a podcast streaming app are the average reviews. If you have a ton of 5-star reviews, you’re way more likely to get organic traffic. Once you start gaining regular organic traffic, you’ll see your podcast BLOW UP. Try to encourage your listeners to leave reviews through a simple call to action!

Using a podcast only to make a “better business card.”

There’s no doubt that podcasts are a great marketing tool for businesses. It’s a great way to build credibility, gain loyalty, and acquire more customers. However, if your ONLY goal of starting a podcast is to make more money with your business, you’ll fall flat. Listeners just won’t buy it!

Listeners are looking for authenticity and a unique perspective. If you don’t have that, and your delivery sounds too corporate, you won’t retain listeners from week-to-week. If you want to start a podcast to grow your business, that’s great, but make sure your podcast is more than a 45 minute sales pitch. 

Avoid these podcast mistakes to ensure your content impacts your listeners and reaches the masses!

Most podcasts fail, but if you avoid these common mistakes, you can beat the odds. Keep pushing forward, maintain your podcast, realize your niche, and create great content. And, while you do it, Dear Media will be with you every step of the way. Our blog has tons of content on creating the perfect podcast. And, you can listen to one of our incredible podcasts for inspiration on how to get your own show to the next level. You can do this!