Hosting a podcast is a great way to grow your business.
You’re able to rub shoulders with the top people in your industry, dispense sage wisdom to your listeners, and build authority by association.
It’s also a growing space. 50% of American households listen to podcasts regularly and it’s expected to represent a billion dollars in advertising by 2021.
There are many benefits but they can be lost if you make one of the common podcasting mistakes. They seem minor and unimportant but can result in losing the goodwill of your audience and ensuring your podcast is a failed endeavor.
No one wants that so in this article, you’ll learn the podcasting mistakes you should avoid at all costs (and what to do instead).
Choosing the wrong hosting
There are many podcast hosting sites out there and each one brings something different to the table. Some are made for brands while others are built for individual creators.
A few of them start off as free and you’re charged after your podcast grows beyond a certain point. It’s important to choose a podcast host that’s a good fit for you right now.
The reason why is simple, it’s easy to switch podcast hosting companies with a few button clicks. It doesn’t make sense to overpay or choose a solution that kind of fits you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are tradeoffs with every hosting solution. For example, there’s a free podcast host that will get you listed in iTunes but it’s not under your account. That means you don’t have access to your iTunes analytics and are missing out on a lot of useful data.
On the other hand, some podcast hosting companies charge you a flat fee but the cost increases if you want to test out a different show.
Not editing before going live
Podcasts are meant to be candid conversations between you and a guest. You can also choose to host a podcast that is a conversation you hold alone. Whatever route you take, there’s a lot of room for editing.
Even if you don’t cut out verbal ticks like “um” and “uh,” you should ensure the sound is level throughout the episode. You’ll also have to do things like add intro and outro music to give your show personality.
The simple truth is that every episode, no matter how good it is when recorded, will benefit from editing. Without editing, your show will eventually be perceived as belonging to an amateur. If your audience expects to derive deep insights from your podcast but the production is poor they’ll feel a disconnect and may not take it seriously.
Figuring it out as you go
There’s merit to starting something before you feel you’re ready and it’s encouraged in many circles – podcasting included. There’s a limit to what you should be figuring it out.
For example, you shouldn’t figure out your niche after you’ve started your show. That’s one of the most important considerations when you start a podcast. It informs how you promote it, the kind of guests you choose, and much more.
You also shouldn’t be figuring out how to speak clearly and understandably. That’s something that needs to be settled before you start your podcast. There are many things that you should research and understand before starting.
Minor things can be figured out as you go but the major things like what was mentioned should be planned and improved over time.
Winging it on shows
Podcast shows appear organic to the listener but most of them have a rough outline that makes it flow much more smoothly. If you wing it on shows and ask your guest anything that comes to mind, they may not be able to give you the best answers to your questions because it hasn’t been well considered.
Even if you want your show to be spontaneous and give yourself room to follow comments or thoughts to their logical conclusion, there should be a general path it follows. Send the high level questions or topics to your guest ahead of time so they can prepare.
If you’re hosting the show alone, do deep research beforehand and list out talking points before you start. If you forget anything you have notes and an outline to jog your memory.
How much trust would you put in a business that said it opens every weekday from 9 – 5 but no one is there when you show up on Wednesday at 11 AM? You may give them the benefit of the doubt but, more likely, you’d think they weren’t serious.
The same is true with your podcast. If you tell your listeners to expect a new episode every Thursday but only manage every other Thursday, they’ll stop trusting you. If they don’t trust you then all the information you share won’t be as effective.
A great example of consistency is John Lee Dumas from EOfire.com He’s been podcasting every day for years and has built a multi-million dollar business because of it.
Investing too much in things you may not need
You never know what you need until you actually need it. There are few essential pieces of equipment when it comes to podcast hosting. The only required one is a good mic and “good” is subjective.
Don’t go out and buy a $500 mic, a pro level editing solution, and half a dozen pop filters. It’s not useful to you in the beginning. Instead, focus on getting the best guests and learning the fundamentals of a great podcast show.
When you get those parts right and start seeing the benefits, you’ll earn revenue and can reinvest that back into the podcast. This is how businesses grow and you should treat your podcast like a business if you want to see lasting success.
Trying to grow your podcast in a bubble
A wise Englishman once said:
“No man is an island, entire unto himself.”
It simply means you can’t succeed if you’re alone. There are too many variables and too many ways to fail. Other podcast hosts will help you grow faster, bring interesting ideas, and even share tricks of the trade.
Contrary to popular belief, successful people like helping other people, you just have to ask and put in the effort. If you can do that, they’ll be happy to take you under their wing. It also makes them look good.
When it doubt, reach out. Actively seek to collaborate with people in your space (and even people outside your space). You may be pleasantly surprised at the reception you get. Even if someone turns you down, there are many others willing to help you.
Podcasting can be a great way to grow your presence online. It comes with many benefits but only if you can avoid the many pitfalls.
This article has outlined the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. The rest is up to you.