Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Starting a podcast can take a lot of work, it can take even more work running the podcast and growing it into something that you love doing for the long term. There are a lot of great practices to podcasting, and sticking with it. However, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do right away, especially if this is your first podcast.
These are a few mistakes that first time podcasters make, and how to avoid them. Take these topics as advice, and use them to learn. You can easily avoid making drastic mistakes at the beginning of your podcast if you understand other people’s lessons they’ve learned, doing the same thing you are.
Too Broad a Topic
When you’re choosing a topic for your show, it can be a difficult decision. You should have something that you are interested in and you can talk about for a lot of episodes. Your decision should be something that involves the smallest viable audience. That means you should know what your niche is, the point of the show should be clear from one sentence of explanation.
If you have too broad of a topic it can be difficult for people to get into, most people get into podcasts because they are looking for a specific topic to learn more about. You should play into that fact and choose a topic that is as niche as possible with a big enough audience.
It’s extremely important to stay consistent for your podcast, especially for the first few episodes. If you’re listening to a podcast and all of a sudden there is no episodes for weeks at a time, would you still listen to it? You are likely to forget about the podcast completely.
When you start your podcast it’s important to build the trust of your audience, there are a lot of ways to do that but one of the most important is to put out episodes when you say you will. So whether you are doing a monthly show or a weekly show, it’s vital to produce episodes as promised.
Having Enough Passion
A lot of people make the mistake of not choosing a topic that they have a lot of interest in. It’s important not to just “have a podcast, to have a podcast”. You should be passionate about the subject, that way it’s easier to keep the podcast going in the long run.
Use that passion to fuel your show. Don’t just choose a topic that is the latest trend, your listeners will be able to tell if you are doing it to pander, or if you have a real interest in the subject.
Not Planning Enough
This can be a crucial mistake that people make when starting a podcast. Proper planning during the first stages of podcasting can save you a lot of headaches later on down the road. If you know exactly what your podcast is going to be about, you will have an easier time coming up with topics after your show is more established.
Coming up with topics should be something you spend a lot of time thinking about and brainstorming on, if you have someone that you are doing your podcast with, this is the most important step in creating a show. Make sure to plan when, what, and how you’re going to record.
Bad Sound Quality
Although it can be tough at the beginning, when you don’t have any money to spend on the equipment you might need, it’s still possible to get decent sound quality. Listeners will definitely be able to tell if a show was recorded with a good microphone, but still has a lot of background noise, and echo.
When recording, make sure to shut off any excess noise makers (A.C. Unit, fans, music etc.) that way, even if you don’t have a dedicated studio, and professional microphone, you can still get great quality audio. A great and simple tip is to throw a blanket over your head and the microphone, or sit in the closet and record. Both examples have fantastic natural noise dampeners.
Expectations Too High
This is one that I am guilty of. When you launch your podcast, you may think that everyone on the planet will want to listen to your podcast. Let me tell you, it will take time for you show to catch on. It will take a lot of work to keep the podcast going, and to grow that audience that you want to grow.
You have to focus on a lot of things to gain more listeners, check out some of my other blogs if you want to know some tips for this. Keep your expectations limited at the launch of your podcast, as long as you stay consistent and keep up the work, your audience will grow with it.
There’s a lot of things to worry about with the launch of your podcast, but worrying about which hosting platform is a big one. There is a lot of places to listen to podcasts, and you should try and get on as many of them as you can.
There are a lot of hosting platforms out there to choose, this is something that should take a little more research but make sure to look into what podcatchers each hosting service will publish to. It’s important they publish to the major ones (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)
There can be a lot of issues if you choose to go with a popular song as an intro. You should be very careful about the intro song you go with, or if you use movie quotes. You need permission to use songs that have copyrights involved with them. It’s your job to check if you need permission, and to get a hold of the owner of the copyright. There is a good way to go about this, but you have to make sure to handle it correctly. There’s no reason to start your podcast with the danger of being shut down.