Anybody can easily start a podcast today. However, how do you ensure that it’s a good one? With over 48 million episodes worldwide by April 2025, there is no way that you will be heard in a crowded market by being just an average podcaster.
If you want to take your podcasting journey a level higher and gain traction quicker, you ought to avoid these 10 common podcast mistakes of all time! Let’s check them out!
Not Understanding Your Audience
One of the most crucial and devastating mistakes that most podcasters make is jumping right into podcasting without knowing their audience well.
Your audience is the building block of the success of your podcast. There is no way to avoid your audience and expect your podcast to blow up out of nowhere.
Without understanding your audience, you can never create relevant or engaging podcasts for your audience. If you do not have a close look at your audience, you will never know their likes, dislikes, and interests in podcasts. Similarly, without knowing or researching your target audience, you cannot track your podcast growth adequately. Your target audience has a lot to do with the metrics you use for tracking your growth.
The importance of understanding your audience is limitless and can never be overlooked. Hence, if you are on the verge of starting a new podcast, take out at least a few days before you start recording your first episode!
Too Broad a Theme
You might have heard a million times as suggestions to stick to your niche for your podcast, which is entirely true. If you start your podcast without having a micro niche or macro niche, you will have difficulty finding loyal listeners to your podcasts.
Being a generalist or creating a vague podcast will lead to an unclear podcast with no specific direction. You will not be able to meet the needs and demands of your listeners if you cannot accurately sum up your show. In addition to that, it will be hard to promote your show or find any traction within the industry.
Make sure to put your research into honing your niche and narrowing down the topics. If you are having a tough time choosing your niche, preferably something you love and have sound knowledge on. This way, you will gradually build a good set of loyal listeners and have a close community real soon!
Not Collecting Subscriber Emails
As a podcaster, your email list is a valuable asset in your podcasting journey. Emails are a terrific method of communication to send out regular updates about your upcoming episodes, feedback, or more such info about your podcasts.
It is vital that you start collecting emails right from the beginning of your podcasting career to ensure that you do not lose on potential opportunities like growing a community, marketing your podcasts, and many more.
Making it Difficult to Find Your Podcast
Your podcast must be easy to find if you want your podcast to get the maximum exposure and reach more audiences. Many times listeners tend to overlook your podcast or even don’t find you in your search results. This can cost you quite a lot of followers over time.
Avoid Difficult or Obscure Names
Naming your podcasts might get frustrating at times, especially when all the good and catchy names are already taken! The core principle in creating a name for your podcast is to prefer a concise yet descriptive name.
Your podcast name should communicate to your audience what your show is all about in a very concise and sophisticated manner. Also, add a short description paragraph in the name, which will help in more visibility.
If a potential listener is scrolling through the podcast directory, such as iTunes, a meaningful and well-framed name has a better chance of showing up sooner than a difficult or obscure podcast name.
The History of Byzantium Podcast is an excellent example with a descriptive name and a short description right below it!
Not Understanding the Podcast Landscape
Podcasting is no less than an art. You cannot achieve success by just randomly recording podcasts and publishing them. You need to understand every minute detail before you publish your podcast.
With partial information, you will not achieve the desired feat. Hence, it is essential that before you start your podcasting journey, you research your industry well and know more about podcasting in general. Look out for popular influencers and note down points that you can add to your podcasts to make them even better.
Not Listed in Enough Podcast Directories
Your podcast must have high discoverability and visibility to gain more listeners. If you are struggling with your listener count, you need to be listed in as many podcast directories as possible!
There are multiple popular podcast directories such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, etc., which will offer you better chances of making your podcast visible to a wider range of audiences.
Choosing the Right Hosting Platform
While recording podcasts, you will end up with multiple large media files which you need to share with your audience. Your podcast host is the internet service wherein you upload your files that are released later for your listeners. However, your podcast hosting platform needs to have ample storage and bandwidth to share those media files. If you choose the wrong podcasting platform, there could be severe repercussions like bad user experience, lags, etc.
Using Podcasts.com as a Hosting Platform
If you are a newbie to podcasting, there are several hosting platforms you can opt for. One of the popular podcast hosting platforms is podcasts.com!
The entire process of publishing your podcast, starting from uploading the files to tracking the metrics of your podcast, is readily available within a few clicks, which makes it super easy for beginners and people who are not technically sound.
You can also connect your podcast to different podcast directories like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, etc., via the podcast RSS feed. Podcasts.com generates a fully valid RSS feed for its users. Therefore, you need not worry about the complicated XML codes ever!
Most people tend to convert their massive mp3 files to video format and upload it to youtube, which is always a bad idea! Youtube is an absolutely wrong platform for podcast consumption. Here’s why.
- You cannot download episodes for offline viewing(only available for youtube premium users)
- The user cannot play the video in the background. They have to keep the device screen active which simultaneously drains the battery real quick.
- You do not have much control over your channel since most of it is managed by Google. If you accidentally break any terms and conditions, your account will probably be suspended for life!
With so many hindrances, youtube is never the ideal option for hosting your podcasts. Even if you gain a subscriber or two, it might not be beneficial in the long run.
To combat this, open an account in any online podcast hosting platform available like Lybsin, or Podbean, and store your mp3 files without any hassle. You have complete control over your podcasts, and moving between hosts is much easier than just leaving your youtube channel altogether!
No Marketing Strategy
If you have spent blood, tears, and sweat on recording and editing your podcast but did not market well, rest assured all those all-nighters will go in vain. If you do not market your podcasts well, there will be no growth in exposure and your audience base. Hence, it is crucial that you take a decent time out of your hectic schedule and use it for marketing your podcasts in the right way!
Have a Call to Action: No Starting or Ending Prompt
Many podcasters miss the point of having a CTA while recording their intro and outro, which is a terrible mistake! If you do not encourage your listeners to follow you on your social media handles, check out the blog post you talked about, or buy the products or services that you promoted in the podcast, there is no way you can see growth in your list of followers.
Always ensure to add a solid Call to Action, usually at the beginning and/or end of the episode. Inform your listeners about your new launches or follow your social media handles. Include the social media handles in the description or the bio and remind them of their presence.
Additionally, you can also ask for a review by the end of the podcast and respond to them later to increase engagement with your audience.
Bad Audio Quality
Podcasts are everything about your audio and content. If you do not have presentable audio, there is no way your listeners will be looking forward to the next episode. They might not even listen to the entire episode and leave right in between. You must keep the audio quality of your podcasts at the top of your priority list.
Avoid Cheap Mics/gear.
All of us love to save our money, and podcasts do demand a good deal of investment. However, the ROI is even higher. If you consider buying cheap and flimsy mics and gears to record your podcasts, you might lose out on your long-term ROI.
Most of the cheap and bad mics have a very fuzzy or unclear sound which will instantly drive your listener away and never come back! You can get multiple good-quality mics and gears out there that do not cause a hole in your pocket and still give a fantastic sound quality for your podcasts!
Bad Sound Levels/mixing/mastering
Imbalances in sound levels are inevitable while recording a podcast, especially with two or more hosts together. The show host will have the strongest and clearest sound in such cases, whereas the rest might sound feeble or inaudible.
Many podcasters tend to overlook editing, leveling, mixing, or mastering their audio files, resulting in bad and uneven audio quality. This significantly ruins the overall listening experience of your audience. If you leave such a significant issue unattended, you will end up losing many loyal fans over time.
There are multiple podcast editors like Audacity, Garageband, and many more that can make the entire process of podcast audio editing streamlined. Additionally, you can also choose to hire professionals to get your podcast’s audio edited every time.
Weak and/or Amateur Branding/Artwork
Whenever any potential listener looks at your social media profiles, websites, or any page listed in your directory, the title, description, and graphics are the top three things they notice.
As a podcaster, graphics might not be your best forte and are unimportant since your medium is audio. However, if you do not optimize your artwork to a better level, you might again end up sling more potential listeners.
The best solution is to rely on a professional if you are not a pro at graphic designing, i. You can either choose a freelancer or ask your friend to help you with the designs.
If you think you are not gaining enough traction already, take your graphics into high priority, and you will definitely notice a hike in your follower count real soon.
Not Having an Accompanying Website
Your podcast website is the centralized location and the hub for all your podcasts. Your listeners can find all the necessary information like upcoming podcast information, archived episodes, repurposed content, and many more rights from your podcast website.
If you do not have a full-fledged website, you miss out on podcast monetization opportunities, increased discoverability, brand reputation, community, and many more crucial aspects of your podcast.
Having an accompanying website comes with plenty of benefits and is undoubtedly an absolute necessity for your podcasts!
Inconsistent Episode Releases
As a new podcaster or even a veteran, consistency is the key. Suppose you want to achieve milestones in your podcasting journey, which could include marketing your products, building a community, etc. In that case, you need to be very consistent with your content creation.
You should always have a specific publishing schedule, and you need to stick with it! You do not necessarily have to publish an episode every day or every alternate day. Even if you publish an episode every two weeks, you have to stick with it. Your audience will not stick around for long if they have to keep guessing whenever a new episode might make an appearance!
Not Properly Planning Episodes
Planning is another significant step that most podcasters tend to avoid. You need to plan your episodes before recording them. You might have a myriad of thoughts and ideas to discuss, but when it comes to properly executing them, without a plan, all of it will go haywire! Also, your podcast will lack consistency and quality.
Always take out a few hours or at least a few days as per your requirements, and plan out your episodes before recording your podcast. Note down all the points in the correct order that you will be covering in the specific podcast. This way, you can ensure that you never miss out on any crucial points while recording your podcast.
Not Using a Podcast Script Template
While we talk about planning your podcasts, you should always have a podcast script ready before recording your episodes. Many podcasters overlook the importance of having a script, but it comes with multiple benefits. With a predefined podcast script, you can note down the topics you will cover within particular time stamps and have clear guidance on the order of the topics.
Many podcasters tend to get lazy when it comes to creating a podcast script every time. You can choose a suitable podcast script template to plan every episode with ease in such cases.
Here’s an example of a general podcast template. Feel free to modify it as per your requirements.
Opening: A quick music jingle along with your brand’s logo
Introduction: A few monologue-style lines to outline to your guests what you plan to talk about on your show today
Segue: Add some music or podcast sound effects.
Topic 1: Discuss the first topic within the three minutes
Vocal Segue: Add a transition statement like “We will move on and talk next about…” or “In other news this week….”
Topic 2: Discuss the next topic in another three minutes.
Ad insertion: Add your sponsored messages or advertisements here
Musical Segue: Again, add some music to transition back to the main content.
Topic 3: Discuss the third topic for another three minutes
Closing remarks: Thank your listeners and offer a sneak peek of your next episode
Closing music jingle: A slow music while ending the episode
There are multiple podcasters out there that have used bits of copyright-protected movies or songs as a part of their podcasts. With technology advancing at a swift pace, there will be a time pretty soon wherein automated bots can easily scan every online mp3 file and check for any copyright-protected material.
In case the bot detects a violation, you are doomed. Violating copyright protection laws is an unlawful act that can lead you to serious trouble!
If you are using any copyright-protected material, ensure that it falls within fair use limits. Even better if you create a completely unique podcast to combat such a deadly pitfall!
Not Collaborating with Other Podcasters
Podcast collaborations also come with loads of benefits and opportunities for new podcasters. You can either get someone to interview you or go to another show as a guest and collaborate with them. Here are some benefits you get upon collaborating with your fellow podcasters.
- Connect with different people and get more sight into different opinions, and perspectives about various topics
- It gives you a fresh set of audience to interact with
- You gain more credibility as you collaborate with other authoritative podcasters in your industry
- You bring something new to your audience other than the regular episodes!
Another very common podcast mistake includes setting initial expectations way too high!
You should always have your dreams and aspirations for the show, but you should work equally and consistently towards it. Waiting for the big time and thinking that your podcast will be a hit overnight will undoubtedly lead to disappointments! Many podcasts even decide on quitting their podcasting journey just because of unrealistic expectations and the need to meet them within a specific time frame.
It is important that you have certain milestones set for your podcasting journey. Be consistent and mark off your checklists gradually. Even though this also does not guarantee you to be on the top list, it is a more sustainable method of achieving your long-term goals.
Creating a podcast might look like a casual thing which results in avoiding several crucial aspects that can cause severe damage to your audience base and the growth of your podcast in the long run. You must consider all these mistakes and ensure that you notice every nitty-gritty detail before you publish every episode. Follow every marketing strategy, focus on giving your best in every episode, and you will soon see the growth metrics going higher!