It’s great to have a podcast of your own, you’re in total control of it all, and your voice could potentially change the course of people’s lives! But with great power, comes great responsibility. So I’ve put together 10 things you need to look out for that could hurt your podcast to varying degrees.
I also provide some solutions! 😉
This is clearly the worst thing you could do! There are many ways to make podcasting difficult for yourself, but this one, kills everything. You can’t learn, grow, or recover from giving up. That’s why I put it right at the top of this list.
If you’re all over the place with your post/release dates (please stop staring at me!), this can hurt your progress. People prefer predictability over anything else, so the sooner you can get into a rhythm with your release dates, the better. This affected my downloads drastically.
You can also be inconsistent with your topic. So make sure you’re always finding a way of making your episodes relevant to your overarching topic, because again, that’s what people are expecting!
A good solution can be found here on Leslie Samuel’s blog, Become A Blogger. Specifically episode 257, where he talks about why and how to implement an Editorial Calendar! This has rescued me!
This one can hurt you depending on where/how it shows. If you don’t sound excited about your topic, then that will spread to your listeners, and eventually turn them off altogether.
You may not have passion when it comes to doing all the nitty-gritty stuff, but you must at least be passionate about the impact you can have with your topic/product. That can keep you going even when you don’t want to!
And again… EDITORIAL CALENDAR!!
If you start talking about very complicated aspects of your topic too quickly, some people could walk away. This of course depends on your audience.
The other part is you failing to grasp your own topic sufficiently. That will start to show eventually and kill your credibility!
Make sure you’re taking your audience on a logical journey and that you’re also growing in your own knowledge of the topic.
Of course, #4 wouldn’t exist if you knew who you were talking to specifically. Not knowing your target audience is a guaranteed way to have inconsistent results when it comes to people committing to your show.
Do you have a customer avatar, ideal target person? If not, it’s a great exercise to do and will help you cater to your audience more often.
Debatable, but honestly, this one hits me hard. If you have poor sound quality at first, fine. But if that persists for another 10 episodes… Unsubscribe!
You don’t need to be a sound guru to fix this. There are two great apps out there that can help instantly improve your sound quality even if you know nothing about compression or equalization.
Auphonic is an online service, (which is free for editing 2 hours of sound per month, beyond that there’s a monthly fee) that takes your file, allows you to put in some simple parameters, and then goes ahead to improve your sound according to those parameters.
Levelator is another solution that can be downloaded and has its own algorithms that determine what needs to be done to your file when it’s processing it. No expertise required. Just put in your file, expect a better one!
*** Note you must use Wave files (.wav) and NOT MP3 files (.mp3) for Levelator to work! So when you’re done recording, save as .wav first, then convert to .mp3 after improving the sound.
This is separate to #6 because it refers to the structure of our content. In my sound editing, I can sometimes cut out unnecessary lines, or bad jokes (not that there are many) to make the podcast more fluid. If I do this poorly it can result in some dodgy sound, or in some cases, weird sounding logic because the sentence I cut out was actually part of the thought-process.
You have to be careful with this one because whether it’s sound or text, we delete and add things all the time. Make sure those edits are well done, and you make sure the parts around the edited place actually make sense.
If nobody sees you, do you exist? Well, of course you exist! In the online world however, you need something called traffic. That’s people coming to your website, or downloading your episode on iTunes. Without some kind of strategy on social media, nobody will come to the party.
So make sure you’re always inviting people, whether through Facebook or Twitter, personal messages on Whatsapp or WHATEVER! Just invite!
This is where having a mailing list also helps. You can get those who have subscribed to also share your content with those they believe will benefit from your content.
Your topic should be clear for your audience because…predictability! If your topic is too broad (like, cars), you can get lost in the sea of blogs and podcasts dealing with that same broad topic. Also, you want to make sure that you are as specific as possible. Don’t just talk about cars, maybe you could talk specifically about sports cars, even more specifically about four-wheel-drive sports cars… even more specifically about Nissan four-wheel drive sports cars!!
A narrower niche will set you apart more. It will give you a specific and loyal audience that knows what to expect from you on a consistent basis.
If you don’t know what you’re going to do in the next few week of your podcast or blog, it will stress you out everytime it’s time to create content. You don’t always have something great to say on the spot. In the end, you’ll end up not doing an episode that week, or quitting eventually.
So use apps like Evernote to jot down ideas that can be fleshed out later. This episode in particular, I wrote down two months ago!
It also helps to implement themes into your long-term plan, becasue then it can narrow your focus for that month or that season. You’ll know what to research simply because of the theme…or you’ll have something to talk about because you found an old note that ties in with the theme.
Simple things like this can make a very big difference in the long run, and can keep your podcast alive!
What other landmines have you come across in your field? How have you avoided them?
Don’t just think about it.