Let’s talk about making mistakes today. Because we all make them, countless times in our lives. Big ones, small ones, some with a heavy impact and some we forget immediately. We can’t avoid them. That’s life, that’s what human beings do.
We’re not going to lie. A lot can go wrong once you decide to become a podcaster and start recording episodes. And a lot can go wrong even before you reach this process. However, this should not keep you from diving into it!
A lot of mistakes have been made by already established podcasters, and you can avoid making them by following their advice on what not to do. Because the best thing is to learn from mistakes, and even better to learn from other people.
Read on to discover some of the most common mistakes other podcasters have made. By avoiding them, you’ll be on track to become an excellent podcaster.
1. Worrying about other people’s opinions
As podcasters, we are dependent on people out there who want to listen to what we have to say. However, being worried about what others will think about your podcast will limit you to such a degree that you might not even get to the point of launching your show.
As humans, we tend to mainly take into consideration negative feedback and ignore the positive. Be aware that you will not be able to please everybody and that people will criticize what you do. But as long as the audience you want to reach likes your podcast, you should not care too much about the opinion of the rest.
2. Not having a clear purpose
Have you ever thought about why you’re a podcaster? And why you’re investing yourself in something that takes so much of your precious time?
Or do you want to have a podcast just to have one? If you do, you might want to think about your plans again. Because with this mindset, you won’t come far. Everybody can record a couple of episodes, but at some point, you need the drive to continue and to be consistent. And that’s where many are failing.
Reminding yourself of your goals keeps you motivated, because you work towards something. And your listeners will notice fast if you are passionate about what you do. If you’re not, they don’t want to be stuck with your show.
3. Be a generalist. Topic-wise
If you have this clear purpose we just talked about, but are not sure what exact message or what topic you want to transmit, you should first take a break from this cool “lets-start-recording feeling” and figure things out.
Focusing on a specific niche makes your podcast unique and distinguishable from the thousands of podcasts out there. It helps defining your target audience – see next point – find suitable interview guests, and lets your listeners know what they can expect if they click on the play-button.
In case you feel that you need a bit of an extra kick to nail your topic, check out our article about how to find the right topic for your podcast. We can help you out with some suggestions.
4. Not knowing your listeners
The absolute essential detail if you’re planning to launch a podcast is to know who you are podcasting for. Because, let’s be honest, not the whole world will be interested in what you have to say. And you’re probably not podcasting for yourself, right?
The good news is: the world population is so big that you certainly find people wo want to listen to you. And if you have a target audience in mind, you know where to look for them and how to talk to them. If you understand your listeners, you can give them what they want. And more people will join your community.
It’s simple: if you don’t think about your audience, you won’t grow. So, get to know your listeners!
5. Spending a lot of money on technical equipment
Yes, it is important to get the sound right. And yes, an edited podcast sounds a lot better than if you leave it as you record. But expensive equipment is not necessarily required, at least in the beginning.
Think about a quiet and not-so-much-echoey place without background noises for recording. And there are a lot of free tools for your computer which can help editing your files. Then some issues are already solved.
In addition, you might want to try out the whole podcasting thing first. If you give it a go but notice that you have other things than podcasting as a priority, it would be a pity to have spent a lot of money on expensive tools.
6. Spending even more money to promote your podcast
Ok, we understand, we all want more attention and, eventually, grow our podcasts. But just throwing in money for social media ads is not that big of a help and won’t bring you a lot of new listeners. Effective promotion starts with knowing who your listeners are – see point 4 – and, even more important, where to find them.
Figure out the platforms your audience is using. Join specific social media groups and start to interact with people. In short, build your network. And include at least one call to action in every podcast episode to invite your audience to subscribe or recommend the podcast to someone else. That’s all for free and doesn’t cost you anything but time.
And we recommend that you read our tips about how to promote your podcast in an efficient way. Instead of spending all that money on ads.
7. Having big expectations
If you are a rather normal person and not a famous actor or Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen who recently started a new show on Spotify, you should not hope for the “get-rich-quick” effect. Because it won’t happen. At least not immediately. You will not hit millions of downloads in only a few weeks, that’s a fact.
Instead of having these big expectations, be realistic. And always remind yourself why you started to record episodes in the first place and what goals you have. Checking your stats and downloads every hour will not keep you motivated to continue what you do. Be patient, have fun, and who knows what will happen in the future.
8. Not starting NOW!
Really, what is holding you back? If you wait, you might regret it at some point.
And just to be clear, the “no-equipment excuse” doesn’t count. Because the easiest way to get started now is to download the OmniPod app. You just need your smartphone to record what you want to say. No microphone, no extra equipment.
Go to your app store and find out how it feels to be a podcaster now!