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7 Mistakes to Avoid when Launching a Podcast
Coming up with a podcast idea – let alone recording and editing episodes – takes a bit of practice and a lot of learning. That’s why we’ve created resources like Free Podcast Course to help you every step of the way.
But I get it: you’re busy, and you’ve probably run into a couple of roadblocks along the way, like the tech involved, or the money you have to invest in your equipment and setup.
What should NOT hold you back from launching a podcast?
I’m here to tell you that these are two of the MANY things that should NOT hold you back from launching a podcast.
Because the tech involved in podcasting really isn’t that difficult.
Once you’ve spent an hour to set everything up, and recorded and edited 5 episodes, you’ll know recording and editing.
And the monetary investment required to launch a podcast isn’t that high.
You pay $70 for a great microphone, use your laptop and your earbuds – which you already have – and you spend $10 per month for a hosting account.
You’re all set.
Side note: I realize this sounds a lot easier than it really is, but trust me: launching a podcast isn’t half as difficult as you’re making it out to be.
Spoiler alert for you: the real work starts after you’ve launched.
Mistakes to avoid when launching a podcast
But what about the common mistakes people make when launching a podcast – mistakes that then make it even more difficult to grow and monetize your podcast?
There are several mistakes you can learn about before you launch a podcast in order to:
- Save time,
- Avoid wasting money, and
- Gain momentum and traction faster.
And I’m going to share 7 of them with you today.
Here at Entrepreneurs On Fire we’ve launched over ten podcasts, generated multiple 7-figures because of those podcasts, and built a business and the lifestyle we want as a result.
But it hasn’t been a wide open path to success.
We’ve hit tons of roadblocks, fallen down more than a few times, and we’ve learned A LOT about what it means to launch a successful podcast.
So today I’m going to share our lessons with you by way of revealing the 7 mistakes we’ve made while launching our podcasts, plus what we wish we would have done instead.
7 Mistakes to avoid when launching a podcast
Mistake #1: Delaying launch
Have you heard that voice inside your head that’s telling you you’re not good enough to launch a podcast?
It might even be telling you that it’s a waste of time – no one is going to listen anyway.
I know a way to stop that voice: launch your podcast.
John calls it his $100,000 mistake: he delayed launching Entrepreneurs On Fire for an entire month because of that voice in his head, also known as the imposter syndrome.
But guess what?…
We’ve consistently generated over $100,000 per month for several years now; had he launched when he was supposed to, that would have been one more month we could have generated $100,000.
Pretty expensive mistake, wouldn’t you agree?
Everyone experiences the imposter syndrome. Crush that voice by proving it wrong.
Launch your podcast, cause at the end of the day this isn’t even about you; it’s about those you’ll be impacting as a result of sharing your message with the world.
Mistake #2: Not having a clear goal in mind
When I launched my podcast, Kate’s Take, my original intention was to crush my fear of putting myself out there and letting my voice be heard.
This was a huge struggle of mine, and I knew the only way to embrace that fear was to do the thing that made me most uncomfortable: launch my own podcast.
But once I launched and accomplished my goal of putting myself out there and letting my voice be heard, I just kept producing episodes without a clear goal in mind.
Was the content valuable?
Absolutely; I wouldn’t have published it otherwise.
However, it doesn’t matter how valuable your content is if you don’t have a clear path for your listeners to take after your episode is over.
Without a clear path for your listeners, you have nothing more than a hobby, and my guess is you didn’t start a podcast because you had a little extra time on your hands.
If you want your podcast to serve as a powerful marketing channel for your business, products, services, communities, and other offerings, then you have to have a clear goal in mind every time you hit record.
Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
Mistake #3: Over-recording and over-editing
The good news? Unless you’re a well-studied radio producer, an entertainment personality, or an ex-newscaster, you likely aren’t that great at getting behind a microphone.
Whew!… you’re not alone.
Now that we’ve established that, understand that practicing is the one and only way you’ll consistently improve as a podcast host.
The trouble is, a lot of people – including myself and John – do this with a single episode and waste A LOT of time in the process.
Don’t stress over “how bad you are” in the beginning.
Instead, trust that over time you will continue to improve – not by recording the same episode 5 times, but by recording 5 episodes, then 10, then 15.
And now for the over-editing part…
We are only human.
Yes we breathe, and yes we say “umm” sometimes.
Don’t edit every single second of your podcast like I did for the first several weeks!
Over-editing will cost you loads of time, and it will only result in your final recording sounding way less than normal.
Those who are tuning in to your podcast want to relate to you, and they can relate to you faster if they feel like they’re listening in on a conversation they might actually be having with you.
So keep it natural, and don’t cut out the things that make you human – like breathing and saying “umm” every once in a while.
Also, use your editing time to identify the things you want to improve upon during recording. If you’re editing and you do find that you say “umm” a lot, then start being more conscious of that the next time you record.
Be intentional about your improvements and they will come a lot quicker.
Mistake #4: Not thinking outside of the box sooner
We’ve published interview podcasts, topic-based podcasts, season-based podcasts, Q&A podcasts, variety podcasts, and even complete podcasts.
But it took us a while to come up with the idea and to realize that our podcasts didn’t have to “look” a certain way.
This is YOUR podcast, and that means you get to call the shots.
So if you want to launch a podcast that lasts for 6 months, and then stops – go for it!
If you want to launch a podcast that might last for 1 year, or maybe for 5 years, then start recording!
As long as you have:
- Some type of strategy in place,
- A clear goal in mind for what you’re creating, and
- You communicate openly with your audience about what to expect…
You can’t go wrong.
You might learn a whole lot of lessons in the process, and end up tweaking or pivoting along the way, but that’s a GOOD thing! That means you’re receiving feedback and improving what it is you’re creating.
Think outside the box! Your podcast will be unique because it’s YOUR PODCAST – not someone else’s.
Mistake #5: Not repurposing content
Podcasting is an incredible medium because the barrier to listen is SO LOW.
You can download a podcast and listen to it on a plane. You can stream a podcast while you’re cooking, working out, folding clothes, or washing dishes – while you’re doing just about anything.
For that reason, many people will choose to tune in so they can do other things at the same time.
However, you must realize that you will have audience members who for one reason or another want to read the content, share the content, or see the content.
For that reason, every podcast episode should be repurposed so you can not only leverage your content for better exposure and reach, but also so you’re making it easy for your audience to consume your content in a way that’s most convenient for them.
So don’t just publish your podcast episode and then call it done.
Create a powerful repurposing strategy that has a process built around it that allows you to also create:
- A show notes page;
- Social media posts;
- A download your listeners can optin for;
- A slideshow you can share on YouTube; and/or
- A infographic you can use on your website.
The possibilities are endless, and you should choose your repurposing strategy based on where you know your listeners hang out at and what format they prefer to consume content in.
Every repurposing strategy will be different. Make yours unique to you and your audience so you’re not missing out on this powerful strategy!
Mistake #6: Not having a consistent promotions process
What’s the point of publishing a new episode every week if you’re not sharing it with your listeners so they know it’s there?
I missed out on some potentially big traction and momentum in the beginning by not promoting the episodes and content I was creating. It wasn’t until I was about 50 episodes in that I developed a promotions process to ensure that every time I created a piece of content, my audience would find out about it.
It’s critical to have a promotions process in place so that you’re not recreating the wheel every time you hit publish on a new episode.
Also, promoting your podcast is the fastest way to grow your audience. The more people who know about it, the better your potential for gaining that traction and momentum!
And no, it’s not too late! Regardless of whether you’ve launched your podcast or not, putting a promotions process in place now WILL be of benefit.
Mistake #7: Not practicing more
To date, John has published over 2,000 episodes on Entrepreneurs On Fire. WOW.
One of his biggest mistakes in retrospect?
Not honing his interview skills by practicing interviewing other Podcast hosts first.
Podcasting is an incredible medium for several reasons, but one that isn’t often talked about is the potential to create really amazing connections and relationships with other podcasters.
Unlike the cut-throat competition that you see in other industries, I’ve never met a podcaster who wasn’t willing to lend a helping hand, contribute feedback, or give support when asked.
Leverage that! Start jumping into podcasting communities and creating connections and relationships with those who can help you on your journey. It will make ALL the difference!
If you’re looking for THE best podcasting community around, we’d love to welcome you to the Podcasters’ Paradise family!
Bonus tips for launching your podcast
I’ve shared 7 of the biggest mistakes to avoid when launching a podcast from our own experience, but what about others’?
I’m glad you asked, because I’d be remiss to not talk about a couple of the major snafus I see podcasters make every single day when launching their podcast.
Bonus tip #1: Don’t get caught up in New & Noteworthy
You’ve likely heard about iTunes New & Noteworthy from other podcasters. It’s a beautiful spot in iTunes where your visibility and potential to gain early traction and momentum can skyrocket.
Unfortunately iTunes decided a while back that it wasn’t going to include several of the categories in its New & Noteworthy algorithm… meaning, it’s frozen.
One New & Noteworthy algorithm that’s definitely working is the main one, and just because many of the others are frozen right now doesn’t mean they won’t be up and running tomorrow.
So bottom line: is making it into New & Noteworthy a big deal?
You bet it is.
However, it’s critical to understand that making it into New & Noteworthy should NOT be your sole focus as you launch your podcast.
Your sole focus should be providing massive value to your perfect listener (your avatar). Which brings me to my second bonus tip…
Bonus tip #2: Define your avatar as best you can
Your avatar is your one perfect listener. The individual who you know will massively benefit from the content you’re going to provide.
Should your avatar be more than one individual?
No. It should be a single person, with a name, a background, goals, struggles, and desires.
Can other people listen to your podcast and still benefit from it if they aren’t your avatar?
The purpose of defining your avatar prior to launching your podcast is so you don’t have the weight of the world on your shoulders alone. When you know your avatar – their name, background, goals, struggles, and desires, guess what!?
You can speak directly to them. You can ask them questions about how long your podcast episodes should be, what the format should look like, whether you do audio only or video, whether it’s interview-based or topic-based…
You see, when you know who your avatar is, they can help you create the perfect podcast.
Also note, you avatar might change! Maybe you think Sue – who is 45 years old, has 2 kids, dreams of one day running her own cooking show, and struggles with whether or not she’s raising her kids right – is your avatar, and so you start crafting your show for Sue.
But once you launch, you start getting feedback from your listeners – and after engaging with 5, 6 even 7 of them you realize none of them are like Sue… That’s GREAT! Now you get to tweak your avatar because you’ve actually met them.
If you want to read up on more details about the importance of defining your avatar – plus, how you can do it – check out this in-depth post we wrote on the topic.
Launching a podcast is no walk in the park, and you have to just start in order to figure out how to make podcasting work for you.
However, there are several mistakes you can avoid – regardless of where you’re at on your podcasting journey – and we hope this post of our 7 biggest mistakes will help you along the way.
Want a step-by-step guide that will lead you all the way from idea to launch with your own podcast in just 50 days?
If yes, then The Podcast Journal is for you! Learn more at ThePodcastJournal.com.
We’d love to hear from you! What’s the biggest mistake YOU’VE made when launching a podcast?