There are a lot of common podcast challenges that stand between you and hitting that publish button. The imposter syndrome, fear of making too many mistakes, not knowing what the best next step is – they can all paralyze your progress.
But they don’t have to.
We’ve been podcasting since 2012 and have helped thousands of podcasters create, launch, and grow their own podcast during that time. We’ve also shared top podcast monetization techniques that have helped hundreds of podcasters generate revenue directly from sharing their passion and expertise with the world.
If you’re ready to get started, but you find yourself procrastinating or feeling held back by challenge after challenge, then you’re in the right place.
We’re here to help you overcome 10 common podcast challenges so you can ditch that fear and overwhelm and start making an impact!
10 Common podcast challenges
1. I don’t have a good enough podcast topic
Coming up with a podcast topic is a big decision and should not be taken lightly.
That said, it doesn’t have to hold you back from getting started!
Whether you have tons of ideas and aren’t sure which one to choose, or you know you have a message to share but you’re not quite sure how to nail down THE topic that will help you share it, we have an exercise for you.
It starts with drawing a line down the middle of a piece of paper.
On one side, write “Passions”, and on the other side, write “Expertise”.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and start writing down the things you’re passionate about – things that light you up and that you love doing.
Set another timer for 5 minutes and start writing down the things you have expertise doing – maybe skills you’ve picked up through various jobs, at school, or through training courses.
Finally, set a timer for 5 minutes and identify the overlap in these two columns.
Where do your passions and your expertise overlap?
Each instance where you see overlap is a potential BIG idea you can pursue for your podcast.
If you end up with multiples, which resonates with you the most based on where you’re at in your business and your life right now?
What topic can you see yourself still being incredibly fired up about in 1 year from now, and in 5 years from now?
2. People will not agree with what I have to share
There will always be people who don’t agree with you.
But is that really the reason why you’re not going to share your message and mission with the world?
What you have to share matters, and it could be helping a lot of people.
Here’s the truth: the longer you wait to launch, the more selfish you’re being by keeping your knowledge to yourself.
Your podcast is not meant to resonate with everyone. In fact, your goal should be to resonate with a very specific group of people – defined by your avatar, or your ONE perfect listener – and that’s it.
This doesn’t mean other people won’t tune in and benefit from your content, but you’ll be doing yourself a massive favor by defining your avatar and identifying your niche before you launch.
3. I’m not an expert; who am I to start podcasting?
NO ONE started out as an expert in their field.
Every single person on this earth has had to study, stumble, and put in the reps in order to become an expert.
How do you expect to ever become an expert if you don’t start?
John didn’t know how to podcast when he first started.
He wasn’t an interview expert (actually, had zero interview experience).
John didn’t have an online presence to speak of.
No brand recognition.
You get the point…
In order to get better, you have to just start. You have to study, stumble, and put in the reps.
4. How will I find people to interview?
This will be dependent on your topic, niche, and of course who you decide you want to interview. But we have a great guide to help you create a system around finding the best guests for your podcast.
This deep dive guide will walk you through every step of finding – and securing – top guests on your podcast.
5. I don’t have the time
This is probably one of the most common challenges we all face when it comes to starting anything new.
Time is finite. We can’t create more of it – we all only have 24 hours in a day.
However, we can manage our time more effectively in order to make the things we say are most important to us a priority.
Let me ask you this: If you were to spend the next week documenting exactly how you’re spending your time – taking note of every task, to-do, errand, and thing you give your attention to – what would that list look like?
Would you be proud of how you’re spending your time?
Would you feel fulfilled by how you’re spending your time?
We all make choices, and yes, some of us do have incredibly busy schedules managing children, school, families, our household… All while trying to run a business and make time to care for ourselves.
I get it.
Starting a podcast is no walk in the park. So this is a very important question to ask yourself before you dive in: Can you make podcasting a priority and find time in your schedule to commit to it?
If the answer is no, then podcasting isn’t for you – at least not right now.
6. I’m not techie enough
Technology is changing at a rapid pace. Every day I receive Google Alerts for podcasting, and every day there is a new tool, service, or gadget.
The way technology moves today can be overwhelming – if you let it be.
What if this were easy?
This a question I LOVE asking myself. It takes the pressure off in situations where things could get very complicated… But they don’t HAVE to be.
And that’s exactly how I feel about podcasting and technology.
Your podcast setup can be very simple.
I’ve been podcasting since 2014 and I’ve NEVER changed my equipment or software setup – not even once.
I use a MacBook Pro laptop with a USB microphone (the ATR-2100), and my Apple AirPods (you can check out all of our podcast equipment and software recommendations).
I record and edit in Adobe Audition. If I’m doing an interview or recording with a co-host, I use Zencastr.
Of course you could have a podcast with a mixer and expensive gadgets and boom arms and sound proofing – but you don’t have to have these things in order to produce a great quality podcast.
So don’t ever feel that you can’t get started because of tech. Software like Adobe Audition and Zencastr are very simple and easy to use once you’ve familiarized yourself with them.
7. How will I grow my audience?
Once you’ve created and launched your podcast, the real work begins!
Growing an audience can definitely be a challenge, especially with the plethora of content available to us on demand.
When you are unique, when your podcast topic is niche, when you know exactly who you’re speaking to… Growing your audience becomes easier.
There are a lot of strategies we teach to help you grow your podcast, and here are 7 growth hacks for your podcast to help you get started.
The most important thing to remember when growing your podcast audience is that every podcast is different. So when it comes to trying new strategies, it’s critical to test, track, review, and reassess.
If a strategy isn’t moving the needle for you or helping you reach a specific goal within 2-3 months time, then it’s probably a good idea to tweak it, or move on to the next strategy and repeat the cycle: test, track, review, reassess.
8. I hate my voice
You’re not alone.
I’ve spoken with so many podcasters who are afraid to start because they “don’t have a radio voice”.
You don’t need a radio voice!
You just need YOUR voice.
Chances are you currently hate your voice because you’ve just never listened to yourself before. And now, all of the sudden, you’re listening to yourself a lot!
I experienced this when I started my podcast. I had a really hard time listening back to my episodes when editing. I just didn’t love the sound of my voice.
Give it some time, and go easy on yourself. Your unique voice will resonate with your unique audience.
If you have an accent, a lisp, a stutter – any number of things – then this WILL resonate with the right people and make your show that much more unique.
9. What will my family think of me?
Caring about what other people think is a tough battle to fight.
We’ve grown up believing that what other people think of us matters, and sure, in some situations it does matter how we make people feel.
However, being afraid that your family won’t agree with your decision to start a podcast is NOT a good reason to not start a podcast.
If your family can’t get onboard and support your passions, then it’s time to start talking about your podcasting journey with people who WILL support you.
Support is one of the most critical components to your success in every area of your life – business and podcasting included.
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded people who are the same or similar path as you, then check out our online course and community, Podcasters’ Paradise.
We created Podcasters’ Paradise for this very reason: so you feel like you have the support and guidance you need to succeed on your podcasting journey.
We’ll be with you every step of the way!
10. I don’t know how to make money with this
Not many people do know how to make money podcasting, which is why we’ve written in-depth articles and guides to help you learn about the many different ways you can monetize your podcast.
An important thing to remember on your podcasting journey is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
No one launches a podcast from scratch and on day 1 has a thriving, engaged audience and is making money. That’s not how it works.
But if you’re willing to put in the reps and commit to your podcasting journey, then you can absolutely grow an audience and find multiple ways to monetize your podcast successfully.
But again, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
You have to follow the steps: first you create, then you grow, and then you monetize your podcast.
It really depends on your business setup, and on your unique skills and passions.
Overcoming podcast challenges
It would be pretty unbelievable if you were to start your podcasting journey and face zero challenges.
Challenges can be a great sign: they let us know we’re stretching ourselves, getting out of our comfort zone, and learning new things.
When you’re able to quickly identify your biggest challenges, face them head on, and work through them, they’ll only make you – and your podcast – stronger.
With the tips and resources shared throughout this post, we hope your podcast challenges are ones you can overcome with confidence.
Ready to face your podcast challenges with like-minded people by your side?
Check out our online course and community, Podcasters’ Paradise, which we created specifically to help you overcome the most common podcast challenges.
Create, grow, and monetize your podcast with full support and accountability!