Podcasting is one of the most unique and fun creative endeavors you can do in your business. Creating your very own show is thrilling, especially in the beginning. Many podcasters have so many great ideas that they don’t even know where to start, so they dive in headfirst and don’t really think about it from a listener’s standpoint. It makes sense that you are thinking of what you want for the show; however, if you want to keep the attention of your listeners, grow your listenership, and ultimately turn listeners into loyal followers (which is crucial for your success), you’re going to want to make sure you’re not doing these eight things:
Not Keeping Your Audience In Mind
As tempting as it may be, your podcast isn’t really an audio diary. While it may be important to you that you vent about an upsetting situation you had with your aunt (and it totally is), it may not be the best idea to do it on your podcast unless you can relate it back to your listener in a lesson that they will find valuable and worth their time to listen to.
Not Considering the “What’s In It For Me” factor
This is the idea that people will tune in to something loyally if it offers something to them. Does your episode provide value to your listeners in the form of advice, tips, ideas, how-tos, or entertainment? If not, you may want to reevaluate the subject of your episode. People tune in because they want to get something out of it.
Consistently Making the Episodes Too Long
In general, people make time for podcasts during their commute to work, their grocery shopping trip, during a walk, etc. That being said, creating podcast episodes that fit into that time is both convenient and ideal for your listeners. Think about it, if you were listening to a fascinating podcast episode about a topic that really interests you on your way to work but you arrive at work and have to turn it off because the episode is 1 hour and 45 minutes, that would be pretty disappointing right? Now that doesn’t mean you have to cut down on your important content, but you can split your episodes into two if needed. This gives your listeners a good stopping point if they aren’t able to finish it all in one sitting and it entices them to come back for more (which means double the listens for you!).
Unrelated long intros
As much as we love to hear about your week or your latest shopping trip, if it’s not really relevant to the episode, you may want to cut it. If a listener tunes in to hear your top five Instagram tips but the first 20 minutes of the episode are a recap of your vacation, they are likely to get frustrated and feel like you aren’t delivering on your promise to provide the content the episode is about. That being said, creating a connection with your audience is important, so it’s okay to fill them in on your life—just keep it short and sweet.
Everyone loves a good guest episode! Listeners get a different perspective and insight into topics that you may not offer on your show, and it’s fun for you as the host, too! When you’re interviewing a guest, it can get easy to get swept away into the conversation (especially if the two of you really click) and forget that you will have people listening to this conversation. Interrupting your guests when you’re in a good conversation should generally be avoided so that your audience can get the full value out of the episode.
Consistently Repeating Episodes
We’ve all seen those replay episodes that a host airs when they are out of town or too busy to release a new episode. Life happens, and it’s totally understandable that you miss a week or two and choose to replay one of your most popular episodes instead. While this is okay in moderation, if you are taking a long break from your show, you’ll want to avoid using replays for weeks on end. Your audience may get bored because there is nothing new and, unfortunately, they could move on and forget your show. If you need to take a break, don’t beat yourself up about it. It may just be best to announce to your listeners that you need to take a hiatus and let them know a tentative date that you’ll be back. Being upfront with your listeners will go a long way, and they will appreciate the transparency.
Too Long of Pauses
Picture this: you’re recording an episode, you’re on a roll, and the words just keep coming, and then all of a sudden…you draw a blank, need to collect your thoughts, or need to check your notes. Take all the time you need as long as you remember to edit it out later. If you don’t, it will sound like the episode was randomly cut off and force listeners to turn it off.
Too Many Filler Words
What are filler words? Pesky words we say when we are trying to express our thoughts: Umm, like, so yeah… etc. While most of us won’t notice these filler words in normal everyday conversation, it is a little more obvious when it’s in a podcast. Removing these from your episode is an easy fix that makes a big impact on the quality of your show.
If you are doing any of these things, don’t beat yourself up over it! Everyone starts somewhere and everyone makes mistakes. Just make some simple adjustments when recording and you’ll gain more raving fans and loyal listeners in no time at all!
Want to hear more about what it takes to be a great podcast host? Read more of our favorite posts here:
6 Tips for Naming Podcast Episodes
9 Podcast Recording Tips Every Great Host Follows
The Best Productivity Tips for Podcasters