• Josie Colter

10 most common podcast pitfalls

Updated: May 18, 2021

To combat podcast overwhelm, here are ten of the most common pitfalls to avoid – helping you to sift through the scaremongering and create a strategically sound show with long-term viability for your brand.



Lessons I've lived and learned from...


  1. Be realistic and specific with goals – you need more than just short term goals. Podcasts are more brand content than sales marketing, so if you want to push sales, this might not be right for you.

  2. Think of your podcast as a brand - think big with the concept initially and make sure it will work across other platforms and formats. Don’t include the word ‘podcast’ in the title – your idea should be bigger than that.

  3. Legal sign-off from guests - think ahead and get legal sign off for tapes and music. These are small details that will cover you for any publishing issues.

  4. Plan season by season - Don’t start to publish a new season without at least half of the recordings in the bag. Booking the first season is hard - why should guests care? Plus you’ll be building your channel, audience, and downloads. Season 2 will be easier.

  5. If in doubt, go niche - trying to cater to everyone and make it a huge smash hit from the off is a mistake - you need to focus on finding your people and growing listener loyalty.

  6. Be clear on team process - you need a solid editing process as it can be easy to get completely lost with version control and timestamps. Factor in hidden costs - publishing / music / design / promo / equipment / travel.

  7. Don’t sit on tapes - interviews can date quickly. Resist the urge to be a perfectionist and focus on broad brush edits and getting the content out.

  8. Don’t underestimate good sound - get good mics and an engineer who knows what they’re doing. If recording from home, make sure to record in a quiet space with plenty of soft furnishings.

  9. Research, research, research - prep for your interviews - it pays off. You really need an editorial angle to take to interview style pods, otherwise the guest railroads the conversation and it can feel hard to create a connecting thread.

  10. Go easy on edit plans for post-production - Don’t make something very topical and newsy, unless you have a budget for quick turn-around, or are willing to relinquish brand safety. Think carefully about adding content in post-production - this can easily become very time intensive. And it’s very hard to match up the re-records seamlessly.


What next?

Start planning your show using my 5Ws podcasting worksheet – taking you from idea to opportunity in 10 minutes. A simple activity to kickstart your idea.


 

Are there any other vital lessons you've learnt from? I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on my top 10 pitfalls, and what podcast ideas you're working on. Drop me a note at josephinecolter@gmail.com

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