Podcasting is the fastest growing communication medium on the planet right now. With that distinction, many people are “trying” to become podcasters without giving much thought about what their new found listeners will be hearing.
Instead of just putting out content for the sake of doing so, plan your episodes. Plan what you will say. Plan the setting in which you will be recording. Plan what the final product will sound like for your listeners.
In other words, come at this from the perspective of your listeners and not the convenience of you simply doing the recordings.
To help you in this area, I’ve put together a quick list of some common mistakes new podcasters will make as they enter this new found communication medium. By paying attention to these simple things, your podcast quality will improve and your listeners will come back for more!
Do not use a cheap microphone! Although many smart phones, tablets and computers have built-in microphones, if this is your source for recording, be careful.
1. Stay close to the microphone source. These microphones pick up a lot of background noise. The farther away you are, the more background noise is going to affect your recording.
2. Try to record in a relatively quite environment to maximize the microphone ability to only record your voice.
3. Try to upgrade to a different microphone as soon as possible. A good USB microphone is not that expensive and will sound better than just the computer or smart phone microphone.
Unless the purpose of your podcast is to emphasize the elements of a live broadcast (on location type of podcast), you will need to edit each episode.
1. Do not publish an episode without some type of Intro. This simply tells you audience what your podcast is about and who you are. Without an intro, they are only guessing if they want to listen to your show or not. Most often, it will be “not.”
2. Do not publish without some type of call to action! If your listener has stuck around to the end, use this time to invite them to “subscribe” or “receive this free resource,” etc.
3. If someone reaches out to you, via comments, email, etc., do not ignore them! If they have taken the time to reach out to you, this means they want to build a relationship in whatever your niche is. If you are into coaching or something similar, this is a very good reason to build that relationship of trust through their effort to reach out to you.
Use a good podcast host that is able to support your download numbers. There is nothing worse than trying to host your podcast on your own website and visitors are receiving slow downloads.
1. Download speeds can vary from website host to website host. In addition, if your podcast really starts to get massive traction, your website host has the option to slow access to your website down! This will cause you to lose listeners.
2. Do not post long episodes thinking this is going to draw more listeners. In this world, shorter is better. Although it may be more time-consuming for you to create 3 ten minute episodes than one 30 minute episode, your listeners will consume more of your content with the shorter versions. Why? Because they could listen to one episode now and the other episodes later.
3. Don’t leave your listeners hanging at the end! Be sure to use a good, strong close and tell them where you want them to go and what it is you want them to do next. This is what makes a great call to action. By including this in your Outro, you will see more engagement from your listeners.
Simply by implementing these quick strategies, your quality will improve and, once your podcast is discovered by a new listener, they will want more of your content. Fail in these areas, it will be very difficult to cultivate any type of following in the long-term.