Five Reasons Podcasts Fail & How to Avoid Them

The good thing about working in podcasting a long time is that we’ve learned lessons the hard way, so we can help you avoid many of the common pitfalls.

A lot of podcasts can fail right now, at the planning stage, when you are researching what is involved. With our five tips below, you will steer clear of trouble and make your project a massive marketing success.

So, why do podcasts fail and how do you avoid those mistakes?

Podcast is Too Broad

When a podcast tries to cover a vast array of topics, it can struggle to find a dedicated audience. In today’s saturated podcasting landscape, specialization is key.

We have gone niche with a podcast aimed at pregnant women but made it super-niche by targeting women having their very first baby. The podcast ‘Care + Converstations’ was a huge success and an award winner!

By narrowing your focus and catering to a specific niche or interest group, you increase your chances of building a dedicated and engaged listener base. This approach allows you to stand out in a crowded field, make a name for yourself in your chosen niche, and gradually expand your content as you solidify your position in the podcasting world.

Comparison Game

Constantly comparing yourself to other podcasters, especially those who appear more successful, can be demoralizing. This kind of thinking can lead to self-doubt and discouragement, potentially causing you to give up prematurely.

Instead, concentrate on growth and progress. Compare your current show and content to your past work. This internal self-assessment can motivate you to continually improve and stay committed to your podcasting journey, regardless of the competition.

In our Award Winners podcast series, Simon Hodgkins from Vista Talks, said his first podcasts were all about creating, learning and improving. As each show got better and better, the audience got bigger and they’ve had huge success.

Lack of Marketing

Creating a podcast is just the first step; you need to actively promote it to attract an audience.

Specialization, clear messaging, building relationships with peers, and guest appearances on other podcasts can significantly boost your podcast’s reach. Niche targeting allows you to connect with like-minded individuals, while clear messaging ensures your content resonates with your target audience.

This is why each episode we produce comes with a full seven-day marketing plan. Using content from the podcast, we create video highlights plus graphic social posts to attract people to each episode.

Effective marketing is crucial for growing your podcast’s audience. And it works. Look at any major movie today. Almost half the budget is to create the movie, the other half to market it! You don’t have to be so extreme but actively marketing your show greatly multiplies your success.

Not Defining Success

Without a clear definition of success, your podcasting journey lacks direction and purpose.
Success varies from brand to brand and often it’s not about reaching a certain number of downloads. It’s about changing people’s lives, or becoming an industry thought leader or brand differentiation.

Knowing your “why” provides you with motivation and a metric to gauge your podcast’s progress. It also helps you remain committed over the long haul, even when faced with challenges. Your goals give your podcast a sense of purpose and allow you to work towards measurable outcomes.

Giving Up Too Soon

Many podcasters quit just before they could experience significant growth. It’s a phenomenon we call ‘podfade’!

While it’s natural to desire quick results, it’s essential to understand that building an audience and a strong podcast takes time. Just like building a brand.

We created a tech podcast back in 2006 when very few people listened to podcasts. It was a struggle to get budget to keep it going. But we did and now it’s become the leading tech podcast in the country, we have new episodes weekly and it’s been nominated for a number of awards.

This success was all down to consistency in releasing episodes and marketing efforts, even when the results seem slow at first. By persisting through the initial phases, you allow your podcast the opportunity to catch the attention of a broader audience, leading to the upsurge in listeners and subscribers you’ve been working for.

You are already half way to success because you are researching podcasts and how to do it right. If you want to know more or ask specific questions about how to stand out in a saturated market, avoid content burnout or avoid sub-par quality, feel free to give us a call for a quick and complimentary Q&A!

As always, if there is anything you would like to ask about this post, do give us a call or send us a message.