Five Biggest Mistakes That Separate Struggling Podcasts from High-Performance Podcasts

Podcast Checklist

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, yaaaay! You’ve come to the right place! Or maybe you’ve started your podcast and it isn’t quite performing how you’d hoped? Well, you’re in luck too, because this should really help you out. 

We’ve pulled together the top five mistakes that leave many podcasters struggling. These are the mistakes you don’t see the top-performing podcasters making. And if you give each of them a little thought and you’ll be well on your way to helping your podcast cut through the crowds.

Mistake 1: Poor Targeting

One of the most critical errors many podcasters make is not being rigorous enough in defining their target audience.

Unlike TV and radio, which are forms of broadcasting that are often set up for mass appeal, podcasting is Dartboard with dart in bullseye.all about narrowcasting. This means that for the best results, you must be clear about who it is for. 

Saying “This podcast is for everyone” is not enough. If your podcast’s target audience is too broad, you need to refine it further. For example, saying your podcast is for people who exercise is too broad. A better approach is to target a specific subset, such as women who run regularly. This kind of specificity helps you visualise your listener and tailor your content to their needs, ultimately leading to success in the niche world of podcasting.

Mistake 2: Lack of Topic Clarity

Many podcasters start with broad, well-meaning ideas but fail to define their topic clearly. You might be a life coach, entrepreneur, or consultant wanting a podcast to talk to peers in your industry. While this is a valid goal, there are likely many podcasts that do the same, making it hard to stand out. To differentiate your podcast, you need to define precisely what problems you are solving for your target listener and what unique value you can offer them. 

Understanding your audience’s needs will guide you in selecting guests and crafting a podcast title, description, and artwork that resonates with them. Spend time refining your concept to ensure it stands out from the rest.

Mistake 3: Poor Sound Quality

Happy girl listening to audio on headphones.Bad sound quality can severely impact your podcast’s success. Way back in the early days of podcasting, listeners might have tolerated poor audio quality due to the lack of available content. However, with millions of podcast series now available, listeners are far more discerning. 

Investing in good quality equipment (which doesn’t have to be expensive), such as a USB microphone, headphones, and decent recording and editing software, is crucial. Good sound quality enhances the listening experience, making it more likely that people will stay. In fact, if you fancy delving into this more, we wrote a nifty little blog on this with hints and tips… Podcast Set-Up: 3 Person Podcast Recording Costs.

Mistake 4: Ineffective Promotion

Creating a great podcast is only half the battle; the other half is making sure people know it exists. Many podcasters fail to invest enough time in marketing their podcast. It’s essential to ensure that your podcast is available on multiple platforms and directories and that you actively promote it through multiple channels. 

Take a cue from Healthy Thinking from Life Sciences Hub Wales, who excelled in signposting & repurposing their podcast content for both new and existing listeners. They made sure their podcast was visible in the healthcare community, via their website, on emails, in newsletters, paid and organic social, and on all podcasting platforms. This comprehensive approach to promotion helped to drive listener growth and retention.

Mistake 5: Not Analysing Results

Struggling podcasters often neglect to analyse their podcast’s performance. They publish episodes without listening back or reviewing their statistics to understand what works and what doesn’t. This lack of feedback is detrimental because it prevents growth and improvement.Taking a microscope to graphs

Listening back to your episodes, despite the discomfort of hearing your voice, is vital. It helps you identify areas for improvement in your script, delivery, and episode structure. Regularly reviewing your stats will show you what resonates with your audience, allowing you to adjust your content strategy and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

So, spending a little time thinking about these five biggest podcast mistakes can significantly improve your podcast’s chances of success. By focusing on targeting and topic selection, sound quality, promotion and review, you can transform your podcast from a struggling endeavour into a high-performance success.

Fancy A Little Help From Team Bengo?

If you’re just starting out, we have an amazing (yes, yes, we’re biased, but we stand by it!) online training course run by our co-founders Steve Austins & Marina Lois and our Chief Of Everything Tech, Adam Whalley. It expertly guides you, in jargon free lessons, through all the steps you’ll need to start your podcasting adventure.

You can choose from an online only option or the one that lets you join our live weekly coaching sessions for a year. If one tickles your fancy, pop ‘BLOG10’ into the checkout page to get a little reward from us to you for taking the time to read our blog. 10% off.

Or if you fancy a more personalised approach, we have a fab selection of in-person and virtual training packages to pick from too.

Started your podcast already but would like a hand to diagnose a problem or find out how to make it better? Check out our Podcast Health Check, where one of our amazing Podcast Doctors will personally examine your podcast and write you your perfect prescription 😉