6 Reasons Why Your Podcast is Failing

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Photo by Jukka Aalho on Unsplash

I know, I know. You’re podcast isn’t getting the clicks or the listens you had hoped for and you can’t explain why. You had a brilliant idea (or at least you thought) along with visions of thousands of downloads per episode but you’ve fallen woefully short of your goals. If you don’t start getting the results you want you’re going to quit on your podcast, like half of all podcasters. In fact, believe it or not but only 41% of podcasts have published ten or more episodes per MyPodcastReviews.com.

So why is your podcast falling short? Let’s count the ways:

Your logo is lacking

With hundreds of thousands of podcasts available across dozens of audio platforms, a quality logo can help you stand out from the competition. I’m a sucker for logos that aren’t too wordy, feature large text as well as bright colors and a high-resolution image of the podcaster. Work with someone locally or find someone online (just Google “podcast logo” and you’ll find a zillion affordable options) to assist. Why is a logo important? For the same reason that cereal packaging is — it separates you from the competition. The same way that people judge books by their cover they do the same thing with podcasts.

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Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

You failed to publish multiple episodes at the launch

This is a common mistake but can have serious consequences. If you only provide one episode on launch day and fail to let your audience know the next time you plan to publish, your podcast is very likely to be a one-hit wonder. A well executed podcast launch includes multiple episodes (preferably three or more) and features cliff-hangers so the audience is incentivized to return to your show in the weeks ahead. Whatever topic you delve into on your podcast, make sure there’s enough there for a long-running series as opposed to just one or two episodes.

Lack of consistency

This is a common mistake but can have serious consequences. If you only provide one episode on launch day and fail to let your audience know the next time you plan to publish, your podcast is very likely to be a one-hit wonder.If you’re publishing weekly, do the exact same thing (new episodes every Tuesday at 11 a.m. EST for example) and make sure to publicize that fact at the beginning and end of every one of your episodes. We’re all creatures of habit. Provide your content habitually and you’ll be rewarded.

You quit too soon

Like anything in life, let it marinate. Most podcasts aren’t overnight success stories, including mine. Establish a brand, cultivate your audience and reap the rewards as the listens grow with each passing episode. A year’s time is an appropriate length to determine whether you’ve hit a home run or not. One or two weeks (or episodes) is not.Why I started a Podcast (and why you should, too)You’ve been thinking about doing it for a while. Now’s the time.medium.com

It doesn’t stand out from the competition

Did you know that there are over a million podcasts available across various audio platforms? A successful podcaster establishes a theme, builds an audience and uses his or her personality to separate from the competition. Don’t worry about finding a topic or a theme that’s entirely unique — instead work to provide an angle that’s unique to the topic that you plan to discuss. There are hundreds of podcasts that focus on baseball for example but maybe yours stands out because of your storytelling ability or your knowledge of a certain team.

You don’t have a marketing plan

There is no such thing as a successful podcast without a successful marketing plan (and that doesn’t mean that you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to be successful). For example, make sure to remind your listeners to subscribe, share and provide favorable reviews. Or ask other podcasters if they’re willing to cross-promote so you each can tap into each other’s audience. Ask your guests to promote their appearance on your podcast via their social media channels. Of course, you’ll also want to maintain a presence on social media as well.

With a little bit of planning and a good bit of patience, you’ll be on your way to finding your niche and establishing an audience. Stay focused and don’t sweat the small things (like the number of listens on each episode of your podcast) for the first few months or so. And of course avoid these pitfalls if you’re serious about developing a first-class podcast.

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