Toronto Mike

How to Make Your Podcast Series Successful and What Common Mistakes to Avoid In the Process

The biggest mistake individuals make when it comes to trying to make a name for themselves in the online sphere is that they think it will be easy. It’s not.

Anyone can start a blog and hope it will get views, everyone can open a YouTube page and expect it to create the necessary attention, you can start a TikTok account, but will anyone see your attempts at a dance craze?

The sheer weight of people trying to use social media to get attention, and earn a living, is mindblowing. Trying to stand out from the crowd is very much like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

However, with the right amount of hard work and perseverance, the opportunities are out there, such as the democratization of the social media space. Just don’t expect a following to land in your lap simply, and 100% don’t attempt to buy your viewership either.

Podcasts are once again a hugely popular style of communication that is broadly enjoyed on the internet after losing its appeal for a short period. If you think you have what it takes to entertain, then you should give it a shot.

However, there are many common issues and missteps that are taken by podcasters that we can try to lay out for you in the hope that you will not repeat them. Take a look.

Production Values

In 2021 there’s no excuse for our podcast looking or sounding unprofessional. The tools are readily available that will make your work look and sound awesome. Make sure to get your hands on a quality mic and a solid camera setup. Consider going for a two-camera setup, even if one or both are via a mobile phone.

Invest in a good editing application and make sure that anything you post on your channels looks fit for purpose. There was a time when podcasts were deliberately rough and ready, but that time has long since passed.

Ignoring Copyright Laws

This is surprisingly common. If you post your podcast on a social media channel and play music (for even a second) that you haven’t cleared, then you’re going to regret it very quickly indeed.

All social networks employ technology that can spot the misuse, deliberate or not, of copyright-protected music that you don’t have a license for. You’ll see almost immediately that the post has been taken down, and in some instances, your entire page has been deleted. Avoid this at all costs. If you want a great piece of music, maybe for an intro, then consider free stock music or sign-up with an inexpensive royalty-free music provider.

Not Knowing Your Niche

When you go about setting up your blog, consider what the general subject matter will be and make sure it’s one that you are knowledgeable in. Do not try to wing it, and don’t just pick a niche because you saw another podcaster do a good job with it. Don’t jump on the bandwagon if you don’t have the skills to make an impact.

There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, so make sure what you offer is fit for purpose. If you are covering a subject that you are passionate about, then you are halfway there. Do the research needed before you sit down and press record; failure to do so might lead to an inferior product and, therefore, a small audience.

Get Into the Routine

Commonly a podcaster will start like a bullet, posting regularly until they run out of ideas and steam. If you are going to make your podcast work, you need to establish a routine both in terms of when you host it and the necessary work you must do to prepare.

If your podcast is going out on Tuesday night, then it will need to do so every Tuesday night without fail. Set out an agenda for yourself so that you know what you need to have in place ahead of the show, and don’t allow this schedule to be altered, especially from the outset. In other words, you should treat it as a job and not a hobby.

Check Out the Competition

We don’t mean this as a way tosteal ideas but more as a chance to look for inspiration and advice. See how your favorite podcasters work their magic and try to take any valuable lessons from them.

If your podcast is in the comedy niche, then look at what others in your field are doing; it’s a historical podcast, then do likewise. Take notes on their setup and delivery and see if there are lessons you can adopt that will make your podcast hit the same heights as those that made you want to move into the field in the first place.

Do It for the Right Reasons

If you are considering having a podcast just for the sake of it, or even worse, for the money, then you may as well not bother. Running a podcast, as with any creative endeavor worth the effort, requires you to be fully committed, and it’s hard work. You shouldn’t go into this field JUST for the money because, frankly, the vast majority of podcasts don’t make much money, if any.

A great many of those who run podcasts do so almost exclusively for the fun of it. If they are lucky, and their character and hard work pay off, then after a long period of time, they may well see a financial benefit, but this really shouldn’t be your goal, at least not in the short to mid-term.

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About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.