I started a podcast in January 2020. I've released 60 episodes and had over 100 pre-interviews with potential guests. The podcast didn't succeed as I had hope, so I took a break to understand what I could have done differently. After a few months of learning and studying how to grow a podcast properly, I want to share my mistakes in my first year of running a podcast and the lessons learned.
1. Spending money on the wrong things.
Upgrading your equipment isn’t going to grow your podcast business. Invest in things that will produce a return on your investment, such as automation and delegation.
2. Not editing episodes to maintain the “authenticity” of the conversation.
Your audience is exchanging time for value. Respect your audience’s time and deliver the best value by eliminating waste.
3. Thinking a high-end microphone will solve my growth problems.
You can get a great sounding setup for about $100USD, and that’s all you’ll need for a long time.
4. Relying on social media to grow my audience organically.
Organic growth is only a part of the strategy. You’re going to need to promote your podcast actively to grow your audience.
5. Waiting for 10s of thousands of downloads to start monetizing.
Monetization should be part of your podcast business strategy right out of the gate. Even a “small” podcast can generate revenue.
6. Thinking I needed technical skills (editing, mixing, etc.) to run a podcast.
Outsourcing this is a lot cheaper than you think.
7. Doing everything myself to save money.
If you’re building a podcast business, stop wasting your time with work that other people can easily do.
8. If I don’t release an episode every week, my audience will stop listening.
Releasing a bad episode to “stay consistent” will do more harm than good. Consistency is important, but don’t trade consistency for quality.
9. Waiting to have the perfect plan before executing.
There’s no such thing as the “perfect plan.” Get started and adjust as you go.
10. Not wanting to niche too much, so I can go in different directions.
Niching gives you focus and clarity. Start small and expand as you grow (if you want).
I hope this helps other podcasters avoid the same mistakes I made. If you took value from any part of this article, please like and share.