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Podcast Production

10 Pitfalls to avoid in podcast production

By Michael Olatunji, Outset Studio

With a huge audience and diversity of interests, podcasts are an ideal platform for companies and individuals seeking to gain brand exposure.

Over 21 million people in the UK listen to podcasts on a regular basis. They range from celebrity gossip to niche discussions on the mining industry. So, whatever interests or industry you want to talk about, you will find people keen to listen and learn … if you get it right.

Unfortunately, many new podcasters make the same classic mistakes that end up killing their podcast before it gets going. With an estimated three to five million podcasts worldwide, people have a lot of choices. Get the basics wrong and you will instantly turn listeners off.

With that in mind, here are 10 classic mistakes that can kill your podcast.

1. Lack of Clear Direction

One of the fundamental mistakes in podcasting is a lack of clear direction. Failing to define your podcast’s niche, target audience, and overarching theme can result in episodes that lack cohesion, making it challenging to build and retain a dedicated audience.

2. Poor Audio Quality

In the world of podcasting, audio quality is paramount. Listeners often abandon podcasts with poor sound quality. Invest in quality microphones and sound editing software to ensure a clear and professional auditory experience for your audience.

3. Inconsistent Release Schedule

Consistency is key to building a loyal audience. Erratic release schedules can confuse and alienate listeners. Establish a realistic and sustainable release schedule, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and stick to it.

4. Ignoring Audience Feedback

Your audience’s feedback is invaluable. Ignoring or neglecting listener comments, suggestions, and reviews can result in a disconnect between you and your audience. Actively engage with your listeners to build a community and improve your podcast based on their input.

5. Overlooking SEO and Promotion

Even the best content can go unnoticed without proper promotion. Neglecting search engine optimization (SEO) practices and failing to market your podcast effectively can limit its reach. Optimize episode titles, descriptions, and keywords to enhance discoverability.

6. Monotonous Presentation Style

A monotonous or uninspiring presentation style can lead to listener disengagement. Infuse energy into your delivery, vary your tone, and maintain a dynamic pace to keep your audience captivated throughout each episode.

7. Overwhelming Length

Long, unstructured episodes can overwhelm your audience. While the ideal podcast length varies, it’s crucial to respect your listeners’ time. Keep your content focused, concise, and engaging to maintain interest and encourage repeat listening.

8. Neglecting Social Media Presence

In today’s digital age, a robust social media presence is essential for podcast promotion. Neglecting platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can limit your podcast’s visibility. Leverage these channels to connect with your audience and share behind-the-scenes content.

9. Ignoring Trends and Updates

Podcasting is a dynamic medium, and staying relevant is crucial. Failing to adapt to current trends, technologies, or changes in your podcasting niche can make your content appear outdated. Stay informed and evolve your content to meet the shifting preferences of your audience.

10. Inadequate Planning and Preparation

Rushing the planning and preparation phase can lead to a haphazard podcast. Invest time in scripting, researching, and organizing your content. A well-prepared podcast not only showcases professionalism but also ensures a smoother production process.

Creating a podcast is a fantastic way of promoting your business or starting a career. But it is important to get it right as quickly as possible to avoid being one of the millions of podcasts that die before they get going. 

Give your podcast the best chance of success by avoiding these common mistakes. Do your research, invest in your equipment and people, and focus on creating consistent, high-quality content. Then throw everything you have at getting the word out through SEO, cross-promotion with guests, advertising and PR. And, most importantly, don’t give up!

Too many podcasts do everything right and still fail because they expect immediate results. When podcast episodes don’t go viral after five episodes, many assume it’s not working and lose interest. Give it time. Consistency is the key. Keep making consistently entertaining, high-quality, well-edited content that your audience is interested in, and they will show up eventually.


Michael Olatunji is co-founder of Outset Studio, a full-service podcast and video production studio in London. Outset specialises in pod- and vlog- casts, live streams and live shopping. The team works collaboratively with the client to make high-quality content that attracts an audience and increases engagement. Recording can be done at their studios in London or on location. Whether a client simply wants studio space or would prefer someone to manage the full production, Outset’s experienced teams have it covered.



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