Why do podcasts fail?

We are from Podcast Services Australia and today is our Tuesday Tip. We love Tuesday Tips! Today it's about why podcasts fail?

Hmm, now iTunes is a podcast graveyard. I can't tell you the number of times where I've been researching for a podcast on a particular topic and I found one and got excited only to find that it died after five episodes or seven episodes back in 2012. So today we're going to share with you why podcast fail so that you can avoid these pitfalls.

So what's the first one Aaron? Leading on from what you said, it's about sustainability. How much time do you have to dedicate to it? Because if you want your podcast to be successful, then it needs to be...you need to be able to be doing it whenever you say you're going to do it - whether that's weekly or bi-weekly. Is it going to run every week for the next five years? Is it going to be, you know, like a TV series where it's 10 episodes or 20 episodes per year?

So it's about picking a format; a frequency that works for you, otherwise it's going to die out. For example, we meet people who are really excited about doing a daily show: "I'm gonna do one every single day!" or "I'm gonna do three interviews a week!" and this can lead to failure, and - and podcast dying - "pod fading" I believe is the term! Pod fading - because it just was not a sustainable format or frequency.

So that's one reason why podcasts fail. And that leads on to one of the other reasons that podcast fail - it's about inconsistency. Your podcast is a promise to your listener - look at Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones came on every year, 10 or 20 episodes whatever it was, and then suddenly it went away and people were up in arms. "Where's my Game of Thrones?!" And a podcast is the same. You tell your listener "I'm gonna be here every week for the next 12 weeks" or "I'm gonna be here every week", you know, "No matter what I'll only take holidays off!"

So the reason why podcasts might pod fade is because they promised their listener every single week and then, you know, they do great for three weeks and then they get sick so they miss a week and then the next week they go on holiday and then they miss another week and then they come back and they go "Ohh it just seems a little bit too hard..." and they might do one and then they miss another three weeks. And what happens is the listeners are going "Hang on a second! You said you'd be here every week and where are you?" You all of a sudden you go AWOL and then you come back randomly. That's going to make a listener tune out or just stop listening. Well, they lose trust; there's an expectation there, so yeah that's a very important thing. Yup, Another thing is about being authentic.

Now, you can start a podcast about any subject matter you want, if you know a lot about it. Awesome! You're a thought leader in that space or it could be opinion-based, but you have to let people know what your understanding of the subject matter is. I've listened to podcasts before where people are like "I don't know anything about this subject but we're gonna learn together" or they come on and they say "I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm gonna offer my value and my insight into this subject matter", but it's authentic. Yeah, it's authentic so it doesn't mean that you have to know everything about it. It doesn't mean that you have to be a 40-year veteran - you can learn along with your audience. That that is authenticity. Yup and the last point that we want to share about why podcasts fail is that if they're not uniquely positioned then they're less likely to succeed. Now there are many podcasts out there.

The space is getting more and more competitive as more people start podcasts so it's becoming more and more important that you are uniquely positioned with your podcast.

If you say "I'm gonna start a podcast that's success stories of business owners!" there are a million podcasts that are doing that exact same thing, so you've got to make sure that yours is different; unique in some way and this could be, you know, your perspective, it could be the format, it could be certain segments that you put in there, it could be that you have a humorous point of view to it, you know, a different approach. It could purely be that you're Australian. Yeah! I have a lot of friends who listen to real estate podcasts, for instance, 80% of the real estate podcasts they listen to are from America because they're cluttering the space. So just being Australian and having an Aussie perspective podcasting about real estate - you know, I'm not saying that there's not any of them, there are some of them but the majority of them are American. So you could focus down, for instance, you could focus down on just being about your area - the western suburbs - Elwood, St Kilda and Port Melbourne. Whatever it is, the value you're offering should be unique.

And - and that's not to say that there aren't podcasts that are very similar but it's just that slight tweak that's what's going to get you the audience. So to make sure that you have the biggest chance of success, we recommend that you go out and you research other podcasts out there. See what they're doing well see what they're doing not so well and then think about how you can differentiate yourself and your podcasts in a way that's going to make it stand out. So those are some reasons as to why podcasts fail. If you are thinking about starting podcasts we hope that you can avoid them and that this has been helpful for you. We will see you next week for another Tuesday Tip!

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