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There are many "sins" of podcasting. Some you can get away with, but there are 7 that will sink your show and turn listeners away before you even get going. We examine them today.
- Bad Audio (echo, inconsistent levels)
- Overly chatty and going on unrelated tangents, especially at the start of your show
- Being overly "sales"-y, trying to sell your listeners something.
- Copyright infringement - still a grey area, but best to play it safe.
- Not being on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify
- Talking about upcoming events without context for when you're recording it
- Analysis Paralysis - not just actually doing your podcast.
Thanks to many of you connected with me on social or email to tell me your podcast pet peeves. It's a long list, but these 7 are the most egregious. Got any more? Send me a note - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome in. I am Jon Gay. I put this out to social media for people to chime in on over the last few days and got some great responses. I wanted to do a special episode today, where I focus in on the seven deadly sins of podcasting. There are a lot of things you can do wrong in your podcasts, but I've narrowed this list down to seven things that will really sink your podcast before you even get going with it.
So let's jump right in. Number one, and this should be obvious, is bad audio. Now this is a wide encompassing topic. It can be anything from recording your podcast from way away from your mic down a long hallway or in a big conference room where there's a lot of echo or something as simple as having really inconsistent volume between you and your guests.
We've all heard of podcasts like that while we're in the car and we're turning the volume up or down. Depending on who's speaking, it's maddening. It will drive away a listener very, very quickly. So any kind of bad audio, even just a lot of, you know, mouth clicks and coughs and things like that. Bad audio as my uncle will say, audio will always eat your lunch, bad audio, number one, deadly sin of podcasting.
Number two. Being overly chatty and going on unrelated tangents. Now this is especially true in the beginning of your episode, if you haven't given somebody a reason to stick around in that first minute or two, they're not going to, so do not talk about the cool new breakfast place down the street or the weather or anything along those lines. Get to the point. Tell me what you're going to talk about and get to it. And once you get going in it. Maybe a quick aside, if it's a funny story might work occasionally, but if you can't stay focused on the blueprint for your episode and you're going here, there, and everywhere, unless you are the funniest person in the history of ever, you're probably going to turn your listeners off. Avoid those unnecessary tangents.
Number three, being overly salesy. Now maybe the goal of your podcast is to try and increase revenue or increase leads. Get the old sales funnel going. That's fine, but your podcast is like a business transaction. If you are asking me as a listener for something, whether that's a follow on social, to call or check out your website, you've got to give me something valuable first before you ask me for something in return.
Give me really good information, make me laugh or connect with me on some other emotional level. The podcasts that just start off by rattling off. Hey, follow me on social. Leave a rating and a review. Send me an email. Go to my website. That doesn't carry any weight unless you've given somebody something of a specific value in terms of content first, especially if somebody is a first time listener to your show.
If I'm checking out your show and you start off with a list of plugs, I don't know who you are. Why am I going to follow that stuff? I'm probably gone by that point. Don't be overly salesy, provide value before you ask for something in return.
Number four, copyright infringement. This is really, really tricky and not everybody agrees on this. There are some folks who think "fair use," you can use a piece of a movie clip or a piece of a song in a show. The truth of the matter is the law has not yet caught up to the technology. So if you are using a clip in your show, you could get a cease and desist you could at worst. Get sued. You never know.
Now Spotify is a little bit of the exception here because Spotify has music rights because of the music side of their platform. So theoretically, if you do a podcast on Spotify or Anchor, there are ways that you can tap in to the music within Spotify, through their music licensing, but here's the catch.
If you do that, that does not cover you if your podcast is in Apple podcast or Stitcher or Google podcast or anywhere else. So kind of a brilliant move on Spotify as part to maybe incentivize you to be only on Spotify. But if you're only on Spotify, you are losing out on a ton of potential audience.
Speaking of Spotify and Apple, number five, deadly sin on our podcast list, not being on Apple podcasts and Spotify. These two are still the biggest platforms out there. Google podcasts, making inroads. You're going to see one, 2% on places like Stitcher or iHeart radio or things like that. But apple and Spotify are still the big dogs.
You need to make sure your podcast is in apple and in Spotify. Very easy to submit to both. I've had people say, Hey, check out my podcast. If I can't find you on apple or Spotify, I'm not going to listen to you because chances are it's going to be on my phone when I'm walking the dog. And I'm not going to find a website to stream on my phone. It's just an extra hurdle you're asking your listening to jump through and most won't do it.
Number six on our deadly sins of podcasting. Talking about upcoming events without any context of when that event is, or when you're recording the show, it's easy to avoid this, but your podcast is going to live forever, theoretically. So if you start talking about a big event, you've got coming up in the next week, without any context, somebody might be listening to your show six months or a year or two years later. When was this, did that already happen? All it takes to avoid this is a simple disclaimer. I do this on shows that my clients all the time.
So yeah, we're recording this on June 9th, 2021. We're talking about this event. That's coming up here in a couple of weeks. It's a quick disclaimer. It's a quick aside and it will help give context and not confuse somebody. If you're listening to your show later on way after you published it.
And number seven, our final sin on the deadly sins of podcasting list actually goes a little bit in conflict with some of the other six.
And that is analysis paralysis and not starting your podcast. You might hear this list and think, oh, I don't have my act together. I'm really not ready to start my podcast. Or I've got to get my podcast absolutely perfect. I've got to research the equipment. I've got to get the best equipment. I've got to get the best sound.
I've got to get the best cohost. I've got to have everything scripted out. Know exactly what I'm going to do. No, just jump into the pool. Do it, your first podcast is not going to be great. Most likely you will improve over time, but the only way to improve is to actually do it. So jump in the pool and do it. Don't be afraid and try to perfect everything before you start, just do it.
Again, thank you to everybody connected with me on social media or via email with your ideas for this lesson. I'm probably going to do a follow-up list in terms of other mistakes that podcasters make that aren't quite as bad as these seven deadly sins. If you've got an idea, you can hit me up on social at JAG in Detroit, or you can of course, send me an email JAG at JAG, detroit.com.
That's also my website. If you need help with your podcast JAG in detroit.com. Until next week, stay healthy and stay safe. Lata!