Despite some of the common challenges podcasters face it is still a wonderful medium of expression. It allows you the opportunity to build a personal connection with your audience. Podcasts can be educational, entertaining, and enlightening. They are convenient for the consumer as it allows them the chance to do other things whilst getting a dose of their favorite content. And for the podcast creator, it is a chance to grow your business and earn a living doing something that you love.
It makes sense, then, that you have decided to create your own podcast. And I am so happy for you! But, as is with most things in life, podcasting comes with its own bag of challenges. From not knowing how to take that first step and get started, to learning the technical requirements of the industry like editing and producing great audio: Podcasting is not always as simple as one, two, three.
But we do not want you to give up! There’s incredible value to be found in podcasting, if you are willing to persevere through the obstacles. And, luckily for you, there are solutions for overcoming many challenges you might face in your journey to becoming a podcaster.
So, we’ve broken down seven common problems podcasters face, giving you ways to conquer them. We hope that having the answers to your podcasting dilemmas will enable you to fully embrace this amazing industry and give you the opportunity to unreservedly express yourself—without fear.
1. Getting Started
One of the most difficult common challenges podcasters face is getting started. The distance between your initial inspired idea and recording your first episode seems too far and too long to travel. You may be overwhelmed by the many steps involved in making your podcast a success.
The first thing to remember is that you’ve already made the decision to start a podcast. In my opinion, it’s an inspired choice, one worthy of a few taps on the back. The next step is to act on your decision.
The important thing is to breathe, take a step back, break down your obstacles into individual steps, and systematically tackle each problem – one by one.
A common concern when starting your podcast is where will you find the time for your podcast? The answer is simply a matter of time management. Make your podcast part of your daily schedule and you will find that you have more time than you had initially thought.
The second way to conquer worries about time is to plan everything deliberately and with as much detail as possible. It is easier to forge the way ahead once you have a complete map of where you are going.
On a daily planner, write down your duties and responsibilities relating to home/family life and any other work obligations you may have. Gaps will start to appear in your schedule and that is where you will slot in your podcast.
Once you have time allocated to working on your podcast, plan exactly what you want to do, and when. So, write down when you will be doing research and brainstorming content. Set specific times for scriptwriting, recording your podcast, and editing. Efforts to market your podcast and gain new followers should also be assigned specific time slots.
With a detailed plan in place, you will know what you need to do and when you will do it. And, soon enough, time will become a nonentity as you bulldoze your way to having a successful podcast.
Another big challenge many podcasters face is the feeling that you do not have the knowledge or experience to be a successful podcaster or that you don’t belong in the industry at all.
But the beauty of podcasting is that everything you fear about it can either be learned or doesn’t matter at all. The only person you need to convince to get started is yourself.
For many podcasters, this self-doubt has three main causes:
Isn’t it irritating how some entry-level jobs require hundreds of years of experience?! Luckily, that is not an issue when it comes to podcasting. Anyone can start, and whenever. Your life experience is all the experience you need for your podcast to be interesting and unique.
And the best news? There’s a really easy way to overcome these feelings of inexperience…practice! All good things take time and practice. The more you work on your podcast the better you will become in every aspect of it. So start early and give yourself the time required to be an industry expert.
A big root of self-doubt is not being confident in yourself or your abilities. You may listen to your favorite podcast and marvel at how brilliant it is, thinking to yourself that you could not come up with something of the same quality. It’s also daunting to undertake a new challenge like podcasting, which requires time, planning, and learning new skills.
Firstly, do not compare yourself to any other podcast. Your podcast will be brilliant in its own way. Take comfort in the fact that only you can make your podcast as amazing as you want it to be. A seasoned podcaster may take your podcast idea and do terribly because it’s your idea and only you can do it justice.
It’s worth remembering that as you practice and get better at podcasting, your confidence will inevitably grow as a result. You’ll start to feel better about your final product and that will boost your spirits. So take the time to fully immerse yourself in the experience and allow yourself and your podcast the space to grow organically.
Lastly, let’s take a look at imposter syndrome. It’s natural to feel like you don’t belong when entering the world of podcasting. Trying something new always is a bit disorienting at first. Just remember, everyone in podcasting is trying out something different that they think works for them—you should do the same.
You as an individual—your life experience, outlook on the world, interests, and desires—is what will set your podcast apart from the rest. Every podcast is unique because each individual is different. Find joy in the fact that, just like you, everybody in podcasting is testing the waters to see how well they can swim. Podcasting is for everybody, so it belongs to you too.
The third challenge that many podcasters face has to do with the equipment. There is a fear that you need to be a billionaire and have an intricate technical setup like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark. Fortunately, that is not the case. Getting your podcast started can be as simple as having a laptop, a good microphone, and an awesome pair of headphones.
Seriously, that’s all you need! A quality microphone to transmit all that great content, a laptop to capture the recording and edit the final product, and a pair of headphones to keep an ear on the sound during the recording process!
And with so many options out there, you will definitely be able to find equipment that suits your needs and your budget.
For more info on your options and their prices, check out this post: How Much Does Podcasting Really Cost? (Breaking Down the Expenses)
There’s also a common misconception that for podcasting you need a big studio to go about your business. While a studio would be amazing, you really just need a quiet space, even your closet will do!
You see, there’s no need to let podcasting equipment trip you up!
4. Podcasting is Too Technical
Yes, podcasting does require you to master some technical elements. It is a medium where different elements—script, audio, and editing—all come together to make one amazing product.
The beautiful thing about this, though, is that podcasting is a skill. This means that it can be learned and perfected over time. You just need to allow yourself the time to build up the necessary skill for a flawless podcast.
The biggest problem when it comes to the technical aspects of podcasting is the editing process.
Yes, editing does take time and it will be difficult the first few tries. But, once you get into the swing of things, editing your podcast will become a joy as you master the skill and hone your craft.
Remember, “all good things come to those who wait” and “hard work pays off.” Clitche’d adages, I know, but they are so true when it comes to the technical aspects of podcasting. Don’t be afraid to put in the time and effort to hone your podcasting skill. Schedule time in your planner to take free podcast courses and master your editing software, and you’ll become a podcasting technical whizz.
Another major challenge podcasters face on their journey is the question of monetization. Specifically, “Will I be able to actually make money from my show?”
And the answer is a resounding “Yes!” There are many options available when it comes to monetizing your podcast.
The most popular method? Ads! 28% of Americans (over 80 million) listen to podcasts on a weekly basis¹. Such high audience numbers have led to advertisers seeking out podcasting platforms to market their products. Advertisers have actually helped podcasting grow into the multibillion-dollar industry that it is today².
Related read: 7 Simple Reasons Advertisers Should Be Interested in Podcasts.
What does this mean for you as a podcaster? Well, for one: You can rent out ad space on your podcast. Advertisers will pay you to market their products on your show. You could get up to $15 for every 1000 people who listen to your show (depending on where in your podcast the ad is placed)³.
Another successful monetization method is subscriptions. Listeners pay a certain price in order to access your content. So, as your audience numbers increase, so does the potential for you to earn some big bucks through ads and subscriptions.
Related Read: 15 Effective Ways to Make Money From Your Podcast.
6. Creativity/Fresh Content
Now let’s turn our attention to the dilemma of creativity – or more specifically the fear that your creative juices will one day dry up!
You may have come up with an amazing concept for your podcast and have no doubts about the show’s initial success. But the problem is: Where do you go from there? Will you have enough in the creativity tank to keep producing amazing content for your audience?
You Got This
Well, there’s no reason for you not to continue generating fantastic ideas, but here’s a short list to help you keep those juices flowing:
- Listen to other podcasts. This will help you think of new ideas as well as keep you up to date with what is trending in podcasting.
- Ask your audience/community what they would like to hear. You have already identified your target market, so find out exactly what type of content they want. You can do this through surveys, questionnaires, or by scrolling through the different platforms that are dominated by your target market.
- Bring back half-baked ideas. Never throw any idea away. Instead, when you are creatively stuck, go back to them and see if any are worth fleshing out. Time adds perspective, and your new perspective may help you find value in your once-forgotten ideas.
- Enjoy other mediums. Just because you are a podcaster does that mean that’s the only way you should consume content. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music. Your next epiphany of creativity could be just one memorable quote away.
- Subscribe to podcast newsletters and blogs. Again, staying abreast of what is happening may inspire you to be part of the movement.
- Always go back to the why. Your reasons for doing your podcast will be the best place for you to regain your mojo. It is easy to lose track of your ultimate goal once you’re in the cycle of producing content. Go back to why you started your podcast and you may find your creativity bursting from within all over again.
7. Staying Motivated
The final item on our list of what may be difficult when podcasting is trying to stay motivated. You may get stuck in a rut, feeling uninspired. Your listener numbers may be decreasing, leaving you demotivated. How are you supposed to overcome this?
Well, one way of staying motivated is by making sure that your podcast is succeeding in every way. This means producing amazing content and sharing that content with as many people as possible. It is difficult to be demotivated when your numbers and revenue are steadily increasing.
Related read: How to Grow a Podcast Audience: 5 Effective Strategies.
Another great way of staying motivated is to engage with your audience. Get their thoughts and feelings relating to your podcast. This will help you gain perspective and may shine a light on things you can change or do in a better way.
Do not procrastinate. Idle hands are dangerous business indeed. Try and stay busy and focused on accomplishing tasks with the deadlines you’ve set for yourself.
On that note, if you are feeling tired or burnt out, take a break. Your mind and body also need a break and a chance to recharge. You’ll come back from your hiatus feeling energized and ready to tackle new challenges.
For more helpful tips on motivation check out: How to Stay Motivated to Keep Podcasting.
We’ve covered some of the main challenges facing podcasters, but not all. But I hope that you can see that for every problem there is a solution…if you know where to look.
Scan blogs and newsletters and listen to other podcasts to find the answers. The people who are actively engaged in podcasting have been in your shoes before, and if they are still around that means they have overcome them. Seek them out to find out how.
Podcasting is absolutely incredible and extremely fun! Don’t let the challenges you face get you down. Find the solutions and preserve, and enjoy podcasting for the blissful wonder that it is.
- Edison Research: The Infinite Dial 2021: http://www.edisonresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/The-Infinite-Dial-2021.pdf
- Forbes: As Podcasts Continue to Grow in Popularity, Ad Dollars Follow: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2021/02/11/podcasting-has-become-a-big-business/?sh=4a0ec1032cfb
- Podchaser: How Much Do Podcast Ads Cost? – 2022 Podcast Advertising Rates: https://www.podchaser.com/articles/resources/how-much-do-podcast-ads-cost-2021-podcast-advertising-rates