Here at We Edit Podcasts, we love podcasts. We really do. And we listen to a lot of podcasts. Like a lot. And we love that! But it’s not all love. Call it an occupational hazard, or what you will, but we also have a fairly long list of podcast pet peeves.
And we’re going to share that list with you today!
But with a very specific purpose, to help you avoid these on your podcast. You’ll see that with some very simple tweaks and changes, you can avoid or totally eliminate these potential peeves and turn your podcast into a total pleasure to your listener.
See, we’ve always got your back!
Our Podcast Pet Peeves…and How to Avoid Them!
1. Unbalanced Audio
It should come as no real surprise that the first podcast pet peeve from a podcast editing service has to do with the audio.
Specifically, audio that is totally unbalanced! It’s a major turnoff (excuse the pun) for us. You’re listening to a podcast, and everything starts off okay. And then, the guest enters and you either have to turn up the volume because you can’t hear a thing, or turn it down (quickly!) because someone is suddenly screaming at you…totally unpleasant.
And totally avoidable! All it needs is some tweaking to balance those audio levels!
Alternatively (and also advisably) check the audio levels of all involved before you start recording. And monitor throughout the recording process, and you’ll have less to balance and level in the post-production process.
2. Unnecessary Interjections
Another major pet peeve is when you can hear constant “ahas”, “ahhs”, or “hmms”…from whoever does not currently “have the mic”. It’s great that you’re having some Oprah Winfrey “aha” moments during your interview. But it’s not so great for your listeners having their listening experience punctuated with these unnecessary interjections.
Thankfully, this podcast peeve has a simple fix. If you’re not talking, mute your mic!
But this is also a reason why we always advise recording each participant on a different track. It makes it possible to then eliminate any of those unnecessary interjections during the editing process.
3. Mismatched Music
Podcast Pet Peeve Number 3 – random loud music in the intro or outro of your podcast. Unless your podcast is about rock music, let’s stay in our lane! It’s a podcast, not a mini rock concert!
This can be particularly pet peeve-y (totally a word!) if that kind of music does not mesh with the tone or niche of your podcast.
Rather spend some time on some of the sites that offer royalty-free music and sound effects to find music that better suits the tone and feel of your podcast.
Trust us, your audience will thank you!
Related read: Podcasts and Royalty Free Music PLUS 12 Resources For Royalty Free Music And Sound Effects
4. Overusing Sound Effects
While we’re talking about sound effects…another of our podcast pet peeves is when shows use way too many sound effects!
Sound effects, when used appropriately, can add to the listener’s overall experience listening to your podcast.
But use too many, or have them too loud, scaring the living daylights out of your listener, and your sound effects go from being a great idea to a great pet peeve!
So, how do you avoid this one? Listen critically to your podcast episodes. Imagine yourself as a first-time listener and gauge your use of sound effects from this perspective. You’ll quickly discover if you’re using too much, or just enough.
Or reach out to someone whose input you trust. Ask them to evaluate your podcast and give you honest feedback.
Constructive criticism, although tough to take, can be invaluable to the overall improvement of your podcast.
*If you don’t have someone like this in your circle, why not join the Podcasters Platform? The Platform is the perfect space to connect with fellow podcasters, as well as the team behind the Platform, who can offer you support, guidance, and advice on your podcasting journey.
5. Episodes That Are Far Too Long!
This next podcast pet peeve may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s a big one in our book. Your episodes don’t need to be 60+ minutes.
I know, we tend to think that “good podcast episodes” last about an hour. But actually, this just ain’t true.
Unless you’re a certain Mr. Rogan or a celebrity in general, 60 minutes is a long time to truly hold your listener’s attention.
So, how long should your episodes be? Well, there’s no hard and fast answer to this question. But we do have a good “rule of thumb” that you can apply…
Your episodes should be as long as you can fill them with valuable content.
Let me explain that Yoda-esque wisdom…
If you can fill 20 minutes with solid, punchy content, your episodes should be 20 minutes long. As soon as you have to water down your content to make it ‘go further’ or fill an episode with fluff to get it up to a supposed ‘acceptable’ time length, you need to evaluate your content strategy.
Bottom line? You don’t need to conform to a certain episode length. But you do need to ensure that your episodes are always full of valuable content that meets the needs of your particular audience.
Related read: How Long Should a Podcast Episode Be?
The next set of podcast pet peeves is focused on your podcast content and structure
6. Misleading Titles
The next podcast pet peeve that really grinds our gears is episode titles that have nothing to do with what actually happens in the episode. Your titles are there to help set the scene and give context to your episodes.
They’re NOT there to be used as clickbait!
I repeat: Your titles should not be used as clickbait! I.e If your title promises juicy gossip, then your episode better deliver!
7. Poor Show Notes
Ooh, here’s another BIG podcast pet peeve…poor show notes! (Don’t even get me started on the ‘no show notes’ version of this pet peeve! If you currently don’t provide show notes for your episodes, consider this your sign to start!)
Back to the original podcast pet peeve…
If you mention a great article, another podcast, or a book you love on your episode, link to it in your show notes! Nothing erks quite like heading to the show notes to find that link that was mentioned, only to find that it’s MIA.
If you love it, your listeners are probably going to love it, too, so make it easy for them to find it!
Related read: How To Write Amazing Show Notes for Your Podcast
8. Poorly Researched or Poorly Planned Episodes
I’m going to tell it to you straight on this one. Poorly researched or poorly planned episodes reflect badly on you, and – I’m just going to say it – can come across as disrespectful to your audience.
Your audience is giving you their time. Make sure that you’re honoring that by making sure your episodes are well-researched and full of valuable content. Remember, your listeners could easily give that time to another podcast.
This goes for interviews, too. Whether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, you have to be prepared. Winging it is not going to yield amazing episodes or interviews.
There may be no crying in baseball, but there is certainly no ‘winging it’ in podcasting!
Winging it might’ve worked for you in college, but it’s just not going to cut it on your podcast. Your audience deserves your best effort!
9. Too Many Inside Jokes
This one can be tough to get right. You want to draw the audience in and make them feel like part of your circle. But you have to be pretty strategic about how you do this. And to tell you the truth, telling too many inside jokes is probably not the best way to do this.
It might produce great banter between you and your co-host, or you and your guest, and you might have a great time sharing it, and because you’re having a great time, you think your listeners will enjoy it too, but often this just isn’t the case.
Inside jokes are funny to those who were there. Your listeners were not. And so, truthfully, they’re probably not going to find that “bit” funny. If sharing inside jokes helps put you and your co-host at ease, great! We’re not telling you to stop doing that during your recording sessions. But we are telling you they should probably stay on the editing floor.
10. Random Release Dates
One of the most frequent pieces of advice we share is “Consistency is key.” Yes, this applies to consistently creating episodes packed with valuable content. But it also applies to your publishing schedule.
Create a schedule, inform your audience about said schedule, and then stick to the schedule! Successful podcasts are the ones that listeners build into their weekly habits. But if you make it difficult for them to do that, you make it really easy for them to say a fond “farewell” to your show and find another that consistently delivers.
11. Talking Over Guests
Dear Interview Podcast Hosts…please, please, please don’t talk over your guests! That’s pretty much all I have to say on that one! Just don’t do it! Let your guest finish, then you can ask your question, or add your input.
Podcast interviews are about allowing your guest to shine and share their wisdom and expertise. That’s why your guests are tuning in. Yes, your stellar question-asking is important, but it’s not the main event. Don’t frustrate your listeners by constantly talking over or interrupting what your guests have prepared to share with your listeners.
The last few podcast pet peeves have to do with podcast ads…
12. Too Many Ads
We know you want to successfully monetize your podcast. We want that for you, too. But I can almost guarantee you that too many ads in your episode are not going to prove all that lucrative!
It’s very likely going to lose you many of your listeners.
We’re definitely NOT saying don’t have ads on your episodes. Just don’t have too many! Have a couple per episode, and spread those out throughout the episode.
Another top tip to avoid this turning into a pet peeve of your show is to think about the balance of content to ads. If your episodes are ten minutes long, don’t make three of those minutes ads. That balance is off. And it can prove off-putting…
13. Multiple Ad Replays
So you shouldn’t have too many ads. But please, pretty please, don’t repeat the same ads multiple times in the same episode. Pretty please!
It’s actually doing the opposite of what you want it to do. Rather than spurring the listener to buy the product/service, etc., it’s likely just spurring them to turn off your episode. Or worse unsubscribe/unfollow your show!
14. Poor Quality Ads
Last but certainly not least, poor quality ads. This applies to content, as well as production quality.
First up, when we’re talking about production quality, your ads need to be balanced, the same way as the rest of your content needs to be balanced. You can’t have beautifully balanced audio throughout your episodes, only to blast your ads in your listeners’ ears! Turn those ads down!
And secondly, even though they’re ads, they should still be entertaining, or at least engaging, to listen to! But how do you control this if your ads come from your ad partners? We recommend having a standard that you require any ad partner’s ads to adhere to before you enter into a contract with them. It can be difficult to fix bad ads without a set of guidelines in place first.
This post is by no means meant to throw shade at anyone. These podcast faux pas can happen to any podcast host, from newbie to pro. And many of these peeves to podcast listeners can go unnoticed to you when you’re the one behind the mic.
But with a bit of guidance, and some effort and practice, you can avoid most of these common podcast pet peeves and create fantastic episodes that your audience will love!
Now, go on and create great podcast episodes!
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This is VERY helpful. I want to produce the BEST podcast possible, and this article has given me some things to really think about. Thank you.
Hi, Bryan! We’re so pleased to hear you found this post helpful! Let us know what other topics you’d like us to cover in future posts.