What mistakes do podcast listeners make?

These are the most common mistakes that I see podcast listeners making. This list is intended to help make you a better podcast consumer. If you can avoid these mistakes your experience will be much better. I’ve also got a list of Top 10 Mistakes Podcasters Make and Top 10 Mistakes that Podcast Guests Make. So here is my advice as a podcast junkie.

#1 — Not Writing Reviews

You know how all those podcasts are always begging for reviews? Have you ever written one? You should. Those reviews can really help a podcast. It is something you can do to help your favorite show. It only takes a few minutes but it can really help a new show. I can’t stress this enough. Please write those reviews.

#2 — Only Listening to the Same Shows

This is the golden age of podcasting. There are more good shows then you will ever be able to listen to. So, why are you listening to the same old NPR podcasts. The same shows that you have been listening to for years. Go out there and explore. There are podcasts for every interest. You like knitting? Just google best knitting podcasts. Check the podcast charts in your app. Those top shows are probably awesome and you are missing out on them. So instead of listening to yet another episode of Radiolab, take a chance on a new show. It could be your new favorite.

#3 — Using the Default App

The default podcast apps that come with Apple and Android devices are pretty bad. There are much better ones out there. Just take a minute to google best podcast apps. You see much more sophisticated apps like Pocket Casts and Overcast.

#4 — Wasting Time with Terrestrial Talk Radio

Podcasting is just better than radio. The heyday of call-in radio was about 20 years ago. Call-in shows are a sad shadow of what they once were. Unless you are listening to live sports, there is no reason to listen to terrestrial AM/FM talk radio. You can pause, fast forward, and rewind a podcast. You can’t do that with a radio. Podcasts have less commercials than radio. Even NPR radio has more “commercials” than the average podcast. Most of your favorite radio shows have a podcast version. Stop automatically turning on the radio and listening to whatever garbage happens to be on. Instead be intentional. Listen to one of your favorite podcasts.

#5 — Writing Rude Comments

Constructive criticism is one thing but most online comments are toxic. Leaving rude comments is bad for you and bad for everyone reading them. Do yourself a favor and just hit delete on that angry insulting screed. The recipient probably will not even read it. You are wasting your time and just getting yourself upset for nothing. If you don’t like a show or an episode then unsubscribe. The show might not be for you.

#6 — Listening at Normal Speed

Podcasting inherited some bad habits from radio. One of those habits is wasting time. The famous NPR pregnant pause and slow talking come to mind. It’s a trick to fill air time cheaply. Many shows have copied this trick. If you want your time back and if you want to fit more podcasts into your routine, try playing the show on a faster speed. Some of the really good players, like Pocket Cast, can also remove silent parts. Go slow at first. Don’t start playing episodes at 2.5x speed. Start with 1.25x and move up the speed as you feel comfortable.

#7 Not Telling Others

In this age of algorithmically controlled ads, word of mouth advertising is more important than ever. If you like a show, tell your friends about it. If you are both Seattle Sounders fans and you have a favorite podcast about the team, why have you not already told them about the show? It is good for the show and your friend. Don’t keep those awesome shows to yourself. Share them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Write a blog or medium posts about your favorite shows.

#8 — Listening to those Long Intros

Another problem that podcasting is suffering from is the long intro. Sometimes it can take 2–5 minutes before the show actually starts. What are they doing with this time? Selling you internet mattresses, web hosting, and meal by mail services. Check your podcast app. Good ones like Pocket Cast let you automatically skip ahead on a per show basis. If you know your favorite show does not really start till 2:30, you can set the app to automatically start there.

#9 Unsubscribing to Shows During Their Hiatus

Some shows take breaks. Don’t unsubscribe prematurely. Otherwise, when they come back, you’ll miss out. Not all shows produce shows on a weekly schedule. Some do seasons. Don’t assume a show is dead. Check their twitter and website. There is a real good chance the show is just taking a break. Producing a podcast takes inspiration, time, effort, and money. Running low on any of those things can delay a shows production.

#10 — You Haven’t Started Your Own Show

Don’t listen to the naysayers. There are not too many podcasts. And there never will be! If you are a podcast listener, you should think about starting your own show. If done right it can be done cheaply and be very rewarding.

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jasonrigden@jasonrigden.com
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