Tracy Sheen : The top 5 reasons most new podcasts fail


As a business podcast consultant and three time judge for the Australian podcast awards, I’m often asked what makes a good podcast.


Over the last decade working in and around podcasting I’m confident in saying podcasts that ‘fail’ will do so due to one of five main reasons. Luckily for you I’m going to share them, and offer you tips on how to avoid the traps.


No Strategy


I see most would be podcasters leap headfirst hoping they’ll figure it out on the fly.


Podcasting can be a ‘game changer’ in business, but you have to be strategic. Set aside some time to answer these initial questions:


  • Why do you want a podcast?
  • Who do you serve?
  • Who do you (think) will listen?
  • What kinds of topics do your people want to know about?
  • How do you plan on using the podcast in your business?


If you can’t answer those few questions (and trust me, there are more you should be considering) then I suggest you stop now and give the overarching strategy behind your show some additional consideration.


Lack of Preparation


This one follows on from the first point. Once you have your strategy sorted it’s time to get your ducks in a row ready to record.


Whatever type of podcast you’re wanting to release there are a few basics you’ll need to consider:


  • Think about your file storage – how do you propose storing your raw interviews vs your edited files? What about transcripts? Take the time before you launch to choose a file storage system.


  • Microphone/Recording gear – are you planning to record ‘live’ or online? The answer to that question will dramatically impact the type of microphone I’d recommend. As a great starting point take a look at ‘Zencastr’, a free cloud based audio recording platform.


The other things to consider during your preparation phase include:

  • Distribution (what platforms do you want your show to appear on)
  • Transcriptions
  • Marketing (social media, website…)


No Attention to Detail

This one is particularly important if your podcast is an extension of your business. Releasing a show filled with ‘umms and ahhhs’, poor audio quality or superfluous conversation is detrimental to your brand identity. When looking where to allocate your budget, I’d suggest finding a great editor.


Poor Follow Up


Your podcast guests can be amongst your best advocates. Make the time to keep in touch, let them know when their episode is going to air, provide them with pre-written content they can share to their network, give them artwork to use in their own marketing. This step can mean the difference between blasting off at launch vs an aborted take off.


Lack of Repurposing


Sorry to burst your bubble but the hard work starts once the show goes live.


Milk the content goodness out of each episode. From audio transcripts to social media updates, newsletters to blogs, downloadable resources to videos. With a little thought and planning you can easily turn one podcast episode into (at least) seven other pieces of content.



If you are prepared to follow the suggestions above, you’ll find podcasting is an authority builder and marketing gold. Just go in with your eyes open.


What’s been your biggest roadblock to releasing a podcast? I’d love your feedback



By Tracy Sheen 



Tracy has been working in the podcasting space for almost ten years assisting many businesses to embrace podcasting as a profile and community building piece. She also assists larger organisations struggling with internal engagement to communicate between teams and remote work forces.


Known as ‘the digital guide’ Tracy has released two of her own podcasts and assisted in the creation of dozens more around the Globe. She is best known for the internationally successful ‘Not Another Business Show’. Tracy is a three-time judge for the Australian Podcast Awards, speaker, consultant and regular contributor to ‘Smallville’, an Australian small business publication.



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