26% of podcasts in Apple's Podcast Director have only one episode.
And almost 2/3rds of all podcasts have 3 or fewer episodes.
Plus we can't forget all the ideas for podcasts that stay stuck in people's heads.
While each podcast succeeds for different reasons, they tend to fail for the same reasons. Here are the 3 most common reasons I've seen from my time helping podcasters with Pompom.
#1. Waiting till everything is right to start
It will never be the perfect time to start podcasting.
If you wait for the prefect time, it will never come. The solution is to get started (even if its just a test) before you're ready.
Here are some practical ways:
Record a test episode with a cohost/guest
Set a recurring appointment to record and work on your podcast
Buy a mic you think is right from amazon and return it if you don't like it.
Getting started will teach you more than planning will.
#2. Setting unrealistic early expectations
Unless you have a large existing audience, your show isn't going to top the top 100 charts tomorrow.
You'll need some time to get momentum going and for people to discover you. That's actually a good thing when you're new to podcasting as it allows you to practice in obscurity without all the haters.
You can certainly help listeners find you though.
#3. Not promoting your content
You can't just post one tweet and expect everyone to listen to your podcast.
You need to
Share to subreddits
Share to facebook groups
Put your podcast on YouTube
Create video clips to put on TikTok
Interview guests with existing audiences
Put your podcast in directories and listings
Publish your show with a transcript (for SEO)
Send cold outreach messages to podcast newsletters
And engage with potential listeners. A lot I know, but you've got to put in the work if you want the results.
Now you know the most common mistakes, you can avoid them and get past the 3 episode cliff.