Podcasters are often guilty of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). It's okay to intently focus on important things, but here are ten podcasting things not worth the obsession.

1. Launching

Yes, your launch is important. I think it's good to make a “big splash” when you launch a new podcast. But I think too many people focus too much on the size of the “splash” and not enough on what they're actually throwing into the “water”!

You'll see some supposed experts overhype the importance of iTunes “New & Noteworthy,” ratings and reviews, building a launch team, and having a specific launch day. None of these things are bad in themselves and each can help your podcast to some degree. But the amount of work you might put in obsessing over these things could be far better invested in going where your ideal audience is and building rapport.

Stop obsessing over your podcast launch!Click To Tweet

2. Your microphone

“I listen to the podcast only because they have a great microphone,” said no one, ever.

The purpose of a microphone is for people to be able to hear and understand you. “Decent” and understood is better than “perfect” and never launched.

I know you want to sound your best. You may even have certain conditions (personal or environmental) that make finding the right microphone more difficult. But you must remember that you are your worst critic and your audience probably doesn't care as much as you do. After all, even a cheap microphone can sound good if you know how to use it!

Stop obsessing over your podcasting microphone!Click To Tweet

3. Minor distractions

Outside noise, a microphone bump, a mispronounced word, or a verbal crutch can all be distractions for you or your audience, but they don't have to be! In fact, your audience will probably notice it less than you do, especially if you don't even acknowledge it.

I'm referring to the minor distractions. The stuff that doesn't actually prevent you from being heard and understood. Holding a crying baby in your arms while you're podcasting is not a minor distraction, but a lawn mower outside might go unnoticed.

Yes, there are plenty of things you can do to improve the quality of your audio, and plenty of ways that you can reduce or completely eliminate distractions. But don't make your distraction your audience's distraction. And don't let minor distractions prevent you from communicating your passion!

Stop obsessing over minor podcasting distractions.Click To Tweet
Don't let minor distractions prevent you from podcasting your passion!Click To Tweet

4. Competition

No matter your niche, you will have competition at some point. But competitive rivalry is based more in your beliefs than in reality.

Competitive rivalry is based more in your beliefs than in reality.Click To Tweet

I've struggled with rivalry before, and I sometimes still do! I would sometimes seethe while listening to a “competitor,” being critical about everything they say and how they say it. I would want to attack their success. I would want to write nasty iTunes reviews. I would want to expose their flaws.

Disgusting, isn't it?

There will always be competition, maybe even copycats, especially if you were first. Obsessing over competition will do nothing to inspire your audience. Instead, look for ways to collaborate with your “competition.”

Obsessing over podcast competition will do nothing to inspire your audience.Click To Tweet
Stop obsessing over #podcasting competition.Click To Tweet

5. Negative feedback

If you haven't received negative feedback, wait. You'll get your chance!

Negative feedback can hurt. It can hurt your pride, your feelings, and how you handle it can even hurt your passions.

Learn how to handle negative feedback. Sometimes, the negativity comes from people with negative lives. Sometimes, the negativity comes from someone who isn't your ideal audience. Sometimes, the negativity comes from someone you can't win back. And often, the negativity comes from a minority of your audience.

That's not to say “negative” feedback is worthless. You can learn great things and discover weak spots you may never have seen yourself. But when you obsess over your negative feedback, you're only beating yourself up. Plus, you may be trying to change yourself for a very small number of people who have already left your podcast. Instead, improve things for the people you already have!

Stop obsessing over negative podcast feedback.Click To Tweet

6. Stats

Let's be honest. How many times have you parked your browser on your podcast stats page and hit refresh every few minutes? I think we've all done it.

It's certainly wonderful to see your podcast spreading. But remember that stats are merely numbers. Instead of trying to get those numbers up, what if you spent the same amount of time refreshing your feedback inboxes or building relationships with your audience? Then, 10 close relationships would be far more mutually valuable than 10,000 passively disconnected followers.

Stop obsessing over your podcast stats. Focus on relationships!Click To Tweet

7. Making money

It's not often that people start a hobby with hopes or expectations to monetize. Yes, it's possible (certainly in exchangeable hobbies, like collecting). If you're podcasting for business, profit is absolutely important. But obsessing over monetary profit will never lead to success.

Consider some of the greatest tech companies today: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. We know these companies not because of their income, but because of what they offer.

Obsess over giving instead of getting.

Obsess over giving instead of getting.Click To Tweet
Stop obsessing over making money #podcasting.Click To Tweet

8. The latest technologies

Oh, how we love our podcasting toys! Microphones, mixers, cameras, processors, apps, and much more. I'm sure we could easily spend our entire incomes on nothing but podcasting technologies.

There's certainly a place for upgrading your podcasting tools or trying new things, but chasing the latest interesting technologies is like a puppy chasing a butterfly. If you build your entire platform on the tool instead of using the tool to build your own platform, your empire could collapse literally overnight.

Stop obsessing over the latest #podcasting technologies.Click To Tweet

9. Rankings, ratings, and reviews

You hear it often, and maybe do it yourself. Podcasters love ranking better and getting ratings and reviews, so they ask frequently.

The truth many people (especially marketeers) don't realize is that these things don't work like they think they do. Ratings and reviews do not affect ranking. iTunes “New and Noteworthy” is not a ranking system. And these things don't have the power many people ascribe to them.

Ratings and reviews are good for some things, like getting to know your audience and building social proof. In fact, your spread of global podcast reviews could help your podcast win the International Podcast Day Gratitude Award.

But podcast rankings, ratings, and reviews are more reward and indication of what you're doing, they aren't the cause for your success.

Stop obsessing over @iTunesPodcasts rankings, ratings, and reviews.Click To Tweet

10. iTunes/directory listing

An amazing thing about podcasting is how it opens many doors for you to list and syndicate your content through hundreds of popular podcast apps and directories. Each app and directory has its own uniqueness and popularity, but iTunes still dominates.

I see many podcasters obsess over their directory listing. Their podcast search-engine optimization (SEO) isn't work as well as they expected, their listing isn't showing the correct information or displaying it in the way they want, or their latest episode hasn't displayed in the directory yet.

Don't panic! There are several things you should know and check when your iTunes (or other) listing doesn't seem to be working. But you shouldn't obsess over it. As long as you can download your own episodes when you're subscribed to your own podcast, your audience probably can, too.

Stop obsessing over your @iTunesPodcasts listing or update issues.Click To Tweet

What podcasting things have you wrongly obsessed over?

Thank you for the podcast reviews!

  • Inyang Effiong, from The Inyang Effiong Show said, “Good information and well organised. I just started listening to ‘The Audacity to Podcast' and the way each episode is organized around a theme and the consistent way information is makes it a good resource. I like the recent series on ideas and things to do to improve your podcast and have picked up a few tips – like using TV exposure to improve your chances with sponsors! I will be incooprating tips from this podcast into my podcast ‘The InyangEffiong Show' over at inyangeffiong.com.”

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About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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Robin Kunkel Code
Robin Kunkel Code
7 years ago

This is just what I needed to hear. Working on episode 3 of a new local radio show and while the audio quality was pretty low, the content was good. Definitely checking out other episodes now.

Rhys Morgan
Rhys Morgan
6 years ago

Love this I am about a month away from launching my first podcast prayforaddicts.com (I have an idea for a more complex one to follow) and everyone goes on about New and Noteworthy so much. I just wanna do it to share what I do at work with a few more people who might be interested in my stuff. I also keep being recommended such expensive microphones – that’s severly delayed me. I was already self conscious about my voice – that was another excuse to delay and procrastinate – thank you so much

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