We have heard many myths since childhood. Often, they are just what they are called - myths. Every art and creative form has similar myths that spread through word of mouth and they rarely carry any truth. The podcasting industry is no different.
Today we are here to debunk such top 7 overrated podcasting myths that have been prevailing in the podcasting space for way too long. Some of them are complete lies and some are birthed from half-truths.
But before we get into these myths, let's see two major reasons why debunking them is so important in the first place:
- Myths spread misinformation among folks that can guide them in the wrong direction. This information circulates for a long time which makes it harder to tell them apart from the truth.
- They can discourage people from moving forward. For instance, the myth about podcasting being too complex or expensive can demotivate people from even trying their hand at it.
Now that you know why busting these myths is so essential let’s dive into this article.
Myth 1: You are not skilled enough to start a podcast
Let’s begin with the biggest podcasting myth you’ll ever hear. When we say that absolutely anyone can start a podcast, we mean it. Podcasting at its core is about creating good quality content. Podcast recording, editing, promoting and engaging with the audience - all come at a later stage. Your priority is to create valuable content - something that solves your audience’s problems or guides them in a particular direction.
The great thing about podcasting is that it has low entry barriers. You don’t have to come from a certain background or a profession to create a podcast. There are no eligibility criteria that you have to meet or a mold that you have to fit. Anyone, who believes in audio as a medium that helps them voice their opinions and cause, can start a podcast.
Sure, there’s an added advantage for those skilled in a particular field, but there’s nothing that you can’t learn along the way. There will be a lot of things that you’ll learn only through practical experience and as you do it repeatedly, you will only get better at it.
Myth 2: You need a lot of fancy equipment or a home studio
It’s easy to be blindsided by this one. When you hear of recording a podcast or audio in general, your brain automatically creates a picture of a recording studio heavily equipped with expensive equipment. Well, that's not true. Unlike video content creation, it requires bare minimum to get started with podcasts. There’s no camera setup or aesthetic locations needed to record a podcast. Believe it or not, your closet can be as good as a recording studio, if not better.
Sometimes, the issue is not in the mic but your surroundings, in which you are recording your episode. Something as simple as moving to the corner or hanging thick curtains can help block the outside noise.
As for the equipment, you don’t have to invest in expensive mics or headphones right off the bat. You can start creating your podcast with the in-built microphone of your regular earphones. This is because they are already of decent quality to get you started. Also, these days, creators like yourself have access to free podcast software and tools that help you polish your audio to sound more crisp and professional. Such ease of medium is not present in video or other content creation. With podcasts, you simply need your voice to get started.
Myth 3: Choosing a broad topic is better
If someone advises you to choose a broad topic for your podcast, run in the opposite direction. It is one of the biggest myths and the most common podcasting mistakes creators make and faux pas like these get you off on the wrong foot. When you are choosing a topic, you need to consider where your interest and expertise lie. It’d help if you niche it down because when you sit down to create content, you’ll need some direction or some goal to achieve.
Choosing a broad topic will have you all over the place. You won’t have a target audience to address or any uniformity in your content. You won’t be able to categorize your podcast in any directory or even promote your podcast because you don’t have a specific audience and no niche topic to attract listeners.
So if you are planning on creating a unique and successful podcast, do some research on your podcast idea. Look for a topic in which you carry the most expertise.
Suppose you are an expert in sports medicine. Consider the type of audience you want to tune into your podcast. Is your podcast for coaches on how they can handle player injuries during games? Or is it for players wishing to make a comeback after a significant injury? Is your podcast only about physical health or does it also deal with mental health? As you dig deeper into your podcast idea, you’ll find a very niche topic that will help you stand out from all the other podcasts.
Myth 4: You need to be a tech-savvy
Here’s another common myth about podcasting. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to start a good podcast. Creating a podcast does require a lot of editing. At first, it might also seem hard and complex. But as you practice more and more, you’ll get better at it. Just like any other skill set, practice makes perfect.
There are free software and tools, like Hubhopper’s Audio Editor, built to make it easy to use. All you have to do is upload your audio file, toggle between different features, and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Once you get good at using the tools, you can try more complex editing. For this, you can search tutorial videos that explain editing well in a few minutes.
Sometimes, learning about the dynamics of audio and how it can be enhanced can also help. Editing audio is way different than editing videos or images. Knowing how to make an audio sound better can make your work easier and more fun even.
Myth 5: Podcasts have a discoverability issue
This might have been true until a few years back. That is because the podcast industry was still finding its footing and the podcast listenership was not much. Even though the industry is still in its nascent stage, it is growing at a huge rate. As for the listenership, India is now the third-largest consumer of podcasts, with 57.6 million monthly listeners.
Also, smart platforms like Hubhopper, which provide distribution across multiple streaming avenues from global to local and regional, have made it easier for podcasts to reach these millions of listeners.
Back in the day, you had to visit a website and download an audio file in mp3 to listen to it on your phone. Now you can tune into podcasts, literally, from anywhere. With the penetration of the internet and gadgets like smartphones and smart speakers, podcasts have become more accessible. The increasing automotive streaming in cabs and cars has also led listeners to new podcasts every day.
Suffix to say, podcasts no longer have discoverability problems. With the growing industry, podcasts get discovered easily, now more than ever.
Myth 6: Your podcast will fail because there are too many podcasts already
Healthy competition facilitates the growth of an industry. But it's a myth that your podcast will fail simply because of that. Competition is often seen in topics that are popular and have been adopted by a lot of creators. However, even though there are many podcasts out there, overcrowding is not the issue here. Even with many podcasts, half of them rarely publish content consistently and have few episodes only.
So if you want to choose a popular podcast, you can definitely build a successful podcast by working hard and creating and publishing content consistently. And if you want to select a topic that is not popular but has a lot of potential, then you can go for that too. The bottom line is, no matter what topic you choose, you’ll have to create unique content to make a statement and stand out among other podcasts.
As the podcast industry grows, many people have become a part of this space, and the number of creators will keep increasing. Don’t let this intimidate you from starting your podcast. In fact, this is the best time to start a podcast show. Just know that you’ll have to work hard and maintain consistency to make a successful podcast.
Myth 7: There's no audience for your niche
This last myth is hard to get over but we’ll bust it once and for all - there’s an audience for every niche. No matter what your topic is, there are people out there looking for the exact thing you have to offer. The issue here is not having enough listeners but discoverability. To fix this, you should thoroughly research your target audience, find them and connect with them through your content.
You might have a small audience as compared to the audience of other podcasts. It might also seem like you are moving in the opposite direction from the masses but having a loyal audience is far better than having casual or light listeners.
As we said earlier, there’s less competition in niche topics. You have the space to make your podcast unique and distinct so that your podcast stands out from other podcasts. As long as you offer high-quality content, you won’t face a lack of audience.
There you go! We’ve busted the top 7 podcasting myths you’ll ever come across. If these myths were holding you back from starting your podcast, then we have ended them here for you. There should be nothing holding you back anymore from sharing your voice through your podcast. You can create your podcast in a few simple steps on Hubhopper Studio and bring all your great ideas to life.