These 10 mistakes are why you're losing monthly listeners

Losing monthly listeners? It's a frustrating experience, watching your audience slowly diminish despite all the effort you put into your podcast.

But don't worry, you're not alone in this struggle. Many podcasters face the same challenges, and we're here to help you overcome them.

Recently, our latest research on the perfect podcast formula identified the top reasons why listeners tune out of podcasts. We've decided to share these findings with you, so you can steer clear of these common pitfalls and keep your audience engaged!

So, let's dive in and explore what you should be mindful of when creating your podcast:

10 mistakes to avoid to grow your podcast listeners

podcasting mistakes

1) Too many podcast advertisements

One of the most common podcast mistakes out there is flooding your episode with advertisements. When you're deep into an interesting podcast episode, nothing breaks the flow more than a sudden barrage of ads. It's like watching a thrilling movie and having to pause every few minutes for commercials.

Listeners can get really annoyed when they feel like the content they came for is constantly interrupted by advertisements. This frustration often leads them to stop listening altogether, as they just want to enjoy the show without being bombarded by ads every few minutes.

So, how many ads are too many? A few ads sprinkled throughout the episode can be acceptable, especially if they're placed at natural breaks in the content. Most listeners are okay with one or two ad breaks in a 30- to 60-minute episode. However, when the ads start to feel like they’re taking up more time than the actual content or popping up every five minutes, that's when it becomes too much. Keeping ads to a minimum and placing them strategically can help maintain a good balance and keep listeners engaged.

2) Poor audio quality

Everyone starts somewhere, but that place shouldn't have poor audio quality. With the sheer amount of studio-level shows out there, not having your sound in check is just one more reason for listeners to tune out and find another podcast in your space.

If you want your listeners to know you’re serious about podcasting, avoid muffled voices, background noises, or sudden ups and downs in your audio volume. Not only will it signal to your audience that you’re putting the effort into creating your content, but it also will give them a strong reason to continue listening to your podcast.

This doesn’t mean that you need to invest in a studio mic or environment. With Podcastle's AI-powered audio features, you can turn any audio into studio-quality magic, regardless of the mic you're using or your recording environment:

3) The host is overly self-promotional

Why do people listen to podcasts? Because they want to be entertained, engaged, or informed about something.

When hosts constantly talk about their achievements, products, or services, it can come off as bragging or salesy. This turns off listeners who tune in to learn something new or be entertained because they want valuable insights, interesting stories, and useful information—not a non-stop infomercial. So don’t make it all about yourself, or you’ll push your listeners away!

It's fine to share your experiences and occasionally mention your work, but keep the focus on delivering value to your audience. Engage them with relevant content and thoughtful discussions.

4) The host doesn’t let the guest speak

One of the biggest turn-offs for podcast listeners is when the host does all the talking and doesn’t let the guest speak.

If people are tuning in to hear from a specific guest, they want to hear what that guest says, and if the host keeps interrupting or talking over the guest, it will come across as rude or annoying. This can make the podcast hard to follow and stop your listeners from tuning in.

A good host knows how to let the guest share their stories and insights while adding their own thoughts at the right times. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when interacting with guests on your podcast:

  • – Let the guests finish speaking without cutting them off.
  • – Ask questions that get the guest talking more.
  • – Listen carefully and respond to what the guest says.
  • – Keep your own comments short and on-topic.
  • – Make sure the conversation flows and focuses on the guest.

5) Hosts talking over each other

Trying to listen to two people having different conversations at the same time is never pleasant, so when hosts talk over each other on a podcast, it can be confusing, hard to follow, and frustrating for listeners.

Clear communication is key to a successful podcast, so you and your co-host should be mindful of not speaking over each other. But if it does happen, interrupting at the right moment is important. As a host, pay attention to your co-host’s speaking rhythm and look for natural breaks, like filler words or breaths, to interject without causing too much disruption.

6) Lengthy introductions

When listeners tune into your podcast, they're eager to dive into the main content. However, lengthy introductions can quickly erode their enthusiasm and cause them to lose interest before the episode truly begins.

It could be an excessive backstory, tangents, or self-promotion, but if your intro is too long, it will make listeners feel like their time is being wasted. So to keep your audience engaged, it's crucial to respect their time by keeping your intros concise and focused. Provide as brief of an overview as you can, and then jump straight into the content they're there for!

By cutting out the fluff and getting to the point, you'll maintain your audience's attention and keep them coming back for more.

7) Poor interview skills

Why don’t people like podcasts? For those who have never liked listening to podcasts, the reason could be because their only experience was listening to a show with bad interviewing skills.

Most podcast listeners want to hear engaging discussions, but when hosts struggle to ask good questions or keep the conversation flowing, it can trigger them to unfollow the podcast. It's like missing the punchline of a joke—annoying and not much fun.

Here are some tips to make your interviews more engaging:

  1. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance to guide the conversation.
  2. Actively listen to the guest's responses and ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into interesting topics.
  3. Avoid dominating the conversation and give the guest ample space to share their insights and stories.
  4. Research your guest beforehand to understand their background and interests, allowing you to ask more informed and relevant questions.
  5. Practice active listening by fully concentrating on what the guest is saying rather than thinking about your next question.
  6. Be flexible and adaptable during the interview, allowing the conversation to naturally evolve and explore unexpected topics that arise.

Check out our list of the best interview questions to get started!

8) Overly scripted or rehearsed delivery

Yes, you should be well-prepared for your podcasts, and use tools like teleprompters when appropriate, but don’t overdo it. Trust in your ability to improvise and figure it out on the go, and stray from your script occasionally! This will make your show more relatable and approachable.

If you’re scared of improvising, here are some tips that can help:

Know your material
Have a solid understanding of your topic or subject matter so you can confidently talk about it without relying heavily on a script.

Practice active listening
Pay attention to your guest's responses and allow their answers to guide the direction of the conversation. This helps you respond naturally and keeps the discussion flowing.

Embrace silence
Don't feel pressured to fill every moment with words. Sometimes, pausing to gather your thoughts or let a point sink in can lead to more meaningful conversations.

Be flexible
Don't be afraid to deviate from your planned script or agenda if the conversation takes an interesting turn. Being adaptable allows for spontaneity and keeps things engaging for listeners.

Trust yourself
Believe in your ability to think on your feet and respond to unexpected situations. Confidence in your improvisational skills will help you relax and connect with your audience more authentically.


9) The host speaks in a monotone voice

Remember that one professor whose voice just kept you falling asleep? That can be you if you keep your voice too monotonous. Podcasters should be natural and good communicators to keep their listeners engaged no matter what. Now, even if your voice comes off as monotone, it’s not genetics; with enough effort, you can definitely change it!

To shake off that monotonous tone, try mixing up how you speak. Play around with your pitch, speed, and how you stress certain words or phrases. Listen back to recordings of yourself talking to spot areas where you can add more flair. Plus, warm up your vocal cords before recording by doing some simple exercises.

And most importantly, let your enthusiasm for your topic shine through – your passion will naturally make your voice more engaging. It's all about practice and finding your groove, so don't worry if it takes a bit of time. You've got this!

But hey, why not let AI do the work for you? With Podcastle, you can turn text to speech and choose between 30+ voice skins, each with its own personality, accent, and emphasis – for free! And it's this simple:

10) Lengthy or irrelevant personal anecdotes

Finally, another major reason for listeners to unsubscribe from a podcast is the host telling long, irrelevant anecdotes.

Remember that friend who always goes off on tangents when telling a story? Well, imagine that, but in podcast form. Long, irrelevant personal anecdotes can have your listeners reaching for the skip button quicker than you can say "off-topic."

Keep it concise and to the point – your audience is here for the main course, not the appetizers. So, save the anecdotes for your next dinner party and keep your podcast snappy and engaging!

How to make a good podcast with AI

Luckily, making a good podcast is easier than ever with AI-powered tools. With Podcastle, you can create studio-quality audio and video content in a fraction of the time by removing background noises or upscaling video resolution at the click of a button.

So now that you have to put less time and effort into trimming, splitting, EQing, and editing audio or video, you can put more attention into the above podcasting mistakes that drive people to stop listening to your podcast!

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