1. Unless you and/or your co-host are major celebrities, no one wants to hear 10 minutes of off-topic banter before you get to the actual topic. Respect your listeners’ time and get to the point. Take the advice of the late, great Tom Petty: “Don’t bore us; get to the chorus.”
    2. Stop trying to crowd-fund your unknown, brand new podcast. You need a CROWD for crowdfunding to work, so spend your first six months (at LEAST) working on the most important thing—your show’s quality. If your show isn’t good, no one is going to want to throw money at you. Grow your quality to grow your revenue.
    3. Don’t be a slime ball on social media. Stop following all of the fans of the podcast you’re copying, in hopes that they’ll follow you back. Stop jumping into conversations about podcasts and forcing your elevator pitch and show link on people. Just…ugh, please, just stop.
    4. Maybe don’t expect overnight success. You might have to make 10 or 20 or 50 episodes before you start to see growth. Be patient. If you’re in this for the pure joy of telling stories, that shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re doing it to get rich quickly, quit now and find a new hobby.
    5. Do something unique. Maybe, I don’t know, pick a topic no one has covered before, or a podcast format that’s not a rip-off of some other successful show. And definitely don’t say, “Gosh, I love Random Podcast, so I’ll just make my own version of it.” Start from scratch and build a unique show.
    6. Related: listen to LEARN, not to copy. Listen to a ton of top-shelf shows and learn about how they do transitions or ads or intros or music. Learn how they communicate with fans and structure their credits. Listen to it all. Soak it in. Become one with it.
    7. I get that you want to do your show in seasons. Taking a break is nice. But if you want your show to grow, maybe stop taking massive chunks of time off. No one wants to wait 9 or 10 months for your next batch of 8 episodes. Grow up and start working faster. Geesh.
    8. Speaking of release schedules…make one, commit to it, and execute without fail. None of this “well, my show is weekly, but this week I’m releasing on a Friday even though last week was on Tuesday, because my cat got sick and my cactus died”. If you want your podcast to be a full time job, TREAT it like one. Set a release schedule you can keep, and then stick with it.
    9. Oooh, here’s my favorite: You aren’t the authority on whether or not your show is good. You’re not, sorry. Your LISTENERS are. Also, you loving your own show won’t grow the audience. But if your listeners love it, they’ll tell others. If your show isn’t growing, they aren’t telling others, therefore they don’t love it. Sorry.
    10. Stop looking for sponsors early in the game. You need a show that’s big enough to make financial sense to sponsors before they work with you. I know landing a sponsor will make you feel powerful and special and all grown up, but having a sponsor doesn’t make your show more legitimate. Grow, THEN sell.