4 Reasons Indie Podcasts Fail

This one goes out to anyone who’s ever asked “Why doesn’t anyone listen to my podcast?”. It comes down to the most common reasons why indie podcasts fail to find an audience. Just brace yourself, these won’t be easy to hear. These are the top four reasons why indie podcasts fail.

4 Reasons Nobody Listens to Your Podcast

Brace yourself. These common podcast issues might not be easy to hear, but they’re important considerations when you want to improve your show.

1. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

You may think you know everything, but you don’t really. If you want people to listen to your podcast, you need to actually know something. You should at least be able to explain how things work. And if you can’t do that, consider whether you should host a show about this particular topic.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common reasons why indie podcasts fail. Instead of starting a podcast and flailing for content, do your research. That’s how you get smarties like the hosts of Morbid. . . they research!

2. You talk the wrong way.

People also love to complain. Your voice is too fast. Or it’s too slow. Or it’s gravely. Or you have weird intonations. If you want people who hear your podcast to stick around long enough to get to the end, start by slowing down. People aren’t going to sit and listen to someone drone on forever unless they find it entertaining. Here’s the thing: Talk like a human, and let your listeners sort themselves out.

No robots allowed!

3. You sound boring.

If your voice sounds dull and lifeless, nobody will want to hear what you have to say. Sound familiar? Consider the last time you found yourself trapped in the corner of a room, talking to someone you found dull. It sucked, right? That’s what you want to avoid.

Looking to improve your vocal skills? Voice actors provide some tips that can help podcasters.

Other advice: Record yourself talking about something you’re passionate about. Then, compare that to your podcast. If you notice a difference in your tone, it’s a reliable signal you need to work on how you present yourself on your show.

4. You aren’t a celebrity.

Here’s the hard truth. If you don’t already have a following, you’re going to have a more difficult time building a listenership than you would if people already know your name. Are you Joe Rogan? If so, congratulations. There’s a different list you should read. For everyone else, understand that the biggest names in podcasting already had followings before they hit the record button. They leverage that fame. You need a different podcast strategy

If you’re still wondering why indie podcasts fail, consider the fundamentals. Do you have an interesting premise? Do you know what you’re talking about? Would you listen to you?

Need a quick breakdown? Here’s what we discussed:

  1. You aren’t an expert.
  2. You don’t sound honest.
  3. You don’t sound excited.
  4. You aren’t already known.

Fix these four areas, and you’ll find more success with an indie podcast. Next, let’s figure out how to address these issues.

5. You don’t market your show.

I get it. You’re not a marketer. You’re a podcaster. You want to share your voice, your story, your humor, and your values with the world. There’s nothing wrong with that. Except nobody will know where to find you if you don’t let the world know about your podcast.

Your indie podcast fails because listeners can’t find it.

Part of marketing is getting your show listed in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, and on Amazon Music. If you host with something like Anchor.fm, that part is easy. The next most important thing is sharing the show with your friends and family.

This part can be awkward, but it’s also vitally important.

You want people to share their thoughts about your show, and you need to ask them for help. Ask your listeners to share the show with their friends. Ask for reviews on Apple Podcasts. And, finally, take their recommendations.

You don’t need to hire a podcast marketing agency to get the word out about your show. And, unless you’re jumping into the deep end with a corporate podcast, you really shouldn’t. Start small and build organically.

Your community will help you more than any other factor.

Follow the flow to improve your show.

How to Fix The Biggest Problems with Your Indie Podcast

Alright, you’ve identified the issue. People don’t think you’re an expert. They don’t trust you. They don’t like how you sound, and they have no idea who you are. So where do you start? Here’s how to fix a podcast.

Be Credible.

As you develop topics for your show, lean into your expertise. These might be the areas where you have the most niche experience, or they might be what you’ve spent the most time studying. Maybe your expertise is just your glowing personality. Showcase it!

If you don’t have credibility on your own, consider podcast guesting. Invite experts to your show and highlight their expertise.

Be Earnest.

People smell bogus intentions from miles away. If you want to start a show to get rich and famous, reconsider your intentions. You know that feeling when you walk into a used car dealership and you just feel kind of dirty all over? That’s how people feel when they listen to a podcast host who isn’t giving it their all. Be honest about your intentions. Not everybody needs to share your interests. The internet is a vast and horrible place. You’ll find your crowd.

Be Excited.

You might think you don’t have a voice for podcasting. Unless you have no friends, that’s not true. When you find your niche, your voice will follow. People want to hear from passionate people. Your credibility and earnestness contribute to this naturally. Allow yourself to get excited. Be nerdy about your topic. That’s the only way to improve your indie podcast!

Be a Celebrity.

Alright, this one’s not exactly easy. It takes time to build a following. There are some ways to facilitate the process. Remember, many of the most popular streamers, podcasters, and influencers didn’t start life that way. Some did. Industry connections go a long way. That doesn’t apply to everyone though. Start by making a quality show.

Once you have something your proud of, something you’re excited about, and something the world needs to hear, share it. Nobody listens to your podcast because nobody knows about it yet. Engage with your community. Ask for reviews. Invite other people to interact with you as guests, co-hosts, or participants.

As your show grows, so will your celebrity. And you can use that on every public endeavor moving forward.

Tell the World!

You get it. You need to let the world know you have a podcast. That’s it. Simple, right?

As I mentioned above, this means three things:

  1. List your show where people can find it.
  2. Ask for reviews.
  3. Build a community.

With those three things out of the way, you will be well on your way to starting a popular podcast. So get started today! I already gave you podcast advice from a professional. The rest is up to you!


If you’re wondering why indie podcasts fail, don’t expect fairness. Focus on what you can control. Be interesting. Know your subject. And let people know where to find you. As long as you avoid the obvious pitfalls, you’ll have a much more successful experience as a novice podcaster.


Do I need a “podcast voice” to succeed?

You don’t need a podcast voice to have a successful show. As long as you’re confident and interesting and know what you’re talking about, you’re set up for success.

Do I need to market my show?

Yes, you need to market your podcast if you want to find listeners. It doesn’t need to be a professional marketing strategy. You just need to make sure you’re asking for reviews and shares. Make an effort!

How do I get reviews for my indie podcast?

To get reviews for your indie podcast, you’ll need to ask. Mention it in your show. Ask your friends and family. Reviews play a major factor in podcast visibility.





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