- Amateurs, Amateurs, Amateurs...
Let's face it - there is a serious signal-to-noise problem considering how easy it is to make a podcast with any laptop and most cell-phones today. Here are a few clues - if you can't be bothered to write a script and buy a decent microphone - you shouldn't be published on iTunes...
- Shiny Happy People
People who are too damned bubbly are just as annoying on a podcast as they are in creepy commercials. Keep your banter to a minimum and don't let it stray to the innane.
- I wasted how much time/memory on this?!
The best tagline that I know is for a podcast called Writing Excuses : "15 minutes long because you're in a hurry & we're not that smart!"
Respect your audience's time and they will come back to you. Go light on the fluff and heavy on the substance.
- Rerun Central
Some people feel the need to re-run old episodes in a new time slot. This is stupid because the backlog of old episodes is still on the server and annoying to people who find their play-count off & their storage space wasted.
The worst offenders are people with embedded ads - often the podcast is recycled seemingly ONLY to update the ads. That is a fast way to lose subscribers.
- Snail-like Production Pace
Not everyone can pump out episodes like a Japanimation Studio - but it you are running a 'beginners course' or somesuch - be sensitive that some people will actually watch from the beginning and might find a 3 month hiatus in filming to be a serious drag.
- Off Topic - Off the Road - Off the Subscription List
Pick your topic carefully and stick to it. JavaPosse for example takes a lot of heat for veering off the Java topic and going on about Apple and the iPhone on occasion. I still listen, but their podcasts are notoriously long.
A lot of podcasters seem to suffer from the assumption that they are suddenly an Authority on a subject. A little humility would suit you better. Think about it, do you really want to speak down to your audience?