10 reasons your L&D podcasts will fail

Hispanic man recording podcast stressed and frustrated with hand on head.

Michael Olatunji uses his podcast background to help your podcast be the best it can

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular medium for sharing knowledge and insights, especially in the training and learning and development industry. However, despite the potential benefits, many podcasts in this niche fail to make a lasting impact. Understanding the key reasons behind podcast failures can help aspiring creators avoid common pitfalls and ensure a successful venture. Here are ten factors that can contribute to the failure of your L&D podcast.

1. Lack of clear objectives

One of the primary reasons a podcast fail is the absence of clear objectives. Creators must define their podcast’s purpose, target audience, and unique value proposition. Without a well-defined focus, episodes can become disjointed, leading to disengagement from listeners.

2. Insufficient research

Failing to conduct thorough research on the industry, target audience, and competitors can hinder a podcast’s success. Understanding the current trends, challenges, and interests within the L&D field is crucial for creating relevant and engaging content.

3. Inconsistent release schedule

Consistency is key in the podcasting world. Irregular release schedules can result in a loss of audience trust and interest. Creators should establish a realistic and sustainable release schedule, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, to maintain a loyal listener base.

4. Poor audio quality

Poor audio quality can be a significant deterrent. Listeners expect clear and professional audio to enhance their learning experience. Investing in quality recording equipment and editing processes is essential for a successful podcast.

5. Monotonous presentation style

A monotonous or uninspiring presentation style can quickly lead to listener disengagement. Podcast hosts should focus on incorporating enthusiasm, varied tones, and dynamic pacing to keep their audience captivated throughout each episode, much like with any face-to-face or virtual delivery.

6. Ignoring audience feedback

Failing to listen to audience feedback can result in a disconnect between creators and their listeners. Successful podcasts actively seek and respond to feedback, adapting their content to better meet the needs and preferences of their audience.

7. Overlooking SEO and promotion

Even the most informative podcasts can struggle to gain traction without proper promotion and consideration of search engine optimisation (SEO). Creators should optimise episode titles, descriptions, and keywords to enhance discoverability within the L&D community and beyond.

8. Neglecting guest selection

Podcasts often feature guest speakers to provide diverse perspectives and expertise. However, selecting the wrong guests or neglecting proper vetting can lead to uninspiring or irrelevant content. Creators should carefully choose guests who align with their podcast’s goals and resonate with their target audience. For L&D podcasts it can be especially good to feature people outside of this community but whom have something valuable to share.

9. Failure to evolve content

Industries evolve, and so should podcast content. Failing to adapt to changing trends or new developments in the training and learning & development field can make a podcast quickly outdated and lose its relevance. This is a balance between current trends, such as AI, and focusing on your core objectives.

10. Lack of monetisation strategy

While not the primary goal for every podcast, having a clear monetisation strategy is crucial for long-term sustainability. Creators should explore sponsorship opportunities, affiliate marketing, or other revenue streams within the training and learning & development industry to support ongoing podcast production.

Your next podcast

Podcasting offers a unique platform to share knowledge and insights. Avoiding these ten common pitfalls, such as setting clear objectives, maintaining consistency, and prioritising quality content, can significantly increase the likelihood of podcast success in this dynamic and evolving field.


Michael Olatunji is co-founder of Outset Studio

Michael Olatunji

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