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Episode 433

How to Avoid Podcast Scams: The Dark Side of Podcasting

6 of the Biggest Podcast Scams & How to Avoid Them

Podcasting is a powerful medium to share ideas, knowledge, and stories. However, like any other industry, it has a darker side where unethical practices and scams lurk. Let’s shed some light on the six most prevalent scams in podcasting and equip you with the necessary knowledge to identify and avoid them.

1. The Download Delusion:

“Pay us, and watch your download numbers soar!” Sounds great, right? Wrong. It’s like buying friends – they’re not really your friends. Paying for downloads is a deceptive practice where podcasters are lured into buying downloads to artificially inflate their audience size. These services often use bots or other shady methods to inflate numbers. This is unsustainable and can lead to potential issues with advertisers. More importantly, it’s unethical. As a content creator, you should focus on building a genuine and engaged audience. Paying for downloads creates an illusion of success that can’t be maintained in the long run.

2. Promotion Predators:

“We’ll feature your podcast on our high-traffic site!” Ah, the classic bait. You pay a hefty fee, and they put your podcast on a website that probably gets less traffic than a desert road at 3 AM. Another common scam is the promotion predators. These are individuals or companies that promise to feature your podcast on their platform for a fee. These offers may sound appealing but often don’t deliver the promised results. Always be cautious of such offers (as tempting as it sounds to be featured on Forbes), and do thorough research before committing your hard-earned money.

3. Equipment Extortion:

“Buy this ultra-pro, mega-expensive gear package to sound like a pro!” Truth bomb: You don’t need to break the bank to sound good. Start modest, upgrade later. Your wallet will thank you. And if you stick around our community here, you’ll learn quickly that we believe in progress over perfection. You can get started podcasting and creating content right from your phone!

4. The Review Racket:

“Pay for 5-star reviews to boost your podcast!” Spoiler alert: Most listeners can smell fake reviews from a mile away. Plus, it’s unethical and can backfire big time. Stick to earning genuine reviews. If you want to learn more about getting more reviews for your podcast, check out my episode on doing a podcast review giveaway: How to Run a Podcast Review Giveaway.

5. The ‘Expert’ Ego-Boost:

“Join our exclusive, high-priced course/webinar to learn secret podcasting tips!” The “expert ego boost” is another scam where so-called podcast experts promise massive results for a high price. Unfortunately, these promises often fall short. It’s important to understand that success in podcasting, like any other endeavor, takes time and effort. No one can guarantee you instant success or millions of downloads. Often, these ‘secrets’ are just repackaged basics you can find with a quick Google search. Save your cash, and do your homework.

6. Network Nonsense:

“Join our network, and we’ll take your podcast to the stars!” But first, they take a big chunk of your revenue or rights. Before joining a network, make sure to do your due diligence. Podcast networks might seem like a good opportunity on the surface — and many of them are legit! However, it’s essential to be wary of them. Some networks promise podcasters exposure and growth but fail to deliver, leaving podcasters with little to show for their investment. Understand the terms and conditions, read the fine print, and check customer testimonials. Also, ensure you retain intellectual property ownership and understand the terms and conditions.

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HI, I'M Krystal Proffitt

Podcast coach, content strategist, best-selling author, lifelong cheerleader, and content marketer

Podcaster • Cheerleader • Coach •

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