Podcasting has been around for a while now " about 6 or 7 years. Although its still relatively underground, its probably one of my favourite forms of marketing a business online because its so subtle " the complete opposite of hard selling.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Sterling and Jay from InternetBusinessMastery.com, two of the worlds leading experts on podcasting. Ive pulled the following 10 common podcasting mistakes to avoid from the conversation we had.

1. Selecting too broad a topic


If one episode talks about entrepreneurial tips and the next episode discusses how to manage a big business then youre probably not catering for the same listener in both episodes " so you might lose them both!

2. Failing to identify a core listener


Once youve identified a niche topic you should also pinpoint an ideal core listener. If you can picture a person instead of a group of non-descript followers youll be more likely to connect with people.

3. Not having any call-to-action

no call to action

Although you can easily alienate listeners by trying to sell too much, you also shouldnt be afraid of having at least one call-to-action on each episode. If you offer something relevant and valuable for free in exchange for an email opt-in, most of your listeners will find that reasonable.

4. Using a 'normal' web host


Audio and video files can be large " and the chances are that a regular shared host will start to grumble fairly quickly if you start streaming a few media files at the same time. If youre serious about podcasting make sure you start off with a specialist podcast host like Libsyn or Blubrry.

5. Using low-quality audio equipment


You might attract, but you wont keep a merry band of listeners by having a low quality microphone. Sterling and Jay recommend that you take the plunge and purchase a Snowball microphone.

6. Not leveling your sound


Have you ever listened to a podcast and had the volume at the perfect volume for the first speaker before getting deafened by the second speaker? Running your audio through the Levelator will ensure that this doesnt happen.

7. Forgetting ID3 tags


ID3 tags lets you add file information to your podcast episodes. This file information is read by your listeners podcast player and it helps them to identify which episode they are listening to.

8. Limiting subscription options


Ive found some great podcasts on blogs which online offer iTunes as a subscription option. I own an Android phone, so that makes it very difficult to subscribe to the podcast. Make sure you offer as many subscription options as possible.

9. Not submitting to podcasting directories


Although iTunes can deliver you more listeners than other podcast directories, it shouldnt be the only place you submit. Take time to submit to these 53 podcasting directories and youll reap the benefits.

10. Using a home-made podcast image


When you manage to get your podcast to appear on iTunes and other podcasting directories, an image will appear next to your listing. Spend just a little bit of image to get a professional image produced. Itll get you more subscribers than a home-made effort.

Can you think of any more common podcasting mistakes?