Producing a podcast is no small task! The trick is to keep all the plates spinning without losing sight of the end goal: engaging your listeners. Here, we’ll be covering the most common podcast production questions about how to produce a podcast, how much it costs, what kind of time frames to expect and more.
1. Consider paying for a podcast producer
First things first, we must impress upon you that podcast production is hard work. With everything that can fall under the production umbrella – content strategy, booking studios and guests, hiring technical talent and of course, nailing down the final cut of each episode – producing a podcast can get very overwhelming very quickly!
If all this seems like a lot to handle, especially if you’re already doing the lion’s share of scripting and recording your podcast, consider hiring a producer to help you out. This will allow you to focus on the content of your podcast while they sort out the nuts and bolts like scheduling, budget and the minutiae of editing. Level up with an experienced producer and you’ll be amazed how far your podcast can go!
2. Understand your target audience
Now we’ll move into suggestions for those who want to produce their own podcasts, starting with a few key questions. Though you’ve hopefully considered this before recording, it’s crucial to ask: who is your podcast really for? Podcast audiences are drawn to particular niches, so you should plan how to cater to them with your production.
Are you putting a new spin on a familiar topic, or taking a deep dive into something with surprisingly little coverage? Would a certain format, such as classic narrative vs one-on-one interviews vs roundtable, appeal most to your audience? Take the time to find out who they are and what will get them to keep pressing play.
3. Let your format shape your production approach
Again, the format of your podcast is crucial to decide on early – not least because it will shape your production approach! As you’re embarking on your production journey, think to yourself: with your format as a foundation, what do you want the listening experience to be? When do you want people to experience tension, or think about a certain question, or listen a little more carefully. And how can you use production to elicit these responses?
Perhaps most importantly, how can you do all this efficiently? The good news is, the more practice you get at editing your podcast, the more efficient and discerning you’ll become. That’s why, if you’re producing your own podcast, it’s good to get stuck in early – though it’ll be a steep learning curve, it will pay off when you’ve mastered your format after a few months.
4. Cultivate (or rent) a great production space
Perhaps the most important factor in podcast production is access to a professional studio and high-quality equipment! If you’re recording your podcast on great mics, with live sound adjustment to reduce background noise and clean up the audio, you won’t have to do nearly as much post-production work.
Not only will these measures make producing your podcast much easier, but they’ll also establish a consistent level of quality that will set your podcast apart from fuzzier-sounding shows. Never underestimate the power of clean, professional audio in appealing to listeners!
That’s where Premiere Podcast Studios comes in: we’ll handle your soundproofing and equipment needs so you can attend solely to your content. In addition to specialty podcast microphones and a Rodecaster Pro for live sound mixing, we also provide DAW software for editing and on-site engineers to assist with your production! Book Premiere Podcast Studios today to produce your podcast without having to worry about extraneous noise or costs.
5. Know how to apply technical production elements
There are a few more technical points that are integral to podcast production. Namely, to create something that sounds great and appeals to listeners, you need to know the difference between mixing, cutting, mastering and compression. Here’s a quick breakdown of these elements:
- Mixing is the process of making the voices on a podcast sound clear and consistent. Again, if you choose to record in a professional studio with quality mics and a professional audio console, you shouldn’t have to do much mixing during production.
- Cutting is the removal or shortening of any audio that you don’t want in the final version of your podcast. Though most recordings will need some static cut out, make sure you don’t go overboard – you don’t want to edit things too close and have transitions sound unnaturally sudden, or to accidentally remove important context!
- Mastering involves adjusting the volume and other audio levels up to broadcasting standards. This is the last major step in post-production; once you have your podcast episode at the clarity and length you want it, you can master it to sound silky smooth.
- Compression is the final “smoothing” piece of production, ensuring that dynamic changes in sound don’t sound too jarring.
6. Create plenty of compelling “extras”
As you’re producing, you should be thinking about how to promote your podcast. Consider which angles and clips you can use to market your podcast effectively, both to your existing audience and potential new listeners.
The reason to do this while producing is because – as with your podcast format – you can cater your production process to create market-friendly content as you go! Note which moments are intriguing or entertaining in each episode and split them up into clips, maybe even adding sound effects to really grab listeners. You can also think about transcribing part or all of your podcast, and layering captions over soundbites to create “audiograms” for social media promotion.
This is a a fun opportunity to get creative as a producer, as well as a great way to take control of your own marketing vision! Just remember to keep your target audience in mind and give yourself enough buffer time to create these promotional “extras” on top of your standard production process.
7. Stay on top of your release schedule
Speaking of timing, another key tip for podcast production is to stay on top of your release schedule. How long does it take to produce a podcast, you ask? Well, it depends: on your podcast format, number of interviews, episode length, desired level of polish and how many marketing extras you want to create.
Whatever timing you land on, give yourself at least a week between producing and releasing the episode. As you gain experience, you can leave less time for production and do it more on the fly – but try to stick to some sort of schedule to ensure you don’t go too far off track. A digital calendar, kanban board or other organisational system might be just what you need to balance everything required in podcast production.
8. Keep checking in with yourself
Communication with your team is a huge part of podcast success. The same goes for checking in with yourself! As you’re producing your podcast, take stock of how things are going and whether the episode is taking shape the way you wanted.
And if you’re struggling with certain production tasks, don’t hesitate to ask for help. At Premiere Podcast Studios, our on-site engineers are more than happy to help out with all production questions, no matter how big or small. Book a recording slot in our professional Shoreditch podcast studio to streamline the production process and make your podcast a success!