Full disclosure: I teach people how to podcast and my agency produces podcasts for businesses. The numbers I’m sharing vary based on your equipment, length and format of the show, and your level of expertise and productivity. There is going to be a massive difference between a conversational cast featuring friends (with no edits) versus something featured on NPR that has a full production team behind it.
That said, here are some very rough numbers on what it takes to produce a single, interview-based episode.
- Planning and communication: 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Research and question writing: 1 to 2 hours
- Interview: 1 to 1.5 hours
- Editing: 2x the interview length, plus 30 minutes per 60 minutes of interview
- Tag and upload the file: 5 to 15 minutes
- Write show notes: 90 minutes for every 60 minutes of interview
- Prepare website post (format copy, choose and edit images, use SEO, add links): 1 hour
- *Wild card: promotional material
- **Learning: don’t forget the time it takes to learn. Hosting and interviewing, sound design, and audio engineering are all skills that take time to learn.
Again, are there simpler ways to do this? Yes. But I’m not looking for simple. I want to produce great content.
Produce Great Audio:
I recently read the book “Out on the Wire” by Jessica Abel. It’s all about the art behind great audio journalism. Great audio takes time. Many of the shows I love have full production teams behind them and can take weeks to produce. Interviews are picked apart to the point where they edit in pauses and rearrange “um” to make it sound more natural, drawing the listener in.
How much you’re willing to put into your podcast is up to you. You’re going to be spending time and/or money to produce a podcast. It’s important that you have an understanding of the road ahead.
That does it for this episode! In the next episode, I’ll answer the related question: “How much does it cost to produce a podcast?”
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