You finally started that podcast you’ve been thinking about, or you’re still thinking about it but ready to actually do it? Awesome!
Now comes the hard part: Figuring out how to actually produce your podcast with a process that ensures you drop a new episode without ever skipping a week.
You didn’t think that all of those favorite podcasts you listen to just record and magically put it up for download, in a snap, did you? No, they follow a process. They likely have a team of professionals who work on specific parts of their podcast production.
If you’re looking to run your podcast like the pros, then you’ve come to the right place. This is how you craft that podcast production process to ensure every episode sounds as good as it can, and that you have new episodes releasing to your feed consistently.
Because no podcast fan likes a podcast who doesn’t publish on time. Or worse, stops publishing altogether! That’s where having a process really pays off.
In this Podcast Production Process Guide, you’ll find:
- Access to our podcast episode production process template kit for ProcessKit
- The key steps in going from planning to publishing your next podcast episode to your feed
- The people who are involved in producing your podcast (you might want to consider bringing in more people than just the on-air hosts!).
- How to custom tailor your podcasting process to fit your unique goals and podcast style
- Next steps to implementing a better podcast production and publishing process.
Ready? Let’s dig in.
Get your podcast production process template kit
Our podcast production process template kit for ProcessKit includes a step-by-step checklist, plus our pre-configured custom project type for podcast episodes, and an essential set of custom fields to help manage all the little pieces associated with every podcast episode while it’s being produced.
Not on ProcessKit yet? That’s OK. You can get started on your free trial today and get your podcast production rolling in no time with the help of our podcast process template kit.
Key steps in the process of publishing a podcast episode
How a podcast actually gets made is a bit of a mystery to most podcast listeners. But if you’re a podcaster and you’ve tried producing it all yourself, then you know it’s quite a process!
If you break the podcasting process down into its component parts, it becomes easier to streamline and make the process more efficient. That means a more predictable publishing process for your listeners!
Here are a few of the key steps to focus on:
Starting your next podcast episode
Every episode, just like when you’re producing blog content, begins with a topic. Depending on the type of show you run (more on this later), how you generate new topic ideas for episodes will vary.
But that part of the process should follow a standard set of steps, including where you go for topic idea inspiration. Or, if your show involves inviting guests for interviews, then your process should account for how you identify and find guests, how you invite them and get them booked on the show.
Before you get to the recording session, you’ll want to thoroughly plan out the conversation. If it’s a guest interview, then you’ll need a well-researched line of questioning. If a topical episode, then prepare notes and sequence of key points to run through in a timely manner.
Recording and post-recording
With your topic, the research, and/or a guest interview all lined up, you’re ready to get on the recording session.
Be sure to jot down notes along the way, and take note of the times at which certain points or links were mentioned. You’ll want to include these in your show notes later.
After recording, your process should account for how the audio gets to your podcast audio editor and what happens with it from there. Perhaps you’re using a file sharing service like Dropbox or a similar alternative for this.
Keep in mind that aside from the audio recording itself, there are lots of little pieces that go along with the episode. Those show notes I mentioned, the featured image, a transcript, perhaps a video (if you’re cross-publishing to YouTube), etc.
All of these “little things” should be kept together in the same place you’re tracking progress on the production of each episode. This way, those things aren’t strewn around in different services, making it difficult for your teammates to find each piece.
Ideally, your podcast production process actually drives the tasks, due dates, and team assignments, so that everyone is on the same page, in the same place.
Whichever tools your team is using to manage your podcast production process, it’s important that your system supports that objective. ProcessKit seamlessly integrates your processes with those repeatable projects (like podcast episodes) so that every episode is easily tracked and executed on time, every time.
Podcast episode publishing & promotion
Once your audio editor puts the finishing touches on the final MP3 file for your podcast, what happens next? How does that end up in the public feeds of your podcast listeners?
There are a whole bunch of remaining steps in the process. This is where all of those “little things” really come into play, and why it’s so important to have a handle on how your team organizes their work as they move through your process.
A number of things will need to come together all at the same time:
- The written show notes
- A featured image for the episode
- Links that were mentioned during the episode
- A transcript produced, for those who prefer to read rather than listen
- Set up the episode in your blog or wherever your podcast gets published
- Social media posts published (or scheduled in advance) to help promote the new episode.
All of these steps have quite a few, detail-oriented sub-tasks that will need to be tracked and handled properly and consistently. And since your podcast needs to publish on a consistent schedule, keeping those task due dates on point is critical.
The people involved in producing a podcast
The best way to ensure your podcast quality remains high, and your publishing remains consistent, is to have the “on air” people do “on air” things, like planning topics and going on air for the recording. Then have a separate set of people handle the “behind the scenes” stuff, such as audio editing, technical set up, and designing artwork.
Here is a rundown of the key people you’ll likely have involved in your podcast production process:
- A producer, who oversees the show-to-show process, ensures the topic focus resonates with the audience, and helps plan any adjustments. This person might also be involved in sourcing guests.
- The on-air host or co-hosts
- The audio editor / engineer
- A writer/copyeditor to write the show notes (or copy edit the notes written by the host)
- A transcriptionist or outsourced transcription service
- A setup assistant to handle scheduling and publishing the episode to the feed, along with posting social media.
Making your podcasting process work for _your_ pod
Podcasts are one of those things that do follow a pretty standard process, no matter what type of podcast you have. Every podcast has a pre-recording, recording, editing, and publishing process.
But there are still things that will make your podcasting process a little different from the next one in the iTunes directory.
Here are a few questions you should consider as you work on making your podcast production process even more efficient and consistent for your listeners:
What type of podcast is it? An interview show? A daily news show? Topical discussions? Lengthy deep-dives on technical subject-matter? All of these will require variations in how you come up with episode ideas and do your pre-recording preparation.
Will the show involve inviting guests? This is quite common in podcasting and it means you’ll have a different set of steps in your process. It will mean that scheduling of your production tasks all depend on when the guest actually agrees and books their recording session. So you’ll need a healthy pipeline of guests in order to keep your show publishing on a consistent schedule.
What else comes with the podcast? Many podcasts repurpose that content in multiple ways aside from the audio podcast itself. Your process might include having transcriptions made, or passing it onto a writer to spin off blog articles, or cross-publishing the show to YouTube. Your production process should account for all of these scenarios.
Next steps to implementing a more professional podcast production process
Ready to give your listeners what they really want? A quality, consistent podcast that shows up in their feed every week… Then it’s time you implemented a proper process to ensure that happens.
Start by using our podcast production process template kit for ProcessKit. This free kit for ProcessKit users has all the pieces required to keep your pod publishing on time, every time, including:
- Our step-by-step process template (fully editable, easy to customize or use as-is)
- Dynamic date rules built into every process step
- A custom project type which be used for every new podcast episode
- A set of custom fields that make it easier to keep track of all of those “little things” that come along with producing every podcast episode.
Not a ProcessKit user? That’s alright. You can get on your free trial now so that you’re ready to kick your podcasting production process into gear.