Honestly, How Long Does it Take to Create an Amazing Podcast Episode?

For years I've told people THE BEST ratio I've ever achieved is 4 TO 1 when it comes to making a podcast episode. In other words, a 15-minute podcast will take an hour.

I asked my audience how long it took them from idea to pressing publish. They shared their workflow and the amount of time spent per episode.

If you'd rather outsource your editing, check out my team.

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Mentioned In This Episode 

Learn How You Can Help Others by Sharing Your Abilities with Glenn Hebert802

20 Tips to Immediately Speed Up Your Podcast Production No Matter the Budget – 801


Steve from Stevestewart.me and the Podcast Editors Academy (and the podcast editors club on Facebook

Kim from The Pharmacist's Voice

Zita – Moon River Rituals

Bruce from The Eden Podcast

Jim From the Average Gut Network

Mark – Repurpose Your Career

Rich – the Daily Podcast Practice Show

Orlando – hablandodetecnologia.com

Brandon – Start 100K

Dan – Based on a True Story Podcast

Howard – AA Recovery Podcast

Neil Recovery Coast to Coast

Mark –History or North America Podcast

Peter – Fat and Broke Podcast

Bill – Strokecast

Stefan – Studying Pixels

What is the Final Ratio?

For me, my average is about 6 to 1. So a 15-minute podcast will take 90 minutes.

Based on the data from the audience, they averaged 10 minutes for 1 minute of podcast.

With this in mind, a 15-minute podcast will take an hour and a half.

My Workflow

This is what works for me. 

  1. I write a blog post (the thing you're reading now) that helps me shape my thoughts and identify what the main takeaway is for the episode.
  2. I then pull bullet points from the blog post and record my podcast like a good friend is sitting across the table from me.
  3. As I record, if I make a mistake, I stop and delete the mistake and “punch in” and pick up where I left off.
  4. When I'm done, I add chapters using Hindenburg software and export the show.
  5. I upload the file to overcast.fm and then download the file to my phone and listen to the episode (in this episode I had accidentally muted channel 1).
  6. I then make a truncated version of the blog (copying and pasting) for people listening on the phone, and set a link in the episode to come back to this website.
  7. I schedule the episode from Monday at 12:05 and press publish in Libsyn.com

Are You Giving Your Audience “Features” they Don't Need?

I do a show called, “Ask the Podcast Coach” where I do a 60-minute version of the show for free, and for my Patrons, they get an extra 30 minutes. I also add chapters to this episode which makes it easy for the audience to jump from topic to topic. We've been talking about making changes to the format and my patrons let me know the following:

  • Some of them don't listen to the bonus 30 minutes
  • Some of them don't use the chapters in the file.

Bare Bones Show Notes

While you want a fair amount of text on your website, when I polled my audience regarding show notes they said that they wanted enough text to help them see if the episode is something they want to listen to, and then links to anything mentioned in the episode.

If you're pushed for time, maybe you don't need to do some of the things you're doing in the description or episode? Have you ever had someone say, “Oh you have to check out this podcast! Their show notes are AMAZING!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying write three sentences and you're good. However, if the choice is sanity or transcripts – it makes no sense to burn yourself out creating content that your audience may not be using.

A Quicker Way to Do Audiograms

Instead of scouring your 50-minute interview for a golden nugget to use as an audiogram, why not record YOURSELF saying a key takeaway from the episode. That would save you a ton of time. Check out the episode I did on speeding up your production.

20 Tips to Immediately Speed Up Your Podcast Production No Matter the Budget

Be Careful Monitoring Your Time

When you use a tool like Toggl, and see how something took you two hours (and your hourly work rate is $51/hour) you may realize that you could've made $102 instead of making a podcast.



About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
2 comments on “Honestly, How Long Does it Take to Create an Amazing Podcast Episode?
  1. Well-done episode, Dave! Thanks, too, for publishing my response to your monthly question. Of course I couldn’t “plug” my podcast in the way many others did. The strict anonymity requirements for AA Recovery Interviews makes it a challenge to talk about either the production itself or the guests on my show. AA is a Program of attraction not promotion. So word-of-mouth, one alcoholic talking to another, is still the best way to attract people who need/want what AA has to offer. Declining all outside contributions, commercial affiliations, or other funding allows the podcast is to carry the AA message (unencumbered by outside interests) to those who still suffer. In every episode, our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

    If I can ever be of service to you or any of your constituents, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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