Starting your podcast is easier than ever, but how do you manage a podcast?
But once you get your podcast launched, how do you keep the momentum rolling? How do you manage everything, from content creation to promotion and beyond?
Check out our top tips on how to manage a podcast!
1. Organization Is The Key To Success
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: organization is the key to success. This includes everything, from planning out when episodes are going to drop and scheduling in time to record and edit, to making sure that your digital files are labeled and saved to the correct folder on your computer. Writing down what time your interview is and labeling your podcast intro as “podcast intro” saves you from having to keep this information on the top of your head. This goes on to both free up your mental processing power to focus on other tasks, and preemptively keeps you from going, “I forgot!”
Calendars and planners are a great way to keep track of episode drops, interview dates, and recording, editing, or other content-creation-related tasks. Planners work great for content creators who tend to be more on-the-go (especially if you’re traveling for your podcast to different events and conventions). Calendars – be it a wall calendar or a desk calendar – are excellent for podcasts who tend to be a bit more “out of site, out of mind” with their reminders. Both have their places, and both work well with taped-up or stuck-on additions in the form of sticky notes or planning note cards.
When it comes to your podcast proper, ensure that you’re labeling your podcast episodes in a uniform way. This tells you the relevant info you need without having to go into the file and give it a listen. For example, labeling a file “10/17/21” is fine and tells you the date, but if you don’t know the topic, the guests, or anything usable for an episode title, it has the potential to slow you down. This goes for things like your intro/outro music, any special transition music, or any templates that you utilize during recording and editing.
At the end of the day, it’s your labeling system. If you’d rather just have all your finished episodes in one folder, or if you’d like to organize by year and month, or if you’d like to organize by topic, it’s up to you. Having some organization is better than none at all. It’s all about helping you streamline your process and utilize methods that free up your mental RAM for what’s most important: making the best content possible.
Wondering what kind of calendar you can start with? Check out our free content calendars!
1.5 What is a template?
This organization can translate over to your recording and editing as well. We’ve spoken about templates before; they’re a way to save any intro/outro/transition music in one file. Doing so allows you to apply it to your audio and speed up your editing.
So it bears repeating that using templates during editing is a great way to streamline your process, and keep your episodes’ sound levels uniform. Once again, though, remember to label them appropriately so you don’t forget what they are!
2. Delegation Is Your Friend
More and more podcasters are working in teams, which is great! This means that you have a built-in group of people who can all participate in editing, promoting, and the rest of the steps needed to produce the best podcast possible. What seems insurmountable as an individual can be much more manageable spread out over two or more people.
With this in mind, try to assign specific roles to members of your team. Is one of your co-hosts already on Twitter and knowledgeable about best posting times and such? Ask if they can handle the social media promotion. Is your co-host good at writing? See if they’ll handle something like writing the bulk of the scripts, or writing outreach emails for potential guests and podcasts you want to collaborate with.
Of course, not every podcast has a team behind it – what about solo podcasters? We solemnly acknowledge you as being the strongest people in the world. Don’t forget that your social circle may provide great opportunities to bring your friends in to participate. For example, if you’ve got a friend that’s on Instagram all the time, see if they’d be willing to help post things for you! If your siblings or family members are in school, see if they’d be interested in helping you research your next topic.
For those that are using podcasting for internal communications, or in a corporate setting, delegation is important as well. Make sure that you have dedicated roles for each person working on the podcast, instead of making it a nebulous responsibility for a group. Assign people as needed to recording, editing, writing, distributing, etc with specific goals set for each role. This will not only streamline the entire podcasting process, it will help each person be more successful in the role and create a more effective product.
Even if you don’t have someone on hand, there are also some great tools like automatic scheduling software (such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite) that can chip in and lend a hand as needed. Your podcast host may also have tools available to help automatically post content to your social media channels of choice as you publish new episodes.
And as your podcast grows, regardless of your team size, there are always options such as podcast production companies! These companies assist in everything from recording and editing to posting, promoting, guest acquisition, and more! Utilizing podcast production companies will definitely ease some of the work off your shoulders so you can turn your focus to other matters.
3. Invest In The Proper Tools And Software
When it comes to starting your podcast, you don’t need the fanciest and most expensive gear right out of the gate. In fact, you can start a podcast quite easily right from your phone! There are things that you can invest in to keep things running smoothly and painlessly as your podcast grows.
When first starting your podcast, you definitely want to invest in a podcast host. Your host, which is where you upload your podcast audio so it can be sent out to directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, should also offer things like monetization tools, promotion opportunities, and other resources to help you on your podcasting journey. Investing in a podcast host first gives you these tools and resources right at the start, and saves you any hassle in switching hosts down the line.
When it comes to recording gear, keep in mind what your podcast needs are before you start adding things to your cart. Yes, that six-channel external interface is really nice, but how practical is it if you’re never bringing more than one or two people to your studio? Ask around in podcast groups (like r/podcasting on reddit) to see what other seasoned podcasters are using. Undoubtedly, if they’re using it, they’ll have some good things to say as well as some tips on using it!
But your finances aren’t the only type of investing. Keep in mind that things like time and attention are investments as well! Investing your time and attention can look like:
- Setting strict boundaries for your recording and editing time
- Take care when recording to limit the background noise
- Finding the best recording place in your home that cuts down on echo/weird background noises
- Do your research, recording, and editing at different times instead of one long marathon session
- Taking notes so even when you’re recording without a script, you don’t lose track of your train of thought
A Final Note on Managing Your Podcast
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day (et tu, podcaster?). Upon reading this post, don’t immediately throw out the systems and procedures you have in place for your podcast. Instead, incorporate these tips at your own pace. These tips are to help you manage your podcast with ease, not create more stress!
Once you start your podcast, you may struggle with ensuring that you don’t lose your momentum. (We have a great interview with Ben Levitt here that covers that!) With these tips on how to manage your podcast, keep yourself on track to make your podcast as successful as possible!