How To Produce a Podcast

“I’ve an excessive amount of time and an excessive amount of cash, so let’s make a podcast,” mentioned no advertising individual ever.

Podcasting has grow to be big, but it surely’s a frightening format for a lot of entrepreneurs. Very similar to writing a ebook, it’s troublesome, time-consuming, and in the end gained’t attain almost as many individuals as you desire to.

Regardless of all that, I’ve obtained extra questions currently about what it takes to create and produce a podcast. (I feel the curiosity is an act of insurrection in opposition to generative AI and written content material.) It additionally appears senior administration in lots of manufacturers is within the format — and advertising groups are being requested, “What ought to we do?”

I’ve been a podcaster for about 10 years. I’ve launched (and retired) as many reveals as I’ve fingers. I’ve been part of This Outdated Advertising since 2013, however a lot has modified since then.

I put collectively a 2024 model of the instruments and processes, together with the time it takes us to do the weekly podcast. I hope you discover it useful as you start or actively look to construct your small business case for producing a podcast of your individual.

Ideate the podcast

What’s going to your podcast be about? I gained’t spend a ton of time on this as a result of the subject could possibly be an article in and of itself. Some great thought leaders, together with Jay Acunzo and Tom Webster, discuss this matter, and I encourage you to have a look at their content material and be taught from them.

However it is best to perceive this: You’re creating a present; you’re not the present. In different phrases, for those who say the podcast is “our CEO interviewing a few of our greatest companions and thought leaders concerning the challenges in our business,” you should not have a present.

An awesome podcast is a present whether or not you’re in it or not. It could be higher since you’re in it. And it’d create extra loyalty due to your chemistry with a co-host. But it surely ought to be an important premise whether or not you or your CEO is in it.

Your present must also be completely different from others on the market. Put in your Hollywood producer hat and actually get to your podcast’s premise—its perspective. I’ve written about the best way to develop a POV on your firm. However, from the very starting, consider it as a present.

Jay Acunzo has a podcast referred to as Unthinkable. The premise of the present (said on the present’s web page) is:

“An inside have a look at the unconventional selections of quality-obsessed creators — and the memorable issues they made consequently. It’s a present about trusting your instinct and your craft greater than finest practices and blueprints.”

See how that podcast works? Typically, Unthinkable is an interview present; typically, it’s not. But it surely ALWAYS delivers in opposition to this mission. And it’s not about Jay.    

OK, let’s get to the brass tacks of making and managing a podcast.

Construction the present

I’m utilizing my podcast This Outdated Advertising because the case research, however the practices apply to any present you wish to create and handle in 2024.

As you learn this, it is best to contemplate that my co-host Joe Pulizzi and I’ve produced greater than 420 weekly episodes. Apart from an 18-month sabbatical, we’ve produced the present for greater than a decade. I point out that as a result of however what we do immediately is vastly completely different than what we did for the primary years. I’ll notice why as I’m going by this.  

Every episode entails three components:

  1. Pre-production — writing and prepping the present
  2. Manufacturing — recording, enhancing, and mixing the ultimate product
  3. Put up-production — creating and publishing the podcast packages

A few caveats about this behind-the-scenes look. I estimate the time based mostly on mastering the educational curve (or a very impressed week). See them as real looking timeframes after you’re employed out the kinks in your course of. Additionally, I share hyperlinks to the gear we use, however they aren’t affiliate hyperlinks for us or represent endorsements by CMI. Nonetheless, StreamYard is a sponsor of the present. General, these are the instruments which have labored properly (or not) for This Outdated Advertising.

Let’s start.


To be clear, Joe and I put loads of thought into the present’s structure earlier than we did the rest. I can’t suggest this extremely sufficient. We additionally by no means thought of ourselves completed. We continuously reviewed, revisited, and tweaked the construction. However earlier than you begin the creation course of, actually understanding the present’s circulate, together with phase lengths, is important.

This Outdated Advertising’s circulate contains 11 segments:

  • Chilly open — one thing humorous or a provocative joke to kick us off (30 to 45 seconds)
  • Theme track opening — our commonplace theme track (30 seconds)
  • Episode introduction — welcome the viewers to the episode and thank our sponsor (30 seconds)
  • Intro chit chat – Joe and I say hello to one another and discuss scorching information objects, ending with my introducing the agenda of this week’s present. (8 to 10 minutes)
  • Fundamental information story — protection of the primary information story (20 minutes)
  • Promoting — mid-show advertisements (as much as 90 seconds, relying on sponsors)
  • Remainder of the information — one or two different information tales (10 minutes)
  • Hits and misses — one hit and miss from the world of selling (10 minutes)
  • Rants and raves — a rant or rave from every of us about one thing in advertising (10 minutes)
  • Wrap — what’s up for the approaching week (two to a few minutes)
  • Finish music — music with voice-over asking for subscriptions, evaluations, and so forth. (30 seconds)   

We try for a 60-minute present. That point is unquestionably “ish.” We nearly at all times miss that mark however hardly ever exceed it by greater than six or seven minutes.

This Outdated Advertising is a information present and is structured as such. The meat of the present (50 of the 60 minutes) covers the information and the matters we expect are related and entertaining to entrepreneurs. The podcast is designed as a “hot-take” present — our editorializing present occasions.

After I was doing an interview present, I structured it into three segments with the interviewee (the meat of the present). A structured present circulate retains you tight and on time and offers your loyal viewers predictability. They know what they’re going to listen to, even when it varies in format.

We document This Outdated Advertising on Thursdays for a Friday launch. My pre-production script (assigned to every phase) is because of Joe and our manufacturing group on Wednesday afternoon. So, I normally begin it on Monday (if I’m fortunate) or Tuesday afternoon.

The script outlines the 4 anchors in every episode — the primary information story, the secondary information tales, hits and misses, and rants and raves. I additionally script each introduction, which features a new joke.

If I’m completely candid, writing the script can take 20 to half-hour if I’m impressed and the information is clear. Throughout gradual information weeks, it may take a couple of hours. Some weeks, the information gods in advertising simply don’t come by.

I write the script for the episode utilizing the Evernote app. Sure, I script the introduction, the transitions, and all the pieces besides our takes on the information. I typically script my rant or rave. I’ve each episode in an archive so it’s simple to seek for issues we’ve talked about and often name again to on our present.

I ship the script and any new sponsor to document to Joe.  

This pre-production work normally takes a few hours every week.


This half has modified the second most over the past 10 years. Within the early days, Joe and I might discuss on the phone or by Skype and document the present on the pc. Then, we’d mix audio information in post-production. Though this added to post-production time, it labored properly as a result of the early days of podcasting recording instruments, comparable to RiversideStreamYard, or Squadcast, have been notoriously fickle. Due to our busy schedules, we didn’t have time to do it once more if a recording failed.

Fortunately, these instruments are rather more reliable. We now use StreamYard as our recording platform. The 2024 twist is that we added video. The truth is, we now contemplate This Outdated Advertising a video present can also be accessible as a podcast. This transfer will change the present construction in the long term (see above about at all times engaged on the product). We’ve already gone to a extra visible and tighter segmented present.

We’ve actually targeted on publishing on YouTube due to traits for podcast discovery on the platform. The demand for each audio and video has skyrocketed, which is why we additionally publish a “dwell” present Friday morning on LinkedIn.

Thus, the gear listing — cameras, lighting, and microphones — has been up to date within the 10 years. I’m blissful to ship you a full gear listing for those who like. We each use Sony DSLR cameras for video. I take advantage of an Electro-Voice RE20 microphone, and Joe makes use of a Shure MV7. We each have Elgato key lights for our lighting. I can not suggest sufficient getting your sound, lighting and surroundings proper. It’s not as simple as throwing up a mic and clicking document . Take a look at. Rehearse. Get it proper. And to the extent attainable, document each episode in the identical place and time.

We don’t document once we’re on the street. We might document two episodes at one time to keep away from having to document in inns.

It takes about 90 minutes to document every episode. On Thursday mornings, we chit-chat for a couple of minutes to catch up, undergo the present script, and do a walk-through of the present. That course of takes about 25 minutes. Then, we hit document and don’t cease except a technical concern arises (there have been quite a lot of) or if we actually, actually flub it up (there have fortunately solely been a couple of).

Once we’re accomplished, the present is virtually completed. Since StreamYard permits us to put the music and promoting in actual time, it’s able to go.   

Podcasts that includes friends face the largest problem in recording as a result of all the pieces I simply talked about about gear and high quality is in danger. Most friends aren’t tech-savvy sufficient to make it work. A number of years in the past, I did an interview present utilizing Zoom to document visitor interviews, and the sound high quality was at all times hit-and-miss.

This Outdated Advertising’s whole manufacturing time is about two hours per week, relying on any obligatory enhancing or tweaks. When you have friends in your present, estimate the manufacturing time to be two-and-a-half to a few hours.

Put up-production and publishing

First, let me share some post-production ideas for a guest-based present. After I produced an interview podcast, enhancing the interview was essentially the most laborious half. It may take me three hours to edit a one-hour interview right into a 30-minute episode. Listed below are a couple of interview tips that I realized alongside the way in which:

  • Construction, construction, construction: Have a VERY tightly structured set of segments on your questions, even for those who typically differ from them. Don’t “wing it.” It’s a lot simpler to make a really structured interview sound conversational than it’s to show a dialog right into a structured interview. A construction lets you mix, edit, or re-record your facet of the query.
  • Visitor, visitor, visitor: They need to do 90% of the speaking. Make your position easy to permit for potential enhancing. Should you can, don’t ask sequential questions. Don’t say, “My first query for you is ….” or “My final query for you is …” The reply to that final query could possibly be essentially the most superior factor to begin with. Should you don’t give voice to the query quantity, you possibly can edit it so the very first thing is the very last thing they mentioned.
  • Chilly opens: An awesome trick to open the podcast is a 30-second pithy or provocative soundbite out of your visitor. However inform them that you just’d like to try this earlier than the interview — and document that half individually. Or if one of the best soundbite comes out in the course of the interview, take a couple of extra minutes on the finish to ask them to say it once more however direct them to say it in a shorter method.
  • No self-introductions: Give a brief introduction of the visitor and get to the interview. Don’t say, “Why don’t you introduce your self to our viewers?” 9 out of 10 occasions, they are going to take too lengthy to get to the purpose.

OK, again to the post-production course of for any podcast format. This half has modified essentially the most in 2024.  

Put up-production for This Outdated Advertising used to easily require outputting the file and importing it to our podcast distribution service (Libsyn). All that has modified is making a video podcast, which can also be an audio podcast.

As soon as the present is recorded, we then schedule it to go dwell on LinkedIn by StreamYard. That doesn’t take lengthy.

Nonetheless, then the true work begins. We now have a crack post-production group that cuts the podcast into smaller chunks. They edit, add, and work to create six- to eight-minute segments for YouTube. They create even shorter variations for YouTube Shorts, Reels, and TikTok optimized for vertical (cell) viewing.  

It is a time-consuming course of. We’ve solely been doing it for the reason that starting of the 12 months, but it surely’s already paying off by way of attracting extra eyeballs, extra subscribers, and rising our viewers.

For the audio episodes, we add the MP3 file from StreamYard to the Libsyn podcast syndication platform so it may seem on Apple, Spotify, and so forth.

We create a thumbnail for every episode, normally utilizing generative AI. Then, the brand new episode of This Outdated Advertising is completed.

Put up-production is essentially the most laborious a part of the method. It takes 10 to fifteen hours per week of a number of individuals’s time. That’s why it’s essential to consider your podcast as a product. You make the product accessible and develop the trailers, the teasers, and the alternate variations for a number of digital channels.

Podcasting: It’s a dedication

After 420 episodes of This Outdated Advertising, I can let you know that the toughest half, by far, is being constant. Producing a weekly present is, properly, weekly. When you get right into a circulate, it turns into a muscle reminiscence, but it surely’s nonetheless a exercise. Once you’re attempting to stability the remainder of your life and work, it may be difficult some weeks.

Simply know that there are greater than 2 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts — 40% have lower than three episodes and 24% have just one. Take into consideration that. 1 / 4 of all podcasts on the market have just one episode.

Content material doesn’t kill podcasts. A scarcity of dedication and manufacturing care kills podcasts.  

My recommendation is to decide to doing at the least 12 episodes (weekly or month-to-month). In case your present isn’t time-sensitive, I like to recommend recording at the least six of these earlier than episode one debuts.

Keep in mind, recording and producing the podcast is step one. Like every product you make, the promotion will make your present discover its viewers.

I hope this behind-the-scenes look will help you develop a present with a sensible understanding of what it takes to do it properly.

All instruments talked about on this article have been advised by the creator. Should you’d prefer to counsel a instrument, share the article on social media with a remark.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute

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