If all goes well, there will come a point where your podcast achieves the type of success where you can hire a professional editor who can prepare your podcast for broadcast as quickly as possible after recording – and to an acceptable standard of quality.
As you might have guessed, combing these two things isn’t easy. Furthermore, if you are just starting out, it will be a while before you have the revenue to bring people in for this purpose. Accordingly, learning how to do this yourself is wise for those hoping to build a successful podcast.
But how is this possible without the expertise that these professionals typically have? Well, for smaller podcasts, the job is easier. When your listenership starts to grow to the point where you’re competing with podcasts of very high production values, then it’s time to get in the real professionals – not before.
Indeed, this is actually something you can very successfully handle yourself at the outset (and for some time after). But you need to know the basics. It is always wise to walk before you can run.
Scaled Down, But Everything There
Plurawl are a company out of New York who produce a motivational speech podcast for the Latino community. They are a good example of a podcast that has cornered its niche and producing content that resonates with listeners. In other words, it is a success story. Nevertheless, even they note that doing all these things was perfectly possible when the company was smaller – only the scale is the difference.
The key take-away from this example then is that while everything will be scaled down and you cannot expect the production values of the type of podcasts that have hundreds of thousands of listeners, you should still produce a podcast that has all the essential elements in place.
That means a great host with an effective presenting style, episodes which appear regularly and which have engaging content, and marketing that reinforces the podcast brand and spreads it far and wide.
Something else that such podcasts should have, right from the start, is good editing.
The Essentials of Podcast Editing
So, what does a well-edited podcast episode look like? Here is your checklist:
No Dead Air
“Dead air is a crime” is an old maxim from radio, and it applies to podcasts too. This is both the responsibility of the presenter and the editor. Where the editor is concerned, this needs to be removed, but in such a way as to make the final product sound seamless. If there’s a gap of silence, cut it out.
An Intro and an Outro
This needs to be edited into an episode after recording has finished. This is easy enough once the intro and outro has actually been completed, you simply bookend the show with this prerecorded material. A good intro and outro will foster brand identification and listener loyalty.
Sound Peaks and Troughs
Sound editing is an essential skill. You’ll probably do it pretty crudely when your podcast is starting out, but you have to do it. The hosts should know how to use the microphone, but you can’t always rely on guests to stay the same distance away from it all the time.
Accordingly, you need to boost the parts that are too quiet and remove the harsh spikes involumethat result from speaking into it too closely. Things like sudden laughter, shouting and – at the other end – whispering will all make certain parts of the recording too loud or too quiet.
These are the editing rudiments to learn – and to learn to do quickly.