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Beginner podcasters: Organize your podcast production

Beginner podcasters: Organize your podcast production

min read

Podcasts have continued to grow in popularity during the pandemic, with more podcasts consumed and created each month. Lockdowns and quarantines worldwide meant that many people were tuning in to get news, learn new skills and ideas, and entertain themselves. Additionally, those thinking about hosting a podcast had the time to launch their own.

However, I’ve seen so many new podcasters flounder because they don’t understand how to organize podcast production. Ultimately, this causes more production work and leaves less time for the creative (and fun!) aspects of podcasting. 

<a href="#to-be-a-successful-podcaster" class="anchor-link">To be a successful podcaster, you need to be organized</a>

  • <a href="#use-a-tool-to-organize-your-podcast-production-schedule" class="anchor-link">Use a tool to organize your podcast production schedule</a>
  • <a href="#organizing-your-podcast-files-in-boxes" class="anchor-link">Organizing your podcast files in boxes</a>
  • <a href="#track-important-details-about-podcast-episodes-and-guests-in-your-pipeline" class="anchor-link">Track important details about podcast episodes and guests in your pipeline</a>
  • <a href="#plan-your-episode-topics" class="anchor-link">Plan your episode topics</a>
  • <a href="#create-a-production-schedule-for-your-podcast" class="anchor-link">Create a production schedule for your podcast</a>

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To be a successful podcaster, you need to be organized

Organizing your podcast production will give you structure to focus on creating quality content. Sure, you can create a podcast and fly by the seat of your pants, deciding what episode you want to publish each week… but that isn’t an excellent way to produce quality content. 

Listeners are discerning and are looking for quality content that is entertaining and informative. They need to know what they’ll get out of your podcast when they tune in. Planning your episodes and topics allows you to have a cohesive podcast that acts as an extension of your brand. If you’re making up your content on the fly, your audience will be able to tell and you won’t receive the dedicated listener base needed for your podcast to flourish.

The tips below will help you organize your podcast production so you can focus on creating quality content and building your dedicated listener base. 

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Use a tool to organize your podcast production schedule

When I work with clients to create content for their podcast, I am surprised by how many podcasters don’t use a production schedule. 

A production schedule is a simple calendar, table, spreadsheet, or pipeline where you can track details about each episode. Regardless of which tool you use, the most crucial aspect of your production schedule is that you maintain it. 

A screenshot of the production schedule on Streak

💡 Tip: Managing your production schedule in Streak allows you to plan episodes, organize files, and track your progress in Gmail, where you’re already emailing with podcast guests and any production assistants.

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Organizing your podcast files in boxes

Many newbie podcasters throw all their files - audio, video, finished and unfinished, into one big folder or on their desktop. This is very inefficient and will substantially slow down your work if you have to search for an episode every time you need one.

Streak allows you to organize your files along with details about the episode, what stage it’s in, and contact information for guests all in one place. Each thing you’re tracking in Streak, in this case podcast episodes, is organized in a “box” within your pipeline. A box is like a workspace for each episode, where you can take notes, track changes, upload files, and record important details. 

You’ll want to make sure you have the following files in each episode box:

  • Scripts or outlines for your episode
  • Audiograms
  • Raw and finished audio files
  • Any video assets
  • Any image assets or covers
  • Photographs of guests

You may also want to create a separate pipeline or box to organize assets that are used in each episode, like music, midroll, intro, and outro. You’ll want these to be easily accessible as you edit and produce your recordings (or have these on hand to send to your podcast editor, if you have one).

If you’re not using Streak, the best way to organize your files is to create folders on your computer or in cloud storage.  Start with a master “podcast” folder. Next, make a set of subfolders that have 25 episodes each. For example, Podcast episodes 1 to 25. Then, in the first subfolder, make a single folder for each episode. This way, you can easily find the assets you need to edit and publish your next podcast.

💡 Tip: Do not put your original files in a shared location for your production team to use. Keep your originals in cloud storage or your CRM and make sure to only share copies of your files (not originals) with your production team or assistants. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this go sideways – people have accidentally deleted or misplaced original files, which leads to recreating the podcast production work you have spent your valuable time creating.

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Track important details about podcast episodes and guests in your pipeline

Every podcaster should start by tracking a few essential pieces of data to stay organized:

  • Episode number
  • Episode title
  • Episode link(s)
  • Topic
  • Contact information for interview guest 
  • Guest’s bio, website, and social media links
  • Publish date

This information will help you stay focused and organized for each episode so things run smoothly once you’re recording. Create a column for each piece of information you want to track so you can easily update each episode with your progress, as well as filter and sort by topic, date, or other details.

Organizing episode links in your pipeline allows you to easily find and send links to your interview guests so they can share and post your podcast on their social media platforms to give you more exposure.

Streak contact page

💡 Tip: Streak Contact and organizations allow you to keep track of information for each of your interview guests, and are auto-enriched with any publicly available information like their social media and website links. Once you add contacts, you’ll also be able to see a timeline of emails you’ve had with them and other episodes they’ve appeared in. 

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Plan your episode topics

Within your podcast subject, you’ll end up covering a few categories of topics. For example, an adventure travel podcast might discuss topics about publish travel, packing, ski trips, surf trips, gear, culture, and cuisine.

Podcast production timeline grouped by episode topic

Tracking your podcast episodes and topics in Streak pipelines allows you to visualize and plan your topics easily so you don’t have repeat topics in the same month or go too long without covering a specific topic.

💡 Tip: Group your podcast episodes by topic to see which topics you haven’t covered as much and help plan future episodes.

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Create a production schedule for your podcast

A production schedule helps you stay on top of what’s coming up and when you need to schedule your episodes. You can track each episode’s publish date with a date column in your spreadsheet or in Streak.

Once you see a timeline or calendar of your planned episodes, you can make sure your podcast covers various topics each month and avoid too many repeat topics in a month. If needed, this can help you understand how you might want to move episodes around in your schedule.

Podcast production pipeline grouped by publish date month.

💡 Tip: In Streak, group your pipeline by the publish date to see a timeline of your episodes for each week, month, or quarter. This view helps you see which topics you’re covering each month and make sure you have regularly scheduled episodes. 

About the author

Lynn Smargis helps provide quality content to launch and relaunch podcasts for creatives and small business owners who are looking to start a podcast but are unsure of where to start. Get help fast-tracking your new podcast by scheduling a complimentary 15-minute consult on your brand, business, and platform with Lynn at Write For You.

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