I’m in the process of recording episodes of a new podcast, which means planning that new podcast and asking myself some key questions as I build up the show.
Do remember that these are my answers to the questions. Just because the answers feel right for me does not mean they are the right answer for you. Not every one of my podcasts answers these questions the same way. But they always help shape my projects at the start.
How Long Should Each Episode Be?
The simple answer is “as long as it needs to be”. There are podcasts that work in sixty seconds, there are some that need ten minutes, and others push to the hour and beyond. I’ve been doing a lot more walking around Edinburgh in the last year and that walk is my podcast time. I’ve noticed that I’m tending to skip over podcasts which pass the 45 minute mark. There are obvious exceptions but for me the sweet spot is under the three-quarter hour mark.
The new podcast is going to be interview based, so i’m aiming for thirty minutes. Part of that is make sure it doesn’t look threatening time wise, part of it is the classic rule of leaving the listener wanting more, and part of it is how I have to focus as an interviewer to get to the as quickly as possible. Bonus trait, it makes the editing process something more than just slice out the hums and the long gaps.
That the shows are actually coming in around 35-40 minutes after the edit is something I’m comfortable with, because the content left is still good content that is still under my hard limit of 45 minutes.
Where Should I Host It?
Why would you ever move away from “host your own RSS feed”? Yes There are a lot of podcast hosting services, there are a lot of ways to manage solutions, and on one occasion in the last two years I’ve recommended using Anchor; but the open web is open for a reason. RSS is open, it’s transportable, and as long as you have control and ownership of the root RSS file, your podcast has the widest possible reach and is effectively future proof.
That does mean a bit more work to host it, but even a basic WordPress site with a podcast plugin (I’ll highlight Blubrry’s Powerpress) will do the job.
The Show Is Not Going To Run Forever
There’s a tendency to think of podcasts as massive ongoing projects that need a huge time commitment. I’ve stepped away from that for the show, making a decision that it’s going to have a season of six episodes. If the six episodes are reached and the podcast is working well and the concept grows, then its easy enough to make a mental jump to do another six before stopping and assessing again. And if six is all there is, then it’s a nice self contained moment in time.
And Finally, When Is This Podcast Going To Be Published?
Probably in a few weeks time, as I’m looking to get a number of episodes recorded and ready to go before it goes lives.