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AP 0865: How Long Should It Take to Produce My Podcast Episodes?

AP 0865: How Long Should It Take to Produce My Podcast Episodes?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 865 Episode Transcript

Pat: Hey. What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Thank you so much for joining me in Episode 865 of AskPat. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Rob, but before we get to his question I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks. FreshBooks is an amazing company serving over three million business owners, including myself, with managing our books, so with bookkeeping, managing the income, our expenses, but also invoicing. This is really important, because if you do any invoicing of any kind, it can take a lot of time. The invoices don’t always get tracked well. Well, this is what FreshBooks does really, really well.

In less than 30 seconds you can create a professional looking invoice, and you can keep track of not only who’s paid, but who’s even opened the invoices that you’ve sent out. If you want to check out FreshBooks for free and use it in your business to help you, all you have to do is go to, and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us?” section. All right. Now here’s today’s question from Rob.

Rob: Hi, Pat. My name’s Rob, and I run a podcast called Youth Baseball Edge. Thank you, by the way, for the Smart Podcast Player. I’ve been using it on my podcast, and I think it’s fantastic. Anyway, my question is how long should it take to edit each individual podcast episode, because right now it takes me around five to six hours to edit each podcast episode, and it seems to me that that’s ridiculously high. When I edit each episode I have interviews, and I edit those interviews, so that they’re a little tighter. You know, I don’t want long gaps of blank space in between answers, or between questions and answers, and things like that. I just want to tighten it up a little bit. I also want to edit the things that I say before and after the interviews. I also have segments that I edit, because I have segments aside from the interviews themselves. I also write up the show notes myself, so that I post it up on a blog, as well as I create my own cover art for each episode and various other things like that.

In all, when you add it all up, it takes about five to six hours each episode, and it seems to me that that’s really obscenely high. Maybe that’s normal, but I’m not really sure. I asked another podcaster how long it takes her, and she said that, yeah, it takes that long for her as well, but I’m not sure if we’re anomalies. Maybe it’s too small of a sample size and I need to ask more people to find out more. Maybe, Pat, you know some other podcasters who do it all themselves from start to finish. Maybe you could know better how much it should take. I know you have a team that helps do it for you. Any answers that you could provide for this would be really helpful to help me figure out if I’m being too much of a perfectionist or if I’m kind of on track or not.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer this question, and thank you so much for all you do for SPI and for AskPat. You were really one of the inspirations for me doing my own podcast. You and John Lee Dumas had two great tutorials, so I appreciate those very much, and thank you very much.

Pat: Hey, Rob. Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. Trust me, I know exactly how you feel, because when I started out I was doing podcasts, everything that you talked about, on my own as well—from the editing, to the show notes, to the graphics, to the uploading, everything. I did it all myself, and I had done that for about four years until I finally started experimenting with having other people help me with that. It started with this show, AskPat, because I wouldn’t have been able to get this show done if it wasn’t for getting hired help. Then I quickly got addicted to how amazing it was to let other people help me. I was very kind of just scared of doing that. I didn’t trust other people. It had to be done my special way, but I soon realized that other people could do that same thing for me in the way that I wanted it to be done and have it done much faster and probably much better than me too, because I could then focus on just the content creation, and they could focus on just the production aspect of it.

Anyway, then I migrated help over to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, and the rest is history. But I remember what it was like doing it all myself at first. It was fun, but yeah, it was taking up a lot of time, and it was probably taking at first about five to six hours to edit my shows. Some of the first episodes probably took a lot longer than that because I was trying to make it perfect. I would edit out every little pause that seemed kind of awkward. I would even take out all the “ums” and things like that. I would go way above and beyond with the show notes, and the graphics, and things like that, which are important. Right? It’s important to produce great quality information and great quality in terms of visuals and audio, but I will say that if it’s stopping you from wanting to produce a podcast, then there’s a problem.

You had said that while you just probably worry too much about being perfect, and typically, this is for everybody, if you begin to ask yourself that question about something you’re doing, “Am I trying to be too much of a perfectionist here?” If you ask yourself that question, then the answer is probably yes. That’s what I’ve found typically to be the case. Now I’m at a point . . . and like you said, Rob, I have a team. I just want to acknowledge that. I spend however much time it takes to get a person on the show to interview and record that episode, and that’s it. Or, with AskPat, it literally takes me the length of this podcast episode and maybe an extra four to five minutes to listen to the voicemails that come in and outline a quick answer, and that’s it, 15 minutes per episode.

But of course these episodes are much shorter, but here’s the thing. With the Smart Income Podcast I realized the same thing: that it was taking quite a bit of time, so I became very conscious of what I could do better and more efficiently. For the graphic design, for example, I already had a master file that was the exact right size, that had the right font already ready for me to just change the text for, so a graphic that would normally take me a half hour to an hour would only take me 10 to 15 minutes. With the show notes I had templates and things already available, and I could just change the text. Again, that probably didn’t save me a ton of time, but it saved me a little bit of time.

The biggest thing that I did was just simply not touch the audio, especially with the interviews. When you are having a conversation with somebody and you begin to remove some of the pauses and some of the things that happen in the middle of that conversation, just to, like you said, tighten it up, what you’re actually doing is making it less natural, and that’s what I found. When you just leave the audio alone as much as possible, yes, to you it’s going to sound awkward, because you know that you can remove some of those things or it’s just not tight to you, but to the person listening on the other end it becomes just a normal conversation.

Imagine if you were having a real conversation with somebody in real life and that conversation was tightened up in the same way that you’re tightening up your podcast episodes. It would actually sound very unnatural and very just weird. Right? Now, I’m not saying what you’re putting out there is weird. What I’m saying is you’re probably spending too much time on the audio engineering portion of it, and so especially if it’s just interviews, just let it be, Rob, and you’ll find that you’re probably going to shave hours off your production time once you kind of let yourself do that and you implement all these templates and work flows along the way too. Yeah. The more templates that you can use, yeah, you’re going to save maybe a hour using that, but more so you’re going to save a lot of time if you let yourself just be you and let your audio be the way it’s recorded.

Now, of course there’s going to be moments where you’ll want to edit things out, but don’t worry about it so much. Okay? What you need to worry about is producing great, amazing content that is helpful, connecting with the right people on your podcast, and getting out there and marketing, because, yes, it might take you five hours at this point to edit a show, but I hope it would take as much time, if not more, to actually market those episodes as well, and so don’t forget about that portion of the process too. So shorten the time that you’ll use for creating the episode, increase the time that you use to market it, and you’re going to find that you’re going to have a lot better results, and you’re going to have just a lot more fun doing it too, because the editing stuff, especially with the audio, it’s cumbersome. Right? And it’s stuff that only you know happens, and I’m guaranteeing you that if you let it go a little bit, you’re going to find that you’re going to enjoy the process of creating your podcast much more.

Rob, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, so my assistant, Jessica, will reach out to you in the next couple weeks, and we’ll get that all set up for you. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to, and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much. I appreciate you guys listening in today, and make sure you subscribe to AskPat if you haven’t subscribed yet. Just head on over to iTunes, and look up AskPat, and subscribe from there.

We’re approaching episode 900, and I’m going to start dropping hints related to various things that relate to the $1,000 a day giveaway five days leading up to episode 1,000 later this November, so make sure you subscribe. Finally, here’s a quote, an old saying actually. I don’t know who said it, but I love it, and it does relate to what we talked about for Rob’s question today. That is, “Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones.” All right. Thanks, guys. I appreciate the support, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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