I’m always looking for ways to make my podcast episode production process easier. By far the toughest part is the post-production. All the stuff that turns a raw recording into a podcast episode. I’ve also been thinking about the way people consume my episodes.
Is the work that I am doing really helping to produce a good episode?
To answer that, we need to examine two things. What is the work that I am doing in post-production? What does a “good episode” mean?
The first thing I do in post-production is attempt to clean up the recordings. Fix volume issues, set EQ, etc. I edit out silent parts, mistakes, and some of the um’s. I then add the theme/bumper music. Then I add a intro, midroll, and outro. I export that and also make an audiogram. I then upload everything.
To think about what makes a good episode we should look at the listener. What does the listener want when they listen to my show? On my show, the listeners are here for the guests. Often the guest has shared the episode on social media. Sometimes the listener just downloaded the episode because they are interested in the guest. So let’s say there is an episode with Jane Doe of GenericCoin. A listener is a fan of Jane. They download the episode to hear Jane.
So what is the experience of that listener and how does that relate to my post production? The listener wants to here Jane Doe. They hit play. They hear intro music and then a guy talking about Jane Doe and GenericCoin. There is more music and then a midroll ad. After all that, then they get to the actual interview with Jane. It may have only taken 1-3 minutes to get to the interview but was that a good experience? I don’t think so. Especially, if the listening experience is on social media. I only have a few seconds to hook people on an audio or video post on Twitter or Facebook.
Cutting out the theme music, intro, and midroll means the listener hears the voice of the guest within seconds. This would be a better experience for the listener and mean less post-production work for me.
The structure of the show would be: interview, ad, outro. Right now the structure is: music, intro, ad, interview, music, outro
I am also going to experiment with naked interviews. These would be episodes that are nothing but the interview. No music, intros, or ads.