Woo hoo! Great job on releasing your podcast episode! Now, you know you’ve got to do it all over again, right? The good news is that you’ve learned the ropes, you’ve streamlined your workflow, and you’ve ironed out any wrinkles in your technique. Now you’ve got to pin down your podcast schedule.
Whether you’re planning to release a 10-minute episode every day or a longer show twice a month, there is no ‘perfect’ timetable. The best one is the most frequent, consistent timetable you can comfortably stick to. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when planning your release strategy.
This should be a no-brainer. Of course, it’s good to keep your content fresh and your podcast current, but don’t be a slave to constant production and let the quality of your shows slip. Focus on making quality shows without leaving too much time in between them.
The key is to strike a balance between your ideal release schedule and what you can feasibly do. If you’re working full-time and producing your podcast after hours, then be realistic about how often you can comfortably release your show.
Weekly releases are standard for shows that aren’t focused on breaking news. If you have a current affairs podcast, then a daily release schedule of a short, snappy show might be right for you. You can also go bi-weekly or monthly as long as you commit to releasing your show regularly.
Try to also be consistent in terms of the length of your show. Don’t veer crazily from 20 minutes a week to an hour and back again. When you’re planning your release strategy, keep the length of your show in mind as well as the frequency as they two go hand in hand.
The rule of thumb is that the more frequently you release your show, the shorter it should be. For a daily show, you’ll want to keep it below 15 minutes, whereas if you’ve decided your show will be monthly, then even 60-90 minutes will work fine. An hour tends to be the upper limit for podcast length, but if you have a great rapport going with a guest and the information they share is pure gold, you don’t have to cut the interview short. You can also consider splitting the content into two episodes.
Humans are creatures of habit; we like to have a routine and stick to it, and this characteristic can definitely work to your advantage as a podcaster. If you release on schedule consistently, no matter the frequency of release, then your listeners will know when your next episode is coming - and show up to listen.
Think of it as being a little like a Pavlovian response. Your consistency trains your audience to remember when to look for your next podcast episode. Meeting your audience’s expectations is the best way to build a loyal and engaged following. After all, consistency builds trust.
There’s no perfect answer to the question of how often you should release your podcast. You should be honest with yourself and work out how much time it takes you, from recording to editing to writing show notes, to get your episodes ready for release. Then work backwards from there.
You need to show up and have your show available when you promise it will be.
Finally, don’t discount the importance of momentum as well. If a once-every-two-months schedule best fits your lifestyle, it’s going to be very hard to grow your audience that way. This is why weekly is such a popular release schedule. It plays into human habits, it’s usually manageable from a production standpoint, and it ensures you’re always pumping out enough content to grow your audience.