Knowing how often you should release a podcast is a common friction point for creators and brands making a podcast. For most creators starting a podcast, it’s usually a side hustle, and for brands it’s a thought-leadership or content play. Consequently, figuring out what your promise is to your audience, the frequency in which you release your podcast, is crucial in justifying the time you spend on creating each episode.
Consistency, listener expectations and the learnings from doing a daily podcast
One of the biggest learnings from doing over 800 episodes of The Daily Talk Show, a daily podcast and video talk show, is figuring out what your promise to your tribe is. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, your audience needs to know when and how you will show up.
For us, showing up every day meant making a huge commitment, one that forces us every day to challenge ourselves and iterate. However, what once created huge amounts of friction, quickly becomes something that is routine and normal.
These are important considerations when it comes to finding the right cadence for your podcast. For most, releasing an episode once a week is the sweet spot. It offers the opportunity to further produce the episode through research, pre-prepared grabs, and organising guest interviews.
And that’s not to say all the above isn’t possible with a daily podcast, it absolutely is, but for most creators and brands who can’t afford to dedicate every day working on a podcast, doing an episode each week is a good stretch.
How long will it take to record, edit and publish my podcast?
The amount of preparation that is required for each podcast episode, how long it takes to record, edit and distribute is completely defined by what type of podcast it is. Furthermore, figuring out how long each episode of your podcast will take, can inform the frequency in which you release each episode.
Most podcast episodes require a few hours of pre-production, including coming up with content for your podcast, researching, setting up and organising guests. The typical length of a podcast episode is about 50 minutes, and usually takes twice that amount of time to edit the episode. Add a few hours for show notes and social media content, and it brings you to around 9 hours for each episode.
If you have the time and resources to dedicate 9 hours a week per episode, absolutely go for it. We see the power in being able to create a relationship with your listeners, and the expectation that every single week you’ll be able to show up.
Setting your promise and making sure you stick to it is difficult for many podcasters. ‘Podfade’ is a commonly used term to describe the significant proportion of podcasts who don’t make it past the 10 episode threshold.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not guaranteed a return on investment (ROI), or to become popular overnight. The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), the biggest podcast in the world, has been publishing episodes consistently since 2009. At The Daily Talk Show, we’ve made a 10-year commitment to publishing an episode every single day. 800 episodes in, and the podcast still hasn’t generated a significant monetary ROI. It’s different for every show, and yes, there are different ways to monetise and measure the return of your podcast, however before starting to podcast, it’s important to realise that nothing happens as quickly as you think, a lot of work needs to go into it first.
Breaks and Buffers
Depending on the type of podcast you have, there are many ways to create a break or buffer around the show. Understandably, everyone needs a break sometimes, but there are ways to do this that still keep the promise you made to your listeners intact.
Pre-recording episodes of your podcast to then be scheduled is a great way to continue putting out content to keep your audience engaged with what you’re doing. On a weekly schedule, pre-recording a few episodes can easily give you a significant buffer to be able to rest up and come back fresh.
Podcast seasons offer another way to create a natural break in your podcast and create the opportunity to further improve what you are doing. If you’re considering podcast seasons, it’s a good idea to see how it fits with the content you are creating. For crime podcasts and other shows with a cathartic pay off, it makes sense to look into using podcast seasons, however, for things like news and current affairs introducing a podcast season is nonsensical.
So how often should I release a podcast episode?
Ultimately, the best frequency to release a podcast is on a schedule that you can maintain and be consistent with. It’s important to develop that expectation and promise to your tribe that you will show up consistently. For most podcasts, this is usually weekly, however it is completely dependent on how much time and how many resources you can allocate to it.