Editing is a big part of creating a successful, listener-friendly podcast. And that's why, for some of us, the thought of editing your own podcast can seem daunting (especially if you are new to the medium!). For those of you who have already made some headway into podcasting, you know exactly how much work goes into the editing process. (Spoiler: a lot.)
In some cases, editing can be a fun way to teach yourself new skills and connect with your material. Other times, editing might be a frustrating, time-consuming exercise in futility. While everybody's experience is different, if you've started to dread editing, it might be time to think about outsourcing. Below are a few questions to ask yourself if you're thinking of uninstalling Audacity for good, and what you can do next.
Is learning the process taking too much time?
If you don’t know how to edit, do some research. Does the process seems like something you’ll be comfortable with and will fit well with your existing skill set? Consider dipping your toes into self-editing. If editing seems overwhelming, or you can tell that scaling the learning curve will take you a significant amount of time, it might make more sense to have someone else do your editing for you. Remember that your time is valuable, and recognize that it might be more productive to outsource!
Is your time better spent doing something else?
Similarly, whether you’re considering editing your own material or are already invested in it, take a moment to stop and reassess your assets. What’s your primary skill set when it comes to podcasting? Do you specialize in research, or writing funny material? If you are editing or considering editing, take a look at how your time will balance out. If editing will significantly detract from the amount of time you’re able to put into your research or writing, you might benefit from having a third party edit your content for you.
Has your podcast been plateauing?
If you’ve noticed that your listener base has been declining, or your growth is flatlining. it might help to get some more professional editing. If you’re able to find someone who can professionally edit your material, that increase in quality—no matter how small!—might be enough to attract new interest in your podcast, or reignite interest in some of your primary listeners. And as we mentioned above, getting an editor will free up time that you can re-dedicate to growth efforts.
Is editing ruining podcasting for you?
Even if you’re good at editing, determine whether or not you enjoy it. It can be time-consuming and very detail-oriented, which is not for everybody. If you don’t like editing, don’t worry about it! Podcasting should be something you look forward to doing (mostly!). If the constant process of editing your podcast is killing your interest, it’s probably time to find an editor. Your listeners can tell whether or not you’re excited to be talking to them, and if editing is wearing you ragged, your audience will know. It can be a turnoff for listeners to feel as though you wish you were doing something else, so in that way, outsourcing editing can be good for your audience, too.
Once you’ve determined whether or not you should find an editor for your podcast, an important next step is to find someone to work with.
Find an editor
The process of outsourcing your editing can still seem a little overwhelming. First, you have to find your editor. There are plenty of available editors online, from individuals to companies who specialize in podcast editing. Make sure you find someone with a good reputation, who can do good, reliable work. Be clear with them what the content of your podcast is like, the length of the material, and how often you’ll be posting. Have friends who also podcast? Ask them who they use!
Plan a budget
Just as there’s a huge range of editors, there’s also a wide range of potential costs and editing packages available for purchase. Some packages will be priced per episode, while others will be a monthly cost. You can expect prices from $1 per spoken minute to $50-$300 per episode, or $499 per month. Make sure you have a solid understanding of the quality of editing you can expect from each company or individual, as well as their expected turnaround time. When you plan a budget, make sure to be realistic. Pick an option that’s within your budget now, not how you hope your budget will be in the future. And always remember: you get what you pay for!
Every day, it gets easier and easier to find a good editing source for your podcasting content. If you know that getting an editor will improve your quality of content (or quality of life!), look into it. There are enough editing options available now that you’ll almost certainly be able to find something that fits your budget, timeframe, and content.