Advice for returning to podcasting

Hey all:

I began using some of my skills and developed a podcast that I actually uploaded. After that, several things combined and time got away from me and then guilt kept me away from podcasting. I want to return but I would love to hear how some of you all manage and apportion your time to podcasting. I spent an inordinate amount of time that I feel will be improved as I become more efficient but I’ve got to figure out how to bridge that gap.

Can some of you from both host on mic and interview podcasts give me a sense of how much time you estimate you spend on each episode and then break that down into the components that go into your episodes?

I know I will have to figure out my own rhythm and my schedule will be different than yours but I now know I can do this and I really want to figure out a way I can get back into it and still be able to manage the rest of my life.

Thanking you in advance and have a great weekend.
Best, Terry


@Storyteller7 Yes Terry - completely understand your question / situation and can contribute with a little response - NEXT WEEK. So this is simply a “place holder” text, indicating that I’ll be back! :+1:


How kind! Thank you, Mary, and I look forward to your response whenever it comes! Thank you for the place holder!

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Hey Terry,

Yeah, we all struggle with this one!

Cutting time is a balance between “production quality” and “life quality”.

I’ve pushed paused on my long-form podcast, partly for this reason. I tend to take way too long to edit them and it gets overwhelming sometimes.

But my short form podcast is going strong (though I’m on a bit of a summer break right now).

Good news: It only takes me about 30 minutes per episode.
Bad news: production quality suffers a bit and I have to keep the content super simple to go this fast. Plus, it’s not an easy setup.

Some thoughts on speeding things up…

  • I usually record the audio on my phone, outside.
  • Outdoor sounds are part of the project, so I don’t have to avoid “noise” as much.
  • I don’t do any edits other than trimming the start or ending.
  • It’s highly automated via Auphonic, WordPress and my podcast server, Blubrry (using the PowerPress plugin.)
  • I use a text template for the post that’s both HTML and Markdown based.
  • I batch episodes via WP posts
  • The thing that takes me the longest is coming up with a summary description that I’m happy with.
  • Auphonic transcribes for me at a small cost. I read and fix the typos, taking me about 10 minutes per episode. Most are only 5-8 mins long so that keeps text editing times low.
  • I have a checklist that also helps me to not miss steps. It’s built into the template so I don’t have to look for it.

Practice helps you go faster, so I this Spring I made an episode every weekday for several weeks.

The repetition made it easier, and it felt MUCH less daunting after a while.

I LOVE setting up processes like this. That was part of the fun for me. But it’s not for everyone.

You can check it out here… The Davo Show

Good luck!


Thanks, David. Lots of good stuff here to think about and digest. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this down and send it. This is helpful and helps me to think in terms of investment of time, quality of product, and how much value is brought and needed to end result! Great stuff!

Thank you, and thank you all, again!
Best, Terry


Great question @Storyteller7

I do both host on mic and interview.

I found two things helped me:

  1. Commit to a regular publishing schedule (for me it’s fortnightly)

  2. Give up on the idea of achieving perfection. There’s always more editing, better audio quality etc but most often, I’m the only one who notices. People are listening whilst driving or doing other things so often not listening with the same focus. They notice the content, not the minor audio imperfections.

For me, once I had a reasonable audio setup, I think the most time for host on mic is spent in the scripting. I use evernote and jot ideas down as I go. Or I’ll record the idea directly into my phone if I can’t use my hands.

For interviews, I found having an idea of my ‘story arc’ before heading into the interview was useful. But the biggest timesaver for me was using descript for my editing. Absolute game changer.

There’s other work arounds for obtaining transcript if you Descript is not an option.

Hope that’s useful!


Lots of good things here, Suzi. I am grateful to you, and you all. As much as the advice is wonderful and helpful, the willingness to help is such an encouragement. I am compiling all of these and will be making my own notes and projecting a reboot date. For others who would like to chime in, please do!

Again, thank you for taking the time, Suzi, and for the wonderful advice.

Best, Terry


Hi Terry, @Storyteller7

I love that you want to pick it up again

Some thoughts

  1. What time do you have or are willing to make available?

4:1 ratio is suggested for editing creating time to finished episode time. Add more time cost when learning and building a rhythm

  1. What length episodes are you wanting to do? 15-20 mins is so much more manageable than 45-60 mins. And recording a little more than episode length is better than 2-3 x more - too many decisions to make about what to keep.

  2. Recording well reduces editing time.

  3. Have you considered doing a 10 week series and then a break? Could get you started back in a manageable way. Keeping going and picking it up again will always be an issue to face. Doing something that you feel passionate about and can achieve helps.



For both Movers Mindset and Podtalk I’ve settled into nearly identical workflows. The differences are just a few inside the conversation structural differences, and the details how I post an episode (one show is self-hosted in Wordpress and one is on Simplecast.)

The largest time expenditure is, by far, in guest outreach and communication. Unless I’m being lazy, or intentionally pausing, I spend a half-hour to an hour, Monday thru Friday, working on guest outreach. That involves my trying to communicate with 5 to 10 people (per day). I have a complex system of notetaking, files, and custom software that helps me track what I’m doing, and track when I should be following up.

The key point is that I have some system. If you have guests, you need some way of keeping track of what you’re doing. You must be able to pick up the mental thread, and context, of any of your potential guests. What medium were you trying to reach them in? What platforms are you aware they are on? What’s the last thing you said/asked? That they said/asked you? This used to stress me out, now I know I can pick up my mental thread and context and have a long (years in some cases) discussion with someone.

I believe (for those of us who have guests on our shows) that guest outreach is the true gift to our guests of our work.

The other aspects of what I do are pretty as-expected. But I’m happy to unpack any of the other parts if you’re interested. Guest advocacy is simply the part I rarely see talked about in the podcasting universe at large.

Finally, @Storyteller7 this is a terrific question. Thank you so much for making this space better by asking it!



Many kind thanks for all this, Craig, and this will be very helpful for the future. And thank you for the kind words about the question. I have felt guilty and isolated and this has pushed me further away from returning to podcasting. Then it’s easy to find reasons/excuses not to do it.

For host on mic, I have probably spent forty percent of my time scripting the podcast, ten percent recording it, and fifty percent editing and putting it all together to be uploaded. This is likely a total of between 8-10 hours, so about four hours to create an idea, outline it, write it, then revise it. About an hour to record it (with all of the fits and starts), and three to five hours to produce it ready and uploading with captions, links, all finishing elements.

I know this is a long time but I haven’t done it long enough to settle into my rhythm. If I can get over this hump so I can push through a few, I know it will continue to be more streamlined.

My work-life schedule is such that I need to create a schedule that will allow me to divide the above into manageable bites rather than constantly looking at the whole. This exchange with you all is helping me to “think outloud” and do that.

For example, I can brainstorm ideas and themes for shows over coffee and make my list. This will also be helpful for moving forward quickly with future shows. I can then make time to outline it and revise the outline. Then I can find another block to write and another to revise. Recording it will not be difficult as I can find an hour to do that. I think the big thing for me is to commit to the above and find/make a regular “production” day that is at least three days before the tentative upload.

I am also thinking I will focus on host on mic for the near future (a) to get into this rhythm and (b) because I can control the above variables, for the most part. My production time for editing and producing interviews is insanely too long because I’m editing so much to make the guest sound good. I have to remember the business concept of “return on investment.” There is no return if I am investing SO much time the podcast never makes it to “air.”

I also need to remember the mantra that someone once taught me “connection over perfection.” The perfect monster has been in control and nothing is getting done.

Again, keep suggestions coming as well and dialog. I do hope this might help others in addition to me. At the very least, the guilt is diminishing and the isolation is disappearing.

Kind thanks again, and have a lovely Sunday, all.

Best, Terry

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Hey Steve:

So many kind thanks for responding! I am grateful. I just gave a long response to Chris’s reply because his was the first I can came to in my email this morning. Let me know of any thoughts you have about what I wrote there.

I think your question 1. is THE number one question! I think when the COVID lockdowns were winding down, I had a good bit of time and found a rhythm that did not include all of the commitments and activities pre-COVID and that rushed back in as COVID lessened. Work returned, outside activities and commitments returned, some travel, although not a lot. And I allowed all of my creative work which also includes writing and photography to take a back seat to the returning, rushing world.

So I think I do need to look at reality and my current average week and decide what time I am willing to make available. Rather than making that commitment, I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to fit this in and, as you can see, that’s not working. I need to commit or remain on hiatus.

I love your guidelines about the ratio regarding creating/editing time to finished episode time. That is very informative. I like the 20-30 minute range for what I have in mind but will continue to play with that. Under your ratio, I believe I should eventually spend about two hours to create a thirty minute episode. Is this correct? As someone who writes fiction, I am so accustomed to writing initial drafts and then revising a good bit which is throwing this ratio completely out of whack. I will need to rethink this including how much of what I say “must” be scripted as opposed to outlined and freestyled spontaneously from the outline. I really want to think about this.

I love the idea of doing “seasons” or series and taking breaks. That feels comfortable and also will allow “seasons” of incubation between the seasons of shows. I do believe that would be extremely helpful. Thank you!

I am passionate about this but sometimes life can suck the passion out of things if you’re not careful. And I think that is going to be one of the themes of my returning episodes!

Kind thanks for everything, Steve. I really appreciate it.

Best, Terry


Good day, Mary! I would still love your thoughts and advice but only when it’s good for you. Kind thanks for your offer and have a lovely week, my friend. Best, Terry

Craig, I’d love to know more about your system and particularly that custom software. It sounds like it would be a fabulous contact management system in general. Thanks!

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@Storyteller7 Hi Terry - gosh you received all sorts of excellent support and guidance from those that have responded. I can add ONE thing which builds on what you said in your original post about your desire to get back into podcasting and …

plus a phrase @steveh used …

The ONE THING is this - when the power level goes up enough on your DESIRE or NEED TO DO IT - you’ll pass into another realm where you can’t be stopped. OK - think of folks who abandon normal life to rise up in revolution. We can have that degree of “fed up” within our own self. Then we can apply relevant advice from ALL the magnificent suggestions given above. I say this from experience in another area where I also wanted to do something that mattered only to me. Given the ongoing success (in terms of getting the work up and out) I imagined that I could tap into that same depth of motivation for my Podcast passion. During today’s Idea Club meeting, I received in a couple minutes - tremendously incite-full feedback on how to do that or the other OPTION - decide NOT do it - or the other OPTION - get more creative in the HOW to do it.

So these days, I believe that we can actually consistently do OUR THING when there is enough energy applied to a rhythm weaving through the rest of our life - wherein we tenaciously hang on like a rodeo bronc rider. It will shake things up. Habits and priorities will change. Hope this helps - BOTH of us Terry.


It is extremely complicated and of no use to anyone else.

But here’s a sketch of it…

I’m using Obsidian (from to manage a large collection of folders and files. The collection is stored within my iCloud space, so I can use the Obsidian app on any of my devices.

I have a system for organizing people and recordings (and anything else I need to store). For example, you are 4c1ca6 and your PodTalk episode is stored as 3.220722b …but to find you I simply start searching for “c-h-r-i” and you appear. There are ~500+ people, and nearly as many audio recordings “in” this system.

On a large file server I keep archives by project. Under the Podtalk Podcast, there’s a folder 2022/202207/3.220722b/ wherein I keep everything related to that specific episode. I don’t go searching in that file server. I head there only after I know I’m looking for 3.220722b. (I could search the file server, it’s just much slower than Obsidian.)

Files for people have information like when I last spoke to them, what medium(s) they are active on—so I can figure out where I last spoke with them. I keep notes (“try me again at the end of summer…” and any research material, etc.) for each person. I write my notes in a certain format that is also parsable by software I wrote.

On certain days, one of my computers emails me a list of people who I should follow up with. It looks through everyone, knows who are guests I’m working on, when I last communicated with them, how long I like to wait between comm’s, etc. Links in the email pop Obsidian open to each person’s file.

I have a file (also in a particular format that I can work with which software can parse too) for every recording I’ve done. Lots of details, which show, date recorded, is it yet published, episode title, article written, pull quotes done, and did I blog about that particular recording. Again, custom software prods me weekly by picking one randomly that I could blog about.

There’s much more. I have tools that quickly create files (and folder structures, picking a new “address”) for people, and for recordings. So when I’m working (“oh, that person is super interesting…”) I can quickly add people and recordings to my collection/work-flow.



Thank you so much, Mary. You have given me much to think about and have spoken my language. I am all about rhythms and how I am most happy and settled when my rhythms are aligned with my world. I had not thought about checking to make sure of that when venturing forth with my podcast. And I do love the idea of the options…typically, I think of options as succeed or fail. You have given a completely different spin on those with (do it, decide NOT to do it, or get more creative in HOW to do it.)

Again, many thanks and I will be journaling about all of this and trying to rediscover my rhythms and see how everything, not just podcasting, flows into those rhythms.

I continue to be grateful to you and you all during this journey.

Always, Terry

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I love this. Makes me feel so-o-o …shall we say, aspirational? Let’s just say I’m seriously impressed. Thank you for sharing these secrets of the organized universe–yours!


This is the part I am working on now with my podcast project. I’ve been making small inroads more frequently :slight_smile: and am at this juncture.

I know I’ve used your sign-up space before, an it was impressive. How did you create it, and how do you keep track of your guest outreach?

------Hahaha! Now that I am reading further down the thread I see you do explain your process! Thanks @craigconstantine

I’m using to bring people into my schedule. I’ve given Calendly access to see my iCloud based calendars, so it can see my actual availability, with lots of rules… only one scheduled event per “type” (no more than one MM episode per day, for example), lead and trail free time around events, and then in my personal calendar, I can schedule when I’m away/not-free, and Calendly doesn’t offer those times.

Having a totally automated way for people to schedule in is critical if you want to juggle multiple parallel guest outreach conversations.


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