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How to Schedule a Podcast [Incl. Free Podcast Planning Template]

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How to Schedule a Podcast [Incl. Free Podcast Planning Template]

One of the most common reasons podcasts fail is that they aren’t consistent. Podcasters always start with grand aspirations, but without the right approach (including a proper podcasting schedule), they quickly lose steam. 

Eventually, these burned-out podcasters just stop publishing episodes. This unfortunate phenomenon is called podfading.

Podfading can be due to:

  • Losing interest
  • Not having a solid plan
  • Not being disciplined or organized with your task management
  • Overcomplicating your process


In this post, we’ll show you seven actionable tips for how to avoid podfading, from learning how to schedule podcast recordings, to creating an editorial calendar with our free podcast planning template.

Let’s get started!


7 Tips To Stay on Track and Stick to Your Podcast Recording Schedule

1. Remember: You’re Only Human 

Were you expecting the first productivity tip to be that you should cut yourself some slack? We like to keep you guessing.

Before we get to actionable tips to help you hit your goals, it’s helpful to take a beat to remind yourself that you are not—and never can be—perfect. Starting by expecting perfection from your recording and publishing schedule is only setting yourself up for disappointment, stress, and resentment. 

If you miss an episode, it’s not the end of the world. Things happen. Maybe your child was sick or your guest dropped out at the last minute. The best solution is to explain what happened on your next podcast episode; your audience will understand.


2. Brainstorm a List of Topics  

If you want to be a successful podcaster, your best bet is to have a seemingly endless list of episode topics. Write out every single idea you can think of. 

Then, keep looking for ideas. For instance, you might:

  • Listen to a lot of other podcasts and let them spark your creativity (don’t copy them, obviously—but can you take something that interests you and put your unique spin on it?)
  • Do keyword research based on what you know about your target audience. What are they asking? Try to answer those questions with your podcast episodes.
  • Ask your audience for what they want to learn or hear about on upcoming podcasts
  • Ask your sponsors for topic ideas
  • See our post of 60+ Creative Podcast Ideas to Try to get the creative juices flowing


And once you’ve started creating podcast content, don’t forget to keep coming up with new ideas. Make it a habit to add at least one more topic to the list every time you record an episode. That way, you’ll never run out of content ideas for your podcast.


3. Create an Editorial Calendar

After you’ve come up with a long list of potential podcast topics and narrowed it down to the ideas that actually have the potential to make good episodes, it’s time to create a schedule.

Many podcasters like to keep things simple by using Google Calendar (or simpler still, their paper calendar) to plan publishing dates. There are also many great project management tools out there, such as Trello, Asana, and Notion, which let you set deadlines, assign team members, and customize your workflow to suit your needs.

We’re partial to Trello for its ease of use combined with a helpful calendar view, which lets you see your scheduled posts at a glance.

Read until the end to access to our free Trello podcast planning template.

How Many Podcasts Should You Have Recorded Before Publishing?

Another crucial element of your editorial calendar planning process is to determine when your podcast will actually go live. 

Remember: just because you have an episode ready for air doesn’t mean you should immediately publish it.

Unless your podcast is about current events or news, we recommend having at least 3-5 podcasts on deck before you take your podcast live. This strategy will set you up to have plenty of buffer time if, down the road, you hit a snag and are delayed in your production process.


4. Block Time (And Batch Tasks if You Can) 

Another crucial element to avoiding podfading is to block off time in your schedule for production. Don’t forget to plan for each step in the process, which might look different for everyone.

For example, your process might include the following steps:

Remember to be realistic with how much time each step will take you per week. It may take you a few episodes to learn how long your process takes, but much of the time commitment will depend on whether you take the minimalist, balanced, or perfectionist approach

Don’t forget to consider how much time you actually have to dedicate to your podcast project per week. If you don’t, you could be setting yourself up for failure by biting off more than you can chew. 

Batching Tasks Helps You Manage Your Time More Efficiently

One excellent strategy for getting more done in less time is to batch similar tasks together. For instance, you might dedicate an hour or two on one day to doing preliminary research and brainstorming for that month’s (or week’s) episodes. 

While many portions of podcast planning and production depend on coordinating with others (including guests), several podcast production steps tend to work well for batching, such as:

  • Preparing outlines
  • Editing recordings
  • Pitching sponsors
  • Scheduling social media promotions

Figure out which steps in your workflow can be done in batches, and plan accordingly. 

Batching tasks is also a great way to get ahead; not every episode will take the same amount of time or effort in pre- or post-production. If you complete a task ahead of schedule, get started on the next one.

5. Have an Easy Podcast Studio Setup

One way to overcome hurdles to consistent podcasting is to make sure your equipment setup is as simple as possible. 

While you might be tempted to invest in a state-of-the-art video podcasting camera or the best microphone on the market, take a beat and think about how much setup time you really want to take on, week after week.

While quality audio is important (and dare we say, essential) to produce a successful podcast, you don’t necessarily need to blow your budget on the most technical choice available. Sometimes a reliable, plug-and-play USB microphone will do the trick—and it won’t over-complicate your recording chain.

6. Minimize Editing Time

Many amateur podcasters plan to fix any issues in post-production. However, planning to just “fix it during editing” can lead to hours of editing time. And the more time it takes to produce an episode, the more likely it is that you fall behind on your podcast schedule.

Instead, focus on an organized outline and record as if it’s live.  

Another great way to minimize your editing time is to use the right software. Recording in high-quality audio and using an audio interface or audio mixer will help make sure your raw recording is as close to publication-quality as possible.


7. Automate Where You Can

Finally, take advantage of the many tools out there to make your process as simple as possible. Anywhere you can automate your podcasting process, do it. Try:

  • Scheduling for guests with apps like Calendly or Acuity. If you use Riverside.fm to record your show, you have access to an integrated scheduling tool.
  • Scheduling your social media promotion with tools like Buffer, Later, or Hootsuite
  • Email marketing tools like Mailchimp or Convertkit 
  • Podcast recording software like Riverside for easy recording and streaming to other platforms
  • Automating across apps using all-purpose automation software such as IFTTT, Zapier, or Automate.io 

Check Out Our Podcast Planning Template

Creating a podcast schedule comes down to having the proper planning techniques. Start by reminding yourself that you’re only human (which means not holding yourself to impossible standards). Then, make it a habit to continually build to your list of topics—and maintain a productive and organized editorial calendar for your podcast schedule.

If you need a little help in the organizational department, check out our Trello template for a starting point to design your own workflow, complete with a calendar view to make sure you always have a clear idea of your upcoming deadlines.

As a podcaster, you have the potential to reach a large audience and build a substantial following. The key to success is building a sustainable workflow and a disciplined schedule that lets you produce regular content, build a fanbase, and avoid podfading. With the tips outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to success in no time!

Download our podcast planning template for free!

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