Podcast Editing: The Ultimate Guide
From learning to use dedicated software, to automating production with an app – here are various ways you can handle your editing!
Podcast Editing Summary: How does it work?
- There are many different approaches, and many different tools out there when it comes to podcast editing.
- Some podcasters do a thorough comb-through of their content, cutting out every little mistake and stumble.
- Others do absolutely no editing, and release their content as raw as when it was recorded.
- For those who'd like to do some editing on their show, there are plenty options available. These range from software programmes and apps, to freelancers and production companies who'll take care of it for you.
- Here, we'll help you navigate the choppy waters of podcast editing, and find the best approach and tools for you. So let's get started!
Podcast editing. For complete beginners, it can be an intimidating barrier to launching a show. Many aspiring podcasters procrastinate worrying on how they’ll actually edit their podcast episodes, prior to publishing them.
But it’s actually never been easier to either edit audio yourself, or to find someone (or something) else to do it for you.
What’s more, there’s nothing to say that you absolutely need to edit your podcast, or exactly how you should do it. It all depends on your own approach, content, and audience.
Here, I’d like to run through the various podcast editing options available to you.
These will depend on your budget, time constraints, and whether or not you prefer to learn new skills, or to outsource the stuff you’ve no interest in doing yourself.
Just before we jump in to section 1, a quick heads up. We use the odd affiliate link in this article, which we'd earn a small commission from, if you were to buy through it. This is never at any extra cost to you though – and we only use affiliate links for stuff we recommend and use ourselves!
1. What Are the Podcast Editing “Rules”?
Firstly though, I mentioned that there’s no single way you “should” be editing your podcast. Certainly, there are good and bad practices, but it’s entirely up to you if you even edit your show at all.
Obviously if you want to create a highly produced podcast or audio drama then, one way or another, that’s going to require a fair bit of editing.
But if you’re just recording yourself talking into a mic, and don’t even feel the need for any intro music, then you can pretty much get away with no editing at all.
So how do you decide on your own approach? Here are a couple of resources to help guide you.
For solo, co-hosted, or interview podcasts, you can get away with very little editing.
Documentary and drama-style shows take a lot more podcast editing work. They work brilliantly when done well, but for the vast majority of podcasters, they are overkill.
- Creating a ‘Highly Produced' Podcast – full Season of the Podcraft Podcast
- How Do You Edit and Produce an Audio Drama Podcast?
2. Should I Use a DAW for My Podcast Editing?
The most common podcast editing tool is what’s known as a DAW – that stands for Digital Audio Workstation. It’s just a posh way of saying “audio editing programme”.
DAWs also let you record into them, so it’s basically like having a full recording studio on your computer – providing you have a microphone to plug into it.
The most popular beginner DAW is one called Audacity. It’s popular because it’s absolutely free. And it's still more than good enough to build your podcast episode with.
Below, you'll find our full comparison between Audacity and Audition which will hopefully help you decide which one (if any) you’d prefer to use.
And if you’re looking to learn either of them quickly and competently, then we have video courses on both inside The Podcast Host Academy.
Just looking to choose the best fit for you and your show?
- Best Podcast Editing Software for Podcasters of All Levels
- Audacity vs Adobe Audition – Which DAW Should I Use?
- Reaper Review – a Collaborative Option for Recording and Editing Podcasts
Want to learn a bit more about DAW-based audio terms, tools, and techniques?
- Destructive Vs Non Destructive Editing for Podcast Production
- The Audacity Compressor – Fix Your Podcast & Audio Volume Issues
- Audacity Noise Reduction – How to Remove Background Noise
- Adobe Audition Review – Plus My Favourite Audition Tools for Podcasting
3. What About Podcast Editing Apps & Tools?
Podcast editing is actually the most common thing we’re asked about here at The Podcast Host.
That led to us developing a tool called Alitu, which practically builds your episode for you. It can take care of the processing, editing, and publishing of your podcast, without the need for a DAW.
This is a really simple-to-use tool aimed at “non-techy” people. Complete beginners, and podcasters who simply don’t have the time to spend editing their podcasts in the more traditional way.
There are some other great apps out there too. The bottom line is that, these days, you don't need a DAW to edit your podcast. In fact, you can podcast without ever having opened one in your life.
Looking for some simple podcast editing tools?
- Alitu: The Podcast Maker App
- Best Podcast Making Apps: Simplify Your Podcasting Process
- EditPoint – Take a Walk & Produce Your Podcast
Or maybe you do prefer more of a DIY approach. In which case…
4. Should I Hire a Producer to Do My Podcast Editing?
Still got absolutely no interest in having anything to do with your podcast editing? That’s perfectly normal. It just means that you’ll probably need to hire someone to do it for you.
There are an ever growing number of producers out there who make themselves available for podcast editing work. These range from freelancers with day jobs, to fully-fledged companies employing teams of podcast producers on their staff.
The route you go down will, as ever, depend on your budget. You’ll find loads of excellent freelancers out there doing great work at a low cost. But, like any other service, there will undoubtedly be a few unreliable folks in the marketplace too.
If you are looking for a producer, then here are some options for you.
Hiring a Producer: Options
- Music Radio Creative will give you an instant quote based on your average episode length and the amount of episodes you'd like to commit to.
- There are plenty podcast editors available for hire on Fiverr. Check out adamglinder (from $48) and radioorg (from $32) if you're interested in going down this route.
- We take on some production work ourselves here at The Podcast Host. We frequently work with clients to launch their podcasts through a series of coaching and mentoring sessions. Then we’ll take on the initial editing of their episodes once they’ve been recorded. You can find out more about our podcast production service right here.
Podcast Editing Summary: Your Content. Your Audience
No two podcasts are alike (that’s actually a lie, there are at least 500 “entrepreneur” shows with the words “On Fire” in their title, but we’ll brush past that!), so this all comes down to your own unique approach, and aims.
For the Hobbyist or “Toe-Dipper”
If you’re a hobbyist who’s just looking to chat about a topic close to your heart, then taking some time to learn the basics of Audacity is probably the best option for you. Remember, if you’d like to take a course on Audacity (or Audition) then you can do that inside The Podcast Host Academy.
For the Small Business or Side-Hustle
If you’re someone currently working a day job, but launching your show as part of a side business which you’re serious about growing, then you might be prepared to spend a little money to save on time. In that case, using the “podcast making” app Alitu is probably your best option.
For the Company or Brand Podcast
Or, if you’re an established business looking to get a highly polished and professional sounding show right out the gate, then hiring a producer is going to be your best option. Just remember that great sounding audio is more to do with the source material than the editing though, so hire someone who can advise you on your recording setup and work with you on that front too.
That’s something we can help you with at The Podcast Host, so check out our Podcast Launch Service right here!