Podcast Editing: The Ultimate Guide
Podcast editing is a huge part of the medium as a whole.
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.
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.
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 long as you’ve recorded it at a decent volume level.
For more on this, check out our article on how much editing should I do in my podcast?
Podcast Editing With a DAW
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 program”.
DAWs also let you record into them, so it’s basically like having a full recording studio on your computer – providing you at least 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.
But if you’re looking for a more pro-level DAW with an almost infinite number of functions and capabilities, then Adobe Audition might be more up your street.
Here’s 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.
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.
Hiring a Podcast Producer
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.
For more on this, have a look at our article on outsourcing your podcast production.
If you are looking for a producer, then we also have a Podcast Producers Directory. In fact, some of these services offer more than just podcast editing. You can have your shownotes and publishing taken care of too.
We even 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.
Podcast Editing: 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.
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.
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.
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!