How to design a podcast schedule

Most podcasts fail, and inconsistency is one of the reasons. If you don’t know how to design a podcast schedule as a podcaster, you will eventually podfade. As part of what you need to start a podcast, you will need to learn how to schedule, automate and scale your podcast show.

Let’s say you have a TV show you love and enjoy and are always looking forward to the next episodes. All of a sudden, the show was taken off. You need to imagine how infuriating and annoying that could be.

This also applies to podcast shows. After building trust with your podcast listeners, you must keep delivering value to maintain a loyal following. Look at some of the most popular podcast shows you know; they never fail in releasing episodes frequently.

Once you are consistent in building, the listeners will come. You need to get it right with planning and organizing your podcast episodes.

This piece will focus on how to design a podcast schedule as part of what you need to start a podcast to help maintain consistency. 

What is a Podcast Schedule?

Whether you are a full-time podcaster or it’s your side gig, you will need a podcast schedule. Without a podcast schedule, you’ll be lost in the sea of planning, producing, researching, and releasing podcast episodes consistently.

A podcast schedule should form the foundation of your show. If you take time out to design a workable and action-oriented podcast schedule, you will be eliminating another reason for failure.

Your podcast schedule should contain tasks that should be done, what’s coming up, and the due date for these tasks. A podcast schedule is essential to ensure you never fall out of rhythm and disappoint your listeners.

It’s OK for your ideas and plans to be scattered all over the place. It’s on sticky notes, spreadsheets, and to-do lists. You will be bringing them together in a comprehensive and detailed manner through your podcast schedule.

How To Design a Podcast Schedule

When designing your podcast schedule, you must align it with your podcast goals. Knowing what you want to achieve with your podcast will help to understand what should your priorities.

Without an idea of the big picture, you will likely get lost in the beehive of activities surrounding running a podcast show. A podcast schedule is divided into three main areas; an editorial calendar, identifying tasks, and a production workflow.

1. Creating a Podcast Editorial Calendar

Let’s remind you of the words of Mark Twain, “deadlines are the greatest source of inspiration.” If you are struggling to stay on track with your podcast schedule, or you feel you are being inconsistent with your podcast publishing, it’s time to map out a podcast editorial calendar.

In the first instance, you should have never run a podcast show without one. However, it’s not too late to get back on track and do the right thing. A podcast calendar is handy as it helps you keep track of the podcast episodes in development.

According to Neil Patel, an editorial calendar is a lifesaver for creatives. You’ll need an editorial calendar if you want to stay sane as a creative.

If you have a podcast team in place, a podcast editorial calendar keeps everyone abreast of the deadlines and the tasks to be done. You can format your podcast editorial calendar to Trello, Airtable, Asana, and any other project management tool.

Summarily, a podcast editorial calendar helps you to meet critical milestones for your show. You can also feature your podcast promotion efforts on the editorial calendar.

2. Map Out All Tasks

Let’s emphasize that there’s a lot of what you need to start a podcast. There are loads of tasks that must be carried out to arrive at a fantastic show your listeners will love. For every episode of your podcast show, you must work on researching, guest prepping, marketing, scripting, and many more.

To deliver top-quality podcast episodes in line with your editorial calendar, you need to pinpoint the tasks that will take them from planning to publishing. You need to know the amount of workload required to stay ahead of all tasks.

Simply put, this is focused on breaking your podcast production process into smaller chunks. This will help you to manage production easily and know which tasks to outsource and delegate.

3. Create an Efficient Production Workflow

These are a pre-defined process that leads to publishing every podcast episode. On your podcast production workflow, you will identify the tasks that need to be completed, the handler of the tasks, and the turnaround time.

To structure your workflow, you can make use of a flowchart. This will break down all the tasks in the order in which they must be carried out.

What is important is that your podcast production workflow should be standardized. You must learn to follow the same guideline for every podcast episode. When you have lesser issues to deal with for every episode, you will be able to maintain consistency.

You’ll know you have an efficient production workflow if you have zero decision-making for every podcast episode.

How To Make Your Podcast Schedule Work For You

Podcasting is hard work, but a podcast schedule is a part of what you need to start a podcast that is consistent. Here are a few tips for designing an efficient podcast schedule;

Delegate and Outsource as Much as Possible

Don’t try to do everything yourself as a podcaster; that’s a quick way to fail. You must build a podcast team that can take a few tasks off your hands.

You cannot handle every podcast-related task professionally; you’ll need help at a point. Ask for help when you need it, don’t try to work solo on your podcast.

Leverage Project Management Tools

No need to use traditional sheets. Deploy a project management tool that details all your tasks, due dates, and workflow from one point.

With these tools, you can collaborate efficiently with your podcast production team, even remotely.

Automate Every Routine Task

Devote your time to only high-level tasks. Take advantage of automation with routine and monotonous tasks.

Find a way to work automation into your podcast production.

Final Thoughts

There’s no shortcut to building a podcast that stands out; you must invest time, effort, and resources. One of what you need to start a podcast is a schedule; without it, you’re headed to failure.

You cannot afford to fall behind schedule in releasing episodes of your podcast. Else, you’ll lose the trust of your audience. The combination of value and consistency will help you develop an excellent podcast show.