Hiring a skilled editor is the key to elevating your podcast from an amateur to a professional production. With the rising popularity of podcasts, it is becoming increasingly important to stand out amongst competitors. We’ll show you how a skilled editor can take your podcast to the next level.
According to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2023 report, 64% of the total U.S. population over the age of 12 have listened to podcasts in the past, a steady increase from recent years. In addition, an impressive 42% of the U.S. population have listened in the last month. That’s an estimated 120 million listeners in the U.S. alone.
Data only shows that podcast popularity continues to increase year over year providing even more of an opportunity to get discovered (and loved) by your target audience.
How a Skilled Editor Can Take Your Podcast to the Next Level
Skilled editing is the key to taking your podcast to the next level through creating a captivating first impression, improving clarity and flow, enhancing the overall listener experience, crafting compelling content, maintaining professionalism, and time management and efficiency.
Creating a Captivating First Impression
As a podcaster, you likely have a goal for your content. This could be reaching the masses to get your message out to as many people as possible or maybe you’re looking to target a niche audience to sell a product or educate on a specific topic. Regardless of your goals, your podcast’s first impression is what is going to drive you further toward these goals.
Have you ever discovered a new podcast and were turned off in the first few seconds due to poor audio quality? The rise of podcast popularity has opened the door making podcasts an easily accessible platform for anyone to join. That being said, just because you can set up a mic, freely talk into it and upload your content to the interweb in an instant doesn’t always mean you should. While it’s not rocket science, good audio quality does take some amount of effort and a skilled editor can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
On average, people listen to 9 podcasts a week (an increase from previous reports). Making a good first impression is the first step in making sure your podcast falls into your audience’s rotation of shows. Effective editing can hook (or turn away) listeners in just the first couple of seconds.
Improving Clarity and Flow
So you’ve hooked your new listener into continuing past the first couple of seconds of your podcast. That’s great! You still want to make sure the audio quality paired with the overall clarity and flow is up to par throughout the entirety of your episodes to live up to the listener’s expectations.
A skilled editor can help improve the cadence and delivery of your speech. By eliminating pivots in thought, awkward pauses, or speakers talking over one another, your editor can clean up your audio making for a smoother listen for your audience.
Intentional pauses and well-paced dialogue also have an impact on how the listener perceives the content. For example, well-timed pauses can be strategically inserted to emphasize important points or allow the audience to absorb information before moving to the next talking point.
Like audio quality, the clarity and flow of your content are just a few more of the many factors a skilled editor focuses on to deliver a polished final product.
Enhancing Overall Listener Experience
A skilled editor is the key to having a smooth and seamless listening experience. I think we can all relate to sitting down watching a TV show when all of a sudden a commercial comes on that is so jarringly loud we have to reach for the remote to adjust the volume. This is a major turnoff and the same goes for podcasting.
Good editing can take the peaks and valleys in your audio and balance it to a steady volume level throughout the main episode content, between different segments, and ads, and even match the levels of other podcast episodes across different platforms. The last thing you want to do is to have to adjust your volume when transitioning to a new episode and your editor is responsible for making these transitions as seamless as possible.
Depending on the genre of your podcast, you may also consider adding transition music between segments, sound effects, or background music to add ambiance. Not only will a skilled editor facilitate the editing of these features into your episode, they likely will know just the place to source the perfect royalty-free sound effects and music to really enhance the listener experience.
Crafting Compelling Content
Whether you’re recording with a guest or just yourself, you may notice either of you going off on a tangent or making side comments that aren’t necessarily relevant to the main topic of conversation. While this may be common in our natural day-to-day conversations, it can be distracting and take away from the main points in your podcast episode.
Listeners click on your episodes because they are pulled in and interested in the topic your title advertises. Unless somehow relevant to the story, they don’t want to suddenly be pulled away by a side tangent about your family’s trip to Disney World in 2007. It’s distracting and can cause listeners to disengage from your content.
Remember, the goal of your content is always to provide value to your audience. A skilled editor will find these side comments or irrelevant tangents and cut them to keep you and your guest seemingly on topic thus keeping your listener more engaged.
The beautiful thing about podcasting is that you can make mistakes without anyone ever knowing. A skilled editor will remove your word stumbles, mistakes, and filler words so you sound as professional as possible. While you may not notice when your friend stumbles through their words while recapping a story, I guarantee you’ll notice when your favorite podcast host stumbles through the episode or cannot stop saying ‘um’ between every thought. A good editor removes all of the unwanted fillers and fumbles so you come across as the confident and professional host we all know you are.
Check out this before and after showing how much more professional Alesia sounds after some editing cleanup.
On a similar note, how many times have you seen a creator get called out for something they accidentally said on a podcast or from a clip that was wildly taken out of context?
Now, I would like to highlight the difference between creators being rightfully called out on a comment they confidently stand behind and being called out on an uneducated or accidental mistake.
While it is obviously important to educate yourself enough to avoid saying harmful or offensive things in the first place, we all make mistakes from time to time. Perhaps you didn’t even say something offensive but instead misquoted a famous poet or credited the wrong author of a book you referenced. A good editor will go through your audio, fact-check if necessary and remove these misspeaks before it ever hits the listener’s ears.
Keep in mind that not every production company promises to listen to every word of your podcast and edit for context. Here at Galati Media, our team is intent on listening to every word of your podcast so that we can ensure both hosts and guests sound as clear, concise, and professional as possible.
Time Management and Efficiency
At first glance, it may not seem like there is a lot that goes into podcasting. In reality, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that you may not be ready for or quite frankly, have the time for.
It is no secret that editing a podcast episode is time-consuming. On average, it takes an editor 4 times the length of the podcast audio just for editing. Take that and factor in writing the copy for your show notes, uploading to your hosting platform, creating promotional graphics, actually promoting the episode, and any other task you can think of. That is a considerable amount of time dedicated to just one episode and that can add up, especially for someone releasing new episodes weekly.
You likely didn’t start a podcast with the dream of spending time editing. Hiring a good editor can take the time spent editing off of your hands so that you can focus on what really matters- planning valuable content and engaging with your audience.
For tips and guides on planning your podcast content:
- Streamline Your Podcast Content Creation Process
- How to Organize and Plan Your Podcast Content
- Being Strategic with Your Podcast Content with Casey Gromer
Bonus: Hiring a full production team can free up even more of your time. Check out our services page to see how we might be able to help you.
Time is not the only factor a good editor can help with. When you’re recording an episode knowing you’ll have to sit down later and edit yourself, you may be hyperfocused on the way you speak being diligent to avoid making mistakes that you’ll have to take out later. Hiring a trusted editor takes the stress off your hands knowing you can speak freely and that your editor will make you sound amazing in post-production. As a bonus, they act as an extra set of ears to catch the mistakes you may have missed yourself.
A skilled editor is no doubt an investment. While we would never frown upon someone making the decision to edit their podcast themselves, we also see the value that a skilled editor can bring to the success of a podcast.
If you want to take a crack at editing yourself, check out The Basics of Podcast Editing and A Beginner’s Guide for Podcast Editing in Audacity.
If you’re interested in hiring a podcast production team to handle your editing and take your podcast to the next level, click here to learn more about working with our team.