Subscribe to enough podcasts and you'll see lengths from thirty seconds to two hours and frequencies from multiple times a day to once a month. I share some tips on determining the right balance for your podcast.

Audacity tip: how to switch playback and recording devices within Audacity.

Feedback

I have a lot of emails and voicemails to go through; I promise to respond to them all, but it's taking a little while to sort them out.

How frequently should you podcast?

Determining how often your podcast (your frequency) is very dependent upon your content. If you talk about a weekly TV show, then it's probably obvious that you should have a weekly podcast. But have you also considered a semiweekly (two a week) episode? Perhaps an initial-reactions episode immediately after the TV show airs, and then a later, more thought-out episode with feedback. Cliff Ravenscraft's Weekly Lost Podcast followed this format.

Or maybe you want to be among the first to talk about the latest tech news. Then maybe you should be daily. The late GeekBrief followed this format and did very well. Wall Street Journal Tech News Briefing actually podcasts twice a day, because their information depends on what happens overnight before the business day, as well as what happens within the business day.

Some podcasts are biweekly, while others are even monthly. Subscribe to any monthly podcast, such as Children's Ministry Monthly, and you'll see that episodes are not released on a consistent schedule.

First determine how timely your content must be, and then set a schedule and try to stick with it. A weekly format seems the most popular and easiest to hold with consistency. Once you've picked your frequency, then your can choose your optimal episode length.

How long should each podcast episode be?

The length of each episode greatly depends on your frequency. Unless you have an extremely loyal following, releasing one-hour episodes every day (under the same podcast, that is) seems overkill. If a subscribe goes on a one-week vacation, they'll return to five hours of that show's content, which can be very hard for catching up.

But on the opposite side, a monthly podcast should not necessarily be a two- or four-hour-long episode. It's all right if you record that much content, but break it up into smaller episodes to make it easier on your listeners. The more frequently you update your site, the more Google will love you and the easier it can be to build a faithful audience.

Effective splitting

Are You Just Watching?™, one of our other podcasts on the Noodle.mx Network, is recorded approximately monthly, but each main episode is split into two parts. We do this while recording by watching our timer and verbally closing the current topic and ending the episode. This is very smooth and friendly on the ears. But you can still look for ways to break up very long episodes by interjecting a split and releasing the episodes separately.

Recommendations for episode length

The following are my personal opinion, based on what I have heard from many other listeners as well as what seems to work among the most popular podcasts.

Podcast frequency Episode length
Semidaily 1–5 minutes
Daily 1–15 minutes (sometimes 30)
Weekly 15–60 minutes (with exceptions)
Biweekly 60 minutes
Monthly 60–90 minutes
Annually This isn't podcasting!

As you can see, I highly recommend podcasting no longer than one hour (60 minutes). The sweet spot seems to be 30–45 minutes. It's short enough that many can probably listen during their commute (either one-way or round-trip).

However long you decide to make your episodes, have a good reason! Don't let yourself ramble on for two hours in one episode if you regularly release half-hour episodes. Break things up and your listeners will be happy. Personally, I have unsubscribed from most of TWiT's podcasts because of excessive length for a weekly show.

Audacity tip: how to switch playback and recording devices within Audacity

Whether you have multiple playback or recording devices, or you just want to make sure you're recording from the Line In rather than your internal microphone, the Device Toolbar will be extremely valuable to you.

  1. Go to the View Menu > Toolbars > Device Toolbar
  2. Click on the drop-down menus for either Playback or Recording to switch devices.

Keeping this visible is so much easier than digging through the preferences!

Need personalized podcasting help?

I no longer offer one-on-one consulting outside of Podcasters' Society, but request a consultant here and I'll connect you with someone I trust to help you launch or improve your podcast.

Ask your questions or share your feedback

  • Comment on the shownotes
  • Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
  • Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)

Connect with me

Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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Carl Valeri
10 years ago

I host a weekly show Aviation Careers Podcast. We try to keep the podcast less than an hour per your advice.

The audience is growing and we have been receiving many listeners questions. I am finding it a challenge keeping the podcast less than 60 minutes if I include all of the listener questions.

We are considering three options:
1. Allow the episodes to go over 60 minutes by including listener mail.2. Have an occasional episode dedicated to answering listener mail.3. Release an additional episode between the normal episodes answering listener mail.
What is your opinion? Thanks again for the great podcast!

N H
N H
10 years ago
Reply to  Carl Valeri

Option 2 for sure! IMO, if your audience is growing using a weekly 1-hour format, then stick with it because its obviously working. If your episodes run over 60 minutes, or if you release extra episodes, you may run the risk of losing some listeners because the content may become too long or overwhelming. Maybe something like the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or last show of the month can be dedicated to listener questions?

Matt Johnson
9 years ago

How about a second podcast that is a weekly or bi-weekly show of just listener questions? Could brand it as another related show to the main one.

This can have standalone value itself it seems.

Trish Jones
8 years ago

Thank you for this Daniel. I was thinking about daily, but I have two podcasts I want to do and I’d rather start with weekly and increase it if I have to. I love your comment about doing annual podcasts … “this isn’t podcasting!” Still laughing! 🙂

David Lowbridge
David Lowbridge
7 years ago

Thank you for your great article. My question is, does length have to be consistent. I’ve recorded two podcasts at the moment with guests. One spoke to me for about 20 minutes, the other 10 minutes. Is there a problem with this?

trackback

[…] for 1-5 minutes, while others prefer to podcast once a month for two hours. Award-winning podcaster Daniel J. Lewis recommends no more than 60-minutes, and says that 30-45 minutes in length is the “sweet […]

Pratibha Badurkar
Pratibha Badurkar
5 years ago

Your guidance really helped me a lot to understand about podcast. I was planning to start my podcast. Thank you

Kira
3 years ago

My boss’s podcast is quite popular. He has guests like CEO’S and entrepreneurs. How many times a week should we post a podcast?

jean pi
jean pi
3 years ago

How about to publish podcast episodes wednesday and friday weekly, a podcast of 45 minutes to 60 minutes, is it good? or should i leave it 1 a week?

I make facebook lives of the podcast 7pm to 8pm those days.

Don
Don
2 years ago

I come from a radio background long ago and am planning on starting a podcast with a basic structure of Open-ad-content-ad-Close. While there wouldn’t be any ads initially, I’d fill with PSAs. What do you think about this structure?
Thanks! Interesting stuff.

Sha
Sha
2 years ago

Such great information.. Thanks I am new to the podcasting world. I am scheduled to release 3x’s a week/ 30- 45 min segments. My question is about live feature YOUTUBE. Should I record live to YT then upload that audio to the podcasting networks?

DBD
DBD
2 years ago

Hi
What approach or tools do you guys recommend for recording phone conversations for podcast ?

Thanks

Novelette Graham
Novelette Graham
2 years ago

I really enjoyed your comments. i just started a podcast and was wondering if I should upload the same content on my Youtube channel in video format?

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