How to Plan a Podcast [+ 8 Calendar Apps for Podcasters]
You have everything set up to start your podcast. From your studio gear to your social media presence. Now it’s the time to decide when to post episodes and plan your podcast calendar.
Some podcasters upload episodes once a week, twice a week, twice a month, or every day. But how can you know what will be the best approach for your show?
It looks like there are endless possibilities and it can be hard to decide. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In today’s post, we’ll share:
- Why having a consistent podcast schedule matters
- How to decide the best podcasting frequency for you
- What’s the best day to release podcast episodes
- How to plan a podcast schedule
- Our favorite tools for podcast planning
Let’s get started!
Why Having a Consistent Podcast Schedule Matters
When it comes to publishing frequency, there’s something that will matter both at the beginning and through the course of your podcasting career: consistency. You should maintain a regular publishing schedule, whether you publish once a month or every week.
Having a consistent podcast frequency:
- Helps you build a loyal audience
- Projects commitment and professionalism
Let’s take a closer look.
Build Loyalty with Your Audience
Being consistent when publishing episodes helps you build loyalty among your audience. And the reason is quite simple: it gives them a sense of predictability. It makes them feel that your podcast is a reliable source of entertainment for them.
Once your listeners start engaging with your show, they’ll eagerly anticipate the next episode. They can even incorporate listening to your latest episode into their routine. Failing to meet those expectations could put that valuable engagement at risk.
Let Your Audience Know You’re Committed
Having a consistent podcast schedule also makes you and your podcast look more professional. It shows your commitment to the project. In turn, a consistent podcast schedule may increase your chances of getting sponsor deals.
When to Break the Schedule
Although consistency is key, be open to altering your podcast schedule from time to time.
When podcasting during the holiday season, for instance, you can experiment with frequency in order to increase engagement. You can also change your podcasting frequency to launch special episodes and make the most out of brand deals.
But, how do you know when you should change your schedule?
Be mindful of what your target audience’s concerns and interests are. Relevant events and holidays are a great opportunity to:
- Increase or decrease frequency strategically
- Change your uploading day and time
- Extend or shorten your episodes’ length
- Start a new series or season
How to Decide Your Podcasting Frequency
Deciding how often to release podcast episodes and when to do it can be tricky. But here are some key factors you should keep in mind:
- Your time and resources
- Your podcast’s niche
- Your target audience
- What the best days to post are
Let’s dive in!
Time and Resources
Before you start planning episodes, really contemplate the time you’ll need to produce them. Assign an expected duration to each of the activities involved.
If you don’t have much experience in podcasting, try to be generous with the time you assign each activity. That way, you can prevent running against the clock.
Here’s an example to guide you:
- Inviting a guest and setting an appointment - 1.5 hours (1 week before the episode goes live)
- Topic research and script writing - 2 hours (7-5 days before the episode goes live)
- Recording session - 3 hours (4 days before the episode goes live)
- Editing session - 2 hours (3 days before release)
- Teasing and announcing episode in social media - 1 hour (2 days before release)
- Publishing or programming episode - 30 minutes (24 hrs. before release)
- Promoting the episode on social media - 1 hour (on release day)
If you’re just starting your podcast, you’re probably managing it on your own or with a small team. Hence, your time and resources are likely to be limited. We advise you to start slow and put quality over quantity.
Focus your energy on producing value-rich and engaging episodes and promoting them effectively. That alone can take some time to master. As your show and team grow, you can begin to plan more frequent uploads or longer episodes.
Your Podcast’s Genre
Some podcast genres, like history or science, tend to involve complex explanations and lots of information.
These types of shows demand:
- Heavy research and profound scriptwriting
- Giving your audience the time they need to digest the information
A comedy podcast, for instance, can rely on lighter scripting and maybe no research at all. Also, listeners probably won’t stream the same episode twice, at least for some time, since they already know the jokes.
Your Target Audience
There is a difference between making a podcast aimed at teenagers, Millennials, or adults over 40. Their podcast-consuming behaviors vary considerably from one another.
A study from 2021 in the U.S. and Canada found that out of the surveyed generations:
- 43% of Gen Zs consume podcasts weekly or more
- 48% of Millennials consume podcasts weekly or more
- 23% of Boomers listen to podcasts at least weekly
- 17% of members of the Greatest Generation (people born around WW2) listen to podcasts at least weekly.
Younger generations seem to be way more immersed in podcast listening. So, if your target audience belongs there, it would make sense that you release new episodes once or twice a week.
The Best Day to Release Podcast Episodes
Many studies made between 2018 and 2019 indicate that the best day to release a podcast episode is Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
However, we recommend that you start with an open mind and test what suits best with your audience. While consistency is important, you can take the first months to experiment and discover what day and time your audience prefers.
Another way of discovering audience preferences is by simply asking them. Consider conducting a survey on Instagram or Twitter. This tool is also super useful to fuel engagement and interaction with your community.
How to Plan a Podcast Schedule
At this point, you may be wondering how to start planning your podcast schedule.
- Brainstorming ideas
- Setting up a calendar
- Assigning tasks
- Tracking progress
- Monitoring your workflow
Let’s take a closer look.
Gather your team and brainstorm topics for future episodes. Come up with tentative episode titles and list them.
Set Up Your Podcast Calendar
Choose a planning tool and set your publishing calendar for each episode idea. Share this document with your team so they can add references, ideas, or even start briefing the episode in each entry.
List all of the necessary tasks for creating each episode and assign them to the right person on your team. You can even create another calendar for your workflow and set specific deadlines.
Keep Track of Progress
Most planning tools will allow you to use parameters like “status” to indicate whether a task is pending, in progress, or finished. It’s key that each team member clearly communicates what they’re busy with and how close to their goal they are. That way, the whole team can have a clear vision of what to do next.
Additionally, tracking progress can help you to detect when something will take longer than expected.
Monitor Your Workflow
Monitoring your workflow is very important when you have multiple people working on the same project. It will allow you to see whether your current podcast schedule is working smoothly, or if it's time to reevaluate it and improve your processes.
Our Top 8 Tools for Podcast Planning
Creating a podcast episode and planning a schedule involves multiple steps. Luckily, there are many tools that can help you speed up the process.
Here we’ve compiled a list of useful tools and platforms for:
- Guest tracking
- Workflow & podcast calendar management
Let’s dive in!
Inviting a potential guest requires a lot of back-and-forths, confirming dates, discussing potential topics, and more. Here are some platforms that allow you to automate guest scheduling and easily coordinate with your guests:
- Zoho Bookings, an online scheduling tool that integrates with the rest of the Zoho suite, allowing you to plan, schedule, record, store and summarize your guest interviews
- SavvyCal, a simple and accessible scheduling tool
- Koalendar, a SavvyCal alternative that offers simplicity and great integrations at a lower price point
- Podmatch, a platform that matches podcast hosts with potential guests
Workflow Management & Podcast Calendar
In this section, we’ll cover apps that can help you visualize tasks and monitor your team. But that’s not all! These platforms can also function as a content planner for both episodes and social media posts.
- Monday, an all-in-one planning tool for teams
- Notion, a versatile and minimalist planning & knowledge management tool
- Asana, a task-tracking tool designed for scale
- Evernote, a robust note-taking app with collaborative features
Time to Promote Your Podcast
After you create and upload each new episode, you’ll have to promote it. Otherwise, you won’t reach your target listeners.
Most social media platforms favor short videos. Luckily, this is a very suitable format to promote podcast episodes. And audiograms are the way to go.
With Audiotease, you can create audiograms of your episode highlights, and customize them to match your brand. Create eye-catching audiograms and connect with new listeners on social media. No editing skills or design experience needed.
Discover Audiotease today. Create your first audiogram for free.