Podcast editing is the secret-magic-sauce for putting out a captivating show. If you want to start a podcast people will rave about and share with their friends, half the battle happens in the edit. And there’s a trick.
The two best pieces of writing advice I ever received were from a ten-time NY Times bestselling author: Neil Strauss. He’s known for being an exceptionally captivating writer, amongst other more tawdry endeavors. And I had the great pleasure of being his marketing sidekick and staff writer for roughly six years. (This isn’t to brag, it’s just to set the tone here.)
I learned two main lessons about great content production. They’ve carried over into how I approach crafting podcasts. And I’m going to share them both with you.
The first nugget was to make each sentence make the reader want to read the next word. This means every word must count. And it leads us to the next insight.
The second bit of advice Neil shared was to spend as much or more time taking words off a page as you do putting them on the page. In other words, editing your work is as or more important than the work.
Great Podcast Editing is about Content Refinement
But that’s writing, you say.
But the differences between the written word and spoken word are minor. The same principle of removing the fluff, puff, junk, and filler words apply.
You see, you can have less than ideal audio, but if your content makes people beg for more, they’ll largely forget audio quality. This is the difference between making a podcast and making a podcast people rave about and share with their friends.
There are two options for editing a podcast episode:
- Edit the recording yourself
- Use an outside editor
But this mechanical view of editing forgets the most important part of editing: Deciding what stays and what goes.
Anyone can verbally vomit into a microphone; it’s not hard to talk about something you care about at length.
But it takes great care to make spectacular edits to your episodes.
I make a goal to cut 5-minutes for every thirty minutes recorded. Some recordings were cut by as much as 63 percent! This translated into cutting 75 minutes of a 120-minute recording. Yes, this was a lot of work. But the result was stellar.