How to Edit a Podcast in 5 Minutes


Introduction: Making and Editing Podcasts

It may seem like everyone has a podcast, but you shouldn't feel the market is too saturated to jump in with your own. Podcast listeners have an insatiable desire to consume more quality podcasts, and new shows pop up every day that become must-listens.

So don't be discouraged just because you’re not a big name. You can build your platform by making quality shows, after all. And the listening audience is hungry for quality.

Making podcasts is also increasingly easy, with technology far more user-friendly and accessible than ever before. Once, you had to go to an expensive studio with highly trained engineers to get good, crisp audio. These days, you can do your recording at home and still get nice-sounding vocals. All you have to worry about is the quality of the content, plus the right music. With those two crucial elements, you can end up with a polished and presentable podcast your listeners will love. 

How Do You Quickly Edit Podcasts?

Recording your podcast is one thing, but editing may seem more daunting. Rest assured, you can edit your podcast more quickly than you fear. Most of the paths to a shorter editing period are just common sense. 

How Long Does It Take To Edit a Podcast on Average? 

The length of the editing process does depend on how complex your material is. A good estimate is that it takes two or three times a podcast's running time to edit it, which can expand depending on how many elements you have (interviews, archival material, and so on). The first episode could take five times the length of your running time, since you're setting your tone with the pilot and may go through some trial and error. 

However, if you have clean audio to work with, the fastest way of editing is just to go through and clean up any um's, ah's, and coughs. You could even play it on 2x speed to listen (and there's a handy hint below, too) and just snip those out, in which case you could probably edit your podcast in a matter of minutes. If you have your intro and outro music already selected, it only takes a couple more minutes to lay it down and make sure it's well-placed. Then you can hit publish and you're done.

How Do You Edit a Podcast Episode? 

Podcast audio editing can be quick but should be methodical. Start with the big picture — the shape of the interview, for example — then get more specific, trimming repetitions and glitches.

Many people like podcasts around the 30-minute mark. So just cut it down till you feel like it's pacey and entertaining, add some music — then hit publish. Keep improving episodes as you go. As the saying goes, perfect is the enemy of good. 

What Can I Use to Edit My Podcast?

Editing a podcast is easy with the right audio editing software. 

Two popular choices are ProTools and Adobe Audition. Remember that you don't need to know all of a platform's functions to edit a terrific podcast. You probably just need some basic tools such as how to make cuts and dissolves. 

GarageBand comes free with Macs and is also perfectly serviceable; it offers drag-and-drop audio tracks that are easily visualizable. Audacity is another free platform that's simple and easy. is a popular podcasting platform that records native audio on your computer (meaning you don't have to worry about a wonky Wi-Fi connection) and also simplifies the editing process. Many professionals and larger companies use it, and its interface is very user-friendly.

Once you've edited your show, there is software available to speed up the process of compressing it and making it sound better, like Alitu, which automates a process that used to be very time-consuming.

How can you make your editing time as lean and efficient as possible? Follow these four tips:

1. Don't Record Too Much

Be aware that the more raw material you have, the more time it will take to shape. 

How long does it take to edit a 60-minute podcast? It can take far less than the time it took to record it, particularly if you have your music and sound effects ready to go. A practiced editor could do it in five minutes (see tip number 4). But if you're just learning, bear in mind that it will take you far less time to edit a 30-minute podcast than an hour-long one.

2. Make Your Workspace Efficient and Pleasant

Editing a podcast is a detail-oriented endeavor. You should do whatever you can to make it a pleasant work environment (especially if you're working from home). Set up your workspace for success, including such elements as:

  • Good lighting
  • Comfortable seating
  • Good speakers (and monitors, if you're editing video podcasts, too)
  • Accessories to speed things along, like smart keyboards

Don't neglect aesthetics as well as tech. Being happy when you work makes a big difference to creativity, just as being creative boosts your happiness, too. 

3. Organize Your Material First

You can make your editing and post-production process a lot smoother by organizing your production and recording phase. Take note if your guest says something great and note the timecode. Transcription software like can also help you keep track of the flow of a conversation and help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

With those three tips in mind, you can really whittle down your editing time. Podcast editing admittedly can also stretch out to eternity if you let it, so make sure to give yourself a deadline when you work: If you're committed to putting out an episode a week, you'll need to keep your editing time on the lean side. And your editing skills will only get better (and more streamlined) the more content you edit. 

You'll probably want to add music and the odd sound effect after you edit. You can save time during post-production by auditioning music and sound effects first and making a long list of music and sound effects you think will work for your desired tone.

4. Use Smart Editing Hacks

The "three-click method" used by podcaster Colin Gray is ingenious; wherever there's an obvious place that he's messed up, he makes three tongue clicks into the mic, which show up as three peaks on an audio waveform. These are easy to spot and leave you with a great visual reminder of what you need to cut, without having to listen to an entire show again.

The Lowdown on How to Start a Podcast and Make Money from It

You have a great idea — but where do you go with it? Here are some simple guides to getting listeners and being the best podcast host you can be.

How to Find, Invite, and Prepare Guests for a Podcast Interview

If you're looking for guests, follow your interests. You'll make the most sincere appeals to guests whose work you know and whom you're honestly a fan of. Once you have a few episodes out there, you can start to build on your momentum and find other guests — including some who may be bigger names than you thought possible. It's always easier if you have a point of connection with someone. But feel free to reach out via agents, social media platforms like Twitter, or simply the contact page of a website, if your desired guest has one.

If you're respectful of people's time, you could surprise yourself with the guests you can land. But don't feel compelled to only go after big names. If you're funny with a friend, invite your friend on to be your cohost. 

Prepare them with a brief chat or email beforehand to let them know what you're focusing on. But don't prepare too much, as you don't want to squash the spontaneity of the interview. Also bear in mind that your guests may have different interests. Maybe you have Bruce Miller, the producer of Handmaid's Tale, on as a guest. You could talk to him about the show — or also its bigger concerns. Listeners appreciate questions that yield surprising answers. The editor of the Sioux City Journal may want to talk about Sioux City, but maybe they have other interests they want to discuss, too.

How Many Hours Does It Usually Take to Put Together a Good Podcast Episode?

Follow your interests, and chances are you'll be able to put together a good podcast with a few hours' planning, a half hour of recording, and a half hour of editing and polishing. That's because you've done a lot of prep just by reading up on politics, books, movies, sports, Brad Pitt, Iowa politics — or whatever your subject matter is.

How Much Time Would It Take to Learn Podcast Editing If I Have Zero Knowledge of It Until Now?

You can master the basics of podcast editing in less than an hour with YouTube tutorials and just playing around. Chances are you're used to the format of drag-and-drop from other software and platforms. 

Once It’s Up, How Do You Get People to Find It?

The important thing to remember is quality. Word of mouth is your most important asset. Make sure your interviews are sharp and interesting and that your music is top-quality. You don't need fancy hardware to make a podcast, after all — you can even do it on your phone with some extras.

Software like Buzzsprout makes it easy to click one button and send your podcast to all the major platforms, like Google Podcasts, Apple, Spotify (and so on). Your podcast is hosted on a directory, which then sends it out to all the major podcast bazaars you may be familiar with. You can read more about the publishing process here.

Getting people to listen involves marketing as well as distribution. Follow these hints:

  • Nicely written, clear show notes help direct listeners to your show. Write up a fun-sounding summary and make it clear what your show is about. If it's about money and finances, make sure one of those words is in the title.
  • Social media is an important tool. Twitter and Instagram (for video podcasts) are especially crucial for podcast marketing purposes.
  • Your guests can help you get the word out themselves, particularly if they have their own followers on social media.
  • You can consider buying ads on social media, too. Facebook ads can be effective at targeting your audience by niche.

Now to the part about you getting paid for your quality work. Advertising can be a significant source of income for successful podcasts, but you do have to get a following before you'll be able to monetize your show. 

Finding a successful angle on a topic that's of interest to one specific audience may be a helpful way to break through, as finding a name sponsor for your podcast can be a reliable source of revenue. Very popular shows sell merchandise, do live shows, and possibly even can become intellectual property (IP) for future adaptations (though these tend to be true crime and other reported shows).

One of your best strategies for eventually monetizing your podcast is to create a lot of episodes. The more content you have, the better your chances of it catching on with a wider audience.

Podcast: The All-Important Outro

If you're looking for one of the most surefire ways to add excitement to your podcast, podcast music adds emotion, pace, and fun to any podcast. It also makes editing easier and faster to have a theme you can return to as a connection between segments or segue. And if you're looking for a shortcut to getting the best music for your podcast, subscribe to today. has a large library of quality music for podcasts of all kinds and genres, which you can search by BPM, instrumentation, and emotional tone. And best of all, any music you get on is royalty-free, so once you pay for it once it's yours to use forever, in as many contexts as you like. 

If you find the perfect theme song or podcast intro music for your podcast on, you can use it in as many episodes as you like, free of any copyright or legal headaches. has music from an array of excellent composers looking for a new creative outlet, and its music is designed to be the best royalty-free music for podcasts out there. Get in touch with today and sign up for a subscription plan that allows you access to curated collections today!

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