Profile of two women planning at a desk, one with calendar and another on a laptop.

How do I create the best production timeline for my podcast?

We know it can be challenging to maintain consistent podcast content and publishing schedules. Suppose you don’t already have a defined plan and try to cope with jugging all your many podcast production tasks. In that case, you will benefit from creating a production calendar for your podcast.

What Is a Podcast Production Calendar?

How many episode ideas do you have for your podcast? Have you got guests lined up for your upcoming shows? What are the publication dates for your episodes? Without a plan to keep track of all this, you can end up in a big muddle. A podcast editorial calendar helps you become organized. It’s a highly useful tool that provides you with an overview of your podcast production process. You can keep track of where each episode is in development, your topic for the show, when you will publish your episode, and much more.

Why Do I Need a Production Calendar?

Your audience will expect your show to be published at regular intervals and will often make it part of their routine. 

“Imagine one of your listeners tries to download your newest episode as he steps on the treadmill, only to learn that you haven’t published on time. Not only will he have to find a new podcast for his workout, he may look for more reliable shows to fill his time.” Denise, Castos 

Each time you fail to deliver an episode on time, you risk losing some fans. An editorial calendar will help you stick to your publication schedule and retain and grow your audience.

If you are part of a podcast team, having a production calendar provides each team member with a timeline of when things need to get done and who’s responsible. If you need help organizing your team, here’s a useful guide about who does what on a podcast team.

What Usually Goes Into a Podcast Production Calendar?

Podcast editorial calendars will vary depending on the type of show and what items are most important to production. Set your calendar up in the form of a spreadsheet or a Google Calendar. Or, you could use a project management tool like Airtable, Asana, or Trello. Typical headings that you would choose to place on your calendar are:

  • Season
  • Episode Number
  • Episode Name
  • Episode Description
  • Episode Duration
  • Premium Listener Episode
  • Production Stage
  • Host
  • Guest Speaker
  • Editorial Deadline
  • Release Date
  • Sponsors
  • Distribution Sites
  • Transcription Date 

If you need help planning out a podcast episode, RØDE Blog has created an episode planning guide that you may find useful. Sarah Rhea Werner also describes a typical step-by-step process to produce a podcast episode, including an estimated timeline for each stage. 

Your podcast production calendar may evolve. It is also helpful to include your social media schedule, the deadline for sending out your podcast newsletter, or when you need to do guest outreach

Having an organized calendar will also be helpful should you need to rearrange episodes. If something timely or more interesting comes up, slot it in earlier. If a pre-planned topic no longer makes sense, cut it out. You can see what works best at a glance and be prepared to change it up.

If you need some assistance with your podcast timeline, put Podcast Taxi on your calendar and give us a call.

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