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How to make podcasting easier with seasons

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How to make podcasting easier with seasons

Break your show up into bite-sized pieces

If you’re new to podcasting you might be worried that once you start you’ll be stuck churning out episodes every week for the rest of your life.

And while consistency is key, breaking your show into seasons can be a great way to take some of the pressure off so you can make sure you’re delivering episodes on time and sounding their best.

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What are podcast seasons?

Just like in television, seasons in podcasting are a way to separate your content into smaller self-contained batches that you release over time.

How you approach the content of each season is entirely up to you, as long as it all makes sense under the umbrella concept of your show.

Each season could focus on a different story or topic so you’re starting fresh with each batch of episodes.

Or you might have the same style of content across every episode e.g. an interview series, but you release your show in batches with a break in between.

Should you start a new feed for every new podcast idea?

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How do podcast seasons work?

Instead of uploading an episode every week for the rest of your life, you might release a season of five, 10, or 20 episodes.

The number is entirely up to you but you want to pick a number that makes sense for your content.

There’s also no hard and fast rule about how long you can have off in between, which means you can make decisions based on what’s best for your life and your content.

Just make sure you give your audience as much information as possible so they know when a new episode doesn’t turn up in their feed, you haven’t disappeared entirely, you’re just on a break.

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?

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Do you have to keep making new seasons?

If your podcast wraps up perfectly in one season it doesn’t have to come back again.

In fact, if your content is evergreen, you can keep promoting it on social media and driving new listeners even when you’re not releasing new episodes.

One of my favourite podcasts of all time, S Town, was a single season of content told over seven episodes.  The story unfolded perfectly over those episodes so there wasn’t a need for more and that show has been consistently getting listens for years after the last episode dropped (although there are rumours they’re going to release a season two).

While this is definitely something you can think about doing, when you’re starting a show from scratch, it can be a difficult strategy if you want to build an audience because it takes a while for people to find a new show.

Dropping episodes consistently over a longer period of time is a much better approach if you don’t have a huge marketing machine behind you or an existing audience (S Town was made by the people who produced Serial so they had an audience and the cred to get it noticed even with a small number of episodes).

Having said that, if your show content is best suited to a finite number of episodes that’s fine and it can free you up to move on to your next idea.

If, however, your show is suited to more than one season then how many episodes you drop each season is entirely up to you.

Remember that building an audience takes time so it’s best to be regularly releasing episodes but it’s also your show and your life so you know what you’re able to commit to.

Why you should batch record your podcast

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What are the benefits of podcast seasons?

It makes your podcast more manageable

Releasing episodes in blocks means you can batch record ahead of time which helps you stay on top of your release schedule.

It’ll also give you a chance to take a break between seasons so you’re not crawling over the Christmas finish line ready for a nervous breakdown.

It keeps your show interesting

If you release an episode every week in perpetuity you’ll rarely get a chance to make changes or improvements because you’re too busy trying to get a new show out every week.

Releasing your podcast in seasons means you’ll have time in between to look at what needs changing and make improvements.

During this time you could survey your audience to find out what they liked or just change up some of the things that didn’t work for you.

It helps you plan your show content

Doing a show on the fly each week doesn’t give you much ability to think strategically about what each episode is about and how you should plan out your content ahead of time.

If you break your show into seasons you can look at what’s coming up and plan out your episodes according to what’s best for the show and your audience.

The great thing about seasons is they give you the flexibility to think more creatively and keep things interesting for your listeners and more manageable for you.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

 

6 Comments
  1. John Francis says:

    Seriously Rachel, this is gold. I’m really enjoying your tips, and the humour that accompanies them. I’m planning my launch for end of February ‘22. There are definitely a few themes, so breaking into seasons makes sense. Given I have to build an audience, based on your advice I’ll try to aim for 20 in the first season. I’ve got my gear ready to go (2x Rode Podmics, and Rodecaster console), and content fizzing. Exciting!

    1. rcorbett says:

      Awesome news John! Really glad you’re finding the tips useful! Best of luck with your podcast. Rach

  2. Vivi says:

    Dear Rachel,
    thank you for this article. Very interesting.
    Does that make sense to name a season ? or should it be numbered ?
    i was thinking about beginning multiple seasons…easir if it is named and not numbered….thank you for your guidance 🙂

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Vivi, I’ve got some info about that here – https://rachelcorbett.com.au/blog/episode-numbers/. If numbering your episodes is going to be useful for navigation that’s fine but just remember that you haven’t got a massive amount of real estate to play with in your episode titles so you want to make sure you’re using that space to entice new listeners rather than filling it with too much admin. Hope that helps! Rach

  3. Andrew C says:

    I really like this idea. I’m looking for a good podcast hosting solution which enables me to create differently named seasons for the same podcast. So far, I can’t find any that do this. Can you recommend one?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Andrew, You can just do that in the title of your episodes or you can change the episode artwork for each season and just put S1/S2 etc at the start of each episode title. There are settings in the back end of your podcast host where you can select which season each episode falls into and this metadata appears in Apple Podcasts but not in all podcast apps so often you’ll need to use some of the real estate in episode titles to separate seasons. Hope that helps. Rach

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