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How many people should you have on your podcast?

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Is there a magic number?

When you’re thinking about how many people to have on your podcast your decision should always be based on what’s best for your audience and what’s best for your content.

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So, what’s a good number?

In radio, the magic number of co-hosts is three.  And while podcasting allows you much more flexibility than radio this is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow.

Because in my experience, anything over three starts to get tough to manage and here’s why…

It makes it more difficult to keep things on track

Wrangling more than three people as a host can be tough, especially if you’re recording remotely via Skype.

The more brains and mouths, the more potential for waffle and tangents.  And if you’re the one taking care of the business side of things it can be tough to reign everyone in.

Ideally, if you’ve got a show with more than two people you’d have one person responsible for keeping the show on the tracks.

In radio, they’re called an “anchor” and they’re in charge of things like moving onto the next piece of content or introducing/wrapping each segment or the show.

The more voices you have the more helpful it’ll be to have someone in this defined role so you know who’s responsible for keeping things moving.

How to record a podcast with people in different locations

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It increases editing time

The more people you have on a podcast the more time it’ll take to edit your show and the more difficult the edit will be.

Unless you’re all in perfect sync and manage to smash out an episode with no fluff or filler you’re going to have to spend a decent amount of time trimming the fat.

A perfect edit-free show isn’t impossible, it’s just very rare and gets even rarer the more co-hosts you have.

Do you need to edit your podcast?

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There’s more chance of “over talk”

This is when everyone talks at once and it’s not only frustrating to listen to it’s infuriating to edit because you can’t get a clean edit point.

The more people you have on your podcast the more potential for over talk, especially if you and your co-hosts are recording in different locations via Skype.

Ideally, you want the conversational ball to be passed from one person to the next seamlessly without anyone jumping on top of anyone else.  That becomes more difficult the more people you have on the show.

How to be an awesome podcast co-host

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It makes it hard for everyone to contribute equally

Anything over three people and it gets difficult for everyone to have their say.  This is particularly the case if you’ve got one or two very dominant co-hosts.

This is a problem, not just for the listener but also for the hosts.  Because if you’re on a show, you want to be contributing and there’s nothing worse than feeling like there isn’t room for you to jump in.

Should you podcast with a co-host?

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It’s confusing for your audience

Identifying voices can be almost impossible above a certain number and this is a problem because your audience needs to connect with everyone on the show individually.

To do this they need to be able to identify each voice.  But if you’ve got five, six, seven, or even eight voices it’s going to be a nightmare to work out who’s talking.

You don’t want your audience to have to expend a lot of mental energy listening to your podcast.   But if they spend the entire time thinking “Who the hell is talking?” it’s going to be hard for them to relax and enjoy the show.

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.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!