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How Long Should an Episode of a Podcast Be?

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How long should your podcast be? As I’m scrolling through the various podcasts I listen to on a regular basis, it’s tough to get a gauge of how long one should be.

Let The Content Be Your Guide

Ok, I felt kind of lame just writing that headline.

At the end of the day though, unless you’re doing a show live on a radio station, it isn’t like you need to worry about length too much. The short answer I always give people is “Make it as long as it’s interesting”

Podcasting is on-demand content, so take as long as you need to create a great episode. Maybe you have 9 minutes of interesting things to say about your specific topic, maybe you have a good guest on and you could do two hours.

I’d be more worried about going too long as opposed to hitting a specific goal.

Should All Episodes Be the Same Length?

See above. If you’ve said what needs to be said and you’re happy with the content, call it an episode. But at the same time don’t but things short because you happened to hit 20 minutes.

After you get some episodes under your belt you’ll develop a system, process, and routine in place for putting your episodes together. You might find your episodes are all similar lengths because that’s generally how long it takes to do it.

Having some consistency can help give your audience an idea of what to expect out of every episode.

How long Is Too Long?

One of the biggest podcasts out there is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Those episodes tend to be 3 hours long, sometimes more. Normally they have multiple episodes too. But if you’re a history wonk, you’re interested and keep listening. Also, if you’re board and on a really long road trip.

Of course Dan Carlin already has an audience. If audiences are just stumbling on your show and all of the episodes are 180 minutes, it might be tough to get them to check you out. It’s a delicate balance.

So basically, you shouldn’t feel boxed in by length. Never feel compelled to cut short good content just for the sake of hitting a specific time. But also be mindful of your listeners and don’t waste their time.

Also, if you have an idea for a podcast that could potentially go 180 minutes talking about history, we should probably talk. You’re my kind of person.

Keith Conrad got his first job in radio in Huntsville, Alabama the day after the 2000 Presidential election when he was a freshman in college. He’s produced radio shows in Huntsville, Milwaukee, WI, Atlanta, GA and finally back in his hometown of Chicago. Currently he lives in Forest Park, Illinois with his wife Misty just steps away from Chicago's Blue Line. The train goes by so often you don’t even notice it. Keith has been dabbling in the Internet arts for a while now, in various roles both professional and just for fun.

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