Why a Podcast Editor can’t be your Content Editor

One of my best clients sent a note about their recent interview:

“The beginning is slow but the end is very good. Crop out some of the beginning that you think is boring (your judgement call).”

While I love getting rid of unnecessary crutch words, noises, and pre-show chit-chat, asking your podcast editor to be your content editor might be a mistake.

Why a Podcast Editor can't be your Content Editor

Reason #1: You are the subject matter expert, not your podcast editor

Fortunately for me, the majority of my clients are from the same niche that I came from (personal finance, money, investing, etc). However, I might consider a segment of the conversation to be boring that could be an important key to the entire episode.

A mechanic could replace a transmission, but that doesn't mean he can cook a 4-star meal.

Reason #2: We haven't heard the context yet

As the host, you know the context of the interview. You were there the whole time.

For your podcast editor, it's the first time he/she has heard it.

The danger here is I might delete something that is referenced later in the conversation. “As I said earlier…” is a statement that is said quite often in podcast interviews.

“Again, …” is a statement that points listeners back to a part of the discussion that took place 5, 10, maybe 30 minutes ago. If I deleted what they are referencing “again”, then I just confused your audience and left them wondering about what they missed.

Reason #3: It'll cost you much more money

Podcast Editors COULD be content editors, but it involves a much greater time commitment.

We would need to review a transcript or listen to the entire conversation to know what's involved, THEN we can confidently delete sections of the conversation without fear of messing up the context.

The added time to finish the project would cost more time, which in turn will cost more money for the additional run-through.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE listening to podcasts. But I would rather get your product back to you sooner so I can move on to your next episode ๐Ÿ™‚

How to help your Podcast Editor edit your Content

Give clear instructions

Telling us to “Cut the part where we talk about [fill in the blank]” is helpful, but giving us instructions with more context is better:

“Cut the part where I ask about the [so-and-so]. Pick it up again when they start talking about their dog.”

Even better would be to say “About 20 minutes into the interview, I ask about the [so-and-so]. Please cut that entire part and pick it up again with my next question.”

Provide a transcription

A guest contacted my client to ask if a personal comment could be removed from the interview. Unfortunately, I already edited the show and don't remember where it was said.

Rather than going through the entire 32 minute interview again, I can quickly search the transcript to find the approximate location.

Cuts & restarts

This is by far the best solution: Give your editor a Cuts & Restarts list.

My client Paula Pant from the Afford Anything Podcast digs deep into her recordings to make sure only the best content is left in the episode. I provide her with a first draft for review, then she creates a “Cuts & Restarts” list for me.

A Cuts & Restarts list is a spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Column A: Where to begin the edit. Paula will give me a time-stamp and the first few words of the sentence where the cut will begin. For example: [46:50] — “then the rules for filing taxes”
  • Column B: Where to pick it back up. This column tells me where to end the cut, thus allowing me to delete everything in-between. For example: [46:59] — “your worldwide income is subject to…”
  • Column C contains additional notes like “I felt the pause between the sentence was a beat too long. Can you please trim this down?”

Paula also gives me a column with the time-stamps for a 30-60 second segment of audio she wants turned into an Audiogram. More about that in a later post ๐Ÿ™‚


Your Podcast Editor could be your Content Editor, but they really shouldn't. After all, that's not why you hired them.

Give your Podcast Editor clear instructions so they can help improve your episode for the benefit of your listener.


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1 Comment

  • FatDag

    February 18, 2018

    Thanks for sharing – good stuff as I look to take my content to the next level and search to build my ‘team’ of editors!