We get it. You’re capable. You learned how to edit your podcast and that’s great. But, ask yourself should you be editing your podcast? Or, should you hire a podcast editor? And, how do you hire the right editor? How much does a podcast editor cost?
There are a lot of questions that come up anytime someone considers hiring an editor. They are similar questions that come up when a new podcaster thinks about hiring an editor. And they’re good questions.
Before we dive into these important questions, let’s tackle the elephant in the room.
Well, at least let’s offer him some peanuts. I mean, he’s huge and this is a small room and I don’t think things would go well if we actually tackled him.
First things first, what the heck is a podcast editor?
On the surface, this is an easy question to answer. A podcast editor assembles the audio pieces of each episode to the state where it is ready to be published.
Pretty smartsy-fartsy definition, don’t you think?
The problem is this. We can have a dictionary-like definition but out on the mean streets of podcasting, it won’t hold up.
Here’s why. There are thousands of people calling themselves editors doing a huge range of duties that amount to an episode being ready to publish.
Let me show you some examples you’ll find on the spectrum of podcast editors:
- Takes audio pieces and puts them together.
- Takes audio pieces and puts them together, removes ums, ahs and gaps (using AI)
- Takes audio pieces and puts them together, removes ums, ahs and gaps manually while listening to the show.
- Takes audio pieces and puts them together, removes ums, ahs and gaps manually while listening to the show, sweetens audio, adds music and sound effects.
- Takes audio pieces and puts them together, removes ums, ahs and gaps manually while listening to the show, sweetens audio, adds music and sound effects, and makes editorial decisions about the content of the episode.
And there are a lot of variations in between. The point is, not all podcast editors are the same so we can’t really cover them off with one simple definition.
Now that we are on the same page about the spectrum of podcast editors available, let’s talk about if you need one.
There are a few of reasons you might need an editor:
- You don’t know how to edit and you have no intention of learning
- You learned how to edit and you are discovering that the learning curve is steep
- You have the money and know your time is better spent generating income in your business instead of editing.
- Your show quality is not aligned with the caliber of your brand.
Do any of these fit the bill?
Then let’s move on to the next step of questions… What level of podcast editor do you need and how the heck do you find a good one?
As mentioned, there are a lot of editors out there. Some really great editors, some good editors, and some “editors”. I’m not throwing shade here but the podcast editing arena is no different than a lot of other online service providers’ arenas. Some are there because they are educated, experienced and passionate, and some are there because they found an app online that can edit podcasts and they discovered they can make a lot of money using it.
So, let me give you a few tips on how to wade through this sea of available podcast editors.
- Get a referral. If you have any podcast friends who have great sounding podcasts… ask them who edits their show.
- Hire an editor like you’re hiring a team member… because you are. Check qualifications, interview multiple candidates, listen to their work, and ask important questions about their process. (I go into detail on this in this episode so be sure to listen).
- Do a test edit. You may have to pay for this but some editors will do it for free especially if it’s a show that’s already aired. That way you can compare what you did to what they would do with the raw audio. (I don’t think I have to say this but just in case, it’s not okay to publish an episode edited as a test. If it’s good enough to publish, pay the editor).
Doing the Math on Hiring a Podcast Editor
And, the final question. The one that everyone wants to know. How much does a podcast editor charge?
How long is a piece of string?
There are so many factors that go into an editor’s rate. And, remember there is a wide range of editors who approach editing in a very different way.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to cop out here. I know you want answers.
Generally speaking, podcast editors could charge per episode, per raw minutes to be edited, per hour of their time, or even as a fixed rate per month.
And this can result in a single episode edit costing $30 – $500. It all depends on the editor’s experience, the finesse they have, the complexity of your show, and what’s included in their process. The middle range for a solid edit per episode is around the $100-150 range. Add ons may be part of a fixed package like uploading, audiograms or graphics for social media, show notes, and publishing to your website.
When discussing cost with your potential editors, make sure you know what you’re getting. And, check their terms too (some editors will charge for overtime or late delivery of raw audio).
There is a lot to consider when hiring an editor but, if you get it right, it’s like buying back your time.
Want to know if your show needs an editor’s touch? I’m not available for editing but I can guide you in the right direction. Just book your Free 15-minute Coaching Call.
Listen to more 5-minute episodes, explore my resources and check out my coaching packages at https://podcastperformancecoach.com/
Got a Question? Contact me: