Production is definitely one of the trickier things to both learn and talk about as a self-taught podcaster, as there isn’t any one set production method or process. Processes (and how people manage them) can vary wildly depending on the person’s background, size of cast or crew, style of the podcast, etc. That said, here’s some starter information:
- Audio of Erin & Lee of Love and Luck presenting their production process at Audiocraft, and the slides to go with it
- More Pre-Pro, Less Problems: A Comprehensive Guide to Podcast Pre-Production
- Tips & Tricks for Fiction Podcasters (some tips on other things, but mostly focused on production terms, what they are, and how to do good casting calls)
- Not strictly production related, but this Session Zero checklist from Character Creation Cast is a great template for things you should discuss as a crew before starting an actual play podcast
How to manage the process
Obviously, production comes with a lot of moving parts, and it can be hard to keep track of where everything’s at at any given moment (and it only gets more complicated as you add more people to the process). Reading about the workflows of other creators can help, and I also recommend the following tools:
- Trello has a robust free plan and is easy to pick up. It’s kanban style, so the idea is that you start a card for each task (or in this case, podcast episode) and move it across the board from left to right as it moves through stages of production.
- Airtable is basically a spreadsheet, but cooler. It’s much more visually pleasing than any other spreadsheet tool I’ve ever tried, and you can view items on a calendar (great for release schedules!) or kanban board as well as in the spreadsheet view. Like Trello, they have a robust free plan that’s more than enough for your average podcaster, and they also have a huge library of content production templates to get you started, including a podcast editorial calendar.
- Google Sheets, if you’re spreadsheet-skilled, is also a perfectly good option. Spreadsheets without the fun things that Airtable adds break my brain for some reason, but lots of people use them to manage this. This template is geared towards blogging, but could be pretty easily modified.
As a bonus, all of these tools work with Zapier and/or IFTTT, so if you’re using them for production management, it’s not too much work to start using them to automate some of your marketing.