When you create a podcast that will be delivered in seasons, you want your content to be engaging and keep bring your listeners back.
There are many way to accomplish this.
The other thing that you face is the fact that you don’t want you listeners to lose interest because the podcast season is too long.
Now you may be wondering
How long should my podcast season be?
Most podcast seasons are between 5 and 20 episodes. There is no proper length. You just want the content to be intriguing enough and build enough that your listeners want to listen to all of the seasons.
Let’s look at the topic of podcast season length in more depth.
Seasonal podcasts vs episodic podcasts
As you may already know, there are generally two types of podcast publications – episodic and seasonal.
Most podcasts are episodic.
That is, they are published in episodes where each episode is its own topic.
Sure, the episodes are all generally about one broad topic, but the individual episode topics don’t usually depend on other episodes.
With seasonal podcasts however, the episodes are grouped into larger topics.
Usually for between 5 to 10 episodes, the topics all build on the last.
Planning Podcast Seasons
To make your podcast season length appropriate, you have to start with a plan.
Start off by thinking about the broader topic that your podcast is about.
Is your podcast about technology, farming, history?
Maybe, you already know your podcast’s main topic.
If so, great.
Then you need to think about a topic that you want to make the season about.
If you don’t already have a topic in mind, you could think about questions that people often ask you.
If you’re a history teacher for an example, you may get lots of questions about the Roman empire.
So, maybe you make season 1 of your ancient history podcast about the Roman empire.
Whatever topic you choose, make sure you are comfortable making several episodes about the topic.
If it would take more than 20 episodes to cover the topic in depth, you may want to nitche down a little bit and choose a more focused topic.
Note: Some people make a season a whole year with weekly episodes. That means a season would be 52 episodes long. While I think that may a little much time, it really depends on the topic.
In the example of our Ancient history podcast, you may choose to make a season about the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire.
Once you have the season topic, start thinking about the sub topics that would become episodes.
Include bullets points that may be in each episode.
This will help you ensure that you have not put more content topics into an episode than you’ll have time to discuss.
At this point, you should have a pretty clear idea about the podcast season length needs.
Remember, there’s no correct season length.
It really depends on the intrigue of the topic, how interesting the episodes are, and what story you have to tell.
Benefits of podcast seasons rather than episodes
Like everything pretty much, there are both benefits and drawbacks to podcasting in seasons.
Let’s look at them.
Better learning experience
If you think about the way we learn things, we learn better when things build.
That’s why everything was structured the way it was when you went to school.
Each year your studies built upon what you had learned the previous year.
This is one of the benefits of seasonal podcasts, especially those that are teaching something.
As the podcast host, you can spend time going much more in depth on a topic than if you are always jumping around various topics.
Getting around & binge listening
There’s no doubt, when people listen to podcasts they want to learn something.
You may have an episodic podcasts that covers online businesses like the Smart Passive Income podcast for example.
But what if I am presently looking for tips on building my email list?
Then, I have to dig through your podcast looking for the episodes on that topic.
Trust me, that can be very frustrating and time consuming.
If the podcast were organized by seasons, with one of the seasons being on email list building, that would be marvelous for me as a listener.
Then, I’d likely end up binge listening to a lot of it as well.
I’d also be likely to come back to your podcast when I’m looking for more content.
So remember this when you are deciding what format your podcasts will be.
As we discussed, there is no set limit on how long seasonal podcast seasons should be.
It depends on many factors.
To figure out what is appropriate for your podcast, sit down and plan out the season.
Look at the topics you plan to discuss and how long you expect them to be.
From there, you can figure out your estimated podcast season length.