What is the Ideal Length For a Solo Podcast Episode?

How long should a podcast episode be? Episode 009 of Solo Podcasting Simplified gives you the answer!

Table of Contents

How Long Should a Podcast Episode Be?
The 2 Most Important Factors to Consider When Determining Episode Length
A Common Misconception About Episode Length Debunked
The Episode Length That Let’s You Make a Significant Impact

In Episode 009 of Solo Podcasting Simplified, Jason Cercone shares his thoughts on finding an ideal length for your solo podcast episodes and reveals the “sweet spot” that makes life easier when it comes to creating and consuming podcast content.

Or connect to this episode on:
Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  Google Podcasts  |  Amazon Music  |  iHeartRadio  |  Podcast Addict  |  YouTube

Like This Episode? Give It ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Here

How Long Should a Podcast Episode Be?

If you’ve been looking for a question that has a myriad of answers, this is the one.

When you look at the number of podcasts actively producing content today, it’s hard to pinpoint a specific timeframe because all of them are so different.

Some podcasts clock in around five minutes.

Others go 2-3 hours.

According to The Social Shepard, the average podcast length is 20-40 minutes.

OK, so how do you make sense of this wide range of times and determine what works for your solo podcast?

It’s not as complicated as it may seem.

In reality, there are just two key factors to focus on that will help you create content your ideal listeners want to consume without putting you in a position to break your back trying to keep up with a laborious production schedule.

How long should a podcast episode be? It all comes down to two important factors...

The 2 Most Important Factors to Consider When Determining Episode Length

Finding the ‘sweet spot’ for your content is key when determining how long a podcast episode should be. 

To do this, it’s critical to look at two very important factors:

How much time does your ideal listener have to consume an episode?

If your target listener, for example, listens to podcasts on their way to work, working out at the gym, or taking a walk, you want to ensure they can consume your content in its entirety in one “sitting.”

Say their commute is roughly 30 minutes. If you give them a podcast that’s 1.5 hours long, that will take three commutes.

Give them something they can consume from start to finish each and every episode you produce.

How much time do you have to dedicate to your podcast each week?

When operating, growing, and maintaining a consistent podcast, it’s important to identify how much time you can devote to recording, editing, building assets, and promoting your podcast each week.

Let’s say you have two hours a week to dedicate. If you record an episode that’s upwards of two hours in length, all your time will be gobbled up in Phase 1 and will leave you scrambling to accomplish everything else in a timely manner.

This will inevitably lead to burnout because no one can maintain a schedule of that magnitude.

Be sure you create content that’s manageable for you and your team to create and publish in consistent fashion.

The most successful podcasts cater to their target listener and give them exactly what they’re looking for: value, guidance, entertainment, and transformation…all wrapped up in a tight little package that’s easy to consume while doing other activities they enjoy.

Before determining how long your podcast episode should be, first identify how much time your ideal listener has to listen and how much time you can can dedicate each week to ensure episodes release consistently and maintain high quality standards.

A Common Misconception About Episode Length Debunked

When you consult the World Wide Web for answers to a problem, the typical approach is to find a viable solution as quickly as possible.

If given the option to watch a 3-minute video, 5-minute video, or 9-minute video on how to fix an issue with your toilet, the first one you’d select is the 3-minute option because you want answers ASAP so you can fix the issue and move on with life, right?

That said, for whatever reason, some podcasters believe their episodes will lack value if they don’t clock in at a specific length.

In other words, they believe their episodes MUST BE 30 minutes long, so they add in filler (longer intro music, longer monologues to start and/or end the show, “housekeeping” items, etc) to hit this number.

Do not fall into this trap!

Listeners are not pressing play on your podcast because of an arbitrary time stamp.

In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any podcast listener who’s ever said, “I can’t listen to this podcast, it isn’t long enough.”

Listeners show up because you bring value to their life.


If your message is valuable and brings listeners even 1% closer to the transformation they seek, no one in their right mind would complain the episode wasn’t long enough.

In fact, this creates a “leave ’em wanting more” mentality that will draw listeners back for future episodes and send them on a journey through your podcast’s catalog looking for more game-changing content to consume.

That’s what it’s all about.

You want to turn a listener off? Give them a bunch of filler and nonsense that damages their listening experience.

Focus on valuable content and strong messaging. Let time fall where it may.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Podcast Therapy: Success In Podcasting Begins With Mindset

How long should a podcast episode be? There's really no exact time, but if you land between 10 and 30 minutes for your solo productions, you set yourself up to make a significant impact on your audience with every episode you produce.The Episode Length That Allows You to Make a Significant Impact

OK, let’s revisit the initial question: how long should a podcast episode be?

By now, you’ve learned the following:

  • Episode length should be determined by your ideal listener’s consumption habits and the time you have to devote to your productions each week
  • Trying to hit an arbitrary time mark is a fool’s errand

So, what’s the episode length for a solo podcast that allows you to maintain a manageable production schedule AND make a significant impact on your audience? 

The answer: 10-30 minutes.

Let’s break this range down.

If you produce solo episodes that are under 10 minutes, you may not establish a strong enough connection with your listeners simply because they aren’t hearing your voice and message with enough frequency.

Now, a caveat to that episode length: producing content under 10 minutes per episode is fine IF you do more than one episode per week.

Prime example: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Daily podcast with episodes lengths ranging from 5-10 minutes. Over 2,000 episodes as of this publication of this blog post. Win.

That said, you don’t have to do a daily podcast to make this range work.

2-3 episodes per week in under 10 minute chunks gives your listener roughly 20-30 minutes of content to consume. When you consider the average weekly podcast is 20-40 minutes, this approach puts you in prime position to make an impact on your listener’s world.

Now, jumping to the opposite end of the spectrum…

Solo episodes over 30 minutes could lead to you “overstaying your welcome.”

Your ideal listener may have more than 30 minutes to consume your content, but even if they do, listening to one voice for that long may lead to a listener zoning out and not absorbing the full impact from your message.

Even if you keep the energy high for the duration, breaking that 30-minute threshold can cause a listener to check out before you reach the end.

Remember…we exist in a world where attention spans are getting shorter by the day. The fact you’ve been able to captivate a listener for an extended period of time is a great thing!

Don’t try to push it. Leave them wanting more.

Landing between 10 and 30 minutes is a great window that allows you to make a significant impact.

It may not seem like much, but time compounds. Each time you bring value and impact to your listener and do so in a timeframe that allows them to easily consume your message from start to finish without feeling rushed, you establish a stronger connection. 

This leads to increased trust and brings them closer to investing in your offer.

Another advantage: episodes within the 10-30 minute range make it easier to maintain a consistent production schedule. 

You can easily batch several episodes in advance and keep yourself well ahead on your episode release calendar.

If you’re starting a solo podcast or looking to make changes to an existing show, start by working within the confines of 10-30 minute episodes and see how things improve for you on multiple fronts.

How Can a Solo Podcast Help Your Brand? Let’s Talk.

How long should a podcast episode be? It all comes down to understanding your ideal listener's desires and how much time you have to dedicate to your show each week.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “What is the Ideal Length For a Solo Podcast Episode?”