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Should I Batch Record My Podcast Episodes?

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Imagine you schedule five podcast recordings back to back and record a week’s worth of daily shows in less than three hours. That’s what’s known as batch podcast recording.

This means that, instead of setting up and preparing to record five times, you’re doing it only once. That alone is a big time saver, and for the busy podcaster, it can be liberating.

Batch podcast recording is a brilliant strategy in the right circumstances. But it won’t work for everyone. And just because many of the medium’s top (and most prolific) podcasters do it this way doesn’t necessarily mean you should too.

So, if you’re weighing up whether or not to batch record your podcast, then here are some things to take into account before you start.

Why Batch Podcast Recording Might Be a Bad Idea

There are a few potential pitfalls and downsides of batch podcasting recording. Here are the use cases where it might be a hindrance rather than a help or hack:

If You Haven’t Launched Your Podcast Yet

If you’re completely new to podcasting, then don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Focus on making one episode at a time.

To pull off the batch podcasting approach effectively, you need a certain degree of experience. Not just on the presentation side of things, but in knowing the ins and outs of your workflow, too.

It’s a bit like learning to drive. When you pass your test, you’ll probably make multiple short local journeys initially, and not just immediately set out on an 800-mile road trip.

If You’re an Inexperienced Podcaster

There’s also the issue of sustainability when presenting multiple consecutive episodes.

If you’re recording five episodes in one sitting, how will your energy levels in the first episode compare to the last one?

If there’s a noticeable difference here, then your audience is going to pick up on that, and your content may suffer.

More experienced presenters can maintain their energy and focus throughout multiple episodes because they’re well-practised.

But if you’re new to podcasting, everything is going to take more thought, more energy, and more work.

Batch podcasting, at this stage, will burn through your reserves pretty fast.

So again, you might want to try taking things one step at a time in the early days, until you find your feet with it all.

If It Doesn’t Fit Your Schedule

Not everyone has half a day per week or month to work on their podcast.

For some, it might be more a case of having twenty minutes per day, or an hour per week.

Others might not even have guaranteed dedicated times to work on their show. It may just be a case of grabbing whatever time they can, whenever they can.

So unless you have a very regimented and reliable schedule, batching might not be for you.

If Your Content is Time Sensitive

If you’re running a news, sports, or TV show podcast, then the times that you record your episodes will be crucial.

Recording a month’s worth of news stories in one go, to be released over the next four weeks, is going to be pretty pointless.

Batching is much more suited to ‘evergreen’ content.

So ask yourself if your episodes will still be as relevant and valuable a month or year into the future before you decide to batch-create them.

If You Rely on Audience Participation

Some podcasters build their episodes around audience engagement.

This can be anything from reading out emails or social media comments to playing listener voicemail clips.

In any case, if you’re batch-producing the next two month’s worth of episodes in advance, you can see why this might not work.

Either you’ll run out of content to spread over all these episodes, or listeners who’ve interacted with you might think you’ve ignored their feedback.

Neither of these is going to be good for your podcast, so I’d undoubtedly avoid batching if you’re in this situation.

Why Batch Podcast Recording Might Be a Good Idea

Many podcasters can and do make batching work for them.

With the reasons ‘against’ listed above, you can obviously turn these on their head from cons to pros. So if you’re an experienced podcaster, creating evergreen content, with one big chunk of time per month, then batching is definitely going to be worth thinking about.

And there are other reasons you might want to consider batch podcast recording, too.

If You Have a Non-Permanent Setup

Not every podcaster has the luxury of having a “studio” or microphone constantly set up, ready to hit record.

If part of your process is the unpacking and setting up of equipment (and tidying it all away afterwards), then the less amount of times you can do this, the better.

Similarly, maybe you don’t have any kind of podcasting rig at all, and you hire or borrow gear instead.

These are both scenarios where it would be useful to batch your recordings.

If You Struggle With Scheduling Times

It’s often not purely our own schedules we have to work around as podcasters.

If you run a co-hosted or interview show, maybe you find it difficult to arrange a suitable recording time together.

Perhaps this wasn’t a problem when you started the show, but your regular co-host has had a change of circumstances.

If both of you want to keep doing the podcast but are finding it difficult to make time, then batching might be an ideal solution.

Getting together to record a month’s worth of content in one sitting can save you from the weekly battle of trying to nail down a time that works for you both.

If You Podcast in Seasons

If you’re not on the treadmill of an endless weekly release schedule, then you can batch an entire season of your episodes.

In this case, batching doesn’t even mean creating everything in one single session. But you’re still working to produce one self-contained block of content.

This approach is popular in the world of fiction podcasting, where an entire season will be written, recorded, and produced before episodes start being released.

It works just as well in non-fiction podcasting, too, though. For our show Podcraft, we could create an entire “USB microphone shootout” season in one block rather than recording one per week.

With this approach, you’re giving yourself a big buffer in your content output, and taking away the battle of meeting constant deadlines.

If You Record on Location

If you find yourself attending a lot of networking gatherings, trade shows, or conferences, then these can be good places to gather your content.

At events in your niche, you can record content for multiple episodes or entire seasons in one go.

If there are ten people worth speaking to, then that’s nine fewer times you’ve had to go through the process of setting up and recording an interview.

Is Batch Podcast Recording Right For You?

If you’re considering batch recording your podcast episodes, I hope that’s helped you make a more informed choice. Like anything else in podcasting, there’s no right or wrong answer – only what works best for you.

So, even if you see your own situation reflected in my “downsides” section, you might still feel that batching is worth a go. Ultimately, you’ll only know for sure once you’ve tried it yourself.

If you’re looking for other ways to cut down on the time it takes to make your podcast, then here are a couple of follow-up resources:

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