Is Batch Recording Best For You? Maybe, Maybe Not…plus 3 ways to help if it’s not for you [ep. 25]

If you have been in the podcasting space for any length of time, you have probably heard of a topic that is often heard of as a game changer, and that is batch recording, which is recording multiple episodes in a single sitting.

But is it really the best fit for everyone?

Well, maybe, but maybe not.

Let’s unpack that. And I’ve got three ways to help if batch recording is just not your cup of tea.

What is Batch Recording?

I want to start off by saying that you as a podcaster have to find what works best for you when it comes to recording.

So to help you figure this out, I’m going to break this down into a few pros and cons of batch recording, and then I want you to decide from there.

If it just doesn’t seem to be what is best for you, or if you’ve even tried it and just can’t seem to make it work, I want to give you a few alternatives to maybe help you out.

Now, I explained a bit about this in the intro, what batch recording is, but let me go a little bit more depth just in case.

I know when I first started out in business, I always heard terms thrown around and sometimes I had no clue what they were talking about. 

Batch recording is where you sit down and you record several episodes at a time to get ahead of your timeline, but it doesn’t have to necessarily all be in one day.

This could look like outlining your episodes one day. Editing them and possibly scripting it (if you choose to) another day. And then a final day is where you record all of these in one sitting or even a day. Maybe you spread it out within a week.

Batching can really look different to everyone. 

Today is really about trying to figure out which way is best for you.

And again, I truly think that you need to try both ways to see which one works best for you and for your time and just go from there.

Personal Experience with Batch Recording

I can say that I have tried both batching and not batching, and it really depends on the week for me.

I have a private podcast that I batched all six episodes in one day and it was honestly nice to get them all done.

But with this podcast, I kind of go back and forth.

I will say that I outlined well over a month’s worth of episodes all at once while all the thoughts were still fresh in my head.

But as far as recording them, I started out with doing two one day and then I waited a few days and then I recorded another episode.

Now I believe two weeks have gone by and I’m recording this one, but I am three weeks out.

I’m ahead of schedule, but I’m just batching them out how I feel it works for me and my schedule.

So let’s go into some of the pros and cons of batch recording.

Pros of Batch Recording

Obviously the first pro of batching is just the efficiency and time management of it. These are the undeniable benefits of batch recording.

You can become very efficient with your time by recording multiple episodes in one go, or if you choose to spend one whole week and get all of your episodes recorded for that entire month.

This can streamline your podcast process and not have you recording the night before.

So if you choose to record a month’s worth of episodes on one day, you’re done for the entire month. That frees up the entire rest of your month for all of your business tasks.

And again, like I said, you could also spread it out over a week.

Maybe you record a couple episodes on Tuesday and a couple on Thursday. Or you record one a day and you knock out four or five for the month. This helps you save time for the rest of the month.

Now, can some people sit down and record five episodes of one day?

Some can do it and some people just cannot sit there and talk that long.

I get about two done and I’m like, eh, I have to either take a break or wait till the next day.

The second pro is you’re getting consistent content.

Consistency is a key in this podcasting world.

Being consistent keeps your audience engaged and you will be less stressed without that last minute recording.

Now I am sure there could be so many more pros to batching. I mean, there are just so many more pros, but I’m going to leave it to those two for now.

And again, if you don’t try it, how do you know you won’t like it?

We have to try things. I had to tell my daughter that with softball. She had to try it to know she really didn’t like it.

Cons of Batch Recording

Now that we’ve talked about the main pros of batch recording, let’s look at a few potential downsides.

I’m going to put “cons” in quotes here because being a con can really be taken with a grain of salt.

What may seem like a con to one person could be nothing to another podcaster.

Again, we all have our ways of doing things, but these are what I see to be the most hurtful when it comes to batching.

And keep in mind when I say this, it really depends on how far out you batch.

One month ahead may or may not see these cons at all, whereas even a few weeks could.

So it really depends on your content, what you’re talking about, and so forth. Just take that into consideration as I talk about these.

One of the things that I could see being a downside to batch recording, especially months and months and months out, could be the creativity and freshness.

You want to be sure you’re not sounding too robotic to your listeners after you’ve recorded so much.

If you’re on your fifth or sixth episode and you’re tired, you don’t want to lose that interest of your listener. At times we can tend to say the same things when we record all in one day.

Our thoughts can come intertwined in this sense. And sometimes we think, did I say that already? Did I not say that already? Whereas having a fresh mind kind of helps with that. 

It reminds me of my elementary teaching days when I would teach four classes. And even by the third class, I was like, have I told you all this already?

Or I get to the last class of the day, which was my homeroom, and they’re like, you said that already.

I’d said it so many times I didn’t know if I said it, or if I was thinking it.

So that could be something to think about.

The other potential downfall I can see is that when it comes to things such as current events, trends, timeliness, holidays, things like that. Sometimes when we batch record, it may limit our ability to respond to those things.

Let’s just say something comes up in real time and you want to talk about it.

Well, if you’re two, three, four months ahead, it’s not going to be as meaningful five months from now as it would if you were recording three or four weeks ahead.

Now, if there are things that come up that you wish you would have added to an episode, I will say there is a way to fix that if you love batching…and that’s to add a bonus episode.

You can add a bonus episode at any time and talk about what it is you wanted to talk about. So there’s no reason to hold off for a better time.

If you have a point you want to share, but have already batched out episodes, just record a short bonus and let your audience know you had something else to say. That should not hold you back from batching.

You just have to be cognizant of thinking ahead that far ahead.

Just know if you’re in a space that has changing content that may be relevant, or if you can batch your content out.

I have clients who batch out two, three months ahead and it works great for them.

They just look at the calendar, see what time of year it falls, especially if they’re in the teacher space.

You don’t want to be talking about something that could be happening in the summer that someone needs to hear around the holidays.

Assess Your Podcast Style

The next thing I want to talk about is assessing your podcasting style.

If you don’t have a podcast yet, I want you to just keep these questions in mind as you think about you as a person and how you think you would act.

If you have a show and you’ve been recording for a little bit, these are some questions I want you to ask yourself.

1. What is your workflow and schedule? How consistent is your schedule for recording and releasing episodes? Do you have dedicated time blocks for podcasting or is it more spontaneous? Are there specific days or times when you feel most creative and focused?

2. I want you to think about your content planning. How far in advance do you plan your podcast content? Do you have a content calendar? How detailed is it? Are your episodes topic-based or time-sensitive? Keep all that in mind.

3. Creativity and freshness. Does your content require a high level of spontaneity or are they current event discussion type things? How important is it for you to maintain a fresh and immediate feel in your episodes? Do they need to be more up to date? Or can you talk about things months and months ahead? Do you find that your creativity flows better with more spontaneous recording?

4. Flexibility and timeliness. Does your podcast cover topics that are time sensitive? How comfortable are you with adapting your content based on these real-time changes? Are there advantages to being able to respond quickly to the industry trends or news?

Now this may be more business-based. The topic that comes to mind is when AI became so popular, everybody had to talk about it. Do you want to talk about that six months after everyone else has, or do you want to include that now?

5. Listener interaction. How interactive is your podcast with your audience? Do you incorporate listener feedback questions or are shout outs in your episode? If you have someone who wants to be shouted out on an episode, do you want that to happen relatively quickly? Or do you want it to just happen where it lands? If that’s several months out, are there specific episodes where you want to address recent audience engagement?

6. Preferred recording environment. Do you have a dedicated recording space or do you record in various locations? That’s going to depend on whether or not you can batch how much setup time is required for your recording sessions. 

Do you have enough of a time span to record so many episodes and is your recording environment consistent or does it vary based on your schedule?

Some people record the same place every single time. And this isn’t relevant to them.

7. Episode length and structure. What is your preferred episode length? Does it align with your batch recording sessions? Can you record four hour long episodes in one day? That’s going to be tiring.

But if you have short, concise episodes, 10, 15, 20 minutes, you could probably do three or four. 

You also have to think about whether or not you’re having a guest episode. That’s obviously going to have to be scheduled at a time with your guests. And sometimes guest episodes can be a little bit more demanding. I know I would probably be tapped out after one or two guest episodes.

8. If you DIY your podcast, think about the editing and post-production. How involved are you in this editing process and does batch recording affect that? Could you record several episodes one day, and the next week you edit them all? And do you have a consistent editing style or does it vary from episode to episode?

Aligning Your Recording Strategy with Your Podcast Goals

Be aware of your overall goals. What are your primary goals for your podcast in terms of your growth, engagement, your content quality, and how would batch recording contribute to those? Or would they pose challenges?

Really think about this based on your life and business.

Ask yourself the previous questions and see what fits into your podcasting style best.

Batching Alternatives

If you already know batching isn’t for you and you’ve tried it, here’s some suggestions for you.

Outline all of your episodes ahead of time and record ahead.

This does not mean that you have to record several episodes at a time. You just need to get ahead of yourself.

Don’t record the night before you need to publish it. You’re going to rush and possibly mess up. You might possibly leave out things you wanted to say.

You just want to be ahead. Even if it’s just by one week. I record two to three weeks before it’s supposed to go out. So if I do have to change anything, or I find out that the recording doesn’t turn out, I have time to fix it.

You just want to be able to give yourself some time to where you are not rushing. 

Again, experiment with it. 

If you’re on the fence, try recording two or three episodes in a day. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Just find what works for you.

I sometimes just outline maybe three or four weeks worth of episodes one day, then another day I’ll start recording and just figure out how many I can record.

Today I’m on my second one and I’m fine. But another day I may have only had time for one. 

I’ve already said this before, it’s not for everyone, but you want to start with a plan.

Learn how to plan all of your episodes in advance without the commitment of recording them all at once. Even if this means at least having the content topic narrowed down to a list of ideas, that’s better than nothing.

You don’t want to just sit down and say, what am I going to talk about today?

You want to have a plan. 

Start brainstorming a list of ideas, outline two or three at a time, and then just pick a day, record one.

The next week, record the other, but have it in advance.

Set recording days. Make sure you have a set day of the week that you record. Maybe Tuesday is a podcast day.

Schedule it in your calendar and stick to it. Even if you say Tuesday afternoons from 1pm to 3pm is my podcast time.

If you’re done by 1:45pm, and you don’t want to do anything else, so be it. You’re done. Move on. But if you have extra time, do what else you can. Prep for the next episode. Schedule it in your calendar.

You will seem a lot less rushed and won’t be stressed if you have that designated time for recording.

I try to make my podcast days either Thursdays or Fridays because I do all of my client work at the beginning of the week. That gives me the end of the week to work on my stuff.

But whichever way you choose to do it, just stay true to your podcasting goals.

Ultimately, your podcasting goals matter most. Remember why you started your podcast in the first place. Aligning your recording strategy with your goals, whether it’s building a connection with your audience, staying current, maximizing your marketing strategy, whatever it might be. The goal is what is important.

So embrace your podcasting style. 

If you are not a batcher, that’s totally great.

The beauty in podcasting is just staying true to your unique style, and it can lead to so many more authentic conversations that you have on your episodes.

I’ll wrap this up with a focus on you. I want you to share your thoughts on batch recording.

What works for you? What doesn’t? Let’s keep this conversation going so we can learn more from each other.

I would love for you to send me a message on Instagram letting me know how you batch record.

And if you don’t batch record, what do you do that works for you? I can share some of these to help others out. I would love to do that.

So again, remember, there’s not a one size fits all solution.

Whether you batch record or you prefer that dynamic, I’m going to do it when I have the time…it’s finding what works for you. 

If you’ve already written off batch recording, maybe there are some things that you haven’t thought about that might change your mind, or at least give you another chance to try it out. Because when some people say batching, they may be thinking of recording 10 episodes in one day. 

That’s not what I think. My thing is just prepping ahead. To me, that’s batching.



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