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What is batch recording?

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What is batch recording? | PodSchool Podcast

Save yourself time and a heart attack…

Podcasting takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re planning on releasing a weekly show.

Anything you can do to make meeting that deadline easier is a good thing, and might be the difference between a chilled podcasting process and a semi-regular nervous breakdown.

If you promise your audience you’re going to be in their ears every week you need to make sure you make that appointment, so batch recording can be an easy way to do that without falling to pieces when life gets in the way.

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It’s inevitable that at some point throughout the course of your show you’ll get sick, you’ll have a family emergency, or you’ll just need to take some time off to rest.

If you’ve batch recorded episodes your podcast can still continue even when you’re not able to.

It also prevents you from ending up in a cold sweat the night before each show thinking “what the hell am I going to talk about?”

Planning ahead

Planning episodes ahead of time is not only a good idea for your sanity, it’s also great for your content mix.  If you can see all the episodes coming up you can curate the content so your audience gets something different every week.

When you’re flying by the seat of your pants it’s easy to forget what you did last week and have no idea what you’re doing next week.  When this happens it’s not uncommon to release two fairly similar shows one after the other because you’re not planning the release of episodes in any coherent or strategic way.

Getting ahead of yourself will give you the time and the bird’s eye view to plan your content like a story.  That means a better experience for your listeners and a better experience for you because you won’t be repeating yourself.

Your batches don’t need to be huge

You don’t need to be recording a year’s worth of episodes in one sitting to make this effective.

In fact, even if you’re only able to record two at a time that’ll mean you make your recording session a fortnightly job instead of weekly and that’s definitely going to help.

Can everyone batch record?

Unfortunately, no.  If your show is based on topical content e.g. the news cycle or content that is ‘of the moment’ then batch recording will be difficult.

This is usually only do-able if you have a show that works with general themes, evergreen content or topics that don’t really date.

Interview shows are also great to pre-record because scheduling guests can be a NIGHTMARE.  If you can knock a few over in one sitting that’s three weeks of shows and three weeks to lock in some more guests.

If you haven’t started your show yet this is a good thing to keep in mind because planning the time commitment you’re actually able to give a show is important before you get started.  You don’t want to get two weeks in and realise “Oh no! I’ve taken on too much!”

How do you do it?

Set aside recording time every week and make sure it’s a no go zone for social events (no matter how hot the person asking you out is).

Plan out your content ahead of time and try and get as far ahead of yourself as possible.  That doesn’t mean you have to record all the episodes in one go but if you’re planned out you’ll know what’s coming up and can break up the recording into smaller batches so it’s manageable.

Don’t forget to schedule in editing time too because those episodes won’t polish themselves!

You really need to set yourself some clear goals and turn on the willpower to get this kicking.

But once you start to get in the rhythm and realise how much less stressful it is to be ahead of yourself, it will be a no brainer to keep this as a regular thing in your podcasting calendar.

Got a burning question you’d like answered on the podcast? Send me an email.

Need some help getting started or setting up your home studio?  Download my free podcasting guide.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going to be talking about 'Batch Recording' and why it's something you need to put in your little podcasting pocket because it will help you immeasurably. Batch recording can be the difference between a chilled podcasting process and a nervous breakdown of titanic proportions. Podcasting takes a lot of time and effort especially if you are going to be releasing an episode. So anything that you can do to take the pressure off yourself to make it easier to actually meet that deadline of a weekly podcast is going to really save your bacon. The last thing you want to do is to be sitting in a cold sweat trying to come up with any kind of excuse that you can possibly muster as to why your episode isn't going to be out the next day.

[00:00:59] If you're telling your audience that you're going to be turning up on a weekly basis to rock up in their inbox or in their podcast app, that can take a lot of effort and a lot of time. However, you can make that process easier and desirable through batch recording. Batch recording is just like a batch Muffin's, you wouldn't make just one. Batch recording is exactly that. It's doing more than one podcast episode at a time. If you've got longer podcast episodes this probably isn't going to be as doable.

[00:01:31] You might not be able to batch record a bunch, but even if you can record two in one sitting instead of one you can really save yourself a lot of time if you think about it and you try and do two episodes in one crack. That's two weeks worth of content that you've got there ready to go. You really just want to try and avoid if at all possible, doing things week by week because as soon as you decide you're going to do a weekly podcast and you go week by week guaranteed someone will get sick. You will need a day or two off. There will be some kind of family disaster and all of a sudden not only will you have the stress of that you also have the stress of letting your audience down. Obviously this is not always going to be possible particularly if you are doing a show that contains topical content or content that's "of the moment."

[00:02:23] If you are doing a comedy show or a new show or anything that deals with current events and it needs to be current then you are going to really struggle to batch record. If there is anything that you can do ahead of time I would highly recommend it but this is probably better suited to those evergreen shows where the content doesn't necessarily date,

[00:02:48] Once you start getting in the rhythm of this and it takes a real discipline in the early days to say "Right! Sunday or Monday night or 'insert day here' is going to be my recording day and I am locking it in no matter how many times people ask me to come to drinks."

[00:03:10] You really have to set yourself some clear goals to get this kicking. But once you start to get in the rhythm and you realise how much less stressful it is to be really far ahead of yourself, it will be an absolute no brainer to keep this as a regular thing in your calendar.

[00:03:30] If you have that buffer of time, then if things go wrong or family gets sick or you need some days off you'll be able to take that time without feeling the additional pressure of needing to get that podcast out and into peoples ears.

[00:03:45] It also gives you an opportunity to take a bit of a bird's eye view of the content you're doing. You can sit down and plan out episodes ahead of time, look at them on the timeline, move things around on the basis of which episodes might go better so there's not two episodes that are too similar one after the other. When you're just going week to week it's really easy to not think about what you've done before or even have any thought about what you're going to do after. So you're flying by the seat of your pants and sometimes it can mean that the content you dish up can be a little bit same-y or it might not paint as coherent a picture as if you stood back and had a look at it all planned out and then recorded those planned episodes in batches.

[00:04:29] If you've wanted to podcast for as long as you can remember you don't want this to be a situation where you jump in the deep end and think, "Why did I decide to go swimming?" It can be a really tough road because it's a lot of work and you really want to set yourself up for success. The way to do that is to stop yourself from having a heart attack and getting ahead of yourself.

[00:04:56] Set yourself a day every week that is your recording day or your recording evening and you know that is a no go zone for social events no matter how hot the person that asks you out is and you will really reap the benefits of this kind of discipline.

[00:05:12] I hope that's helped you understand a little bit more about Batch recording. If you have any questions you can always hit me up at podschoolpodcast.com and you'll find my contact page there where you can send me an e-mail and I'd love to answer one of your questions on the show. If you are enjoying these episodes please tell a friend and if you could leave a review in iTunes or wherever you listen to this podcast I would be for ever grateful. I'll see you again next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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