Batching can be an effective way to improve your podcasting workflow. But is it right for your podcast? Consider these benefits and disadvantages.
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What is “batch-podcasting”?
Batching your podcasting work is usually when you combine similar tasks from multiple episodes or multiple shows and perform them within the same portion of time. For example:
- Record a month's worth of interviews in a single day.
- Prepare your entire miniseries of episodes within a single focused time.
- Finalize a bunch of episodes and schedule them for automatic publishing.
- Record several different shows together on the same day.
Benefits of batch-podcasting
The following are the benefits that stand out most to me. Please comment with the biggest benefits you see to batch-podcasting!
1. Focused mindset
When you batch work, you can focus on the same task for multiple projects. This helps you get into a “groove” or “zone” to perform such tasks faster and more thoroughly.
This can help you with your content presentation, such as recording separate episodes for aspects of the same core topic.
2. Saved time
Batching can enable you to complete several similar tasks together in less time than it would take to perform each task independently. This is because there are far fewer transitions (mental, software, physical, etc.) between different tasks.
3. Feelings of accomplishment
When you finish batching, you will have completed several things instead of only one. You can enjoy this feeling by relaxing or moving on to focus on other things.
4. Efficiency in dedicated space
Your time in a certain location may be limited. Batching may help you to ensure every minute in that location is spent on only the sole purpose of that space.
5. More margin
With planning ahead and batching your work, it gives you margin in many areas of life and your podcast. For example, you may have something you want to promote, and it may be easier to ramp up that promotion if you're batch-podcasting. Or, you don't want upcoming limited availability to affect your publishing schedule.
Disadvantages of batch-podcasting
The following are the disadvantages that stand out most to me. Please comment with the biggest disadvantages you've faced with batch-podcasting!
1. Lots of work
Batch-podcasting is not easy; it's hard work! If you plan to batch your recordings, you have to prepare all of that content, schedule all of those interviews, or ensure your cohost(s) have the same availability and attention span.
The amount of work to batch could also hinder you from making the time to perform the tasks. For example, you might be able to record eight episodes in a day, but the task of editing all eight may be so overwhelming that you procrastinate.
2. Energy loss
Because of how much work batching takes, you may find yourself running out of energy near the end of your batching. This can show up in your voice, your passion, or even more errors that slip through near the end.
3. Unwanted or missing crossovers
If you're recording either multiple episodes of the same show, or episodes of separate shows, you might end up with some unwanted things crossing over between episodes.
- This could be humor, such as joke from a previous episode that won't make sense to your audience of this episode (separated by your publishing schedule).
- This could be emotion, carrying over too much of the emotion of one show into the other (such as comedy into something serious).
- This could be content, which might be something you wanted in each episode, but didn't include because you so recently shared it that you neglect to share it again. It could also be something that won't make as much sense due to the length of time between your published episodes.
4. Less flexible content schedule
Depending on whether you number your episodes and how you communicate show notes, batching could prevent your being able to address time-sensitive material. Often, such material can't be predicted, as it could be the result of an unexpected announcement, world events, and such.
5. Inconsistency for a live audience
If you enjoy live-streaming in audio or video, batching might not be for you. This is because you might be doing a month's worth of recording in a single day instead of several days across the month.
6. Impossible for some content
Any podcast based on current events or “dripped” content (such as TV shows) will probably not do well for batching. You need to receive your content spread across time, so queuing that up to batch means your audience will miss the content when it's most relevant.
Is batch-podcasting right for you?
Whether you choose to batch-podcast is really up to you and your unique situation. Here are some of my suggestions.
- Interview-based shows are probably the easiest to batch, especially if you can schedule all your interviews for the same day.
- Current-events or “dripped”-content podcasts should probably not be batched.
- Cohosted podcasts depend on the availability, willingness, and energy-sustainability of everyone involved, not only you.
- Solo shows depend greatly on how much time you can invest in your preparation.
- Any live-streamed show should probably not be batched if you want a true, live engagement. But you could live-stream raw sessions after you have recorded them.
I attempted to batch The Audacity to Podcast, and even announced that I would be doing such. As a result, I have a new list of nearly 100 episodes. But as much as I tried, I found that batching didn't work well for me. A big part of that is in how much time I spend preparing for each episode (about three hours).
I also decided against batching The Audacity to Podcast because I love doing the show live every week. This is fun, engaging, and helps me grow the show, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice that relationship with my audience.
What I learned from my trial will help me when I must batch content for when I have less availability (usually due to travel or holidays). And it will certainly help me in other areas of my business.
What is right for you? Why do you batch-podcast, or why do you not? Please comment below!
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Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing this message. I have also found that batching simply does not work for me for EXACTLY the same reasons, and I felt like some kind of super secret podcasting failure because of it.
Thank you so much for all you do. I am so grateful.
You’re welcome! I’m glad I could help you know you’re not alone.
I really appreciate your nuanced, road-tested approach. Often it happens that, perhaps understandably, people are so intoxicated by the success of their approach, they just don’t state (or even see) the caveats. And the way of the world is, we don’t get to follow up on whether they burned up after 6 months, because by then someone else’s unqualified template is grabbing our attention. Or trying to. So thank you for your considered, scrupulous account of how batch-podcasting worked for you.
Thanks! That’s the kind of approach that I wanted when I created The Audacity to Podcast—in-depth, researched, thorough.
I know what group of people you’re talking about. I think the biggest caveat most people don’t realize is “correlation does not necessarily equal causation.”
I see it a lot. People will say, “That person is doing that thing, and look at their success / it hasn’t hurt them!” But the only way to really know whether that thing is positively or negatively affecting them is if we had a time machine or a parallel universe. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t released that technology to the public yet. 😉
I don’t batch produce anything. When I started my blog, I’d collected about 10 things to post as necessary and my busy life gave me all the excuse I needed to blow right through them and get down to having to produce one at a time.
It’s been that way for 4 years.
Starting my podcast, I have to work around my kids’ schedules. They produce part of the content and we record during nap time.
You can’t batch naps.
So, I’ve bumped up the recording “deadline” from 2 days before release to 4 for them, 3 for my segments, so I’m not stressed.
We get things out efficiently- I’ve only been late once a year- but getting ahead? Not likely!
“You can’t batch naps.” LOL!
Part of our show is somewhat topical, covering various trends and news. So that part would be impossible to batch, except for a couple of ongoing topics that always seem to pop up. Plus I have a rather hectic work schedule and 2 small children, so my wife and I have a hard time sitting down to record, let alone edit. It’s one of the reasons I also decided that outside of audio quality (which I’m still working on a couple of bugs), I don’t edit much except the dead air and my excessive umms. The segment with my 6 year old, I can and do batch and have several in the can, ready to add in as we produce more episodes, as well as any interviews we do.