You don’t want to record a show, edit it, make it the highest quality and best show you can make it, release it…and then be scrambling to follow it up. This is one of the big reasons I believe there are so many podcasts out there with just one episode uploaded. The producer is so excited to get the content they have out, they don’t think about what comes next.
If you say you’re going to do a weekly show, then fall short of this goal, your consistency is killed from the start and you’ll lose audience members before you even gain them.
The number of shows you record before you launch your podcast is contingent on three things:
- Is your content evergreen or is it current?
- How often will you release new shows?
- How many episodes will you release for your podcast launch?
Let’s break down each of these questions:
If your content is evergreen, meaning your content is built for long-term value and can be discovered years down the road and still be useful, then batching out your episodes and recording several before you launch is a smart move.
If your content is more current and in the moment, batching is going to be impossible because you’ll need to build your content based on current events unfolding. This can be done, but it’s definitely more challenging. Understand going in that you’ll need to stick to a strict recording schedule in order to release your show with consistency.
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Now, second question – how often will you release new shows? Let’s assume you’re building your content based on evergreen subject matter.
If your podcast is going to be daily, I wouldn’t launch with any less than 30 episodes completed. That may seem like a lot and, depending on the length of the show, it could be. But time will fly, believe me. And before you know it, it’s going to catch up to you, all your content will be published, and you’re going to need to repeat the process. Or, you start scrambling and trying to do a show every day. And this may work at first. But eventually, this will catch up to you, too. Other priorities take precedence, and your consistency is shot.
The good news is that, in MOST cases, a daily podcast is not long-form and will allow you to create more episodes at a quicker pace. If you do have time for a daily long-form podcast, more power to you. Always keep consistency in mind.
For a weekly release, I’d have at least 10 episodes recorded before I launch – for all the reasons I mentioned above.
10 weeks may seem like a long time, but it’s not. You’ll want to have content prepared so, while you make more content, you’re continuing to build your bank of upcoming episodes in perpetuity.
The last long-form podcast I did, I banked 15 episodes before I launched the show. And the reason why leads us into our third question:
How many episodes will you release for your podcast launch?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but you absolutely want to have a podcast launch. Why? Because the world premiere of your podcast is a big deal! You want to celebrate that your show is live and give people an ample block of content right out of the gates to get them hooked.
This can be done in a number of different ways:
- First and foremost, advertise and tease the launch of your podcast for weeks leading up to the debut. Use this time to share brief clips from the show, preview what people will hear, and get them excited for your debut!
- Also, before we get into how to handle your launch, put together a brief introduction episode that you can post a couple weeks before you launch. This episode can be just a few minutes and set the table for what’s to come, but it will get something active in your podcast host and allow you to set up access to directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, Podchaser, etc. before you go live. This way, when your show does go live, people can access it wherever they’re used to getting their podcasts. And, in your teases leading up to your launch, you can point people to the various directories and build some early subscribers. I’m going to cover this in more detail in a future episode.
- Now, your launch. You’ve built up to this for weeks. Now, how do you want to release your shows:
- You can release a number of them all at once in one block on the first day
- You can release one a day over the course of consecutive days
- You can release one in the morning, one in the evening, one at night for as many days as you want
- You can release two on Monday, two on Tuesday, and so on for as many as you want to release
Again, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s your podcast, you can celebrate its release whatever way you deem appropriate!
But, as you can tell, doing a big launch requires you burn through a sizable chunk of your batched content.
If you’re prepared with several episodes already produced and ready to publish behind your launch, you’re good to go and can focus your efforts on upcoming episodes.
But, if you only record five episodes and use all five for your launch, what are you going to do next?
Batching your content is a great habit for your efforts throughout the entire life of your podcast. It allows you to be proactive instead of reactive, gives you time to make adjustments to your schedule when necessary, and doesn’t leave you scrambling to put content together that may end up being below your standards because it’s rushed.
Batching helps you stay consistent. And that’s what podcasting is all about.