On the blog last week, we discussed RSS feed best practices. But while that post contained great advice for intermediate to advancd podcasters, newbies may want to take a few minutes to understand just exactly what happens when they publish an episode to make sure they aren’t missing opportunities to get their show in front of the largest possible audience.
Here are our best tips from Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane:
- Subscribe to your own show. “If you’ve done that, you can save yourself some pain and embarrassment by checking to see if your show episode shows up in your favorite podcast app,” says Cochrane.
- If you haven’t done #1 and you load the podcast listings in iTunes, Stitcher, or any other app to realize that your latest episode isn’t there, keep this in mind: those sites periodically check your show listing and update it. If you’re lucky, that happens within a few hours, but if you publish infrequently it may be up to 24 hours before the episode shows up.
- When you subscribe to your own show, most apps actually subscribe you to your feed that you initially submitted to iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Blubrry etc. So while your subscription will update immediately, the other sites will get around to you at some point. Today the Apple Podcasts directory is pulling 325,000 feeds every 3-4 hours, and sometimes they get behind.
- It’s really important that you keep your image art in compliance in both image pixel size and in keeping the image smaller than 500k in size. Not doing so will handicap your show’s ability to be updated. Note: your ID3 Album art does not need to be the same spec as the Apple show art. The larger the physical size of the album art embedded in your mp3, the longer it takes your podcast to start playing, explains Cochrane. “All of my episode art is 600×600 .jpg and under 100k, plus the smaller episode art saves you space with your hosting plans.”
It really comes down to some proactive management to keep your show thriving and your anxiety level low.