“Why Are My Episodes Released at Different Times on My Website Compared to the Various Podcasting Platforms?”
The process around how and when new podcast episodes are uploaded and how they show up on different podcasting platforms is a little convoluted, to say the least.
Part of the reason for this is due to the basic architecture around how podcasts are distributed to different platforms.
Podcasting as a technology has evolved over the past 30-plus years, and the technology actually dates back to the 1980s. During that time, there has been a huge amount of change.
As a result, podcasting was not purpose-built in a comprehensive and focused way, and therefore, some of the ways in which a podcast episode is produced can seem counterintuitive.
Due to the structural nature of podcasts being uploaded to an audio host, your website, and then being pushed out via RSS feed to multiple different platforms, the timing on all of these different things can lag. It doesn’t have rocket launch precision, for sure.
Sometimes our team has to make certain pieces live in order to execute the next step in the process. For example, for our quality control team to perform its quality control checks in a live environment, we may need to make a YouTube video live on YouTube before embedding it on the blog post, which is then made live on your website.
Certain website themes also function in different ways, so we may need to create parts of a post and make them live in order to move on to a different part of the production process.
And we have various team members working on different parts of the process, so there could be a lag as the process moves between different team members (though, of course, we are always working to minimize this).
As a result, if someone were to enter into the middle of the process of creating a new podcast episode, it can seem like things are broken or disconnected or not working together.
It’s a little like baking a cake. If you enter the kitchen in the middle of the process of someone baking a cake, it looks like a big mess. But in the end, it’s a beautiful result.
We have been optimizing our process for publishing podcast episodes for 15-plus years, and there are certain structural elements of this production process that are necessary and difficult or impossible to avoid.
Sometimes this can cause our clients anxiety as they watch this process unfold, especially if their website is their ‘baby’ or if they have been the primary person until now to manage it.
Our most successful clients realize that the process can be a bit messy, but they focus on the bigger picture of maximizing the number and quality of relationships they are building through the pieces they can control, such as outreach, conversations, interviews, post-interview collaboration conversation, follow up after the interview goes live, etc.
Because certain of these elements are necessary, we encourage our clients who are new to podcasting to not worry about the middle of the production process because (a) we have worked hard for 15-plus years of producing podcasts to optimize and streamline the process as much as possible already, and (b) when you are just getting started, there is hardly anyone who is going to see it anyways and the benefit you get from building relationships outweighs any potential detriment which could come from the process.
Here is how John likes to sum up the risk… “The risk of a potential client who is considering hiring me, navigating to my website, poking around in the podcast area at the particular time that a podcast is in the process of being uploaded, finding something awry, and concluding that they will not hire me because of that experience is vastly outweighed by the snowballing benefits which you get over time from spending time each week having a great conversation with your best referral partners, strategic partners, and clients.”
And even if the above scenario were to unfold, there is a simple explanation…you can simply say “my podcast team manages that part of my website, and they were updating the podcast page.”
“But What if I am Judged Based on my Website?”
One objection we often hear is “but my clients are different…my clients are very, very particular, very demanding, they judge me based on my work and will look at my website, and it just has to be right.”
We have had many clients over the years who own a creative agency or are hired by clients based on their creative output and aesthetic skills. And we have had many clients who have clients who are very particular, very detail-oriented, and judge them based on aesthetics.
In fact, when John was practicing law, his clients were almost exclusively people and companies that were very particular and who were hiring him to be detail-oriented.
And back then, he had a skeletal team and nonexistent process for producing the episodes on his website, and he still got clients from his podcast.
We have found that our most successful clients focus on the big picture of building relationships and maximizing the number of relationships they can build through the podcast.
One way of thinking about this is the risk of a detrimental result is minimal compared to the major benefits which come from utilizing a podcast effectively.
As John says, “Over 12-plus years of podcasting, I can’t remember getting an email from a potential client saying they didn’t hire me because of something on my website.”
In fact, our company’s core offering is we publish podcast episodes for our clients — we sell podcasting strategy and production services. And yet we use our newer writers on our own shows because we would rather they learn and make mistakes on our own shows rather than on our clients’ shows. And yet our company has done fine because we focus on the big picture.
“What About Emailing Clients?”
Now, all of this affects how and when we email the guest to tell them an episode is live.
For the first five years of doing a podcast, John was very inconsistent with emailing the guests to tell them it was live. “Most of the time, I didn’t even email them at all, John says. “I was so tired of all the different details I had to handle that when it came to this critical piece of the puzzle — actually following up and celebrating the episode going live — I didn’t even do it.”
This is actually why we started emailing the guests for our clients, because we know from experience that oftentimes it doesn’t get done, and yet this is a great opportunity to become top of mind again and circle back to anything you talked about with the guest during the interview.
Having said all this, sometimes our clients experience anxiety around when and how we email the guests. Generally, we want to point the guests back to your website rather than externally to another podcasting platform, so we typically email the guests after the episode is live on your website.
However, sometimes there can be a lag in one of the podcasting platforms posting a new episode so that it appears on your website before it appears on the platforms.
If you are worried about the timing of when those emails go out to guests, one option would be for us to remove the option of having our team email the guests to tell them it is live, and then you can email them, and that way you don’t have to worry about whether all the platforms are updated.
Jeremy says that usually, notifying guests is not an issue. “Personally, I don’t even check when my episodes are updated on the different platforms because I know it gets done. I want to focus my energies on more important higher leverage tasks — like interviewing another guest for another episode — and I can’t remember a time that a guest emailed me and said the episode wasn’t live on a particular platform,” he says. “Even if they did, I would just email them back and say wait a few hours or a day, and it’ll be there.”
Our general suggestion would be if you email the guests yourself, you just wait a week after the episode is live before you email the guests to tell them it is live. Waiting a week is not a big deal. In our experience, guests are not sitting around waiting with bated breath to find out when the episode is going live. Rarely, you may get a guest who finds the episode on YouTube or on another platform through a Google news alert for their name, and maybe they tweet it out before you have emailed them to tell them it is live, but in that rare instance, it is best to just express gratitude that they shared it.