Always Have A Backup Plan

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(By Troy Price) If you read my recent post titled “Evergreen Or Timely Episodes,” you may have noticed something quite alarming. I said that my media host removed my podcast from their library. One day, all on their own, those suckers chose to remove my episodes, cancel the rss feed, and poof — all of the links on my website were broken overnight and months of work went offline. That hurt a little.

Something similar is happening right now. Podcoin has notified everyone that their app is going to close down in late September. This will impact you greatly if your main marketing strategy was to get people to listen to your podcast on their podcast player so they could get paid to listen. If that was how marketed your show, you may notice you will have fewer listeners starting on September 25.

You might think that is pretty big in today’s podcasting world, but that is nothing compared to the epic Mevio shutdown of 2014. Imagine your podcasting life going pretty well and you receive an email that says the your media host and the host of all your podcasting friends is closing and you have 10 days to download your old podcast episodes and find a new media host. I remember some podcasters complaining that they had so many podcast episodes on Mevio that they could not download all of their shows even with 10 days’ notification. It was crazy!

These three anecdotes  (two historic and one current) are what inspired this article. Here is my tip for you. Always have a backup plan.

Here is what I mean. First, keep a backup of every episode you release. That just means do not delete the MP3 of your show after you upload it. Instead, create a folder for episode backups either on your computer or some online backup service where you can keep them in case your media host chooses to complicate your life. Keeping a backup is especially important if you use your media host to also record your episodes remotely. In this instance it is especially important to subscribe to your own podcast and then just move those downloaded MP3s to your backup folders.

Second, have a backup plan for every step of your podcast workflow. If your co-host is not able to join you at your scheduled recording time, what would you do? If your laptop shuts down unexpectedly while recording, what will you do? If your Internet goes out as you upload your episode, what will you do? You do not have to have actual procedures written down for instances like this, but at least have a mental note of what to do for each step of workflow. You can be back up and running after any hiccup if you have thought through your backup plan.

Third, consider a backup for every service you use. What if your media host just goes away? NOTE: You are at greater risk of this happening if you use a free media host? What if your url gets snagged by a domain name pirate? What if your media host shuts down? What if algorithms change on your preferred social media and you cannot reach people like before? What if the company you use to access the Internet increases their prices beyond what you can afford?

If you podcast long enough you will encounter one or all of these issues. Having a backup plan will allow you to be consistent and reliable, something your fans want from you. Think about it.

If you already have backup plans around your podcast, please post them in the comments below. Help a fellow podcaster out!

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He’s been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Reach Troy by email at Troy@frontporchstudios.com.

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