Podcast Feed Drops: A Short Guide
What is a podcast feed drop?
A podcast feed drop is when you drop an episode of another show onto your own RSS feed! Usually this is followed by that podcast dropping an episode of your show on their feed.
Why would you do a feed drop?
The main reason is cross promo! Audiences from you show discover the show you’ve shared on your feed, and vice versa. Done right, it will bring more people to your podcast!
How often should you do feed drops?
Personally, I stick with one per feed per month (or less). It just feels right for me! But if you’re uploading more frequently than bi-weekly or monthly, a different answer might work for you.
Some people use feed drops as a “replacement” for a normal episode. Ex: If you’re traveling/sick/busy and can’t meet your normal upload schedule, stick a feed drop in on your standard release date to give your audience something to listen to. But because my shows are fiction, this scenario doesn’t really work for me (in my opinion! it might work for you and your audio drama!). I’ll do feed drops more or less when my heart desires it.
How long do you keep a feed drop up?
This varies, and might be something you discuss with the person whose podcast you’re sharing! I usually keep mine up for about a month, because I do monthly feed drops and I like having one on the feed at a time. Some people might do a shorter or longer time. For example, sometimes you’ll have a smaller show swapping with a bigger show, and the smaller show will leave the drop on longer to acquire more downloads! As long as you communicate your plan, you can basically do what you want.
It took me a while to think of an RSS feed as a malleable thing! You’re allowed to delete things. You can rearrange the order of bonus episodes. It doesn’t have to stay static, as you initially uploaded it, forever. So don’t be scared to take a feed drop down after it’s had its time to shine.
It can also be helpful, at the end of your scheduled feed drop, to let the show know how many downloads they got on your feed.
How do you know what shows to do a feed drop with?
Pick ones that have something in common with your show! For example, Sidequesting is a light hearted fantasy audio drama, so I like to swap with shows that are light hearted, fantasy, kid-friendly, OR have actor overlap!
But even within audio drama, audiences listen to all sorts of genres, so I wouldn’t discount “fiction” as being a thing in common! I also keep all this in mind for trailer swaps too, not just feed drops.
But if you’re a non-fiction podcast, don’t be afraid to swap with audio dramas (and vice versa)!
How do you find shows to do a feed drop with?
Listen to them! Engage with fellow creators! Ask around!
How do you approach a show for a feed drop?
Ask them nicely! It’s okay to cold-email shows as long as you do it kindly. You might get a no — maybe their show isn’t in a place for feed drops, maybe the creator is too busy to coordinate one, maybe they don’t think you’re a good fit. But it doesn’t hurt to ask! Rejection is just part of the game.
When do you know a show isn’t a fit for you?
There’s not a good answer for this. It could be a simple as vibes. Personally I make sure not to have “adult” shows on my kid-friendly feed and that’s about as strict as I get.