Sharing and promoting your podcast

So your podcast has been approved, you’ve got your iTunes URL and now you want to tell the world. You’re really only at the starting line now, so let’s get cracking.

Well done on getting this far. You’ve setup a new website, sorted the hosting for your podcast, uploaded your first episode and now it’s listed on the iTunes store. But the sad fact is, that probably won’t be enough to make you the next Marc Maron. So, what can you do to boost the visibility of your podcast and get some listeners?

The first thing you need to do is make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe. Let’s head back over to our WordPress site and fill in the iTunes feed URL so we can direct our listeners.

You’ve probably noticed there are more fields there for other popular stores. Stitcher is still a widely used app for on-demand audio. If your plans are to remain small and under-the-radar, it’s not a bad plan to be listed on Stitcher. But if you want to attract advertisers, you may want to reconsider listing with them, as part of their model involves streaming podcasts on-demand, often lowering the audio quality to save on bandwidth, and adding their own in-app ads. They may also mess up your stats because of the way they re-stream audio. You can get a revenue model if you want, but one of the points of this course is about retaining control, so if that’s a concern for you, you might want to avoid Stitcher.

Pocket Casts is a fantastic app from Australian developers Shifty Jelly. It’s available for iOS and Android, and you can submit your show really easily. Here’s how.

Overcast is an iOS-only podcast app that, like Pocket Casts is free and has some upgrade options which you pay for. I’ve found it worth the price, and it’s my podcasting app of choice. Once your show is on the iTunes store, you can find it via Overcast and subscribe. Then here’s how to find out your Overcast URL.

With those links in place, the Subscribe section of your podcast now has a row of buttons alongside the feed URL.

Now let’s look at how we can alert those pesky non-subscribers about new episodes. Depending on how you want to operate, you might want to consider setting up a Twitter account and a Facebook page for your podcast. You setup a Twitter account just like you would with a person… just remember to log out of Twitter first, then sign up again under the new name. If you use an app for Twitter, you can add your new account to that app too.

If you already have a Facebook account, don’t create a new one for the podcast, just setup a page for it. Similarly, if you don’t have a Facebook account, don’t set one up in the podcast’s name. Use your name - you don’t have to post to Facebook as yourself - and then setup a page for your podcast. This is important because there’s a difference between being friends with a person and subscribing to, or liking a podcast. It’s weird to be friends with a podcast, so don’t confuse Facebook or your listeners by creating a personal account under your podcast’s name.

The same goes for Google+, and as we’ll see in a moment, if you tried to setup your Google+ account in your podcast’s name, you’ll miss out on some useful features.

Producing a podcast takes time, so if you don’t have time to do the rounds, posting new episodes to all the social media sites, you can make life a little easier by signing up to Buffer. It’s free as long as you have one account of each type (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+). You can only post to Google+ pages, not to personal profiles, which is why it’s important to set your accounts up right. You can then download the Buffer extension for your browser, and each time you publish a new episode, just hit the Buffer button, add a few words and click “Add to Queue”.

You can make this job even easier for yourself by using a site called If This Then That. IFTTT (or “fit”) is a way of connecting the functionality of different websites together. You can use it for free and it can be an incredibly powerful automation tool. Here’s how to use it so you can automatically add new podcast episodes to your Buffer queue, to post to social networks as soon as your podcast lands.

Next, let’s talk about guests. Depending on the type of show you’re doing, guests can be a pretty useful way of attracting new listeners. If you hook up with people who already have podcasts, you can potentially swap listeners. If you write nicely to people with a little more Internet cloud than you, you might be able to pick up some of their followers too. Don’t expect too much from this early on, but do give it some thought. Who would you like to get on an episode of your podcast? Who already has an audience you want to tap into?

Also think about guesting on other people’s podcasts, for the same reasons. You’ll help bring some of your followers over to them, but also you’ll expose yourself to a whole new group of people. But, in a good way.

There are a couple of good places to find guests, share your latest episodes and to discuss podcasting in general. Reddit’s podcasting community, at podcasts.reddit.com is a nice, reasonably friendly start. You’ll find podcast producers from all over the world sharing episodes, questions, advice and guest spots. Similarly the Podcasters Support Group on Facebook is full of warm, helpful people at a variety of skill-levels who love talking about the medium.

So now the rest is up to you, and this is where the real hard work begins. Well done on getting your podcast up and running with WordPress. You can find lots more help and resources for this course, and get in touch with me, over at podcastingwithwordpress.com.

On this page you’ll also find a form to submit your podcast, so other people can hear what you’ve achieved through this course. I can’t wait to hear your show, and I hope you’ll stick around for more.chapters, as they arrive.

Good luck, and have fun podcasting with WordPress.

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