You want people to share your content. So make it as easy as possible for them. The most logical starting point for this is your podcast's website.
This is day 24 of my 31 Day Podcast Challenge.
Many inexperienced podcasters share links to their new episodes from iTunes, Spotify or Soundcloud. But these aren't platforms you control.
Why direct traffic to someone else's site? You're missing out on a lot of opportunities for podcast listener engagement and growth.
Your podcast hosting provider will usually set you up with a basic website when you create an account with them.
These will lack the customization options you’re looking for.
The quicker you get your podcast its own website, the more control you will feel as your podcast grows.
Once you're ready to really put a plan together for a website, put the following things in place to make it easier for people to find, listen to, and share your podcast.
Website Menu Pages you need to include
This is traditionally the most viewed page on any website, so use it to your advantage. Focus on your listener with this page. List the benefits they'll get from listening to your podcast. Linking to a few of the best episodes you've done so far is an effective use of this page.
People listen to podcasts in different ways and in different podcast players. Link to the key podcast directories where your podcast can be found and subscribed to. Make it clear that your show can be found “anywhere podcasts are found.”
Having a full list of episodes is a great way for people who've just found you to look through your back catalog. Depending on which podcast hosting platform you use, it may be possible to set this up via your podcast player or an audio player plugin if your website is using Wordpress.
How To Contact You
Put all your contact details here. Make it easy for listeners to get in touch with you. It is amazing the number of my favorite podcasts, and their websites don’t have easily found contact information.
You can put a contact form, e-mail address, as well as any social media links. When you encourage listeners to get in touch with you, send them to this page. This makes it easier to listen to this call-to-action in your podcast, and easier for the listener to find.
Podcast Episode Posts
This is most crucial for setting yourself up when you start to have a larger and larger back catalog of episodes. Each podcast episode should have its own ‘blog' post on your site.
When you publish a new episode, it's a link to this post you'll use to share with the world. Here is what you need to include:
Your podcast episode title will also be the blog post title on your website.
Podcast Audio Player
Visitors to your site should be able to play an episode from inside that episode's post, so be sure you embed your podcast player from your web hosting company or your podcast hosting platform. It's true that most people don't listen to podcasts from their desktop or laptop computer, but it still accounts for up to 10% or more of listenership, depending on your podcast’s genre.
Episode Show notes
Don’t skimp on including all lists, links, and anything else discussed in the podcast in that episode's show notes. You'll increase the chance of being discovered by potential listeners on Google if you have descriptive show notes of 500 words or more.
Call to Action, or CTA
Whether you've asked your listener to subscribe, review, or buy something in your episode, put a link in the show notes. Make it easy for them! And if you’ve said you will have links in the show notes, put them in there.
Social Media Sharing Buttons
At the bottom of the post, include a little row of social media icons. There are numerous social share plugins available in WordPress that can set this up for you.
Make your website accessible
Around 20 percent of people have accessibility needs. For podcasters, the first step you can take towards making your content more accessible is to do transcripts for your episodes. Religiously.
If you create video content, look into adding in captions too.
Break up your written content by using headings, and use the ‘Alt Text' tab to add in details about any descriptive images you use in your posts.
Here are some other things to think about when looking to optimize your podcast website.
Your Domain Name
Get a memorable name that makes sense, is easy to spell, and easy to read out on your episodes.
Optimize for Mobile
The majority of browsing and podcast listening is happening on mobile. Your website needs to load properly and quickly.
Your website is your home to engage and grow your podcast more quickly than you realize.
In a previous episode, I talk with long-time friend and colleague Chuck Francis. He is the owner of Take And Bake Marketing, as well as the owner of USAAccess, a web-hosting, video production and graphic design firm.
My websites are hosted with USAAccess, full disclosure, but I bring him to the mic because of his knowledge around building websites, and how a website protects your podcast. We cover...
Importance of owning your own website
Maintaining control of your own RSS feed(s)
WordPress for site and show management
Control your feed, and control where it lives
Recorded in Studio C at Channel 511, in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.
Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.
Subscribe to my free daily Open The Mic Newsletter at www.circle270media.com. It's chock full of podcast news you may have missed, as well as social media, sales, and audio production tips, and insights on how to grow your business podcast.
If your business is using podcasting as a marketing or branding tool, I would love to showcase your podcast. Go to www.notetofutureme.com and scroll down to my booking calendar.
Email us at email@example.com to set up time to talk more about your new or established business podcast.
Me - Brett Johnson
LinkedIn - bretthjohnson
FB - circle270media
Twitter - circle270media
I want to thank ArchesAudio dot com for the music you're hearing. They provide audio to podcasters for free as long as you give them some accreditation in verbally in your podcast as well on the show podcast notes.