There are many questions that hosts/podcasts generators stumble through at the beginning of making their show such as, ‘how to get podcasts on iTunes?’, ‘how does podcasting work?’, or ‘how to set up a podcast?’ For meaningful answers to all the queries, move forward as this is our basic guide about podcasts for the rookie podcasters. First of all, we will start from the basic, that is, ‘how does podcasting work?’
Table of Contents
A Six-Step Basic Guide to How Does Podcasting Work
If you have listened to a podcast but do not know how it works, here’s a guide to ending your curiosity:
1. Recording and Editing an Episode
You can start by capturing your video or audio by using a podcast recording software such as Zencastr or Squadcast. After that, import these recordings into basic podcasting editing software such as Audacity and Adobe Audition.
2. Uploading Podcast to A Podcast Host
A podcast store is a place where you can import the final audios of all your episodes. There are many podcast hosts such as Castos. Upload an audio file in the MP3 format of your episode in the podcast host. It is recommended to include additional information as well such as description, title, kind of artwork, author name and etc.
3. The Podcast Host Creating an RSS Web Feed
The podcast host that you have chosen to import your files would automatically create an RSS web feed for your podcasted show. Your RSS web feed would not be fancy. It would be a general URL. However, this URL is the only way or link of sharing your podcast to the whole world.
4. Setting Up Podcast Directory Accounts and Submitting Your RSS Web Feed
Now you need a place where the audience can discover your podcasts. Through the podcast directories, the audience can discover and find your Spotify or Apple podcasts. However, to create an established connection between the RSS web feed and directory, you have to submit your RSS feed’s URL.
5. RSS Web Feed Automatically Distributing the Episode to Podcast Directories
Every time you update your podcast with a new episode, your RSS web feed automatically updates or appends to new information. Moreover, the podcast directories display the latest added episodes to your podcast automatically.
All you have to do it set up the initial connection between your RSS Web feed and the podcast directory. After that, you can even forget it.
6. Listeners Finding Your Podcast and Tuning In
Your audience can either subscribe to a single episode of your podcast or to any of the directories submitted directly on your RSS web feed.
If, for instance, a user has subscribed to your show, he will be notified of every new episode that would be uploaded by you.
A Misconception About, ‘How Does Podcasting Work?’
A common misconception about this process is that podcast directories allow you to directly upload your episodes. This is not true at all. Instead, the podcast directories receive your info through the RSS web feed. In short, it is like a middleman between you and your audience.
How to Get Podcasts on iTunes?
Getting your podcasts on iTunes is probably the best way to ensure that your episodes are reaching a wide audience. Uploading podcasts on iTunes is very simple. In fact, you can get the whole process done in less than an hour. You might be thinking about immediately uploading an audio file but its more complicated and difficult than that. However, the process is pretty easy to follow.
Want to know how? Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get podcasts on iTunes.
1. Record Your Podcast
The most obvious step to getting your show on iTunes is to start a podcast. You have to follow some specific steps so that your shows can be accepted on a platform like iTunes.
Make sure to keep the show notes while recording and edit the audio to eliminate distracting elements such as dead air, noise, uneven audio levels, feedbacks and terrible audio quality which usually occurs when you do not use a podcasting microphone.
2. Complete Your Podcast Details
To upload your podcast on iTunes, you must follow some specs given by official iTunes. This would increase the chances of your podcast publication. Follow the below requirements:
You need to have with you at least one episode for the future series.
Give additional information as well such as the name, the descriptive title, summary, category, contact information and etc.
Upload your episodes with a max resolution of 3000*3000 or with a minimum resolution of 1400*1400 in the PNG or JPG format.
3. Choose A Podcast Hosting Platform
For you to get a large audience, you need a hosting platform. Some good hosting platforms available include Podbean, Buzzsprout, Podomatic, Blubrry and etc. If you want to choose one, look for the features that cater your podcasting needs.
These hosting platforms offer various types of accounts and usually charge a monthly or annual fee. For example, you can get Podomatic’s most affordable plan, with 100GB bandwidth and 2GB storage per month is just $8.32. whereas, their most premium package includes 15GB bandwidth and 500 MB storage per month.
4. Save RSS Feed URL
After that, you need to find the RSS feed’s URL for your hosting platform. If you want your podcast to be available on Apple iTunes, you need to submit that URL. Look for the RSS feed address that your hosting platforms have provided you with.
There’s an extensive guide included on each hosting platform’s website about how to retrieve your RSS feed URL.
5. Download and Create an iTunes Account
You can install Apple iTunes directly from their official website through Google Play. Make sure to have your personal account on iTunes. If you want another account for your podcast, make one. This allows you to customize and set your profile and ID according to the name of your podcast/show.
6. Submit Your Podcast to Podcast Connect
Just a few years ago, Podcasts could be directly uploaded and submitted to the iTunes app but Apple has changed the policies and has introduced a podcast portal called iTunes podcasts connect so that podcast generators could have more control over their podcasts.
After uploading your file or episode to official iTunes podcast connect, here are some steps to follow:
- Sign in to your Apple ID.
- You will see a ‘+’ sign just on the left side of your Apple dashboard. Click on it to add a brand-new show to your podcast directory.
- Click the ‘validate’ button after entering your RSS feed link on the next page.
- There are chances that your link could become invalid. Make sure to go back to page 2 and fill the missing details of your podcast.
- Once your link has been validated, double-check all the details and hit the ‘submit’ tab.
7. Wait for Your Approval
After submission of your podcast, all you have to do is wait. You might get your podcast under review by the official iTunes team for 24 hours or even a week. If your podcast is approved by the iTunes team, you will receive another email with an activation link for your podcast.
By going back to the Apple dashboard, you can edit or review the imported podcast. Or, you can add more episodes as well.
How to Set-Up Podcast
By now, you know the answer to, ‘how to set up a podcast?’ So, before starting to record for your podcast, here are 5 things that you should prepare for beforehand. Trust me, you will thank me for it:
1. Your Podcast’s Title
If you are thinking to upload your podcast on iTunes, do not forget that it is a search engine and to get more listeners, you need a title for your show. For a good ranking on iTunes, you need to have a descriptive title with relevant keywords.
However, do not the stuff in too many keywords in your title. Try to keep it as natural as possible. Many people search on iTunes by keywords so ensure that your title has the most relevant keywords.
2. Your Talent Name
This is basically your name- the host’s name. You can add something extra with your name to rank yourself higher in iTunes. Do not go crazy with your name rather, be persuasive. Choose a name that people can find, given the iTunes algorithm, is a bit cranky.
3. Your Podcast’s Subtitle
iTunes and other directories ask for your podcast’s subtitle. They do not show the subtitle to their users but they ask for it anyway. But that does not mean that they do no use it for their search engines.
Its always good to have a short descriptive title of your show ready. Even a couple of sentences about your podcast would suffice this need.
4. Your Podcast’s Summary/ Brief Description
A description of your podcast is very important as you are going to attract the listeners by this. If you are using iTunes, you are lucky as you can use 4000 characters to describe your podcast. Your podcast’s summary should be compelling and engaging but targeted at the same time. make sure to add relevant keywords to rank it higher on the iTunes app.
A great description always has natural keywords. So do not worry about the keywords. Instead, try to make the description engaging and attractive.
Write your podcast’s summary in advance and save it somewhere. I am sure you might need it in the future.
5. Your Podcast’s Artwork
Your podcast needs a profile, and artwork just like you need a picture for your profile. What I am talking about now is a square image that would describe your show. The podcast is an auditory entertainment. However, the graphical representation of that podcast plays an extremely important role in attracting the audience.
This is the only thing that people would see on search. They won’t see your summary or your subtitle. Your artwork is like your podcast’s first impression on the audience.
An appealing image is what you need to have more chances of being featured in visible sections of iTunes. Some sections of the app, such as the ‘What’s Hot’ are worth struggling for.
Moreover, the artwork is an important element when it comes to reinforcing yourself or your brand. Followers need something to identify you. The square image is what people would see on their screens. So, make sure it’s a good one.
Here are some image specifications are given by iTunes:
The maximum size of one image to represent your podcast should be of a maximum of 3000*3000 and a minimum of 1400*1400. I would recommend using the maximum resolution, which is at 72 dots per inch. In order to support the resolution capacity of the latest media players on the internet, a resolution of 3000 by 3000 is good.
The image file must be in .png or .jpg format.
The text inside the image should be readable, even at the smallest size. Optimize the text inside the image for a resolution of 150 by 150. If the text is readable at that resolution, you can read it perfectly in other sizes too. Shrinking down the logo to 300 by 300 won’t affect your text in the image.
With one high-resolution image, you also need a 300 by 300 resolution image. You are going to use this image while uploading your artwork.
The Pros and Cons of a Podcast
Like every coin has two sides, the podcast also comes with benefits and limitations. Here are some pros and cons of podcasting before ending this guide:
- Podcasting is pretty easy to handle. To create a podcast, you just need a microphone and a good recording and editing software.
- Podcast builds a powerful relationship between the generator and the audience. Thereby, reinforcing the brand in the best way possible.
- You do not need to be experienced or a blogger to create podcasts.
- If you have content that does not support visual content, the podcast is the best way to deliver it.
- The audio material in the podcast can be delivered in various languages. Thus, making room for a larger audience.
- The audio podcasts do not support complicated content with visual content.
- Very often, many search engines do not pick them up. So, it’s hard to find them easily.
Although, podcasts have some limitations, when it comes to delivering visual content they are a great way to get a large following or audience due to their unique capability of information-sharing.
Further reading on how to make money doing podcast