Written byJosh May
In this post we'll walk you through the various steps you need to take when publishing a podcast.
And we'll also dive into the heart of podcast distribution: the RSS Feed. We'll explain what it is, why it's essential, and how to format, register, and validate it correctly.
While there are many podcast platforms out there, Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts are the top.
Spotify has quickly become a go-to platform for podcast listeners, with its massive user base and user-friendly interface. The platform has been investing heavily in podcasting and offers various tools and analytics that help podcasters reach more listeners.
By publishing your podcast on Spotify, you can benefit from its existing community of music and podcast enthusiasts.
Additionally, the platform's algorithm can help increase your podcast's visibility by recommending it to users with similar interests.
Although primarily known as a video sharing website, YouTube is also an excellent platform for publishing podcasts.
Since podcasts typically only require an audio track, making the transition to a video format is relatively simple. By adding static images, visuals, or video clips to complement the audio, you can convert your podcast into a video and increase your reach to YouTube's vast global audience.
YouTube also provides an opportunity to engage with listeners through comments, likes, and shares, making it easier to build a community around your podcast.
Apple Podcasts is one of the most popular destinations for podcast listeners. With its dedicated podcast app, available on all Apple devices, reaching Apple's user base can give your podcast a significant boost.
Apple Podcasts is known for its diverse catalog of podcasts across various genres and is often the first platform that new listeners turn to when seeking content.
Publishing your podcast on Apple Podcasts may increase your credibility and help you reach a demographic that typically invests in high-quality content.
Follow these simple steps to get your podcast live on Spotify:
Once you've chosen a podcast hosting platform and have your RSS feed ready, visit Spotify for Podcasters (https://podcasters.spotify.com/start) and click on "Get Started." Then, either sign in with an existing Spotify account or create a new one.
After signing in, click on "Get Started" and then "+Add new podcast." You'll be prompted to agree to Spotify's terms and conditions, after which you can submit your podcast's RSS feed URL. Click "Next" and verify the information fetched by Spotify from your RSS feed.
In this step, you'll need to fill out additional information about your podcast, including the language, country, and podcast category. Be accurate and specific to help your podcast reach the right audience.
Once you've reviewed and confirmed your podcast information, click "Submit" to send your podcast to Spotify for approval. They will review your submission and notify you via email once your podcast is accepted. Generally, this process takes a few hours to a couple of days.
By following these steps, you can successfully upload your podcast to Spotify, granting you access to a wide range of listeners and helping your podcast grow.
Uploading your podcast to YouTube is a great way to reach a wider audience. Given that YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, it can be an effective platform for expanding your podcast's visibility. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this process:
YouTube is a video-sharing platform, so the first thing you need to do is convert your podcast episodes into a video format. You can do this by using various software tools like iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, or even simpler options like Headliner or Wavve.
For a straightforward approach, create a static image or a simple animation to accompany your audio. This could be your podcast's logo, cover art, or an image related to the episode's content.
If you haven't done so already, you'll need to create a YouTube account. If you already have a Google account, you can use this for YouTube as well. After creating your account, set up a YouTube channel where you'll upload your podcast episodes. Ensure your channel name aligns with your podcast name for consistency and ease of discovery.
Before uploading your podcast, it's essential to optimize your channel. Include a clear description of your podcast in the "About" section, add links to your website or social media pages, and customize your channel's appearance to align with your podcast's branding.
Now, you're ready to upload your first episode. Click the 'Create' button (the camera icon) at the top of the page and select 'Upload Video.' Choose the video file of your podcast episode and upload it.
While your video is uploading, you can add important details:
Title: This should typically be the episode number and name. Description: Provide a summary of the episode and include any relevant links, such as your website or sponsor's website. Tags: These help YouTube understand the content of your video and can improve its discoverability. Thumbnail: You can upload a custom thumbnail for your video. This could be the same image you used in the video, or a unique design for each episode. Playlist: If you plan to upload many episodes, creating a playlist for your podcast can make it easier for viewers to find and listen to all episodes.
Once you're satisfied with the information and settings, choose your video's visibility. You can select 'Public' to make it visible to everyone, 'Unlisted' if you only want people with the link to view it, or 'Private' if you're not ready to publish it yet.
When you're ready, click 'Publish' to make your podcast episode live on your YouTube channel.
Here are the steps you'll need to follow to upload your podcast to Apple Podcasts.
Apple will then review your podcast to ensure it meets their guidelines. This process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Once approved, your podcast will be available on Apple Podcasts.
In addition to Apple Podcasts and YouTube, there are several other podcast directories where you can publish your podcast to increase its reach. Let's discuss a few of these platforms, including Google Play Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Amazon Echo.
Google Play Music is another popular destination for podcast listeners. Although Google has transitioned to YouTube Music for music listening, podcasts are still supported on Google Play Music. To submit your podcast, you'll need to go to the Google Play Music Podcast Portal, click 'Add a Podcast,' paste in your RSS feed, and follow the verification steps.
Stitcher is a dedicated podcast platform with a large user base. It's an excellent place to distribute your podcast, especially if your audience is made up of Android users. To submit your podcast to Stitcher, you'll need to create a content provider account, click 'Add Shows,' and fill in your podcast details along with your RSS feed.
TuneIn is a global platform that offers live sports, music, news, podcasts, and internet radio from around the world. To submit your podcast, you'll need to complete a form on the TuneIn website, which includes providing your podcast's RSS feed. Note that TuneIn doesn't host podcasts; instead, it plays them via the RSS feed you provide.
Amazon Echo, powered by the voice assistant Alexa, allows users to play podcasts from various platforms, including Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. However, to make your podcast available directly through Amazon Echo, you can submit your podcast to Amazon Music.
To submit your podcast to Amazon Music, you need to use the Amazon Music Podcast Portal. Once you've created an account, click 'Add/Update Show,' enter your podcast's RSS feed, complete the required fields, and submit it for review. Once approved, users will be able to access your podcast on Amazon Echo devices through Alexa commands.
It's important to remember that different platforms have different user demographics, and not all platforms may be suitable for your podcast. Research each platform to understand its user base and decide if it aligns with your target audience. By choosing the right platforms to publish your podcast, you can effectively reach your audience and grow your listener base.
A Podcast RSS feed is the backbone of your podcast distribution. Without it, you wouldn't be able to share your podcast with the world. Here we will walk through the importance of an RSS feed and the steps you need to take to prepare it correctly.
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed is a web feed that allows users and applications to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. For a podcast, the RSS feed is a file that contains all the information about your podcast and its episodes. This includes details like your podcast's title, description, cover art, episode titles, and more.
The importance of an RSS feed lies in its functionality. When you upload a new podcast episode, you update your RSS feed. Podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and others use this RSS feed to update your podcast on their platforms. This means your listeners can automatically receive the latest episodes as soon as they're released, provided they've subscribed to your podcast.
Correctly formatting your RSS feed is vital for ensuring your podcast is successfully distributed to podcast directories. Most podcast hosting platforms automatically generate a compliant RSS feed for you when you upload your podcast. However, it's good to know what should be included:
Channel Title: This is your podcast's name. Link: A link to your podcast's website. Description: A brief summary of your podcast. Language: The primary language of your podcast. Cover Art: A link to an image file for your podcast's cover art. Category: The category or categories that best describe your podcast. Explicit: An indication of whether your podcast contains explicit content. Episode Details: For each episode, you should include the title, description, link to the episode file, duration, and publication date.
Once you've set up and correctly formatted your RSS feed, it's time to register it with podcast directories. Each directory will have a submission process where you provide your RSS feed URL. For example, in Apple Podcasts, you would log into Podcasts Connect, enter your RSS feed URL, and click 'Validate'.
Before you submit your RSS feed, though, you should validate it to ensure it doesn't contain any errors. There are several online tools, like Cast Feed Validator, that can check your RSS feed for issues that could prevent your podcast from appearing correctly in directories.
Once validated, you can confidently submit your podcast to your chosen directories. Remember to update your podcast on your hosting platform regularly, as this will automatically update your RSS feed and distribute the new episodes to all directories your podcast is listed on.
The journey of podcast publishing may seem complex at first, but hopefully, this guide has provided you with the necessary knowledge to navigate this process with ease.
Growing a podcast audience takes time, and engaging content is key to building and maintaining a loyal listener base. And most importantly, enjoy the process. Podcasting is a journey of creative expression, learning, and connecting with a wider community.
A podcast directory is a platform where users can discover, subscribe to, and listen to podcasts. Examples include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.
The cost of publishing a podcast can vary depending on several factors, such as hosting fees, equipment costs, editing software, and marketing. However, uploading your podcast to most directories is usually free.
You should list your podcast on platforms where your target audience is likely to be. This often includes major directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.
Improving your podcast's search rankings can be achieved by using relevant keywords in your title and description, encouraging listeners to leave reviews, and regularly releasing new episodes.
Approval times can vary between platforms. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks.
The frequency of new episodes depends on your content and audience. Weekly episodes are common, but the key is consistency. Choose a schedule that you can reliably maintain to keep your audience engaged.
If you have any feedback, leave it in the comments!