Where does your Podcast Live and Why iTunes Matters
Where your podcast lives. So, I'm gonna explain some terminology because this can be, this is more technical than we're gonna get, but the good news is you don't have to know any technology, you just kind of have to understand these words and then I'll walk you through step by step of what you're gonna do. So, some terminology to start with. Your host, is not like the lovely host we have here today. It's the host of your feed for your podcast. So it's where your podcast lives on the internet. I like to think of like you're paying rent somewhere for your podcast to have a nice little life and for them to hangout. So it's your host. Your feed is a little bit of software code that gives your subscribers new episodes. So whatever host you use and this is why a podcast host is a little bit different than where your blog or your website might live. We'll talk about that in a minute. It generates a tiny little piece of code that you will then paste into iTunes and that feed is actually the li...
st of your episodes, okay. So when you give them that code, it will then grab all of the episodes you have. When your podcast has been around for a while, when you refer to your feed, it's all of your episodes that are being beamed into people's phones or their computers. So iTunes uses this feed to catch your most recent episodes and gives it to your subscribers. This is really supercool because your subscribers do not have to remember to comeback and listen to you. They don't even have to remember to go to Youtube and then look at their subscriptions if they are regularly listening to a podcast app, any kind of podcasting app. It's gonna catch it and it's gonna give it to them. So then they just have to click on it to listen. And your podcast host creates this feed and then you submit it to iTunes. So, at first before we go any further, we'll also need to talk about why iTunes matters. So I keep talking about submitting it to iTunes, there're a couple other places you can submit it, but iTunes is the one you have to be on because most other ways that people listen to audio shows catch their feed from iTunes first. So one of the really great things is that you can both use iTunes to be found and to organize your content. So new listeners are gonna find you in that section called "Other Listeners Liked." So I think most everybody, everybody in this room listens to podcasts regularly and if you listen to it on the Apple Podcast app, you'll see that under, your show you're listening to is a section that says Other Listeners Liked or also Listeners Also Liked and then at all suggest shows. That's awesome because that means if I like Eliza's podcast it might suggest Laura's podcast. And then I'm gonna find you, even though I've never heard of you and I've no idea who you are. It pulls this in a couple of ways. It pulls this based on who has left reviews for the different podcasts. So my podcast shows up say on Abby's Other Listeners Liked page and that's because people have left reviews on both of our shows. So they know the same viewer. They also have the data of who's subscribing. So they know who's both subscribing and who's listening to the shows. And also if you use the keywords or you have similar titles or you have similar kind of content in your description and then also your actual episodes. So if I interview Liz and Abby interviews Liz, iTunes is like, "Oh this podcast must be on similar content" "covers similar content." So by doing those things, you're gonna show up for other people. Also new listeners are gonna find you via search. So you can go into iTunes and search for anything. Your Apple Podcast app has a little search bar, a little search thing in the bottom. So I could go in and I could search for classes on podcasting. Like you can just search podcasting and you'll find podcasts about podcasting which is better. You know as I go and search in for knitting, and you'll gonna find all the knitting podcasts that have been labeled correctly. So we will tackle a little bit about using keywords and writing a description, but this, this is how new listeners are gonna find you. Then the other reason why iTunes is better is because this is the biggest percentage of podcast listeners are using some app that is actually getting it's data from iTunes. So you getting the data on your host and then your host sending it to iTunes is really important to being found and really important, not even being found by strangers but being found by people who are looking for you. So if you're like, "I just heard this great episode" "on Tara's podcast" and you probably don't remember the name of my podcast you'll be like, "Well, her name's Tara Swiger" somebody can pull out their phone and search Tara Swiger, hopefully my podcast is the first one that comes up. So you can be like, "Oh yeah, it was back a couple of weeks ago." If you're not on iTunes, then you're not gonna be showing up in these places. So that's specifically why we're talking about iTunes. It's just the biggest game in town. Now to get into iTunes we first have to put it on a host. We have make it live somewhere on the internet. So you have, we're gonna super-simplify your host options. I wanna just say there are a million options. When I was researching this before I started my own podcast, I got overwhelmed and almost didn't do it because there are so many things you could use. You can price compare to the counts come home, but I've boiled it down to two. I use both of these for two different shows and all of my clients and customers use one of these two. So it's just super-simplify it. The first one is SquareSpace. So I'm gonna tell you which one you should pick based on who you are and what you have going on in your business already. So SquareSpace is really the place to start if you don't already have a website. So if you're not using any website host at all and you're starting totally from scratch, this new show maybe you are on XC or you have a big Instagram account or you have a Facebook page and or a Shopify and that's how you've been building your business, build the site on SquareSpace. It's gonna allow you to upload your podcast episodes. They're gonna serve as your host. They're gonna give the feed to iTunes. They're gonna do everything you need to do, right as part of building your site and it's actually called a blog. It's not necessarily a blog that you'll write but that's kind of their terminology for what you're gonna do. So you wanna go with them if you don't already have a site and yeah, it's gonna make it really easy. I have a link in the resource guide to their description of how to setup an account and get your first audio episode on. If I walk through to it would take a long time and they would change it all the time. They've changed it in the last six months since I started my most recent podcast on SquareSpace. So they're always updating it, always making it better. So I've linked up in the descriptions. It will have the most up to date way. You're gonna set up a host, your account and then you're gonna add some information. And I'm gonna tell you exactly what you need to add in a minute. So let's talk about the other host. So Libsyn is where I started my podcast. It's really great if you already have some place your website lives. So my website TaraSwiger.Com is a Wordpress site and I have a host for it. So that means that I'm already paying for it, my site to live some place on the internet and now I just need a place for my podcast to live. So I chose the Libsyn. I think I pay fifteen dollars a month and that let's me upload. You pay based on how much, the size of the files you wanna upload. And 'coz I'm doing a weekly show and sometimes I do even bonus episodes, I need the fifteen dollar a month plan. There's also a five dollar a month plan. So that's where most people are gonna start unless your files are really big and really long. You can absolutely start with their like lowest plan. So the other great thing about Libsyn that I like is that it gives you stats. So you remember earlier I told you that my best downloaded episodes were the Q&A episodes, that's because I could see that because of Libsyn. So I can go in and I can even see the downloads by day and by month and by episode. Another thing to keep in mind when you're looking at your stats is downloads doesn't mean listens. Everybody who's subscribed to me, their phone is grabbing my episode but half of those people might not ever hit Play or 90% of them could. I don't know because there's no stats, just so you know. No way to know who's listening to what. Like Apple doesn't give us that information. There's kind of no way to know but you can track downloads. SquareSpace gives you a little bit of that information but Libsyn has it all on a page that says Stats and I really like that page. So this is the way to go if you already have a website. Are there any questions about the hosts?
What if you have a website already that is not directly related to what say, what your podcast is about? Should you create a website for that podcast directly?
Okay, so the question is if you already have a site like for your business, should you make a separate podcast site?
Well, if yeah, because if your podcast is not directly related to a business that you have, does that make sense?
It does but I wanna suggest for most people is that they put it all in the same place. If, if you're happy with your website and your website is doing what you want it to do, having a podcast there is gonna lead way more traffic to it. If you do a second site, you're gonna have to lead people to that website and then to your business site. Now what you could do is create a site for your podcast and then put your business stuff on it, because what you want to do is sell directly from the place you're sending them, exactly where listeners are going. Don't create an extra step. Is that not the answer you wanted? (laughing)
I'm just thinking about the process of what I want to do compared to what is already out there and exists for me.
Does that make sense?
Yeah, yeah that totally makes sense. So for a lot of people, their podcasts, a lot of, a lot of students here, their podcast is gonna be really closely related to their business, in which case I recommend that it's all in one place. So I don't have a website for ExploreYourEnthusiasm even though the name is different. My website is just TaraSwiger and that would have been a weird podcast title, so it all lives on one site. Right, because I want people to go there and then also buy stuff. So it all needs to be in one place. You don't add any extra step, yeah.
So another follow up with that, maybe you'd answer it, but it doesn't necessarily mean, and I know we talked about this earlier but your podcast name could be different than let's say the business that you have named.
Yes, it could be. But I, I think I said earlier that you wanna make sure that you don't give people too many things to remember.
Yeah, well and this is a struggle for a lot of people because they're not happy with their business name or they don't want to use their personal name or there's this whole, like a confusion with naming in websites. But really the more, you just think the more you're giving people to remember, the harder it'll be for them to take any action and they won't remember and they won't take action.
Yeah, are there questions in the chatroom about this host stuff?
People seem quite happy with the options in term, in terms of where to host support of both something quite easy to use.
User friendly. Yeah, well like I said, most of the people that I worked with they use one of these two things. SquareSpace makes it really simple if you have no website or just an etsy shop, super simple. Libsyn, if you have a website it's really easy to plug in. So now, what you do on your host and I almost forgot to talk about this in this class when I was planning it, but when you set up your host account so you're gonna follow the link in the resource guide I've given you and it's gonna tell you how to setup your account. The next thing you do, after you, well, you create an account first. Right, so you're gonna have an account on SquareSpace or on Libsyn, then you're gonna go in and they have certainly different ways to do it but the directions are online. You then fill in your show info. So you are going to go put all the details of your show in that host, in the place where they tell you to. Because what's gonna happen is all of this information is gonna populate on iTunes. So you don't have to fill it in on iTunes, it's gonna suck it up. And when I do a demo, I'll show you how it sucks in. So what I mean by show info is you're gonna upload that image you made for your thumbnail. SO we talked earlier that you're gonna make an image where the words are big and clear and easy and they're pretty and that I showed you some examples when we played the samples of what some images look like. Make one, upload it here in your host where it says, I think it says, Image For Podcast. It's really straightforward. You're also gonna add in your title of your show. Not your episode title, your show title. So on mine it would say ExploreYourEnthusiasm. You're also gonna write a description of your show. Now good news, we did this already. When you wrote your intro, you can use that intro as your description for your show, with a couple of changes. So what I want you to do when you write the description for the podcast is to think what your show is about, all the topics you're gonna cover, whose it for and add in those words. Make sure those words are in there. If you did a super short intro that's just like, "Hi, it's Tara. You're listening to ExploreYourEnthusiasm", but I didn't say crafters, makers, business profitability marketing, those that's what my show's about, so I'm gonna make sure I write that in the description. So you let like your description would be ExploreYourEnthusiasm is a show by Tara Swiger for makers, and crafters working on their business. We'll cover profitability, marketing and confidence, okay? So if now somebody searches Tara Swiger, ExployeYourEnthusiam, crafters, marketing, all that, I put those words in the description, so iTunes knows that's what's it's about. So iTunes can't listen to your podcasts and know what it's about. iTunes can only go by what you tell them. So it's gonna get that from the title and it's gonna get that from the description. And actually let's go back up to the title 'coz I wanna say something else about that. If you look at my title on iTunes or any podcast app, you'll notice that it says ExploreYourEnthusiasm and then a couple of spaces and then craft, business, marketings, something like that. Because I wanna head and put some key words in my title. So when you're doing that in your host, you're not gonna say that verbally when you tell people your title but you're adding some extra keywords into that title. You can do that. I use a little character that's the vertical bar, it's on the far right hand side of your keyboard. That vertical bar is like a spacer kind of. You could also use like colons or semi-colons. You don't wanna pile twenty but you can do three to four. So it's ExploreYourEnthusiasm, then like craft and marketing and business, or something like that. So that I show up even more for those topics. So wanna think about what's the topic that people are gonna search for when they go to find you. So are they gonna search for parenting. Are they gonna search for knitting. Are they gonna search for stripey socks. What is that thing people look for and then be happy they found your show. Make sure those words are in the description. If you didn't say them verbally in the intro that you wrote earlier, make sure you put them here in the description just right, a third or a fourth sentence and you'll be all set. Then the next thing you're gonna do in your host is, it's gonna give you a dropdown to choose your category. Now this is how iTunes categorizes your podcast. So if you have ever gone to the podcast app, you'll see you can choose between business and marketing, art and design, I think parenting and health. Those are all categories. You wanna pick the one that makes the most sense and then you can also pick subcategories or secondary categories. So mine might be in, I think it's in like business and management and that it's also in art and design. Neither one of those is really entirely what I do but you just wanna pick the category that, if my listener was looking for this podcast, what category would she go to? So I can't tell you what that it but you know your listener and your buyers, so you would be in the category she's looking for you. You can also go and look at those similar shows that we talked about and see what categories they're in. They might be in a bunch of different ones. So just write down what category they're in and that might give you an idea of where you wanna be. Also if you're in a weird category and then you're like, they're getting this all wrong, you, that like is a clue, right to put you someplace else. Then you also in your host can add tags and keywords. These are those words people are gonna search for. when they're looking for you. You can go crazy here and add as many as you can think of. And again this is a data that's gonna populate iTunes. So this is how people are gonna find you. And the last thing you do, is you upload your episode. So this is all in your host that's what's going to tell iTunes what you're about and then you're gonna add your episodes to that host. Does that make sense, okay? Then there's a place on your host where your RSS feed will live. It will like, it's supereasy to find them both of these sites. On Libsyn it's just on the page that says Show Details. Once you've filled in all this information and you've uploaded an episode, then you'll have an RSS feed. This RSS feed, you don't have to even understand what that means, this is what you copy and paste into iTunes. So you have to before, you have an RSS feed you have to upload some episodes. So to do that, we've done what we've talked about. You've created your intro, maybe a little outro. You've recorded your episode. You've attached them all together, then you upload them to your host. Then you're ready to go to iTunes. Does that process make sense?
Can you show us how to actually, from,
Like to iTunes.
Yeah, so I can't show both hosts because it's a longer process.
I have a question about that.
So if you recorded something in Auphonics.
And then you did all of this in SquareSpace and then, your gonna, so is there a way, my question is, is there a way to go from Auphonics to upload. Is there a, like how do you...
Is there a link?
That's a really good question. So, when you are, okay, so you gonna go to auphonic.com first. You can't do all this from your phone.
Setup in your account where you want it to send it to. So Libsyn is an option in Auphonic and then, you'll like click Libsyn and they'll make you log in to Libsyn, I need to check if SquareSpace as an option, if not, you can just save it to your computer or send it to Dropbox, which is what I do so it's not crowding your computer and then when you go to SquareSpace, you're gonna create a blogpost and you're gonna add an audio block and in that audio block you're gonna upload that file. So if you've gone through Auphonic and you've saved it on your computer on Dropbox, then you'll add it to SquareSpace from there.
Does that make sense?
I got hung up on the process when I like was fumbling through, so it's where my technology skills were not...
Exactly, and that's the thing too is if you haven't setup where to send it and you've just recorded your episode, you have to go into Auphonic. Create your account. Put your intro and outro and then one of the questions that ask you is where you want it to send. Then you go into that recording. You apply those settings, which is called like the production template, you apply the production template and then when's that production template is made, you just apply it to every new recording. So the couple things to setup once and this with your host, you just do it once and then it's setup forever. The same thing on Auphonic. You setup your settings and then it's ready to go. I'll check on it if it can go straight to SquareSpace. I think you have to send it to your, you save it, then you upload it to SquareSpace, okay? Are there more questions on the chatroom about this?
No, no questions on the uploading process.
Awesome, okay, well that's excellent. So this is, like I said this is the most technical thing you're gonna do. You do it once, you're all done. I promise it's a, it can be tricky in the beginning to like wrap your head around but then you do it and you'll never think about it again. I actually have to go back through and do it all from scratch and read it through to remember coz it has been three years.