Before we get into any of the details below you could go straight to smartpassiveincome.com and take the free course on podcasting by Pat Flynn Pat is an absolute hero in this space and is killing it when it comes to podcasting. If you haven’t done so I’d encourage you to check out his podcasts – everything he does is just brilliant.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- WordPress Blog
- Audio Player Plugin
- iTunes Account
- High Resolution image artwork about 1400 x 1400 px (iTunes will provide a default image artwork so this is optional)
- Libsyn or S3 Amazon account for hosting your audio files
Setting up a podcast can be done at almost no cost. You’ll need to pay for hosting services for you blog, but you are probably already doing that. Hosting your audio files is entirely optional.
Note: The following steps assume you have an existing WordPress blog.
- Making categories for your Podcast
Creating a podcast category is fairly simple. Just log-in to your WP dashboard menu, hover over “Posts” then click on “Categories.” For this example we will use the name “Podcast” leave the “Parent” drop down list at None then go down and click “Add New Category.” You can use this category to post all your podcast episodes.
- Audio Player Installation
An audio player is needed so your audience can listen to your podcast directly from your blog. On you WP dashboard menu hover over “Plugins” then select “Add New.” Type “Audio Player” on the search field and click “Search Plugins.” It should automatically be the first one on the search results. Select “Install Now” then activate the plugin afterwards.
- Acquiring your Domain Feed URL
Your blog’s podcast feed URL will be needed before we proceed to step 4. This is different from you blog feed URL.To acquire this, simply add /category/podcast/feed at the end of your URL e.g. http://www.yourdomain.com/category/podcast/feedyou can save this on a notepad for use later.
- FeedBurner Set-up
If you ever decide to move your podcast to another blog or site, the FeedBurner will come in handy. It acts as a buffer between your blog and your iTunes so it’s worth having this feature around. A gmail account is needed to have this feature so if you haven’t yet, I suggest you get one first before proceeding. It’s free and you can use other feature’s that come along with it like google analytics and google drive anyway. Once you’re logged in to your Gmail account go to feedburner.com and put your podcast feed URL (which you created in Step 3) on the field labeled “Type your blog or feed address here:” Tick the box that says “I am a podcaster!” then click “Next.”Note: Feedburner might find other feeds. If this happens, choose the feed that matches the one you created.You will be asked to type your feed title and your feedburner address. Once done click “Next.”Save the generated feed URL on a notepad for use later in “Step 6: Submitting Podcasts to iTunes.” Hit “Next”You will now need to configure podcast so feedburner can advise iTunes how it should be listed.It would be ideal to leave the podcast enclosure to “any rich media file.” For the Category select “Use additional categories.” Your podcast will reach more people this way.For you iTunes directory, paste your image link in the “Podcast image location.” The ideal size is 1400 x 1400 pixels. If you do not have one, iTunes will assign their own default image. When you’re finished click “Next.”WordPress can host your images which is what most users do. On your WordPress dashboard, hover over “Media” and click on “Add New.” To insert your image you can drag it into the section that says “Drop files here” or you can manually upload it by clicking on the “Select file” button on the same section. Once the upload is complete, you can copy the image URL link and paste it on the image location of your feedburner.Note: If you don’t have an image artwork yet you can always upload it at a later time. Keep in mind that iTunes will use a default image in the meantime.Check all the boxes on the following screen and click “Next.”
- Making a Podcast
Before submitting a podcast, iTunes must know where your podcast is coming from. Making a podcast can be done by simply creating a post.Note: Be sure to have your audio file ready to upload before proceeding.Move your pointer over “Post” and click on “Add New.” Type the name of your podcast show then click on the “Upload/Insert” icon.
You will now upload your audio file by dragging it to the section that says “Drop files here” or manually upload it by clicking “Select file.” Once the audio file is uploaded, click on the “Audio Player” button and then press the “Insert into Post” button.Next, iTunes requires that a downloadable file for your podcast is created so that they will be able to pick up the feed. The simplest way to do this is to highlight the actual link from the audio player and right click to copy.
You can type something like “Right click to download audio file.” Then highlight the text, press the “Link” icon and paste your audio file URL link and click “Add Link.”
Reminder about hosting your audio files:
Using your current hosting option to hold all your audio files is perhaps the easiest and inexpensive way to do so. However, as traffic on your website increases, so are the chances of your server crashing and leaving you suspended for a considerable amount of time.
This is because a simple hosting solution can only handle so much load because more activity adds strain to your host. Consider using alternatives such as S3Amazon or Libsyn to host your audio files. S3Amazon is particularly cheap but you can still search for other hosting options that fit your style and budget. Anything to avoid future headaches is a good investment for a growing venture.
- Submitting to iTunesSharing your podcast to the general public is the purpose of submitting it to iTunes. Of course, you would need to open an iTunes account and although a credit card is required, it is completely free.Go HERE to directly submit your iTunes Podcasr or continue with the steps below.Head to the iTunes store and select the Podcasts tab. On the menu that would appear on the right, click Submit a Podcast.Remember the feedburner URL link that you saved in step 4? Just paste that link on the blank field and select Continue.iTunes should automatically acquire the information from your feed if done correctly. Otherwise, click Cancel and review the previous steps. Once everything is in order hit Submit.
Don’t forget to choose the category you want your podcast to be affiliated with because this is essential.
Once finished, click Done.
Approval will take time and may get approved from within 24 hours or a few days. Once approved, an email will be sent to you with your feedburner and iTunes weblink.