Tools to Set Up a Website for Podcasting: Plugins, Tools & Tactics

Setting your Site up for Podcasting

On to Part 3, and setting your site up for podcasting. 

This part of the course covers all of the plugins, tools and techniques that you need specifically for podcasting.

First will be the essentials – those things that you NEED in order to run an effective podcasting website.

Then I’ll cover a few tools which are great, but not required. These things really help your Podcasting website to transform from a standard website into a podcast promotion machine. Something that turns brief visitors into loyal listeners. Let’s get started!

PART 1: How to Run a Podcast on Your Website

Now, let’s set up your website to work with your podcast. There are a few elements to this, including uploading the show, publishing it and then delivering it to your listeners. Let’s start with the first part, and the most common thing we’re asked.

Where Do I Upload My Podcast?

Here’s how it works.

Each episode of your show is made up of one audio file. That audio file is uploaded to your Media Host. You don’t upload it anywhere else, such as iTunes or other directories. I’ll show you why in a little while.

A media host is very similar to a web host, but designed to deliver big bulky files like audio and video. You need a separate media host for a range of reasons, but let’s keep it simple here and just say you need one. You can find our favourite media hosts here. And, if you want to know, here’s why it’s not a good idea to host these files on your own website hosting.

So, when you finish a podcast episode, you upload it to your media host. When that’s done, it’s added to the full list of episodes that make up your podcast.  It’s this list (technically called an RSS feed) that you submit to iTunes and other directories. And you only have to do this once, when you first launch your show. This is great because it means you’re not uploading episodes to the directories every week. You just show them the list once, right that the start, and then they keep checking in to keep it updated on their own servers.

Whenever you upload a new episode to your media host, it’s added to the list, iTunes picks that up and then points your subscribers towards the file on your media host.

How Do I Create an RSS Feed?

Don’t worry, no need to know what an RSS feed is or how to make one. We’ll rely on a great little Plugin called Powerpress to do it for us. Remember, we’ve looked at how to install plugins in Part 1.

The main function Powerpress offers is the ability to attach audio files to our blog posts. This turns a normal blog post into a Podcast episode. Next, it automatically generates our ‘list of podcast episodes’ – our RSS feed – from all of the blog posts that have had audio attached.

This means that your weekly podcasting process is simply to do the following:

  • Create your audio recording
  • Upload the audio file to your media host
  • Attach the audio file to a blog post (your shownotes) using Powerpress

And that’s it! Powerpress automatically updates your RSS feed. iTunes automatically picks up the update, and prompts your subscribers to download the episode.

How Do I Attach My Audio Files to A Blog Post?

It’s great how simple this is – Powerpress simply adds a box at the bottom of each blog post which allows you to enter your podcast episodes.

If you choose to use BluBrry as your media host then it’s even easier, because Powerpress lets you upload the file to BluBrry right there in the post.

What Media Host Should I Choose?

There are a few big players on the market – BluBrry,  Libsyn and Podbean (use the code podhost or podcraft to get a free month – try both!) – and quite a few alternatives that are really starting to challenge them.

Right now, if you want to work from your own website (and since you’re doing this course, I assume you do!) I think BluBrry is the best option. This is simply because it makes the workflow really really simple. It keeps everything within your own site, allowing you to upload episodes to the media host directly within your Blog post.

If you use Libsyn or other services, then you need to log into that website, upload the file, copy the embed code or the file URL, come back to your own website and then paste that into your blog post. Not a completely ardous task, I know, but it’s still a few extra steps.

For the rest of this section, I’m going to show you how it works with BluBrry, because that’s the host we use and recommend. But I’ll show you how it works with other hosts too, as we go.

PART 2: Setting up Powerpress

How to Install Powerpress

First things first, we need to install the Powerpress plugin. Even if you aren’t using BluBrry as a media host, you need this plugin to generate your RSS feed. That’s essential for allowing people to subscribe to your show.

Setting Up Powerpress

Next, let’s have a look through the Powerpress settings. There’s a lot in here, but it’s not too complicated when you know how.

Creating a Podcast Episode

Now that you have Powerpress installed and set up, how do we create a podcast episode? This video shows how to create a blog post, and then attach your episode file to it. Once the audio file is attached, that blog post is miraculously transformed into a podcast episode and added to your RSS feed!

This blog post acts as your show notes for that episode. There’s a lot you can do with show notes to attract new listeners, and to make your existing ones more loyal. We have a ‘shownotes cookbook’ within our Podcast Host Academy that outlines all of the ways we know to make brilliant shownotes. Join us in there to take a look!

Your Tasks

In this unit we have three tasks, all aimed at getting our Podcasting basics set up. And by that, I mean Powerpress!

  • Install Powerpress
  • Set up your basic details within the app
  • Create one podcast episode, following the instructions earlier in this unit.

PART 3: Finding Your RSS Feed for iTunes/Apple Podcasts

As soon as you’ve published just one episode, that means your podcast is live. Anyone can subscribe.

The way they subscribe is by entering your RSS feed web address (URL) into their podcast listening app. So, even before you’re in iTunes, Stitcher, or any other directory, anyone can subscribe to your show with nothing more than the feed address.

The next step, of course, is submitting your show to the top few directories, and you need the feed URL for that too. So, let’s take a look at how to find your RSS feed URL in Powerpress.

Next Steps

Thanks for following along – this in the final part of the guide.

We’ve set up our website, we’ve designed and branded it, and we’ve added tools to let us easily run our podcast.

You now have your very own Podcasting website!

The next step is launching your show, growing your skills, nurturing an audience and starting to monetise it as a business.

If you need help with any of them, we’d love to talk to you inside The Podcast Host Academy. We have a range of courses in there – including our growth course, audio editing, podcast equipment, launch series, and much more. We also do live coaching, every two weeks, and help everyone create a great show inside our community. Join us!

Or, if you need more personal, one-to-one help, either to launch a show or to improve an existing one, take a look at how we work directly with individuals and businesses here: our client services.

Thanks again for following this guide, and good luck with your show!