The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 6

This week, we’re on to enhancements. We’ll talk about the extra tools that you can add to your Podcasting website that will really help to entrance your audience, and keep them coming back for more. The first of these is a vital tool called Pretty Link: it allows you to create memorable shortlinks for your episodes, resources and many other purposes. Let’s have a look:

Resources Covered on This Episode

Creating Memorable Shortlinks on a Podcasting Website with Pretty LinkPretty Link is an amazing plugin. I use it on every single episode and blog post I make. It’s very useful in podcasting, where the principle is to try to get people back to your site. To achieve that, you have to tell them where to go by providing your web address. Ideally you want to provide the most memorable, short address possible. You can also use an external tool for URL shortening like Bitly but the best thing about Pretty Link is that it shortens your links within your own site. It is essentially a plugin that creates a tool within your own website that lets you create short links.

Another added benefit to using Pretty Link is that it does a lot of tracking and stats so you can see exactly who has used each link and how many people have clicked it. With this, you can see how popular a link is and it’s also handy for tracking different resources.

Please check out the LearnDen Website Course, a free course that provides a full guide to installing plugins.

Today’s Task

  1. Install Pretty Link
  2. Create a few short links to resources that your listeners would find great
  3. Post a comment below and tell me what you’re linking to. I’d be happy to promote your resource

Let Me Know What You Think!

What do you think about Pretty Link? What URL shortening tools do you use? Tell me what you’re linking to, I’d love to know!

And also, I’d appreciate it if you give me an iTunes review. It really helps to get my podcast out there to more people.

Thanks again for listening and see you on the next episode!

View the Transcription for the Show

Hey folks! I’m Colin Gray and this is PodCraft.

Hey Folks and welcome to another episode of Series 3 of PodCraft. The series on creating a peerless podcasting website, creating the best home you can for your podcast. Today, we’re on to episode six and this week, so we’re on to the second week , second set of five days. And this week we’re going to be looking at enhancement tools. Last week we got yourself set up with your basic WordPress podcasting website. You know have a website that can deliver your podcast in an effective way. Navigations’ all good. Themes are all good. Everything’s working well.

This week we’re on to enhancement. So this is the extra tools that you can add in that really make your website work really well. And really draw in your listeners, grow your audience. So the first tool we’re looking at and the one we’re looking at on this episode is Pretty Link. Pretty Link is an amazing plugin. I found it probably a couple of years now. And I use it on every single episode I create, I use it on just every single blog post I make as well. The principle is that in podcasting you always try to get people back to your site, so in podcasting obviously we can’t just link people to things, we got to tell them where to go. So generally that means saying our web address. So you have to say something like www.thepodcasthost.com/podcraft/. And it always gets a bit long and very hard to remember. So when you’re trying to get people to actually action something from your podcast, when you’re getting people to actually try and go somewhere, what you want to do is try and create the most memorable, most easy, most short address possible.

Now you could use some external tools like you get URL shortening tools like Bitly. So you get bit.ly, you can say bitly/bit.ly/something if you like. But that’s about off brand now Pretty Link is a tool that lets you do this but within your own site. So it’s essentially just a plugin that creates a tool within your own website that lets you create short links. For example, how does this works, I’ve got PodCraft to .net so podcraft.net is my main domain for PodCraft even though it’s in thepodcasthost.com.  So all my addresses tend to be the podcraft.net/somethingshort and I can create all sorts of resources, all sorts of pages on my website but to them with podcraft.net/ just a short link, just one word. And I can use Pretty Link to turn just that one word link into, well, redirect that towards the full link that redirects people towards the resource. The classic example and the main reason that I use it is for episodes. So I will say for the show notes for this episode, for example, this is episode six so that is three zero six, so that’s podcraft.net/306, so that’s extra short. But then I’d probably don’t want to actually call the episode that , I want to be able to put in into a category, I want to be able to put keywords into the URL so the actual show notes page URL would be something like podcraft.net/series3/episode-on-shortlinks-via-prettylink so that could be the actual URL. And all I do is to use Pretty Link to make podcraft.net/306 forward to that pocraft.net/series3/episode –on-prettylink blah blah blah. So that’s what it does, it lets you create really nice short memorable links to other places. And it doesn’t have to be within your own site either. So you can create short links to external websites. And the classic example of using this is with affiliate links. So if you want to link out to other resources are in the web but you want be able to get your affiliate link in there as well then you can use your own short linking. So for example, Audible is a big sponsor of podcast. If you want to link to audible.com using your affiliate link which will be something like audible.com/blah blah blah maybe lots of codes and things like that then you can just have podcraft, podcraft.net/audible then that would redirect to the main big affiliate link that you want.  So it can, it mask as well as making it much more memorable. So there’s a couple of benefits there.

And the final benefit that I think is really good with Pretty link and I use it this way all the time is that you can make general links to resources or offers or places on your website which can change. So, for example, on this course I am directing you towards podcraft.net/websitecourse for all the training and resources that I’m creating around the course so all of the video tutorials that go along with this course, I’m putting on a page which you can find at podcraft.net/websitecourse but that’s actually a pretty link. That redirects towards a different page. Now, I’ve currently got that page setup in a certain plates on the website but I can actually move that resource somewhere else on the website or I could move it to elsewhere on thepodcasthost.com or even onto a different website all together but that link podcraft.net/websitecourse would still be relevant because all I will do is edit the pretty link, all I will do is edit where that pretty link redirects to. So it’s a great way to redirect people to certain places where you might change the location of it in the future. So if you have a resource which you use as a sign up, a lead generator, something you give away, a report, a book, or whatever, you can have an address to that, say, yourdomain.com/resource and that would redirect to wherever it’s relevant at that time. And you can always have that link as relevant, people will always be able to find something at that link and you can direct them to whatever’s working for you at that time. So you can change resource, you can change the link, you can change the course whatever is your offer. You can basically keep that updated with whatever you like and it’s always going to be something relevant and something timely that you can keep up-to-date.  So that’s the basic functioning of Pretty Link, that’s what you use it for.

Another added benefit which we’ll just add in as well is that it does a lot of tracking and stats. So you can see exactly who has used each link and how many people have clicked it, how many people have used that link. That’s useful for a few different things, firstly you can see how popular a link is, so if you stick a link in your podcast and you want to see how many people are doing it, how many people are taking action on it, you can see that pretty quickly. You can see exactly how many people have used that link. It can also be really handy for tracking different sources. So say you’re trying to direct people towards a particular resource and you’re just trying to direct them there towards that from both your podcast and social media, you could use a different link to that same resource in Pretty Link so you can use one link from your podcast that goes towards that resource and one link on your social media that goes towards that resource. Both of them different links but they go to the same place and you can see how they compare. So you can see how many people follow it from the podcast, how many people follow it from social media. So you can see which outlets or which ones of your, which of your content is actually more effective for driving traffic to certain places. This is really hand if you do a lot of advertising as well. So if you want to track which of your advertising sources are working the best, you just give them all a different link. Give them a link per advertising source and you can see exactly which ones are sending you the most clicks.

So, that’s Pretty Link and that’s how it works. The Basic version of Pretty Link, you can get Pretty Link for free. You can just download it, start using it and it’s great. It does pretty much everything you’ll need it to. There is a Pro version you can pay for. The benefits of the Pro version are the main thing that I use is actually the fact that it puts the Pretty Link box into your post creation page. So I can actually create a short code for every episode just directly in the post creation page. It just saves me maybe thirty seconds to a minute each time I create a post. So it’s not entirely a lot of time but it makes it so much more convenient for me that, that is the main thing I paid actually because it’s not exactly a high cost plugin. There are a ton of other features that come with Pro, some more advanced stuffs including a lot of reports on how your links are performing. So have a look and see if you think Pro may work for you but certainly the free one works perfectly well.

If you want to see Pretty Link, go and find it and go to podcraft.net/prettylink, that’s a pretty link itself, podcraft.net/prettylink and that is an affiliate link so you can feel free to by-pass that if you want. If you find this useful then I would appreciate you using that, it gives me a small commission. But you can find Pretty Link on Google, no worries if you want to by-pass it. By all means, check out the Pro version, might be worth it for some, not worth it for others. But I really it for just the quick and easy way of adding episode short codes when I’m posting it.

Pretty Link is just a WordPress login so you just download it once you bought it or you can get it from at a WordPress plugins store. And remember, you can get the full guide to installing plugins at podcraft.net/websitecourse. If you haven’t already signed up for the courses there then by all means register or you can go straight to the courses from the links and it’ll just ask you to login.

So, let’s get to the tasks for today. I’d love to start putting some tasks on this course. See if I can get you doing some tasks, get you achieving a lot on your podcasting website. So first step is to install Pretty Link, go and find it. Get Pretty Link, stick it on your site. And then create a few shortlinks to some resources that your listeners are going to find great.  Pick a couple of things on your website that you know that are really popular with your listeners and create a few shortlinks to those resources so that you can start using those really nice, easy, quick shortlinks on your Podcast. And then finally, go and post a comment at show notes for the show which are podcraft.net/306, tell me what you’re linking to. I’d love to see what resources you’re using Pretty Link to your link to and happy to promote your resource there as well. So stick that in the comments and I’ll let that go. So yeah, I’d love to see what you think of Pretty Link.

So,  that’s another episode in the can. Another episode of Series 3 Creating a Peerless Podcasting Website. I hope you’ll tune in again tomorrow where we’re going to start looking at podcast subscribe links. This is how we persuade people to actually subscribe to our Podcast when they just find us in the search. So thanks again for listening today and see you on the next one.

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