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What Should I Have On My Podcast Website? Podcraft S7E07

Your website is your podcast's home online. So what should you have on there?

Our free course on how to build a peerless podcasting website can be found here.

Your Podcast Website is also an article in our Growing Your Audience series.

Listen to the Episode Below (19:04)
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Transcription

Matthew: So this was a question that came in through the website from Reese asking about his podcast website. Of course when you setup a podcast you don't actually need a website do you but it's really good to have one. There's many reasons as to why you should have a website. I don't think we have to go through them all but a good…

Colin: If your aim is only ever to have fun, to talk about something that you enjoy talking about. If the aim is actually to do podcasting for podcasting sake then fine, no website required but as soon as you go beyond that and you want to monetize really in any way, even sort of try and move people… if you're not trying to monetize but your trying to promote a charity or inspire people into doing something, anything then that's when you need somewhere to point them to isn't it. You need them to go somewhere where they can see more information or take an action or anything like that.

That's the whole point of a website. It's getting them to take action on something think.

Matthew: Yeah so when you maybe discover a podcast and you have a listen to it and you want to go and check out their website, what are some of the things that you look for Colin when you go on to a podcasts website?

Colin: The most common thing that I go to a podcast website for is the resources, the show notes. So you go on there, you're trying to get the things that they talked about on the show. So I'll go there, I'll be inspired to go there by their call to action as in “go and check out the resources, go and check out the information” but then I suppose a big point in the website is you want to try and guide them elsewhere. So you want to try and guide them through the rest of your information. So the about page for example. That's always quite important because if it's the first time somebodies listening to your show then you want them to buy into who you. You want them to buy into your personality, that's the power of podcasting is that you're putting yourself across.

Matthew: With the about page, I've heard this quite a lot that it's traditionally the most viewed section of a website. If somebody lands on a website for the first time they'll tend to click there. An about page is an opportunity isn't it to tell your audience what your all about but I think there's maybe a difference between talking about you extensively. Obviously there's differences, is it about the podcast, is it about you personally? But what you want to talk about in your about page, a lot of it has to do with about what your listener can get from listening. So it's from their perspective rather than here's my favourite food. Well it depends on your podcast, that might be relevant but you know a huge biography about yourself personally might be completely unnecessary.

Colin: It's about the listener. First thing is what are the benefits for the listener? What are the benefits to listening to the show, as in how are you going to solve those pains but beyond that you’re starting to delve into what the shows about really, the aims of the show and then why you’re the person best positioned to solve that problem for them I think.

So here's a problem, here's a solution that the shows offering and here's why I'm qualified to actually do this and that's when you can start getting into your background and your personality I think.

Matthew: Then you can also use your about page to link to maybe some of the best stuff that you've got out there. Maybe you've got a really good interview with somebody and you might want to point them to that. If you've not heard the show before, check out this interview with such and such, maybe somebody quite well known and it went really well. Link it to some of the best stuff on your site. A couple of good articles or things like that.

Take advantage of the fact that people are landing there.

Colin: One of those actions is the contact isn't it. The contact page is obvious I suppose. You want somewhere where people can get in touch with you but get you contact details on there. Get your social media details, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook links, get a form on there so people can email you. A lot of people list speak pipe link so that people can leave you a voice mail or maybe a google voice number, or phone number of some sort so that people can leave you a voice message. We've used a Skype number in the past so people can call you on the Skype number and leave a voice message and you can bring that into the show. So I think that's probably a good second step. If you get somebody to your website, quite often a big aim for early stage shows, even late shows actually is getting some contact, getting to know their listeners and building that engagement with them.

Matthew: The thing about having whatever your podcast is.com/contact is when you are finishing your episodes and you want somebody to get in touch, you don't sit there and read them your email, your Twitter, your Facebook all that stuff, you just send them to one place and it's all there isn't it. A really important thing for podcasters to put on their website is a subscribe section because you cannot assume that everyone who's landing on your site is already subscribed to your show. In most cases they probably haven't so they want a clearly labelled subscribe section where they can go in. You don't just want to have an iTunes link, you want to have links to every single directory that you could be found in, even if you put your content up on Youtube, have your Youtube link. Let them listen at where they want to listen and use this section to let them know that's all there.

Colin: You’re not talking about putting it on like 300 different podcast directories but you pick the ones you want to target the best, the most effectively. Your moving here to the other reason for a website.

The first reason for a website is that it's somewhere where your existing listeners go to either pick up a resource, to look at more information about what you've talked about, to engage with you more by contacting you, to build more fans basically. You're bringing them back to a home for your show. But the second reason to have a website is that people will find your show not through podcasting, not through iTunes, not through tune in, they'll find it through the web if you do it right, if you have good show notes. Every single episode you put out you create a blog post for it essentially.

Show notes are nothing more than a blog post with an audio file attached and if you do it right as in you create reasonably substantial bit of text, 400/500 words at least talking about the resources, summarising what the shows about, showing some of the takeaways and giving people some good information so that those show notes actually stand by itself then that ranks in google. People van find that in google and that brings more people to your show because they'll read those show notes, they'll think this is good information, I might listen to episode two and then absolutely your subscribe buttons. That's when you want to get them subscribing to the audio of it as well.

Matthew: Yeah when your episode posts you want a good title. Show notes, you could go down the transcription route. We've been doing that for this series. Rev.com they've just been transcribing our conversations and that means if somebody was to search for a particular thing, it might come up in Google whereas at the moment Google’s not really searching for audio. It will happen in the future… and your episode posts as well. You want the media player in there. Any media host you use is probably going to give you a player, the Libsyn one, the Powerpress one with Blubrry is good, if you use Soundcloud… they've got a nice player I'll admit that. You're basically wanting to give the listener the capability or the person on your website the capability to hit play and listen to a bit of your episode. They might not consume the whole thing at that point and then a download button as well where they could download it.

So if you have that in your posts…

Colin: A lot of people forget… listening to Podcraft, it's likely that you're an avid podcast listener so it's very likely that you listen on a podcasting app. It might even be that you're not on the standard apple app, you might have gone as far as to download pocket cast or beyond pod or something and when we do that, when we're that into the medium, you forget that there's a lot of people out there that aren't so into the tech and we have a surprising amount of people listen to the show on the web. They come on the website, they play it on the website player and that's how they listen to it. They don't subscribe, they just come along and listen when they want to and of course your job is to try and make content that's so compelling that your able to talk them into downloading the app or just going on their iPhone and opening up the podcast app and subscribing but you can't take that for granted.

So some people do still download the show and put it onto an MP3 Player or something like that. Some people do just want to listen on the web every time. So you want to make that experience as good as possible.

The other one that we use is simple podcast press by Hani Mourro and it's a really good player actually. It offers some great tools and there's a new version just out that's got some good upgrades that I haven't tried out yet but yeah it's worth checking that out too.

Matthew: I just want to pick up on something that you said there and it goes back to the subscribe section. Depending on your topic, your topic and your target audience might not be technical at all and in fact we're going to do an episode on this in this series. If for example your episode, none of them know what podcast is, it's good on that section of your site maybe to have a video explaining what a podcast is and how you subscribe to it. Again that's topic dependent. If you're a really ‘techy' podcast you probably aren't going to have to do that but it all comes down to your audience.

One more thing on the episode post is that share buttons are good as well. You want people to share your episodes so make it easy for them.

Colin: Click to tweet or something to let them tweet a quote. Your absolutely right, I've seen some great examples of that about teaching people how to subscribe so if they find your post via google and it's just text then have a think, have a button on there saying ‘what is a podcast?' That takes them to a page on your site that explains what it is and the benefits of subscribing.

Matthew: Another thing that I'm a big fan of is for podcasters to have a full episode list on their website so that you can at a glance just look at the back catalogue. When you've been doing a podcast for a long time, I'm not sure the number that iTunes caps it at now, I think it displays 100 or is it more now?

Colin: I think it was 300 last time I checked.

Matthew: So it does take you a while to hit that but don't assume that your entire catalogue is available on places like iTunes because sometimes they're going to put a cap on it. You’re not wanting that to be the go to place that they go, you’re wanting it to be your own website. When people are thinking ‘this podcast has the information that I'm looking for' they want to be going there and searching through your episodes.

Colin: You want to make it as easy to navigate as possible too. So an episode list is a good idea, it's a good start, but even using things like categories and tags to really smartly categorise the topics within your show. So when we are talking about podcasting for example, we've got categories on the show about… like WordPress. So we're talking about websites just now so I'm sure I've got a tag that is WordPress. So it’s every episode that I've ever talked about word press on is tagged word press so they can click that tag and they can see all of the shows that are related to that.

We do pod craft in a seasons based format so actually our categories are the seasons but it means they're really well categorised towards those topics. The last season was about presentation skills, creating engaging episodes so they can click that category and they can list just the episodes on that category whereas even if you are not doing seasons, you’re a text show, you could have a category which is apple and then that would bring up all of the episodes that talk about apple products.

Its offering that navigation through your back catalogue that lets people see what you've done around certain topics and browse the stuff they want to.

Matthew: A couple of other wee details that we need to cover, things like domain names. When you want to get a website for your podcast, is there any sort of do's and dont's do you think for choosing a domain name?

Colin: I think as short as possible whilst still making it memorable. You can go a bit over the top and make it something quite abstract to make it very short… it's not even that important these days because you can have quite long domain and actually people are used to remembering these things. You could have audiodramaproductionpodcast.com and that is a relatively long domain but people will remember it won't they because it's the name of the show. So I don't think these days there's too many hard and fast rules. Getting a ‘.com' is really valuable because that's the first thing people go for.

There's a lot more extensions out these days, like you've got ‘.club' , ‘.bike' , ‘.members', ‘.xyz', you've got all these extensions which can be a bit more expensive but give you a lot more options as well.

So don't spend too long on it. I think a lot of people spend ages trying to find a good domain and actually…

Matthew: I don't know if this is just me but if I listen to a podcast and wanted to visit their website, the chances are I'd probably just type it into google and it would come up anyway but it's certainly something to think about is domain names. Perhaps more important nowadays is to make sure you've got website that works on a phone. It's 2016 at the time of recording and you still come across websites, some of them for big companies, that don't really work on your phone. You have to expand it with your finger tips and navigate through it because it's designed of a desktop. A lot of people now just won't put up with that, they'll just leave the site. WordPress is really good for this now and most of their, if not all of their themes ….

Colin: Are responsive yeah. If you build your site on square space or Wix or any of the new services that make building a website so easy, then they pretty much all have responsive templates too. But your right, it's worth keeping an eye on because you could choose a template in WordPress that doesn't respond to being viewed on a mobile and it's a bad experience for folk.

Matthew: And it's just about checking isn't it. You could sit and perfect your website on your computer and it looks brilliant but make sure you run through it on your phone. Even better, give your phone to someone else and ask them to navigate it. If you've got an iPhone, make sure you're having a look on a Samsung phone as well. Just making sure that it looks good across all platforms. On tablet and everything. Don't just assume that because…

Colin: Last thing we'll say on this one I think is a couple of extra resources that you can go to. One of which is an article you wrote on websites in your promotion series wasn't it?

Matthew: Yeah that's right yeah. So we'll put links to that in the show notes.

Colin: You can find the show notes at podcraft.net/707 . so we'll link to Matthews article there. You can also check out our free course. So we've got a free course called ‘Peerless podcasting website'. So it's how to setup your own website using WordPress. So if you decide you want to self-host a website, you use power-press to deliver it or alternative tools as well then you can see exactly how to do that within the course. So you see that over at podcraft.net/websites.

Analytics and SEO for Your WordPress Podcasting Website

The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 8

Our topic for this episode is Analytics and SEO. I'll have a look at optimising your show notes pages to help them, and your site in general, appear more prominently in the search results. We'll look at an SEO plugin that really helps with this in mind, and an analytics plugin that allows you to drill deep into your stats and really discover what's working and what's not on your podcasting website. It's time to get more visible!

Listen to the Episode Below (0:10:41)
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Resources Mentioned on This Episode

Analytics and SEO for Your WordPress Podcasting WebsiteSEO by Yoast

This is a free plugin that creates great SEO titles and descriptions and helps you to implement keywords that help to achieve better search results.

Google Analytics by Yoast

This free plugin will help you integrate Google Analytics quickly and easily. It will help you track how many visitors you have and what visitors do on your site, allowing you to spot what works and create more of what your visitors enjoy.

Remember, you can find the full guide to installing plugins and working with WordPress in general at my LearnDen Website Course.

Today’s Tasks

  1. Install both the SEO and Analytics plugins
  2. Create an analytics account for your site and link it up
  3. SEO one page with a great title, meta description and go through the different tips to make it green on the rating
  4. Leave me a comment below. Give me a link to the page you SEO’d, I’d like to see how it looks.

Let Me Know What You Think

If you’re already using these plugins by Yoast, I’d love to hear what you think about them. Do you find them useful or effective?

If you’re following along with the series and building out your WordPress site, then install the plugins mentioned and let me know the results!

Finally, if you’re enjoying the series, I’d really appreciate it if you’d give me a review on iTunes. It really helps to get the show out to more people and grow the PodCraft community. Just pop over to PodCraft on the iTunes website to do that.

Transcription

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

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Series 3 of PodCraft. This is the series on creating a peerless podcasting website which basically means creating a great home for your podcast to attract new listeners, make them long term listeners. So yesterday we were talking about subscribe links for your podcast, how to create links to help people to subscribe to your podcast. Today, we’re moving on to analytics and SEO that means today is about optimising your actual show notes pages so it appear better on the search, making that they’re more easily found and then measuring how well you’re doing in the search so how many people you’re getting on to your site and a whole lot of other information that I’ll go into.

So, what’s the point of this? You may argue that most people find us, well, we’re a podcast to start with. So surely we’re going to be found in iTunes, we’re going to be found in Stitcher directory, we’re going to be found in podcasting directory so no need to worry about stuff like SEO we’re not working with text, we’re audio people. But that’s not entirely true, people find us by search every day. People are searching for podcast on blah blah blah, podcast on this topic, podcast on that topic. A lot of people are getting into podcasting that aren’t using Apple devices now, it’s not just Apple so you can’t rely on just iTunes store. Plus if you’re not thinking about creating show notes so that they’re optimised for certain keywords to attract people in that are searching in general for your topic then you’re missing a trick. Just because it’s a podcast doesn’t mean it’s any less relevant than a blog post, you should be getting found on amongst blog post, on amongst articles for any topic whether people are searching for a podcast or not. So that’s why it’s worth thinking about SEO in general. Then once you’ve got people on to your site, once you’re getting found well, once you have everyone coming in then you want to see how effective it all is, how well your site is working, what type of stuffs people are enjoying and that’s when analytics comes in. You can argue really that is there any point in doing this if we can’t tell how well it’s working for us. And also analysis can help you really optimise your site as well. By that, I mean really seeing what works, seeing what posts, what content really work for people, what people are coming in to see where they’re ending up and what pages they’re really enjoying so that you can create more content that your audience enjoys. It’s so very well you’re thinking that you know what your listeners are going to like but it always comes down to proof of the pudding whether people are actually going to see or not. You can think that this post is going to be so successful and this other post might not be so successful but you’re going to write it anyway. And that turns out that that second post actually gets viewed twice as much as the first post. You’re only going to find that out if you have analytics installed. And then you can start to create more of the posts that turned out to be popular. You can also find keywords that people are finding you by so you can discover how people are finding you, what people are typing into the search engines and you can start to create more content that really targets those keywords that people kind of, you know, the ones that aren’t working quite so well but still get some people in. You can start to create content around that and that’s the kind of information you can get from Google Analytics. It really helps you to grow out your content, gives you ideas for things to write about. It really helps you to create ideas, to create episodes around every single week.

So let’s look at the plugins that we’re going to use for this. This is what you’re going to be installing on your website. And these are two plugins that I install on every single WordPress website that I do, whether it’s podcasting or not, it’s just as useful for us podcasters. Both of them are created by the same guy, guy called Yoast. I don’t know what his full name is but his nickname on the web is Yoast which is Y O A S T. And if you’re going to the WordPress plugin store, you can just search for Yoast, just Y O A S T and there’s, well, the two plugins that I’m going to talk about pop-up first. If they don’t appear there at the very top though, first one’s WordPress SEO by Yoast and second was called Google Analytics by Yoast. So, you can search for them by their names.

So, let’s have a look quickly the SEO one first. So, install the SEO one and the main thing that you know is that it’s added a box at the bottom of your post creation page, so, the page where you create your new episodes for your podcast. The little box appears at the very bottom of the content and essentially adds a few different things. First of which, it lets you create great titles, so, it lets you create a different title to appear in the search. That means you that you can have a different, you can have one title for the post itself, one title that appears on your own website then you can have a separate title that appears in the search results. And that’s useful in that. Quite often you might have a very long title on your own page, on your own website, be quite descriptive or you might even have just quite an entertaining, funny title to put on your website. But it’s not quite so relevant, it’s not quite attractive maybe it doesn’t tell a story quite so much about what the post is about. And that’s what you want in the search, because you want the title that appears in the search to really tell people what the article is about and what the benefits are going to be for them. So that’s one of the things that, one of the main things really that the SEO plugin gives you that lets you create those really SEO titles and put some keywords in there. Next of all, it lets you create a great description as well. So, in the search results, you’ve got the title first but then you’ve also got a little description below that. It’s two lines which were a little bit grade out and it does have an effect on how people click through. So, having a good description does affect how many people click on your results. So, it’s worth spending a little bit of time every time you create a podcast post, type in your description, do a little two sentence description which tells people what the post is about, what the benefits are and make sure the keywords are in there as well. And that really well benefit you in terms of the clicks that you get from the search results.  Next and really usefully, it gives you this grading system for your SEO for the post. So, say I’m targeting a particular keyword so I’m going to target a Scottish mountain bike trails, so that’s the keyword I’m targeting in one of my podcast episodes. So, I type that into the keyword field on the WordPress SEO block at the bottom of the post page. I put that in, I save a draft, and then the Yoast plugin will give me a grade depending on how good my post is. It will give you lots of advice on how to increase the SEO so I say it’s a lot bit about SEO training course, it will tell to make sure that keyword appears in the title, it’ll tell you to make sure it appears in the title a couple of times at least in the article itself, it’ll tell you how often in appears and it’ll tell you a few different tips about how to optimise that post to make sure that it’s going to show up well for that keyword. So, it’ll take you through that and it will really help you to make that post as optimised as possible. And it really does help especially if you’re not that confident on the SEO principles, it will take you through and teaches you how to create those well-optimised posts. The last thing that I think is really useful as well that the plugin does is it creates sitemaps for you. So, it creates a sitemap for you, for the entire podcasting website and these are useful because Google search will be much more attracted to your site, much more likely to index every single page on your podcasting site if you have a sitemap available. So having that sitemap available and submit it to webmaster tools, is a really good thing to do. So, that covers the SEO plugin by Yoast.

This other plugin, as I’ve mentioned, called Google Analytics by Yoast. It helps you integrate Google analytics really quickly and easily. It’s a pretty simple plugin because all it really does is perform one function which is put the analytics code in but does it in a very easy way and also gives you a few extra options as well. But I’m not going through all of them but some of them are pretty handy and once get more in to analytics you’ll start to learn which ones you want to use, which ones you don’t. Stuff like, for example, event tracking, so you’ve been able to track what links that people click on, what things that people do on your website that becomes a really useful thing that you can do in the future, one of the more advanced things. But essentially, with the plugin, all you do is you install it. You sign up for a Google analytics account, if you don’t have one already. You get your analytics code which generally, it’s just a little code that has letters in the start and then a few numbers. You put that into the analytics plugin on your WordPress site, click save and asks you to go on then a couple of days later you can go back to check your analytics account and you can start, the data starting to collect. So, that’s it! Pretty simple. You don’t have to cover too much on that one.

And that pretty much ties us up for today. So, remember, both of these are plugins. Again, I’ll say it again, full guide to installing plugins and working with WordPress in general can be found at the courses that I’m putting together for this course, for this series I should say, you can find them at podcraft.net/websitecourse. And you can either sign up for the courses there or if you already signed up then you get straight to them from the links on that page.

And that leaves me to say your tasks for today. So, final thing, that task is to install both the SEO and the analytics plugins. Get them both working on your website. Create analytics account for your site and then link it up. And finally, SEO one page on your site, just choose one page, just choose a popular page and SEO it with a create title, make sure your title is good, it appears well in the search so it can draw people in, create a meta description for it and the go through the different tips that the SEO plugin gives you to make it green on the rating, make sure that it’s well-optimised. And then that leaves you to go to podcraft.net/308 which is the show notes page for this episode and then give me a link to the page you’ve SEO’d, I’d love to have a look and see how it looks. So, just pop a link into the comments and say how you’ve found it, say how useful you found these, the plugins.  Whether you think they’ll be good for you or not. You can find that at podcraft.net/308 I’d love to hear what you think!

So, thanks again for listening to another episode. Next time on this series, we’ll be looking at Contact US stuff. So, how to create a page that lets people get in touch with you and plugins that can help you with that. So, hope to see you then and thanks for joining me. Talk to you then!

Adding Podcast Subscribe Links to Your WordPress Website

The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 7

In this episode I'm looking at the all-important subscribe links. These are aimed at converting passing visitors into long term subscribers, and are often forgotten about in the blind rush to concentrate on iTunes traffic. Well, I can tell you it's just as important to look after your search traffic – let's have a look at how.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:12:08)
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Resources Mentioned on This Episode

Adding Podcast Subscribe Links to Your WordPress WebsiteSocial Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin

The main resource mentioned in this episode is the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin by Daniel J. Lewis. This plugin allows you to set up really nice looking, easy to use subscribe icons on any WordPress website. On the episode I discuss ways in which it's possible to do this yourself, but Daniel's plugin takes a lot of the hassle away, and comes with a great design to boot.

FindIcons

If you decide to try to create a subscribe section yourself, then the site I normally use for icons is called Find Icons. It allows you to search through its pretty vast database and filter by royalty free and link-free icons. You should be able to find something that'll do the trick and add a nice touch of colour to your sidebar, drawing the eye and a few extra subscribers.

Black Studio TinyMCE

This plugin adds a new Visual Editor widget type that allows you to insert rich text and media objects in your sidebars with no hassle.

Check out the LearnDen Website Course for videos on how to work with widgets and with WordPress in general.

Today’s Tasks

1. Install the Black Studio TinyMCE plugin or install Daniel’s plugin
2. Create your sidebar with the subscription icons using either of the plugin you installed.
3. Leave me a comment below. Tell me which plugin you went for and which services you think are valuable enough to list.

Let Me Know What You Think

If you already run your own Podcasting site, I'd love to hear how you handle subscriptions. How have you been persuading people, so far, to subscribe?

If you're following along with the series and building out your WordPress site, then have a go at either of the approaches discussed, and let me know how you got on in the comments. Did you try to do it yourself, using Find Icons, or just in plain text?

Finally, if you're enjoying the series, I'd really appreciate it if you'd give me a review on iTunes. It really helps to get the show out to more people and grow the PodCraft community. Just pop over to PodCraft on the iTunes website to do that.

Transcription

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

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Series 3 of PodCraft, a series on building a peerless podcasting website. So this is actually looking at how you create the best home for your podcast to give people a great impression and really draw people in so they become long term listeners. Yesterday we were looking at Pretty Link, a great wee plugin for creating really short, memorable links. Today, we’re moving on to another plugin which should help us create a great podcasting website and that is called, well, the plugin itself isn’t called it but we’re looking  at is podcast  subscribe links. Now, what I’m talking about when I say podcast subscribe links are icons essentially in the header or in the widgets part of the sidebar which allow people to subscribe really quickly, really easily to your podcast using whatever software they use. Whether that’s iTunes, whether it’s Stitcher, whether it’s a general Android phone with a podcatcher installed, whatever they use to listen to podcast. What we want to do is to offer these links which allow them to subscribe quickly and easy. So, why do we want to do this? You can imagine that whoever visit in your podcasting site that may already be subscribed, that may have come there because they listen to your podcast and they are looking for the show notes. But actually, there’s a lot of people find our podcasts via search. If you’re doing your podcast in an effective way, if you’re creating your show notes effectively then you should be attracting a lot of search traffic esp. once you’ve got a fair few episodes out there. Once you’ve got twenty thirty episodes, that’s a fair bit of content on your website. And that content should be attracting quite a lot of search,  could be, should be attracting quite a lot of traffic just to people finding you. Just through general search terms, especially if you do a bit of work on your SEO as well. So these people that find you like this, they want to subscribe, they want to know what the subscribe options are, how they can subscribe to your podcast. And you want to make that subscription process as easy as possible and to make sure there are no barriers in their way. So, that means adding tools, adding links, adding icons, which mean that they’ll quickly and easily see the service that they use, they’ll click it and they they’ll find out how to subscribe.

So, what ones would I recommend putting on? Obviously, you’ve got iTunes, that is the big one, it’s the one that most people use. The vast majority people are subscribing to podcasts on iTunes so you want to have that first and foremost. So, get the iTunes link on there, get an icon from iTunes. Next of all, we got Stitcher. Stitcher is a pretty up and coming service. A lot of people listen via Stitcher these days especially on Android phones and other non-Apple-based platforms. Next to that, then we’ve got standard RSS. So if people are not using either iTunes or Stitcher then quite often they’ll know if they do listen to podcasts, they’ll recognise that RSS icon. You know the orange square with a three curved white, what they called quarter circles, that’s what it is. They’ll recognise that RSS icon and they’ll know that that’s how they subscribe. If not, then I actually tend to include a little Android icon as well. So, I’ll say “Subscribe on Android”, make sure people know how to subscribe with an Android phone. Because a lot of people using Android phones maybe don’t know how to subscribe to a posdcast, maybe don’t even really know what a podcast is. And in that case, I would quite often make that Android icon link not to an RSS feed, which is essentially what you need if you’re on Android, but to a page explaining how to subscribe to a podcast via Android. So talk to them about a couple of different podcatcher, so like BeyondPod or another app that lets you subscribe to a podcast on Android. Talk to them about a couple of them.  And then talk about how you can pull the RSS address from your website and put it into that app.

Now, we talk last week, I mentioned in the navigation episode about the different types of pages you can include and one of them was a “How to Subscribe” page. So possibly this could just link to the Android section of your “How to Subscribe” page. I really do recommend having a “How to Subscribe” page on any podcasting website. Just a page that basically talks to people through how to subscribe on iTunes, how to subscribe on Stitcher, Android, all of the different platforms. And actually a lot of these links could link to that page but to the particular section. So, there’s your 4 basic ones, you’ve got iTunes, Stitcher, RSS and Android. And you can add more than that, by all means if you want to. You’ve got Windows phones, you’ve got few different services, you’ve got Blackberry, all that kind of things. So, it’s up to you how comprehensive you want to go but I think if you’ve got those top four then you’re doing pretty well.

So next stop, how do we actually add these? How do we add these links or icons or whoever you’re representing them to our website? Couple of ways I’m going to go through, first one of all is a free method. So, the first one is going to use an extra plugin and some icons you’ll find elsewhere. What I would do is I would go away and find some icons for the services you want to include at a site called FindIcons.com.  That’s where I find all my free icons. I tend to go on there, search for royalty-free icons and just download the ones I need. So you’ll find the standard ones, you’ll get ones like RSS, you’ll get the iTunes, Stitcher, etc. So you can find the ones that you’re looking for, download them from FindIcons site at a relevant size and then upload them to your WordPress website so they’re in your Media Library, they’re all set to go.

Next, we want to create an HTML widget in your sidebar. So we want to just create a widget in your sidebar that lets put in custom texts, custom images, custom code so that all you’re going to do is add the icons and then you’re going to add links to those icons so that people can find, well, it takes them to a page or it takes them to the link page, it takes them to a subscribe page, whatever is that you’re guiding them to a facility of that subscription. Now, there is an HTML widget within WordPress, you could do it within that but you have to know HTML so you need to be able to code it from scratch to be able to use that widget which isn’t ideal for many people. So, the best thing to do in that case is to download a plugin called Black Studio TinyMCE widget. And you can get at podcraft.net/tinymce and this basically adds an extra widget tool to your widgets area. You’ll see it as, it’s named Visual Editor so once you’ve installed that plugin and activated it, there is this new widget called the Visual Editor. So, you go into your widgets area and again you can get videos on how to work with widgets, how to work with WordPress in general at my courses which you’ll find at podcraft.net/websitecourse but once you’re in there into the widgets, drag across the Visual Editor box to the relevant sidebar so you might want to add more sidebars but put it into the sidebar that will make it appear on your standard pages and then you can start to edit it. It just looks like a post edit page so it just gives you the standard options where you can just put on some texts, you can format, you can make titles, you can make links using the standard links icon and you can add images as well. And all you’re going to do is put on your icons that you downloaded from FindIcons. Add those images to your widget, click the images and turn those images into links and put the links as the links out to whatever it is you’re guiding the people. So, for the iTunes one for example, I would tend to guide people to the page on the iTunes website for your podcast. Because on that page there is a big subscribe button which opens up people’s iTunes app. For Stitcher, you can guide people straight to your page on the Stitcher website as well, so that’s fine too. For the RSS one, you’ll be linking to the actual RSS feed on your website. But essentially you create that within the widget so that all of them are relevant, all of them are present and then not then appears in your sidebar and that’s it done.

You can take an even easier option obviously and just have a text list, just a bullet point list which says Subscribe on iTunes, Subscribe on Stitcher, so on and then link out to that. You can make it as complicated or as easy as you like and you can look at podcraft.net for an example of this. In the top right of my sidebar you’ll see a few links to Subscribe to iTunes, Subscribe to Stitcher, etc. They’re just icons that I created myself and then link to within the standard WordPress HTML widget. So, that’s how it will look once you finish. Now, I want to mention another method as well. This is a paid method so this is something you have to pay for but it does make things so much easier, so much quicker and it looks great as well. It’s a really nicely designed plugin. Now, the plugin is called Social Subscribe and Follow Icons, it’s created by Daniel J. Lewis from Audacity to Podcast, great wee tool. Essentially it’s just a plugin that you install on WordPress just the same as any other plugin and it lets you add a short code to subscribe buttons in your posts or it lets you add a set of icons to your sidebar via a widget or into your header as well if you’ve got space in there for widgets. And it even offers a PHP code as well which means that you can put this anywhere so you could code them directly into the header, directly into the footer, directly into parts of your website. So it lets you set up these subscription buttons, offers you really great nice looking, nicely designed subscription buttons. And basically it puts all together for you. You can see how it looks actually by going straight to Daniel’s site, have a look at theaudacitytopodcast.com. He uses at the top of his site, you can see all the icons that appear there. It’s pretty little price, only twenty-five dollars to setup the thing, then twelve dollars a year so it doesn’t exactly costs much and I think it does save a whole lot of effort. So, it could be worth it if you don’t fancy trying to create them yourself in the method that I mentioned at the start. So, again, that is a plugin and the previous one as well that we worked with, the TinyMCE is a plugin.

So, if you want to look how to install those plugins, full guide to all on the courses that I have listed at podcraft.net/websitecourse. Just register there if you haven’t already or if you have you can get straight to the courses from the links there and just login.

So, let’s finish up today with your task. So what I want you to do today is choose one of the options so either go for the free method and install the TinyMCE plugin and create your sidebar with the subscription icons or go ahead and head over to Daniel’s site and download his plugin and install that and get it working as well. Either way just go ahead and get it done. Then, go over to procraft.net/307 that’s the show notes for this episode, you can get all the links to everything from that page as well. Put a comment on that page, tell me which one you went for and what services you’re listing. I’d love to know which ones you’re going for whether you’re putting on just iTunes, Stitcher whether you’re just putting Stitcher on RSS that kind of thing. Put a comment in and let me know which services you think are valuable enough to list.

And that’s it for today. It’s enough for one episode. Tomorrow and the next episode, I’m going to look at plugins which lets us measure our analytics and optimise the site a little bit for SEO. So if you’re interested in that, in helping yourself get a little bit up higher in the search and to measure how well you’re doing then do tune in again. But thanks for listening to this one and yeah I’ll see you then.

Installing WordPress as your Podcasting Website Platform

The PodCraft Podcast: Series 3, Episode 2

In this episode we're looking at installing WordPress. WordPress is the software that we'll be using to run our podcasting website and, luckily for us, our hosting package makes it really easy to get it up and running. Listen to the episode to find out how to use cPanel to install the package quickly and easily.

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Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Installing WordPress as a Podcasting WebsiteTo find the videos I discuss in the episode just go to the following links. The first one takes you to a free course that I run on LearnDen on installing a business website. I'll be referring to a few of the the tutorials on that course during this series so it's well worth signing up. Plus it's totally free, so well worth the effort:

Listen to the Rest of the Series

You can find listen to the whole of Series 3 which guides you through setting up a peerless Podcasting website. Please do let me know what you think

Do you use WordPress for your Podcasting website? If not, what do you use? Let me know!

Transcription

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

Hey folks and welcome to episode 3. This is Series 3 of PodCraft which is all about creating a peerless podcasting website. We’re taking you through step by step how to create a podcasting website which will work for you, grow your audience, and really make it easy for you to promote your content. So, this is episode 3 as I said and we’re on to now installing the podcasting platform. So, this is when we actually get the software installed on your hosting. Yesterday, we talked about domains and hosting, so you should be all setup with your hosting account. Now, we’re going to move on to installing the website itself. So, as our software platform, we’re going to be using a package called WordPress. Now, I have no doubt you’ve probably heard the WordPress. It’s a super popular piece of software, totally open source so it’s free to download, free to use, got a huge community around it, really powerful package and there’s actually a pretty large proportion of websites around the web that use WordPress. So, it’s one of the most popular platforms out there for building a website and that’s because it’s so easy to use and it’s so powerful and it just has so many add-ons as well. So, that’s part of what the series is all about. It’s how to create WordPress, how install WordPress and then all of the add-ons and plugins that you can use with WordPress to make a really effective podcasting website.

But, of course, first step is to actually get WordPress working. So, in this episode I’m just going to go through and explain how you install WordPress with absolutely no technical knowledge. You don’t need to be a web developer, you don’t need to be a web designer, you don’t even need to know much about technology at all to get WordPress working on your website to install it. And that’s assuming that you’ve gone with one of the options talked about yesterday on domains and hosting which is either HostGator or Bluehost. Now, many hosting packages outside of HostGator and Bluehost will also allow you to install WordPress really easily but I’ll go through just a full steps on using HostGator in particular because that’s kind of my main choice. But I’ll also give you some instructions for Bluehost as well, how to install WordPress on them. And don’t worry at all, like I said, it’s really super easy, quick and easy and the tools that HostGator provides to let you do this.

So, how do we go about this process? Well, just to explain a little bit about how web hosting and the admin aspects of your web hosting works. Now, once you sign up for your web hosting account, your web hosting company like HostGator for example or Bluehost will give you what they call a control panel. Now, control panels for websites lets you do all sorts of stuff such as setting up emails, such as installing softwares, such as statistics, all that kind of stuff as well as a whole lot more proper in-depth development types of stuff for websites. But, like I said, you don’t really need to know much about any of that stuff.

The main things that we’re going to use are the software installation to install WordPress really easily and you might want to do stuff like emails. So if you have signed up for a new domain, a new hosting account and you want to set yourself up an email on your new domain then you could use cpanel, their control panel, sorry for that. Now, the reason I slip and said cpanel is because cpanel is actually the software that HostGator uses to run its control panel. So, when I say control panel, I mean that kind of generic area whereby you can manage your website but actually software called cpanel is a control panel package. And HostGator and Bluehost both use a version of cpanel. Now, cpanel is really common, so once you get to know cpanel, you can generally manage a website on pretty much most hosting applications. Some might use a different one but the most common by far, I would say is cpanel. So, the way you access your cpanel is normally to type in your domain, so yourdomain.com/cpanel and that’s just spelling out as in C P A N E L and if you type that in, yourdomain.com/cpanel, that will generally take you straight to the login page for the cpanel software. You’ll type in your hosting account, username and password and then you’ll be taken into the cpanel itself. Now, feel free to have a look around inside the cpanel, just have a look at the types of tools are available to you. There’s a few different things in there, like I said, some that are very easy to use, some that you will be using quite soon and others that you’ll never actually have to have a look at, and lots of stuff in there really just for proper web developers, so lots of stuff in there that you can ignore. But the main thing is, don’t be intimidated by it. The stuff in here, as long as you don’t mess around things you don’t really know what it does then you’re not really going to do any damage. You’re really just going to be looking at the emails, the software installation.

So, how do we do this? How do we install WordPress? Well, cpanel, like I said, makes it nice and easy for you. If you scroll down in your cpanel and find what is called Quick Install. Now, Quick Install is in the software services section, so you’ll find it in software services which is quite far down the page. Now, you can drag things around in your cpanel to rearrange it so you can get stuff easy but if you just scroll down initially, you’ll get the quick install. So, you’ll see in Quick Install that there’s quite a lot of different pieces  of software that you can install from here. We’ve got WordPress obviously, which is the one we’ll want to look at but they’ve some other Content Management Systems too. You’ve got Drupal in here, you’ve got Joomla, you’ve got lots of other things, directory software down there, ecommerce softwares, you can install Magento automatically. Got lots of options in here for software but obviously we’re just looking at, in this stage, just installing WordPress to run our podcasting website.

So, all you do is get the blog software section, click on WordPress and then all you could do is click continue, and then that will ask you a few different details, it’ll ask you what URL you want to install under. Now, I would say you want to do it on the top level, so it’ll have something like http://yourdomain and then forward slash and it’ll ask if you want to put a sub-domain in there. Now, that is if you want to install your podcasting website on a sub-domain of a main website. So, that would be the case if you already run a website and you want to have the podcasting site as kind of sub-section of that website. So, you could create a folder called podcast for example, so you could do /podcast and then your podcasting website would be yourdomain.com/podcast/whatever, other parts you want to put to your URL there. So, you can choose to that if you want but I think on most cases, most people will run their podcasting website on a top level domain, so, that will be on yourdomain.com/nothing, actually just the domain by itself. So, it’ll ask you below that, in the installer press section, to put in an email, the blog title, and admin user and your first name and last name. And that’s all it really asks for, that’s all it needs in terms of detail to be able to install WordPress in the first place. Once you put on them, all you do is click install now and that’s essentially done. It will give you a few details here, so it’ll say “Your installation is ready, you can access them by going here”. So, note down your admin access address there, it will be yourdomain.com/wp-admin but you can note it down from here or if you do go on a sub-domains, if you had the main site and you went for a sub-section of that main site, it’ll be yourdomain.com/podcast/wp-admin. It’ll also give you your username and it’ll have an automatically generated password there. Now, you can obviously change that password whenever you like but first time you log in, just go to the link it gives you, type in the username and password it offers you and once you’re in to WordPress you can get, sorry, you can change your password, you can change your own details once you’re in there. And don’t worry, later on in this series I’ll be giving you a link to some instructional videos on how to use basic functions of WordPress. So, don’t worry I’m not going to leave you in the dark there, there’s going to be plenty of instruction on how to use WordPress itself. And that’s it, easy as that. That’s how you install WordPress in cpanel. That’s how easy Quick Install makes it. So, no software knowledge required, no technical knowledge, you just have to go in there, use the automatic tools and that’s your WordPress installed.

So, I realised that in the audio medium, it’s not probably the best way to show you how to do this so I do have some tutorial videos on how to do this. I actually teach a course on learnden.com called Creating a Great  Business Website and as a full tutorial on how to do this, it goes through the domains and hosting stuff we looked at on the first episode and it also goes through today how to install WordPress and there’s full videos on that too. Plus, it will show you how to setup your emails, things like that as well on cpanel, if you’re interested. And you can get to that by going to podcraft.net/websitecourse, so no spaces in there at all just podcraft.net/websitecourse and you can go there. And that’s actually a free trial, that course is available as a free trial on learnden.com. So, it doesn’t cost you anything, you can just pop in there, sign up and have a look through that course. That will give you all of the video tutorials on how to setup WordPress. They’ll also be a few other things in that course that we’ll look at in later episodes. So, it’s worth signing up if you want to get the videos anyway.

Now, obviously, that’s how to do it with HostGator which is my main hosting platform. But if you want to go with the alternative Bluehost which is the other one I mentioned in the first episode then that’s absolutely fine. You’ll find a video for that, I’m not going through that in detail because it’s very similar, but you’ll find a video for it at podcraft.net/blueinstall, podcraft.net/blueinstall and you’ll find a video to teach you how to do it on Bluehost if you want to go with that instead.

Okay, great stuff. So, we’ve now got our website installed, that’s the first step. Now, we’ve got something to work on. You’ll start to see how it works, you’ll be able to look at your domain and you’ll see that there’s a website now present there even though it’s totally basic, nothing much there. Now, we just have to start to build it out. That’s what we get on to next.

Now, in the next episode of this Series 3 on building a peerless podcasting website, we’re going to look at actually installing the basics of podcasting softwares. So, the bits of software, the plugins we need to actually run a podcasting website. That’s what makes your iTunes compatible RSS feeds essentially. So, we’re going to look at that next. So, thanks again for joining me on this episode. I hope you find that useful. Pop on over to podcraft.net/website course for the videos again. And I’ll see you on the next episode.