We've taken a look at creating podcast episodes that people will want to share. Now we need to make sure we're making it as easy as possible for them to do just that.
The starting point for this is your podcast's home on the internet – your website.
It's possible at this stage you might not have a website. You don't actually need your own website to run a podcast, but not having one is going to limit your growth.
If this is something you've been putting off because you're not really sure how to go about setting up a website, then we have a free video course that'll walk you through the process.
Third Party Sites
When you've just started out, sending people to your iTunes page or a Soundcloud link is cheaper and easier, but it's going to hold you back in the long term.
Yes, it's unlikely that iTunes will shut down tomorrow, but you don't own it and don't control it. The same goes for any other third party website.
Your media host – the place you upload your episodes to – will usually provide you with a basic website when you create an account with them. These often lack the customisation options we're looking for, however.
The quicker you get your podcast its own website, the easier things will be for you in the long run. Once you're at that stage, you can put the following things in place that will make it much easier for people to find, listen to, and share your podcast.
Personally, I think that ‘less is more' on a website and you don't want to clutter it with an overwhelming array of details, links, and text. Setting up these pages in your menu is vitally important though.
- About – traditionally the most viewed page on any website, so take advantage of that. Although an ‘About' page sounds like it should be about you and your podcast, think of it more as being about your listener. List the benefits they'll get from listening, and link a few of the best episodes you've done so far.
- Subscribe – People listen in different ways and in different places. Link to absolutely everywhere that your podcast can be found, subscribed to, and downloaded.
- Episodes – Having a full list of episodes is a great way, for people who've just found you, to look through your back catalogue.
- Contact – Put all your contact details here and make it easy for listeners to get in touch. You can put a contact form, e-mail address, as well as any social media links (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) here.
Podcast Episode Pages
- Episode Title – Your episode titles will also be the podcast post titles on your website. Be clear and descriptive of what's in the episode. What's the big takeaway that someone's going to get from listening?
- Media Player – A visitor to your site should be able to play an episode from inside that episode's post. Whilst it's true that most people don't listen to podcasts this way, you still want to cater for everyone. Be sure to include a ‘direct download' option with your podcast player too.
- Shownotes – In the last chapter we talked about the types of episode you can do that'll make people want to share your show. It's a good idea to include all lists, links, and anything else discussed on the podcast in that episode's shownotes. You'll have more chance of being discovered by potential listeners on Google if you have descriptive shownotes of 300 words or more.
- Call to Action – Whether you've asked for an iTunes review, or for someone to buy your ebook at the end of your episode, follow this up by putting a link in the shownotes to make it easy for your listener.
- Sharing Buttons – At the bottom of your post, which contains your episode and show notes, it's a good idea to activate that little row of social media icons so anyone on the page can share it to their Twitter, Facebook, etc, with a single click.
- Domain Name – When buying a domain name, try to make it as close to your podcast's name as possible. Avoid using hyphens or anything that'll complicate matters. Make sure your domain is easy to spell, and if possible, get a .com as it sounds more familiar when you mention it on the show. A .com is more likely to stick in your listener's head.
- Mobile Optimisation – You can spend all day tailoring your website so it looks absolutely immaculate on your laptop, only to find it doesn't load properly on your phone. The majority of browsing and podcast listening nowadays is happening on mobile, so your website needs to load properly on all platforms. Fortunately most WordPress themes are mobile optimised – just make sure you check your site on your computer and your phone when you're setting it up or making any big changes.
Having all of this in place, combined with putting out great content (like the kind we mentioned in the last chapter) means that your listeners can now promote your stuff with ease, and people can find and subscribe to your show with equal ease.
Dedicating some more time to promote your podcast is now worth it too, because you've got the infrastructure to support it, and the content to back it up.
In the next chapter we're going to take a look at some ways to get in front of potential new listeners. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about your own experiences setting up and running your show's website.
What worked for you, and what didn't? Let me know in the comments section below.
Growing Your Audience Series Guide
Chapter 1 – How Long Does it Take to Build a Following?
Chapter 2 – Building on Solid Foundations
Chapter 3 – Creating Shareable Content
Chapter 4 – Your Podcast Website
Chapter 5 – Getting Yourself Out There
Chapter 6 – How Do You Get More iTunes Reviews?
Chapter 7 – Building a Community
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