How to Link to a Podcast: Summary
- Avoid confusing potential listeners. Send them to ONE place – your own website.
- Get yourself a podcast player on your homepage, as well as some Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts buttons.
- There are some other ways to optimise your website visitors experience too. You want to turn them into fully fledged podcast subscribers. Read on, to find out more…
It’s never been as easy to share a podcast. Just ask anyone who got started in the 00s, or even 5 years ago. I still wake up in a cold sweat, images of standlone mp3 players and a “failed to synchronise” warning flashing in my head! Imagine trying to explain to someone, in 2020, why you had to plug it in, delete old episodes, copy over new ones. It was a monstrosity!
The trouble is, though, it’s still not easy enough. There's no ONE place to link to your podcast, thanks to the head-spinning range of listening options. In fact, if you plough through 10 podcasts, and you'll find 10 hosts sending their listeners to 100 different places to listen! Subscribe! Review!
So, how do we link to our podcast? How do we take Auntie Gertrude from “You make a Pod-what?!” over to “Sonny boy, that episode you did on prawn cocktail crisps was sick!” Well, we put the subscribe links in a place people understand, and give them an easy guide on how to listen to a podcast, that’s how. Let’s look at the first half of that, right here – where we put the podcast online, and what do we include there?
Step 1: Linking to a Place to Listen to Your Podcast
Create Your Mothership
For me, it still all comes back to your website. That’s the mothership. We can talk about smart speakers and fancy new apps till the vegan-version-of-cows come home, but a good proportion of your potential audience will still have no clue what you’re talking about.
Even if they do understand those concepts, the next problem is that your Uncle has a Google Home and your Gran has an Echo. We’re a long long way from standardization, which makes for a slew of if….then in your instructions.
So, when looking at how to share a podcast, we need to take it back a couple of decades: what does everyone understand? A web address. The humble URL. And a nice clear web page on the other end.
Create a website for your show, and slap a nice custom domain name on it. It’s not hard, honest – check out our podcast website guide to learn how. Then, drop a podcast player right there on the front page. That’s it – you’ve made it easy to listen.
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Even more simply, just use the website your host provides, and slap the domain name on there instead. Every good podcast host offer this, such as Buzzsprout, Captivate or Transistor. You’ll lose a bit of control and customisation, this way, but it couldn't be easier to set up.
Now, when someone asks, and especially when they don’t, send them to myboringpodcast.com.
Player, served: that's how to share a podcast! Get it in your ears, captive listener.
The Extra Benefits of a Website Home Base
If you’re anything like me, the main purpose of your show is to get listeners onto your website anyway. That’s where you can offer even more value, where you can ask them to subscribe to email, to support your patreon, to take a look at your products, your services…
So, if we can encourage an easy listen AND offer up a really nice eBook in exchange for an email signup, then huzzah! Double dipping.
Remember, podcast apps are great for encouraging regular, habitual listening, but they’re someone else’s platform. You don’t control it, and it’s hard to incite action there. So, use your own site well, and get listeners there first, if you get the chance.
Step 2: Linking to a Place to Subscribe to your Podcast
Stick to the Basics: Apple and Google
Next, whatever you do, forget about the apps. If you’re saying to Uncle Bert: “Well, if you’re on Pocketcasts, then click this, then…..” you’ve already wandered down the wrong path.
Bert’s downloaded a 3rd party podcasting app, all by himself. That means he knows the medium. He knows how to search for your show, all on his lonesome. Instead, we’re catering to the folks that don’t know what a podcasting app is, least of all the fact that there’s one on their phone already!
So, the basics. Cater to the 2 most popular platforms for brand new listeners, and them alone. Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Get yourself a button for each, and place it as close to the aforementioned big play button as is humanly possible.
Then, when Auntie ‘casual listener’ Gertrude graduates from ‘web listener’ school, she picks up her phone, clicks the right button (we hope…) and is taken right into their default podcasting app. Subscribed, and as frictionless as a polished banana on ice.
How to Share a Podcast: Bonus Points
Platform Sensing Smartlinks
While I’d argue it’s worth sending people to your website regardless (what else is the purpose of your podcast…??) here’s a pro move for even seamless…er subscriptions. There are a few services offering dynamic podcasting links, but I love James Cridland’s offering on the Podnews website.
Go to Podnews.net, type your show’s name into the search box, top right, and find it in the listings below. Then, on the show page, scroll down to tools and click, ‘link to this podcast.’ On this page, you’ll find everything you need, from Apple & Google Podcasts buttons, to an “automatic listen link” which adapts to whatever device you’re viewing it from.
Simply create a shortlink for that “listen link” (a lot of links, I know…) and you immediately have a smart URL you can give out to anyone. Used an iPhone, it loads your show up in Apple Podcasts, and on Android it’ll load up in Google Podcasts. Magic!
A “How to Listen to a Podcast” Guide
In some cases, I think it’s a good idea to create a ‘how to listen’ page on your site. Some people will figure it out pretty quickly, using the 2 platform approach above. But, others need a bit more coaxing. That’s when it’s time to hold them by the nose… or the hand, and lead the through it, step by step.
Creating a simple guide to using Apple Podcasts and a simple guide to using Google Podcasts, with your podcast as the example, can work wonders. It worked for Serial, so it can work for you.
Or, if you’re feeling lazy, just direct people towards our How to Listen to a Podcast guide. It’ll walk your listeners through every step.
How to Link to a Podcast? Keep it Simple
Mr Cridland’s magic links are ace, but I still, more often than not, guide people towards my website as the first stop. I control exactly what people see there. They can see a description of the show, browse around really easily and, most importantly, it’s an environment everyone understands. Unlike a Podcast app.
Remember, if you want to know exactly how to use a website with your podcast, take a look at our full guides, here:
- How to set up a new WordPress website
- How to add podcasting tools to a WordPress website
- Browse some WordPress themes for podcasters
So, get it set up, and create your podcast’s home page. Start promoting. It really is easy to share your podcast now. And next time Auntie Gertrude says she still hasn’t listened, you’ll know she’s full of… good intentions. Simply smile, and say… well, I’ve got this magic link…