How to get started in podcasting: sharing the results
Once you’ve got your edited files, it’s time to share them with the rest of the world. That means finding a hosting service and letting people know it’s there. One last time, here’s how four podcasting vets—Christopher Breen (the Macworld Podcast); Editorial Director Jason Snell (The Incomparable); Erika Ensign (Verity!); and Chip Sudderth (The Two-Minute Time Lord)—share their podcasts.
Macworld currently hosts its podcasts on SoundCloud. Once an episode is uploaded there, he embeds a link to it within a Macworld story that accompanies the podcast. When that story is prepared for publication on the Macworld site, the content-management system automatically ensures that it appears in the iTunes Store’s podcast feed.
The Macworld website has a Macworld Podcast blog, where people can find all episodes. It also appears in Macworld’s news feed each Wednesday. And Breen and other staffers tweet and post Facebook links to it.
Erika use the Libsyn podcasting-hosting service to house her show’s audio files, but she isn’t enthused about their blog options. Instead, she uses a WordPress blog to post episode write-ups with links to stream/download the audio. She also uses the blog for non-audio content such as “Last Word” posts (for anything they didn’t get to say while recording) and “My Two Cents” posts (so contributors who weren’t on an episode can still weigh in).
Contributor bios and other show info reside there, too. There’s a prominent “About Us” section that includes links to iTunes, the podcast RSS, and the blog RSS (including a separate comments feed for the “healthy and active community chatting on our website”).
When she posts a new episode (or non-audio content), she publishes the link on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Each of the participants also usually shares those posts on their personal feeds. Episodes also automatically appear on the Doctor Who Podcast Alliance page. She used to paste episode release posts on a well-known Doctor Who forum, but they didn’t generate much traffic, so she stopped.
She and her fellow participants also appear on other podcasts, where they promote Verity! as much as possible. (“It also doesn’t hurt that most of our contributors are Hugo Award-nominated.”)
The Incomparable is on the 5by5 network, so Jason uses their tools to upload it to their site. 5by5’s content distribution network hosts the files. For a spinoff podcast (Total Party Kill), he uploads the files to another server, from which people can download the show directly. iTunes carries the Incomparable RSS feed.
To publicize each episode, Jason initially relied heavily on social networking—”I just promoted the heck out of it on Twitter.” When he joined 5by5, that exposed the show to that network’s audience, which expanded the Incomparable’s reach considerably. He generally tries to mention the show whenever he can, whether on TV shows or other podcasts. He also tries to reach out to guests from other podcasts from time to time, which can expand the reach of both shows. Still, he says, “this is one of the big challenges of podcasting: the vast bulk of the potential audience has no idea what podcasts are and certainly haven’t heard of you.”
Two-Minute Time Lord is hosted on a private server and distributed through a local Wordpress installation. Most of the listeners subscribe through their favorite podcatcher apps, but he’s heard from some who listen through social media links or on twominutetimelord.com. “RSS feed distribution feels very old-fashioned in a time when iPods have given way to streaming smartphones.”
To publicize the show, he relies on his participation in the larger Doctor Who community via social media conversations, appearing on other podcasts, and attending conventions. Twitter, he finds, has far more of an impact than Facebook.