By | April 20, 2007
This week on The Podcasting Blog weâ€™re gonna talk about podcast promotion and specifically, how you can get your podcast listed on iTunes. In the news Googleâ€™s got some good news for podcasters, and for those of you wanting to pay to grow your listener base, this weekâ€™s podcast reviews a podcast promotion service. Iâ€™m your host, Ken Walker. Join me now while we take a stroll through the world of podcasting, right here, on The Podcasting Blog.
Review – FeedForAll
Iâ€™ve got an excellent tool to help you both manage and promote your podcast called FeedForAll. With FeedForAll you can create, edit and publish RSS feeds. Theyâ€™ve got both PC and Mac versions and itâ€™ll even create RSS feeds that are compatible with iTunes. Now, this is software that you actually buy. You download it and you can try a demo for like 30 days I think. Itâ€™s $40 and it seems pretty powerful, it was a bit cumbersome to use though, there are lots of options and not much is automated.
Iâ€™m gonna use it to post this episode, so weâ€™ll see what we get in iTunes. Iâ€™d like to see more of a simplified process, but I havenâ€™t really used it and actually read the instructions so this is kinda just a â€˜first impressionsâ€™ kinda review. Like I said, Iâ€™ll use it to put this weekâ€™s podcast up and next week Iâ€™ll let you know how that went.
You can download FeedForAll at www.feedforall.com and thereâ€™s gonna be a link in the show transcriptions.
Youâ€™re getting a two for one deal this week, cause Iâ€™m gonna mention an RSS feed service, but this one is free and itâ€™s called FeedBurner. Go to www.feedburner.com and you can sign up there for free. Itâ€™s a pretty good place to manage your feed at, and what it lets you do is use the service to format your feed and youâ€™ll also be able to track your subscriptions, as long as you use the feed link that you get from them.
So in other words, you submit your real RSS feed, then theyâ€™ll give you another feed and thatâ€™s the one that you use when doing directory submissions. That way people use the feedburner feed and theyâ€™ll be able to track how many people are subscribed. Theyâ€™ve also got a ton of other tools that are available for free, like chicklet creators, signature creators, things like that. You get a lot more than youâ€™d expect from a free service. And with that, letâ€™s take a quick break and checkout some podcasting news.
Google has been seen as powering podcast ad growth. Podcasting advertising revenues are expected to nearly quintuple in the next five years, according to a report to be issued this week by eMarketer, Mediaweek. That would mean marketers will spend $400 million dollars on podcasts in 2011, which would be only 2% of spending expected this year in the interactive ad market.
James Belcher, the eMarketer analyst, credits most of the ad growth to Google. He expects the company to develop an audio version of AdSense which would allow any podcast producer to include ads in their shows. Podtrac’s Mark McCrery, who has been building an advertising sales network for podcasts, was quoted by Mediaweek saying companies are buying spots in podcasts., “They are investing…getting some good learning and coming back for more,” he said.
Meanwhile Oneupweb said its podcast audience measuring technology has been scaled up for use within a corporate environment and has begun to attract the attention of major media publishers. CEO Lisa Wehr said its technology for smaller publishers has been in use about six months by about 25 clients. She detailed some observations about podcast use:
Evergreen content attracts an audience long after it’s initially uploaded. Credit visibility in search engines for additional downloads. Corporate podcasts, those done by companies, are downloaded primarily during lunch hours. Podcasts of an educational or entertainment nature are most popular at 4 p.m., presumably when people are getting read for the commute home.
Mondays and Tuesday are the most popular days for podcast downloading, probably due to their promotion via banner ads and press releases early in the week.
Having statistics on podcast consumption helps persuade decision makers to support podcast production.
Content – Podcast Promotion Tips
What weâ€™ll do first here, is Iâ€™m gonna give you some pointers on promoting your podcast, and then weâ€™ll deal specifically with the process on iTunes. Thereâ€™s a few simple principals that you can do, and they wonâ€™t take a real long time. The best part is you can do it yourself, even if youâ€™re not a net savvy tech person.
One thing thatâ€™s pretty easy to do is look around for other podcasts that are on a similar topic to yours. If you breed dogs, find another podcast on dog breeding, find several if you can. Comment on the shows, comment on topics that were discussed in the show. If you covered something similar, mention that in your comment and post a link to the episode of your podcast that covers it. Mention the other podcast in your podcast, you can even offer to let the other podcaster take a break by guest-hosting their podcast for them, in return for being able to mention your podcast. I think one thing that is gonna be real big in podcasting is social networking.
Competition is stiff out there, but donâ€™t look at individual podcasters as competition. If you podcast about woodworking, find another woodworking podcaster and become friends.
Another thing youâ€™ll wanna do is submit your podcast to as many directories as possible. Places like iTunes, Podcast Alley, Podcasting News, iPodder, Yahoo, Odeo, AOL, MSN, Bloglines, Google Reader. And then it doesnâ€™t stop thereâ€¦on the services, register with them and subscribe to your own podcast. I know that sounds a bit strange, but hereâ€™s a little info about it.
First of all, with a lot of them, youâ€™ll have to register first, before you can submit a podcast. Some of them though, you can just submit a podcast. Now, on things like Odeo, or PodcastReady, youâ€™ll have to register and then you can subscribe to podcasts. If you subscribe to your own podcast, then the search engine for the service will make sure and index your podcast, so that ensures that itâ€™s in the list. Itâ€™s also a good idea to see your podcast from the standpoint of a regular user so you know how everything looks.
Robin Good has a great list of directories and services to submit to and Iâ€™ll place a link in the show notes where you can get that list.
And of course, hand in hand with directory submission, is make your podcast search engine friendly. Thatâ€™s something that I basically have to mention anytime we talk about what kinds of things we should do to promote a podcast. If a search engine doesnâ€™t like your podcast, they wonâ€™t index it, and that means people canâ€™t find it. Remember folks, podcasts are audio files. Search engines canâ€™t index an audio file, at least not yet. Tags are great and Iâ€™ll mention those shortly, but what is even better is if you can get your podcast transcribed like you see on our site. That can be time consuming but find somebody that has a lot of time on their hands and have them transcribe your podcast. This helps search engines index the contents of your podcast, and it also helps you get more content on your site, which is gonna eventually help you build a little more weight with the search engine.
Tags, like I mentioned, are real important. All the platforms support some type of tag or keyword field where you can put keywords that match the main points of your podcast. There are two ways to go about this. One is, just browse through your transcript or listen to the podcast, and pickup main points and use those for you tags. Another method though, if you really wanna try to push your site to the front, is to target keywords that not only appear in your podcast, but are popular on the search engines.
That involves a lot of research. You have to see what keywords are popular and target those keywords, then you use the keywords as headers in your transcript and as tags for the appropriate post. So for example, you find out that â€˜apollo moon hoaxâ€™ is a popular search term. If you do a podcast on conspiracy theories, youâ€™ll probably eventually cover that topicâ€¦you know, like, at least a couple of times a week, but what youâ€™ll do is use the phrase as title text, and then, if youâ€™ve done your research before hand, make sure you use the phrase in your podcast so that itâ€™s transcribed and also use it in your tag section.
Some other things that work pretty good is making sure that if youâ€™re an expert at something, find as many forums online as you can handle, signup with â€˜em, and start answering questions. Two things though, put your podcast in your signature on the forum, and if itâ€™s allowed, post links to your podcast, to specific episodes, that deal with a pertinent topic thatâ€™s being discussed in the forum. This is basically the same thing as the blogging point I mentioned earlier, but I forgot to mention forums.
And one of the best ways to promote your podcast is, make it top quality. Make it sound good and have good content. If youâ€™ve ever heard a great song on the radio, but the station was just too far away and it was all staticy, more likely then not, you just went to another channel. Even if you loved the song, it just wasnâ€™t worth it, right? People are gonna do the same thing with your podcast. If youâ€™ve got great content, thatâ€™s fantastic, if it sounds like youâ€™re using a portable cassette deck with a built-in mic to record it, theyâ€™ll move on down the road.
OK, so there are some tips, and now like I promised, letâ€™s talk about iTunes. iTunes is pretty much the biggest directory out there for podcasts, and if you can get listed there, and target the right keywords, provided youâ€™ve got good, original content, youâ€™ll get listeners. The process is pretty simple.
First of all, youâ€™ll need an iTunes account. So download it and signup if you havenâ€™t already. On the iTunes Store page, click Podcasts, and hopefully they wonâ€™t change this in the near future. Once you get to the podcasting page, scroll down to the bottom and youâ€™ll see a link to submit your own podcast. Now hereâ€™s the catch. iTunes is gonna try to validate your feed and youâ€™ve got to have some things in place for them to accept the site, then once itâ€™s accepted, theyâ€™ll review it and decide if they wanna let you in. For the most part, I think they let just about anybody in cause Iâ€™ve heard some pretty way out podcasts that werenâ€™t exactly state of the art, so more than likely, youâ€™ll get in.
Iâ€™m gonna put a link in the transcript to some info on iTunes, but you probably wonâ€™t want to read it. http://www.apple.com/itunes/store/podcaststechspecs.html if youâ€™re bored, check it out. It does show you how you can test the feed before trying to submit and thereâ€™s a lot of other helpful info there too, they just make it very intimidating.
Iâ€™ll mention too that a few tools out there make submission and formatting to iTunes a lot easier. Podpress, which Iâ€™ve talked about before, is a great tool if youâ€™re using Wordpress for your website, Garageband also helps you out with iTunes, and GigaVoxâ€™s Audio Lite is supposed to take care of a lot of iTunes specifics when it finally comes out.
One thing that is nice on the Apple site is an example RSS feed and if you donâ€™t have or use an app that does it for you, youâ€™ll have to create the RSS file yourself and that could be a bit tough if youâ€™re not into HTML, so I highly recommend you use an app that will package your podcast and produce the needed iTunes tags.
Another thing youâ€™ll wanna do is create some artwork. Having a nice image can make your podcast look more professional and set you apart from the less serious podcasters. I believe you want an image 300 x 300 pixels and this appears as album artwork when people see your podcast, so if you canâ€™t come up with something yourself, think about outsourcing the project and pay somebody $100 to make one for you. Again, something sharp, it doesnâ€™t have to be fancy, but nice looking, not just the name of your podcast.
The process for submission is pretty simple. You log in. You pick a category, and you submit. Like I said, theyâ€™ll review it, I donâ€™t know if they actually have people listen or not, but they review it somehow and theyâ€™ll send you an email with an ID for your podcast.
Itâ€™s not a tough process folks, I talk to people and theyâ€™re like â€˜Youâ€™re in iTunes! Howâ€™d you do that?â€™ Itâ€™s real simple, you just have to know itâ€™s available.
Well, I think that pretty much wraps up this weekâ€™s show. Youâ€™ve been listening to The Podcasting Blog. If youâ€™ve got any questions or comments about the show, you can address them to firstname.lastname@example.org and Iâ€™d be happy to get back to you, of course you can also post a comment on the blog. This is Ken Walker and I hope to see you back next week, until then, happy podcasting.