How to launch a podcast: publishing online
Over the course of three blog posts I'm sharing how my podcast, The Girl Next Door Podcast, is made. Last week, I shared the equipment that we use and this week I'd like to share how we publish our show online.
Before creating the first episode of our podcast, I thought that surely figuring out the equipment and recording our voices would be the hardest part of a podcast. That turned out to be the easy part (at least for us)! What stumped and frustrated me for a long time was how to share our show with listeners.
To share our podcast, I wanted to publish to iTunes and other podcast aggregators, like Stitcher, and I also wanted to create a way for listeners to stream the podcast directly from our website. I wanted to have as many avenues as possible for new listeners to access our show.
I learned that I needed to create an RSS feed for our podcast but the services recommended for that didn't create media players. I was also getting really confused about the difference between an RSS feed for the podcast audio versus an RSS feed of our podcast blog. I saw that a service called Libsyn creates RSS feeds and media players but it didn't mention that it worked with Typepad (my blog platform). I had many GRRRR moments.
Finally, I decided to try Libsyn anyway and - surprise! - it did everything I wanted it to, works wonderfully with Typepad and makes everything pretty easy. HOORAY.
If I were to go back and give myself advice on how to publish a podcast online, here's what I'd say:
+ Create a Libsyn account. You can do this even before you've created the first episode of your show. Libsyn will create the RSS feed for a podcast that can be uploaded into iTunes. It will also generate HTML code for a media player that can be pasted into a blog post or on a website. To guide you through the process, Libsyn has helpful articles on how to enter descriptions of your show, such as the iTunes category. The Girl Next Door Podcast is in Society & Culture under Personal Journals.
+ Create and upload podcast cover artwork to Libsyn. This is the icon that will show up in iTunes; the recommended dimensions are 1400 pixels x 1400 pixels
+ Copy and paste the Libsyn-generated RSS feed for your podcast to iTunes. A new podcast RSS feed can be uploaded by going to iTunes / Podcasts / Sumbit a podcast, which is on the right menu bar. Wait for the podcast to be approved by iTunes; this took about a day.
+ Submit the podcast RSS feed to other podcast aggregators, such as Stitcher, if desired.
+ Create a simple blog for "show notes". Each new episode can have a blog post with show notes and include a media player for streaming the episode. The show notes are usually a brief summary of the show content and links to anything mentioned on the show. Check out The Girl Next Door Podcast blog where we have show notes and the ability to stream our shows.
+ Load the mp3 file of your first podcast episode into Libsyn and hit publish. Once your podcast RSS feed has been approved by iTunes, Libsyn will automatically push episodes that you publish on Libsyn to iTunes and other podcast aggregators where your RSS feed has been approved. Libsyn has some support videos and articles to help you through this but it is pretty straight forward. You should plan to upload your first episode pretty soon after having your feed approved; podcast feeds with no episodes are likely to be deleted from iTunes.
+ Grab the Libsyn HTML code for a media player immediately after publishing an episode. Paste this into the show notes for the episode.
You're a podcaster! Yay!
There are definitely other ways to share a podcast online; this is just what I've found works for us. I'm always happy to answer questions; leave a comment or send me an email.