How to Start a Podcast

#6 Get into Apple Podcasts

October 11, 2018 Season 1
How to Start a Podcast
#6 Get into Apple Podcasts
Chapters
00:00:48
What is a podcast directory?
00:03:06
The 5 main podcast directories
00:03:52
Creating great podcast artwork
00:13:18
Write your show description
00:16:50
Publish your first episode
00:17:59
How to get into podcast directories
00:21:08
Download the Podcast Checklist
How to Start a Podcast
#6 Get into Apple Podcasts
Oct 11, 2018 Season 1
Buzzsprout
Get into Apple Podcasts
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode we cover: 

  1. Where to get great podcast artwork 
  2. What to include in your show description 
  3. How to submit your podcast to the top 5 directories 


Stuff we mention in this episode:

  • Fiverr
  • 99Designs ← Use this link for $20 off any design contest with 99Designs


Download the “How to Start a Podcast Checklist”, a FREE, step-by-step guide designed to help you get your podcast off the ground without feeling overwhelmed. 

Start your podcast for FREE with Buzzsprout



Travis:
0:01
It's that Buzzsprout bump baby!
Alban:
0:04
Alright you serve this one up.
Travis:
0:13
Hello and welcome to episode six of how to start a podcast where you learn everything you need to know to create a podcast from scratch. I'm your host, Travis Albritton, and helping me again with the episode today is our mystery guest Alban, Brooke. Hello Alban.
Alban:
0:27
All right, Travis. I feel like I've been helping with these episodes for quite awhile now. I'm hoping you're going to upgrade me to cohost pretty soon.
Travis:
0:35
Maybe. Maybe in the next episode we'll see. We'll see how all the tea leaves play out, so in this episode we're going to teach you how to get your podcast in all of the major directories and apps and places where people listen to podcasts.
Alban:
0:49
Podcast directories are basically lists of all of the podcasts that are out there and each directory is a little bit different. You can kind of think of them as like maybe a search engine for podcasts and so just like we've got Google and Bing and Yahoo, you're going to want to be in all the different podcast directories because you want to show up no matter where people are searching.
Travis:
1:09
And why is it so important to be in all these directories. I mean, it seems like maybe a lot of extra work to get entered into all these different places. Why should a new podcaster go through that effort?
Alban:
1:20
Some of these are specific to certain platforms so we can kind of go through what each one is. But Apple Podcasts, there's not an app that will access or at least the Apple Podcast app is not available for Android phones. And so if somebody has an Android, you want to make sure that they, uh, when they search for your podcast that you will show up. You just want to make it easy on people. So wherever they're searching, they can find you. You don't want to add any friction into the process.
Travis:
1:49
Yeah. Here's the worst case scenario. This is the worst thing that can happen after you put all your work into making a podcast and launching it and getting it out to the world. You're having a conversation with a friend because you're so excited about your podcast. You're telling them all about it, about your episodes, about this really cool guest that you had on, and they're like, wow, that's so cool. How do I listen to it? And you say, oh, just go to Apple Podcasts. I'm in there and they're like, oh, I've got a Pixel. I don't have it. Listen, I don't have an iPhone. I guess I can't listen to that really cool interview that I want to listen to. That's not what you want to happen.
Alban:
2:19
You want to make this as simple as possible. So getting into these directories, it's a little bit of work to get into them to begin with, but once you're done and once you've been entered into them, uh, they're all going to actually check your RSS feed to see if there's new episodes and updates. So just whenever you publish an episode at Buzzsprout, it'll start showing up in Spotify and Apple Podcasts and everywhere else.
Travis:
2:42
Yeah. Think about it like a little bit like automated billing in your banking website, you know, like I have certain bills that are the same every single month.
Alban:
2:49
You don't have to send them out every month once you've set it up.
Travis:
2:52
Wells Fargo is going to do that for me. And, and we're not sponsored by Wells Fargo. It's just what I happen to use. Yeah. So, so it's like that you set it up and then it will automatically pull your new episodes and so you don't have to worry about doing any work after you get them all set up. Alright. So Alban, let's run through, let's say the five most important directories that every podcaster should get into.
Alban:
3:14
And the five are in order Apple Podcasts. Absolutely. Number One, I think they've got to have 80 percent of the market share through Apple Podcasts. Number two, Spotify. Um, they're pretty solid number two a Google Podcasts, which is one this really blowing up lately and I think is going to do a ton for podcasting over the next few years. Stitcher. They've been around for quite a while and they've got a really good app and a lot of people enjoy listening to content through Stitcher and then TuneIn Radio. They do a lot of radio stuff and now they're doing podcasts as well and I think that's a solid number five to get into, but before you get into these directories, you're going to want to make sure that your listings look really good and you're putting your best foot forward because most people aren't going to start listening to an episode. They're actually going to judge you based on kind of like your artwork and the title and description. So maybe we will get into that and kind of talk through that a little bit.
Travis:
4:13
Yes, because ironically enough, you also need those things to be able to get your submission process completed for all these directories. So if you're going to want to try and get into Apple Podcasts, which we totally think that you should, you're going to need a couple of things. So let's run through what those things are and give you some tips about how to do that.
Alban:
4:31
Yeah, so the first thing you're going to need is some really quality artwork. All of these listings have a visual component and so they're going to show your artwork versus others.
Travis:
4:40
And this is just like that square thumbnail that shows up next to the podcast name, right?
Alban:
4:44
Exactly. So we actually wrote a, I wrote a piece a couple of years ago, kind of just detailing what you want to do to create great cover art for Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You want to kind of run through a little bit of those tips?
Travis:
4:58
Yeah. Let me let me cue these up for you. So the first tip that you wrote down was that podcast artwork should visually communicate the subject of the podcast.
Alban:
5:05
One of the first episodes we talked about, what is the theme of your podcast.
Travis:
5:10
Right, What's it about?
Alban:
5:11
And we want to, you know, communicate that visually. So if your podcast is about, you know, a person like Dave Ramsey, there'll probably be a photo of Dave Ramsey, and if it's a podcast about Star Wars, like we want all the Star Wars super fans to recognize. Some of the imagery, as long as it's not copyrighted, you're going to want people to recognize they go, oh, I know what this podcast is about.
Travis:
5:33
The second tip that you have is to make sure it looks great when it's really small. So talk about why it's important to keep that in mind when you're picking a design for your artwork.
Alban:
5:43
Sure. So the artwork can show up in so many different sizes. So I think the smallest is like in some of the apps, it's like 25 by 25 pixels that's really small and then it could get pretty big up in a couple of hundred pixels by 100 pixels. And so you want to make sure it works at a variety of sizes and it's much more common that people have overly complicated artwork. So, you know, shrink it down, make sure it looks good. In the blog post, we'll put a blog post in the show notes. Yeah, the link, not the entire blog post in the show notes. And on there, I'll show you three or four places that your artwork will show up and how it kind of looks.
Travis:
6:26
So the third tip that you have is not to use too many words in your artwork. Why is that important?
Alban:
6:32
Yeah, same thing if it's really big, bunch of words make sense. But if it gets really small it gets hard to read all of those words and it makes it look cluttered. So kind of good rule of thumb, maybe five, seven words Max. We're trying to keep it really simple. Maybe just the title of your podcast on there.
Travis:
6:50
So like for our artwork is just five words, just how to start a podcast and that's it. That's all that it is. Right? So that way you can very clearly see it even when it's really small on your phone.
Alban:
7:00
And like we might've wanted to put a subtitle like the step by step guide from the guys at Buzzsprout or something. And while we may have been tempted to put that in there, it would have cluttered up the design, made it too difficult to see in a lot of these directories.
Travis:
7:14
Gotcha, and so here's, here's a tip that not many people might think about, but you say not to use more than two fonts.
Alban:
7:20
I say try to shoot for just maybe like one serif and one sans serif font. That means like one with the little legs, a one kind one with the little feet and the other one that looks really crisp and clean, but really I say try to just shoot for one font.
Travis:
7:36
Yeah, if you use more than two fonts, like that's the ultimate giveaway of someone who doesn't know what they're doing design wise, it's just a design faux pas and so if you notice like a lot of these professional artworks that you see like NPR shows and like the top hundred that really clean, they use one, maybe two fonts. Right? And so if you're just putting the title in your, in your artwork, just do one font and have the title be one font and that's a great rule of thumb. Absolutely. So what about this tip about avoiding microphones in your artwork?
Alban:
8:09
This is probably one of the biggest, avoid microphones headsets and all these overused images and it kind of misses the point of what a podcast is about, so podcasting is the medium we're using. It's not what we're talking about. We're using it to convey our idea, but we're not talking about podcasting. We as in people listening to this, not we as in you and I.
Travis:
8:34
Yeah. We're going to be total hypocrites about that because we're making a podcast about podcasts.
Alban:
8:38
We have an exception coming up for us, but just just think about this. Think of your favorite movie cover. Does it have a picture of a DVD on the front? Does it have a TV set? You know your favorite book? Does it have an artwork of a book on front of it? No, it doesn't have a pen on it. It doesn't have a typewriter. They just have a picture of what they're about and so try. If you see yourself putting microphones and headsets in it, it's probably not the right way to go. With one exception, if you're talking about microphones and headsets and podcasting and how to podcast, then you absolutely need a microphone on it and if you look at our artwork, we've got a big microphone on there.
Travis:
9:20
It's kind of hard to miss.
Alban:
9:20
Because that's what we're talking about. So only put that in there if it is the subject of the podcast.
Travis:
9:27
Yep. And again, there's some really great examples of good artwork in the blog post that we put a link in the show notes so you can go and check out what we would consider to be good examples of artwork. Here's one for a, just like a design detail. You talked about making sure that your artwork file is 3000 by 3000 pixels. Where did that come from and why is that essential?
Alban:
9:52
So everything in the podcasting space is dictated by Apple and they've said if it's not 3000 x 3000 pixels, it's not eligible to be in new and noteworthy and it's a big benefit to be a new and noteworthy. And then that standard has now kind of been copied by a lot of other directories, so that's a good artwork size to put up now that's massive. So you're just gonna upload this massive image and then it will get scaled down, but it's better to be on the high end of that range, letting people scale it then the opposite. Does that makes sense?
Travis:
10:28
Yes, totally makes sense.
Alban:
10:29
And I recommend there's a couple of different file types you can do. I recommend a ping, which is PNG, and I've never seen issues with that in any other directories. I've seen other types of files and get rejected out of certain directories. So Ping works really well. I think they're good file type anyway. So that's the one I kind of recommend to people.
Travis:
10:51
Yep. And then your last tip for having an artwork is using consistent branding. So talk about what that is and what that means.
Alban:
10:58
Sure. So your artwork for your podcast is part of your overall brand. And so if it's a business, you want to actually have some of the business, you know, follow your business branding, or if it's a personal brand, follow your personal branding with our podcasts. You look at it and you see that green, that's the Buzzsprout green that's everywhere.
Travis:
11:17
Yes. That was not by accident. We did not choose that green out of a hat. We said this is our green. When we, when people see it, we want them to recognize that this is a Buzzsprout podcast just by seeing the color. So absolutely you want to have unified branding with your artwork. So there's a couple places, a couple websites that we recommend going to. If you're not a designer and you want to get designer level artwork, the first one is called Fiverr and it got its name because you can get project starting at just $5, which is crazy that you can get graphic design work done for $5.
Alban:
11:52
Yeah. And if you go onto Fiverr, you might end up spending a bit more. But pretty reasonable prices on there. And we got our podcast artwork from 99Designs. Do you kinda want to talk a little bit about that process?
Travis:
12:04
Yeah, so with Fiverr you're choosing one person and working with them to develop your artwork, right? To design your artwork with 99Designs it's a little more expensive, but instead how they do it is you submit your project and all of the designers compete for your business. So they submit their ideas, you give feedback on what they gave to you and so when we were coming up for our podcast artwork and we use 99Designs, we were getting like,
Alban:
12:29
I think we had like over 80 submissions.
Travis:
12:32
Yeah. So we had 80 different kinds of artwork to choose from and so from that selection we were able to choose the one that we really liked and work with that designer to get it absolutely perfect. And so it is more pricey than Fiverr. So we do recommend it though, if you are doing this podcast for your business, if you have a little bit of capital to throw into a doing professional artwork through 99Designs, it's totally going to be worth it when you think that I can get clients that are gonna do business with me as a result of listening to my podcast. So I want my artwork to be as awesome as possible to try and get those clients. But if you're just starting a podcast and you just need something clean and professional looking and you don't have a big budget, Fiverr is going to be probably your best option. So once you've landed on your final design for your podcast artwork, the next thing you need to do is write your show description. And so this is where you actually explain to people what they can expect when they start listening to your podcast and your description is important. Because when people are searching in these podcast directories and looking for things they might want to listen to. They're going to read the description for your podcast to decide. Is this worth listening to an episode? To see if I want to subscribe.
Alban:
13:47
And you've got descriptions for the podcast itself, and then you have descriptions for each episode. Don't flake on writing a good description for either of these. These are really valuable real estate that all the directories and all the apps are going to use and it's your chance to sell yourself to people even before they start listening.
Travis:
14:07
Yep, and if you're not a writer, if you don't like to write, here's a little hack that you can do to write your show description, explain to a friend what your podcast is about, and record it with voice memos on your phone. And here are a couple of questions that you want to try and answer with your show description. The first one is who is the podcast for? Who is the person that this podcast is designed to help?
Alban:
14:32
So make sure that whoever the target audience is that you're writing something that will intrigue them, and if they're the perfect person to listen to this podcast, they want to make sure that when they see that they're actually, oh, that is me. You know, if it's a podcast for designers, designers should be able to see that and go, oh, this is definitely a podcast for designers about X, Y, Z, and so they know that they want to subscribe.
Travis:
14:55
Yep. The second question that you want to answer with your show description is what your podcast is about, so all the questions that you answered in episode one and two of how to start a podcast. You know, what's the subject, what's the title, what's the format? How often should they expect episodes? Those are all things that you want to answer in your show description.
Alban:
15:14
And be explicit about it. You know you don't have to hide and you don't have to be too nervous about making it a, you know, available to everybody. Write exactly what this is about and you'll get the right clicks.
Travis:
15:25
Another thing that you want to touch on in your show description is what makes your podcast unique? Why should someone listen to your podcast instead of another podcast that might be in a similar genre or talking about a similar thing? This is where you differentiate yourself from other podcasts in your space, and this doesn't have to be talking about why all the other podcasts are trash and yours is the best, but if there's something unique, like you only interview certain kinds of people, then that's something you want to include.
Alban:
15:55
Yeah, so if you have a specific tone, if like yours is really professional, I can think of a few podcasts that are in the Bitcoin space. Some are really professional and other ones are kind of goofy. You want to make sure that people know which version they're going to get once they start listening to the podcast.
Travis:
16:11
Yep, and then the last thing that you want to include in your show description is where else they can connect with you. So if you have a website that you want people to go to, you want to put that in your show description. If you have a facebook page or a Facebook group devoted to your website, you want to put that in your show description. Instagram handles, Twitter handles. Anywhere you want people to go outside of the podcast app to get in touch with you or to be a part of your community. You want to include that information in the show description as well.
Alban:
16:37
And I feel like if you need a good place to start, we've got a description, we've got show notes and this episode you can copy these, copy this or right over, and you can just edit the details, so that you felt like you were at a good place to start.
Travis:
16:51
So the last thing that you need before you can submit to a podcast directory is a published episode. You need to have at least one episode published for your podcast.
Alban:
17:03
Yeah. So the trick a lot of people do for this is they release a trailer episode and the thing a trailer does is it allows, there's something there so you can get it into different directories and you can start getting people to subscribe to it without doing an official launch. And I think this is the right way to do it because next episode we're gonna talk about launching strategies. So a good way to do it is throw together a 30 second to two minute trailer and get that, then start the submission process so you can get in all these directories and then you're going to go ahead and really do the launch.
Travis:
17:38
And if you're wondering how to put together a trailer or a teaser episode, you can just start with taking your show description that you just put together that we literally just talked about and walk through that as your teaser trailer so you can just explain what your podcast is about, who it's for, and why people should subscribe and listen when you officially launch.
Alban:
17:59
So now that we've got all this stuff together, we've made some great artwork. We've, you know, we've got a title, we've got description, we've got all that stuff in our feed. Now we've even launched maybe a trailer episode. Now we've got to get into these directories.
Travis:
18:13
So if you are a Buzzsprout customer, we made this process so simple, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to get into all of these major directories. And so all you have to do is log into your Buzzsprout account and then along the top of the dashboard, you're going to see a tab that says iTunes and directories. You're going to, you're going to click on that. And then in there you're going to have instructions for each of these major directories, one for Apple Podcasts, one for Spotify, one for Google Podcasts et cetera. And all you have to do is follow the instructions and then wait for your podcast to show up.
Alban:
18:48
Yeah, some of these are really fast, so know Apple Podcasts seems to be about two weeks. And that seems about the longest. Though mostly, it's much faster than that, but that's why you want to get the teaser episode out there early start the submission process so that you can launch it all at the same time.
Travis:
19:08
And we're going to dive into some strategies for how to effectively launch your podcast in the next episode of this, of how to start a podcast. But just know you want to start this process now so that when you officially launch, people can find you in all of these directories. You don't want to launch your podcast and then find out, oh, I'm not in three of these five directories yet.
Alban:
19:29
Yeah, exactly. So you like what Travis was saying earlier, it's like you don't have to be posting on Twitter to all your followers. Hey, go check out my podcast. And then they are searching and saying I don't see it in Spotify, whatever I'm out, because very few people are going to write you back and say, Hey, which are the directories are you in? Follow up with that level of detail.
Travis:
19:49
So just to recap what we covered in this episode, you want to be in as many places as possible. That's just going to help you be successful from the get go and find all of your potential listeners. A couple of things you'll need to do to get into all these directories. First, you want to get some artwork for your podcast. Whether you use Fiverr or 99Designs or do it yourself. You want to have artwork that's 3000 by 3000 pixels that you can give to these directories. You want to write your show description for your podcast. This is what people will read when they're trying to decide if they want to subscribe and listen to episodes, so take time to make sure that when someone's reading it, they can easily figure out if this is a podcast that's designed for them and what they're into, and then you also need to publish an episode at least one episode to your podcast in order to submit to these directories. So we suggest doing a trailer or a teaser episode so that way you can let people know what to expect when your podcast officially launches. Instead of having to do episode one, two to three weeks before you launch episode two. And then the last thing that we covered in this episode was it's very easy if you're a Buzzsprout customer to submit your podcast to all these different directories. There's a special tab in your dashboard. It says iTunes and directories. You just click on that and follow the instructions.
Alban:
21:09
And all of this stuff is in our checklist and so if you're feeling lost hop into the checklist. If you don't already have it, we've got a link in the show notes so you can click and download that, but this is just the, you know, no guesswork step by step guide that will help you launch your podcast.
Travis:
21:29
In episode seven, you'll learn how to launch your new podcast so you can start off on the right foot.
What is a podcast directory?
The 5 main podcast directories
Write your show description
Publish your first episode
How to get into podcast directories
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