How to Link Directly to Your Podcast in iTunes

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Since many podcast listeners use iTunes and iOS devices, you may want to provide the direct link to your podcast there. Here’s how to share an iTunes link to your podcast that will automatically launch iTunes:

  1. Go to your podcast in the iTunes store, right click on the title and “copy link” (you can also find “copy link” under the subscribe button). Each episode also has copy link and social share options.
    Here’s an example of what the link looks like for our Podcasting Smarter podcast:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcasting-smarter/id1130834513?mt=2
  2. Add “&ls=1” to the end of that link. The URL would then look like this:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/podcasting-smarter/id1130834513?mt=2&ls=1
  3. Another great option is to join the iTunes affiliate program. They offer a link maker,widget builders, etc. With the help of the link maker, you can create a link for your podcast. And, of course, the bonus is that you can earn referral fees for things that people purchase from iTunes after using your link. Read more and apply for the  iTunes affiliate program.

Making it easy for potential listeners to get your podcast is so important. We hope this helps you offer another convenient option for your listening audience.

Podbean provides great tools for podcasters to connect with their audience, including embeddable players, social sharing tools and apps for Android and iOS. Using the Podbean app, podcasters can engage with listeners via the commenting function. Make sure your listeners can find you wherever they go for podcasts! Check out Podbean’s hosting options and directory (open to all podcasters) at www.podbean.com.

Understanding Podcast Advertising

advertising-picThe Growing Opportunity in Podcast Advertising

The opportunity has never been better for podcast advertising. Brands are becoming aware of the benefits of podcast advertising and increasingly seeking out podcasts to sponsor. Podcast audiences tend to be educated, engaged, and connected. A brand can seek a good match with a target audience for its product or service.

In a study from Westwood One in partnership with Advertiser Perceptions, 21% of marketers and agencies surveyed reported advertising in podcasts, up from 15% in a similar study conducted 9 months earlier. Bridge Ratings forecasts $207 million in podcast ad revenue for 2017, up from $167 million in 2016.

How Podcast Advertising Works

Traditionally, the podcast host reads the ads during the episode. This has proven to be particularly effective because it personalizes the advertising and builds listener affinity with the brand. The ads are woven right into the content and the podcaster speaks in his own voice, often with some flexibility in what is being said and sharing personal experience.

Ad slots are broken down into pre-roll (before the episode content), mid-roll (at some point about midway through the content), and post-roll (after the primary content). Another standard feature of most podcast advertising is the use of direct response urls/coupon codes. This allows advertisers to directly measure ROI (return on investment) on sales, in addition to branding and other benefits.

Typically, advertising fees have been based on projected impressions (from average download statistics). The term you will often hear is CPM (cost per mille, or cost per one thousand impressions). However, podcast advertising also represents a unique opportunity for brands to build familiarity and improve results by being exposed to the audience through multiple channels. Often, a podcaster can offer website, newsletter or social media ads and sometimes even sponsored content to extend the value for the advertiser.

CPM and download #s will likely remain a focus for advertisers, but increasingly podcasters sell packages and flat rate advertising based on the value being offered.

How can my podcast attract advertising?

There is no “one size fits all” for podcast advertising. Big advertising agencies and companies have usually focused on shows with large download numbers. Most agencies have only considered shows with at least 10,000 downloads/episode (usually more like 50,000). However, many smaller shows have attracted advertisers. They may have found their own sponsors based on products and services they (or their audience) use, or by making connections in their niche. Some podcasters work with agents who can do the leg work for them, but in most of those cases the numbers still need to be pretty significant.

Today, platforms like Podbean’s Podcast Sponsorship Marketplace are making it possible for smaller podcasts to connect with companies of all sizes. Podbean’s Advertising Marketplace is an online platform for podcasters and advertisers to connect and easily create and manage advertising campaigns/deals. It is free to join and open to any podcast with 1,000 or more downloads/episode. It’s likely more options like this and different methods of podcast advertising (such as dynamic insertion) become more widespread.

Generally, it is important to focus on your show’s quality and audience first. With sufficient downloads and audience engagement, you can attract advertisers. You can likely do so even with a smaller audience if you are in a certain niche or attract an audience that precisely fits the brand’s target.

Some podcasters even attract advertisers before they start their show or very early on. Typically, these podcasters have already established networks, proven success with other platforms/shows, or a niche and solid marketing plan. Most importantly, you need to be able to show advertisers what you can offer. They need to see the value they will get and how the partnership will offer them good ROI. Getting even a small advertising deal can often help you build more/future sponsors.

Join us in the Podcasting Smarter Facebook group for more discussions on advertising and other methods of monetizing your podcast.

The Art of Producing Great Podcasts

Interview with a Pro Podcast Producer: Corey Coates from Podfly

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Tell us how you got into podcasting and the Podfly origin story.

I was a professional musician, playing guitar for various rock bands. I realized it was time to make a transition in life and set up a small project recording studio. I learned audio engineering from the ground up. I saw the future business opportunities but also wanted to try something different. So, I packed up and moved to Costa Rica where I had a successful career in teaching and managing language schools.

In 2004 I had started an independent music podcast with a friend which I continued doing during this time, along with a little bit of audio editing on the side. I was approached by the Overseas Radio Network to do a weekly call in show, “This Week in Costa Rica”, which eventually led to a program director position. More people were asking for help producing podcasts and I realized how much I missed this work, so it was the right time to start Podfly. And, here we are 3 ½ years later with a staff of 25 people providing a range of services to many podcasters and organizations.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting a podcast?

  1. Ask yourself: why me? What do you think you can offer that’s different? Be able to state clearly “I’m doing this podcast because _____”.
  2. Niche down in content. Don’t be broad. Be something special.
  3. Manage expectations. What will success look like to you? What is your objective? The way you approach the process needs to match your expectations and goals.

What are the biggest mistakes you see podcasters make?

Setting initial expectations too high can be problematic because you don’t allow time to grow through the mistakes. Allow yourself space to make mistakes early on if you’re new to this. Don’t shoot to release 10 perfect episodes immediately or book “A list” guests when you’re just getting started. Be realistic; give yourself room to learn from mistakes and get better.

What should a podcaster think about when considering outsourcing production?

Decide whether you need an engineer or a producer. An engineer takes what you make and simply sweetens it by making it sound better. A producer, on the other hand, helps you craft the show.

What’s in store for Podfly in the coming year?

We’ve expanded out into full podcast production, which ranges from podcast set-up (equipment, show format, hosting) to audio engineering and post-production support such as copywriting for show notes. We’re working with more organizations, including broadcast media networks who want to move into podcasting. We see future growth in helping people with promotion so we plan on creating marketing tools and kits for podcasters in 2017. There should be many exciting things coming in the years ahead!

Corey Coates is the founder of Podfly Productions, a boutique podcast production company. Podfly offers a full range of services from podcast planning to post production (audio engineering, copywriting and feed management)…they do all the heavy lifting and technical work so you can focus on creating great content and growing your audience.

Podcast Advertising: Podcast Monetization Part 2

In our second video about podcast monetization, we share more details about podcast advertising (i.e. getting a sponsor for your show). Watch the video to understand more about how podcast advertising works and how you might find sponsors for your podcast as a monetization strategy.

This video (Part 2 of the podcast monetization series, view Part 1 here) covers:

  1. The growing opportunity in podcast advertising
  2. What can you do to make your podcast attractive to advertisers? (How many downloads do you need to get a sponsor?)
  3. How podcast advertising works
  4. Podcast advertising terms defined
  5. Podbean’s Podcast Advertising Marketplace: how it works

To join the advertising marketplace to connect with potential sponsors for your show, visit https://sponsorship.podbean.com/podcasters. It is free to join, no matter where you host your podcast. Podcasts must have 1000 downloads/episode.

We also invite you to join our Facebook group, Podcasting Smarter, for discussions about podcasting tools and resources, growing an audience, podcast monetization and more!

Monetizing a Podcast

Ever thought about how to make money from your podcast? Think you have a great show and want to figure out a way to pay for expenses and maybe even build a great income from podcasting?

Watch our presentation about monetizing a podcast for tips, resources and success stories so you can monetize your podcast the right way.

This video (Part 1) covers:

  • Things to consider about monetizing a podcast: should you monetize and when, what you should think about, concerns and priorities
  • Ways to monetize a podcast:

           a. Advertising

           b. Listener support (donations, patron programs)

           c. Premium content (paid content and subscriptions)

           d. Selling products (courses, show swag, affiliate programs, etc.)

           e. Indirect (influence, marketing→increased sales or success in your business,                              developing a side hustle, getting hired as a coach, speaker, etc.)

  • How to monetize via listener donations

           a. Some common misconceptions/getting past your fear

           b. Logistics/tools

           c. Tips: rewards and donation levels

           d. Tips: goals, story, video, etc.

The second part of our series on monetizing a podcast will get more into depth about advertising (or obtaining sponsors). We’ll explain how podcast advertising generally works, break down the terminology, and show a demo of Podbean’s Advertising Marketplace.

For more on Podbean’s patron program (open to all podcasters, free to join) visit patron.podbean.com. To join the advertising marketplace to connect with potential sponsors for your show, visit https://sponsorship.podbean.com/podcasters.

We also welcome you to join our Facebook group, Podcasting Smarter, for discussions about podcasting tools and resources, growing an audience, podcast monetization and more!

Podcasting Basics: What is an RSS feed?

RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, Really Simple Syndication or Real-time Simple Syndication. It is a way to get frequently changing information from websites (blog posts, audio and video, podcasts!). RSS feeds enable publishers to syndicate data automatically. In the case of podcasts, your RSS feed is what you need to submit to iTunes and other podcatchers/directories. These sites do not actually host your content, but instead use your RSS feed to get your latest content.

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Podcast hosting platforms such as Podbean can provide a working RSS feed for your podcast and provide you simple tools for pushing your content out to iTunes and other destinations. You can also create your own RSS feed if you self-host. Before submitting to iTunes, make sure to check your feed with a feed validation service to make sure you don’t run into any problems.

Read more about how to get your podcast on iTunes.

How Do I Get My Podcast Listed on iTunes?

Most likely if you’re looking at this article you already know you want your podcast listed on iTunes. Though there are more and more places for people to find and stream/download podcasts, iTunes is still where most people find podcasts and also serves as the source for many other directories and apps.

It is important to be listed in iTunes, but you shouldn’t count on it as your sole means of promotion. Being in iTunes New & Noteworthy or rated high in your category can be great exposure for your podcast. However, it isn’t the only way (or even the best way) to build an engaged audience. Join our Podcasting Smarter group on Facebook for resources and conversations about building an audience and growing your podcast.podcastingsmarter1

Steps for getting your podcast published in iTunes:

  1. Before you get ready to submit to iTunes there are many steps in setting up your podcast. This includes deciding on topic/content/format, purchasing equipment and getting editing software/assistance, creating your artwork and choosing where you will host your podcast media files (as well as whether you also want a dedicated website or section of your current website to house your podcast).
  2. Publish a podcast episode (or a few if you wish to launch with a certain number already available). Podcasts must be in M4A, MP3, MOV, MP4, M4V, PDF, or EPUB file formats for iTunes.
  3. Get a RSS feed for your podcast. Most people do this by hosting their files with a podcast hosting company, like Podbean. The hosting company will generate a RSS feed for your podcast and make it easy to follow the steps for automatic iTunes publishing. You can also self-host and create your own RSS feed. To check if your feed is valid before submitting to iTunes, you can use a service like Feed Validator. Correct any errors in the feed before submitting to iTunes.
    feedva*Make sure your podcast feed and artwork match iTunes requirements. You can also find out about the types of content iTunes prohibits here. In the iOS podcast app, your podcast will be shown with a background color which is derived from the elements of your podcast logo. Sometimes this results in a color you don’t like. You can consider modifying your logo accordingly to get the background color you’d prefer.
  4. In the iTunes store, find “Podcasts” and on the right sidebar and you will see a list of items including “Submit a Podcast”. Click there and you will be redirected to Podcasts Connect (or go directly to https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/), Apple’s podcast management area. You will need to login with your Apple ID (or create an account if you don’t already have one).
  5. Click on the “+” button to submit a new podcast feed. Validate and submit. You can check the status of your iTunes submission in Podcasts Connect. Approval times can vary.
  6. Once you register your podcast with iTunes, you will get an iTunes feed ID which you can input in your Feed/iTunes settings of your source. Your podcast will then be automatically updated by iTunes.

*You can view and manage all the podcasts you’ve submitted by logging into Podcasts Connect. Please note that there are sometimes delays with iTunes updating. If you have subscribers in iTunes, they will get your latest podcast but there may be slight delays in it showing up in iTunes.

Now that you’ve submitted your podcast to iTunes, it’s time to continue producing great content and building an audience! Check out the Podcasting Smarter podcast to hear podcasters share their stories about how they’ve grown their audience and what’s worked for them, along with challenges, resources and tips.