Have you ever listened to a podcast before on your computer, tablet, or phone? A podcast is similar to a radio show. It’s an audio-only session, where the podcaster usually talks about a specific subject of interest to the listener. Some podcasters will also turn their video cameras on and post the podcast on YouTube too.
Podcasts are a great way to get your content and message out to help more people. They can be about any subject, and as long or short as you want them to be. Some podcasts are short and scripted, others are long and interview style. There’s no one right or wrong way to podcast.
And listeners love the portability and accessibility of podcasts. Using a podcast app, listeners can hear content while they’re driving in their car, walking the dogs, doing housework, or exercising.
Podcasting is Popular
Podcasting has grown significantly in the last decade – both the number of podcasts available and subscribers. And that’s no surprise. Many people like being able to multitask – they feel more productive. You can listen to podcasts while you’re doing other activities like driving, exercising, doing housework, etc.
According to podcasthosting.org, three-quarters of the people in the United States are familiar with the term ‘podcasting’, even if they haven’t listened to one. 55% (155 million) of the US population has listened to a podcast and 24% (68 million) of the US population listen to podcasts weekly.
Benefits of Adding a Podcast
Does adding a podcast to your website make sense for your business? There are many benefits. Podcasting is another way to provide valuable content to your audience, in addition to your website and blog articles. Many podcasters repurpose content from their website and blog to turn it into podcasts. So, you can create the content once, but share it in two different modes and reach more people.
Podcasts give you an opportunity to have guests and experts contribute to your content. Interviews and discussions between two people work very well in a podcast format, and not so well in a text format. You can bring new information and ideas to your audience in an engaging way.
Two Examples from my Students
Nowadays, you can find a podcast about any subject imaginable – true crime, food, homeschooling, sports, politics, fitness, and the list goes on.
One of my Website Creation Workshop students, Cindy Sullivan, has a podcast on her website, the Food Sensitivity Kitchen.
In her podcast, Cindy inspires home cooks to cook to enable those they love to flourish and thrive. https://foodsensitivitykitchen.com/podcast-episodes/
Another student, Maria Lesetz, features a coaching podcast on her Color My Life Happy website. https://www.colormylifehappy.com/color-my-life-happy-podcast/
Planning for Your Podcast
Below, I’ll share the how-to steps for adding a podcast to your WordPress website. Of course, there are other factors you should plan out before starting a podcast. You’ll need to decide: What will the topic or subject of your podcast be? How long will each episode run? How often will you podcast? What will the format be? (interviews, alone, scripted, impromptu, or conversational).
Most importantly, you need to decide what the goal of your podcast is. Planning each episode will be much easier when you have a clear purpose in mind. For example, in Cindy’s podcast, her goal is to provide content that will “inspire home cooks to enable those they love to flourish”. And she lets the audience know her mission statement in her podcast introduction.
Adding a Podcast to Your WordPress Website
Once you’ve planned your podcast, you’re ready to start recording and uploading to your website. There are several ways to insert a podcast into your website. Here’s the method that I have found simplest.
Step 1 – Sign Up for a Podcast Hosting Service
A podcast hosting service stores your podcast files (ie. audio files for your podcast). It’s a separate service from your website hosting. Although it’s possible to host your podcast files on your website hosting, we don’t recommend it. A dedicated podcast hosting service will offer you and your listeners the best experience.
Here are some popular podcast hosting services to consider. These services also allow you to store your audio files and distribute your podcast to various podcast platforms (such as iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Podcasts):
- Libsyn (https://libsyn.com/)
- Buzzsprout (https://www.buzzsprout.com/)
- Podbean (https://www.podbean.com/)
- Blubrry (https://blubrry.com/)
- SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/)
- Anchor by Spotify (https://anchor.fm/)
Step 2 – Record Your Podcast Episode
Thanks to new technology, you don’t need to hire an audio professional or purchase expensive equipment to record and edit a podcast. You start podcasting with your computer or smartphone and a headset or earphones. Down the road, you may choose to invest in better equipment or a podcast editor.
Step 3 – Upload your Audio File to Your Podcast Hosting Service
Once you have recorded your podcast and your audio file is ready, upload it to your podcast hosting account.
Step 4 – Install a Podcast Plugin on your WordPress site
While using a WordPress podcast plugin isn’t required, it can make the process easier. These plugins help you publish your podcast to various podcast platforms/directories by creating RSS feeds for your podcast, too.
Here are some podcast plugins to consider:
- Lybsyn Publisher Hub – for Lybsyn only
- Buzzsprout Podcasting
- Seriously Simple Podcasting
- Podlove Podcast Publisher
Step 5 – Configure your Podcast Plugin to your Preferences
Now you can make changes to the look of your podcast player, select where to publish your podcast, and adjust other settings in the plugin. Check your plugin’s instructions on how to do this step.
Step 6 – Create a Page or post With Your Podcast.
You’ll need to refer to your plugin’s instructions for this step.
And Boom! You have a podcast on your website!
If you’re interested in learning more about podcasting, you can get a free subscription to Podcast magazine there from Steve Olsher on the topic. Go here to sign up: https://christinasresources.com/podcastmagazine
If you’re looking for another way to connect with your audience, try creating some short and simple podcasts. You could find a new audience who isn’t interested in reading blogs or social media posts.
Today’s tools make it easy to record and post your first podcast. As with any new technology, they’ll be a learning curve. However, be sure to put some thought into the goals and purpose of your podcast. Then plan all the puzzle pieces of your podcast – the format, content, length, equipment, and tools.
Podcasting remains very popular. They have millions of devoted followers and the numbers are growing. Do you listen to podcasts? What are some of your favorite podcasts?