How to make a podcast on iTunes for free

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Since I started making my own podcast, several people have asked me how to make one and submit it to iTunes. So I’m writing this guide.

Having a podcast is  great for SEO. Since Google like websites that have plenty of different content types, and also a podcast will help to keep visitors on your website for longer, decreasing the bounce rate.

Podcasts are excellent for personal branding as well. Good content will help to establish you as an expert. You can submit your podcast to iTunes by following the directions below, and access a potential audience of millions of people.

Step-by-step iTunes podcasting guide

There is no need to buy audio hosting. All you need is a WordPress blog, a way of recording MP3 files, and a free Apple iTunes account to get started.

I recommend Heart Internet for web hosting, which I personally use. They have unlimited data packages as standard, so you will not be charged extra when you get lots of listeners. Wordpress can also be installed in just one click which makes it very easy.

Once you have installed WordPress (I’m assuming here that you already have a WordPress blog up and running), follow these simple instructions to install and configure the podcasting plugin:

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New, search for “PowerPress”, and install the plugin.
  2. Once installed, click on Activate.
  3. Go to Settings > Blubrry PowerPress to configure settings.

Here are the following settings:

Program Title
This is the name of your podcast that you wish to appear on iTunes. I’ve called mine “Small Business Marketing Tips by James Winsoar”. Get some keywords in there, the keywords I am targeting are small business marketing, and marketing tips.

iTunes Subscription URL
Once you submit your podcast to iTunes and it is approved, you can search for your podcast using the iTunes desktop software, and copy the subscribe link and paste it in here. It should look something like https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/internet-marketing-tips-by/id882481457?mt=2

Until your podcast is approved, leave this blank.

iTunes Program Subtitle
This should attract people to listen to your podcast, and can include more keywords. I’ve put “How to grow your small or home based business” as mine.

iTunes Program Summary
Again a place to attract people to click play, and also an area where you can include more keywords for SEO and searching purposes. I’ve put “James Winsoar has over 15 years experience in marketing, and has ran several successful ecommerce websites, he is also an experienced network marketer. In these podcasts you will learn how to market your business both online and offline to get more customers and grow your downline”.

iTunes Category
A lot of your potential customers will find your podcast by navigating through the iTunes podcast categories. So choose this wisely! Try searching out your competition and see what categories they have put their podcasts into. You will find mine in Business > Management and Marketing.

iTunes Explicit
If your podcast is free from swearing and sexually suggestive content, select Clean here.

iTunes email
This should be the same email that you use to log into iTunes. If you have not already done so you will need to create an Apple ID first.

iTunes Image
Create and upload a 1400 by 1400 pixel image to advertise your podcast. This could be your own photo, a caricature of yourself, or your logo.  If you need a graphic designer I recommend Andy Peat who has done excellent graphic design for me in the past.

Display Media and Links
You can choose where the player appears. Personally I’ve selected below page content. This way I can write a short introduction about the podcast before the player appears.

Having Issues?
Leave this as “No, everything is working”. I’ve not needed to change this on my installation. If you have any problems please use the comment form below and I will try to help.

Advanced Options
Here I have ticked “Category podcasting”, and I have created a post category called Podcasts. I’ve not ticked any of the additional options. The category helps me to single out posts that are podcasts on my blog. This is optional, but I find it useful because my blog posts are mixed content. Some are text only, some are videos, some are audio podcasts. I only want the audio podcast posts linked to from iTunes.

Click on Save changes at the bottom.

Recording and uploading your podcast

Next, create some podcasts.

To do this, simply record an audio file. I use my mobile phone’s Sound Recorder app to record the file, then I use an online audio converter to convert the file it saves to an MP3 file. You could alternatively use a desktop sound recording software to record an MP3 file directly.

You can optionally add an introduction branding to your file, perhaps some music, or a voiceover, or just keep it simple to begin with. You can always make your podcast fancier later once you have a good listener base.

When you have the MP3 file, simply upload it to your wordpress plug using the Media > Add New option. Once uploaded, copy and paste the URL of the sound file, and then paste it into the podcast media URL on your wordpress post.

Alternatively, you can now upload your file to Google Drive, and then enable it for public sharing, and copy and paste the public hosting URL.  Either way is free and works fine.

If you get an error posting in your Media URL like “http://www.jameswinsoar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/podcast1.mp3”, simply remove the domain name, and enter the file as “../wp-content/uploads/2014/05/podcast1.mp3”. This bit is a little bit complicated, but trust me, it works.

Once you have verified the file, change it back to the full URL, and then publish your post.

Check that your podcast plays correctly yourself before sharing it with people.

Once you have two or three podcasts posted onto your wordpress blog, it’s time to submit it to iTunes.

Submitting your podcast to iTunes

Your feed URL will look something like this:
http://www.jameswinsoar.com/feed/podcast/

If you click on Advanced in PowerPress settings, then click on Feeds, you can grab your podcast feed URL.

Next, open up your iTunes desktop app, and click on Podcasts.

Scroll down the page slightly, and on the right hand side click the link that says “Submit a Podcast”.

Paste in your feed URL, and click on Continue.

The rest of the process is very simple, and you will get an email within a couple of weeks letting you know if your podcast was accepted. If you have any problems, use the comment form below and I will do my best to help.

Other places to submit your podcast

New Ford cars now have a podcast player built in that uses the Stitcher Radio directory. You can easily submit your podcast to Stitcher at this link.

By adding your podcast to both iTunes and Stitcher you have a potential reach of millions of people worldwide.

So, get recording, share great content, and build your credibility and visibility through podcasting today!

Let me know how you get on using the comment form below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

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