What are some lessons on adding podcasts to my website?

Podcasts can be a great platform for your audience and are relatively simple to set up on your website. This article will review the common mistakes made with podcasts and share a case study on how to best set up podcasts for your audience.

We have had clients try podcasts in the past, and many did not continue beyond more than a couple of episodes. Those that ceased did so for two reasons.

If you would like to look at articles on adding a podcast to your site using ePublishing tools and functionality:

How do I add or create a new podcast?

How do I add a podcast episode to my site?

Common Mistakes

Not having a content plan or the right skill sets in place.

First, using podcasts as a medium and content/revenue strategy only works when you have a content plan in place and a team that can see it through. Just putting up one or two podcasts and then stopping is equivalent to not having ever started in the first place. Success relies on a slow audience build through fresh content rolled out in a regular way, just like other mediums.

Unlike blogging, which takes a similar dedication and creative abilities, podcasting also requires technical abilities to script, record, edit and upload. None of this is rocket science but when publishers are looking to streamline teams and cut costs, podcasting can be a prime target. If you want podcasting to work, commit to developing the skills necessary to do it successfully.

Not being patient with your audience.

Some of our publishers were ahead of their audience when they launched their podcasts. Podcasting for many was talked about but not a regular part of most readers' content stream. They simply didn’t or couldn’t stick it out long enough to convert enough of their text-based audience to audio.

A Success Story:

Back in 2008, an ePublishing client attempted to start a podcast but it didn’t work out for the reasons above. A couple of months ago they decided to try again and already have over 2,000 subscribers through SoundCloud and more through iTunes. They spun this solution up quickly and without any technical support by leveraging SoundCloud to store their files and generate the all-important RSS files in the specific formats that work best for different distribution channels. SoundCloud’s tools let them push to iTunes (as well as SoundCloud’s extensive library) and embed a player on their website. This also allowed them to update their podcast everywhere automatically by simply uploading a new file to SoundCloud. So far they are happy with this solution.

We recommend the same path, outlined below.

How do I add a podcast to my website on SoundCloud?

Create a landing page on Soundcloud.

SoundCloud is our recommended podcast engine. Here's an example of a landing page on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/premierguitar/conversations-in-the-key-of-ep1

You may have already seen this how-to page from SoundCloud. If not, it’s a great place to start: http://podcasting.help.soundcloud.com/?b_id=10246

Create a landing page on your website using the Page Manager.

Below is an example of what a client did. Learn more about creating pages using the Page Manager: How do I create a landing page?

Create a landing page on your website using the Page Manager.

Embed the Soundcloud player on your landing page.

Share your page with your readers.

Is there a reason to use SoundCloud instead of ePublishing or vice versa?

It is a question of effort and reach.

By having the podcast exist on your ePublishing website, you can take advantage of related content functionality and site search results (in the future) to make your site visitors aware of your podcast.

By having the podcast exist on SoundCloud or any other third party podcast site, you reach a far larger potential audience who may not be aware of your website. Listening to the podcast and links back to your website will only increase awareness of your site's content.

By doing both, you gain the best of both worlds,

Come talk to us if you have any questions or want to talk podcast strategy.