So you’ve worked hard to create your awesome podcast—now what? How do you actually get it out into the world where people can listen to and enjoy it?
Long story short, this process is called “distribution” (or publishing).
It’s the process of uploading your podcast to different platforms and promoting it to your target market. And in this guide, you’ll learn how to do it.
Why Is Effective Distribution Important?
Distribution is a key factor in the success of your podcast. After all, no matter how amazing your podcast is, if no one can find it or listen to it, it won’t have much of an impact.
Plus, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right people, so they can benefit from your content and share it with others. So without further ado, let’s jump into it.
How to Publish Your Podcast
Before you can distribute your podcast, you first need to make sure it’s ready to go. To do this, you’ll need the following:
- Audio files ready to be uploaded (typically in MP3 or M4A format)
- Metadata: the episode title, description, category, and cover art
- Your show page information, including a website URL, social media links, and contact information
Once you’re sure everything’s ready to go, you can begin the distribution process. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Upload to major directories
First, you need to upload your podcast to the major podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
When uploading, make sure you complete all of the relevant fields. This includes entering your show title, description, category, and cover art.
These directories not only provide your podcast with a platform on which to reach potential listeners, but they also monitor its performance.
The biggest podcasting directories are:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- iHeart Radio
2. Upload to Publishing Platforms
The next step is to upload your podcast to publishing platforms. These platforms allow you to upload your podcast and then automatically distribute it to all the major podcast directories.
The biggest platforms to consider are:
- Buzzsprout: Includes a great dashboard that makes it easy to monitor analytics.
- Podbean: Has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for podcasting.
- Transistor: Offers advanced features to help you manage and analyze your podcast.
3. Set Up Your Podcast Website
If you’re serious about your podcast, you’ll want to have a dedicated website for it. This is especially important if you’re looking to monetize your podcast.
Your website should include information about your podcasts, such as the description, show notes, and contact information. It should also include links to the major podcast directories and allow listeners to subscribe to your show.
You can also publish SEO blog content to build organic traffic to your site (and thus your podcast).
4. Configure Your RSS Feed
You’ll also need to set up an RSS (really simple syndication) feed for your podcast. This feed is used by podcast directories to display your podcast in their directories.
When configuring your RSS feed, make sure to include your show title, description, cover art, and other relevant information. Your hosting platform will usually provide instructions on how to do this.
5. Encourage ratings and reviews
Once your podcast is live in the major directories, it’s important to encourage listeners to rate and review your podcast.
Ratings and reviews are what fellow podcast hosts and potential listeners typically use to determine if your podcast is worth their time.
To start, you can reach out to your friends and family and ask them to leave a review for your podcast. You can also promote your podcast on social media, asking listeners to rate and review your podcast.
6. Promote your podcast
Once your podcast is available in the major directories, and through a podcast hosting platform, it’s time to start promoting it. The more people know about your podcast, the more potential listeners you’ll have.
You can promote your podcast on social media, reach out to influencers in your niche, and create blog posts with links to your podcast. You can also join podcast directories and participate in podcast networking events.
7. Monitor your podcast’s performance
Last but not least, you should regularly monitor your podcast’s performance. This will help you understand how it’s performing and what changes you need to make in order to reach more listeners.
You can track how many downloads your podcast is getting, how many people are leaving ratings and reviews, and how much engagement your podcast generates on social media.
The easiest way to track performance is with dedicated tools. My top picks are:
- Chartable: Tracks download numbers and listener trends.
- Castos: Helps you track listener engagement and the effectiveness of your promotions.
- Podtrac: Allows you to track listener data over time and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Distribution is an essential part of podcasting. If you want to get your podcast out into the world and reach potential listeners, you must distribute it effectively.
To do so, you should upload your podcast to the major podcast directories and podcast hosting platforms, set up a website for your podcast, configure your RSS feed, and encourage ratings and reviews.
You should also promote your podcast and monitor its performance. By following these steps, you’ll maximize the reach your podcast gets throughout the web—and thus your chances of success.
Podcast Distribution FAQs
Q: How long does it take to distribute a podcast?
A: It typically takes two to five days to distribute your podcast to the major podcast directories. This can vary depending on the platform and the size of your audio files.
Q: What’s the best way to promote my podcast?
A: The best way to promote your podcast is to use social media, reach out to influencers in your niche, create blog posts, join podcast directories, and participate in podcast networking events.
Q: How do I track my podcast’s performance?
A: You can track your podcast’s performance by looking at download numbers, ratings and reviews, and social media engagement. You should also use podcast analytic tools, such as Apple Podcasts Analytics, to gain insight into your podcast’s performance.
Distributing your podcast effectively is a crucial part of its success.
With the right strategy and steps in place, you can reach more listeners and make your podcast a hit! Happy podcasting!