To kick off the start of April, we're going to dive into whether having a website for your podcast is worth it. This is actually a question we receive quite often from people who are just starting out their podcast journeys. For the most part, many of our clients already have established websites. And so, they just want to tag their podcast on as another marketing funnel or extra media their dedicated audience can consume. If that sounds like you, then this article wouldn't apply to your already established brand.
However, if you're swimming in a big ocean full of fish, dangerous and gnarly-looking fish, and are not sure where to start, then this article can help and guide you.
So, do you need a website for your podcast?
The quick and dirty answer is that it depends. I know, anticlimactic. Boo.
But seriously, let me first ask you, how much do you care about your podcast? Because if you don't care and it's just some hobbyist podcast you're creating in your step-uncle's weird and this-was-once-a-meth-lab basement, then you don't need a website because, well, you don't care.
I mean, I already know you don't care because you're trying to record in a dirty and echoey basement. Get it together - you can do better!
Okay. Let's calm down.
Before I go further, I want to disclose that I am a web developer by trade. I learned how to code at a young age, so there may be a slight bias in this article. But I promise I won't let my personal agenda mess with your vibes.
First of All, You Don't Need to Do or Have Anything
If you don't want a podcast website, then don't create one. I'm not going to convince you to create a podcast website if you're just going to abandon it. Many podcasters get by without having a website at all. I mean, just check out different podcasts on iTunes and you'll find them. So don't feel this strange obligation to make a podcast website, just because all the cool cats have one. Maybe you're the type of person who finds innovative ways to promote your podcast without a website. Either way, this is your podcast. You can do whatever you want with it!
Vet Your Podcast First before Investing Big
If you want to test the waters, then you don't need to get a full blown website from the get go. There are many free alternatives. You're lucky it's 2016, because long gone are the days where you have to sell your liver for good hosting. If you're not sure how serious this is going to be, then get a free podcast website like Wordpress or equivalent. Then work from there.
Let me pick at your brain a little bit here. Do you like where your podcast is going? Would you like to increase traffic?, Do you want to see user engagement? Then I suggest you reconsider your options. It's easy to transfer your website over, from one platform to. another That’s unless you go for some horribly cheap and awful website-making service. Otherwise you are not going to be stuck to one platform for eternity.
When to Get Serious?
I personally recommend you go serious, aka pay for the website, pay for better graphics, etc. when your podcast has a loyal audience that cares about you; and if you eventually want to sponsor your podcast. Sure, you can get sponsors just for your podcast. But if you have a great standalone website in and of itself, then you can arrange for different sponsor packages that include the website and/or newsletter. A website creates an extra layer to your marketability, which sponsors love + allows you to monetize your podcast.
You don't need a podcast website if you don't want one. If you want one, then go small until you have the social proof. Once you have the social proof, go big and make it great. Then you can also become marketable on multiple levels. A small podcast can indeed grow into a big business. So just climb the broken escalator until you've reached a level that is right for you.
In the next article, we'll do a brief overview on some of the viable website options for podcasters - which themes and platforms make sense to use and which don't.