Now that we've created your RSS feed and we've validated that feed to make sure it works properly, it's time to look at submitting it to directories. These are the places where many people are going to discover your show. We'll focus today on the two big ones being iTunes and Stitcher Radio. From there, we're going to take a look at how many episodes should I have uploaded and more. So let's jump in and understand first of all what a directory is.
A podcast directory is simply a website where a list has been compiled of podcasts that are available. There are a variety of podcast directories out there today. Obviously iTunes and Stitcher are the two biggest places in the market. That said, we don't want to disregard the tens of thousands of listeners and tens of thousands of podcasts that are available in these alternative directories. Not to mention to have your show in these directories, because it really helps your search engine optimization. The more places that your show can be discovered by a Google search, the better your chances are on finding a listener.
You can see here that there are a number of amazing directories available. Each of them has a different approach and a different audience. Equally, many of these directories have a different submission process.
A Directory of Directories.
Let's go to podcast411.com. Here we see that Rob Walsh has compiled an exhaustive list of podcast directories available and a submission process that goes along with them. We will have a link to this in the transcript to make it easy for you to find these directories.
Submitting to iTunes
Now that we've looked at the wide varieties of directories available on the internet. Let's take a look at how to submit your feed.
*** Note that iTunes has changed the submission process since we recorded this video. You can now login here to submit, and manage your show:
Submitting Your RSS Feed
In previous tutorials we've looked at where to find your RSS feed and what it looks like. Let's go back and do a quick refresher in Libsyn for my new show. Going to the Destinations page, I can find here the 'Libsyn Classic Feed'. This is the RSS feed that we'll be copying and pasting into iTunes.
Open the application on your computer iTunes and log into your account. If you do not have an account with iTunes, it is free to create. You do need to create an iTunes account in order to have an email address, through which they will verify your RSS feed as been submitted to the iTunes store. Going into the store now, let's navigate to podcasts. Underneath the podcast category we see, 'Submit a Podcast'. Taking the podcast RSS feed that we copied out of Libsyn, we are simply going to paste it into 'Podcast Feed URL' and click continue. iTunes has now picked up the feed and recognized it as valid. The next step in iTunes is to choose the category for your show. In this case we'll say Education.
Next Choose a Sub-Category and Submit
The feed has now been submitted to the iTunes store for approval. Usually within 24 to 48 hours iTunes responds to the email address provided in your iTunes account as to whether or not your show has been accepted. Once your show has been accepted, they also provide you with a link that you can share, put on your website, and let people know that you're now available in the iTunes directory as a podcast.
Submitting your podcast to Stitcher
Here at Podfly we measure our statistics of our clients and students very carefully, as well as hosting companies such as Libsyn, they see now a massive increase in the amount of downloads being generated from Stitcher. Stitcher is a beautiful directory and a great way to get your podcast shared and heard. Let's take a look at how we get our podcast in Stitcher.
The process for submitting your show in Stitcher is a little bit different from iTunes. We need to, as iTunes asked us to create an account, become a partner of Stitcher. This is free and easy to do. Navigating to the bottom of the page you can see there's a partner sign up. In this partner sign up page, simply fill out the form and agree and continue.
Here's an example of a podcast that we've recently submitted and is managed at Podfly. You'll notice that Stitcher has created a gorgeous page. It's already appearing in many people's playlists and there's a lot of social links as well to share. One of the great elements about Stitcher is the mobile application. The application available for iOS and Android is phenomenal. In addition, as a partner, we're provided with great players we can put on our page, banners that we can use to promote our show, and more.
Stitcher is a growing community, an amazing website, and a great way to get your podcast heard.
Google has made its official entry into podcasting. You can find instructions to submit to the Google Play Store here.
FAQ: How Many Shows Should I Have at Launch?
I want to take a moment and address a question that we get a lot here at Podfly Academy and that is, how many shows should I have available before I submit to a directory? When we do our first show, we're very eager to share it and get it out there. However, we should take into consideration how many shows are available to a new listener. More importantly, there's evidence to suggest that iTunes will rank your show higher if you have more shows available.
Let's also consider when people discover your show for the first time, it looks great to have three or four shows available for download immediately. In many cases, we see new listeners download all of those, which immediately boosts your stats thereby upping your ranking as something that is new, noteworthy, and popular in the iTunes store.
So before submitting to some of these directories, it might be a wise consideration to have some of these shows, as we say, in the can, so that at launch you have a catalog of programming available for your listeners.
We've seen that there are literally dozens of podcast directories available online. Clearly part of your podcast launch strategy has to be getting into iTunes and Stitcher. From there, many podcasters like to slowly roll out their show into other directories. From podcast411.com, we've provided you a list of active directories and the methods by which you submit to them. Some of them are much more complicated than simply pasting in your RSS feed. In some cases, you need to email the company with your show description, details, and more. However, slowly but surely, getting these into the directories makes you more and more discoverable.