In this episode of Talk Marketing Made Easy, the John’s discuss how to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts. The process is very straightforward, and once you set it up, Apple will automatically put up your podcasts using the RSS feed. Start listening or check out the transcript.
John McDougall: Welcome to Talk Marketing Made Easy. I’m John McDougall, and I’m here today with John Maher, the VP of Digital Marketing at Talk Marketing Academy and McDougall Interactive. Welcome, John.
John Maher: Hey, John. How’s it going?
1st Step: Go to PodcastsConnect.Apple.com
John McDougall: Good, good. So today we’re going to talk about Apple Podcasts, and so what’s the first step to get on Apple Podcasts?
John Maher: Right. So this is assuming that you’ve already done your recording, you have an MP3 file with your podcast episode recorded and that you have podcast hosting, whether you’re on Libsyn or Buzzsprout or Podbean or whatever. You have your podcast hosted somewhere. So then the next step from there would be you’d need to submit your podcast, specifically the RSS feed to Apple Podcasts.
You might do other ones like Google Podcasts, and Spotify, and Stitcher and iHeartRadio and things like that. But we’re specifically talking about submitting your podcast to Apple Podcasts today, but you’d basically kind of want to go through the same or similar steps with all of those other ones as well. So the first step is to go to Apple Podcasts Connect, and you can find that at podcastsconnect.apple.com. When you go there, it’s going to want you to sign in with an Apple ID.
So you might already have an Apple ID if you have an iPhone. You have to have an Apple ID to have your iCloud account. But be careful. You might not want to use the one that you have for your personal iPhone, especially if you’re creating a podcast, say for work, for your company. So you might want to create a separate Apple ID just for your company so that if… I don’t know. It depends on whether or not you’re the owner of the company or whether or not you’re an employee.
John McDougall: Yeah. Yeah.
2nd Step: Setup Apple ID and Add Your Podcast’s RSS Feed
John Maher: Certainly if you’re an employee, I wouldn’t use your personal Apple ID to create a podcast for your company because then if you left or got fired or something like that, they could really get the company into a lot of trouble where they’re trying to track you down and get access to the Apple Podcasts or something like that. So I think it’s just best in general to have a separate Apple ID for the podcast.
So you create the Apple ID if you don’t have one already, and then you’d probably need to verify that. I think you’d have to log in to the iTunes Store in order to verify your Apple ID. There’s a couple steps there, but eventually you’re on podcastsconnect.apple.com, and you’re logged in with your Apple ID. Then what you need to do is just basically click the, “Add” button and then click that you want to add a new show. And then you have a couple of options there, and one of the options, I think one of them is to create a show within Apple Podcasts. They have some ways where you can actually just record or create your show right in Apple Podcasts. But normally, again, you’d have already recorded your episode, already have it on hosting.
So the option that you want to choose is, “Add a show with an RSS feed.” Your RSS feed is basically just a URL, kind of like a website address that points to a file, and that file is created by the hosting company where you have your podcast hosted on. Whether it’s Libsyn or Buzzsprout again, and you go into their settings and you find that RSS feed URL and you just cut and paste that into the show information on the podcasts show that you create in Apple Podcasts. That’s where Apple will sort of go and crawl and they find all of the information about your show, the name of your show, the author of your show, what each episode title is, what each episode description is, and where the file is located, that MP3 file, where that’s located, so that they can have that audio file for them to listen to and to offer for people when they subscribe. So that’s the next step.
After that would be to just basically fill out a little form where they’ll ask you some show details again, the name of the show, your contact information, that RSS feed URL, some distribution information like, “How do you want this distributed or where?” I think you can have it just be only in the United States, or it could be in internationally. You can choose to make it private so that people have to be logged in order to listen to your podcast. But generally you want to make it publicly available. You can schedule a release date if you want to. Say you’re uploading the first three or four or five episodes all at once, you have those on your hosting platform already. Now you’re submitting it to Apple Podcasts, but you can say, “I don’t want this to go live on Apple Podcasts for three weeks. I want it to go live on February 1st of next year,” something like that. You can put a date in there when you want to have a launch.
And maybe you want to do that because you’re doing some other promotional things and you want to have a specific date. Okay. February 1st is the date when we are launching this podcast and we’re going to have all of our other marketing pointing toward that, and we want to promote that on that date, and we have all these things in place. Well, you can do that. So that’s one option, if you want to, to do that sort of hard launch where you have a specific date and all of your ads and stuff are going at the same time, or you could do a soft launch where you just say, “Yeah, just publish it right now,” and then it’s out there and it’s already publicly available. But then on February 1st, now you’re going to do some promotional things to try to get people to come to it and check it out. That would be a soft launch. So maybe a month before that you actually submit it to Apple Podcasts and get it live just to get the kinks out and maybe make sure that everything’s working right before you go and do that promotion.
3rd Step: Wait for Apple to Publish Your Podcast
John McDougall: And you had mentioned to me with this new podcast for us, you said, “It takes a certain amount of time to have it show up or get approved.”
John Maher: Yeah. So that’s sort of the last step in it. Once you submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, it generally takes about eight days or so, or it can take up to eight days for Apple to review your RSS feed, make sure that everything’s in order, and actually publish it and get it so that it’s actually on the Apple directory. We’ve had it take eight days or maybe even a little bit longer in some cases with one of our clients. I feel like it maybe even took up to almost a couple of weeks before it got up there. And then actually this podcast, the Talk Marketing Made Easy, we submitted this one and then I think a day later it was live, a day or two later.
John McDougall: And you think because we already have another show.
John Maher: Yeah. In our case, the Apple ID that I was using was the same Apple ID that I also used for our Digital Marketing Madness show that we have for McDougall Interactive, and so the Apple ID was already created. We already had a show that was already on Apple Podcast. I sort of feel like that might have contributed to-
John McDougall: To the trust.
John Maher: Talk Marketing Made Easy. Yeah. Being trusted and being approved almost immediately. Whereas one that we submitted for one of our clients, it was their first podcast that they had ever uploaded, it was a new Apple ID that was just created so that trust wasn’t there, maybe. So that one took at least a week or maybe even closer to two before it got accepted. So just be aware of that, that when you submit it to Apple Podcasts if you want it to be live on the directory tomorrow, that might not happen.
John McDougall: Yup.
Tip: You May Need to Fix Validation Warnings Before the Podcast Goes Live
John Maher: The next thing that to maybe be aware of would just be after you click, “Save,” and you click, “Publish.” So you’re telling Apple, “Yeah, I’m ready to…” Or actually, when you click, “Save,” that’s the first thing. Apple then goes through a sort of validation process where they have to download that RSS feed and check it out, to make sure that everything is in order. You might log in a day or two later and see that there’s some warnings, some validation warnings that you get.
I had this happen on one, and I think it was just a very simple thing. They just checked to make sure that all of your tags are correct, that it meets the technical requirements, the show’s cover art has to be there, and that has to be at least 1400 by 1400 pixels. They recommend 3000 by 3000 pixels now, to keep it kind of future proof. Your media files all have to be accessible.
So you might find that when they go and they crawl your RSS feed that there’s something wrong. It could just be as simple as going into your hosting platform, and I think it was just like for us when this happened on this show, I think it was just one checkbox on the hosting on Libsyn that I forgot to check off. Oh, I think I had forgotten to put on that our shows were going to be updated weekly.
You can choose, yeah, we’re planning on uploading a podcast every week, or is it going to be monthly? Is it going to be quarterly? Whatever it is. I think I had forgotten to select weekly, and so it gave me a little warning there. And then once I fixed that checkbox on my hosting, then I resubmitted that, I saved it in Apple Podcasts, and then when I checked back the next day, it had been validated and accepted. So then the final step was just to click the button, “Publish.” And then within a day or so after that, I was already seeing that in my podcast app.
John McDougall: And I think you said, you searched for Talk Marketing in the app, right? And we came up quickly.
Tip: Post Multiple Episodes to Get More Exposure
John Maher: Yeah. Which was really good. We did launch it with, I think seven episodes, the first seven episodes we had on the hosting when we submitted that. I think that helps. I would recommend having at least a few episodes on the hosting when you submit it. It just kind of tells Apple that you’re serious because there’s so many people-
John McDougall: And customers.
John Maher: And customers too. But there’s so many people that will put up one episode of a podcast, two episodes-
John McDougall: To never do it again. They’re just trying it.
John Maher: Yeah, exactly. They’re trying it out, and then they never upload another episode. So by submitting three, four, five, or in our case, we did seven episodes at once, Apple can look at that and just go, ‘Oh, okay, they’ve already got seven episodes. They’re pretty serious.” I think that can kind of help to have your podcast show up at the top of the search results.
Of course, you are having people rate and review your show on Apple Podcasts will really help with that as well. So if you can really quickly get some friends and family to get in there and rate and review your show-
Tip: Have People Rate and Review Your Podcast
John McDougall: Get it started.
John Maher: Kind of get it started. Do a little kickstart with some of the promotion there and some rating and reviewing that can help as well. In our case, there wasn’t a ton of competition with Talk Marketing. There are some other shows though like, Let’s Talk Marketing and things like that, that have Talk Marketing in the name of it.
But when I searched on my app, which I use the Overcast app for my podcasts, and again, Overcast uses the Apple Podcasts directory. So by us being submitted into the Apple Podcast, it shows up on the Overcast app, and when I searched for Talk Marketing, we were showing up number one for that. So that was excellent.
John McDougall: That was fast. Yeah, that was nice.
John Maher: Yeah.
John McDougall: And it’s not like we’re showing up for SEO or podcasting or YouTube optimization.
John Maher: Sure. Yeah, that would be great to eventually do that. We would love to come up and search for those things. But-
Tip: Consider a Keyword-Based Title for Your Podcast
John McDougall: Yeah, that’s where we’re headed. But our unique phrase, Talk Marketing, again, it’s not about, “Hey, let’s talk about marketing.” Talk Marketing is using podcasting and videos to get better SEO because you’re using your thought leadership and your voice to make content easier. That’s a big part of Talk Marketing. Anyway, so we were able to take our niche term and get going quickly. Now, if you want to show up in Apple Podcasts for your best keywords, you might want to think about naming your podcast you know… Like we could have named our podcast, “Podcast Marketing Made Easier, Podcasting Made Easy.” You know?
John Maher: Mm-hmm.
John McDougall: So if we really wanted to rank in Apple or in other places, Spotify or whatever for podcasting, it’s possible the title could play a part. But we’re banking on owning the idea of Talk Marketing, so we’re okay with that as the main term. And then, we’re going to do a lot of content on podcasting and YouTube optimization and SEO. So we’ll eventually rank for those things too, so you can work your way up to the harder to rank for things and start with your company name. You know, “Oh, look, we’re showing up for our company name and our niche terms.” You know?
Why You Should Submit Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts
John Maher: Right. And finally, I would say that we recommend submitting your podcast to Apple Podcasts as kind of the first step toward getting your podcast out there. One of the main reasons for that is just that when you submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, there are a number of different apps that use the Apple Podcast directory. I mentioned Overcast, that’s the one that I use to listen to podcasts on my phone.
John McDougall: And Overcast is big so yeah.
John Maher: And they’re big. So everything that you submit to Apple Podcasts is also going to be on the Overcast app. There’s other apps like Pocket Cast, Castro, Cast Box, Podchaser, Breaker, and Listen Notes is a podcast directory-
John McDougall: Yeah. Listen Notes is a huge directory. Yeah.
Once You Set up the Feed, the Process Is Automatic
John Maher: So if you’re in Apple Podcasts, you’re on all of those places as well. So that’s really kind of the first step. But like I said, there’s lots of other podcast directories like Stitcher and iHeartRadio and Google Podcast and Spotify. So they’ve all got a similar process where you would go and create a little podcast account with them, and then submit your podcast with the title, and the description, and the RSS feed and your artwork. And once you’ve done that, then you get on all of those platforms.
Then all you have to do is kind of concentrate on recording your podcast and getting them edited and getting them up on your hosting. And once you put it on your hosting, it automatically gets fed with this RSS feed into Apple Podcasts and all of the other ones that you submit it to as well.
So you don’t have to worry about going into Apple every time you submit an episode and submitting it directly to Apple, you just upload that MP3 file to your hosting platform, and then because you’ve submitted your RSS feed to Apple, it automatically gets pushed to Apple and all these other apps as well.
John McDougall: Yup and a lot of people are also using YouTube now to get their podcast out there. We won’t get into that really today because this is about Apple Podcast.
John Maher: Sure. Yeah.
John McDougall: Submissions and things. But we can do another episode on using YouTube for your podcast. But yeah, those are really good tips, John. Anything else or is that the-
John Maher: No, no, that’s really it. Yeah, so those are the steps. It’s not too hard. It maybe sounds like a lot of steps, but really just as long as you have your Apple ID and you go to podcastsconnect.apple.com, it’s pretty simple to just fill out the form. And as long as you have your RSS feed from your hosting platform, it’s pretty easy to submit it. And then just maybe you have to wait a few days for it to get up on Apple Podcasts. But it’s kind of fun to see it actually…
John McDougall: Yeah.
John Maher: Showing up on your podcast…
John McDougall: Definitely.
John Maher: App with your graphic that you’ve submitted or designed. It’s pretty cool to know that once you’ve done this recording, it’s actually out there and people have the opportunity to listen to it, and it’s a lot of fun.
John McDougall: Yeah. You get a lot of mileage out of that one submission, like you said. Great.
John Maher: Absolutely.
Thanks for Listening to Talk Marketing Made Easy
John McDougall: All right, thanks John. And please review us, rate us, subscribe, check us out for other episodes. And this has been Talk Marketing Made Easy with John McDougall and John Maher. See you on the next episode.