Podcasts are hugely popular among scientists, comedians, celebrities, experts, and even regular people just looking to share their insights with an audience.
With over 1,500,000 active podcasts as of October 2020, an increase from 850,000 in January 2020, on thousands of popular and niche topics, the podcast market is growing rapidly…
And so is the audience! With 155 million US citizens suggesting they’ve listened to a podcast and 68 million stating they watch at least 1 podcast weekly, there is no doubt podcasts have made an immense impression on the US and lots of the world but what does this mean for podcasters?
In simple terms, your podcast is 1 in 1,500,000 which can be daunting, and standing out may seem impossible. Apple Podcasts holds 500,000 of these whilst Spotify is home to 700,000 podcasts – using these sites alone means you’re competing with large numbers for a limited audience.
Whether you’re new to podcasting or already streaming through one of the major outlets, creating a podcast website is a great start to differentiate your podcast and ensure an influx of new listeners whilst helping retain your current audience.
Importantly, you don’t need to be a developer or even spend a lot to create one! With a little time and research, you’ll be set up and ready to go.
Table of Contents
In this competitive, growing market, podcasting has to be more than just speaking into a microphone – a strong brand can set you aside from competitors and boost your audience growth rapidly.
Positives of a strong brand include;
- Increased awareness amongst podcast listeners
- A sense of familiarity and trust in your podcast across the community
- A loyal audience
- Creates a positive identity and perception of your podcast
- Increased credibility
Podcast listeners are not short for choice, so your first impression is vital. A website will be the first instance of your brand seen by potential and frequent listeners, possible guests, reviewers, or sponsors.
If you’re planning on conducting interviews, a well-designed website will make your podcast look established and more credible to potential guests.
Act as a Hub for Community
Engaging with an audience is the best way to gain dedicated listeners.
People are much more likely to stick around if they feel included, even more so if listeners of your podcast have a space they can talk about episodes and be part of a community.
It is also important to communicate with your audience and allow plenty of opportunities to listen to their questions and ideas.
A website could allow a comment section under posts, polls to help you decide future topics and possible guests, and contact forms for general feedback. Not only will your audience feel more involved, but you’ll get some handy market research and have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Opt-In Email Service
As people subscribe to your podcast, a useful tool is to include an opt-in email service allowing you to notify your audience of new episodes, merchandise sales, or announcements.
It can be easy to forget to tune back into the new episode of a podcast you enjoyed so sending these reminders will help to retain your audience and increase your weekly listens.
Storage for Everything Linked to your Podcast
The control of having your own website allows you to create more of a brand rather than just audio recordings. By including different content to go along with your shows i.e. notes, blogs, images, and videos you’re generating more interest and making the show more interactive.
It can also be a great idea to sell merchandise through your website. Not only will merch generate an initial revenue, but you’ll gain free advertising from your audience wearing shirts and hoodies with your branding on.
Archive Old Episodes
Even old podcasts will still be interesting for new viewers who want to know more about you and the topics you’re covering. Archiving your old episodes will make your content accessible to those interested in a specific topic you covered.
The archive will help to continuously increase listens and win over subscribers.
Whilst someone who finds your podcast on Spotify may only listen to recent episodes, a website archive will help you sort episodes into topics and display all of your work to new listeners.
Search Engine Optimisation
Being discoverable through a search engine is incredibly important for new listeners to find you based on their interests. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ensures you’ll show up when someone searches for a topic you’ve covered.
By including keywords and phrases in your website, you’ll increase your website traffic with the right audience. SEO uses the written content on your website – not the audio. Creating a page of keywords from your script will increase your probability of being found and ultimately increase your subscribers.
With all your content in one place, promotion becomes much more efficient. Links to your website rather than multiple platforms will direct more people over to your podcast and keep the whole process simple.
A post on a website is easy to share on social media and will help your audience share the podcast with their friends and followers.
Being reliant on major platforms to distribute your content could backfire in the long run. Once you upload to sites like YouTube, there is often a clause that the content becomes their property allowing them to remove your podcast from the site at any time – a website will ensure your podcasts are always accessible.
Most of these sites also use algorithms to determine who sees your content and how often. These can sometimes work in your favor but generally, they’ll be trying to promote their own sponsors. A website offers independence from big companies and ensures reliability.
Sticking to one platform may exclude listeners without access. Not everyone is a subscriber to every service out there. A website will ensure your podcast is available to anyone expanding your possible audience.
Selling merchandise is an excellent way to increase your revenue if you’ve already started gaining an audience. Whether you’re selling your own products or looking for sponsors – a website will act as free advertising and increase your sales. Companies will be more likely to choose established podcasters to sponsor.
You can even create offers by clicking on your website’s link. Again, simple links will help people share what you’re selling.
Podcast Host Integrations
A good podcast hosting service is essential. A hosting platform will keep your audio files secure by using multiple dedicated servers and also let you see statistics and analytics of your show, help you to schedule new productions, integrate adverts, and make publishing your podcast simple.
The host is there to store your media files and make them available via an RSS feed to the various podcasting platforms. However, it’s also possible for the RSS feed to be generated and managed through your website (via services such as Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin for WordPress). Whichever solution you use, it’s possible to embed things like podcast media players on your site for your audience to consume your show at their leisure.
Where to Start?
Step 1: Buy a Domain Name
The domain name is unique to a website and helps people find you. Naturally, you will want a domain name that’s representative of your podcast’s name and branding.
Step 2: Choose a Web Host
Next, you need to choose a web hosting service. A web host provides a server to store your website files and makes them available online. They usually offer help and tech support along with the service leaving you more time for running your podcast. If you’re just getting started, hosting companies like Bluehost offer a low cost, user-friendly way into the world of web hosting. If your budget will stretch a bit further and you’re looking for some more advanced features (and planning to use WordPress), hosts such as WPX and Siteground are great options.
Step 3: Pick a Platform
We recommend WordPress as a platform; the process is simple and free. It allows you to build a completed, professional website with little technical knowledge. There are even tons of features to make your website unique! Most web hosts have a one-click WordPress installation solution for fast setup.
Step 4: Integrate with your Podcast Host
Not to be confused with the web host. Whilst a web host stores your website files, a podcast host is optimized to store and distribute audio files. Have a look at the website features your host offers to start building out your site and creating a home for your audience.
If you weren’t sure about the benefits of a website to your podcast, it’s time to reconsider. With increased connections and interested listeners, a website will be a crucial step in becoming a seasoned professional if you’re serious about podcasting.