The 27 Steps To Get Your Podcast Into iTunes

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Step 1: Pick Your Topic

Whatever you will talk about when you're tired, had a bad day, and you STILL want to talk about it should be your topic. Don't worry if other people do a podcast on your topic, they do not have your background, perspective, and history.

Step 2: Decide if you're podcasting solo or with cohost(s).

When you fly solo, you get to make all the decisions. The bad news is you get to do everything. If you have more than one host, you should make sure these people have the same passion you do. Make sure to put into writing what you will do if you make money, who is going to promote, who will record, etc. Figure out who owns the name, and what happens if Ernie wants to quit, and Bert still wants to podcast. The bottom line is, once all the details are nailed down you can focus on making good content.

Step 3: Pick how you will podcast.

Are you going to be mobile and recording things from the road? (you'll need a portable recorder). Are you going to be doing interviews? You will need a skype account, or some cash for a phone interface. Will your co-hosts be with you? Are you going to mix in music while your podcast or do it in “post production.”

Step 4: Pick where will you podcast?

Do you have a quiet room in your house?

Step 5: Pick a name.

When picking a name, make sure:

The website is available

A) If its not available try tacking on “show” so if datesfromhell.com is not available try datesfromhellshow.com or datesfromhellradio.com

B) Make sure its easy to say. I used to have a service called Podcast Fast Pass. I had to repeat it over and over as people couldn't understand it.

C) Make sure it “looks right” for example evangelizeeveryday.com may confuse people when they look at it. Also avoid using numbers (is it timetopray.com or time2pray.com). If you need those words, by both versions of the domain name.

Your Name Makes Your Podcast Obvious

Names like Music News Podcast, This American Life tell you what to expect when you hear it. My podcast is called “The Morning Announcements” from an outsider point of view they would not guess “The Morning Announcements” is about podcasting (which is why the full name is now The School of Podcasting's Morning Announcements). On episode 500 I just started calling it what people called it “The School of Podcasting.” If its not obvious, it should make people go,” I wonder what that is?” and click it. Typically inside jokes do not work.

Step 6. Buy the Hardware;

Look I know it would be great if podcasting was free, but you didn't complain when you put out the $400 for the Xbox with the Kinect system so don't start complaining now.

You don't need to spend $1000 on equipment (it will make you sound better, but its not a necessity).

A great start package is for a solo podcaster:

A)  Audio Technica atr2100 microphone $70 ish

B) Behringer 802 Mixer $48

C) 10 Foot Mic Cable $14

D) Behringer Headphones  $25

E) Table Top Mic Stand $24

F) RCA to 1/8″ cable $5

G) Zoom H6 Portable Recorder $269

H) Windscreen for microphone $5

Total for Solo Podcast: $455 without Recorder $186

For your co-host you need A,C,D,E, H ($167)

For the most up to date list of equipment visit www.schoolofpodcasting.com/equipment

Note: Dave Jackson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Step 7. Buy Software:

There are free options available. I know a lot of mac people that use garage band. I know a lot of PC people who use Audacity. There are many titles available, and most of them do the same thing.

Mac: Audacity or Garageband $0

PC: Audacity $0, or Hindenburg Journalist $95

 

Step 8-10. Your Website

Step 8 is purchasing web hosting. This is hosting for your website. You want to make sure your web host has an easy way to install WordPress. WordPress is a free software that you can use to manage your website and has tools to help you podcast.

$11/month with company I've used for years. and you can go month to month.

http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com/hosting

Step 9 is installing WordPress which can be done in a few mouse clicks. Once it's installed you need to remove the default stuff (Hello World! posts) and start adding your content.

Step 10 is making your website look good. I recently switched many of my sites to the Generate Press ($39). This is a powerful theme that is flexible, but still easy to use. I've also used Elegant Themes, and Thrive Themes

Step 11 is to get your Feed Setup. This means either using the feed from your media host or something like the PowerPress plugin (I use my Libsyn.com feed to keep the strain off my website)

12. Domain Name:

Godaddy.com $12 a YEAR. As I mentioned earlier, you want the name and website address to tie in together.

13. Graphics $50

You need a 1400X1400 (minimum 3000 X 3000 maximum) piece of album art that shows up in iTunes, and a 600 X 600 to put in your mp3 file when people play it.

You need a banner for your website. Check Out Kapa99 and use them for a one time purchase

14. Intro Music.

A)  I now like Audio Jungle for affordable royalty free music.

B) If you need a professional intro created check our Music Radio Creative (they did my women singers)

15.  Media Hosting (for your mp3 files)

There are two companies I recommend when it comes to podcast hosting.

A) Libsyn.com $15/month (I use them).

B)Blubrry.com $20 a month

Use the coupon sopfree at either of these companies and get a free month. For more information on media hosting see this episode.

16. Organize Your Content

Now that you have a place to put your podcast, and software to record it, you need to plan your episode. This could be your life experience. This could be you talking about something you read. It could be whatever you want it to be. Welcome to podcasting as you have complete control over your content. I've noticed that the content I consume on TV typically made me laugh, cry, think, or groan. It entertained me or educated me.

17. Record Your Content

I recommend recording into a portable recorder, but many podcasters record directly into their computer.

18. Edit Your Content

As I said before, you are in control here so you decide how much editing (if any) you do. I will say this: Everyone hates the sound of their voice the first time they play back a recording. If I make a mistake in recording, I pause for about 10 seconds and then say continue with whatever I was saying. This makes seeing where the edit spots are super easy.

19.  Assemble Your Episode

If you are podcasting “live” you don't do this step. Instead, you would add a step of “Make sure all audio levels are set up correctly.” For me, this is adding in my intro music and outro music. I also add transition music between segments (but that's just a personal preference).

20. Add ID3 Tags

ID3 Tags are the information that is stored inside the media file. For example when you play an mp3 on your iPod and a picture shows up on the screen that image is an ID3 tag. If you don't do this, your podcast looks very amateur. I use mp3tag software (free) for this.  If you are on a Mac check out ID3 Editor

21. Upload your media

You're almost done. Now you upload your media to your media host. It's a lot like attaching a file in email.

22. Write Your Show Notes

While your media is uploading, you can start writing your show notes. This is typically a paragraph or two.

23. Copy the Media URL and Paste It Into Your Post

 If you understand how to copy and paste, this is a breeze. It takes all of four seconds. Please note if you are using Libsyn for your media host, you don't need to do this step.

24. Click Publish

Your podcast episode will appear on your website.

25. Set Up Tags for Apple Podcasts

The information that is listed is not stored in Apple Podcasts. It comes from other websites that you control. Your media host (libsyn) can provide this. Other people use the settings in the PowerPress plugin mentioned earlier. You will use the graphics that you had generated, and provide a description and other items.

26. Check Your Feed Validity

Before submitting your feed to iTunes, go to feedvalidator.org and make sure it says “Your feed is valid.” If it's not then you need to troubleshoot the problem. DO NOT submit an invalid feed to iTunes. You also want to manually subscribe to your feed in iTunes to make sure it works.

27. Submit Your Podcast to Apple Podcasts

Now that you have all the details for iTunes set up, you go into the iTunes software, into the store, into the podcast section and submit your podcast to iTunes. This will give you a summary screen. If everything is correct, you submit the information and you are done.

            Past the Hurdle

            Now that your podcast is up, and listed in iTunes you do not have to do most of these items again. Now the process is simple.

 Steps For your Second Podcast Episode

1. Organize your episode content

2. Record it

3. Edit it / Tag it

4. Assemble it.

5. Upload it

6. Write Show notes.

7. Copy and paste the Media URL

8. Click Publish

If the first 27 steps seem a bit much, there are two ways to get through them. You can Join the School of Podcasting and use the step by step tutorials to walk you through the process, or you can hire me to do it for you (and you can take over after everything is set up).  Keep in mind any job is easy when you have someone to show you, coach you, through the process.

 

41 thoughts on “The 27 Steps To Get Your Podcast Into iTunes”

  1. Hello Dave. In your episode 27, you mentioned that if the feed is incorrect when it is submitted to Apple to be in the iTunes store, you will “blow your foot off.” My question is, is there anyway of recovering from that, growing another foot, etc. I submitted my feedburner URL (feeds.feedburner.com….) and it was rejected because I have too few episodes; now that I have a catalog, it won’t let me resubmit it, and I’ve tried to rename it but to no avail (still says I’ve submitted it before). I’ve tried the rss url as well. There, I don’t get the “you’ve already submitted this URL” error message, and it lets me submit, but I never hear anything back from them (2 week stretches).

    Do I have any recourse? What would you recommend? Thanks so much for your time.

  2. Trying creating a new Feed in feedburner, with the same source RSS. Pain the but, but it may work. Then delete the old feedburner feed.

  3. OMG, you made this sooooo easy. Thanks a million. I finally got my feed up and submitted to Itunes! Waiting for approval now. Happy New Year

  4. Btw, I didn’t see you saying anything about submitting a Libsyn feed to feedburner, then feedburner to itunes. According to almost everyone else, the libsyn feed should be submitted to feedburner, and that feed to Itunes, etc, NOT submit libsyn directly to itunes.

    Trying to figure out how to change the feed itunes sees now from libsyn to feedburner

  5. Dustin,
    I only use libsyn for hosting. That is it. Whoever and however you submit your podcast to iTunes you are going to be married to, and you want an “escape clause.” Feedburner is easy to update to a new feed. PowerPress is easy to update to a new feed, and so is Libsyn. If you use Libsyn’s feed this means you have to do double the work. You create a blog post on libsyn, and another blog post on your website. This is why I only use libsyn as a media host (and save half the work).
    -Dave

  6. Dave a very direct and simple text about how to do this.
    I like that.
    Reading through it several more times to familiarize myself completely.
    Probably going to bookmark as well.

  7. I used your guide as a checklist to the steps I’ve already taken, and it was awesome to see I’ve nearly completed every step on my own, aside from actually submitting my feed to iTunes. I’ve heard horror stories of people not having enough episodes ready to go, so I’m getting Episode 3 out there, and then contacting iTunes.

    Thanks for the guide!

    Mat

  8. Hi, This is a great article. I wanted to clarify one thing. I’ve already been podcasting for years- using a Libsyn blog page and feed directly to ITunes. I just switched my site to WordPress from GoDaddy and was thinking of using PowerPress on the site. Do I have to manually enter each one of my episodes using the Libsyn feed into PowerPress, so my podcasts live on my website? Is there something else I can do?
    Libsyn recommends that I use their OnPublish for WordPress, instead of PowerPress- what do you think of that?
    Thanks!!

  9. Hey, just wanted to say how helpful this post is! I’ve read many, many how-to posts. This is one of the best at explaining the process in clear, easy-to-understand language, and including as many important steps as possible. Great job, and thank you!

  10. Terrific article. This has a really comprehensive list with everything you need to start working on a podcast and I really appreciate you taking the time to write and share this. Keep up the great work!

  11. 1. So, if I want to be able to change hosting companies at some point…. then I upload to Libsyn, then copy that feed to Feedburner, then copy that feed to iTunes? And the alternative to this additional step is fully committing to Libsyn forever and only using Libsyn feed. Is that basically correct?

    2. I notice a commenter’s feed was denied by iTunes for not having enough content. What is the minimum number of episodes your feed needs before iTunes will approve it?

  12. No do not sue Feedburner. you can redirect you Libsyn feed anytime. If you’re really worried, buy a domain and point at at the feed then you have 100% control (but its not needed). I need to look at the comments. There is no minimum number of episodes besides having 1 episode live.

  13. I have a professional studio to record and edit my shows as I am a radio broadcaster (currently out of work, go figure) and my question is that I can do all my own editing, imaging, etc. Do I HAVE to have my podcast on my own personal website OR can I just upload and have it available for download and followers on iTunes? I would like to be able to host a podcast for one monthly fee period. i.e. Produce my show-then upload it-whammy…done. Thank you for your feedback as it is much appreciated!

    Sandra Foxx

    (P.S. I have not purchased the domain for my podcast YET, but I do have my professional website up and running for my voice-over career,)

  14. Sandra, You can. But yo can also paint with peanut butter. Would you? Probably not. A website is $9/month. I used to spend $40 a month on Mountain Dew. You could use the website from your media host (like Libsyn – use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month), but typically these “websites” are very basic, and eventually you wish you had just plunked down the $9/month a did it right the first time.

  15. Hello really good! I’m helping out a few clients on how to add iTunes this could be a good reference before they ask us on consulting step by step. Thanks for all you do!

  16. Hi Dave,

    Do you think I could record using a program on my MacBook like GarageBand or quicktunes.

    No other equipment, just me and my voice?

    Eventually I will upgrade. I’m a newbie and traveling for a few months so I couldn’t bring my microphone.

    Thanks

  17. Mariana,

    You could use the built in microphone, but its kind of like golfing with a hockey stick. You could do it, but its not the right tool. You can definitely use Garagband, but I wouldn’t use the built in microphone of a laptop. I would record it with my iphone first then transfer that file to garageband on your latop if you’re trying to avoid spending $80 a microphone (I like the Audio technica 2100)

  18. While not 100% necessary, it is recommended. Many web hosts like libsyn.com can supply a simple website, and you can order a domain to point at it (use the coupon sopfree to get a free month). This way you can direct people to your website if you want them to click on something, start an email list, etc. -Dave

  19. Hi Dave,

    I know this thread is old but I am new to podcasting. My partner and I are hosting through squarespace because we get unlimited data storage for what we need in our business. We want to upload our podcast episodes to a page in our site but my question is, do I still need to sign up to Lysbyn? and how do I go around about letting Itunes know?

    Thanks,

    Consuelo

  20. Dave, This is a great article.

    Thanks for writing and sharing.

    I have a quick question, we only have 2 episodes ready. Is it too early to submit to itunes, or do you recommend that we create a few more episodes?

  21. You can submit to itunes with one episode if you want. Some people think you get more downloads if you submit with multiple episodes as they believe they download automatically (they don’t). So you can submit with one (or more) episodes.

  22. Hope you can clarify for me … I read in an article (that I now cant find) that you needed to record live the first podcast for i tunes to accept.. is this true ?

  23. Toni, you need at least one episode available (people call that “live”) in your feed. You need artwork, and your iTunes categories, author and owner name and email. Libsyn can help you make a great fee with great stats. http://www.libsyn.com use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month

  24. Chela,

    Podcast artwork and all podcast content must be original and can’t contain any of the following:

    Password protection.

    Irrelevant content or spam.

    Explicit language without setting the tag to yes, explicit, or true.

    Content that could be construed as racist, misogynist, or homophobic.

    Explicit or self-censored explicit language in titles, subtitles, or descriptions.

    References to illegal drugs, profanity, or violence in the title, description, artwork, or episodes.

    Content depicting graphic sex, violence, gore, illegal drugs, or hate themes.

    Third-party content or trademarks without legal authorization or usage rights.

    The words Apple Music, iTunes Store, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Apple Inc.

    iTunes Store logo, Apple Podcasts logo, Apple logo, or the term Exclusive without prior authorization from Apple.

    Any visual representation of iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or any other Apple hardware.

    Pixelation, artifacts, high-contrast background art, blurry or hard crops (unless stylistic), or other style issues.

    Note:
    Apple values copyrights and takes the issue very seriously. Users and copyright holders can easily notify Apple of content disputes or copyright violations. Apple investigates podcast content complaints and responds accordingly, removing podcasts if necessary.

    Apple Podcasts supports Basic and Digest Authorization, but Apple Podcasts doesn’t list password-protected podcasts.

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