SEO Expert Will Hanke wrote a post recently about why purchasing keyword rich domain names is no longer recommended. You can read it on his blog here.
The article points out that Google updated their algorithm to focus more on the written content inside the post rather than the domain name itself.
He gives reasons for when it is smart to buy a keyword rich domain, such as purchasing another business and having it redirect to your main site. However, he points out that an exact match domain name will not help you rank higher.
Are there exceptions to this rule for podcasters? After all, we are trying to drive people to our websites through an audible (and video) medium.
Reasons a podcaster should buy a keyword rich domain name
Launching a new podcast website
A podcasting website is nothing more than a normal website dedicated to the show. If you are launching a brand new website for your new “Ultimate BitCoin Podcast” then buy the domain “UltimateBitCoin.com” or “UltimateBitCoinPodcast.com”. There are a few valuable keywords in there that won’t hurt your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
This idea works best for someone starting out with a new website for their podcast.
Making your podcast easy to find
The most important reason a podcaster should buy a keyword rich domain is to make it memorable to the listener. Most people are listening to podcasts while keeping their hands busy. They are driving, running, doing yard work, knitting, etc and they are hoping you will keep them company. Many of your listeners won’t be able to surf to your website while listening and probably won’t write down the link to your special offer while battling traffic.
Having a keyword rich domain name with the name of your podcast in it will help your audience find your website once they have put down their weed-waker or after parking their bike in the garage. Make your “CrossFit For Nerds Podcast” easy to find by purchasing the domain “CrossFitForNerds.com”.
Adding a podcast to your existing website
For someone who is adding a podcast to their existing business or brand’s website, purchasing a keyword rich domain for your podcast might make sense. For example: If the website to your established business is “TommyFitness.com” and you start a podcast called “CrossFit For Nerds” then it might be a good idea to buy the domain “CrossFitForNerds.com” and have it re-direct to the podcast category/page of your main website.
The underlining message here is to have your podcast’s message or niche represented in the title and purchase that domain to make it easy for your audience to find you. A podcaster should not buy a keyword rich domain if it is only to rank higher in Google search results.
Will Hanke’s recommendations make a lot of sense, but some of the rules don’t apply when dealing with an audio medium (podcast). Podcasters need a domain name that is easy to say, easy for listeners to remember, and that matches the niche of our blog. Be smart about your keyword rich domain name selection and soon you will discover that Yes, you can podcast too!
I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people at the St. Louis Podcasting MeetUp Group. We have had three get-togethers with a variety of topics like “Recording Your First Podcast Episode” and “How Can I Use Podcasting To Grow My Business”. But the conversation always meanders back to “What do I need to start a podcast?”
Here is a simple list of what you should have to start a successful podcast. Note: Some of the items below include affiliate links and/or coupon codes that will earn a commission and/or save you some money!
Domain: Give your website a name
I highly recommend you purchase a domain for your website. This is the web address people will type into their web browser or on their smartphone to look for your content. Make it memorable and unique without using numbers, stop words or homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings like four, for, and fore).
If the domain is primarily for your podcast and you are 100% certain you will never use it for anything else then using the word “podcast” in the domain name might help you get an address that would otherwise be taken. This tip works really well for TV show fan clubs who podcast.
Click here to find coupons for Domains from GoDaddy (between $1.99 – $9.99 a year)
Website host: Give your website a home
Webhosting companies help you give your website a home. This is the company that hosts all your images and articles and data in a way that other people can access. You absolutely need a web hosting company when using your own domain.
Note: You could have a free website hosted by WordPress.com (note the .com in the title) or Blogger.com but you lose many things like SEO and many customizations in the functionality and design of your website.
My recommendation: I have been using Bluehost for over 3 years. They have incredible customer service and have gone beyond the call of duty to help me when I accidentally deleted my website (yeah, that was stupid) or couldn’t get my login credentials to work.
Click here to have Bluehost give your website a home (from $4.95 a month)
Media host: Give your recordings a home
I highly recommend a media host for podcasters. You could have Bluehost holding all the megabytes of data (within reason) but what happens when your show becomes popular?
The problem with having your website serving your podcast MP3 files (downloads to subscribers) is that it can be too much for your server to handle – and it will crash your website! There are other benefits to paying a hosting service for your MP3s (and videos) but keeping your site alive is the main one worth paying for.
WordPress engine and themes: Give your site some style
Once you have all the accounts set up then my next recommendation is to use WordPress as the architecture and engine for your website. There are too many wonderful things to say about WordPress so you will just have to trust me.
And I have great news! Bluehost makes it extremely easy to install the WordPress engine on your new site and it can be free! They have a short video tutorial to walk you through the process that only takes a minute.
Once WordPress is installed on your site you will have the option to use one of the default themes, install a different free theme, or choose from thousands of premium themes on the Internet. I’ve installed three different themes on YesYouCanPodcastToo.com and try new ones from time-to-time. It’s quick and easy to do.
You don’t need to purchase a microphone if your computer has a built-in mic. However, if you want your podcast to sound more professional and you have a few more dollars to spend then I recommend purchasing a microphone.
There are thousands of options to choose from but I have found the ATR-2100 to be the most versatile, budget-friendly, and expandable microphone to date. The ATR-2100 is both an XLR and a USB microphone. The kit comes with all the cables necessary to plug it into your mixer or USB port on your computer AND it comes with its own cute little stand.
The best editing software you can use is the one you already know HOW to use. Podcasters can get into passionate discussions about why their recording/editing program is better than the other but learning a new tool can be agonizing.
I love using Audacity by SourceForge. Not only is it free – it has dozens of effects and makes editing easy. I also have Garage Band (came free with my MacBook laptop) but I never learned how to use it. I could spend hours reading and watching tutorials but I have podcasts to produce – ain’t nobody got time for that!
If you don’t have an editing program yet then you have the ability to learn any number of other programs – some free, some expensive:
- Audacity: Free, works on Mac, PC, or Linux
- Garage Band: Free with Apple computers
- Audobe Audition: Stated to be the best but with a $19 monthly fee or a few hundred-dollars purchase price.
You could start podcasting with no out-of-pocket costs, but if you want your podcast to sound, look, and be accepted by its listeners as being professional then you will need to spend a little money. Take it from an expert: These tools work and make it easier to release a successful podcast.
Now, what are you waiting for? Yes, you can start a podcast too!
I am available for one-on-one coaching to help you get started. Contact me
Prior to the changes made by Stitcher Radio in June 2013, Libsyn, Blubrry, and other pod-catchers would only show one download for Stitcher. It was because Stitcher Radio would download one copy of your MP3 and re-encode the recording to be streamed through their app.
The number of people listening to your podcast would only show up in Stitcher’s own stats package. This is no longer the case as Stitcher Radio now ‘pings’ your media host’s stats each time someone listens to your podcast.
This is good news as you will see from my stats shown in this video.
Are you prepared to spend a lot of time for a podcast? Microphones are cheap, domains are only a couple bucks a year, and hosting services are relatively inexpensive. However, time is the greatest cost of podcasting.
Time is the greatest cost of podcasting
The real cost of a podcast is harder to measure: Time. This is the biggest obstacle for new podcasters. We all believe it takes 60 minutes to produce a 30 minute show. This is never the case. It takes me up to 6 hours to produce a 20 – 30 minute audio podcast and 2-4 hours for a 2-10 minute video.
Here is an estimate of how much time it takes me to release an average 25 minute audio podcast episode (I pray you find ways to make your workflow faster than mine):
- Show prep (idea generation, research, outline): Varies from 30 minutes to 3 hours
- Set-up (hooking up equipment, cueing sound clips, etc): 5 – 10 minutes
- Recording: 45 minutes
- Editing: 60 minutes
- Converting and uploading the audio recording: 20 minutes
- Writing show notes, releasing the episode, announcing on social media: 1 hour
[pullquote]Time is the greatest cost of podcasting[/pullquote]
Streamlining the podcast recording process
Some of these things happen simultaneously but you can expect to spend a good part of the day working on one episode. A few things I do to streamline the process is to create a generic outline, use the same intro music, and practice some mouth exercises before recording.
Recording an episode isn’t the only commitment of your valuable time. It takes a long time to grow a dedicated following. Very few launches get more than 100 downloads in their first week so be prepared to grow your audience. Respond to every comment, Tweet, or email until you are so busy that you need to hire someone to do it for you! 🙂
Be Prepared Or Pod-Fade
Underestimating the time required is the #1 reason most shows pod-fade (quit before reaching 7 episodes). Be prepared to have patience if you choose to start a podcast.
If you would like help getting through some of the hurdles before launching your podcast then please give me a call. I would love to help get your face and/or your voice on your website!
This video shows how you can adjust the number of episodes that show up in iTunes when using WordPress on your website.
Note: This video was recorded in May 2013. He has MANY more episodes now including interviews with Seth Godin, Derek Halpern, John G Miller, and many more!
I’m a solo podcaster but I need an Izabela Russell for my podcast.
When coming up with content and production it is all up to me. Many podcasters do it this way, it’s just easier as it removes the complexity of trying to coordinate a schedule for recording together and it avoids detours down unrelated topics by an aloof secondary-host. It will also keep me from making blanket statements and would make me go deeper into my topic. Having an Izabela Russell on our podcasts would benefit us greatly.
Izabela Russell is the business partner of Mike Russell. She has a background as an Audio Branding Specialist and experience as a script writer for podcasters, DJ’s and radio stations. Most importantly, as far as this post is concerned, she is the co-star of the Music Radio Creative podcast.
Don’t get me wrong, this post isn’t about having a co-host for your show – having an Izabela Russell of your own is much more valuable than that.
What Izabela Russell brings to the table
In recent episodes of the Music Radio Creative podcast, Izabela has challenged host Mike Russell on some of the statements he has made. For example: Mike would make a statement like “Advertising on iTunes radio will be good for the listener” and Izabela would question Mike as to why he would say that?
Her challenge wasn’t as much of a disagreement as it was a debate. Many times Izabela Russell will jump in and stand up for us, the listeners, to have Mike go a bit deeper into the point he is trying to convey.
Going deeper into the subject matter ensures that nobody is left out. It introduces new ways to look at a particular point and brings more value to the overall show.
Why I need an Izabela Russell on my podcast
I don’t make blanket statements on my podcast. My podcast’s niche is the everyday American who is coming to the realization that they need to eliminate all of their debt but doesn’t know how. Everybody is different and we all have small habits or behaviors or personality traits that makes it difficult for me to say “this is the only way it works”.
However, with an Izabela Russell on my podcast I could make those statements and she could chime in with wonderful questions that would cause me to further explain my point. The discussion could also introduce other options and let more listeners feel like they are being represented – as if they had a voice while listening to a recorded audio program.
Listen to Episode 59 of Music Radio Creative and you will understand better the point I am trying to make.
You don’t need a co-host, you need an Izabela
Izabela Russell makes the perfect addition to a one-man (or woman) show. She is knowledgeable about the niche audience that Music Radio Creative is trying to reach, she brings personal experiences to light in their discussions, and she books interesting guests from time-to-time. Izabela brings an entirely new dynamic to the program by challenging blanket statements and making us go deeper into our content.
Now, do you know where can I find my own Izabela Russell?
Traveling podcasters know the pain of having too-few outlets in a hotel room or airport. This handy-dandy gadget is the perfect companion for podcasters on-the-go and hides perfectly into a hidden area of a roller suitcase!
Buy from Amazon http://YesYouCanPodcastToo.com/outlets
Note: Commentcast is no longer being offered for sale. It is now known as Reviewcast.io, a web based service so you don’t have to be a Mac user to get the benefit. Visit http://reviewcast.io for more (currently in Beta).
Podcasts are international thanks to the internet – so are your listeners. Some of your raving fans from other countries might just be giving you a 5-star review in iTunes and you don’t even know it. This is because iTunes does not have a tool or resource that allows us to see iTunes reviews from multiple countries. Instead we have to log into each country’s iTunes Store separately – a very time consuming project.
The guys over at e-Webstyle’s SEO Podcast Unknown Secrets Of Internet Marketing always make a point to say “If you live in another country (a country other than the U.S.) and leave a review in iTunes then please send us an email“. That’s a great idea but this makes their podcast listeners (like me) jump through another hoop and we are less likely to comply.
As you will see in this video, the good folks over at http://marti.ca have created a program called CommentCast that lets us see all the iTunes reviews from multiple countries – all of them! Right now it is only available as a download for IOS 10.7+ computers. There is a free version but purchasing a license for $5.00 via PayPal gives you more options like exporting to a CSV or HTML file.
I really love this program and I hope it solves your problem too.
If you found this helpful or have other solutions on how we can see iTunes reviews from multiple countries then please leave a comment below.
You can start without spending money
The monetary cost is also extremely low. If you have a computer with internet connection then you already have everything necessary to get started.
There are free programs like Audacity that will allow you to record audio and most laptops have built-in webcams to record video. Some media services also offer free storage or distribution, but this takes away some of your ownership over your podcast.
Improving Your Podcast With Equipment
You could buy any of the following items to increase the quality of your podcast (average prices current for 2013)
- Microphone (for improved sound): $20 – $100
- Webcam (for improved video): $40 – $100
- Domain and web hosting (for branding and control): $80 – $150 a year
- Media hosting (for media storage and distribution): $5 – $75
- Intro music: $1 – $500
- Professional voiceover: $50 – $1,000+
- Mixer (for co-hosts and/or sound effects): $50 – $600
Total minimum and maximum expenses: $20 up to Unlimited
Like I mentioned earlier, you probably have enough equipment to get started without having to buy a bunch of gear. Start small and make little purchases over time – there’s no rush.
[pullquote]Learning the ropes of podcasting will also help you to make smarter purchasing decisions down the road to podcasting prominence.[/pullquote]
Want to get started?
Contact me by visiting the About page. Let me help you prepare your podcast for launch and reach iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section.