WordPress Podcast – How to Start a Successful Podcast with WordPress
If you are considering starting a podcast with WordPress, there’s no better time than now. About 18% of people streaming online content are tuned in to podcasts.
With WordPress, creating a podcast has never been easier, even for beginners. You can manage, customize, track the podcast’s progress and do much more from your WordPress dashboard.
Are you new to the process? Rest assured this guide covers all you need to start your podcast, grow your audience, and make money off podcasting.
Take a peek at what we will cover in this post:
- Why You Should Use WordPress for Podcasting
- How to Start a Podcasting Channel
- How to Make Money from Podcasting
- The Best Podcast Hosting Services Available
- The Top Podcast Directories to Submit Your Podcast
- Podcasting Plugins You Can Use
Now, let’s get right to it!
Why You Should Use WordPress For Podcasting
Firstly, WordPress is easy for managing podcasts. This means you will be managing all your posts, pages, and podcasts in one place.
Once you include the necessary add-ons, you would have transformed your WP website into an effective podcast management tool.
Another benefit of using WordPress for podcasts is that you can easily convert your podcast listeners to your WordPress site blog and page readers (and vice versa). It also serves as a podcasting SEO opportunity for your site as increased searches will benefit the site.
How To Podcast With WordPress
Step 1. Setup Your WordPress Website
Hosting your WordPress site online is the first and most important step in making a podcast website.
For starters, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting for your website. After that, you can proceed to install WordPress on your hosting server.
Kindly refer to our detailed guide on how to use WordPress for more information on how to get started using WordPress.
After setting up your WordPress site, you need to install a WordPress theme for podcasting to customize your web pages. This will give your users the look and feel of a podcasting channel as opposed to using a generic WordPress theme.
Get a podcast theme
While there are thousands of WordPress themes available, there are also special themes for podcasters. Podcast themes enable you to create a podcast website with numerous configuration features.
With some of the best WordPress podcast themes, you can easily display episodes of your podcast in a way that will entice the audience to listen to it, and checkout more episodes.
Many of these themes let you blog alongside podcasting. This gives you a great tool for driving traffic and increases the reach of your episodes.
Checkout themes like Podcast and Euphony to see if these would work for your needs.
Step 2. Make a Solid Plan
Starting a podcast holds numerous benefits for both the podcaster and its audience. Yet, podcasting can go wrong if you don’t carefully make a plan for it and set the parameters needed for it to take off.
There are certain factors to consider before diving into the pool of podcasting.
Firstly, you must think carefully and come up with a unique name for your podcast. Don’t just give it a name that sounds nice to you, let it be an SEO-friendly title that goes with the theme of your podcast.
These factors make it easy for listeners to find you among millions of podcasts.
Next, don’t be a Jack of all trades podcaster. While some podcasters venture into general topics, having a niche gives your brand identity. It also helps you to build a loyal fan base.
The most important thing to consider is starting a podcast in your area of specialization.
Have a budget, especially at the start of your podcasting journey. A budget helps you to manage your spending and keep you focused on acquiring only the important things for your podcasting.
Your budget should cover the purchase of recording equipment, studio set design, podcast hosting, and logistics, among others.
How long would you like your episodes to run? It would be an error to make podcasting episodes and hope to end it when you run out of things to say.
The duration of your episodes should be stated beforehand. It gives you a sense of direction. Also, it makes you seem professional, organized and helps your listeners to make time for your episodes.
Determine who your target audience is. This helps you to make the best plans regarding how you run the podcasts. What is the age range of your listeners? Do you have demography in mind?
Also, what topics would appeal most to them? From program planning and scriptwriting to product sales, your audience determines how you program your podcast.
What are your goals? Having a podcast is meant to help your audience and give you fulfillment (and some cash). If you don’t have set goals, how would you know if what you are doing is worth the time, effort, and funds invested?
Your goal could be anything from the fulfillment of helping people to make a name for yourself in your field.
Finally, be realistic with your expectations. While having a goal is good, knowing what to expect is better. The podcast business is already filled with millions of shows, so it is only logical that you keep to realistic expectations.
Do your research and see what it takes to reach your goals in the time you expect. Thus, if things don’t happen soon enough for you in podcasting, it won’t catch you off guard.
Step 3. Source Equipment for your WordPress Podcast
Many podcasters produce high-quality episodes through world-class equipment. Since podcast listeners are getting spoiled daily by the richness of podcast episodes, you must try to measure up by getting quality equipment.
To make a quality podcast episode, you must record your sessions in studios. If renting a studio for your podcast proves expensive, set up one at home or in your office. As much as possible, make sure your studio is soundproof.
In terms of recording episodes, every laptop has a built-in microphone but you should avoid using it. The finished recording comes out extremely distorted and lacking in quality. Instead, use some of the best recording mics for radio and podcasts.
This microphone is arguably the best for beginners for its quality, affordability, and easy to set up. With this mic, you don’t need to have expensive headphones. It has both an XLR and a USB output that makes it easy to use by simply connecting it directly to your laptop.
This is one of the best microphones for professional podcasters. It is versatile. You can use it solo, or for group recording. It also comes with its portable mic stand, making you worry less about spending on a microphone peripheral gadget.
Headphones are great for an enjoyable podcasting experience. This Sony headphone is good for outside noise cancellation during recording to make you stay focused on the show. It also comes with a low distortion, deep bass, powerful sound, and more excellent features, all for less than $90.
Step 4. Record the episodes
Now, it’s time to record your podcast episodes. There are a few things to put in place to have a successful podcast episode.
Ready your podcast topic
Firstly, prepare the topic for the day. No matter how well-versed in the theme you are, you need to prepare the topic and order of the episode. If you must, prepare your script and read it without sounding like a news anchor. Instead, study your script so much that you can communicate with your audience as if you were in an actual conversation.
Set up equipment
Next, get the equipment ready. From microphones to headphones, be sure that every piece of equipment is tested at least an hour before you are set to record. Also, have a spare mic or headphones ready in case one malfunctions.
Prepare your guests
If you have guests on your show, prepare them for the day’s episode. Without being rehearsed, you can give them pointers including podcast etiquettes. The type of language they cannot use, how to react to questions, and how to manage recording equipment are some of the details your guests need to know.
Muffle background noise
Make sure to cut off all noise that would disrupt the recording. Ideally, you should have a soundproof studio and you should advise your guests to put their phones in silent mode. Any interference would take away from the quality of the recording. Also, editing and filtering the noise could take a long time.
Record and save
Start recording your episode as planned with audio recording software. Also, make sure you have a timer so that you know when you need to pause and when it is time to end the podcast. Don’t forget to save your recording in mp3 format after you are done.
Step 5. Find a Podcast hosting provider for your WordPress Podcast
Perhaps you are wondering why you shouldn’t host your podcast using your WordPress hosting provider. Indeed, you can use the same hosting plan for both your website and podcast. However, it is advisable to have a separate hosting provider for your podcast.
Podcasts consume a relatively large amount of storage for podcast files which could max out your WordPress website storage on its hosting plan. Also, streaming the podcasts will consume a lot of bandwidth, and potentially slow down your website.
A podcast host stores and distributes audio files of podcast episodes while generating the RSS feed you will need to submit the podcast to directories. It also has diverse features that make them compatible with other vital podcast modules.
And since they are made specifically for this purpose, you can expect fast, seamless streaming of your podcasts. Here are some podcast hosting services to consider.
Step 6. Publish Your Podcast in WordPress
When you host your episodes with a podcast hosting service, they generate a feed URL that users can use to subscribe to your podcasting channel.
Most of these providers have WordPress plugins to easily integrate with your website. Here, we will show you how to publish your podcast in WordPress.
For this guide, we used Buzzsprout as the podcast hosting provider. However, the procedure should be similar regardless of your host.
To start, head over to the Buzzsprout website and sign up for an account. After that, you need to download the Buzzsprout plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
From your admin panel, go to Plugins >> Add New. On the search box, enter ‘buzzsprout’ and hit the Install Now button next to the plugin. Activate the plugin after the installation completes.
Now, go to Settings >> Buzzsprout Podcasting to open the plugin’s settings page. On the settings page, enter your buzzsprout feed address in the input box.
You can login to your Buzzsprout account to retrieve this information. Click on the Save Changes button after adding the URL.
To publish your podcasts, go to Posts >> Add New. On the content editor, click on the Add block (plus) icon.
Choose the classic editor block. To find this block, simply type “classic” in the search box.
Next, click on the Add Media icon.
On the media library, click on the Buzzsprout Podcasting menu and select the podcast you want to display on the page.
Once done, click on the Publish button and preview your podcast on the frontend of your site.
If you are using the classic editor, the process is similar to the one we just configured above. Simply select the Add Media button and then select your podcast from the Buzzsprout Podcasting menu.
Step 7. Share to directories
The final stage of podcasting is where you distribute your episodes to the directories that will air them. There is no use in recording podcasts if no one would listen, and that’s where directories come in handy. They expose you to an unlimited amount of listeners and get you the audience your podcast needs.
The process of submitting your podcast episode is similar to most top directories.
First, you have to visit the site. Once there, create an account and log in. Next, you should find a “Add A Podcast” link. Click on it and paste the podcast RSS feed link in the designated space.
After that, fill in the episode details, including the episode title, in the description box.
Confirm the details of your podcast submission and click submit to publish it. You will be notified as soon as your podcast gets approved. It only takes a few minutes.
Here are some of the top directories to submit your podcasts.
How To Make Money with WordPress Podcast
Podcasting takes time, effort, and dedication, just like any other career or profession. If other professionals get paid, then you deserve to make money for your trouble. There are various ways to make money off podcasting, and these are some of the best ones.
Sponsorships and paid promotions
According to Edison Research, 54% of podcast listeners would buy a product advertised on podcasts. Now, if you are wondering how you would get sponsorships for your podcast, it is not as hard as you think. Sponsorships become easier when your podcast begins to generate high listenership.
Even in the early stages when you still have a few thousand listeners, you can source sponsorships on podcast ad platforms. These platforms help podcasters get adverts and promotions for their podcasts. Midroll is one of the best podcast ad companies in the industry.
In affiliate marketing, a podcaster makes money by referring the audience and the general public to products or services by a third party. In a word, you advertise for other people. You can market third-party products or businesses outside the episode or during one of your recording sessions.
The best part is, there are numerous affiliate programs for virtually all types of products or services on different platforms.
Physical products and services
Having a podcast is an opportunity to sell your products or other services you may offer. Before you make a product, understand the type of audience you have. What appeals to them the most and what is in line with your podcast are two of the major factors to consider.
For instance, if your podcast is about gaming, then your audience must be gamers. The products you advertise on your podcast can be gaming peripherals. Most podcasters have other means of generating income. From selling books to public speaking, your podcast is a platform to let the world know what you do.
Creating online courses and coaching
Most podcasters have a niche on which their podcast is centered. The level of expertise podcasters show and the help they provide to their audience make them competent enough to pass on knowledge. Creating courses to help their audience solve problems is another way to generate income through podcasting.
A podcaster could also offer personalized coaching services to their listeners for a fee. Having a degree is not required; as long as you can show that you are well-versed in a topic of interest, people will pay for the services.
The Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Services
The following hosts have incredible features. Although there are other great ones, the hosts on this list are some of the best.
Buzzsprout is one of the best hosting platforms for podcasts and is compatible with virtually all the best podcast plugins, especially its Buzzsprout plugin.
It comes with built-in Magic Mastering for rich-sounding episodes and a transcription integration as well. Buzzsprout offers good value for money with plans starting from as low as $12. It also includes a free option (although episodes get auto-erased after 90 days).
Buzzsprout supports podcasters with an affiliate marketing feature to earn more on their shows. This mobile-friendly platform is regularly updated with a beautiful and easy-to-use interface.
This podcast hosting platform serves as both a hosting and a podcast analytics platform. If you are going into podcasting full-time, don’t look any further than this hosting service.
Transistor allows you to manage and host multiple podcasts at once. It provides you with all the vital stats on your podcast for you to plan better and make necessary adjustments to your plans. This hosting platform also allows you to add additional admin members who will be authorized to access your podcast.
Pricing starts from $19. Transistor also has a new private podcasting option that enables you to host a variety of podcasts without paying for a new hosting plan.
Top Podcast Directories To Submit Your WordPress Podcast
After a podcaster records episodes (or a series) of podcasts, they send them to platforms where the podcasts can be aired. These platforms are called directories. They are often mobile apps where people can listen to these podcasts.
There are several podcast directories available. However, only a few offer you the best value and listenership potential you desire.
Spotify is one of the biggest names and forerunners of online music streaming. It is also the second-largest podcast listening platform in the world. Spotify has topped Apple Podcasts in terms of monthly listeners in 2021 in the United States. With approximately 230 million users, this directory is a hub for massive potential listeners. It has features that make it easy for people to search for different genres of podcasts to follow.
Spotify introduced its Spotify for Podcasters app, specially created for podcasting. With this directory, listeners can access your podcasts on all mobile devices, gaming consoles, and smart TV sets.
The most popular platform for podcasting is Apple Podcasts. It is home to some of the most followed podcasts and celebrity talk shows. With hundreds of millions listening to podcasts on this directory, there is no shortage of listeners for your podcast.
Finding podcasts is relatively easy due to its personalized discovery feature which provides several ways to search for podcasts.
Apple Podcasts is a platform that supports podcast creators. It comes with ad-free listening, early access to new material, and more benefits for listeners to financially support podcasters.
This app is available on all Apple devices so that your listeners can tune in to podcasts everywhere they go. Your listeners can access your podcast from this directory or through iTunes on their Apple devices.
In a world where more than 71% of mobile phone owners use Android devices, Google Podcasts brings podcasts closer to a wide range of listeners.
The app is available on Google Play for all Android devices. This directory is also available for web browsers and is suitable for all Android, Windows, and iOS devices. It is a user-friendly app that is easy for listeners to navigate.
To use this service, listeners only have to download the app on Google Play. Alternatively, those with a Google or Gmail account can simply access the directory by clicking the Google apps icon next to their Google accounts profile picture.
On this free podcast directory, listeners can search for your podcast by niche or topic, and be reminded of coming episodes. Users of the app can also transfer their podcast subscriptions to this directory from Google Play Music. Listeners can make queues of episodes, adjust playback speeds, and use Google Assistant to navigate the app.
WordPress Podcasting Plugins You Can Use
WordPress podcast plugins play an important role in making podcasting with your WordPress website achievable.
Firstly, podcast plugins are the link between your podcasting hosting service and your WordPress site. They make it possible for you to access and manage your podcast through your WordPress site. The following are some of the best plugins for podcasting:
Seriously Simple Podcasting
The name says it all. If you are looking for a plugin that makes podcasting easy to manage, you have found it. The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin has a variety of functions that helps podcasters run multiple podcast episodes (series) while generating an RSS Feed for each. This plugin is made by Castos, who also have a hosting platform for podcasts.
Although Seriously Simple Podcasting is compatible with virtually any podcast hosting provider, Castos’ hosting service works best.
Seriously Simple Podcasting is great for new podcasters as it helps to easily generate widgets and shortcodes, and add customized images to each podcast episode.
With this free plugin, tracking the progress of your podcast is easy, thanks to its Seriously Simple Stats add-on. Seriously Simple Podcasting is free and compatible with all the top podcasting directories, including Spotify, Google Play, and Apple Podcasts.
Buzzsprout – WordPress Podcast
When it comes to simplified podcasting, Buzzsprout ticks all the right boxes. Buzzsprout is one of the best podcast plugins for beginners. Every podcaster needs to spend less time and energy to upload and manage podcast episodes. This plugin does that just right.
Buzzsprout offers podcasters the option to be in charge of their content production with some impressive scheduling features. Podcasters can now record their podcasts when it suits them and also publish the episodes when it best favors their audience. This plugin allows you to choose when exactly you want your podcast published whether you are there or not.
Like the other best plugins for podcasts, Buzzsprout analytics displays vital information on listenership statistics. Podcasters can see how many listeners are tuned in, their location, total downloads, and more. Buzzsprout feeds are compatible with the top podcast directories including Apple Podcast and Spotify.
PowerPress Podcasting Plugin
If you are looking for a WordPress podcasting plugin that you can rely on for high-quality podcasting management, publishing, and migration, this is it. Blubrry’s PowerPress Podcasting Plugin is widely acclaimed by professional podcasters, and it has options for beginners as well.
This plugin has a beginner’s (simple) model with essential features and an easy setup to kick start a podcasting career. Beginners with little experience in podcasting can create, manage, and also distribute episodes to directories fast.
PowerPress has user-friendly features including language translation options and the use of emojis in your feeds. In terms of migration support, few can measure up to this plugin. Podcasters can always switch hosts, and import RSS feed without losing their episodes.
Although PowerPress Podcasting Plugin works well with third-party hosting providers, it works best with Blubrry hosting.
Conclusion – WordPress Podcast
Starting a podcast is relatively easy, especially with WordPress. However, the process does not end when you publish your episode. The moment your podcast is submitted and released for the world to hear, it is time for you to make your analysis.
After a series or a few episodes, look back at your goals to see how many you have achieved. Analyze the highs and lows of the series and plan for a better coming season.
With the information in this guide, you will be able to create, manage, and earn from your podcast. Have you worked with any of these themes, plugins, or hosting providers on a podcast?
Tell us about your experience with them in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to share this information and search our catalog of helpful blog posts on any issues you might be having with WordPress.