Before you start recording, and even before you dive into the tutorial videos below, there are five things you need to prepare. Have all of this stuff handy for later—you’ll thank me for it.
1. Your Podcast’s Title
You’re going to need a title for your show. For most of you, the name of your blog, or the name of your brand along with “podcast” will make the most sense, but you also have the opportunity to add a few extra words to target specific keywords that you’d like to rank for in iTunes.
iTunes is a search engine—don’t forget that.
Don’t go crazy with the keywords, though. Don’t keyword stuff by adding a billion keywords to your title! Try to keep your title as natural as possible, so select your keywords carefully.
My podcast’s title, for example, is:
The Smart Passive Income Podcast: Online Business | Blogging | Passive Income | Lifestyle
Open up iTunes and search for “online business” or “blogging.” Scroll down to the Podcasts and Podcasts Episodes sections and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
2. Your Host/Talent Name
This is, of course, your name—but you can add a little bit more to help your show rank higher for certain keywords in iTunes. Just as with your podcast’s title, don’t go crazy with it. But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to help people (and the iTunes search algorithm) understand who you are.
My host/talent name, for example, is:
Pat Flynn: Online Entrepreneur, Business Strategist and Blogger
Look up the word “blogger” in iTunes and scroll down to the podcasts section—you’ll see what I’m talking about.
3. Your Podcast’s Subtitle
iTunes and other directories may ask for a subtitle for your show. It’s weird though, because I don’t ever see the subtitle used anywhere. That said, it doesn’t hurt to have a short, small description for your podcast handy for later. A couple sentences should suffice.
4. Your Podcast’s Summary/Description
This is the main description for your podcast. In iTunes, you can have up to 4,000 characters to describe your show. Your copy should be engaging and descriptive, but also include keywords that you’d like to target in iTunes as well.
A great description that relates to your show will naturally include keywords anyway, so keep that in mind.
Write your description down and save it for later so you can easily copy and paste it when you need to share a summary of your show.
5. Your Podcast’s Artwork
Your podcast is going to need some artwork—a square image that represents your show. As much as podcasting is an auditory medium, the graphical, visual element that represents your podcast plays an extremely important role.
For one, it’s what people will see in podcasting directories (such as iTunes) before listening to a single spoken word and before reading any written words about your show in the description or summary. Your artwork is your podcast’s first impression, and it’s also what competes for attention with every other single podcast that’s out there.
For iTunes specifically, a visually appealing podcast image gives your show a better chance of being featured in highly visible sections of iTunes, such as their “New & Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” sections for your show’s category.
And lastly, your artwork is what people will see on their media players—on their computers and mobile devices—when they listen to your show. It’s an important element for reinforcing your brand identity to your followers.
The iTunes image specifications change periodically. This is the most recent update, from 2016:
- You will need one (1) image that you feel best represents your podcast. Current maximum size is 3000 x 3000 pixel image (minimum size is 1400 x 1400 pixels). I recommend using the maximum size, which is indeed quite large, in order to support the high resolution capacity of new media players available on the market (such as Apple’s media player on Retina displays).
- This image should be in .jpg or .png file format and in the RGB colorspace.
- Any text should also be readable at a much smaller file size. Many directories and mobile media players will automatically shrink the larger image size to fit smaller containers. Text that is small at 3000 x 3000 will become unreadable when you shrink the logo down to 300 x 300. My recommendation to keep in mind during your logo design process is to optimize your text for a 150 x 150 resolution. If it looks good at that size, it should read perfectly everywhere else.
- In addition to the one (1) 3000 x 3000 pixel image, you will need the same image with a slightly different file name at 300 x 300 resolution. You’ll use this when uploading your artwork, as discussed in Video 5 below.
To illustrate the difference in file sizes, here is my AskPat Podcast logo at the full 3000 x 3000 resolution:
and here it is at 150 x 150 pixels:
Once you get these five items in place, you’re ready to go. Now it’s time to get your show up and running on your site. Here’s how to get it done.