How to Promote your iTunes Podcast


Once you’ve uploaded your podcast episodes correctly to iTunes, it’s not yet time to breathe that sigh of relief.  In fact, your real work is just beginning – promotion.

Promotion is the magic ingredient that ensures some podcasts go viral or are at least wildly successful in their niche.  Without it, the chances of people finding your podcast are, frankly, hit-and-miss.

Let’s look at the best (and least time-consuming) ways to promote your Podcast…

1.    Make sure you have optimized your iTunes Directory listing

Before you rush off to promote, do make sure you have:

  • Tested your feed and episodes
  • Included every optimization strategy possible in your RSS feed title, description and cover photo

Really think about your keywords too – even after you’ve selected them.  Do they have a double meaning you might not be seeing, attracting the wrong audience?  Are they weak words that detract from your stronger keywords?  Is your title packed with weak words such as adverbs and adjectives?  Are these the best keywords – that is, does your target listener actually search with these; or is there a better keyword?

Remember too that your cover photo will be small in the iTunes Directory display, so keep it as focused and simple as possible, with no clutter or background “noise”.

The best idea in ensuring you miss no vital steps:

  • Create a checklist and run through all its steps, every time you upload podcast episodes.


2.    Brand your Series

What’s the first thing that strikes you when you see a Pepsi Cola can in a graphic ad?  That the ad is all about cola and soft drinks, right?

And not just any old cola – Pepsi.

One of the reasons you think of Pepsi or Coke:  These two drinks are much better branded than other types of cola drinks.

In other words, the instant you see the graphic, you know which company’s product you are looking at (as well as which product it is).

Do that with your Podcasts too.  Create a signature graphic and/or color scheme that instantly makes people think of you (or your series or product, if you are branding your series or product).


  • A short, memorable series name (in the same font and colors, every episode)
  • A logo (such as the flaming earth in the screenshot below)
  • Your website and company colors
  • Your head shot, if you are strongly branding yourself (and use the same photo every time)
  • Your name, for recognizability

The result with the podcast series below?  People only have to see the colors, the name and the flaming earth log and fans immediately go from neutral to highly interested in a split-second.


That’s what branding can do – so put it to work for your podcast!

3.    Promote your podcast on social media

Don’t just promote it the instant it’s released – start a buzz about it yourself.

Talk about the process of creation; and why you’re excited about it.  Report on progress and glitches.  (Aim this at your target followers, of course – use a Facebook or Twitter List.)

Take out Facebook ads.  Promote it on Twitter.  Create a Facebook Page for your podcast blog or network.


But remember, in all your social media efforts, to make it about your reader – even if you are talking about your own podcast-creation triumphs and struggles.  Only report things that they can identify with.

4.    Add your iTunes podcast URL to your signature

Do you belong to forums?  Membership sites?

And of course you send out emails to your lists.

If you do any of the above, consider adding your podcast URL to your signature, wherever it’s allowed.

(Note:  You can also add an iTunes button with WiseStamp.)


 5.    Create Show Notes

You are most likely promoting your episodes on your blog with a separate post per episode.  Don’t just stop there, however:  Add Show Notes.

Your Show Notes should include:

  • The name of your podcast
  • Your targeted keywords
  • Mention of any current trend you tackle in your podcast
  • Some tidbit of information to stir them to insatiable curiosity

Remember, you have the time it takes them to glance over your little blurb to hook them into deciding they have to download your podcast.  If you were reading your Show Notes, what would hook you?  What would make it impossible for you to resist the podcast, no matter how busy you were?

Buzz Out Loud demonstrates a quick and easy way to add Show Notes to your .MP3 podcast file in this article.


You should also publish your Show Notes directly on your blog:  iTunes will actually scan your blog feed looking for tagged .MP3 files.

6.    JV with other podcasters

One of the best ways to publicize your podcast series – especially if you’re new – is to land guest spots on other podcasts and invite guest speakers to your podcast.


Learn what it takes to be a great guest.  Make your host look great to her audience.  Keep the pace fast, lively and focused.  (And be sure to ask for an on-air plug for your podcast, if you agree to be a guest.)

It works best if you interview experts in your niche who are close but not direct competitors.  (For example, a Business Coach might interview a Time Management Coach or a Lifestyle Coach.)

Your whole aim, when offering to guest or choosing guest speakers, should be to enrich the value of your target audience’s niche experience.

Besides, interviewing experts is another way of saying:  “Hey, I’m the one who knows who to call in.”  You psychologically brand yourself as a peer of the very experts you are interviewing.

It’s a win-win situation all round, if you pick your guest spots (and your guests) with your target audience in mind.

7.    Build Relationships and Connections at Google Plus Communities

Google Plus Communities provides a little-known place where you can become known as a podcaster, all while making new networking connections and building strong relationships – and picking up valuable tips.

The particular Community is moderated by Daniel Lewis:  It’s called Podcasting Technology Resources.

You can ask questions, answer questions – and talk about your podcast (as long as you keep it relevant to the Community’s mission and goal).


And it may be a little-known Community to the average internet marketer and her client – but it currently boasts 806 podcast-loving members; many of whom might make excellent guest speakers… or subscribers.

(Check out other podcasting communities in other social networks, such as the LinkedIn version of the Podcasting Technology Resource Group.)

8.    Integrate your promotion across all platforms

Make sure each and every platform is thoroughly optimized, with links, buttons, badges and icons to help cross-share with each other.  That goes for social networks, blogs, contests and forums alike.

Include sign up forms, subscription buttons and RSS feed widgets too on your sites.


Always be on the look-out for ways to promote – and cross share that promotion.

9.    Educate your listeners and subscribers

Not everyone knows how easy it is to listen to an iTunes podcast.

Not everyone knows they are free.

Provide easy instructions and links for downloading iTunes.  Let your listeners know the length of your podcasts too.  Many of the most popular podcasts range between 10 to 15 minutes in length:  People will often pause to listen to a 12-minute podcast; whereas they might regretfully pass up on one they’d really like to listen to – because it’s over 30 minutes in length.


Tell your audience about apps that may help their podcast experience too.  Tell them where to find links they need.  Let them know about anything and everything that:

  • Makes their podcast experience ridiculously easy
  • Makes them want to learn more – from you

10. Submit your Podcasts to other Directories

Don’t just rely 100% on the iTunes store to help people find your podcast:  Submit your feed URL to other podcast directories too.  That way, you won’t miss any segment of your market that has a hate on for Apple, or who can’t access iTunes due to technical incompatibilities.

You can find a good list to begin with at the Podcasting Tools blog.


11. Submit Press Releases about your Podcast

Some people will tell you that press releases are “dead”.  Nonsense.  The only dead press release is one that isn’t well-written and correctly formatted.

Look at podcast press releases in PRWeb to see how it’s done – and notice you are allowed to upload and use your iTunes miniature cover graphic.


There are many press release directories around, but don’t waste your time on too many:  Instead, focus on ones like PRWeb that are heavy on reputation; or else find ones that specialize in your niche topic.  (Just search using the keywords “directory” and “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][topic or niche name]” in Google.)

12. Create a provider page

Let’s finish off with one more quick tip from iTunes’ Making a Podcast manual about creating a provider page, once you have a stable of podcasts up and running smoothly…


These twelve ideas are by no means the only steps to successful podcast promotion – but they are twelve of the most effective.

Don’t stop there:  Find other promotion methods for your particular niche or industry – and get the word out about your podcast![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Getting Your Podcast Ready for iTunes

rss feed

Thousands of people create podcasts for iTunes.  Not every podcast becomes a top seller.  There’s a reason for this, and it can be attributed to two factors:

  • Process
  • Content

The heartbreaking fact is that many people work hard to produce top-notch, unique content… but that alone won’t guarantee a top spot – or anywhere close to it.

You need to be aware of Apple’s process for its iTunes store. Understanding what happens to your podcast when you load it is as vital as understanding how to make sure it uploads compatibly and smoothly.

Let’s take a quick look at the process, and then we will look into how to research a top subject so that your podcast fills a viable spot in the market.  We’ll also include our best tips in creating a podcast with the potential for viral popularity.

Step 1.  Mastering the iTunes Submission Process

First, let’s clear up one of the biggest misconceptions about podcasts and iTunes:  Apple will not host your podcast – you still need to have a third-party RSS feed and server; and your server is where you need to host your podcast.  Your target audience will be able to listen to your podcast via several media: Computer, iPod, Apple TV, iPhone or iPad.

Nor can you sell your podcast in the iTunes store: Podcasts are always free.  (You can, however, include mention of advertisers or products.)

Apple merely allows your podcast to be included in its searchable database, the iTunes Directory.


The submission process includes vital basics:

  • Understanding the submissions Queue and review process
  • Understanding the differences between the iTunes client, store and app
  • Making sure you’ve tested your feed
  • Understanding how to include viable metadata
  • Knowing how to perform functions such as adding episodes, linking to your podcast and changing your feed URL

Step 2. The Review Process

Every podcast submitted first has to be reviewed by iTunes staff members to ensure it meets technical and content guidelines.  Your best bet in making sure your podcast passes with flying colors is to put yourself in your iTunes staff reviewer’s shoes.

2-slush-pileIt’s rather like being an old fashioned editor: You look at the “slush pile” – a big, fat pile of manuscripts.  The top editor doesn’t touch this:  A lowly under-editor wades through, immediately discarding all those manuscripts obviously written by illiterate people who haven’t taken the time to learn on factor about producing a readable manuscript.

In the iTunes review world, this first elimination group might easily include you, if you haven’t bothered to learn the basics.

Technical errors and omissions will quickly lead to podcast rejection by the review staff.  To avoid this, let’s go over technical requirements:

  1. 1.    You can submit podcasts that are purely audio or audio with video (vodcasts) – but you do have to ensure you are using one of the correct streaming file formats.
  • .mp3
  • .mp4
  • .m4v
  • .m4a


  1. 2.    Make sure your cover art is exactly 1400 X 1400 pixels in size (.JPG or .PNG file format only)
  2. 3.    Post your RSS file, cover art and episodes on a server with:
  • A publicly accessible URL
  • Byte-range support (and make sure this is enabled)

Byte-range support allows you to only send a fragment of your media file, rather than the whole thing, so that it can be streamed.  “Streaming” means Apple doesn’t upload the next bit of your podcast until the present file byte that people are listening to is almost finished.

There are many instructions on the net like this detailed answer for testing to see whether or not byte-range streaming is enabled on your server.


  1. 4.    Make sure your podcast conforms to exact RSS 2.0 specifications
  2. 5.    Include required iTunes RSS tags
  3. 6.    Include episode pointers.  You will need to provide an XML episode file
  4. 7.    Make sure you have tested your feed before submitting.  (Use, a simple, free service.  Just in put your feed URL and go.)


  1. 8.    Include strong, targeted meta-data.  Apple has clear instructions on what it wants these tags to include.


Pay attention to your iTunes RSS tags too. Again, Apple provides complete instructions for creating RSS Meta-tags in its Making a Podcast primer.


Only when you have taken care of all these technical requirements should you submit your RSS feed URL to iTunes.

Tips for Creating a Popular Podcast

But uploading your podcast isn’t the entire picture either:  You need to make sure it’s one that stands out from its competitors.

Ask yourself:  “What makes me choose one particular podcast over another in the iTunes Directory?”

It’s important to realize that people select podcasts for a variety of reasons.  Some of these, you have no control over when it comes to increasing your download chances:  Some, you most definitely do. Following the tips in this section will help you understand what it is you need to augment, boost, aim for and promote.

Reasons for choosing a particular podcast over other in its field…

  • You are a fan of the presenter
  • It promises high entertainment value
  • It is unique in its slant, if not in its topic
  • It promises to help you solve a problem
  • It promises to teach you what you need to learn

These are all valid reasons, but iTunes podcast selection goes beyond this.  It’s important to understand the psychological and impulse factors that are also at play in podcast selection:

  • Habit – if you always listen to the “UFOs at 10 o’clock” series every Saturday morning while you are doing your ironing, chances are almost non-existent that you will suddenly choose something else.  You expect it, you look forward to it, and you choose it.  You don’t forget it’s going to be on – it’s part of your routine.
  • Past experience – was a particular series incredibly easy to access?  Did it stream smoothly?  Was it thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining?  Did it deliver?
  • Personal Connection — Did the title grab your emotions in some way and resonate with you?  Did the content make it feel as if the presenter was speaking just to you, or telling your story?  Did the topic feel tailored to your interests and lifestyle?
  • Attentiongrabbing – Did the title “hook” you in some way? (E.g.: Emotionally; arousing curiosity; align with a key interest or dilemma you’re having right now; promising to indulge your pet passion or hobby; was it simply sensationalist or titillating? Did it hook into a current scandal, disaster or “craze”?)
  • Alignment – Is it in sync with your age, beliefs, values, interests and goals?

For example, if you are in your twenties and not much into music, the man in this iTunes Podcast Directory featured photograph may mean absolutely nothing to you.


If you were young in the revolutionary nineteen-seventies, however, and were heavily into the rock bands of the day, you might actually experience whiplash, your attention arrested:  You would instantly “place” Lindsay Buckingham as a guitarist and songwriter with Fleetwood Mac, one of the top groups of its day.

You also need to apply a methodical process or system to deciding on your podcast topics.  This consists of paying attention to three elements:

  1. 1.    Topic
  2. 2.    Categories
  3. 3.    Tags

It doesn’t just depend on your expertise in your field:  When it comes to iTunes podcasts, it boils down to one simple question that should be at the core of your research and brainstorming:

  • “What are people searching for in the iTunes Podcast Directory?”

Your research will help you determine this without any guesswork.  If you know your audience inside out, you can zero in on hot categories relevant to your audience’s passions:  If you’re not yet quite sure, starting with broad research into popular trends and interests will be essential before you can narrow possible hot topics down.

How to Research and Come up with a Virally “Hot” Podcast

Investing time in research will help you produce podcasts with the potential to go viral – or at least end up in the “New & Noteworthy” front-page category; or in one of the other featured, front-page categories…

1.    Get an overview of your TV menu guide, if you really want to know what’s trending.  You’ll see hot topics and categories reflected in podcast categories and offerings.

For example, if there is a glut of property renovation and realty shows being served up on TV, you’ll find that “Home Improvement” is actually a featured, front-page category in the iTunes Directory.

9-home-improvement-category2.    Choose the perfect category.  In addition to the feature category, you should check out the categories in right-hand, vertical sidebar.

There are two places to search:

  • Podcast Quick Links
  • The “All Categories” menu

You can access a list of the latter by pressing the drop-down arrow.


Keep these categories in mind, when brainstorming your podcast:


  1. 3.    Include well-optimized tags.  We’ve already spoken about the importance of Meta-tags.  Search through competitor podcast to see what tags they are using for similar podcasts to yours.

Then invest in some keyword research and questions to find out what your target market actually uses as keywords, when searching the iTunes directory.

See if you can come up with a keyword that:

  1. Your competitors are not using in tags
  2. Your target listeners are using in searches

One last point:  Always remember that people listen first and foremost to podcasts for entertainment – whether or not they’ve chosen a serious, instructional podcast on “The Hidden Horrors of Plastic Water Bottles” or one that’s a fun time-waster while they exercise (“Fifty Whacky Facts about The Sixties You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know”).

Podcasts are a way of passing time for the majority of people who access the iTunes directory – while they are traveling to or from a destination, exercising, doing the laundry or waiting for little Tina at her hockey practice.

Keep yours fast-paced, well-organized, clear, fun and easy to listen to.

Do this, respect the technical upload requirements, and you’ll be light-years closer to making them want to come back for more!



How to Submit Your eBook to iBooks


Getting your eBooks into the iBookstore will get you exposure to a wide audience on Apple devices. Your book will be available to people on both PC computers and Macs as well as people on iPhones and iPads.

In order to submit your own eBook to iBooks, you’ll need a Mac running at least 1G of RAM with QuickTime 7.03 installed. Unfortunately, you cannot do this on a Windows computer.

That said, if you’re on a Windows computer, you can use one of the many third party Apple aggregators to help take care of the process. They’ll take care of just about everything for you, though you’ll have to pay a premium for the service.

If you want to do it on your own, you’ll also need a U.S. Tax ID. Anyone can get a Tax ID by filing for a DBA / Sole Proprietor business in the United States. You don’t even need to be a U.S. resident.

Once you have all the requirements, here’s how to get started with publishing your eBook on iBooks.


Step 1: Get Your ISBN Number


In order to publish your book on iBooks, you’ll need an ISBN number. This number is like a calling card for your book. It allows bookstores like the iBookstore to track exactly how many books were sold and it also allows you to track your statistics.

Any book sold in a regular bookstore needs an ISBN number. While some online stores don’t require this, iBooks does. To get your ISBN number, go to:

When you arrive, you’ll see the page below. Click “Get Your ISBN Today!” to start.



Step 2: Get the Basic Version


While there are several different versions of the ISBN service available, the most important thing is that you get the number. For our purposes, the most basic package is usually enough.



Step 3: Checkout


Continue to checkout and follow the on screen instructions to complete the purchase of your ISBN number.


Step 4: Install an ePub Conversion Application


In order to submit your eBook to iBooks, you need to convert it to the ePub file format. There are several programs that can do this.

Calibre and Sigil are two free options. iStudio Publisher ($49.99) and Adobe InDesign ($699) are two paid options.

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll use Calibre’s free converter to create our ePub file.


Download Calibre from:

Install the software and continue.

Step 5: Add Your Books


Once you open Calibre, you’ll be presented with a screen with a variety of options. A good way to acquaint yourself with the interface is to just hover your mouse over various areas and see what each button is.

To get started, click “Add Books” in the upper left corner. Select the book(s) you want to convert into ePub file format to add it to the list of titles in Calibre.



Step 6: Change the Meta Data


Your meta data is data that comes with the ePub file that tells the book reader basic information like who wrote it, the title, the ISBN number and so on.

Highlight the book whose data you want to change. Then click on the “Edit Meta Data” button.


You’ll then be taken to the edit meta data screen, as shown below:


Input as much of the data as you can. Add in your front cover image. This is the image that will be shown to people browsing the iBookstore.

On the right you can add comments. You can leave this blank for now.

Click OK when you’re finished.

Step 7: Save Your ePub Book


When you’re ready to export your ePub file, click on the “Save Book” button.


You’ll then be taken to the save page, which gives you a ton of options.

The best way to play with these options is to just save your file and see how it looks afterwards. You can choose how text display looks, how your table of contents are structured and a whole lot more options.

The only critical thing you need to select is the Output Format. Make sure it’s set to EPUB before you hit OK.

Once you save your file, you’ll have a file that’s ready to be submitted to the iBookstore!


Step 8: Submit to iBooks


To submit your ebook, go to iTunes connect at:

Select “Books” from the dropdown menu and click continue.


You’ll then be walked through a series of steps to upload your ePub file and submit it to iTunes. Follow the on screen instructions.

That’s all there is to it! Setting up your Tax ID, getting an ISBN number and converting your file may be a bit of hassle at first, but getting your eBook onto the iBookstore will make your effort well worth it.