So, you’ve got the show perfect and all ready to go out to the world. In this last post on podcasting, I’ll talk about syndication and distribution of your podcast. More after the jump.
So, now is when you need to dig out that podcasting book to write your feed, better known as the XML file. You can write it in any program that would allow you write a webpage. I do mine on Dreamweaver, but any text editor should do. Follow the book closely on how to write the feed and which fields to include. One thing you will need is a URL for both the show and the feed. If Ephblog were to do a show, for example, the URL’s could be www.ephblog.com/Eph_Podcast.mp3 and www.ephblog.com/Eph_Podcast.xml.
One thing the books might not tell you is that iTunes has its own fields for an XML file (See here, which is also a good overview on feed writing in general), so be aware that, if you want your show to appear in iTunes, you will have to follow their rules.
Once you have completed your feed and uploaded it to the site you will be using to host it and the show (though the site/server the feed is on and the site/server of the audio file can be different), go to Feed Validator to make sure it checks out. If it doesn’t, Feed Validator will be very specific about what you need to change.
If everything has checked out, you can now start submitting your feed to the podcast catchers, websites that aggregate podcasts and make them easy for interested listeners to find. iTunes is far and away the biggest podcatcher, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, if you want them to take notice and possibly feature you on the front page, you will need to have a logo for your show as its cover art. Other sites, such as Podcast Pickle, Podcast Alley or Odeo, aren’t so fussy about the art work. One thing these other sites, particularly Podcast Alley, are good for is that they let other sites mirror your feed, so your show can appear in more places than you initially submitted. Microsoft’s Zune has recently started to add podcasts as well.
That’s it. Happy podcasting!