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18 Oct 2021 ~ 7 min read

Get Found on Apple

There you are.

You’ve designed a podcast, recorded your voice and produced a final *.mp3 file. You’ve decided on a podcast media host, created an account, and started a show. Once you’ve uploaded your first *.mp3 file, you finally receive the one thing that makes you a podcaster: a freshly minted RSS feed file with a single episode in it!

What comes next?

You’re going to need a base of operations that everything can be centered around. So you go about purchasing a domain name, building a website, and embedding your media’s hosts podcast player on the front page.

Now listeners can come to your website and play your podcast because that’s how this thing works, right?


You are ready — There is no doubt about that! You already have a website for your show, a media host to hold your content files, a first episode, and that RSS Feed. You’ve certainly come 80 percent of the way there. However, it is that last 20 percent that needs to get done before you will start to find an audience.

It’s time to go where your audience listens to podcasts and it’s time to tell the top podcast directories that your podcast exists.

Here’s how:

Apple Podcasts

  1. First, you will need an Apple ID of your very own. Your Apple ID controls everything you do in Apple Podcasts. If you have some other services submit your podcast to Apple Podcast chances are it will be with THEIR Apple ID. That might work for now, but what happens when you want to change services or that service goes out of business? The process of rescuing your podcast WITHOUT it being connected to your own Apple ID is not fun. So don’t submit a podcast to Apple Podcasts using your own Apple ID to do it!

  2. With that public service announcement over, you need to next log in to Apple Podcasts. This is where you can submit your RSS feed to Apple Podcasts (and not much else). However, before you can submit it, you have to validate it first.

  3. What happens if you fail the RSS Feed validation in Apple Podcasts? Here are a few of the most common errors that cause a problem:

  • No episodes in your RSS Feed: You are required to have at least one episode n your RSS Feed. If you did create at least one episode, make sure your RSS feed has been updated to include it.
  • Poorly formated show art: Your show art could be the wrong dimensions. It must be at least 1,400px-by-1,400px square but no more than 3,000px-by-3,000px square. The SQUARE part is important!
  • File size too large: Your show art file should be no more than 512Kb. Anything above that will be rejected. This means the file weight of your show art needs to be reduced by changing the resolution of your show art.
  • Poorly formed RSS file: Because not all media hosts are not created equal, your RSS file might include strange characters, be missing tags or have empty tags. Be aware of what Apple Podcasts require to be in your RSS file and that you have an RSS file that isn’t missing the required metadata.
  1. After your RSS Feed has passed validation, the SUBMIT button will become active. Once you press submit, your podcast will enter the “Submitted for Review” holding pattern and Apple will send you an email to the address connected to your Apple ID telling you:

“Your podcast feed, [RSS URL] was successfully added and is now under review.”

  1. That’s it! Now you have to wait.

How long do you have to wait? That depends on when the Apple Podcasts team reviews your submission and allows it to enter their directory.

I imagine this process takes place in a room full of desks going on as far as the eye can see. And on each of those desks are thousands of stacks of paper with only three people in the whole room going over each sheet of paper one by one. Your podcast submission is just one of those sheets among the other 2,000 they get every week.

This is the “black box” process that could take as short as 24 hours to as long as 3 weeks to complete. So when I say all you can do is wait, then all you can do is wait!

What now?

Now you get to wait. And wait. And wait some more! If you’ve done everything above all you can do is keep checking. It will show up at some point. If it has been 2-weeks and you STILL cannot find your podcast in any of these directories, then you should investigate. Otherwise, keep waiting until you magically find your podcast listed where you think it should be.

It takes time for these directories to index your RSS Feed. Think about the other 2,000 podcasts being created each week, all asking to be indexed right alongside yours! If you have to wait, why not go find some of the other 200 other directories out there and add your podcast to them too.

A Quick Strategy to Consider While Waiting

Look, you’re going to be waiting a long time when you submit a new podcast to any directory. Facebook groups are full of new podcasters freaking out when Apple doesn’t list their podcast within an hour of submission. Don’t be that kind of new podcaster. Waiting for your new podcast submissions to be approved is a right of passage for ALL podcasters!

One big problem that new podcasters run into is the infamous “Launch Date”. The idea that you need to launch your podcast on a certain date because it is part of a marketing campaign or needed to mark a special anniversary, trips up too many new podcasters to ignore. They get into a big rush to get their podcast submitted to all the big directories only to be stymied by long submission delays.

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment!

If you already know you’re going to be waiting, do something early to take advantage of that delay. A sneaky way to get around this problem is by creating either a short episode #1 or a trailer. This episode is either a summary of the highlights from what is to come, an introduction to your podcast, or a quick win that early listeners can benefit from. This becomes your first episode and is already something you need to get yourself a valid RSS feed.

Once you have that episode up in all the directories THEN decide your “Launch Party” date. Why? Nobody knows you exist! Just because you have an episode out there doesn’t mean anyone has found it, heard it, or even knows it can be discovered. Use this special podcast anonymity to create Episode #2 — the real episode that will launch your podcast. That way you never have to wait for your new episodes to show up in all the directories.

You will have already paid the waiting time price and be ready on any date you choose!

Now go create something great!

Headshot of Kyle Bondo

Hi, I'm Kyle. I'm a UX Designer, Software Engineer and Podcaster based in Fort Worth, Texas. You can listen to me on War Yankee, see some of my work on GitHub, or read more about me on my website.