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.
Finally, we get to Google Podcasts. Understand that Google Podcasts submissions are different. Correction — they are non-existent! Google Podcasts doesn’t have a manual submission process like the other directories — yet. Instead, they crawl the web looking for podcasts connected to your website and eventually find yours. If it meets their requirements, Google Podcasts will list it.
NOTE: Google Podcasts is NOT Google Play Music. They are two different Google things and expect Google Play Music to go away at some point shortly. You CAN submit your podcast via Google Play Music but it is not how you get your podcast in Google Podcasts.
Can we speed up the Google Podcast non-submission process? Maybe. Here’s a process that may shorten the discovery chain for you and your show:
First, find out if your podcast is already in Google Podcasts. Google just recently created a front page for Google Podcasts that can help you with your search.
If your podcast is not listed, then you need to work on getting Google interested in crawling your podcast’s website. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that your RSS Feed link is somewhere on your website. Google will eventually crawl your site AND the podcast website created by your media host. If the Google Crawler finds your RSS Feed link, it will attempt to follow it and find all the episodes listed in the RSS file. If and when that happens, you don’t need to do anything else.
Unfortunately, with billions of websites on the Internet, Google may not get to yours anytime soon. So you need to help Google out! Start with confirming that your website domain name (e.g. https://waryankee.com) is listed correctly IN your RSS Feed. If you are using your media host’s website AS your website, then make sure THAT the website domain name (e.g. http://feeds.oncetold.net/80000018.rss) is listed. Don’t flip-flop between your podcast website and your media host’s website for your podcast. They are different sites! Pick one and go forward.
If you have all your configurations correct, the next way to push Google’s search hand is to go to Google’s Podcast Publisher Tools and place your RSS Feed URL into the top form field to see if Google Podcast already has it listed. Chances are it won’t (especially if you did step #1 above) — at least not yet. Google does things in Google Time. That could mean a few days or even weeks before the Googlebot comes around to crawl your site.
You can go the extra mile and politely ask Google to crawl your website. This includes a little more work to include verifying with Google that you own the website or getting even more involved with creating a Google project. I’m not convinced that these work to speed up the process of getting your podcast in Google Podcasts. Some developers claim that when you get your site into the Google Ecosystem, the Googlebot puts you at the top of the list. So you never know!
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 Google 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!