We’ve reached the final step of launching a podcast: Sharing. And that means, first, submitting your podcast to Apple Podcast and other podcast directories. Once live, it’s time to start telling people about your show.

Submitting To Podcast Directories

Podcast directories are the primary way people find shows to consume. Directories include Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Most also include an app or can be accessed through a podcast player app of some kind.

Looking to start from the beginning of this seven-part series? Start with How To Make A Podcast People Will Love in 7 Steps

You can run out and submit your podcast to all the directories known to man. The reality is this: Most podcast directories are a waste of time. That’s not popular to say, but it’s true. Your time will be better spent creating great content and promoting your show.

Here are the current directories currently producing the most listeners in order:

  1. Apple Podcast
  2. Google Play
  3. iHeartRadio
  4. Stitcher
  5. TuneIn Radio

Each podcast directory has a preferred method of inclusion. And all, except iHeart, make submitting a podcast fairly straightforward. So it’s just a matter of visiting each, reading their requirements, and following the steps.

iHeartRadio, for some reason, puts barriers to entry in place. You’ll either need a Spreaker account or a Libsyn account to get included.

Casting a Wide Podcast Net

PodCast411 maintains the most complete and up to date list of podcast directories. You can certainly hit them all up for inclusion and go for a wide net strategy early on. And this is something you can always come back to once your show is established looking for a slight edge.

What You’ll Need

There are a few things you’ll need handy before submitting to the directories:

  • RSS Feed URL
  • Email Address
  • Album Art
  • Information Fields

Assuming you’ve followed the steps mentioned in step six on podcast hosting, you should have your subdomain with redirect set up. The subdomain is what you’ll use for your RSS feed URL.

The email you’ll use can be your personal email address. However, it’s not advisable. You’re better off getting a dedicated email address set up for your show through either your web host, Gmail, or any email service provider.

If you’re not a graphic artist, we’d suggest spending a few bucks on a professional. You can use someone you know or sites like UpWork and 99 Designs. The album art won’t make or break your show. But it does help you stand out from the pack and get people to take you more seriously.

Just don’t over think the art. Find a pro, let them do it, and don’t spend all your time endlessly generating and worrying about 100 variations. It’s not a productive use of time — you can always change it later if your show starts performing well and you can’t stand the original artwork.

The Info Fields

For information fields, you’ll need a unique show name, a show description/summer, subtitle, a primary category selected, and the author name.

The two pieces of information that give people the most trouble are the description and author name. Think of the description as an elevator pitch. Focus on not just telling potential listeners what you do, tell them why you do it and what they can expect to get out of the show. You can make your description long but plan on keeping it under 200 words, so it stays concise and to the point.

For author name, this can be your name, you and co-hosts, or a company name and tagline.

The Waiting Game

None of the podcast directories put strict deadlines on when they’ll include your show; that’s the bad news. Some won’t even contact you immediately after inclusion; that’s the worse news.

But the good news is this: Most will include your show within three days. And most will send you an email to let you know your show is live.

Email and Social Media

Don’t be shy! Tell people about your show.

While you’re waiting for your podcast to show up in Apple Podcasts and Google Play, draft a short 150 or less word email. Your email should briefly describe what the show is about and include a link to both Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

You do not need to tell people everything that occurred between when the dinosaurs roamed and now. Respect their time, respect their inbox, and keep the email brief.

Most of all, people are a lot more likely to read and take action on short emails. Keeping your message brief will also make it easier to post your message in places like Facebook.

But before ringing the bells and firing off emails, make sure the show is in fact live. So once you see your show is live on Apple Podcasts and Google Play, wait one hour. Finally, go shout it from the rooftops to anyone who will listen.