Hangouts On-Air (HOA) have been a great experiment for my newest podcast, Podcasters’ Roundtable. I’ve tried several different live-streaming options and HOA’s have been remarkably effective in getting people to actually show up and participate. The most interesting revelation about this is the live-streams tend to get scheduled only 24 hours in advance of going live and are rarely based on a regular schedule. Hardly a recipe for success in live-streaming yet for some reason it works. So what’s going on?
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of HOA’s is the ability to create an “Event” page via Google Plus and associate it with your up coming live-stream. This allows people to RSVP and most importantly it sends whoever signs up for the event a reminder before the actual live-stream. I think this reminder is a key element to getting people to show up.
When setting up a podcast, Apple actually gives you a playbook of how they would like your feed to be setup for success in iTunes. It’s right there in black and white, a step-by-step guide about how to succeed in the iTunes store with a podcast.
On this episode, I break down one particular section of their extensive iTunes specs page. While I’ll plan to revisit this page often, brining you other aspects of setting up your podcast according to Apple, I start with some of the most relevant iTunes tags necessary for being found in the iTunes store when someone is doing a search for your type of content. Here’s a look at the section I cover.
Creating Your Feed and the Importance of Good Metadata.
- Pay very close attention to the title, author, and description tags at the
<item>level of your podcast feed, because these are the fields that iTunes indexes for search. This metadata, along with your cover art, is your product packaging. It will affect whether your podcast shows up in relevant searches, and whether users who find your podcast are likely to click the Subscribe button.
- Make your title specific. A podcast entitled “Our Community Bulletin” is too vague and will attract no subscribers, no matter how compelling the content.
- Take advantage of the
<itunes:summary>tag (or the
<itunes:summary>is not present) is your chance to tell potential subscribers all about your podcast. Describe your subject matter, media format, episode schedule, and other relevant information so that they know what they’ll be getting when they subscribe. In addition, make a list of the most relevant search terms that you want your podcast to match, then build them into your description. Note that iTunes removes podcasts that include lists of irrelevant words in the
- Be sure to include a valid
<itunes:category>. Podcasts that have a category can appear in more places in iTunes and are more likely to be found by users. Your category should be in English in your feed, but will be localized in the iTunes Store.
- Pick a reliable podcast host. Too many podcasters create a feed and then find that their ability to move or edit the feed later is limited by the podcast’s host. Make sure your podcast is hosted in a place where you are in control of the content.
- Create a graphic for your podcast that is easy to recognize when scaled down to 50×50 pixels. Good cover art communicates the value of the podcast with a simple picture and a few words. Before you create your podcast cover art, go to the Podcasts page in the iTunes Store, click Top Podcasts, and note which cover art works best and why. We require 1400×1400-pixel JPG cover art to be eligible for featuring on the iTunes Store. You can also use images at the episode level.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Podcasters’ Roundtable – Round 13 – Dealing with Negative Feedback
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – fight against patent trolls
- iTunes specs page
- mixlr – audio only live-streaming
- My YouTube channel – podcasting tutorials, gear, demos, DSLR basics.
- New Media Expo 2014
- My Google Plus page
- Podcasters’ Roundtable – What Do You Call Your Podcast
- Mpeg Streamclip – video converter also used to rip audio from a video file
- Podcasters Community on G+
- interviewed on – Start Talking and Recording Today
- Podcasting Cover Art – Daniel J. Lewis | Nick Seuberling
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