2020 has been a massive year for podcasts and it seems like the platform is only going to continue growing in 2021.
Even though podcasting is considered an audio-only (and more recently video) platform, having a place to bring your listeners to is extremely important. That’s why having a website dedicated to your podcast is crucial.
You’re likely in one of two different categories. Either you already have a podcast, or your thinking about starting your own podcast. Regardless of where you are in your journey, this post is going to help you get the most out of your show, and give your listeners the best experience possible.
In this post, I’m going to be covering:
- Reasons why you should have a website for your podcast (the benefits)
- The different options for starting your own podcast website
- How to start building your own website from scratch
Why You Need a Podcast Website
In reality, all you need to start a podcast is your phone. But if you really want to grow your podcast, attract new potential listeners, and create raving fans, you need a place for them to come to.
That is where having a website for your podcast can really help.
Here are some of the major benefits of having a podcast website:
1. Increases Credibility
I don’t know about you, but when I come across a business or a brand that doesn’t have a website, I’m immediately turned off.
Facebook pages and groups are nice, but when I don’t see a website, I lose a little faith in that brand.
Having a website gives you the opportunity to share more information and stories with your audience, and it allows your audience to get a better feel for your show and brand as a whole.
2. More Listeners Can Find You in Google
Even though podcasts are consumed in an audio format, search engine optimization (SEO) can still play a major role in bringing more traffic and new listeners to your podcast.
Having a website gives you a place to put show notes, transcripts for your episodes, additional resources discussed in the episode, and really anything you want to include that might be beneficial or enjoyable for your listeners.
Personally, I try to hit really hard on podcast SEO by creating a mini-blog post for all my episodes. By having more text and more context on your website, you have a decent chance of showing up in search results and potentially attracting new listeners.
3. Build an Email List and Attract More Leads
A podcast can be a great marketing tool to compliment your other business ventures. Your podcast website can be a great “hub” for building an email list, and even start pulling in potential clients.
Email lists are a great way to maintain a relationship and stay in contact with your audience.
Additionally, I want you to think about this for a minute:
What if you’ve built up a large podcast audience and something goes wrong. Maybe you’re unable to publish an episode, or your podcast host goes through a cyber-attack (this just recently happened). You have no way of getting in contact with your audience. With an email list, you have direct access to all your listeners so you can keep them up to date.
If you’re interested in learning how to grow your email list, a good friend of mine, Rahul Choudhary, has an awesome Email Marketing Bundle (affiliate link) you should take a look at.
On top of being able to stay in contact with your listeners, a website also gives you a place to send listeners who may be interested in other products, courses, or services that you offer.
Options for Building a Podcast Website
When it comes to actually building your podcast website, there are several different options out there for you to choose from. The option you choose will likely depend on what your goals are for the website and how you plan to utilize the website for promoting your podcast.
Podcast Host-Offered Websites
Depending on your podcasting host, they may offer an option to create a podcast website for you.
The podcast host I use is Buzzsprout (affiliate link). I highly recommend Buzzsprout to anyone who is thinking about starting a podcast. Their platform starts at a very attractive price point and is super easy to navigate and use.
With Buzzsprout, they actually give you the option to use their version of a podcast website to showcase all your podcast episodes and provides episode descriptions. They even include a way for you to connect your social media accounts in case listeners want to get in touch with you.
Here is what my Buzzsprout website would look like if I was using it:
You can view the live Buzzsprout website for my podcast here: https://ninefivepodcast.buzzsprout.com/
As you can see, it’s clean, easy to navigate, and just plain simple.
If you’re looking for something that just works, this is definitely an option to start. You would have limited ability to drive traffic from search engines with this option, but it will rely very heavily on the content you include your podcast descriptions.
However, there are a few downfalls to going with a podcast host’s version of the website:
- Limited customization
- No lead capture ability (for building your email list)
- There is no option to add additional pages or make changes to the website
To really take full-advantage of the benefits we discussed above, continue reading on.
Podcast Website Builders – Podpage
I’ve seen several new platforms popping up recently, specifically for podcasters, that have caught my attention. One of them being Podpage.
Podpage is a unique website builder that works in a similar fashion to the example I just share above. If that example above was on steroids!
What’s cool about Podpage is that all you need to do is enter in your podcast information, choose a website design, and you’re done!
With the free plan, you basically only get what was discussed above with Buzzsprout’s free option. There’s a place where all your episodes can live, and that’s about it.
However, upgrading to one of their free models gives you the ability to capture emails, fully-customize the look of your website, write blog posts and show notes pages, and even list your ecommerce products. These paid plans start at $9/month and $15/month for full-functionality.
I have not personally used Podpage myself, but if I was just getting started with my podcast website, I would definitely give Podpage some consideration.
Build Your Own Website
Finally, if you want complete and total control over the look and feel of your podcast website, you can always create your own from scratch.
This is the route I chose to go with. Before I launched my podcast I already had this website up and running and it just didn’t make sense for me to go with a website builder like Podpage.
The major benefit to building your own website: you have total control over it.
Because I built my website with WordPress, I am able to take advantage of all the different themes, plugins, and added functionality that comes with building your own site.
This freedom and control is what really attracts me to this option.
In the next section, I’ll actually show you how you can start building your own podcast website using WordPress.
How to Build Your Own Podcast Website
If you’ve continued reading this far, you would probably prefer to create a website that you have complete control of. I’ll be somewhat brief in this next section, but if you want the full step-by-step guide to building your website, be sure to check out this post.
Choosing a Website Host
The first thing you’ll need to do when starting your podcast website is purchasing a domain and choosing a host for the website. There are many different hosting services out there to choose from, but I always recommend Bluehost (affiliate link).
Bluehost is what I started with and is a cheap, safe, and reliable option for anyone looking to build a website. Plus, it integrates really well with WordPress.
All hosting options with Bluehost come with 1 domain, free for an entire year. I personally chose the highest tier option ($13.95/month) for the added security options, but I’ll let you choose the plan that best fits within your budget.
Installing WordPress Plugins
Once you have your domain and hosting, you need to connet WordPress.
WordPress is going to be your “website builder.” This is where you will run your entire website from. Once inside, you can choose your theme, install plugins, and start building your website to your liking.
To install WordPress, here’s what you need to do:
- Click My Sites on the left side of the screen
- Click the Create Site button
- Click Start Building under your preferred WordPress option
- Fill out the Site Information for your website
- Site Name: This is only the site name – it will no be your URL, just the name of your website
- Site Tagline: A brief description of your website
- Advanced: Enter the information you would like to use to login to your WordPress website
- Once the installation is finished, click My Sites again
- Choose Log into WordPress
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can begin building and customizing your new website.
Choosing Your Theme
The WordPress Theme you choose will give you the basic look and feel of your website. There are TONS of free options to choose from, as well as more premium paid options.
I opted for a premium theme called Divi by Elegant Themes. This is a combination of a theme as well as a “website builder.” Divi operates much like a drag-and-drop editor, and gives you a lot more control over the look of your website.
If you like the way my website looks and functions, I would recommend taking a look at Divi Theme (affiliate link).
To select a theme and choose how you want your website to look, follow these steps:
- On the left side of your WordPress dashboard, hover over Appearance
- Click Themes
- Choose Add New and look through the list of themes to find the one you like
- Once you have the one you like, click Activate
If you ever want to try new themes or change the look of your website you can always come back to this page and repeat the steps listed above.
Now you can start editing the information on your website, creating the necessary pages, etc.
When building your website, be sure to include the following pages:
- About Me page
- Contact page
These are the bare minimum you should have on your website. Obviously you will want to start building additional pages for you podcast listeners to vist, but the three listed above is a good place to start.
Installing Plugins on Your Website
Now that you have your website built, you can add additional features, functionality, and security through the use of plugins. Rather than having to code all this stuff yourself, plugins take care of all the heavy lifting for you.
Feel free to browse the various plugins you wish to include in your website, but bare in mind:
The more plugins you use, the slower your website will run. It’s best to choose only the plugins you think are completely necessary to achieve your goal. Ranking in search engines and showing up to more people can heavily weigh on how well your website performs.
When you’re just starting out, I recommend beginning with these plugins:
- Rank Math – to help optimize your pages for search engines
- Insert Headers and Footers – to easily add code to your website (such as Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc)
- Askimet Anti-Spam – protects your blog and pages from spam
- Fusebox.FM – to easily add a podcast player and transcripts to your website (more on this below)
Fusebox.FM (affiliate link) is a premium podcasting plugin that allows you to embed podcast audio player and transcripts on your website.
There are other free options, and your podcast host likely supplies you with some of these options. What I like about Fusebox is that you can actually use their player to capture emails. If someone is listening to your podcast on your website, they can easily subscribe, share, or get added to your email list with the click of a button.
Here’s what the player actually looks like:
Now that you have your desired plugins installed, it’s time to start adding content to your website and bringing more traffic to your website and podcast!
Driving More Traffic to Your Website
With your website built, you’re ready to share it with the world.
Your website is going to be the “hub” that all your listeners can come to for updates and see what you have going on with your website.
As you become more comfortable with your site, there are many ways to drive traffic to it. You can choose to pay for ads or try to rank in search engines and bring traffic to your site organically.
If paying for ads, is not really your thing, read through Podcasting SEO.
This post walks you through the beginning stages of strategically planning your content with the purpose of ranking higher in search engines. With hyper-focused keywords, you can start outranking your competitors, bring more visitors to your site, and ultimately gain more subscribers and listeners to your podcast.