This plugin allows you to set up a podcast feed on your site and send it to iTunes, Google Play, Blubrry, Stitcher, and TuneIn.
Setting Up the PowerPress Plugin
- Activate the plugin, then go to the PowerPress > Settings menu.
- Enter all of the standard information:
- Program Title (podcast name)
- iTunes Program Subtitle (optional, but good for making your podcast more descriptive, and for adding keywords)
- iTunes Program Summary (also optional, but good for making your podcast more descriptive, and for adding keywords)
- iTunes Category (you can choose 2 additional categories after you choose the first)
- iTunes Explicit (Yes or Clean)
- iTunes Email
- iTunes Image (3000×3000 pixel JPEG image recommended)
- Display Media & Links (up to you, you can always insert additional players in your content using the [powerpress] shortcode)
- Display media / links in: WordPress Excerpts (e.g. search results) (recommended to check this box)
- If you want more options, you can click the button “Switch to Advanced Mode” at the top of the screen. Here are some recommendations:
- Website tab: Under Media Links, check the box for “Include file size and duration”.
- Feeds tab: Under Feed Settings, put “300” in the box next to “Show the most recent”. Check the box next to “Feed Episode Maximizer”.
- Destinations tab: Here, you can submit your podcast to iTunes, Google Play, Blubrry, Stitcher, and TuneIn.
Using the PowerPress Plugin
First, if you expect to have some posts that aren’t podcasts, then I suggest you create a post category called “Podcast” and make sure you select that category when making any podcast post. It makes things easier to organize in the future. For example, you might want to create a page to automatically list all of your podcast episodes. If you categorize them all with “Podcast”, you can use the Display Posts Shortcode plugin to make that list.
Second, you should host your podcast files in a separate location from your WordPress site. This is important for a few reasons. It’s less likely to crash your site if you get a lot of subscribers, it gives your subscribers faster and more reliable downloads, and it reduces your chance of your hosting provider shutting down your site. If people are downloading media, such as audio or video, from your site, it often means a lot of bandwidth. Many hosting providers will automatically flag this as “file sharing”, which is against their terms of service. They may shut down or throttle your site, sometimes without even telling you.
Common podcast hosts:
- Libsyn. They are the most popular choice. They have a range of pricing plans depending on your monthly uploads. Bandwidth is unlimited.
- Blubrry. They also have a range of plans and unlimited bandwidth. Their main advantage is that they are directly integrated with PowerPress, so you can upload files to Blubrry from WordPress and the URL will be added for you. This way you don’t have to sign into a separate account, upload a file, copy the file URL, and come back to WordPress to paste it.
- Amazon S3. They price based on storage and bandwidth. If you don’t get a lot of download, this can be cheaper than flat rate, unlimited bandwidth services like Libsyn and Blubrry. However, it’s more complicated to set up and use.
To attach an episode to a post, simply scroll down below the main editor and find the Podcast Episode panel. Paste in the Media URL of your episode, and click Verify URL. The File Size and Duration should be automatically calculated when you click that button.
In the main content area of your post, you can add the [powerpress] shortcode wherever you want to display the player. I usually recommend displaying it twice per post, usually at the beginning and end.
Using Blubrry for Free Stats
Setting Up Podcast Statistics with Blubrry
The free Blubrry service provides podcast statistics. In order to do the tracking, your podcast file URLs have to be routed through Blubrry. The PowerPress plugin will do this automatically, once you connect it to your Blubrry account.
- Sign up for a free account at http://www.blubrry.com. You will get a confirmation email.
- Click the link in the email to verify the account.
- Add your podcast: http://www.blubrry.com/addpodcast.php.
- Sign up for free statistics: http://publish.blubrry.com/measure/media.php.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page, check the box for “I agree to the terms and conditions.” and click the “Enable Free Statistics” button.
Connecting Blubrry to Your Website
- In WordPress, go to the PowerPress > Settings menu.
- Find the section near the top called “Integrate Blubrry Services.”
- Click the button labeled “Click here to configure Blubrry Statistics and Hosting services.”
- Enter your Blubrry email address and password, and click the Save button.
About Podcast Statistics
There isn’t an accurate way to find out the number of iTunes subscribers. The only way to get that statistic would be directly from iTunes, and they don’t provide it.
“Episode hits” should tell you the number of episode downloads, and in theory “feed hits” should tell you the number of subscribers. But in reality, feed statistics are misleading to look at. iTunes checks your feed (counting as one “feed hit”), and redistributes it to the subscribers – so the number of “feed hits” could be much lower than the real number. And on the other hand, IP addresses change when switching wireless networks or cell networks when you move around, so anyone subscribed to your feed directly would have their devices checking regularly, and each check on a different network would register as unique IP addresses. And then the number of “feed hits” could be much higher than the real number. If you want to read more, there’s a good explanation on this forum: http://forum.blubrry.com/index.php?topic=3331.0.
Downloads / “episode hits” is the statistic to pay attention to, as it will give you a better idea of subscribers. The number of “true subscribers” ought to be close to the total number of downloads/hits for your latest episode, a couple of days after the episode is released (say, 3 days, to take into account that some people don’t have iTunes open or check every single day). And you should also pay attention to which episodes are more popular than the others, so you know what topics or guests you should return to.