6 Things Every Podcaster Should Know About Podcasting – PHD119


For those that do not know me, I’ve been podcasting since 2005 and made every single mistake in the book. I’ve also worked in support for a podcast company for 10 years (as of next month).  I think I might know what I’m talking about, at least about these topics.

  1. Know that Podcasting is  PULL technology. All apps, subscribers, and directories PULL your RSS feed from wherever it lives. That means when you publish your podcast, there will be a delay between publishing and when that episode makes it to the directories. Your subscribers (in *most* apps) will get it as soon as their local app PULLS your feed.
  2. Know what your RSS feed address is and know how to check it.  CastFeedValidator.com and Podba.se/validate are the only 2 validators that are podcast specific. Any other validator is not meant for podcasting and will tell you something is wrong when it’s not.
  3. Know that RSS is important and if you generate it via your website, you can not move to another website without redirecting the feed to the new feed. I’ve spent a lot of time explaining to podcasters why they lost all their listeners because they decided to move their feed without letting anyone know.  A 301 redirect is needed no matter what anyone else tells you. If you want to move to a different website or a different podcast host, please contact your current host to let you know what steps are needed to not lose your listeners. Your only link to them in the RSS feed.
  4. Know that Ratings and Reviews in Apple Podcasts (NO IT’S NOT CALLED iTunes ANYMORE) do NOTHING for your ranking in Apple Podcasts. They are great to have and are great social proof, but your ranking or findability have nothing to do with them.
  5. Trying to game the system by stuffing keywords everywhere in Titles, Author tags and other places will get you delisted from Apple.  Believe it or not.
  6. What hosting company you put your MP3’s on will do nothing to improve your success. As long as the host can deliver the files fast and reliably, you are good to go.

There are a lot of other things I could write here, but these are the top 6 I wish people would learn.  IF you are going to podcast, you REALLY need to spend a little time learning the basics.

Here is a little form you should print out and fill out for your podcast for your information: PodcastInfo.pdf

Apple Backs Down on Episode Numbers in Episode Titles – PHD118


Apple seems to have backed down on Episode Numbers in Episode Titles.  Here is a partial quote from the email they sent out…

We’ve received a lot of questions about metadata best practices on Apple Podcasts. We want to provide more details and clarification as you think about improving your show’s metadata.

Your Show Won’t Be Removed for Having Episode Numbers in Episode Titles

Starting with iOS 11 in September 2017, we introduced modern RSS tags to improve podcast metadata. These tags include support for seasons, trailers, and episode numbers. The new tags help us present your show to your listeners on Apple Podcasts and present listening data to you in Podcast Analytics.

Be sure to listen to Episode 117 for the first part of this story…

Here is a list of the apps/directories that are using the Apple Tags and not using the Apple tags.

Apple Podcasts – iTunes title (of course)
Itunes desktop – main title ‽
Blubrry – main title
Google Podcasts – main title
Pocket Casts – iTunes title
Podcast Addict – main title
BeyondPod – Stripped out the number but uses the main title ??
Spotify – main Title
Tunein – main title
Stitcher – Not updating 🙁
Overcast – iTunes Title
Himalaya – iTunes Title

The End of Episode Numbers in Apple Podcasts? – PHD117


Apple sent a letter to podcasters today (It was a bulk email NOT just to you). The big takeaway is that you need to remove episode numbers from your titles. I have a way of doing that and keeping them in your blog titles (as you can see above) and Keep Apple happy.

Here is what they sent:

Dear Podcast Provider,

To improve your experience with Apple Podcasts, we want to share the following information and updates.

Optimize Your Show’s Metadata

The metadata of your show is your product packaging. It includes all of the details about your show — such as title, author name, description — that potential listeners will see on Apple Podcasts. High-quality metadata can help your show be discovered and grow your audience, as it ultimately determines whether it appears in relevant user searches.

Conversely, poor-quality podcast metadata may affect new submissions as well as active shows to ensure our platform meets Apple’s quality standards.

Here are some things to avoid:

Including placeholder text from your hosting provider. For example, descriptions such as “Podcast by [author name],” “New podcast weblog,” “Cover art photo provided by [name],” or “Description goes here.”
Verbatim repetition of the title or author name in the description. For example, “The Very Hungry Tourists by Dr. María Sánchez and John Appleseed.”
Incorporating irrelevant content or spam. For example, show titles like “The Very Hungry Tourists | Travel | Explore | Learn” or author names like “Dr. María Sánchez, coach and travel enthusiast.”
Adding episode numbers in titles. For example, show titles like “The Very Hungry Tourists Episode 01” or episode titles like “01 Broken Heirloom.”

These practices could result in your show being rejected or removed from Apple Podcasts.

Review the resources below to learn more:

Podcasts Partner Search
Podcasts Connect Help
Apple Podcasts Marketing Best Practices

Resubmit RSS Feeds in Podcasts Connect

Users now have the ability to resubmit rejected feeds.

Should your show fail our review process or be removed from our catalog for the reasons described above, review your RSS fields to ensure compliance. Then, revalidate the feed and resubmit it via Podcasts Connect.

Bad Podcast Advice? Not one size fits all – PHD116


Is all Podcast advice applicable to your goals in podcasting?  Be careful about who you are getting your advice from. Do they have an agenda? (most do) Do they match YOUR goals in podcasting?    Not everyone wants advertisers.  A lot of advice given on the Facebook groups is not applicable to the person sitting next to the water heater in a basement studio.

This is my little rant/brain dump on the subject of advice.

Be sure to listen to the last episode with Paul Culligan as well.


Paul Colligan Podcast Pioneer – PHD115


Paul Colligan is a Podcast Pioneer, Marketing guy, Podcaster, Author and Speaker who was around in the early days of Podcasting. Paul sat down with me and we talked about, you guessed it, Podcasting (duh!).

Paul’s Links:


Thanks for listening.  Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an Episode!

Spotify + Anchor + Gimlet Media – What it might mean to Independent Podcasters – PHD114


What does this accusition mean to the average independent Podcaster? Not much is my guess.

This is just me doing a bit of a brain-dump about the big news of yesterday. Is it good for Podcasting in General? Is it Good/Bad for Indy podcasters? Who knows? We will see how it shakes out.

Also, I talk about a new App called Himalaya You can go over there and claim your show. I’m testing it out as a listening app. I will let you know what I think in a future episode.

In the show I couldn’t remember the domain I used for PHD News 🙂 You can get there by either going to PodcastHelpDesknews.com or adding it to your Alexa flash briefing.

Elsie Escobar talking about Podcasting – PHD113


Elise Escobar stopped by the Podcast Help Desk a while back and we had a great conversation about podcasting (what else?) and what she is doing in podcasting.

Elsie is a Hall of Famer, Podcaster and Social Media at LibsynThe Feed and She Podcasts. 

I also talk about Podcast Help Desk News Alexa skill (and now REAL podcast).


PHD News 3 Days a week


My Alexa Skill (in the news brief area) is now 3 days a week.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Other days when there is breaking news.

Please enable the “Podcast Help Desk News” skill in your Alexa App.

Later this week I will also make the feed available in “normal” podcasting apps and directories.  Stay tuned for that.

Separate Blog Posts and Podcast Posts – PHD112


Do you want to separate your blog posts from your podcast posts on your website?   It might be a bad idea.

First – How to do it if you really really want to in WordPress

  1. Create a category for the podcast.  DO NOT USE “podcast” as a category.
  2. Enable Category Podcasting in PowerPress Settings (at the bottom of each setting page)
  3. In the Category Podcasting menu (found under PowerPress in the sidebar) tick the box that says “Strict Categories” Save settings.
  4. Back in the category podcasting menu,  Add Podcast Settings to your Category
  5. All your podcast related settings go in the category podcasting settings for that category NOT the main PowerPress settings.
  6. Once that is all set up, make a blog post. Select the category for your podcast in the right sidebar AND in the podcast episode box.  The podcast episode box category setting is for the RSS feed and the sidebar is for the website.  You must do BOTH.
  7. In the Appearance > menus menu, add your podcast category (not called podcast I hope) to the menu where you want it.
  8. Categorize your blog posts in a single category and add that category to the menu as well.

There is one more way to do it explained in the Podcast called Post Types.  I don’t recommend that method.

Why you do not want to do separate blog posts from your podcast posts

People that want to listen to your podcast, and show up on your website, wouldn’t they want to maybe read your blog posts (without clicking another menu)?   Wouldn’t people that read your blog want to listen to your podcast?   Why go through all the BS separating them?


The Technical Side of Podcast Promotion – PHD111


1. Never Promote something you do not own.   Send people to your website and then give them all the choices you can reasonably.

  1. Apple 🍎
  2. Google Podcasts
 (notice I didn’t say Google PLAY‽) 💻
  3. RSS
  4. Tunein
  5. Spotify
  6. Android
  7. Stitcher

2. Having your RSS feed come from your website with YOUR domain in it will help you in Google search.

3. “Write your show notes for Google Search.  Make your show audio for your listeners.” – Todd Cochrane 🚒

4. Don’t try to game the system.  The more you try to game the system, the more likely it is you will get removed from some directories for whatever rule violation.  Just make good content and repeat often. There is no shortcut.

5. Ratings and reviews DO NOTHING to promote your show.  Period.

6. Being in the top XX list on Apple Podcasts will not help you much if at all.

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