How to Create an RSS Feed For A Podcast
You’ve learned how to start a podcast and are creating the content for your podcast. If you enjoy what you do, love the art of the podcast, you want to maximize your listener base. If your listener enjoys your content, they’re also going to want to find an easy way to come back.
The really simple syndication, or RSS feed, is the solution to both of these problems, allowing content creators to reach listeners, and listeners to find their favorite podcasts on their favorite podcast platforms.
What is a podcast RSS feed?
A podcast-only RSS feed sends audio content across the internet, hitting all sorts of directories and updating them as new content creation occurs. An RSS feed will push your audio content to your listeners, so it is front and center in their podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
Podcast RSS Feed Requirements
- Show Notes
- Explicit Rating
It’s highly recommended to include a full transcript of your podcast episode in the show notes of your podcast. It’s easy to get your podcast transcribed with Rev, and copy and paste the transcript into your RSS feed.
1. Hosting the Podcast
To create a podcast RSS feed URL, you first need to host your podcast. There exists a variety of tools to make this possible, each of which you should check out. These include:
WordPress via PowerPress
This is a very popular tool to create an RSS feed for any type of podcast. If you have a website running on WordPress, this works easily as it is a plug-in for the platform. You can publish your podcast, get your RSS feed URL through it and away you go.
Another common and popular service is through RSS.com. When you enter the site, you create an account first. From there, you begin to add audio files of your podcast to the dashboard, adding a description as well. You will then have access to the RSS feed URL through the service.
You can upload your audio files to Soundcloud and create an RSS URL with their platform.
Squarespace offers rich podcasting abilities with the ability to create a blog with an RSS feed with all the recommended podcasting data.
Can You Create an RSS Feed With Any Website Host?
You do not need any special type of website to create an RSS feed. If you go the independent route, you can pretty much use any type of site to craft your RSS feed from scratch.
Creating an RSS Feed From Scratch
You also have the ability to create an RSS feed from scratch. If you already host content on a website, you have a server, you then can also host your podcasts and create your RSS feed. RSS Builder is a great free and open-source RSS creation program to do this. With the program, you can upload your podcasts to your website and manage the feed independently.
With the RSS Builder application, you can start by creating a new feed, giving it a title, and adding in the URL to your website. You then enter a description of your feed and queue it up for generation. As you add content, enter the unique URL to each piece of content to the RSS feed. Once you do this, you can create an XML file that allows folks to subscribe to your RSS feed.
Here are examples of recommended RSS feed XML markup:
2. Upload Podcast Files to the RSS Feed
Now that you understand how to create an RSS feed for a podcast, you need to then upload your podcast audio content. Your RSS feed only picks up the new content you create and upload.
If you go the route of independence, you want to be sure you are uploading your new podcast files to your website, to the same URL which the RSS feed is pulling from. As you upload new podcast files, add the URL to those files to the RSS feed through RSS Builder so it recognizes the file addition and pushes it out to podcast distributors like Google and Apple.
With a hosted podcast platform, you simply upload your new podcast content as soon as possible. If you use RSS.com, upload a new podcast to the platform and the RSS feed picks it up.
3. Submit a Podcast RSS Feed to Distributors
The goal for any podcast is to be available on as many platforms as possible. You want to submit your RSS feed URL to Google Play, iTunes, and other platforms to reach audiences on all these platforms.
How To Locate Your Podcast RSS Feed URL
How do you locate your podcast RSS feed URL? You may be in a situation where you already have a website hosting your podcasts, or you already set up your RSS feed. Now you need to locate the URL for the RSS feed itself to submit to the major podcast distributors. You can do this by working through your various podcast tools.
If you are using a site or service such as RSS.com, you want to go to the site to pull down the RSS feed URL. If you are using the PowerPress plug-in for WordPress, accessing the plug-in reveals the RSS feed URL.
If you want to learn more about all the tools and their options available, check out PowerPress for WordPress, Squarespace’s RSS Feed for Podcast tool, as well as the SoundCloud RSS Feed for Podcast tool.
Connecting the RSS Feed URL to Apple Podcasts
If you want to get your RSS feed available on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), you need to rely on a service known as iTunes Connect. Heading over to the iTunes Connect page, you need to sign in with your Apple ID. Once on the platform, clicking on the iTunes Connect dashboard gives you access to a button to add your RSS feed. Once you add the feed, you click on the “validate” button and a validation step takes place. Pending the validation is a success, the RSS feed adds into the iTunes system.
Connecting the RSS Feed to Google Play
You need to start by visiting the Google Play Podcast Portal. Once you make it to that area, you click on the button to add a podcast. Take your RSS feed URL and paste it into the text box field. You then verify you own the RSS feed via your e-mail, review the information, and click on the publishing button. The Google Play Podcast platform will review all submissions before acceptance and publishing to the distribution tool.
Optimize the RSS Feed for Podcast Distribution
Optimization is pivotal for any RSS feed. The RSS feed is the foundation for your podcast distribution. You can have the best podcast in the world, but if you don’t optimize for searchability, you might not be heard.
Adding a solid description for the RSS feed and adding an audio transcript in the show notes is valuable.
The best way to do this is to get your podcast transcribed by Rev for $1 per minute of audio content. You created the content, now get it consumed by users with an optimized RSS feed!