PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

 

In this day and age, being on one platform is not enough to cut it for you no matter how your target market consumes what you offer. If podcasting is all about listening, then why must you have a website for it? The Podcast Peeps gives you the answer as they show why it is necessary to have one, laying down some website do’s and don’ts that will have you maximize what it can offer for you. They talk about some fundamentals and basic things about running and creating websites as well as dive into deeper issues you may encounter. Find out how to monetize, design, and market your website and podcast. Learn how to get more listeners all the while competing with other big companies and individuals.

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Website Do’s And Don’ts

We’re going to try and help everybody move forward in their podcasting journey. That’s what we’re here for. You can go to PodcastPeeps.com to sign up for this webinar. We also have a Facebook page that you probably want to like so you get updates there as well. We’re here for experienced podcasters and new podcasters alike. People who want to get started or professionals, marketers, vendors, producers, everybody is welcome. Our intent is to provide something for everybody. I’ve started as a podcaster like any of you did a few years ago. I love it so much that we ended up starting a business around it, Podetize. We’re here to help everybody move forward. This is not a sales pitch. This is trying to answer some questions you may have, provide some great thoughts.

It’s to get podcasters out there moving and making businesses.

This is Tracy Hazzard.

Tom and I started our podcasting a few years ago and we love it. It’s built our business in a way that we hadn’t thought and we are passionate about sharing that and getting that message out there and getting people moving. The one thing that I want to share with people is that it’s also very strategic and that’s why this mastermind is powerful. When you go in with intent and a strategy, we can do more with this.

We have Alexandra.

I do a lot of the operations for Podetize and for the podcasts. I make sure everything’s running smoothly and that we get everything done that you want to be done in a timely manner and all that stuff.

She’s a brilliant Millennial that is accelerating what we do. She has a vast amount of knowledge, especially for this subject so you’re going to be hearing a lot from Alexandra. We have Scott of We Close Notes.

I’ve been a podcaster for many months. Somebody called me on and said, “You did four podcasts.” Yes, I’ve been doing four podcasts when I think about it. Three are rock and rolling, one in the works if I can get Steph to rock and roll. We filmed another episode and she’s reaching out for some guests. I’m excited about that because she’s starting to see the light. She’s my cohort on one of my podcasts, Note CAMP season one.

Are you putting any of Note CAMP into a podcast series?

We did it before. Over 18,000 downloads a day on that series. We’ll be doing the same thing again with Note CAMP 6.0, turning it to the second season. We bring on a lot of new speakers. It’s not all the same speakers beforehand. There’s only about 30% that are a repeat from a few months ago. It drives sales. It drives information. I’ll give you an example. I had a training with seven people coming in for our Fast Track Training, which is a three-day intensive that we do and part of our mastermind. Three out of the seven discovered the podcast first and then went to the website and found out more about what we do and then signed up for my $15,000 Fast Track Mastermind group. If that’s a reason enough to help a little extra fodder, there you go.

Thank you, Scott. Stephanie is not with us but she is a key part of the team. What we want to talk about is your website or we want to talk about websites in general. We are going to talk about some fundamental, basic things but we’re also going to be able to dive into some deeper issues for those of you that already have a website. Don’t worry if you’re thinking this may be all for newbies, not necessarily the case. We wanted to at least start with the most common questions we hear a lot when we’re interacting with new podcasters which is, “Do I need a website?” You’d be surprised how often I hear that. Podcasts are for listeners, not viewers. This is the one that kills me sometimes, “I have a SoundCloud page or a Libsyn page or a Podbean page for my show. That’s a website, right?” We’ll talk about that.

I especially get this from a lot of people who did internet radio and then migrate to podcasting like, “Why would a listener want to go to my website?” Then, “Isn’t it an extra cost? If I have a website, am I going to be able to compete with big companies or other individuals that have a more established website? How will a website get me more listeners?” That’s an important one that we’re going to want to cover. We’re going to answer all these questions and more. This is a framework to get started. When it comes to a website, yes. Do you have a website? Yes or no? Some of you may be new and don’t have one yet, but maybe everybody does. If everybody does, that’s great. We’ll then cruise through some of the fundamentals and then get to some deeper topics. We have prepared a framework. Yes, you do need a website. Personally, I don’t think this is a matter of opinion. Do you think it’s a matter of opinion?

Look at some of the research that GoDaddy has done for instance, and that’s part of their mission. That’s why you get massive phone calls after you buy a GoDaddy web address, making sure you get your site up and running, “You have a URL but a blank page,” you’re partway there. A lot of people do. One of the big things is lots of people buy URLs because they think of a cool name, but then they don’t do anything with it. This is what GoDaddy started to research. They say like, “It’s not having an address like a business address today. You don’t exist.”

We’ve got to have something for everybody here. Let’s go over why. We’re going to go why you need a website. As a podcaster, it is the home base for your show, your community, and your listeners. To me, this is important whether you’re podcasting for business purposes or even if it’s a passion project. You still need to foster that community. You need to give them a place to congregate and to communicate with you and each other and that needs to be your website. Communicate with you, find resources that you talk about in your show, get access to links and offers that you talk about and for monetization, if that’s your goal. It may not be for all of you, but certainly your website is one of the best ways you can monetize your podcast. Whether you’re in this for business or for a passion project, you probably still want to build your community, get people on your email list. Remember, iTunes doesn’t tell you who your subscribers are.

SoundCloud, Libsyn none of those pages give you any subscriber information either because they’re hosts.

They regard them as their property because they are the conduit to the podcast episodes.

That’s the same as social media. A Facebook group is not a substitute for a website. It’s your home base. Facebook could change their algorithm, they can change a whole bunch of rules and then all of a sudden, you’re out of your luck and you’re out of people.

Use Facebook as a megaphone, but you’re always going to drive people back to your hub, your home base for your show, your website. Your site over time can become an incredibly valuable asset. There is value in what they call link equity and value in keyword ranking equity. This does have value and the number of unique visitors that come to your website on a monthly basis. All of that can translate to dollars or to more value you’re able to bring to your community, however you look at it. It also builds your authority. Maybe you are an expert in your field. I’m sure everybody is an expert or becoming an expert in something, but does the world know it? It doesn’t matter if you say it. It matters also what the rest of the world says. That can come through your website and your podcast.

We’re talking about speakers and authors. Event planners are going to look for your site and if you don’t have one, that says a lot about whether or not you can draw an audience. They care about that. Authors, if you’re not building a platform, if you’re not building a website, if you’re not building a community, how are you going to sell your next book even if your first one was successful? For most people without that community building, they can’t even hit the bestseller lists. It’s important for both.

Here’s the bottom line though. Your website can organically market your show.

When we say organic, we mean not paid. You’re not paying for marketing.

You’re not paying pay per click, you’re not paying for Facebook Ads or LinkedIn or Instagram, whatever. Here are some of the fundamentals. Will any website do? Having a website is better than not having one, but these drag and drop website services like Squarespace and Wix are not recommended. This is through a long, hard experience. While it may be easier to build a website with them, they’re limited in functionality and design. You can start here but you’re going to outgrow it quickly.

Some of that equity that we’re building, that won’t happen here because it’s diminished in terms of the value that it gets from that organic Google traffic. Think of them like they’re doing this drag and drop thing so they’re creating boxes around things. It makes it harder for Google to find the data that it needs and so it gives up faster.

We’ve done side by side comparisons. We’ve tested it, checked out the statistics and read all the articles. We know that these sites don’t rank as well as the next one on the list, which is WordPress.

This is the reality of it. We did look it up. There are several studies and articles that are out there. These sites built on Squarespace and Wix do not rank as well.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: Use Facebook as a megaphone, but you’re always going to drive people back to your hub.

 

They still rank, they have a harder time.

What separates WordPress? Why is WordPress better? There are actual articles. WordPress itself, they’ve done studies and the sites do rank better than sites that are in these other drag and drop platforms. One of the big advantages of WordPress is plugins. Plugins are pieces of code, pieces of functions for websites that other people have already written. You can find a plugin for anything you need to do functionally or anything you want to happen from a style or appearance perspective in WordPress. It’s flexible.

These plugins are what makes WordPress probably the best platform that you would want to be on because you can grow your WordPress website as big as your business or your podcast grows with you. Maybe you’re starting out and you don’t need a shopping cart yet, but you need one a few months from now because you have a product rolling out or you have a book coming out and you want to sell it directly on your website. WordPress can do that, whereas if you’re on another platform, you may be limiting yourself in what you can do. WordPress is completely customizable. You can do pretty much anything and you can find a plugin to do pretty much anything. Even if you can’t find a plugin to do it, you can find a coder who can do it. That’s why you want to be on WordPress.

Very few companies we come across, like big corporations, need hardcoded sites nowadays. It’s an old-school thing. Hardcoded sites are extremely difficult to even assess whether or not they’re ranking on Google and they’re getting the power that they want or if it’s because this big corporation already had brand power. It’s hard to tell the difference.

When I say coding, I’m not talking about hard coding a website. I’m talking about using WordPress and customizing it through WordPress coding, CSS, HTML and many others that can go into WordPress to do whatever you need it to do.

You need to grow it to a membership community or a membership site or a shopping site. Any of those things are capable straight out of WordPress. We want you to understand you’re buying something that is simple but can grow into something complex.

Squarespace and Wix can do some of these things too, but it’s not as customizable. That’s why we stay away from it in our business and what we do.

We’ve got a question, “Regarding Squarespace, Wix, etc., do we run the same risk of nerfed ranking when search algorithms change when ranking content from iTunes, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?”

We do know that those Squarespace and Wix-type of drag and drop website platforms are limited and, in general, don’t rank as well. The pages within them, especially if you’re putting up blog content and stuff, do not rank as well as they will on WordPress.

Your blogs are limited in what you’re allowed to do with your blogs. On WordPress, we can pretty much make it any layout you want. On Squarespace and Wix, when we’ve tried to do that for people, it’s almost impossible to get it to look the way you want us to make it look. You’re limiting yourself there too.

There are other things from a technical perspective and I don’t want to get into the technical weeds here now. From a technical coding perspective and Google’s spiders, crawling websites and knowing what it is that’s important to rank on or what you want it to rank on, the capabilities are severely limited on these other platforms.

It’s like, “The information for Google is here,” and that’s pretty much all that gets served up. It doesn’t go through your whole site. If nerfing means the gamer term, then you’re weakening your ability to do that. If that’s what you mean by that, then that’s what you got. That is true.

We mentioned SEO ranking benefits scalable. We have people have 100,000-plus membership website built on WordPress. You can scale quite a long way depending on what you’re doing. We also have a lot of people we find sometimes on these all-in-one podcast websites where it’s supposed to be optimized for podcasting and your podcast may be serving from your own website. These online podcast websites we’ve also found limiting, especially when you want to make something look a certain way on your site or you want to even add a plug into your own site. These types of all-in-one websites don’t let you do that and it’s your site. You have to submit a help ticket to some customer service department and ask them to install a plugin on your website and 24 or 48 hours later, it will get done. Even that amount of inconvenience is frustrating to me as a user.

Speaking your way to a blog post is a lot easier than thinking about it and typing it. Click To Tweet

Plus, we don’t recommend serving your podcast from your website because if you get too many simultaneous little requests for it or if your show gets big enough, then you could crash your site. It happens and these are one of the big reasons why. Some of these people out here putting out these podcast websites companies, they’re such small startups. They don’t have full teams. This is why it takes longer to get service. They don’t have expertise. They don’t even know when things don’t work. A lot of times we’re pointing out to them the stuff that doesn’t work. It gets frustrating because they didn’t even realize it and now they’ve got to recode something and figure it out. They’re figuring out on your dime and that’s why it’s cheap. Keep that in mind.

It’s important to note that Tom is specifically talking about the biggest one is podcast websites and there are some pros and cons to it, but the reality of podcasts websites is it’s WordPress. At the end of the day, it’s just WordPress and they’ve put their own face on it. It’s like putting on your makeup. They’ve covered it up with this branding and made it look, in their opinion, easier to use. Having been a user of WordPress and a user of podcasts websites, granted I’m a Millennial, for me it was harder to use podcast websites than it was to use your basic WordPress. They were trying to reinvent the wheel for podcasters to try and make it easier for them. In my opinion, there have been too many cons. It’s too difficult. It’s more expensive because you have to pay them monthly to host your website and do all those services to run your podcast on it. Let’s keep it simple.

Our audience member has several websites, but a website that is a podcast website that’s different and what does that have to do? The reality is if you have several websites, you want to locate your podcast with the one that’s most relevant and the one that you want to grow business too.

One thing you’ve got to realize too is our audience member doesn’t have a podcast currently. I

We have multiple websites. Many of us do. I, for instance, have Product Launch Hazzards as my podcast website. It’s my community. I’m building a community there. I chose to separate it from my Hazz Design, which is the business that I sell services to many of the members on that. I chose to separate it because I didn’t want to have a sales company in a way, a company that was selling something or a consulting firm, which is what it is. I didn’t want to have that happen and be co-located with the website that is a membership, is free and has information. I wanted it to be the community to build around this information. There is a choice and it’s strategic. If you ever need advice or want to talk about any of those things, we’re here for you to help you through that. It’s a great one for us to hot seat you here and discuss. We had another one who had their own name because they were a speaker and then they also have their business coaching brand. Which one should they locate it on? We ended up telling them that it was better for them to build their speaker brand through this and keep the sales side separate.

It all depends on what you want your listeners to do. If you want your listeners to become your clients, it might be more strategic for you to have it on your website that you already have existing for your business than to put it on a separate website. It depends on what your end goal is. Scott’s a perfect example of that. He’s got all of his podcasts on his main website and it’s benefiting him in the way he wants because of that.

Your website is your main hub.

That’s your main hub of information. From your website, you can send people to affiliate links, all the channels they can listen to your show. You can find instructions for how to subscribe. Anything there’s a link to that you talk about in your show, your offers and promotions, any calls to action which could be newsletter subscriptions, listener offers, rate and review the show. It’s often asked for and hard to get people to do it. That’s another thing we’ve been doing a lot with people is creating a specific page on their website, taking everybody through A, B, C or one, two, three and how to rate and review a show. It’s not easy to get people to do it and it’s confusing to people sometimes how to do it.

Our audience member responded back to the link. First he goes, “Tracy gets it. Something Gary Vee recommended. Anchor as a means to distribute your podcast or multi-channels. We’ve got a lot of heartburn of what the best practices are for getting the best ROI long-term. This is why we follow you guys and Scott.”

Do not use Anchor. They’re stealing your authority. That is a bad idea. Anchor claims that they own your content. You do not own it, they do and it’s a huge problem. We’ve had someone who was on Anchor and we had to help him. It was a whole mess. Don’t go on Anchor.

It can be attractive because it’s free to host your podcast, but for free you’re giving up ownership of your content among other negative aspects.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there coming from people like Gary Vee and John Lee Dumas. They’ve helped pioneer the podcast so I have to give them credit for it and they’ve done a lot for podcasters to get going. They also are making money off of the information not off of doing. If you go through it because John Lee Dumas exposes how he makes his money and you see he makes a tremendous amount of money off of podcast websites, he makes a tremendous amount of money not off of his actual podcast itself. He makes that off of the affiliations. Gary Vee does as well. Them being affiliated and selling Anchor is in their best interest, not necessarily in yours.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: What you mean is what you get.

 

Read the fine print.

That is how they monetize.

Monetization’s a whole other thing we can certainly address at some point. Let’s do a primer on if you don’t have a website because half of you don’t.

Or if you have a URL but you haven’t started the website part of it.

What should your website have? How many pages and things like that? First of all, we’re going to say keep it simple to start. Don’t overdo it. Menu items are up the top, three to five at max. If you’ve got a lot of other pages you need to have, that’s fine but then submenus are highly recommended. It gets too confusing if you have the Yellow Pages up at the top of your website.

This is because most sites need to be mobile-capable and we don’t want to see a whole giant menu at the top. That’s because that’s all they’ll see at the top.

Here’s where we want to talk about podcasting with your website that goes to a little bit what Tracy was saying before about what website or URL you put it on. At the same point on the website, we highly recommend a podcast be a part of your site, but not the whole site. It’s the ingredient, not the main dish.

Unless you don’t have any other websites and this is your site. That’s okay to do it that way because it’s better to have a site focused around what people are going to be searching for.

That’s why you build it on WordPress. As you define your business, if the podcast is the first part of that, you can grow into whatever you need.

We’re going to talk about using a podcast to drive eyes, drive people to your website. It should have a blog page. Those of you that are podcasters out there, I want to talk about how show notes and a blog page are the same thing. Show notes are a blog. The only issue is how comprehensive is that blog page. The longer it is, the better, minimum 2,500 words to rank well on Google and to start getting good keyword rankings. Your typical show notes post that’s 300, 400 words and some links or timestamps doesn’t cut it now. That’s old school.

That’s not even a blog. A blog is usually defined by being 600 to 800 or more and it needs to be more characters. 300 words don’t even rank on Google.

We’ve gotten a lot of people coming to us who are saying like, “My blog post is ready, but where are my show notes?” We called them blogs when we talk about them internally because they are over 300 words and they’re most of the time around 6,000 words because that’s what’s going to rank.

Branding is a part of the design. Click To Tweet

Speaking your way to a blog post is a lot easier than thinking about it and typing it.

Let me explain the difference between the podcast page and the blog page. On the podcast page, people are going to see what we call a blog feed. That’s where they list all of your blogs, where they can click and go read each one, listen to each one. There’s also usually some player that can play any episode of your podcast, not just one, any of them. There’s some subscribing, some join my newsletter or some call to action like that. Normally, there’s a way to find the rate and review page right there on that podcast page. The podcast page is the homepage for the podcast. Then you need a blog page separately. On that homepage, you don’t want to list every episode you’ve ever had once you get over 150, 200 episodes. You want to list the top twelve most recent and then let them go to a separate page, the blog page, to find whatever episode they need.

Starter website, homepage, blog page, services or offer page that generates leads.

It never has to be services. It could be subscribe, join our list.

An about page is where you’re going to have testimonials, credibility, your story, who are you and why should people care. Some of these things can be on your homepage as well. Personally, I’m a fan of getting to a website and having that homepage not be the podcast page, even if it’s all about the podcast. Some people do like to have that podcast feed on that first page. Either way, people are going to get there.

The about page is not something you can skip nowadays because we’re in a world of what they call real personas on Google ranking. That means that Google is saying if there’s no human involved in this website, we’re going to question whether or not it’s of any value. They do a tighter screening. They take longer to review it. Having an about page with your picture, with your information, all of that is going to put you up into a better positioning with Google to begin with. That is already going to catapult you. Having your podcast allows your voice to be a part of it. Now, you’ve got even additional ranking and additional information coming in through Google at the same time.

Pro tip newsflash, those of you experienced podcasters and some of you that have websites and are doing long blogs, you’re going to be happy to hear we have learned from some of the foremost SEO experts in the country. We have learned periodically Google goes through an algorithm shift in how they rank sites and content. They are going through one again. They’re moving to this concept of personas. There is a company we work with that has over 1,100 revenue-generating websites and they are scrambling to get ready for this algorithm change because a lot of their websites don’t have a real persona, a human being behind them. All of you with podcasts or all of you that are considering starting a podcast, a podcast is ideal for having a persona that is the foundation of the website or that the website is built around. Your content, if you already have one, is going to continue to rank high if not rank higher. Those of you that don’t have one yet, you need to incorporate that.

Remember that question about how to compete with the big brands? That’s how you’re going to compete. There are brands or authority websites with no people behind them, with blogs that were written overseas. It happens all the time. You’re going to be able to compete against them because the algorithm is shifting in your favor. This is why a podcast is the best idea to be putting onto your website.

In fact, overall the years we’ve been doing this podcasting with websites like this with the written blog posts for every episode, every Google algorithm shift that’s happened has not hurt, D-ranked or D-listed any of ourselves or any other people we work with. It’s only helped them and it makes sense because it’s original content.

Typically, you’ll have a 30% shift in traffic. You’ll either lose 30% of your traffic if you were doing some Google no one knows and you’ll get 30% more each algorithm shift. That’s what we’ve seen as we’ve seen about a 30% growth each time. We’ve been through five of them at least.

There are tools you can use to look up how many Google algorithm shifts there’ve been. It happens every couple three months usually. Some are major, some are minor. Let’s talk about website style. We get a lot of questions about that. Here’s the thing, clean, crisp, easy to read, clear direction. Alexandra can touch a little more on this, but I want to say don’t overdesign a website.

I want to add that you’re talking about not just easy to read on the computer and whatever browser you’re using because there are multiple browsers that people use. You want to check all the browsers and you want to check mobile. That is important because a lot of people choose these fine, thin, light-face typefaces and you can’t read them on your phone.

They choose a black background and go with the white text. That’s a lot harder to read for a lot of people. You’ve got to think about that stuff. Be cautious of podcasting themes and plugins. When we’re talking about website style, I love to use Scott’s website as the ideal example. It’s a white background. It’s got black text. Green is his accent color, which green equals money in our minds and equals go. It gets people’s brains psychologically excited to click on whatever’s highlighted in green. It’s also easy to read and understand. He’s got it clear. He knows what he wants his site visitors to do. He’s got a clear direction for them on how to get there and he leaves it at that and lets the rest take care of itself.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: Your website is your main hub.

 

A lot of people try and be like, “I need to have all of my elements on my website. I have to have me on my website, everything that I am and everything that my business is.” You don’t. You need to make sure that your listeners and your visitors know where they need to go to get the information they want to get from you. You need to make sure that you’re capturing those peoples’ information so you can reach out to them and serve them up that content. That’s why we say clean, crisp and easy to read. Keep it as simple as possible and be cautious of the podcasting themes and plugins. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of these existing podcasters, longtime standing podcasters using podcasting themes. They come to me and they say, “Alex, I’d love to change how my blog page looks. It’s forcing my podcast player to be in this spot and I’d like to move it down.” I go, “Sorry, I can’t change it because you have a podcasting theme. In order to change that one aspect, I have to completely change your theme.”

We would require custom coding of an expensive CSS or PHP coder which is not something any of us, even if we’re building our own websites are going to do or be. It’s talking about doing surgery.

Those of you who are starting out and you’re going to build a website from scratch and it’s your first, you don’t already have an existing business. You don’t already have communication with your audience. You don’t know who your audience is so do not overthink the logos and all of the branding behind this. Do not spend too much money here. I’m of the real opinion that if you spend more than $5,000 on a starter website, you have way overspent. Branding is a part of the design, people think about that. I call it a hypothesis brand. You want to spend a little less money until you know who your audience is. If you find out your audience is all Millennials, you have a better idea of how to redesign your site.

Website resources, here are your options. You can do it yourself. WordPress, you’ve got to get to learn it. There are lots of tutorials and YouTube videos available. The problem is if you’re anything like most of us, it’s a time suck and you don’t have time. You should be spending time working on your business, not in your business. Maybe you’re bootstrapping it and you’re starting out and that’s what you got to do. If you’ve got the time, by all means, more power to you. Tracy’s done it. You’ve built a few websites, but no longer. We don’t do it anymore.

Tracy and I have both done it multiple times and we taught ourselves. It can be done.

On Fiverr, FreeeUp, Upwork, you can hire somebody. Hire a local Millennial or maybe your niece or nephew or something. By all means, nothing wrong with that at all. It’s another option for you. It’s cheaper, but you need to be prepared for it not to be a priority.

GoDaddy and Network Solutions and those companies that you buy your URLs from also have inexpensive packages. Granted they’re simple sites and you have to be careful and ask the right questions about the plugins and everything.

Be wary when you’re doing that because, for example, GoDaddy has a, “Easy-to-use website-building program, but it’s not WordPress.” You’ve got to be careful that you’re buying the right thing. Read the fine print. If you don’t know if you’re buying the right thing, send me an email. I’ll point you in the right direction.

You can hire a professional web development company. It can be very costly and they can be overbuilt.

This is the number one complaint we find. There are some great web development companies out there who do some tremendous services in terms of when you build complex sites. They also are comfortable in their coding world that they are in and they like to push you into what they want and not necessarily what’s best for you.

The thing is if you then later need to hire another company to do work on that website, you can end up spending a whole lot of money having company B figure out what company A did trying to make what you need. There are times and places for them. In fact, our Podetize hosting platform is heavily custom-coded. You can’t get away from it when you’re doing an advanced function like serving podcasts.

We need security. You also need to put them on contract to be responsive to you when you need changes. That’s what most people don’t do. They hire the web development company and then they walk away from it. Now they can’t get their changes and they can’t get fixes made in any timely manner. That’s a big problem.

If you’re paying more than $5,000 for a website that would cover what the vast majority of your need, you’re paying way too much. $5,000 may even be significantly too much.

$5,000 is too much even if you’re building a membership website. For what you guys need, you do not need to spend that much.

The other part of that is if it takes more than four weeks, you’re taking too long.

That’s the other thing. We encounter many people, podcasters who needed a new website and they figured they have to have the website done before they launch their podcast. That’s debatable, but it’s a good idea if you can. They pay a company $2,500, $3,500, whatever it is and then nine months later they still don’t have a website. That is inexcusable. A website can be built in two weeks to four weeks maximum, even complex with a lot of information.

The simple kind, that’s the kind you need. We have a question, “What range to pay for website development?” If you’re not doing membership sites or stores on it, you should pay a $3,500 or less is what we think. If you go too cheap like we’ve had some that are $1,500. They’re simplified that you don’t usually get what you want.

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When you ask for what you want is where the nickels and dimes start adding up or a lot of dissatisfaction of what you thought you were going to get. What the company was willing to do for that amount of money, there usually are major disconnects. About $3,500 for good, custom, fully-WordPress site with whatever functions you need and five or six main pages and completely detailed for all you need. Two to four weeks is all it should take.

We can go ahead and specifically let people share their questions and stuff.

Let’s promote Peter up so we can talk to him because I want to ask him questions.

We’ve got to give Peter big congratulations because he had his interview with Lewis Howes.

Peter, how are you?

I’m doing well.

You’re using Anchor now?

Yes.

Are you hosting on Anchor?

Yes.

How many episodes have you done?

Twenty.

You want to examine your terms of service and your contract and confirm if what you are signed on for is the same as the others that we have. It probably is where they own your content, which is problematic going forward. If that’s acceptable to you, fine. If it’s not, then it’s not too painful to switch hosts. There are still ways to monetize even if you don’t use them.

All hosting services, ours included, but Libsyn and all of them offer transition. They’ll move you. If you don’t have rights to it, that’s another problem. You have to definitely read your terms of service. What does that mean? If you have your raw audio, someone could re-edit it. If the file is there and then it’s in two places and you have to pay a little extra money to have somebody else edit it or edit it a second time. Are you doing yours?

I’m recording it separately, downloading it onto the Anchor website and then uploading it from there. I have all the raw audio files. I’m not using them to host. My first one was where it was right through Anchor and my guest had to download Anchor as well to record it. All the other ones have been through a different program and then I’ve downloaded the MPEG onto the Anchor site.

That may help you from the fact that you do have your files because that’s what they won’t give up. If you wanted to try to get the files off there, you can’t. You’re in a better place and those that recorded directly.

They may have the right to continue to make it available if they want to. I don’t remember. Do you know, Alexandra, about separating from Anchor?

We’re going to have to read the terms again because last time I did it, I had a customer who lost it. He wasn’t allowed to pull his files from Anchor and so he started fresh. I don’t know exactly what the terms are because you have them, what the rules are on that. I’d have to go read the terms and conditions, which I can do for you and get back to you.

If he’s the creator, he should own the inherent copyright in it. You think he could re-syndicate it elsewhere.

Alex, can you look up Peter’s show? What’s your show called, Peter?

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The Travel Wins.

If you look that up, Alex, does it have Anchor on their cover art? What happens is that they’ve circumvented your iTunes listing. They’re serving it to iTunes and they control that. You won’t get any notification through iTunes or you won’t have access to that. They’re syndicating for you and they’re also circumventing that. That was one of the problems we had with a client moving them over was that all of a sudden they found out that we couldn’t move them, we couldn’t transition them. We had to start them fresh. That’s part of the problem there because you can’t redirect.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: If it takes more than four weeks, you’re taking too long.

 

Everything’s fixable. It’s a matter of how painful it’s going to be.

You definitely do want to own your content.

Own your content and have full rights to it to do whatever you want with it. If you evaluate your contract, terms of service and it’s not meeting your needs now, I’d rip the Band-Aid off sooner rather than later. It’s only going to get more painful the deeper you get into your show.

You’re at a stage where you’re getting bigger visibility. That Lewis Howes, that’s a big deal. It’s time for you to have a place because you want those big names to come to find you and go, “This guy is legitimate. I want to be on his show.” That also is the important part of your website is that it is a place for those high-level guests that you want to invite on to check you out and check out your authority.

That was my question with the website. Right now, I’m not selling anything. I have no monetization whatsoever. I have no services to sell. I’m simply providing a podcast for people who travel for work and that’s it. I haven’t focused on a website because I’m not selling anything, but there are some other bigger name people that are saying, “Send me the link.” I would like to have a website to send it to them.

That’s what you need to offer them because a lot of podcast guests are looking for that link back to their sites. If you don’t have a website to link back to them then you’re not as a value from a PR standpoint and from being a great show to be on. You’re not providing them any more publicity than the podcast alone. That’s why we love video, audio, and the blog provides them three levels of publicity and they like that. That’s how we can attract better and stronger guests for our show.

Even fundamentally on getting new listeners for your show, here’s the reality of it. While there are increasing numbers of people listening to podcasts now and every month and you’re going forward. Podcast audiences continue to grow. That is true. However, there are a lot more people interested in your subject of people who travel for work who are searching on questions they have, areas of interest, pain points they have regarding that in Google Search. When they search in Google, they’re not going to find you near as well. Even though you have a podcast and maybe each individual episode’s title may have been indexed by Google from Google Podcasts or iTunes or somewhere and might show up in a search. Everything that you say within your episode in that MP3 file is not indexed anywhere. Google doesn’t pay attention to that and your show won’t come up because of that. Having a website and having a blog post for every episode that is based on what was said in the episode, those posts will get indexed by Google and they will come up in those Google searches. That’s how all those people searching on Google who don’t know about you can find you. It is organic marketing, even to get more listeners if nothing else.

For instance, I was in Hong Kong and I typed into Google while I was there because I didn’t have time to listen to a podcast. If I had planned better, I probably would have. I typed into Google, “Where to shop in Kowloon?” A bunch of blog posts that pop up and if a podcast had popped up, I would have gone, “I’m going to bookmark that. I’ll listen to the podcast later but I’ll go through and see what they suggest.” That would have been fantastic because I’m a podcast listener. It would have been served up to me likely and I would have checked that out.

The blog post can lead to your podcast because every blog post will have a track player within it that has that episode. People can listen right there if they want.

They can sample it and then say, “I want to subscribe.”

Video is increasing in popularity and exposure and it’s great. How many of our customers recorded their stuff as video? It’s probably a quarter, but it keeps increasing. Scott’s certainly doing everything as video because it gets more exposure. Whether you’re recording your podcasts as video first and then it becomes a podcast or you’re recording audio, either way it doesn’t matter. Still, the blog post is critical for organic search traffic to your website.

As an example, with Feed Your Brand, our podcasts for podcasters, when we first started, it was a straight podcast and then I started doing Facebook Lives occasionally. Our Facebook Lives are more popular episodes because we’re getting traffic through there than we’re getting it on the website. We’re also getting it through the podcast. We’re getting it at three levels. We put them up on YouTube, so we get YouTube traffic from it. They’re our more popular or higher-ranked episodes. Even within a show, we’re seeing better traffic from our video episodes, so we do more of it now. Sometimes it’s that convenient.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: Everything’s fixable. It’s a matter of how painful it’s going to be.

 

Scott can speak to that too. Your total audience is a certain size. Your podcast audience versus your video audience, is it about split? What can you share about those numbers?

I could share specific numbers of whatever you’d like to see. I’m constantly tracking this.

I want to note update on the Anchor issue. It seems that when you record through their program, they own it. If you’re uploading, they can’t own it when you do that legally because you’re the one who originated it and upload it. If you’re recording it on a separate program and upload it to their hosting, then it is not owned by them.

Should I switch?

They’re still stealing your authority with the way that they push your show through it. They’re still putting it more under their umbrella than yours.

They’re not putting their logo on your cover art though. I checked.

I asked them to not. It came up when I started because only the first episode was through Anchor. It asked me subsequently when I was uploading if I wanted their logo on it and I said no.

You only have one episode on Anchor then? I would take a recording of it, play it and record it.

I’d like to burn it because it was my first one. It was bad.

You tested it out and you won’t play that one again. You can always delete them.

That’s my number one listened to podcast though. It’s the first one that comes up.

You would benefit to getting a website going for you because then you have a place where people can come to you as the authority on the travel and everything you talk about. The website can be an opportunity too for you to put some directory or top travel to places that you talk about on the show. Things like that can become your subpages so you can be more of a resource for your listeners aside from listening to an episode.

That will be a faster way to monetization on your show eventually.

One thing Lewis said to me, to grow faster would be to try and get attached to a Travelocity or an Expedia or something like that and say, ‘The Travel Wins Podcast Show by Travelocity,’ and then they would sponsor it that way. That would get you faster versus growing organically.

There are lots of other travel-oriented websites that do not have a podcast associated with them. If you were willing to allow your podcast and then the written content from each episode to be posted on that site, you could get another site to pay for professional production of your episodes. You didn’t have to do it even to get them to monetize as a sponsor or even get other sponsors to it. If you’re not in that place where you feel you need to own it all and to have the ability to monetize it yourself, if you’re willing to share that with another company, you may get some revenue for them for your time to do it if that’s of interest to you. There are plenty of websites who would love to be the home for your travel podcast.

Weren’t we talking with another company about that?

We were talking with a flight attendant who wants to start a travel-related podcast, a different focus than yours. We were researching and finding there are other travel-related sites that would be happy to, at minimum, incur all the cost, pay for production, make it easy for you to do what you do and not cost you anything. They benefit from the web traffic and the written content because they’re going to monetize it. There may even be opportunities to revenue share where you get paid essentially for doing this. Think about that. There are options.

You would certainly get paid for advertisements that were placed on the show. You benefit from the website as well. That’s future for you because you’re in a good niche.

My question too is would I want to set up a contract with those people where I still own the content? Would they want to own it?

That’s going to be the debate and the give and take. If they’re going to incur costs, they’re going to want to make sure that they get a return on that. The content may need to continue to live on their site, at least the written content. You can probably get permission easily to have the podcast audio be available on your own website if you wanted to. With any relationship like that and the ones that we’ve been helping people with, they don’t want to edit their own shows and deal with doing that. They want to have them professionally done but they don’t want to pay for it. Another company can pay for that, subsidize that cost but they need a benefit too. Usually, that means the contents are going to reside on their website indefinitely.

A lot of them want a year minimum on contract. It also helps you build it up and figure out what are you going to sell? What am I going to do? What’s my attraction? Get you to a place where you have 100 episodes or 50-plus episodes if you’re only doing one a week. It gets you to a stage at which you’re ready to go off on your own and do what you want to do next with it.

It could help build your credibility and then you do another a year from now or a couple of years from now.

We have a question, “Are your Facebook Live sessions then being posted to your podcast host?” I go on and I do a Facebook Live. There are lots of people who do them on a regular session, like every Monday at noon they do one. I don’t do that, I’m random. It’s whenever I feel it and I’m available, I go on Facebook Live. I recognize that not everybody’s going to be on and doing live, they’re going to watch the recording. As soon as I’m done with that live session, you go back to where it says that the recording is going to be available in a few minutes. As soon as it is, there are three dots in the corner and I download the video instantly. That’s it. That’s all I do. I load it up to Podetize and Alex will tell you what happens next.

We were dealing with a client and they’re a DIY client. They upload their own videos or their Facebook Lives to our system to send it to iTunes and everywhere. He was uploading the video files and he was like, “My last five episodes are not on iTunes. Why aren’t they on all these places?” I end up assuming he did it right, contacting iHeartRadio and Spotify and all the support people and being like, “What’s going on? It’s not updating.” I’m saying, “You guys messed up and didn’t update my client’s feed even though it’s up to date.” They all come back to me and saying, “It’s because they’re video files.” Make sure you’re not uploading your video files. They have to be audio files. iTunes does work for video. It’s the Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, TuneIn, all of those other ones that are only audio platforms.

You upload an MP3 file to be distributed on those platforms. You record your Facebook Live. It’s easy to strip the audio from that and save it as an MP3 file and then upload that to your podcast RSS feed, your podcast host.

What is the tool we use to do that?

There are several tools. We use one that isn’t available anymore. I have one called Convert To MP3. It’s a little program that runs on Mac where you drag and drop any media file, video, audio of any kind and it will convert it to an MP3.

There are also free online converters. You’ve got to make sure you’re getting the right ones.

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Convert To MP3, I still use it but it’s no longer supported and made. Every time I upgrade my Mac OS, it tells me this program is not optimized for this operating system. One of these days it’s going to break and no longer work. It’s simple for me but there are a number of different converters. Most of them are free, pretty easy.

That’s the difference is because we are a production house and a host, our clients can upload the video and it gets converted through us. That’s why it’s a little bit different with us normally, but if it’s in the DIY section where you’re only hosting with us and you’re not having us produce, you have to put up the audio file as an MP3.

MP3 is the podcast standard and for the foreseeable future will be, I see no hints of that changing anytime soon.

There is a difference is that your MP3, if you’re going from the raw Facebook Live, doesn’t have bumpers on it. It doesn’t have your intro and outro. It doesn’t have little music transition and things like that. That is something that our system will be able to do for you in the future. Stay in touch with us if you want to use our hosting. We can do that automatically within our system so you don’t have to learn any editing software to do that yourself.

You’re hosting program, in essence like Anchor, where I send you my file and then you put it out to all the platforms?

You upload the file to the system and create a post with a title and description. Once you publish it, then it automatically goes out from our system to all of those different platforms.

We syndicate to all of them. The more you’re on, the more listeners you’re going to capture because they have their preferred platforms. Not everyone’s an iTunes listener. I’m not. I like Google Podcast best. I also can’t find everybody on Google Podcast, so then sometimes I use Stitcher.

With a basic website for a podcast-only page, would it be just an about me and then a listing of my podcasts?

If you were to say five pages, I’m a fan of an About Me page so that they know who the host is. They know about you. I’m a fan of having a separated podcast page from your homepage. Your homepage might be the top couple of episodes and it might be what they would call blogroll page. I like that there because you’re providing the information first. That’s why people are coming to you because you’re serving up a podcast and they want to check out your latest episodes. Having a player page, like how to subscribe to the show but have the player all in one place, they can look at others, you can have that as a separate page as well. The other page that I like for you to have if you want to be a guest on my show and have a form. It’s a little more professional or you can even have an application. If you want to ask a few questions, you can even put that right in that form. That always looks a little more pro. You do have a place for people to send them a link to get to it and being able to schedule with you if you choose. You could send that separately later.

Do you guys set up the SEO parameters on that?

Anyone who sets up a website should be doing that automatically and it’s set up in those pages. They’re set up and configured to bring the SEO to the name of your show and your name. Those two things matter the most in your pages overall. The blogs themselves send people to the contents and people to the information and the keywords that your site will become associated with. It’s a little bit different than it used to be. You have to embed all these hidden words. No one does that anymore. It doesn’t work and you don’t need to. It’s about what your site is about and that’s why you want to have like, “Here’s what my podcast is about. Here’s what you’re going to get from me. Here’s our mission, to get you great travel information from insiders. The next time you’re in business, you can enjoy yourself and get your business done,” whatever that message is.

A good tip if you’re Facebook Living then take it off. Make sure you put it on YouTube. We talked about YouTube in the last episode. We talked about how Scott stats are going on YouTube and Vimeo. This is important to be able to maximize the search that’s going on in those video themselves in the video world. We have a question, “Should there be a place to subscribe to your podcast on your website or is that only on iTunes, etc.?” Alexandra has been going through clients and doing it. Building pages to show people how to subscribe because it’s not clear. When you ask your listeners to subscribe, you want to instead send them to your page.

There’s something called the smart podcast player that we use. On that player, there are little three dots on it that indicates more because that’s the new standard symbol for more on the internet evidently. You click it and it shows you subscribe. You hover over it and it and it shows all the links to where you can subscribe. However, they don’t have Google Podcast and they don’t have Player FM or Spotify. There’s a few of them that they don’t have. That’s why I’ve been building this because I realized that was the gap in all of our clients’ websites. Scott’s going to be getting my email to introduce him to what I’m doing to get it.

What I want you to understand is people cannot subscribe to your podcast on those different platforms on your website. They have to subscribe within an app on their phone or within the app on their laptop, like if you have the iTunes app or iTunes desktop that you can subscribe there. If you’re using the app, it will push to your app because you did it on the desktop. Subscribing to podcasts is not easy for the average people to do or the inexperienced people to do. There are several steps to it.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: When you are in a good niche, then that is a future for you.

 

The ones who come to your website first, keep in mind because if they came to you through iTunes, they’re already iTunes users. It’s a little bit different there.

You’ve got to tell them where to go. We are proponents of having a mini tutorial on your website, showing them screenshots and instructions of how to do it. Using sock puppets telling them, “Here’s how you do it.” Otherwise, not as many people will bother to do it. The other trend that we’re seeing for those of you that are new, a lot of people want to execute a strategy to get as high in the rankings on iTunes as they can. iTunes is one of the only and the major platform that has the top 200 podcast in every category that is listed. Those rankings are active and change daily based on a combination of factors. The most significant one is downloads. There are also ratings and reviews and the amount of time people listen and all that stuff.

A lot of people are executing this strategy in the first couple of months of their show, although it’s syndicated everywhere. When you work with us, we put you on twelve different platforms standard. They only advertise and solicit people to subscribe on iTunes in the beginning. If you’ve got multiple places you’re sending people to subscribe, the ratings on iTunes only come from people listening through iTunes or Apple Podcasts app or anything like that. To rank faster, you may want to drive people to iTunes initially. The reality is if people are regular podcast listeners on Spotify or regular listeners on TuneIn, they’re going to know they can go find your show and they’ll go search for it on their favorite app or platform anyway. In terms of new people that may not be attached to a way to listen yet, if you want to try to rank in and get up in those rankings. We have had two shows launch on our platform. Each get into the top 200 within the first week driving as many people to listen on iTunes as possible. It can be done early on in the show. Go ahead, Alexandra.

The thing that I’ve started doing on iTunes, this is our description that we put on iTunes. It’s also the episode description that we put at the top of the blog post. When it pulls into a blog feed, you can read it. This is the only thing that goes to iTunes. At the bottom of the blog post is also what we’ve been putting below the description on iTunes as well. It’s in a different place on the blog post, but on iTunes it’s right under that paragraph. At the bottom, it says, “Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share. Here’s how.” It also says, “Join the Feed Your Brand community,” and lists all of our social media links. They can find us wherever they want to on social media. I’m going to share with them exactly how to subscribe, rate, and review. How to subscribe to our podcast? Seven of the platforms have buttons. I’m working on getting a button together, but we have to create them for a couple of the other platforms because they don’t provide buttons. This is where they can subscribe. They can click any of these links and go subscribe right on those channels. It’s easy for them to understand where to go.

We have how to rate our podcast five stars. The images are customized. The background is only used on our Feed Your Brand podcast. When I did it for the other podcasts, we just launched, we changed the backgrounds, changed the colors, and made it their brand. This is Feed Your Brand, where to search it. It’s how to rate and review step-by-step for them, that way there’s no question how to do it. We go and show them on iTunes and then Stitcher. Those are the only platforms. iTunes in the iTunes application and the Apple Podcast app both can do it and then Stitcher can do it. I make sure this is available to everyone. I got it down to a formula where I can go ahead and offer that to create it for you. I needed to make sure I had a lockdown system before I offered it. We’ll add that little call to action where it says, “Come subscribe, rate and review. Here’s where you can find us on social media.” We’re going to put that in every episode description. Every platform you’re on, it says it in every episode description. We’re going to create that page for them. You can do that yourself too. It’s easy to do. You don’t have to have the fancy graphics. We have a graphics team at our disposal so I can have them customize it for each person. If you don’t have a graphics team at your disposal, you can take simple screenshots and put screenshots in those places instead.

Thank you, Alexandra. We want to mention that these are the things that we want people to maximize and utilize the techniques that we’re using. That’s why we’re sharing them with you. We happened to do this for us. If you happen to be one of our clients, you’re going to get it done for you because that’s what we believe in. Telling you should do this and get you to do it are two different things. The faster we do it for you, the faster you’re going to benefit from it, the more your show is going to grow and that helps the whole community. That’s what we believe in. That’s why we’re here serving you.

The podcast description is a short paragraph of information about the show that goes in the podcast app. It’s displayed there when you look at each episode. You can read what it’s about. She talked about our social media links and other things that were down below and that rate and review that you can, I want to make it clear. In your podcast description, no matter where your podcast is hosted or served from, you can put standard HTML links in your podcast description. When somebody is looking at your episode in their app on their phone and there’s that social media link on Facebook, they click it, it’s going to open up Facebook to your Facebook page. Whatever you’ve linked to, it’s going to go to your browser if that’s where it is. If it’s an internet link, it’s going to jump over and link people right there. That’s convenient and highly recommended if you’re not using a boilerplate standard at the end of your description. Key bullets and links to anything about you, your website even. All that stuff can be in there and it’s powerful.

PPM 03 | Website Do's And Don'ts

Website Do’s And Don’ts: The more you’re on, the more listeners you’re going to capture.

 

You copy and paste it each time at the bottom for your show.

Add whatever’s new above it.

Your show has some of that information, but it’s hidden. It says website over to the side on iTunes. You have to navigate to it and find it and it’s a lot harder to find it on mobile than it is in iTunes. You want to definitely have it in a place on each episode when they’re within an episode that they can find you.

That also reminds me that on the Apple Podcasts app, they have a link to the episode page and you want to be wary of that. You want to make sure you’re capturing their attention to go to you and not to that episode page. When Apple did one of their software updates on all the apps, they added that feature and all of the hosters like Libsyn, Podbean, Anchor send them to the page on your host’s website of the episode. We have no control over where that link goes. We’re working within our team to internally try and hardcode it to tell it where to go, but it’s taking time because Apple didn’t warn any of us. I do know Libsyn and Podbean and all of them, it’s going to their websites and not to the podcaster’s episode blog. There’s no input for it. You can’t tell it where to go. It’s super important that in your description, you’re telling them where you want them to go to find you, otherwise, they’re going to click that link and go to Libsyn and be like, “There’s nothing here. It’s the player. I play in the Apple app anyway.”

Tim Bush is one of our partners on Product Launch Hazzards and a good friend of mine. We adore his podcast called On The Shelf Now. It’s his website, but On The Shelf Podcast is for those who want to launch products into Costco and Walmart and all of those things. It’s a great show. We have fun because Tom and I get to occasionally do a panel with him. We have a lot of fun on the show. It’s a great show.

We will be sharing next time with our guest directory. Tracy will probably talk about it a little bit on the webinars she’s doing. We are finalizing our guest directory and we’ll be launching it in time for your webinar. The next episode as well, it will be ready for you guys. We’ll share with you when that’s ready. If you want to be listed as a guest or a host, you’ll be able to do that.

That’s what our focus will be for the next mastermind. We’ll talk about guesting, choosing good guests and some of those things. That way we can have a deeper discussion on it and where to find them. If you’re having trouble, this is a great time to ask us questions about how we do it and help each other and get some insights into this guesting model of that and the guesting side of podcasting. That will make our focus.

Tracy’s webinars will be more lecture-y and more, “This is how to do it and what we do,” and not so much mastermind session. It can be more a question and answer-based and deeper dive into your specific questions.

Thank you for joining us for the third edition of the show. Don’t forget to let other people know about this. Think about any questions you might have. Try and let us know ahead of time. We can even consider that for next time.

If you can’t make next time, send us one in advance. We’ll still answer them and you can read the blog.

If anyone has any questions in between masterminds, feel free to post on our Facebook page. We’re always on there. I’m posting there about the masterminds. We can also have discussions on there as well if you need help in between sessions.

Thanks, Alexandra.

Thanks for joining us on the show.

Thank you.

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