How to Start a Podcast Blog: Can’t Miss Way to Add Subscribers

Blogging and podcasting are powerful on their own, but combining them offers multiple platforms to attract and connect with your target audience. You also get two platforms for monetizing your content. That’s why we want to introduce you to the potential of creating a podcast blog.

And, combining them isn’t too complicated. There are several strategies for combining blogging and podcasting to grow your audience.

You can leverage your podcast episodes for your blog by transcribing your shows into blog posts. You can then create supplementary blog content to fill in informational gaps in your podcast shows. On the other hand, you can host your podcast on your blog post and provide a transcript. Cover longer content on podcasts and summarize it as a blog post.

Although setting up a blog is simple, it can seem quite complicated, especially if you do not have prior experience. Below is a detailed guide on setting up a WordPress blog to accompany your podcast. The article covers:

  • How to choose your blog niche
  • How to register a domain name for your podcast
  • Domain name hosting and purchase
  • Selecting your WordPress theme
  • Essential WordPress plug-ins
  • Essential pages for your blog
  • Creating your post categories
  • Writing your posts
  • SEO Basics

Choose a Podcast Blog Niche

Since you are setting up your blog to accompany your podcast, the right niche is that of your podcast. If your podcast content is too narrow or too broad, you can make your written content broader or narrower, respectively.

The ideal blog niche should be:

  • Related to your podcast
  • Interesting for the relevant audience
  • Have plenty of content to write about

Choose Your Podcast Blog Domain

Once you decide on your blog niche, the next step is choosing and registering your domain.

A domain has three main parts:

  • Protocol: http
  • Subdomain – www
  • Root Domain – consists of the domain name and top-level domain (also known as domain suffix or extension).

Since, in most cases, the protocol and the sub-domain are standard, let’s focus on choosing a domain name and a TDL for a website mainly dedicated to your podcast.

How to Choose a Podcast Domain Name

If you dedicate your blog to your podcast, the domain name should be the podcast name or contain the podcast name. If you want to make the podcast only a part of your blog, you can have a different name for the blog and have a dedicated page for your podcast episodes.

Keep in mind that search engines use keywords in the domain name to rank your website. If sensible, use a keyword that describes what your podcast is about in the domain name. Refrain from using the keywords in a spammy way as Google’s algorithm is likely to penalize you for it and use your podcast brand name instead.

Avoid using hyphens on your domain name. They come in handy to improve the readability of your domain name, but search engine algorithms see them as spammy, which could decrease the ranking of your domain. Similarly, do not use numbers. They make the domain name hard to pronounce.

Your domain name should pass the radio test, meaning that you should be able to spell it out when they hear it. This is a key marketing and branding tip for your podcast blog. It means that people who hear the domain name either through one-on-one conversations, word of mouth referrals, or cross-promotion on other podcasts can easily search and find your blog or podcast.

Other tips for choosing a podcast domain name include:

  • Should be pronounceable and easily readable
  • Should be brandable
  • Keep it short
  • Should not infringe on existing trademarks and copyrights

How to Choose a TLD

The most popular top-level domain (TLD) for websites is .com. Most podcasters suffix the title of their podcast with the words “show” or “podcast followed” by “.com”. While this strategy works, you may find that the domain name you are interested in is already taken. In such a scenario, try out other top-level domains (TLD).

There are three main types of TLDs:

  • Generic – These are the most common type, and the most popular include .com, .org, and .net. However, they also include:
  • generic options such as. xyz, .info, biz
    • Niches – . mom, .money, .motorcycles, .real estate, etc.
    • Company names – .oracle, .mistubishi, .google, etc.
  • Sponsored –  These are affiliated with a certain entity. It could be a government, business, military, university, etc. Examples include .gov, .mil, .edu etc.
  • Country Code –  These represent a certain country, like .us, .uk, .de, .cn, .ru, .jp, .ca, .uk. among others.

Namecheap.com recommends using generic TDLs that preempt the domain as a podcast website. They include:

  • .FM
  • .Show
  • .Live
  • .Report (works best for news podcast)
  • .Today (Suitable for podcasts that cover current events)

You could also use an appropriate niche TDL for your podcast. For example,

  • .tech
  • .money
  • .health, etc.

Ultimately, your domain should identify your podcast and style and be easy to remember. .FM., .Show, .Live, .Today, .tech, .money, .health, etc. types of TDLs are edgy and unique. They enable your podcast blog to stand out. Your podcast domain name is more likely to be available with these TDLs.

Buying and Registering Your Podcast Blog Domain

multiple domain extensions for podcast blog
Source: Pixabay

Once you have your domain ready, the next step is to register it. The first step to registering your domain name is identifying a reliable domain registrar accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Buying a domain name registers it automatically.

We recommend Namecheap. The company has been in existence since 2000 and has had over 11 million customers. It offers all the features and range of services you need to buy or transfer, register, and host your domain.

Namecheap has a powerful domain search tool that enables you to ascertain that your preferred domain name is available. Otherwise, it suggests other possible names. The company also offers add-ons such as hosting, privacy, premium DNS, and WordPress hosting plan, among others.

The price of Namecheap domains starts at as low as $0.99 per year. They offer free domain transfer or a free domain if you buy any of their hosting plans. You can also search their website for some popular domains and buy them at a bargain.

How to Purchase a Domain Name on Namecheap

  1. Go to Namecheap.com
  2. Search your domain name on the search bar provided.
  3. If it is available, add it to the cart. Otherwise, search for a preferred alternative and add it to the cart.
  4. Checkout to finalize your domain registration.

Hosting Your Domain

Once you have bought a domain name, you need web hosting to store your website files. Think of your domain as your address on the internet that can be accessed through a browser. Hosting is a server where your website content is stored and retrieved for access by your target audience.

You can buy your domain name and web hosting from the same or different providers. If you buy web hosting from a different provider, you will need to link it to your domain name.

One of the best web hosting service providers is BigScoots. They offer a range of web hosting plans including the Real Managed WordPress Hosting Plan, making it easy to set up your blog.

Choose from four hosting plans (Starter, Professional, Business, and Enterprise), depending on your hosting needs. All plans offer free SSL certificates, free email, full account management, DDoS protection, proactive monitoring, free backups, website staging, enhanced security, and site analytics.

Setting Up WordPress

The particular steps for setting up WordPress depend on whether you are self-hosting, using a free WordPress account, or third-party hosting.

While you can use a WordPress account, it limits you on the type of themes and plugins you can use. We recommend using third-party hosting as discussed above unless you can self-host. Follow the steps provided by your web host to set up your WordPress account.

Selecting a WordPress Theme for Your Podcast Blog

Once you have set up your WordPress account, you can access your dashboard. The next step is to install and customize a theme.

Your WordPress theme controls the features and overall outlook of your website. You can easily change the theme later without affecting existing content, but you want to give your website a good start by choosing a suitable theme.

There is a wide range of WordPress themes to choose from. Some are free, while others you have to pay for. Great theme options for a podcast blog include Astra and GeneratePress.

GeneratePress optimizes your website’s accessibility, stability, and speed. It provides an incredible 100%-page speed score and is also highly compatible with most plugins.

It is versatile, and you can use it for different types of blogs.

It is one of the first-ever block-based theme builders that allows you to build your entire website without having to touch even a line of code. The block elements are quite dynamic and give you the freedom to layout your website however you like.

You can also upgrade to its premium version, which offers hundreds of customization options.

Like GeneratePress, the Astra theme is stable, lightweight, and fast. It comes with pre-built websites that you can customize easily and allows you to turn off the page title and sidebar, providing you with ultimate design freedom. You can change the colors, layout, and header options as you like. Update to the pro version for more customizations.

Steps for Installing Your Preferred WordPress Theme

  • Go to your WordPress Dashboard
  • On the menu, click on appearance
  • Select themes then add new.
  • Select your preferred them and click on activate.
  • The theme will download to your web hosting service and immediately change the appearance of the blog.
  • Edit and customize to your liking, preview it, then save and publish.

Customizing Your WordPress Site

Most WordPress themes come with pre-installed default settings. Therefore, the first step to customizing your website is to change the default settings. The most crucial changes to make include:

1. Reset the Password

Once you have set up your WordPress account through the web-hosting service, you will be issued a default password. Change this password to make your website securer.

To do so:

  • Go to “Users” on the dashboard menu.
  • Under “Your Profile”, scroll down to “Account Management”.
  • Click on “Generate Password”.
  • A new password will be generated. If it is hidden, click on “show”.
  • Copy and save the password securely for future access.
  • Click on “update profile” at the bottom of the page to save the new password.

2. Change Your Site’s Tagline, Title, and Time Zone

Here are the steps to follow:

  • On your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings”.
  • Select “General”.
  • You will be presented with a range of settings.
  • Go to “Site Title” and “Tagline” at the top of the menu and “Time zone” at the bottom of the menu.
  • Change the site title from the default “My WordPress Website” to a title relevant to your podcast or keyword. The title helps with search rankings.
  • Then, change the WordPress tagline from the default “Just another WordPress site” to one explaining what your website is about. Do not skip this step! You don’t want to be relegated to the wasteland of WordPress noobs and have this as your tagline. Trust us.
  • Finally, change the time zone from the default UTC to the time zone that a majority of your audience lives in.

While on the settings, you might also want to uncheck the membership checkbox to prevent spammers from registering on your website and accessing your login details.

3. Delete Default Posts, Pages, and Posts

The standard WordPress layout comes with dummy content as a placeholder for your content. You can delete it or edit it.

  • To delete default posts, go to posts, then to all posts, and click the trash link for each of the outlined posts.
  • To delete sample pages, go to pages, then to all pages, and click on trash on each of the outlined pages.
  • Finally, to delete the default comments, go to comments and delete the default comments.

Improve Your Website’s Functionality with Plugins

Like themes, there is a wide range of free and premium plugins that you can integrate into your website to improve its functionality. The essential WordPress plug-ins for your podcast blog website include:

  • WP Rocket: This plugin is a powerful caching tool that ensures that your website loads up fast-improving SEO ranking and increasing conversions. It is only available in a paid version with different payment plans depending on the number of websites you have.
  • ShortPixel. This image optimization plugin compresses your PDF documents and images to boost website performance and ranking. It supports most image formats, including JPG, PNG, PDF, GIF, Aviv, and WebP. You can choose your preferred level of compression. It is a premium plugin with different payment plans, including monthly, yearly, and one-time payments.
  • UpdraftPlus. A WordPress backup and restoration plugin that allows you to schedule automatic backups. It helps to prevent website issues such as crashes, hacking, and untrustworthy updates. It enables you to restore backups instantly with a single click. It is available in both paid and free versions.
  • Grammarly. It checks your content for grammatical and spelling errors. Note that there is no Grammarly WordPress plugin. All you have to do is install the Grammarly extension on your web browser and it will automatically check the content on your website. It is compatible with Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Chrome. There are free and PRO versions, with the PRO version giving you access to more proofreading features.
  • WordFence.  It is a web application firewall and malware scanner that picks up on malicious traffic and blocks it. The plugin also gives you security and login alerts. It is available in both free and paid versions.

How to Install WordPress Plugins on Your Podcast Blog

To install plugins, follow the following steps:

  • On your WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins”
  • Select “Add New”
  • If you want to install a free plugin from WordPress.org, search for its name on the search bar provided. Identify it on the search results and click on “Install Now” then “Activate”.
  • If you want to install a premium plugin that you have already purchased, click on “Upload Plugin” and upload the zip file that you received when you purchased the plugin. Install it then click on “Activate”.
  • You can install more plugins or uninstall existing ones through the “Plugin” tab.

Create Essential Pages for Your Podcast Website

setting up a podcast blog on a laptop
Source: Shutterstock

The essential pages for your podcast website are Home Page, About, Podcast Episodes, and Contact Us. You may also include a lead capture tool and a blog.

Home Page

A home page is an introductory page for your website. It is usually set as the default page, and you can incorporate various elements from your other pages on this page. For instance, you can add a brief note about the website, links to most recent episodes and blog posts, or a few quotes from podcast listeners.

About

As the name implies, this page gives your audience and website visitors an overview of what the website is about. In this case, it should describe your podcast. Talk about how often you publish a new episode and where people can listen to them. You may also talk briefly about yourself and why you started the podcast.

Podcast Episode Pages

You want a page dedicated to your podcast shows so your target audience and website visitors can access them easily. You can easily embed your podcast episodes for podcast recording or publishing websites such as Spreaker, Soundcloud, and Libsyn. Once you have embedded the podcast on your website, your audience can play it from your website but the content is stored in the podcast directory.

You can use the podcast episodes page as a catalog for all your shows or create subpages for each episode. In the latter case, it would be great to include a podcast transcript or write accompanying blog posts for each podcast episode to leverage SEO.

Blog

A blog is essential for attracting podcast listeners and nurturing existing ones. Blog regularly, at least once a week, about topics in your niche and relevant to your podcast.

You can build upon topics that you covered on your show or topics relevant to a given episode, but you did not in the episode. You can also dedicate written content to addressing questions and comments that came up for existing episodes. You could also write about the topic covered in the upcoming episode to warm up your audience and create interest in your audio content.

Lead Capture Tool

This one does not need a dedicated page, you can incorporate it into your various pages. One of the benefits of having a website is that it helps you build an email list of your audience. An email list is critical for marketing to your audience and keeping them engaged.

The best way to incorporate it is to use a lead capture WordPress plugin like OptinMonster, WPForms, SeedProd, PushEngage, and Formidable Pro. These tools help you to set up an opt-in form or enable you to offer your audience some valuable information in exchange for their email address.

Contact Us

The Contact Us page should provide your listeners, potential collaborators, and sponsors with contact details they can use to reach you. It could be an email address or a contact form they fill out. You can also provide your phone number and links to your social media pages.

Create Your Post Categories

Creating post categories for your blog posts and podcast episodes organizes your content for easy access by your audience. It also improves SEO ranking. There are several ways you can categorize your content. The most common strategies include:

  • By Category e.g. you can have a category for blog posts and another for podcast episodes. You further categorize your blog posts and episodes according to the topics covered.
  • Alphabetical Indexing. Your catalog is categorized in alphabetical order, according to the first letter of the content title.
  • Restricted Categorizing. Set up special categories as you deem fit.

How to Create Post Categories on WordPress

  • Go to your WordPress dashboard
  • Go to “Posts” then “Categories”
  • Create a new category, write the category description, and add category subcategories where applicable
  • Then, assign post categories using the following steps:
    • Go to the dashboard
    • Go to “Posts”
    • Click on the posts you want to assign to a category
    • Go to the post settings in the right
    • The various category options will expand
    • Check the category you would like to assign your article in
    • Publish the changes

Writing Your Posts

Here is a simple process for writing your first post:

1. Create a New Post on Your Dashboard

On your dashboard, click on the “Add New” button. A new post page will come up on your window.

2. Write a Title for Your Post

In the space provided as “Add title”,  write a post title. It should be interesting and engaging to capture the attention of your audience. It should also include keywords relevant to the content covered to improve its SEO ranking.

3. Write the Post 

Provide relevant information about your topic in the post. Organize your content in short paragraphs and subheadings to enhance readability. Whenever sensible, include some images in your post.

4. Publish

Proofread your post for any grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. Preview it to confirm that everything looks right and then publish.

SEO Basics for Your WordPress Blog

When setting up your website and writing new posts, it is important to ensure they are optimized for search engine visibility.

Before writing your first post, do keyword research to establish relevant topics you can write about that have considerable search volume and low.

You can use various tools, such as Ahrefs, UberSuggest, and Keywords Everywhere for your keyword research. Check out “Answer the Public” to get a sense of the type of questions that your target audience is asking about.

Also, ensure your website settings allow for search engine visibility. On your dashboard, go to “Settings” then select “Reading”. Scroll down on the page on the right to “Search Engine Visibility”. Ensure that the “Discourage search engines for indexing this website” is unchecked. Save the changes.

Conclusion

Creating a website offers numerous marketing benefits. For instance, it helps to attract new listeners, nurture and connect with existing listeners, build an email list, and build your brand. Starting a WordPress blog for your podcast is a worthwhile investment that will help your podcast stand out, build your brand, and generate revenue.