How to Include Podcast Download Links in a WordPress Website (In 5 Steps)
In a world that is constantly advancing, podcasting has become one of this generation’s most popular media outlets. However, part of running a successful podcast is making sure your audio-based content is accessible to as many people as possible, while you can keep track on your listening stats.
One way you can do that is to set up download links for your podcast in your podcast website. While this may seem like a complicated process, it’s actually very easy to do in WordPress. Direct podcast download links can help you avoid confusion and optimize the listener experience. If you already have stats provided by your podcast host, downloading the episodes from your website would still count, so you have nothing to worry about.
In this article, we’ll explain why setting up download links for your podcast in WordPress is a smart idea. Then we’ll show you how to do it in five easy steps. Let’s get to work!
Why You Should Set Up Download Links for Your Podcast
Every podcast needs a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed, which is a web feed that gives users and applications access to website updates in a standardized format. Essentially, it lets users stay on top of numerous websites in one news aggregator.
Your podcast’s RSS feed will contain information about your show and its episodes, which is automatically sent to podcast directories as direct feed links. Below is an example of what a podcast RSS feed looks like behind the scenes:
You might wonder how this is relevant if you use streaming services to promote your podcast. However, not every listener streams media, and some prefer downloads. Therefore, you may be unintentionally denying some listeners easy access to your podcast.
Essentially, an RSS feed serves as a ‘middle man’ for downloading all of your podcast’s content. The process of creating download links is simple, and can help you maximize your listener count.
How to Set Up Download Links for Your WordPress Podcast (In 5 Steps)
Now, let’s take a look at how you can configure download links for your WordPress podcast in five easy steps.
Step 1: Hosting Your Podcast Audio Files Online
Any podcast needs to host its audio files online somehow. The easiest way is to use a dedicated podcast hosting company (there are many free and paid podcast hosting companies), but you can also host the files yourself if you’re more comfortable with it. A podcast host is essentially the one in charge of ensuring your audio files (and RSS feed) are always accessible at high speeds across the globe.
Your host will often provide the podcast’s RSS URL, and once you have this link, you can easily import your podcast to WordPress.
Regardless of which host you use, you’ll want to set up an account and follow their instructions. During this process, you’ll likely be asked to select one or more categories to feature your podcast in. This is important, as category selection affects where and how podcasts rank.
Step 2: Import Your Podcast Through a WordPress Plugin
There are numerous plugins that let you launch a podcast on your WordPress website. We highly recommend importing your episodes via the Podcast Importer plugin:
This tool imports your podcast into WordPress posts or a custom post type. It also supports other popular WordPress podcasting plugins, including Seriously Simple Podcasting from Castos – another one of our favorites.
After you install and activate the plugin, you can import your podcast by navigating to Tools > Podcast Importer:
On this page, you can enter your podcast feed URL and fill out all the necessary details. When you’re done, select Import Podcast.
Step 3: Select Where to Distribute Your Podcast
The goals of podcast promotion is to distribute your show to as many platforms as possible, especially the most popular ones. According to Statista, among the most commonly-used apps for listening to podcasts are Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts:
Of course, you’ll also want to target the platforms where your specific audience is most likely to reside. So it’s worth your time to do some audience research at this point, and determine the best options for connecting with potential listeners.
Step 4: Customize Your Podcast Player on WordPress
If you have a good WordPress theme for podcasting, you’ll likely find some customization around the audio player. In our themes, we make it easy to change the colors, style, and even controls of the podcast audio player you have on your website. By default, we include a download button that you can use to enable your site visitors to download any episode directly from your website.
Beyond the default audio player, you can also import embed audio players if you prefer. Some providers include a download link but not all do, so you can add a separate link manually if that’s the case.
Step 5: Promote Your Podcast
Distribution channels are the most common way to promote your podcast, but using websites and social media to advertise your show is also a smart idea. To optimize your WordPress website, we recommend using a premium podcast theme:
Using a theme built specifically for podcast websites will provide you with a plethora of helpful features and tools, such as the option to add direct download and subscribe buttons. It can also make your podcast look more professional.
We recommend you also distribute your podcast in all major platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more. For more details, check out this tutorial for a full breakdown of how to distribute podcasts
You might also consider reaching out to family and friends to ask them to listen, share, and rate and review your podcast. The more platforms you’re leveraging to get the word out about your podcast, the better. These platforms also present an opportunity to build relationships with others in the podcasting community, which can help with your promotional efforts.
When you’re starting and running a podcast, it’s essential to make it shareable. Adding download links within your WordPress theme can help you get noticed in popular podcast directories, maximize your audience reach, and improve the listener experience.
As we explained in this post, you can set up download links for your podcast in WordPress in just five steps:
- Use a podcast hosting service or host the audio files yourself to create an RSS feed for your podcast.
- Import your podcast into WordPress, using a plugin such as Podcast Importer.
- Select which channels you want to share your podcast on (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.).
- Set up your distribution channels.
- Promote your podcast via your website, social media, and other online platforms.
Podcasts will only do well if they’re effectively presented and easy to access. Fortunately, at SecondLineThemes we offer the most advanced WordPress podcast themes. Check them out today, to see how they can help boost the appearance and functionality of your podcast website!