The WP Mayor Podcast

Starting a Podcast with Castos

In this episode, Jean and Gaby talk to Craig Hewitt about starting a podcast with Castos, a podcast hosting and production service. 

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Even in 2021, it feels like everybody has a podcast, but the percentage of podcasts to blogs, websites, or social media accounts is minuscule. 

In this episode, Jean and Gaby talk to Craig Hewitt about starting a podcast with Castos, a podcast hosting and production service. 

At Castos, Craig comes across people who got their start on some other channel and want to expand to connect with more of their audience. Podcasting is one of those content channels.

Episode Highlights and Topics

  • Target Audience: Castos is for podcasters and creators who value, appreciate content.
  • Where’s podcasting popular? Mainstream in the U.S., but catching on quickly elsewhere.
  • Podcasting Process: Audio file is attached to RSS feed (i.e, list of associated site items).
  • Recommended Podcast Platforms: Amazon, Google, Apple, Stitcher, and Spotify.
  • Call to Action: Website brings people back to one place to engage and comment.
  • Video vs. Audio-only: Podcasting is super efficient in creating content in multiple ways.
  • Two Flavors of Transcripts: Castos’ transcriptionists or machine-generated AI transcripts.
  • Listener Demographics: Depends—everybody is different when consuming content.
  • Cost: Don’t buy the best or most expensive equipment; spend $10,000 or less to start.
  • Common Questions: Why are you podcasting? What do you want to achieve? Who’s your audience? What are they interested in? What are they worried about?
  • Castos Process: Sign up for an account, give your podcast a name, upload first episode.
  • Castos Stats: Track popularity, number of listens, top episodes, and listening platforms.

About Craig Hewitt

Craig Hewitt

Craig is the founder and CEO of Castos where he leads a team of 16 immensely talented individuals from all over the world towards their goal of creating the best podcasting platform in the market.  He lives in Annecy, France with his wife and two children.

Resources/Links

Transcript

Jean:
Just to kick-start off this first episode, Craig, why don’t you go ahead and tell us a bit about you and Castos, and we’ll take it from there?

Craig:
My name is Craig Hewitt. I’m the founder of Castos. We’re a podcast hosting and production service, a software as a service with a service, I guess. We’ve been in business in total for about six years with the software platform being around for just over four years at this point. We’re a team of 11 people all over the world. They’re excited to dive into things from there.

Jean:
Who is the main target audience for your service? How do things work once people sign up?

Craig: Our target audience is podcasters, content creators, much like yourselves. Folks that know and appreciate the value of content usually are people that are creating some other form of content first. A lot of people come to us have some in-person presence, a blog, a YouTube channel, social media and want to expand that to start a podcast. 

Here, even in 2021, it feels like everybody has a podcast, but the percentage of podcasts to blogs, websites, or social media accounts is minuscule. We’re still seeing a lot of people come in here who have gotten their start in some other content and are looking to expand the number of ways that they can connect with their audience, and podcasting is one of those. 

We have a lot of folks that podcast about their hobbies and their passion projects—sports, anime, and church groups, a lot of businesses like you and I, and a lot of big businesses too. That’s who we serve.

Jean:
Interesting. I know you’ve traveled a lot. Do you think that podcasting is quite a US-based phenomenon? Do you see people listening to podcasts? How do you see the markets all over the world? By that I mean, there’s obviously the English market, English-speaking podcasts, which are the most dominant podcasts. I’m wondering both in terms of other languages and also in terms of people around the world and how they view podcasts.

Craig:
That’s a really good question. By way of background, I’m from the US and I live in France. We’ve been here almost 5 years. Podcasting is definitely much more of a mainstream thing in the US. We were just back there for about a month, getting our COVID shots and seeing family. You’d hear podcasts on TV shows, in the news, and all this stuff. 

Here in France, a lot of people that we talk to when I say I run a podcasting software platform, and they say, oh, like Spotify? You’re like, no, not exactly. I think the word Spotify is definitely a big difference. In the US, the vast majority of people listen to podcasts in some way associated with Apple Podcasts. Whether it’s one of these third-party term apps that scrape Apple Podcasts, or Apple Podcasts itself integrated into your car and stuff like that. Here in Europe and most places outside the US, Spotify is the dominant distribution network and with younger people. 

In terms of the creation side of it, I do think that it’s catching on quickly outside the US. Latin America is probably the fastest-growing segment, but certainly, Europe and Asia are growing very fast as well. I think that’s probably consistent with how a lot of other forms of content have propagated. A lot of things start in the US and then flow down from there.

Jean:
You said, Spotify is the main distribution network in the US?

Craig:
Outside of the US, it’s Spotify. In the US and with older demographics, it’s Apple Podcasts still. 

Jean:
That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought of Spotify that much. Let’s talk about these networks. Once someone records a podcast, how do they get them on YouTube, Spotify, and all the other places? Do you have to do a manual thing, and which ones are worth putting the podcast on?

Craig:
The way that podcasting works is it’s all driven by this concept of an RSS feed. Folks savvy with websites understand what RSS feeds are. It’s just a list of items that are associated with the site. Podcasting just attaches an audio file to that RSS feed. That RSS feed is the thing – and I’m doing air quotes on video here – that you submit to establish that connection between your hosting platforms like Castos and the directory like Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Every time you publish a new episode or change the cover image on your podcast in the hosting platform where that RSS feed is generated, publish an episode or update the cover image, it’s reflected in those directories like Apple Podcasts or where people are subscribed automatically. It’s that one-time connection you have to make to submit your podcast to these directories and then from there, everything is automatic. It’s all managed on the hosting platform level. 

The places that we really suggest that people get their show distributed to – we mentioned Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher. From there, there are a couple of secondary platforms that we recommend folks submit their shows to to pick up some of the longtail listenings. We have a blog post that we can link up in the show notes here about podcast directories. 

Then you mentioned YouTube. YouTube’s a really popular place for people to consume content. Most people think of it as video first, but at Castos, we have a feature that takes audio podcast episodes, converts them to video, and publishes them to your YouTube channel and playlist. It’s a really nice way to say, hey, I only want to create an audio podcast, but I want to have a YouTube presence for my show, and it does fill automatically.

Gaby:
You mentioned all the various platforms where you can place your podcasts, but you also mentioned the hosting platform. I know Castos is primarily that. Do you always need a hosting platform? Can it be self-hosted?

Craig:
Yeah, you definitely need a place to host. It can be self-hosted. The origin story of Castos is that we started as a WordPress plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting. I actually acquired the plugin from its creator. With Seriously Simple Podcasting, you can set up and manage your podcast on your WordPress site and theoretically host the audio files on your WordPress site. 

Of course, it’s not ideal for the performance of either your podcast or your WordPress site, especially if you get a lot of episodes or a lot of volumes, but it’s certainly possible. But you need a place to host your podcast, whether that’s a hosting platform like Castos, using Seriously Simple Podcasting on WordPress, or I’m sure you could go write your own on a static site and host your files on Amazon or something like that. You definitely need a place for your files to live.

Jean:
In terms of YouTube, for example, people tend to leave comments and provide some interaction on YouTube. Is this something that you see also with podcasts? Is there some workflow that you would recommend to handle all these incoming comments and replies?

Craig:
Yeah. It’s platform-specific. I think this is one of the fundamental differences between YouTube and podcasting. With YouTube, everything is on YouTube. The files are hosted, distributed, and people are listening all on YouTube. Podcasting, even though you can say 80% or 90% of the listening happens on Spotify or Apple, there are a bunch of other places that people can listen. 

It’s important that in a distributed network-like podcasting – as you’ve distributed the nature of listening – to bring people back to one place, to engage, and to comment. For us, that’s always your website. We have deep roots in WordPress. We pretty strongly believe everyone should have a website for their podcast. We love WordPress and believe that is the place that you should have people come back to. Say, hey, if you have comments or questions about this episode, drop in a comment for the blog post that goes along with this episode. 

That’s the call to action that we suggest, and shoot an email to us. Most people can set up an email address associated with a domain and say hey, shoot us a message, on, for example, [email protected] There is the ability in Apple at least to leave a rating and a review. Those are really great forms of social proof. I think of a review like an Amazon review. If there’s a bunch of reviews that are five stars for a podcast that you’re looking at, you’re much more likely to subscribe to it. 

It’s something we really recommend for folks who are just getting started, especially, if it’s like, hey, go and seed your shows listing with a handful at least of good ratings and reviews, have your family and friends go rate and review the podcast. It’s just a great way to get that initial social proof that then hopefully goes from there.

Jean:
One nuance with the reviews that I found is that they are country-specific. In my case, my audience for my podcast is quite international, maybe I get a few comments in every single European country. If you’re in Slovenia, you won’t see any reviews there. Probably if you’re in Malta, maybe you’ll find a few just because I’m Maltese. It’s very fragmented, whereas in the US, you get all the US-based comments. Is there any solution to that or is it just the way Apple works?

Craig:
I think mostly, it’s the way that Apple works. I certainly have folks know differently. I’d love to hear it. I think it’s rooted in Apple and podcasting coming from iTunes, which is a store that has all these local country-specific commerce rules associated with and that’s why the iTunes Store or the Apple Store is country-specific. Podcasting grew out of that and still has all that technical debt associated with it.

Jean:
I was wondering, where does podcasting fit in for content creators? Let’s say I’m a blogger and I’ve been left behind in the times because I’ve been blogging since 20 years ago. Now there’s social media, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, podcasting, which one do you think should I be considering after blogging? Is there a specific niche where podcasting really fits in? One follow-up question to that would be, how do you see the video versus audio only?

Craig:
I’ll tackle the last one first because it’s easiest. We’re recording this right now. We’re on Zoom. We’re recording a video. It would be quite easy for you to just clean this up a little bit and publish this to YouTube as an interesting piece of content. We have our faces, you can see us. I’m talking with my hands a lot just because it’s what I do. It’s just more engaging than the tool. 

We have our YouTube Republishing where you record just audio and it gets converted to a fixed background image. We have that because a lot of people don’t like doing videos. I think I would leave it up to the person. But if you have the ability technically and you’re okay with your face being on the camera, doing native video is better if you’re going to be putting it on YouTube. If you can’t, then a tool like our YouTube Republishing is great just to have that YouTube presence for people to find your show there, then connect with your brand, and come back to your website and stuff. 

I think that answers the first question. It’s like, okay, if you’re just blogging, what’s the next logical step? If you can achieve two things with one piece of content, which would be a video call where you extract the audio for the podcast and then publish the video to YouTube, it just seems to be the most efficient form of content creation. I would even flip the question on its head a little bit and say, for this, we will create a really nice blog post for you all. You’re going to use our Castos production services for this show and we will create a really nice blog post for this episode. You’re getting that written content as well. 

We’re going to talk for 45 minutes here today and then you’re going to get a blog post, some social media content from our service, an audio podcast, and a video for YouTube all in 45 minutes of content. If you’re like a Superman or Superwoman writer, I can’t write a blog post in 45 minutes that’s worth a -. To be able to do this and have three or four really great pieces of content, I think a lot of people are coming to podcasting because it’s just super efficient in terms of creating content in multiple different ways. Then you can throw on something like an email newsletter that can even be auto-generated from your blog post, your show notes. That’s covering all your bases in one fell swoop. That’s how we like to think about it.

Gaby:
Is the blog post more of a transcript or is it edited? 

Craig:
That’s a really good question. There are both options. In our services, even within transcripts, you have two flavors of transcripts that you can get from Castos. One is we have a team of transcriptionists in-house that transcribe word for word. They listen and they’re professional transcriptionists. 

We also have machine-generated AI transcripts. Those are obviously faster and cheaper, but you sacrifice some accuracy. They’re 95% accurate, but things like proper names, words, and those kinds of things are sometimes misspelled. You have two options there. Typically, the show notes or the blog posts that folks generate for a podcast are written summaries. It’s not a word-for-word transcription.

You certainly can and a lot of people do embed the transcript in that blog post. Generally, it’s a summary of what was discussed. If we look at it in a Google Doc, it’d be a page and a half – 700 or 1000 words, something like that -that serves as a nice contextual bit of written information about what the podcast is about. 

Gaby:
That’s great. 

Craig:
The show notes typically include things like links to someone’s website, their personal site, the social media handles, or resources. I’ve mentioned the podcast directories article. The idea is folks want to be able to go back and get this resource you mentioned. Say, hey, Craig mentioned this thing, I want to go find it. Let’s go and I’ll click on that link, go to your website, sign up for your email list, all those kinds of things.

Jean:
These show notes would be automatically shown in the app you’re using to listen to the podcast?

Craig:
Yup. 

Jean:
Is it across all the platforms we mentioned like Spotify and YouTube?

Craig:
It is, yup. 

Jean:
All right. With regards to transcripts, is this an SEO thing more than for people to actually read the transcript?

Craig:
Yeah, it’s a bit of both. It definitely provides an SEO benefit. You think a typical transcript for a 45-minute episode is 12–15 pages, as opposed to a page and a half for written show notes, but also for accessibility. Folks that are hearing impaired that want to consume the entire bit of content that you have for your podcast can read the transcript. It’s also just faster. A lot of people say for podcasts they listen to infrequently or spotty, if they have transcripts, they’ll go and look at the title of the episode, who it’s with maybe, scan the transcripts. If it’s interesting, they’ll listen to the whole episode.

Jean:
I had one more question. How do you see the demographics in terms of listeners? Do younger people listen more or less to podcasts? For example, in my case, I like to read more than to listen or watch. I’d say reading is my first preference, but then I love podcasts because I can fill in the downtime. 

While I’m working out, while I’m on the train, or washing dishes, I can put in the podcast and manage to consume an extra hour or two a day of content, which is awesome. Video, I’m not that keen on and I never had the patience to view a video podcast especially. I’m wondering whether you see any difference in the demographics there.

Craig:
I think that the lame answer is it depends. It depends on the person just personally. Even within our distributed tech world, everybody is a little different. What you described is maybe the most common, but even things like audiobooks throw a wrench in that stereotype or classification. This is maybe unfair, but maybe a younger generation would be more likely to listen to something than to read. 

I think we’re old now, I’m 40. We don’t represent the younger generation anymore. We’re more likely to read. I’m the same way, I read. I don’t commute. I walk the dog, go for a run, and stuff like that. I actually listened to fewer podcasts than I did before when I was traveling more. I read more than anything else. I watch a little bit of YouTube, but I know some people that YouTube is their main form of content consumption. 

I think that there isn’t a right answer across the board. I think that people will find their audience tend to read blog posts, tend to listen to podcast episodes, or tend to consume things on YouTube. From a content creator perspective, if you know that or if you’re able to find out about your audience, then that tells the strategy of where you should focus your content efforts. The plan that we talked about before where if you create a podcast episode, you’re doing video, and it’s going to get transcribed or have a blog post created for it, then you’re covering all your bases and connecting with your audience on all those fronts. 

Jean:
Good point, I agree. If you know your audience and the type of content, that really helps. Perhaps, it’s not so much a question of age groups or demographics and more about the kind of content you’re producing as well. In terms of audiobooks, I’ve always found it hard to concentrate on a book. If I’m doing something else like driving, I just miss a minute or 30 seconds just because there’s a zebra crossing and I need to stop and focus so I’m not killing anyone and then I find it hard to go back. Whereas with podcasts, you can miss parts of it. It’s less compact in terms of information so you can miss a few seconds here and there and go back to it. 

In terms of someone who’s convinced about doing a podcast but doesn’t know where to start off from, now a service like yours simplifies things a lot. What is the technical setup required? What is the bare minimum to make things work in a semi-professional way?

Craig:
I think it’s really a good point is that you can go crazy with researching the best mics, preamps, and all this stuff. We have conversations with, especially, folks that have a music background or a media background and they want to spend $10,000 to get their podcast set up. I’m very blue-collar basics when it comes to this. I say, get a mic. I use a Samson Q2U. Before that, I had an Audio-Technica ATR2100. If you can find either of those mics these days, with COVID, they’re sold out for years, I think. They’re about $60, $70, $80 on Amazon.

Jean:
There’s actually a good point to mention here. In the US, I believe the ATR is under the Samsung brand or the other way around. That’s the same microphone, but you won’t find it under the same name. 

Craig:
I know they rebranded it or the new model 2100x is what it’s called now. Either way and really just in general, these are USB mics. They plug in right into your computer with an adapter if you have one of the new MacBooks. That’s it. That’s all you really need.

We’re recording on Zoom. Everyone has a Zoom account. It’s okay, there are some better tools. We use a tool called Squadcast for recording our podcast episodes. It records both video and audio. It’s really high quality. Then you need a place to host the podcast like Castos. 

We really like people to have websites, a place that they own that they can ask people to come back to to connect with them, join their email list, buy a thing, join their community, whatever it is. We have a really extensive blog post on the details of how to start a podcast that we can link up, but that’s generally, from a technical and gear perspective, what you need. 

I think the more important question is why are you podcasting? What are you trying to achieve? Who are you trying to serve? What are they interested in? What are they scared of? What are they worried about at night? Answering a lot of the typical content questions of who’s your audience. How are you trying to serve them? How does that work? 

In the first episode like this, the next episode, and the next episode, how are you going to build that story arc to bring people along in the journey with you? This gets into a lot of the art of content creation more so than the technical nuts and bolts of it. That’s an enormous topic that I think there are people better served to talk about. I think it’s really worth considering. What’s your podcast about? Who’s it going to serve? What are the first 10 episodes going to look like? 

If you don’t have those sketched out and an idea, at least, about what they’re going to be, you probably should. That’s the nuts and bolts from a gear and setup perspective, and then a bit of the beginning of a content plan. 

Jean:
Okay, very interesting.

Gaby:
Once someone signs up for Castos, is there a procedure they should follow? Do you do a video call with them? How easy is it to start?

Craig:
Yeah, I hope it’s really easy. We do a lot of work to make it really easy because like we’re talking about, there are a lot of misconceptions and things that are unclear about podcasting in general. We do a lot of work to provide a lot of content, guidance, and value along the way. We have a free video academy, academy.castos.com, that walks through the whole process – videos, tutorials, guides, downloads, and everything.

You sign up for an account, you give your podcast a name, and then you upload your first episode. That’s really the real essentials of what you need to do. From there, we give you this RSS feed, and then you need to submit that to the podcast directories. That’s glossing over a lot of the details, but those are the few big steps that you need to take.

Gaby:
I imagine you have to upload your artwork, your intro music.

Craig:
Yeah, the artwork goes back to the RSS feed. The pieces of the RSS feed that you need are the title of the podcast, what’s the name of it. Enter your name as the host, the artwork. This is that square image that you see on all the podcasting apps. It should be 3000×3000 pixels. From a creative perspective, it should be something that stands out, easily recognizable on brand with the rest of the stuff you have going on with your colors, logo, fonts, and things like that. 

If your personal identity is closely tied to the brand, your face should be on it. There’s a lot of people that want to sit behind their brand. There are times when that’s definitely right, and there’s a time where you should put your face on your brand. Those are the big pieces. 

You can select up to three different categories for your podcast to appear in Apple podcasts. If folks are browsing a podcast instead of searching by name, if they say I want a business podcast in the marketing subcategory, it’ll start listing podcasts there. If your show’s fortunate enough to be one of the top-ranked ones, then folks will find your podcast by it being listed in the proper category. You can select and you should select up to three different categories that are slightly tangential to your main topic and target audience.

Gaby:
Getting into more of the specifics, is there a maximum length of podcasts that you can upload to Castos?

Craig:
No. We have some podcasts that are 4 hours long on the platform. I think that there is a very popular podcast out there called Hardcore History. The guy publishes it three or four times a year maybe. They’re audiobooks length. He did a six- or eight-part series on Genghis Khan.

Jean:
Funny because that’s actually the one I had in mind when I said I can’t listen to that while driving. I want to learn history, it was very entertaining, but that’s something I would do on a plane, for example, where I don’t have to think of anything. 

Craig:
Right. Super, super interesting. There are reasons and ways that that really works well, and there are reasons and ways that it doesn’t work well. If you ask the average or ideal, a lot of people point, rightly or wrongly, to 20–25 minutes is the average commute in the US. A lot of people point to that as being a good length for a podcast. Personally, what I say is that an interview like this should be between 30 and 45 minutes because it takes a while for us to get to know each other, get the dialogue going, and get into interesting content. Twenty minutes for an interview is just not enough.

For a monologue where it’s just one person or a person and a co-host where you already have the dynamic, you know what you’re going to talk about, you can jump right into the content, I think it can be 20 or 30 minutes. I do a co-host one and they’re all 45 minutes just because it’s hard to really get through all the stuff you want to talk about and talk about it in-depth to where it’s interesting and valuable to the listeners in 20 minutes. 

I don’t think there’s a right and wrong answer, but I do think that generally talking just by yourself on the mic for 15 minutes is really, really hard. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been on thousands of podcasts (probably). For me to turn the mic on and talk for 20 minutes is super hard. I would just caution people not to think that that’s the way they’re going to do it because I think they’ll just find the act of content creation just to be really hard compared to an interview-based show or having a co-host where you can bounce energy and ideas off another person.

Jean:
Yeah, I agree. I found the quick tips, 20-minute episodes are working really well like how stuff works and learning something new every day. That really works well. When it comes to interviews, personally both from the listener side and from the host side, I always like 1–1½ hours if I’m going deep into a new topic because you don’t have the time to give something of value. I don’t really mind the Dan Carlin ones, which can be really long. The problem is me. I just don’t remember where we were the next time I have to listen.

Craig:
Just to add to that, I think that it has changed in the last year with coronavirus. Few people are commuting, especially now, but that will change soon. You hear about Google and all these companies asking people to come back in at least part of the time. Commutes will come back again for a lot of the world and then the longer podcast can be more in vogue.

Gaby:
In fact, I just traveled to Spain and I just got back into listening to podcasts on the plane. I had taken a break from them for a while.

Jean:
In terms of launching, are there specific launch checklists? For example, I have heard that you need to record five episodes and then launch them all at once to just get a boost in rankings. Also picking a niche. If I want to record a crypto podcast, everybody’s talking about crypto, how do I choose the niche? Is it okay to compete with the big guys right away?

Craig:
I think those are two different questions really. I’ll answer the launch question first. I think that the advice to launch with a couple of episodes, everyone has heard and so everybody does it. It’s not really an advantage. It’s just something you should do. You should do it not to boost your rankings and try to game the system. Apple is very smart. They know that everybody does that and so they don’t give any of the people that do that any more weight. 

What it does is we use the term – you begin to surround your topic when you do this. You’re going to talk about crypto. Maybe you have the first episode talking to a conventional banker talking about crypto. Then you go talk to a super hacker-type crypto person. I don’t know the crypto market that well, but you have several different angles you take on these topics to where something will click with your intended audience across the different angles. 

You take in different types of people you have on, maybe in different formats of episodes. Maybe one is just you talking, giving a bit of background about the space, what you’re interested in, and what the show is about. 

Giving a little bit of variety about the topic that you’re going to be talking about in those first few episodes hopefully creates a connection with your audience in some way, as opposed to if they were all about the same thing with the same people in the same format, same duration, that the chances with everybody clicking with that are less. That’s why we like to release a couple of episodes.

What we like to do is to release two regular-length episodes, plus in the business, they call it episode zero, which is five minutes. It’s just you talking about what the podcast is about and who it’s for. The old writing thing is to tell them what you’re going to tell them and then tell them, and then tell them what you told them. Episode zero is really that very beginning part like who you are, what the show’s about, who it’s for, what to expect, when the episodes are going to come out, and things like that. Then two regular episodes. Your question about crypto is an interesting one. 

Jean:
… and it could be anything, it could be fitness, the big topics, finance in general …

Craig:
I think the answer is universal here. Especially these days, podcasting is so much more mainstream where there are companies with enormous media budgets and professional content creators and journalists creating content that frankly none of us will ever create. For you to go up against a crypto publication, personal finance, fitness, or whatever is impossible on a mass scale general appeal. You have to niche down or you should niche down to be very specific with a very specific audience solving a very specific pain point that they have. 

If you do that, I think you begin to connect more deeply with your audience. Also, it informs a lot of your content creation decisions. If you’re going to create this mass appeal mental health podcast, it would be really, really hard for you to know what you’re going to talk about because there’s the whole world out there. 

If you’re going to focus on ADHD and older women living in Scotland that don’t have children or whatever, that’s really specific and they’re going to be 100 people that totally dig what you’re talking about. It’s just easier to connect all around. That’s the advice that a lot of people have given about other forms of content. It works and that’s why people still do it.

Gaby:
Is there a way to track your popularity? Do you provide statistics through Castos, for example?

Craig:
We provide a lot of statistics through Castos. We provide information about like across the podcast, how many listens you’re getting for the podcast as a whole. If you have multiple podcasts on the platform, you can drill down by individual shows. We rank top episodes over time and then give information about what device, mobile app, browser, and listening platform people are tuning into your show from. We give geographic distribution on a country level and then a metropolitan area level within a country people are listening from.

Gaby:
This is across all platforms, even your WordPress website. 

Craig:
Yup.

Gaby:
Okay. 

Jean:
Last two questions I have from my end are, should we use episode numbers or not?

Craig:
Great question. No, you should not use episode numbers. This was guidance given by Apple a couple of years ago. They have a separate field. If you go into Castos platform, you go to publish an episode, there’s an area for keywords, an area for episode number that’s separate from the title of the episode, and the ability to say what type of episodes you’re going to have – a trailer, a bonus, or a regular episode. You can set that. Just give the kind of word title of the episode in the title field and then give the episode number down below.

Jean:
You still use it, but not within the title? 

Craig:
Yup.

Jean:
Because I guess, if I want to refer people back to a previous episode, say the one with you as our guest, I would say listen to our previous interview with Craig in episode number whatever. That would be useful in that case. The final question is, whether there’s any search engine for podcasts.

Craig:
I think Apple, Google, and Spotify really are search engines of RSS feeds. They’re directories. Google is a directory for all the stuff on the internet. There are other directories like Listen Notes that tried to do the same thing. I think generally when you think about podcast distribution, all it is are directories of shows that people can search.

Jean:
There are SEO guidelines for podcasts specifically. I’ve seen, for example, people do personal productivity shows “like Tim Ferriss”, “like Pat Flynn”. They put in the keywords there in the hope of someone typing Tim Ferriss and have their show come up in the results.

Craig:
There’s a certain amount of that that can be done. Apple is not as sophisticated as Google in discouraging people from doing that, but it certainly can be done. I think you have to be a little careful how much you do that because Apple is getting wiser all the time to people that are doing this and penalizing or removing shows that they do. If it’s applicable and prudent, you can do it, but hacking the SEO of podcast directories is probably not how I would plan on being successful.

Jean:
All right. Gaby, do you have anything else from your end?

Gaby:
Just one last question. I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to record podcasts live and if it’s something that you can do with Castos.

Craig:
I think a lot of people record live podcasts. A lot of people use a tool called StreamYard to do it. They’ll use StreamYard to have a live webinar, a live stream that they record and then repurpose into a podcast episode. It doesn’t happen automatically. Like talking on Zoom, you create a recording, download the recording, and publish it to Castos. It can be very quick. We do some of it for our own show. 

More and more, as people are looking for better, new, and interesting ways to connect with their audience, things like live streams that they go out to YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn are really smart ways to connect real-time with your audience, and then repurpose it for something that lives forever as a podcast makes a lot of sense.

Jean:
All right. We’re going to wrap it up. Craig, do you have any other ending words from your end?

Craig:
No, this is a lot of fun. Thanks for having me on the show and letting us dig into podcasting. I think it’s just a lot of fun. As you get into it more, you’ll see that it’s a lot of fun. It’s a really easy and really time-efficient way to create a bunch of content and connect with a bunch of people. 

I would just add, the one thing we didn’t touch on is the networking aspect of podcasting, especially in a B2B setting. You all will be reaching out to dozens and hundreds of people through the life of the podcast. Some of those people you will already know like we already know each other, but some will be new people that you might not be able to get 30 or 45 minutes with to chat with. To have them on your podcast is both a good piece of content and an interesting piece of value for your audience, but a nice networking opportunity for you to get to know someone in your industry better. That’s the hidden benefit.

Jean:
Yeah, I definitely agree. Based on my experience with Mastermind.fm, it has been really great for me. Craig, thank you for helping us make this happen after years of thinking and planning. 

Craig:
My pleasure. 

Jean:
I’m really, really excited about our podcast and our collaboration. Thanks again, and for people who want to check out how to easily get started, go to castos.com and get started from there. Thanks, Craig.

Craig:
Thanks for having me.

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About the Show

Join us as we introduce you to some of our friends in the WordPress community.

Learn all about their products and services and discover business techniques to help you enhance your WordPress business.

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Meet your host

Gaby Galea

Gaby is the Content Manager at WP Mayor and your new host on the WP Mayor podcast! She is passionate about learning how to start, maintain and grow a WordPress business. Follow her on Twitter @GabriellaGalea.

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