102: Podcast Titles, Cover Artwork, and Media Hosting
Welcome to the second episode of Podcasting for Authors. In the last episode, we covered a lot of the basics – and mostly mental exercises. We looked at the importance of knowing your audience, your why, your goal, and brainstorming for your topic.
Today, we’ll be looking at your podcast title, cover artwork, and media hosting options.
The title for your podcast is an important thing to consider. For this, it may be obvious to you if you are basing the podcast on a book you wrote, but here are some things to consider first.
The most important thing is how the title relates and appears to your audience. The title may be obvious to you and loyal followers, but maybe it involves some inside joke or information that an “outsider” may not quickly resonate with.
Make sure that your title:
- Relates to your audience (refer back to ep 101)
- Clearly conveys the topic of your podcast without being too long
- Can fit onto the artwork and be clearly read (more on this later)
You’ll want to avoid these mistakes:
- Don’t be overly clever with your title
- Don’t stuff keywords
The overall idea is to make sure that your title is clear, not just clever. It is one of the first things people will see (as well as your artwork), and as such, the title needs to grab their attention.
Podcast cover artwork
As an author, you understand the importance of the cover for your book. In many ways, the cover artwork is the same for your podcast. It’s one of the first things to catch someone’s attention as they are swipping through the options of what to listen to. You want to make sure that your artwork will stand out. I’m not a graphic designer, but here are some tips to help:
- Make sure that title on your artwork can be easily read when it is shrunk down
- Don’t make the artwork too busy
Technical specs to watch:
- Smallest size: 1400×1400 pixels
- Largest size: 3000×3000 pixels
- File size needs to be 500 KB or less
- Needs to be JPG or PNG
It is possible to go cheap with designing your cover art yourself or going to Fiverr, but many times you get what you pay for. Some “designers” on Fiverr have been caught stealing work from other people and sites, but you could be liable for using it. It’s best to go to a reputable source to get design work done. Even though it’s more expensive, you’ll have a better product, not to mention more peace of mind.
Media hosting options
When it comes to hosting your mp3 files for your podcast, there are several good options to choose from as well as many false ideas to watch out for.
First of all there is a difference between website hosting and media hosting. Media files, like audio and video should not be hosted on your website host. Some have done this and been fine, but many have had their website shut down because of using too much bandwidth on their “unlimited” host. This is because the way that media files are downloaded or streamed is different than text and pictures, and regular website hosts are not optimized for that type of downloading.
My personal recommendation for media hosting is Libsyn. I started in early 2013 and this is the only media host I’ve used personally. I am now an affiliate with them (enter the code ‘JOSH’ when checking out), but that was only after being please with their service for several years.
I have also heard good things about Blubrry, Speaker, and Podbean.
Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting has shared his requirements when it comes to choosing a media host:
- Don’t mess with my file. What I upload is what I want people to download.
- Give me the ability to have an unlimited back catalog (unlimited storage)
- Don’t limit my audience size (unlimited bandwidth)
- Don’t control my feed, and make it easy to leave if I choose to do so. I need to be able to put in an iTunes redirect script.
- Give me support.
- Charge me for your service so you can stay in business
- Give me stats so I can see what’s working. It would be nice if they were accurate.