As you may know, your website is your hub. All your social media pages should be accessible from your website. This might mean that you provide links to your social media pages on your website or this might mean that you embed the social media content onto your website. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but remember that having dynamic content on your website (such as the ever-changing content of your blog, Facebook page, Twitter stream, YouTube channel, or podcast) gives you better SEO.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the Facebook logo and have it link to your fan page’s URL (i.e. http://fb.com/halleonardbooks/). You can also create a badge. After customizing your badge, you will be given some HTML code, which you can simply paste onto your website in the area that you want the badge to appear.
Embed: Facebook allows you to create an “Activity Feed,” which is a little box that you can put on your website and it will automatically update with the most recent things that you posted on your Facebook page. Just like with a badge, you can customize the feed and then paste the HTML code that it gives you on your website wherever you would like the feed to appear.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the Twitter logo and have it link to your twitter URL (i.e.http://twitter.com/halleonardbooks/). Do note that Twitter has a policy against using any kind of Twitter logo except for the official one, which is the one you can see displayed to the left.
Embed: Just like with Facebook, you can customize a widget that will allow you to post a box on your website where it will display your most recent tweets. Again, copy-paste the HTML code onto your website.
Link: You can put a logo on your website with the YouTube logo and have it link to your YouTube channel (i.e. http://youtube.com/user/plainketchup/). It is better you have the “/user” in there because it will give you better SEO. However, the link will still work without it (i.e. http://youtube.com/plainketchup/).
Embed: Just like with FB and Twitter, you can embed a little box on your website that shows your most recent video posts to your channel. Again, copy-paste the HTML code onto your website. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, who have widget-makers right on their sites, you will have to go to another source, such as WidgetBox, to create your widget for YouTube. It’s the same premise: customize your widget and copy-paste the HTML code onto your webpage.
Link: You can put a logo on your website that links to your podcast. The thing about podcasts is there are many ways to listen to them and you should let your audience choose their preferences. I like to link to all the ways my podcast is available: iTunes, libsyn, Facebook, MP3 download, and Stitcher.
Embed: Both Libsyn and Podomatic have widgets to embed into your website. Podomatic has a small audio-only one for individual episodes and also a large audio-with-photo one that allows you to scroll through different episodes and listen to them one after the other. Libsyn also has one for playing all episodes and one for individual episodes. You can choose between audio-only or audio-with-photo. The Libsyn widget for playing all episodes can be found on your Libsyn dashboard by clicking on the widget icon. The individual episode widgets can be found by going to the list of your episodes and clicking “embed” underneath the episode you want. Just like the other widgets, it’s just a matter of copy-and-pasting the HTML code onto your website. Do note that I don’t think there is a way to embed this widget in free WordPress blogs.
Link: You can put the logo of your blogging host (such as Blogger or WordPress) on your website and link to your blog.
Embed: This could be tricky unless your blogging host has a built-in widget maker. If it doesn’t, you can go to WidgetBox or Feedburner. Feedburner is a Google-powered site that allows you to turn your blog or podcast into a feed. So, type in your blog’s URL into this first box and then follow all the other prompts until you are done. Eventually, you will get to a dashboard where it will give you tons of options on how to customize your feed by adding all sorts of buttons and features. I like to use the BuzzBoost feed under the Publicize tab. Just customize the feed and copy-paste that HTML code onto your website. You can also use the XML code that you see under the Optimize tab.
WHAT IS A PODCAST
A podcast is essentially a talk radio show, but instead of being on the radio, it’s available on the internet. Episodes are often downloadable through iTunes, but also can sometimes be available through interactive services like Blog Talk Radio where listeners can type in questions and the hosts reply to them live. Not all podcasts need to be live, though.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE A PODCAST?
You want to be searchable on iTunes. Now, if you only have one episode that you would like to upload, you have the option of hosting this episode on Hal Leonard’s podcast, Onstage and Backstage podcast. If this is the case, please submit your episode to us. If, however, you are interested in creating your very own podcast (multiple episodes, all hosted by you) to strengthen your brand and grow your audience, read on.
HOW DO I SET UP A PODCAST?
Technically, you can host your podcast on your own FTP site, the one your website is on, but that means you’ll have to learn RSS language, and if you don’t want to do that, it’s best just to sacrifice a monthly fee to a host that will do all the RSS stuff for you. I like LibSyn, but you can use Podomatic or whatever you like best.
Let’s say you choose LibSyn. Go to libsyn.com and sign up for an account. Choose a pricing plan. I pay $15/month for about 2 1/2 hours of new audio content each month. After your content has been up 30 days, it gets “archived.” This doesn’t mean that listeners can’t get at it anymore. It simply means that it no longer counts against your allotted megabytes of media per month.
Next, Create a Show. I believe you can have more than one podcast under your account without paying more, as long as you don’t go over your allotted megabytes. I have never tried to have more than one podcast on the same account, though. When you create your show, you can choose things like title, keywords, description, etc. These are very important in the searchability of your episodes, so be accurate and thoughtful in what you put here.
Once you’re done, you will get your own podcast webpage on LibSyn that you can customize (though Libsyn doesn’t give you a whole lot of options of templates unless you really know your HTML and go in and play with the code manually). Here is an example of one of our podcast webpages on Libsyn. Notice the embedded widget that allows you to play the episode right on the page? You can also embed that onto your website. It’s just a matter of copy-and-pasting the code that you see when you click on the widget icon (next to the feed icon) on your LibSyn dashboard.
GETTING YOUR PODCAST ON ITUNES
First, make sure that you have filled out all the information about your podcast in LibSyn, including the title, description, logo, and keywords. This is very important because you want this information to translate over to the iTunes Store. When you’re logged into your LibSyn account, click on the feed icon (third from the left) that shows the URL of your Classic Libsyn Feed. Copy this URL. Then open up iTunes. Go to the iTunes Store. Click “Podcasts.” In the sidebar, click “Submit a podcast.” The first step is to paste that Classic Libsyn Feed that you copied earlier. Continue with the prompts until you’re done. It might take a couple days for iTunes to review your information and post your podcast on iTunes. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep posting episodes on LibSyn in the meantime. iTunes will post all the episodes once it gets the okay from Apple.
UPLOADING AN EPISODE
Just click “Publish,” and it will allow you to name your episode, write a description, keywords, add a photo, and upload your MP3 file of your podcast. Once you “publish” this page, it will be added to your podcast’s webpage. It won’t take too long before it shows up on iTunes either.