How to setup WordPress and PowerPress to let your one website host several podcasts. Learn about custom channels, category podcasting, and third-party providers.
This topic was requested by Jonathan Downham from The Critical Care Practitioner Podcast.
Consider before you start another podcast
Starting another podcast can be fun, but also stressful. I previously shared 16 things you should consider before launching another podcast, which you should review before continuing. Here are the main points, for quick reference.
- Should your improve your current podcast(s) instead?
- Do your have time for another podcast?
- Will your other podcast(s) suffer?
- Does your new podcast fit, expand, or break your “brand”?
- Where will your new podcast live?
- Separate categories on one WordPress site
- Separate WordPress sites
- WordPress Multisite
- Crosspromote between your podcasts
- Don't feel like you have to make a network
- Focus on content for one podcast at a time
- Reuse tools and techniques that you already have
- Have separate email accounts for each podcast
- Leverage your whole community for big things
- Setup separate affiliate IDs
- Consider separate social-media accounts
- Get things right from the start with this launch
- Avoid crossover content, unless concise
- Use Blubrry's free or premium stats for separate tracking
But let's assume that you know another podcast would be good and you've chosen to host it on the same website as your current podcast.
To host multiple formats
Your regular show may be audio, but you decide to also release the video. This would mean multiple formats: audio and video. Or if you already publish video and you want to offer standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) versions, then you would have multiple formats.
Or you may be interested in offering supplementary content, like I do with The Audacity to Podcast's Podcasting Video Tips—where the content is usually different from my normal audio show.
If your content is available in different languages but you have a single WordPress post in one language (or you do something complicated for multiple language from a single post), then you would need separate media formats for each language.
Each of these separate formats would be best served with PowerPress's “custom podcast channels” feature. This allows a single post in WordPress to have multiple “Podcast Episode” entries with separate media and information for each.
How to setup PowerPress's custom podcast channels
- Go to PowerPress > Settings.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and checkmark “Custom Podcast Channels.”
- Click Save Changes.
- Now go to PowerPress > Podcast Channels. (If you don't see this in the menu yet, you may need to refresh your browser.)
- Your current podcast feed is the Default feed (usually /feed/podcast). You may click on it to adjust any settings specific to this feed.
- Add a new channel by entering the feed name and its slug. (The “slug” is what the URL will be. Instead of /feed/podcast, your channel could be /feed/video.)
- Customize this channel's settings just as you would for any other podcast feed, including title, cover art, iTunes information, and more.
- Click Save Changes.
- Create a new post or edit an existing one.
- You'll now have a second “Podcast Episode” widget in the post editor. Anything you put in it will publish to only your new custom channel.
Remember that channel feeds will always be podcast-only. The feed will only include episodes that are attached through the channel's own “Podcast Episode” widget in the post editor.
To host multiple shows
Instead of releasing the same or complementary content in multiple formats, you may want to release entirely different content as a separate show.
For example, you host a podcast about video gaming and want to start a new podcast about your favorite TV show. Generally, I recommend having separate websites for completely different content. But when the content is related (like a spinoff series), or you're building a single-domain network, then category podcasting is your solution.
Unlike custom podcast channels, PowerPress's category podcasting uses the same “Podcast Episode” widget in the post editor. To separate the feeds, you have to place an episode within a particular hierarchy via categories.
This is the only time you need to use PowerPress's category podcasting feature. If you just want a podcast-only RSS feed, PowerPress already provides that with /feed/podcast, which works by default without activating custom podcast channels.
How to setup PowerPress's category podcasting
- Create a new category for your existing show, if you don't already have one. Name it according to the show.
- Create a new category for your new show, if you don't already have one. Name it according to the show.
- Go to PowerPress > Settings.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and checkmark “Category Podcasting.”
- Click Save Changes.
- Now go to PowerPress > Category Podcasting. (If you don't see this in the menu yet, you may need to refresh your browser.)
- You most likely have no podcasting categories setup yet, so pick the category you want to enable in the left-side drop-down.
- Click “Add Podcast Settings to Category Feed.”
- Customize this category's settings just as you would for any other podcast feed, including title, cover art, iTunes information, and more.
Click Save Changes.
Create a new post or edit an existing one.
- You can create your post and attach the podcast episode like you normally do. Just select the right category (or categories, for crossposts) for this show.
You'll need to update your original show's feed URL to use the new category feed. This may mean placing a 301 redirect or pointing FeedBurner to the new source. You can get the separate category feed URLs from the Category Podcasting page. The new feed URLs will look like /category/name-of-the-podcast-category/feed. It may be even longer than that if the feed is deeper in the hierarchy.
If you forget to redirect your original feed, subscribers to your main podcast (such as /feed/podcast) will start receive all the episodes from all of your podcasts.
Like using custom podcast channels, creating your separate RSS feeds with WordPress and PowerPress allow you to have a single podcast media hosting account—whether through LibSyn, Blubrry, or anyone else.
If you're not using WordPress and PowerPress
The only other way I can confidently recommend creating your podcast feed is with LibSyn. A single LibSyn account can have multiple shows, but each show on LibSyn can only have a single RSS feed (called the “LibSyn Classic Feed”).
When you have multiple show feeds from LibSyn, you can link to these or even embed them anywhere on almost any kind of website.
How to setup LibSyn for multiple shows
- Create a LibSyn account if you don't already have one, and use promo code “noodle” to get your first month free.
- Add a new show on LibSyn by going to your account menu in the upper-right corner and clicking “Register new show.”
- Enter this new show's slug, billing information, and which hosting plan you want. (You have to pay for separate hosting when powering separate show feeds with LibSyn.)
- Switch between shows in your LibSyn account by going to the “Change Shows” tab and clicking “Select Show” on the show of your choice.
- Setup this show's RSS feed as you normally would through LibSyn, with its own title, cover art, iTunes information, and more.
- To create an episode for a particular show, switch to that show before creating your post.
Remember that each show on LibSyn will have its own FTP folder with dropbox, quickcast, assets, and public subfolders. So if you skip posting through the website and use the quickcast folder, make sure you you drill down into the right quickcast subfolder for your show.
- The registration deadline for the next Podcast Master Class is coming to a close! Reserve your space to take your podcast from average to amazing!™
- My new, secret podcasting project (codenamed “RPM”) is launching in a couple weeks. I know you'll love it!
I can help you launch or improve your podcast
I'm available for one-on-one consulting to help you launch or improve your podcast.
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Find more podcasts about technology on the Tech Podcasts Network.
Check out more Noodle.mx Network shows
- The Audacity to Podcast: "How-to" podcast about podcasting
- Beyond the To-Do List: Personal and professional productivity
- The Productive Woman: Productivity for busy women
- ONCE: Once Upon a Time podcast
- Welcome to Level Seven: Agents of SHIELD and Marvel’s cinematic universe podcast
- Are You Just Watching?: Movie reviews with Christian critical thinking
- the Ramen Noodle: Family-friendly clean comedy
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