We use many services in the process of podcasting and engaging our audiences, like Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, SpeakPipe, and more. But saying these brand names in your podcast can overwhelm or confuse your audience and—even worse—break their ability to properly engage with your podcast!
The most important places to consider are your calls to action. For example (and the following URLs are not real):
- “Become a patron at patreon.com/theaudacitytopodcast”
- “If you like what I do, please support me through buymeacoffee.com/theaudacitytopodcast”
- “Send me a voice message through speakpipe.com/theaudacitytopodcast”
- And I even suggest this thinking about the links I give you when you join My Podcast Reviews: “If you love the podcast, please give it a 5-star rating and review through lovethepodcast.com/audacity!”
What should you do instead and why does it matter? Read on!
(As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases through some of the following links. But I recommend things I truly believe in, regardless of earnings.)
1. Make a generic URL with your domain
Instead of pointing your audience to a potentially long URL with the branding of the service you use, like
buymeacoffee.com/theaudacitytopodcast (which is actually too long for Buy Me a Coffee to allow at this time), you could make a generic URL on your own domain. This could be a
/contact URL for your feedback method, and a
/giveback URL for how your audience can donate. Or get more creative with something meaningful and memorable to your audience. For example, for my former TV-aftershow podcast, we called our supporters “heroes,” so I sent them to oncepodcast.com/hero.
These generic URLs will be more memorable because they're logically tied to the action you want your audience to take. Your audience doesn't need to know that you're using SpeakPipe, they only need to know how to send you feedback. They don't need to know that you use Patreon, only where to financially support you.
The genericness of the URL gives you a lot of versatility and allows for future change!
Should the URL be a page, or a redirect?
There are two ways to make this URL: either a page on your website, or a redirect that takes them somewhere else.
Use a page if there are multiple options for the action. For example, your feedback page offers ways for your audience to send written messages, record audio messages, tweet with a particular mention or hashtag, or call a voicemail line. With some special tools, multiple options can be hidden or displayed depending on the device your audience uses (like Android or iOS) or their geographic region. For example, the LovethePodcast.com and FollowthePodcast.com features you get with My Podcast Reviews will hide and show certain apps on Android differently from iOS.
Use a redirect when you have only one option for your call to action. For example, if you use only Patreon for raising financial support. I highly recommend that any redirect you might ever change, especially one that points away from your website, should be a 307 temporary redirect instead of a 301 permanent redirect. The 307 redirect will ensure that your visitors will always be redirected to the current destination. Otherwise, a 301 redirect could be cached and take your audience to an outdated destination. (Learn more about redirects and how to use them for your podcast.)
Many podcast-hosting providers (such as Captivate) and website-makers (such as Podpage) now offer custom redirects with their own publishing tools. For WordPress, Pretty Links Pro is my favorite plugin for making redirects, and there's even a free version of Pretty Links (but I love the features you get with the Pro version)!
2. Simplify your calls to action
If you use a brand name in your call-to-action URL (either their domain, like LovethePodcast.com, or as a URL on your domain, like myawesomepodcast.com/patreon), you'll be unnecessarily complicating the call to action for your audience. They'll have to remember two things: the other brand, and the rest of your URL. And that brand name might not be easy to understand. For example, people often hear “Patreon” as “patron” or you have to spell ambiguous or confusing brand names. But a generic URL simplifies all that.
With “theaudacitytopodcast.com/love,” for example, you probably hear the domain part—”theaudacitytopodcast.com”—so often that you don't have to try remembering it. All you really need to remember is what comes after the slash. In this case, that's a single, 4-letter word, “love.” (And that is my real page, created with My Podcast Reviews, where you can rate and review The Audacity to Podcast.)
3. Reinforce your brand
Using URLs with your own domain reduces the number of brand names your audience will hear in your podcast, thus making your own brand much stronger.
Imagine if a single episode gave five calls to action: rate and review the show, donate to the show, send feedback, follow the podcast, and share the episode. Those calls to action could introduce 5 separate brands—or even more if you use multiple brands for the same thing (like sending feedback).
But when you use your own domain for calls to action, your audience will hear only a single brand: yours!
Just make sure you don't confuse your audience with things like “Send a voice message with SpeakPipe through theaudacitytopodcast.com/feedback”!
Make it one brand: yours!
4. Defer the details
Some calls to action might be more complicated, like multiple steps to give a rating and review. And some calls to action might have conditions, like doing one thing on iOS but something else on Android, macOS, Windows, or Linux.
Giving all those steps and conditions in your calls to action could overwhelm your audience and reduce the chances they'll actually do anything!
Instead, put those details in what your audience sees when they follow your call to action. For example, your feedback page can remind them to keep their feedback short as well as offer multiple ways of sending feedback. This saves you from having to say it in your podcast. Plus, it allows you to adjust the instructions if ever necessary.
Or consider possible conditions. For example, theaudacitytopodcast.com/love will show an Apple Podcasts link for you to rate and review The Audacity to Podcast if you're on iOS or a recent version of macOS. If you're on Windows or an old version of macOS or OS X, the same link will be labeled “iTunes.” And if you're on Android, that Apple link won't show at all because Apple Podcasts isn't available on Android (at least not yet!), so Android-friendly options will display more prominently. This saves me from having to say in my podcast, “Please give me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts if you're listening on an iPhone, or Podcast Addict if you're listening on Android, or Podchaser if you're not using those apps, or ….”
5. Future-proof your calls to action
You might use Patreon to accept donations from your audience now. But will you always use Patreon? You might someday switch to Buy Me a Coffee or Glow.fm. Or you might even put together your own membership on your website!
Sending your audience to a generic URL with your own domain ensures that the call to action will always work! You could change the services you use anytime without having to change your call to action!
Plus, this keeps all your past calls to action still valid! But if you had, for example, told your audience to support you through Patreon, and then you switch to Glow.fm, all those past calls to action would be invalidated and possibly point your audience to a broken destination. Or even worse, someone else could snag up that destination and get the money your audience thinks they're giving to you!
Changing is (probably) easy!
You can probably make these changes immediately within your podcast! Either create the appropriate pages for your calls to action, or create simple 307 temporary redirects. Use these new URLs from now on instead of mentioning the other brand names.
Your website (whether with a builder or through WordPress) most likely has a way for you to make custom pages with memorable URLs. And you probably even have the ability to make your own 307 temporary redirects. But if you need a plugin for your WordPress site, get Pretty Links or Pretty Links Pro.
Try these things and see how your calls to action improve—probably even leading to better results!
Try My Podcast Reviews!
I've mentioned My Podcast Reviews several times in this episode. That's how you can get your own LovethePodcast.com and FollowthePodcast.com pages to help you get more ratings, reviews, and followers for your podcast (using either those memorable domains, or your own redirects!). Plus, it automatically checks nearly 200 places for your podcast ratings and reviews, saving you about 1,400 clicks every day, and sends your new reviews to you so you can better know, engage, and grow your audience.
Check out My Podcast Reviews with a free trial! And it's a great way to support what I do, too!