You probably already know that we love Squarespace. There are many reasons for our love, not the least of which is the beautiful websites they make possible, with amazing and powerful features, all in an incredibly accessible package. For instance, Squarespace is one of the easiest ways to start a blog, and do so in such a way that lets you focus less on the technical elements of how to get your posts online, looking good, in a way that is readable and shareable – and more on just creating valuable, great-looking content.
What you might not realize is that the ease and accessibility that Squarespace has brought to blogging, they have also brought to podcasting. And conveniently enough, their podcasting capabilities take advantage of many of the same tools used for blogging. As indicated by Squarespace’s approach to both blogging and podcasting, the two are more closely related than they may seem at first glance. In fact, another name for podcasts? Audioblogs.
Podcasts are the most commonly accepted term for the type of on-demand, web-based, syndicated spoken audio content that has been around since the early 2000s but has exploded in popularity in recent years. The new rise of podcasting is largely thanks to technical advancements in smartphone capabilities, as well as mobile internet speeds that allow listeners to easily download or stream podcast content on the go, without obnoxious buffering or lengthy load times. But the other major reason for the growing popularity of podcasting is the concurrent growth of content marketing.
Like blogs, podcasts are a great way for companies and organizations to provide useful information to their audience, get their message out, and establish their expertise – all in a potentially even more powerful and personal way than they ever could with text alone.
While podcasts in their most basic form can be posted as standalone bits of audio content or streamed through a service like Soundcloud, the real power of podcasts lies in the ability to access them via subscription using iTunes, the Podcasts app, Google Play or Stitcher. Once a listener has subscribed, new episodes will automatically be delivered as soon as they are posted, without the need to search, download, or take any other action. This is accomplished using a technology called RSS feeds. RSS feeds are like individualized push broadcasts over the internet which, in addition to podcasts, can be attached to things like news articles or email updates. Then, any RSS reader can grab the information from any RSS feeds that are subscribed to, and pull the articles, updates, and podcasts together into a personally tailored collection. RSS feeds are the same technology used to power news aggregator services like Feedly, Flipboard and the now-defunct Google Reader.
Squarespace automatically attaches an RSS feed to all of its blog, product, event, gallery and album pages. So, any users that subscribe to those feeds will automatically receive the latest content any time one of those pages is updated. The same applies for podcasts.
Setting up a podcast through Squarespace happens through your blog page, which if you don’t already have, you’ll need to set up. In fact, you’ll probably want to set up a new blog for the express purpose of hosting the podcast. This is because the easiest way to set your podcast up for RSS syndication is in the blog menu, where under the “syndication” tab, you can use Squarespace’s “Podcasting Setup” feature, which will give you instructions on how to submit your podcast for distribution through iTunes (currently the most popular way for people to consume podcasts). You can also use your RSS URL to submit your podcast to other services, such as Google Play and Stitcher.
To post a podcast episode, create a new blog post using the Audio Block. Under the “Embed” tab, you’ll then have the ability to upload your audio file, giving it a title and author. You’ll also then be able to add additional information under the “podcasting” tab, such as subtitle, summary, and keywords, which are the required information for iTunes and will go out alongside the episode in your RSS feed.
One other thing to note is that while Squarespace does not track metrics for your podcasts, they give you the ability to use services that will, such as Blubrry. If using such a service, instead of uploading your own audio file on the audio block, you’ll insert the audio via an external link so that the hosting can occur offsite.
Want to learn more about generating compelling content via podcasts, blogging and social media? Contact 10twelve today to discuss.