FYC Podcast Episode 003: How To Create A Church Podcast with WordPress
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Podcast Episode Text Version
Welcome to the Finding Your Church Podcast from FindingYourChurch.com. My name is Jeremy Phillips and my goal is to help you make it a challenge for people to live in your community without finding your Church.
On this episode I want to talk about podcasting for your church. Hopefully, if you follow the steps, you SHOULD be able to create your Church Podcast using this information.
I say hopefully, because you never know what can happen. There can be issues that are out of your control, you may miss a step or whatever. But if you follow the steps, you SHOULD be able to create your Church Podcast and get on iTunes with this information.
This is also going to be a little longer episode than normal because there is a lot of information to cover.
The first thing you think of when looking at Church Podcasting are the sermons from the Sunday Morning Service.
But there are a lot of places in churches that could benefit from podcasting.
- You could podcast individual Ministry Services.
- You could create a podcast for your volunteers to keep them informed and engaged with what is going on at the Church.
- You could create a discipleship podcast separate from the Sunday Morning Service for everyone in your Church for increased spiritual growth.
You know your Church and where a podcast would potentially fit. It does take some work, so you do not want to go to the effort if you think nobody will connect with it.
But there are some benefits if you can create a podcast that people connect to. The main benefit is that people can subscribe and have the content you put in the podcast come directly to their computer or mobile device.
That is huge. For sure in the case of iTunes it is very clear when they have new content that is ready to be watched or listened to.
But how do you create a podcast for your church?
The ideas you can come up with for the content of the podcast are up to you, but the steps to creating a podcast are pretty much the same for everyone.
Now, there are many ways to create a podcast that can be submitted to iTunes.
The way I am going to walk you through here is NOT the only way. But it a way that works. And it is one of the best ways to create a podcast that FITS into your existing Church Website.
There are external websites like Podbean.com, but even that costs money.
So in my opinion, you might as well do it correctly from the start and make it directly connected or loosely connected to your site. I will explain the difference between directly and loosely connected in just a second.
So with this method of creating a Church Podcast you will need to create a WordPress Website.
If you already have a WordPress website for your Church that has a working blog, you are pretty much already setup to be able to start your Podcast. There are still a few things you will need to do however to make this work so that it is subscribable in iTunes and the other Podcast feed players.
But you will need a WordPress Website, so this is where the difference between a podcast that is directly connected and one that is loosely connected to your site comes into play.
If your main Church Website is created with WordPress and has the blog feature enabled, then you can directly connect the Podcast into the blog feed of your site.
If you main site is NOT WordPress, you can either change and create a WordPress website or you can create a separate WordPress installation to run your podcast on.
You can set this up on your existing Church Website Hosting account if you have access to that. But many churches are setup with website developers and companies that do NOT give you access to your website hosting account.
The other option is to purchase another website hosting account just for your podcast.
You can find the website hosting that I recommend at www.findingyourchurch.com/toolbox in the Most Recommended Resources section. This is a company that is connected to FindingYourChurch.com and I will receive a small commission if you purchase using my page link, but it does NOT cost you any more to use my link. There are other products like that on that page as well.
Whether you are creating an entire Church Website or just creating a WordPress installation for the Podcast only, you will get a FREE website domain name for the first year when you use my recommended hosting at www.findingyourchurch.com/toolbox
So my recommendation if you are creating a podcast only site is to get a domain name that just adds the word “podcast” to your church website name. That way the link is very similar to your church name. Then it will be something like mychurchnamepodcast.com so it will be easy for people to remember.
So that is your first step. If you are not setup for WordPress already or do not have access to your website hosting, Get Website Hosting from www.findingyourchurch.com/toolbox and create your account.
So once you either have access to or have purchased the website hosting and login to your account, you will go to the cPanel section of your hosting account, at least on the hosting that I recommend. This is basically your dashboard, and remember that it may look different in your website hosting account.
Then go to what is probably labeled the Website Builder section or something similar, and find the “Install WordPress” button. Remember, if you are not using my hosting recommendation there may not be a one step install button, but most hosts do have that feature.
Now this is going to walk you through the process of installing WordPress. You will most likely get an email letting you know your username, password, and link to login to your new WordPress website.
Now what we are not going to talk about in this Podcast is how to design or use themes for WordPress. The reason is because even if you create a new WordPress website for the Podcast and have the basic design that it comes with, it will still work.
You can make it look better later.
So, login to your new WordPress account dashboard, and go to the Plugins section, most likely located in the sidebar on the left.
Click on “Add New”. Then search for the Blubrry PowerPress Plugin. It is spelled funny like Blubrry, so make sure you type it in correctly or just search for PowerPress.
Click to install that plugin.
After it is installed you will find the settings for the plugin in the sidebar, most likely under the word PowerPress.
There are a lot of settings that we could go through, but the main tabs you need to worry about are the iTunes and Artwork tabs.
Under iTunes you will fill in the information about your Podcast. Your title is actually the title of your blog or website. You can change this in the settings of your WordPress dashboard by going to “Settings” in the sidebar, and then clicking “General”.
So, you will enter in all of those details for your iTunes Podcast, then go to the Artwork tab and upload your Podcast Artwork.
There are instructions on that page for your Artwork. If you do not know how to create this, you can download my FREE “Fiverr For Churches” PDF Guide at www.findingyourchurch.com/toolbox and learn how to have someone create this for you for as little as $5.
Or you can use Photoshop or a free software like Canva.com to create this artwork.
Once this is complete you will need to place an audio file linked in a blog post so that iTunes has something to connect with when you submit your podcast.
One lesson I learned the hard way is that you do not want to host your podcast files on the same hosting as your website. I actually had a website taken down briefly for doing that.
So what you want to do is create an account with Amazon S3 file hosting. This is extremely cheap, and hardly costs anything. I have received a monthly bill for under a dollar before, so this is not a major expense.
So you will go to Amazon S3 and create your account.
Inside your account you will create what are called buckets. This simply differentiates your uploads for you. So you could separate podcast episodes from images if you wanted.
So create a new podcast bucket, and then when you get inside that bucket you will click to upload a file.
Upload your Audio file. It definitely helps if you have already created a podcast episode, but if not you can use any audio file. Just make sure it is not copyrighted.
Once it is uploaded, right click on it and select to “Make Public”. This allows people outside of your account to access and listen to the file.
In the Properties section you will find the MP3 audio link. Copy that.
Now go back to WordPress and create a New Post. Scroll down to the “Podcast Episode” section of the post editor and paste the audio link into the Media URL area, then click “Verify”.
Then scroll back up and click Publish to create your first post. Click “View Post” and you should be able to see the post and play your audio file.
Now go back to the PowerPress podcast plugin settings and go to the iTunes section.
Under the “Item Subscription URL” you will find the “Recommended feed to submit to iTunes”. Copy that link, and then either click to “Publish and Account on iTunes” or open iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and click to “Submit a Podcast”.
Of course you will need an iTunes account, hopefully a Church iTunes account, to complete this step.
When you get to the “Submit a Podcast” page on iTunes, simply paste in that feed link and follow the steps to get started with your Church iTunes Podcast.
It will most likely take a couple of days at least for them to review and either approve or deny your Podcast. So in the mean time, you can be working on your website or creating more Podcast episodes.
So to wrap up, all of the resources that you need including the Website Hosting link and the Fiverr For Churches FREE book link are at www.findingyourchurch.com/toolbox.
I have even added a link to some Free WordPress Video Tutorials to help you get more familiar with the WordPress Dashboard.
So that is ONE WAY to create a WordPress based Church Podcast. Now get started and GO and GET FOUND.