In this episode of our content syndication series we will be focusing on publishing podcasts on content hubs. The podcasting space is rapidly growing, and it has become harder to build an audience. With podcasts becoming more common, more and more content hubs are adding audio support to their platforms. So publishing your podcast show notes and audio players on these content hubs can connect you to new audiences.
But there is also the long-term value of search engine visibility through back-links. And content hubs are great for this too, since they carry high Domain Authority.
We're going to be exploring how to use publishing on content hubs as a way to earn backlinks, earn traffic, and to get your content to be more visible out there. We'll also explore some additional unorthodox channels to publish to. So with that, let's push on with our series on podcast content syndication. And just a reminder, this mini series explains how we do this for our clients as a podcasting agency.
First, let me do just a quick recap of the previous episode on Social Media Channels, like we usually do. In episode three, we covered how we augment our social media publishing with influencer marketing campaigns.
Sure, you want to publish to your own followers. That's important, but the reason there are benefits for influencer marketing is that this concept reaches beyond our own audience. It has people outside of our existing networks promote and share our episodes and show notes, and that can have a very positive impact on growing our reach. Or that of our clients.
But because of the approval and quality review process that the content goes through in the influencer networks, lightweight show notes of 300-500 words are usually not approved. This, again, served as a reminder that our podcast show notes articles, when treated and created as high quality articles, can play an outsized role in promoting our podcast. So with that said, let's focus today on exploring content hubs.
I'm using the term content hubs a little loosely here. The definition usually goes like this.
A content hub is a destination where website visitors can find branded, curated, social media user generated, or any type of content related to a topic.
I’m not bound by this definition, at least not in the way we utilize these for our clients. The benefits of that is that a lot of content hubs can have millions of existing visitors. Also, the links from these sites are very valuable. It's both about traffic, as well as earning backlinks. Let's have a closer look .
First up is Medium and that's perhaps one of the best known content hubs. I like to think of Medium as a content hub for thought leadership and writers on a whole range of topics, and Medium has over a hundred million readers built into the platform.
It's sort of like having a long-form social media platform for writers and thought leaders and your content can be discovered there. In fact, Medium may choose to promote your content amongst their followers, if it's good enough.
A backlink from Medium is super valuable. The platform has an unbelievable domain authority of 95. You can of course publish there manually, without any content syndication platform. But just a reminder, what we are talking about in this content series is how we use our content syndication platform, StoryChief, to publish to all of these places in a way that can be automated and scheduled. More on that in an upcoming episode.
But earning these backlinks and publishing on Medium can have a really beneficial result. We love
So not only can you get valuable backlinks, but you might well get a good amount of traffic as well.
Next up is Blogger. Now, Blogger is a free blog you can simply sign up for. It's owned by Google. And because Blogger is the very first stop for many new bloggers. It's also among one of the largest blogging networks in the world.
The millions of blogs already created in Blogger are all linked to each other, and that works because of how Google has integrated their search features into the site.
There are built-in suggestions for other related Blogger sites. So when you stand up a blog on Blogger, there's a good chance that you see related ones or that people can discover you because your subject matter is relevant to them. That can increase your exposure by directly connecting you with other existing blogs and their readers.
And of course, again, this is not the reason that we set up accounts for our podcast clients there. We do this not only for the traffic, but primarily we do it for the site rank, and backlink from Blogger is a natural plus for content syndication.
And since Blogger, like YouTube, is owned by Google, the conspiracy minded SEOs among us speculate that there are ranking advantages in being on any one of the Google owned platforms, and Blogger is one of those. Just saying...
Now, moving onto Ghost. Ghost is a super interesting case when it comes to content hubs. It's a more recent and modern CMS or content management platform, and in a way can be thought of as a website builder.
And while it's not free, it is affordable, and it has lots of capabilities. They include monetization, email list building, creating an attractive high performing site. Here's their value proposition:
“Build a website, publish posts, send newsletters, grow an audience, sell premium subscriptions, create a sustainable business around your creative work.”
It's so easy to use that I'm able to create a terrific looking site in a few hours and start republishing existing content to it.
What I love specifically about Ghost is that it connects seamlessly to our content syndication platform, StoryChief. You can go back to episode two where we started to talk about the timing of how we release our show notes and trickle those out over a number of weeks and why we use this internally.
If you don't currently have a podcast website or a content management system based blog, you could do worse. Now, I realize there are a lot of easy to use podcasts website builders emerging, and those certainly are tempting. But from a syndication perspective, none of them can connect with StoryChief, our primary content syndication platform. And because we do this for clients, efficiency is a must for us, and therefore we focus on platforms that can connect to it. And this is a really a terrific blog site.
Here is another use case: We have clients who need only a minimal business website. Like those on Squarespace or Wix. But some of these clients needed a syndication capable blog, as well as the ability to publish a podcast newsletter. They also wanted an email capture system for their business. So they are able to use Ghost, and can simply add this as a blog subdomain to their existing static site.
Many of us podcasters think of RSS only in terms of being associated with our podcast audio episode feeds. But there are also benefits to using RSS feeds for your show notes and articles.
In this series we are focused on platforms that our content syndication systems can published to automatically. This means that we don't mess about with platforms that require manual processes or copy paste publishing.
But if you're a do-it-yourself podcast host, there are additional platforms out there you might consider. Substack, for example, is a popular way to run a newsletter. You might also have seen people publish on Paper.li or Scoop.it. That's where having the ability to just publish your content via RSS feeds is useful, because you might be able to identify other platforms that can listen to that show notes article RSS feed of yours. And that's where being able to publish by RSS feed adds enormous flexibility to distribute your show notes.
Having a platform that can publish not to one, but multiple RSS feeds then means that you can connect those RSS feeds to those client platforms like Paper.li or Scoop.it or other platforms. That's why we love StoryChief because it allows us to manage and maintain multiple outbound RSS feeds to distribute our show notes or, in this case, the show notes for our clients.
Google My Business as one of the content hubs to publish to might be meaningful for businesses with a local presence. We publish all of our show notes to Google My Business as a platform. People checking out Polymash on the internet are likely to come across our podcast there.
This is really great for real estate, financial advisors, and really anyone who's able to set up a local Google My Business page.
If you have the ability, by all means, why not publish your content there? I do that for every episode that we release.
To me, a true subscriber of a podcast is someone who's on my email list. It's not someone who's anonymous.
If someone listens to our podcast on Apple or Spotify or any other platforms, I'll at best get some light weight analytics from my podcast hosts, but I have no true insight around which content repeat listeners like the most, or even if they're truly listen. I mean, myself download dozens of podcast episodes every day. That happens automatically through my listening apps, but I only listen to a few.
All podcast analytics see is that somebody downloaded the episode. I really don't know that much more about their behavior, where else they went on my website.
Fortunately the industry is improving standards for podcast analytics.
But what I'm getting at is that a podcast listener who remains anonymous for me is not nearly as valuable as someone who's joined my email list.
I would gladly trade a thousand anonymous Apple Podcast subscribers for a hundred listeners who've actually joined my email list, who I can better understand and with whom I can build a relationship going forward.
Episode notifications of your show notes and sending that out to your email followers is a really powerful reminder that, hey, you've published a new episode. It's way more powerful than just relying on the assumption that because listeners subscribed to your podcast, they're going to listen to every episode. Being able to send them an email reminder is powerful.
Here then are some of the platforms involved in our automation approach for this.
Our own marketing automation engine is ActiveCampaign, and it does a good job of automating RSS triggered episode notifications that go out to Polymash subscribers. Again, I'm looking for optimization and optimization and saving time. I don't want to go and have to manually create and schedule newsletters every week. I want this to be on autopilot, and many of our clients want that too. ActiveCampaign is one of the email platforms that does this relatively well.
Again, the scheduling hub for this is our content syndication platform StoryChief. We set up a special RSS feed just for ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign listens to any new episodes appearing in that feed. It then it publishes specially formatted emails to my email list. If you are a subscriber, you may have seen these. If not, please consider subscribing on podcastingstrategy.com. Basically, any new episodes are published to this feed, ActiveCampaign listens and sends out an automated email to my list
Moving on, here again Ghost is an interesting case. Some of our clients use this platform for sending email newsletters.
It sends gorgeous looking email newsletters, we thing the formatting and images look great. It's a little more attractive, in my opinion, than ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, or some of the other choices out there. Plus, it handles the subscription process and can build an email list and can even service a premium paid subscription model. You could have a scenario in which you have a private podcast feed and you want to be able to send episode notifications to subscribers only, and they can certainly do that. They can even handle the subscription process and the monetization aspect of it, so that's why we kind of like Ghost as an alternative platform.
A more pedestrian example might be MailChimp. But what I've always appreciated about MailChimp is that it has one of the best RSS triggered newsletter design interfaces.
If you don't particularly like the way RSS content is formatted in ActiveCampaign emails. But with Mailchimp you have some design flexibility. You can determine typography, how big the images are, whether they're on the right, the left, or centered and spanning the whole email. You do not get this choice on Active Campaign, where it looks OK, but you cannot customize the look and feel much. Mailchimp RSS emails, to me, look a lot better than on any other platforms, pretty much.
You do need a paid plan for this on MailChimp, because the free MailChimp plans don't include RSS feed automation.
Summing up, basically all of these systems use the RSS show notes article feeds as the trigger. This means that any RSS capable email system can be used. There are hundreds of email providers out there and you might already have one. But a good question to ask your provider would be “Does your system have some RSS feed automation and customization capabilities built in?”
The next idea is somewhat rare, but many podcasters have Shopify driven stores. Here we're talking about publishing to e-commerce hubs as another sort of content hub, if you will. A lot of podcasters have a Shopify store to offer swag and branded gear.
And what many of us don't realize is that one can publish content there. Why not also distribute your show notes there? Again, the expectation isn't that this will generate a lot of traffic, but earning a backlink from a 95 domain authority Shopify domain is nonetheless very valuable.
Next time, we dive into publishing a podcast to video channels, and what role your show notes and articles then play in those scenarios.