Setting Up Your RSS Feed
As you're getting started with your new podcast one of the things that is necessary before you can submit your show to iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play is to create a valid RSS feed for your podcast.
The RSS feed is the place these podcasting directories look to learn about your show as a whole (Title, Description, Keywords, Categories, Cover Image, etc.) as well as information about each episode.
If you're using Seriously Simple Podcasting and WordPress to publish your podcast content Click Here to check out our article on how to set up your podcast feed there
To set up your podcast RSS feed in Castos first create your first Podcast by clicking the Add Podcast button in the Podcast area of your Castos dashboard:
If you already have a podcast (or several) you can edit your podcast details by clicking the Edit Podcast button in that window pane:
Here you will be able to enter in details about your new podcast. To maximize the SEO value of your podcast in iTunes and other podcasting directories it's best to include as much detail and information in the feed as possible. Things like Keywords and good, relevant descriptions of your show will increase the 'findability' of your show on these platforms.
Your podcast cover image has size specifications set by iTunes: it must be between 1400x1400px and 3000x3000px and square shaped.
The most common reason for podcast submissions not being accepted by iTunes is that feed includes a cover image that does not conform to their specifications.
***Note: You can change your podcast cover image at any time by coming back to the Edit Podcast page and clicking the Choose File button below your image***
One of the best ways for new listeners to find your podcast is by being highly ranked within a category.
iTunes gives you 3 different categories that you can submit your show in, and we HIGHLY recommend that you take advantage of each of these. This gives your show much broader exposure to potential listeners and is a great way to grow your audience.
The last important section of the Feed Details page has to do with the Subscribe links that are displayed on your Castos podcast website (i.e. myshow.castos.com). The links for the iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play subscription buttons are referred to here.
So once your podcast has been submitted (and approved) by these podcasting directories paste your podcast URL in here so that the Subscribe links on your podcast homepage will appear for listeners to use.
Once your feed has been successfully created we recommend checking it on one of several feed validators. The easiest to start with is castfeedvalidator.com - this is a free RSS feed validator specific for podcasting. Once you've successfully validated your podcast RSS feed there then before you submit to iTunes you will be able to Validate your feed in iTunesConnect prior to submission.