All podcasts use an open distribution technology known as RSS. Your RSS feed is a formated text file that is read by distribution sources like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Google Podcast and others. Castos automatically creates a valid RSS feed for your podcast that you can submit directly to any platform that reads an RSS feed URL.
The RSS feed is the place these podcasting directories look to learn about your show and it contains the Title, Description, Keywords, Categories, Cover Image as well as information about each episode. In Castos, you control all of these settings under Podcast Settings Feed Details. If you are using the Castos Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin, you will control those settings in your WordPress dashboard, not in your Castos Hosting Account.
|✐ Note Castos does not automatically distribute your RSS feed. You will need to create an account with the services where you want your show to appear. But once setup, your podcast episodes will publish automatically.
Setting Up Your RSS Feed
1.) Step One: Feed Details
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 link. Here you will be able to enter the details for your 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.
2.) Step Two: Cover Image
Your podcast cover image has size specifications set by Apple Podcasts or your RSS feed will not validate. The image must be:
- a perfect square
- between 1400 x 1400px and 3000 x 3000px
- file size less than 1MB
- RGB format
- jpg or png
The most common reason for podcast submissions not being accepted by Apple Podcasts 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, clicking the Choose File button below your image and uploading the new image. It's a good idea to identify the version ( new or version1) so the change in your feed can be identified by the distribution platform.|
3.) Step Three: Categories
One of the best ways for new listeners to find your podcast is by being highly ranked within a category.
Apple Podcasts 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.
Distributing Your Castos RSS Feed
You can find your RSS feed URL under Podcast Settings Distribution. Once it has been successfully created you can begin to distribute directly to the podcast distribution channels. Apple Podcast self-validates your feed when you submit your podcast in the Apple Podcast Connect dashboard. If you have an error there, you will need to troubleshoot why your feed is not working. The most common errors are related to the image size or not setting the correct parent and sub-categories.