What once started out as a relatively small but loyal community in the mid-2000’s, podcasting has exploded in recent years into a multitude of shows. Over 2 million to be exact! Now, there are hosts covering a plethora of topics, numerous hosts covering the same topics, and many of these podcasts have a massive and dedicated listening audience.  It’s estimated that over 885,000 podcasts launched in the year 2020 alone! That’s nearly half of the shows accounted for in all of podcasting!

Podcast Networks or Communities are becoming more and more popular. These communities are filled with podcasts where the show hosts or podcast themes are tied by a single commitment or goal, or perhaps share similar worldviews. One community that I am familiar with is the Christian Podcast Community. Having built this site for a client, and considering the number of podcasts I have added to this site, I thought it might be helpful to write a little tutorial on what is used to make this happen: the theme, plugins, and steps used to make it all work.

Hopefully, if you’ve found this page, you will find this tutorial useful. Let’s begin.

Checklist

Here’s the theme and plugins used for this tutorial:

Step 1 – Log in to your Podcast Website

Step 2 – Post Category Creation

  1. Navigate to Posts and click on Categories.
  2. Type the name of the Podcast Show in the field labeled Name.
  3. Unless you want a custom slug, you can skip this as it will auto-generate.
  4. *Optional Step: If you have multiple podcasts in your network, it’s easier long-term to categorize them under a parent category, such as Programs, or whatever name you’d like to choose. You don’t have to do this, but if you have a personality like mine, you want everything in order and in its place. So, create the Programs category first, then once the page reloads, under the Parent Category, Select Programs and click Add New Category below.
    Please Note: Regardless if you decide to use a Parent Category or not, you still have to create the Podcast Show as a Category to move forward.

     

  5. Click on the newly created Category. Under the Yoast SEO Premium toolbox, click Advanced. Change the Yes, to No under Allow search engines to show this Category in search results. (If you don’t have the premium version of Yoast, this feature may not be available.) If you were hosting this podcast on your network, you would skip this step. This is for affiliate or 3rd party podcasts only.

     

  6. Make note of the category slug that’s generated as you will need it in Step 7-4.

Step 3 – Contact Form

  1. Rollover Contact on the left-hand main menu and right-click Contact Forms and select Open in New Tab.
  2. At this point, you need to create your first contact form, or if you have one that is already good to go, simply duplicate it.
  3. Edit the Form Name to match that of the Podcast Show you’re working on.
  4. Under the Form tab, these are the settings I use, but you can make this whatever you want.
    1. <label> Your Name (required) [text* your-name] </label>
      <label> Your Email (required) [email* your-email] </label>
      <label> Subject [text your-subject] </label>
      <label> Your Message [textarea your-message] </label>
      [anr_nocaptcha g-recaptcha-response]
      [submit "Send"]
  5. Click the Mail tab.
  6. In the To: field copy and paste the primary host’s email address in this field. For multiple recipients, skip down a few boxes to Additional Headers. The format for this box should be as follows. Please note that Bcc: is optional.
    1. Reply-To: [your-email]
      Cc: [email protected], [email protected] Bcc: [email protected]
  7. Under Message Body (same tab), the format to use is below. Simply edit the show page URL and update the Show Name and Podcast Website Name.
    1. <b>From:</b> [your-name]<[your-email]>
      <b>Subject:</b> [your-subject]
      <b>Message Body:</b>
      [your-message]-- This e-mail was sent from a contact form on the <a href="https://yourdomainshowpage.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Show Name</a> page found on <b>Podcast Website Name</b>
  8. Click Save.
  9. In the blue field at the top of the page is the Contact Form shortcode. Make note of this as you will need it again in Step 7-8. Leave this tab open so you can come back to it shortly.

Step 4 – Create User

  1. On the left-hand menu, click on Users, Add New.
  2. Create the username, First and Last Name of primary show host, email and password for the new user. Leave the box checked that says Send the new user an email about their account.
  3. Under Role, select Author.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click on Add New User.

Step 5 – Show Duplication

  1. Click on Shows.
  2. If you haven’t created a Show yet, do so. Otherwise, you should be able to duplicate any previously created show. 
  3. Find the freshly duplicated show and click on the title to edit. (If you paid attention to the Show title before you duplicated it, you will find this title with the word Draft after it. If you can’t find it, scroll to the top of the page and you will find shortcuts labeled “All, Mine, Published, and Drafts.” Click on Drafts and you will easily find the freshly duplicated show.)

Step 6 – Show Edits

  1. First, change the name of the show to the name of the podcast followed by the show host(s). 
    1. Ex: [show-name] with [show-host]; or [show-name] with [show-host], [show-cohost], and [show-cohost].
  2. Click Save Draft in the top-right.
  3. Below the show title you just edited, you’ll see a permalink. Click on Edit to the right of the permalink, and delete the hosts information, leaving only the Podcast Show name in the URL, and click OK
    1. Ex: Old Permalink URL: https://yourdomain.com/show/bitcoin-and-the-bible-with-john-smith-dave-smith-and-tony-smith ===> New Permalink URL: https://yourdomain.com/show/bitcoin-and-the-bible
  4. Next, navigate to the right under the section Show Categories. Select the appropriate show categories. Please note, these may need to be created.
  5. Scroll down to the bottom on the same column, to Featured Image and click on Add/Remove Featured Image
  6. Now, click on Set Featured Image.
  7. Drag and Drop the Podcast Show Artwork in the Media Library. Click Set Featured Image on the bottom right.
  8. Scroll back up to the middle section labeled Show Settings. Remove the image under Title Area Background Image by clicking the red minus sign on the current image.
  9. Click on Add or Upload File to the right and upload your image. Click on Use this file.
  10. Below, under Header Show Description, enter the show description.
  11. Next, under Post Category to Display select the appropriate show category for this show page. Make sure no other show categories are selected.
  12. Next, scroll down to Show Hosts. Type in the show host(s) information.
  13. Next, under Show Host Avatar, click the red minus sign on the current image and then click on Add or Upload File.
  14. Drag and drop or upload the primary show host image and click Use this file.
  15. Next, under Show Website Link, enter the Show website.
  16. Next, under Show RSS Feed Link, enter the show’s RSS feed URL.
  17. Next, under Subscribe & Social Links, click on the current dropdowns and edit/add the appropriate subscribe links for the show. Please note: If adding new links, click Save Draft before ordering the Subscription Links.
  18. Next, scroll down to Social Icon Links and complete the social links for the show. Please note: If adding new links, click Save Draft before ordering the Social Icon Links.
  19. Click Save Draft at the top.
  20. Once this has saved, in the middle of your screen, click on the large blue button that says Edit with Elementor.

Step 7 – Elementor Edits

  1. Click on Edit with Elementor. Once Elementor loads, you’ll see a preview of your page prior to being published. If you click on Website or Subscribe you’ll have a preview of those links as well.
  2. Scroll down to the text below the header, and click on the blue pencil icon on the right. You’ll see the text editor on the left. Enter the longer, more detailed description of the podcast into the text editor box. You’ll see the text appear in the window on the right.
  3. Next, scroll down to the section All Episodes. Click the blue pencil on the right. On the left-hand side, you’ll see 3 sections labeled, Post List Settings, Post Layout, and Post Query. Select Post Query
  4. In the Post Query section, under Narrow by Category, type in the show slug as reference above in Step 2-5. You will not see any episodes displayed just yet. This is normal.
  5. Next, go to the Show host pictured below and click the blue pencil icon on the right next to their name. Edit the show host to the current host information.
    1. Choose Image – Select the appropriate Show Host image and click Insert Media.
    2. Under Title & Description, add the Host name. Keep in mind the following format:
      1. Show Co-Host <br>
        <i>Bitcoin and the Bible</i>
    3. If it’s just a single host, say Show Host. If it’s multiple hosts, say Show Co-Host. Be careful not to edit the code surrounding the Show Host/Show Info.
  6. If you need to add another Co-Host, right-click the box and it will give you an option to duplicate the content. Repeat steps A & B above for each Co-Host.
  7. Next, if necessary, edit Send me a message below the photos to say “us” instead of “me.”
  8. Next, click on the blue pencil on the contact form. In the text box on the left, copy the Contact Form Shortcode in this box from Step 3-9.
  9. In the lower left-hand corner click the Green Button that says Publish.
  10. Once Published, click the hamburger menu in the upper left-hand corner. Then click Exit to Dashboard.
  11. From here, right-click the permalink at the top of the page, and go back to your Contact Form tab you should still have open.
  12. In the Contact Form you just created, under the Mail tab, and in the Message Body section, paste the URL you just copied over the URL in the parenthesis. Click Save.
  13. Publish Show Page.

Step 8 – Podcast Import

  1. If you have a social media auto poster plugin, now would be a good time to disable that plugin. When you import your podcast, there’s a good chance you will time out while importing if your social media auto poster is trying to post each episode you import onto social media.
  2. On the left-hand side, roll your mouse over Tools and click on Podcast Importer.
  3. Under the Import Feed tab, you’ll see Podcast Feed URL. Paste the podcast RSS feed here.
  4. Leave Post Type as ‘Post.’
  5. Leave Post Status as ‘Publish.’
  6. Change Post Author to appropriate Author.
  7. Select the appropriate Post Category.
  8. Select the appropriate Parent Show Post.
  9. Check the following boxes: Ongoing Import, Import Episode Featured Images.
  10. You can set a particular image to be added to a specific podcast automatically that will overwrite the original podcaster’s upload. This is helpful when some podcasters don’t use an image for their podcast, or if for some reason the importer is having a hard time importing the used podcast image over.
  11. Click on Import (please note this may take a little time.)
  12. If the importer takes too long to import all the episodes, repeat the steps above until all your episodes have been imported. The importer will not duplicate episodes.
  13. Once finished, you’ll get a success message and a view of the Scheduled Imports of your RSS feed.

Step 9 – Cleanup

  1. Check the Posts Category and verify the Featured Images have been imported. If not, follow these instructions:
    1. On the left-hand menu, click on Featured Images.
    2. Under Bulk Edit, click Bulk set, replace and remove featured images for existing posts.
    3. Under Actions with a single image, leave Set the selected image checked, and click on Choose Image.
    4. Pick the image you uploaded earlier in Step 6-7 and click on Choose Image. Scroll down to the bottom and click Next.
    5. Under Refine your selections, check the box that says Overwrite featured Images.
    6. Next, under Optional: Add a filter, select Category Filter. Click Next.
    7. Select the Podcast Show Category you created in Step 2 and click Preview Filtering.
    8. Scroll down to the bottom and click Apply
  2. Next, go to your website and click on Shows. Find your new Podcast Show and verify everything looks right.

This concludes the tutorial of adding affiliate podcasts to your Podcast Network. The next tutorial will show you how to add hosted podcasts to your Network. There is a difference in some of the steps listed above, although many of the steps are repeated.