Answering frequently asked questions about podcasts for the unfamiliar fan, and walking you step by step through the process of subscribing and spreading the love.
1. What is a podcast?
A podcast is pretty much an on-demand talk radio show. You can listen through the podcast app on your phone or through other media apps like iTunes or Google Play. More people are producing (creating / hosting) their own independent shows now, whereas in the past one would have to switch on the AM station and rely on National Public Radio (NPR) or their favorite faith speaker, DJ, or just buy audio CDs for audio training courses. Now, it’s as simple as downloading an app and subscribing.
Podcasting (developing content, recording, and publishing it online) has become an effective way for writers and speakers to reach their audience (the people who are inspired by and want to follow what they do) on a different level than just writing or speaking. Podcasting has become a convenient way to follow someone’s work.
Normally a podcast “episode” will be a recording of the creator’s work, message, or entertaining material, and can be as long as the creator believes will be valuable to their audience. Generally, a podcast between 15 and 45 minutes will keep a listener’s attention if they find the information valuable, relevant, and applicable to their life. Click here for more about podcasts from Apple Support.
2. When do people listen to podcasts?
Since podcasts are audio-based, you can listen on your device while doing another activity. Most of our listeners push play while they’re driving, cleaning up, doing laundry or dishes, or taking a jog. Unlike Vlogs (video blogs), podcasts are a hands & eyes-off approach to absorbing information.
How to Listen On Your Phone (Using a Podcast App)
- Launch a podcast app on your phone or tablet (Podcasts comes installed on iPhone/iPad; download and install Podcast Addict (my favorite) or Pocket Casts on Android devices)
- Search for “Practical Family Podcast.” You will see the little house and tree with the headphones 🙂
- Download and listen to an episode. Then subscribe to have episodes sent automatically
3. What does it mean to “subscribe” to a podcast?
Much like subscribing to a magazine, subscribing means that you are giving the podcast creator (podcaster), or media app permission to keep you up-to-date when new episodes come out. Some podcasters offer freebies to subscribers or announce giveaways only within the episode so listeners are the first to take advantage of special offers. Subscriber appreciation is important for a podcaster to speak over the sound waves, because the listening audience are often their most loyal fans.
4. Why are reviews important?
Leaving a review for a podcast does a few really great things for the creator: first, it tells them that you are engaging with their content and care enough to leave feedback. Even if it’s not all five stars, it’s still the best gift you could give to anyone giving of their time, talent, & passion. Second, leaving a review helps the podcast to be seen higher in iTunes and Google Play rankings. When many people are reviewing the show, it gets pushed up to be more visible for other people to see when they’re browsing related topics. We call that reach. The more people who are exposed to the material, the more who will engage, benefit from, and spread the message. And YOU just helped them do that, high fives!
How to Leave a Review on iTunes
If you’re a regular listener to the Practical Family Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. This is tremendously helpful to help us reach more people.
- Go to the iTunes listing for “Practical Family Podcast.”
- Click the blue “View in iTunes” button to launch iTunes
- Once in iTunes, click the “Ratings and Reviews” tab
- Click the “Write a Review” button to leave a star rating and/or write a review
5. Can I share favorite episodes with my friends?
Yes, and please do! There are sharing options in the iTunes app or just about any other you may be using. You can copy the link and paste into a text message or email, or share straight to your favorite social media channels. Following a podcaster’s website page and signing up for their newsletter will also let you know when new content comes out. If you find their content valuable, join their community and share all the love with others who enjoy the content! Click here to join the Practical Family Community.