Are you wondering how to create a podcast cover and select a host for your show?
Podcast cover art is like a cross between a book cover and social media profile photo. Your main goals should be to:
- Stand out- be different!
- Tell listeners what your show is about
- Get people to click and learn more
- Be easy to read (at different sizes)
How do I make podcast cover art?
You can create a podcast cover yourself or hire someone to create it for you. Keep in mind that you can always change it later too. Here are the dimensions you’ll want to use:
3000 x 3000 pixels, which is an 1:1 aspect ratio.
In general, you should be using JPG or PNG files and it should have an absolute minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels.
You can create the podcast cover art yourself with something like PicMonkey or Canva. You can also use a service like 99Designs or Fiverr or- and this is the easiest way- use the preloaded template from Anchor.
I recommend the Anchor template for those who just need a placeholder while their Graphic Designer works magic for them. My art was created by Olive Fox Design. Heck, this website was too!
What category should I select?
You’ll want to figure out these details as you consider cover art:
- Podcast Title
Note that only the name of your show is searchable within Apple Podcasts (spoiler alert: a large majority of your listeners will come from this platform). You’ll want to select a category that is broad enough to reach your ideal listener but not so broad you never make any charts.
As an example, I chose “Family & Kids” for Run Lift Mom over “Fitness” because it is less competitive but still reaches my ideal listener and customer for ZYIA Active, my direct sales brand.
If you try to manipulate the search function (“Direct Sales for Beautycounter, ZYIA Active, & Pampered Chef featuring guests like Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama, & Dolly Parton”), you won’t be approved or can be removed.
Save the creativity for your description, which should balance catchy to pique interest and broad enough to cover your different show formats.
It may help to take a look at other podcasts to get an idea for what they have included in those fields.
Action item: work on your cover art, podcast details, and listen to other podcasts for ideas or ways to improve on what they’re doing
What’s a podcast hosting platform?
This is essentially where you upload your audio episodes. Since your podcast is an extension of your personal brand and marketing funnel for direct sales, I recommended Anchor, which is owned by Spotify.
Anchor is a free, all in one hosting, distribution, and editing option that plays nicely with Instagram. You can share specific episodes to stories without needing the 10,000 swipe up.
I’ve been with them prior to the acquisition by Spotify and can tell you it only gets better and easier as time goes on. You don’t even need a microphone to begin- your iPhone is totally fine. It’s the best zero to 100 choice for you!
Anchor will submit your podcast to over 10 different distribution platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Castbox, Google, RadioPublic and others. Note: it takes anywhere from 48 hours to 4 weeks to get on all 10.
You won’t need to do anything except submit your demo (pro tip: go ahead and record a trailer + 3 episodes) to begin.
Other hosting platforms
The other option is to use a hosting platform like Libsyn, Buzzsprout, or Blubrry. Editing options if you go this route:
- GarageBand (it comes installed with your Mac)
- Audacity (free, high learning curve)
- Adobe Audition (fee associated)
This is a great choice for podcasters who want to control their RSS feed and have the ability to dynamically insert ads for big sponsors down the road. If you are a one woman or man show without a team to sell ads, this is probably a non-issue.
You want to promote your direct sales brand anyway, right?!
Action step: choose a podcast hosting platform and begin their systems training
If you’re in direct sales and are thinking about starting a podcast, connect with me! You can also listen to my podcast episode about How to Start a Podcast.
I offer coaching services and guidance and have firsthand experience selling ZYIA Active while hosting Run Lift Mom, which has been featured on New & Noteworthy and charted at number 17 in Kids & Family!