Podcasting with Jekyll in 4 Steps

    Most people struggle with the audio and sound side of podcasting. I’m lucky I have been a musician and own a bunch of recording equipment that I’m familiar with. So my main work in getting a podcast going was the RSS feed aspect of it.

    A Podcast is a Feed

    Not more and not less… digging into podcasting my primary question was: “How do I get on iTunes?”. A few minutes of research taught me, that Podcasts are basically just RSS feeds. And in order to make them work in iTunes you just have to follow along Apples documentation on Podcasting.

    The 4 Steps to Podcasting with Jekyll

    1. Record a Podcast
    2. Host your Podcast somewhere
    3. Have Jekyll create a valid Podcast RSS Feed
    4. Submit your Feed Link to iTunes (or elsewhere)

    1. Recording

    Ok, I can’t help you much with No. 1 - that’s left to you, but once you are ready, here’s what’s next:

    2. Hosting

    I decided to use Amazon S3 Storage for my Podcasts. The first year is free and I can use the web interface to upload my files. No cost but also no fancy magic.

    Update: If you are just starting out with your podcast you might want to have a look at FeedPress. If you can afford 5$ - 10$ a month and want hosting, newsletter and analytics in one, they might be a solution worth looking at.

    3. Create a Feed with Jekyll

    Ok, so now we need Jekyll to generate a nice and valid podcast feed for us. First we’ll add a ``podcast.rss` file to our Jekyll root folder that looks like this:

    You should take care, that you provide the necessary info in your _config.yml, like so:

    Now you only have to add the specific information to the front matter of the article (podcast episode) that you release:

    For debugging, run jekyll serve -w and add /podcast.rss to your local url and check if the feed is complete. You can also use feed validators like castfeedvalidator, to check if your feed got all necessary information.

    4. Submitting the Feed to iTunes

    If everything went well in the steps before you now own a valid RSS feed with you podcast info and are ready to submit it to iTunes.

    The unspectacular iTunes Podcast submission dialogue

    It’s a very unspectacular happening - just fill in the url and if everything is green, you will receive an eMail, that your submission will be reviewed.

    In my case it took about 3 days until I received a second Mail, that my podcast was now available on iTunes.

    Speaking of which - check out my podcast here (if you can handle some german language).