Tips for Submitting Your Podcast on Google and Apple … and Why You Must Have a Podcast in the First Place

Podcast … it is a term that is entering the common vocabulary in the same way that blog, "Google" and other computer specific terminology have done in the past few years. In the past, a podcast was an oddity that belonged exclusively to those who owned the iPod (the term is built from combining "broadcasting" and iPod after all). Today, podcasts can be streamed through a web browser, supplied through an RSS subscription, or loaded to any device capable of interacting with the Internet.

There are a few technical terms that anyone interested in making podcasts should know, and among them is the new definition of a podcast. For all intents and purposes, they are digital files that are made to be downloaded to a computer or media player. They can be "one off" episodes, but are most often a series of recordings about a subject or specific area of interest.

So, they are not limited to the iPod owners, and they are not exactly broadcasts. They are what you should refer to as "content syndication". Though you can use places like iTunes and Google Play to find podcasts, you can also subscribe to your favorites (via their websites as well as online stores) and have them delivered to you directly, and however you choose.

Why You Should Be Making Podcasts

Okay, so that is the technical description of the podcast, and now it is time to look at precisely why you want or need one. After all, you may be like so many others in the modern world and already write a blog, use social media to promote ideas or your business, and even maintain a website. Why add yet another item to the "to do" list?

Reasonably, there is no single, easy answer. Instead, there is a list of really great reasons that you need to roll up your sleeves, clear your throat, and start talking:

  • They are hot and have become one of the most popular ways for people to generate content. Take the tremendous success of something like Serial and the offshoots it has created to see just how effective a well-made podcast can be.
  • They are a potent form of content unlike anything else in the list of possibilities. After all, blogs, videos, social media, articles, websites … they don't exactly travel well. They can connect us to an idea, but that connection breaks when we walk away from the computer. Podcasts come with us on any media player and people often talk about taking them into the shower, out on the road, on walks, as they do chores, and more. Content is king, and podcasts are a way of bringing that content out into the world in the most dynamic way imaginable.
  • They speak to us. Yes, they are recordings that are speaking, but have you ever had to read a sentence twice because the meaning was unclear? The spoken word doesn't run that risk. When podcasting, your message is spoken clearly, with emotion, and even with inflection at just the right points.
  • Podcasts can be transcribed into dynamic written content and used for posting to a blog, website or social media, and all without running the risk of taking some hits to SEO results.
  • They are ideal conduits for guest content, and it is much more likely that you can get a 15-minute phone call with your guest than that 500-1000 word article that tends to be "guest content".
  • They are so easy to make. Go ahead and record a podcast and then try to achieve the same sort of content goals with writing. Record, edit, and release is all that it takes, and then it is up to you to promote it.

And now that you know the reasons for making podcasts, it is time to consider how to get your podcast uploaded and build an audience around them.

Apple iTunes and Google Play Music in Addition to Your Sites

The places that people can listen to podcasts include the actual website with its RSS feed, or they can subscribe to the podcast by uploading it via iTunes or Google Play Music. Thus, you want your podcasts to appear on these venues. To do this takes one thing: Following instructions.

Both iTunes and Google Play Music have very specific guidelines that you must follow if your podcast is accepted and then placed in the store. While it is possible for us to give you the instructions here, it would be better for you to use the very latest versions from the sources themselves:

iTunes’ "How to  Submit a Podcast" is found at this link

A good source for submitting a podcast to Google Play Music is here

Something to note about using both sites is that there are tips and suggestions available for increasing your chances at success. For example, Apple provides a long list of tips for "Creating Podcast Feeds and Metadata" that you just cannot ignore. These suggestions include taking advantage of tagging, using strong subcategories, and choosing a strong title. Why? So you can be found by an audience looking for your kind of content.

Remember that neither Google Play Music nor Apple iTunes sites can work with you unless you have your RSS feed up and running, and Google Play Music strongly suggests using the same RSS feed link that you submitted to iTunes. Naturally, a high quality show, good visuals and sound, and effective music and content must enter the equation too.

By now, you know that a podcast is becoming an essential part of any content marketing plan, and it is a far more dynamic and unusual way to spread your message.

Emerging Digital Tech for Churches

There are a variety of technologies that provide a multitude of ways we as church communicators can reach and grow our online audiences. Whether it’s social media, websites, podcasts, mobile apps, live streaming and much more, the tech we currently have available to us is astounding. But what makes this so much more fascinating is that in addition to the current technology, there are emerging technologies that are providing amazing ways for the church to reach and engage with more people in the digital mission field. Here are some of those technologies:

  1. Location-based marketing technology

    • What is it? - Location based marketing technology or geofencing, is the ability to market to people based on their location. The messages that people receive are based on their location and/or proximity to a business.

    • Church Uses - Churches will be able to completely reach their audiences in new and real-time ways, thanks to the rise of RFIDs and iBeacons.

      1. iBeacons are small, inexpensive transmitters that use Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology to detect nearby devices that can be housed in specific locations. Once a user passes this location and message can be broadcast to their phone via a Mobile App or SMS Text. A great church example of this could be to have an iBeacon located near the bookstore and let people know about flash sales that are going on once they get near the bookstore.

      2. A radio frequency identification (RFID) is a small electronic device that contains a chip and an antenna, providing a unique identifier for that tag. RFID wristbands, cards and apps enable church attendees to interact in new and engaging ways.

  2. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

    • What is it? - The most basic answer is that it’s a three dimensional, computer generated setting or environment that can be explored by someone using the appropriate equipment.

    • Church Uses - Virtual/Augmented Reality technologies will inevitably have a huge impact on the way the church can engage people. With the ability to literally tell 360-degree, interactive, immersive stories, churches will be able to engage like never before. A great augmented reality example will be the way we can add digital components to the traditional church experience to tell better stories. Imagine if the youth pastor was telling a biblical story and as the kids watched it through the churches AR app, they were able to see disciples act out the story while the pastor was speaking.

  3. The Internet of Things (IOT)

    • What is it? The IOT is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. Basically, anything that’s connected to the internet, but more than the traditional things we are used to like phones, tvs and computers. The IOT consists of things such as smart clothes, smart appliances, smart light bulbs, smart cars, smart glass, smart watches and so much more.

    • Church Uses - Wearable technology, appliance technology and the numerous things we interact with daily all give us an opportunity to connect with people and share a message of encouragement with them. Smart watches, smart appliances and smart mirrors for example, can be places that the church shares daily devotionals. Right now we think of sharing devotionals via email, SMS texts, websites or apps, but if we want to take the message to people no matter where they are at then we have to think about using all the things that will be internet connected in the future and use them to connect.

Overall, as we continue to develop our digital strategies to reach people online, do not be limited by what’s out there today, make sure to consider the new technologies that are growing in popularity and will position your church as a digital leader well into the future.






#InspiredMobility in 2016 at #BWBDC


It’s that time again and I am looking forward to stepping back into my role as a spokesperson for AT&T’s Inspired Mobility campaign. Inspired Mobility has continued to grow and it has been quite a pleasure to watch it evolve from the announcement at Blogging While Brown in 2014 to what it is today.  In 2014 I had a panel of church communicators which included myself, Tiffani Robinson and Chip Dizard. In 2015, I had a chat with grammy winning artist Lecrae about his use of technology and how he inspires and Rev Run was added to the campaign.


Let’s recap a bit for those who may not be familiar with what has occurred, AT&T began the Inspired Mobility conversation, by looking into the increasing acceptance of device use in houses of worship. Next, AT&T revealed how people of faith were using mobility to stay connected to what inspires them whether they attend a house of worship or not, which by the way, African Americans lead the way in these activities. In 2016, the dialogue moves forward to explore the many ways people are using their devices to enrich themselves and the lives of others no matter where they are.


This conversation will kick off in D.C. this year at the 2016 Blogging While Brown conference. Here are the details.


AT&T Inspired Mobility: Enabling good. Activating Everywhere


AT&T has teamed with faith and mobility expert Jason Caston to host a casual session to discuss how people are using mobility to inspire themselves, others and the masses.  As an evolution of the #InspiredMobility conversation, we'll take a look at how mobile technology is enabling people to connect with positive content that can enrich lives.  Ever been accused of "not being present," checking work e-mails or playing games on your device, when you were actually engaged in something more positive and enriching? AT&T invites conference attendees to join in this open discussion about how positive and inspirational interactions are happening more often than you think.  This conversation is for everyone, so pick up your device for a change and join us.

Moderators: Jason Caston (iChurch Method) and L. Michelle Smith (AT&T)

Hope to see you there!!

2016 #FICWFM #Braveheart2K16 Conference



I am looking forward to teaching The iChurch Method at the 2016 #FICWFM #Braveheart2K16 Conference.  This conference will be in D.C. July 12 - 14, 2016 and I have the opportunity to teach on Thursday at 11:30am.  

The thing that I am excited about with the FICWFM conference is that I have taught there before but this year there has been an increase in attendance, visibility and an audience that appears to be more receptive to the digital impact of ministry online. As we continue to see how the digital mission field is growing and how these digital platforms are creating new opportunities to grow ministries online and reach the world, I am always appreciative of another opportunity to teach The iChurch Method to church leaders.

Join me in DC and register today at


The Message vs. the Method

The Message vs. the Method

“If the church doesn’t catch up on technology and reach people where they are, it will become irrelevant.”  That was the line that ignited a Twitter debate between myself and a multitude of people as they defended the sanctity of the church and the fact that the gospel will always be relevant.

Using Periscope

Using Periscope

The world has been changed forever by mobile technology, and one of the most common ways we see this play out is through the availability of video cameras on mobile devices. There are few events that go undocumented, whether it is video of a gathering, newsworthy event, or our everyday lives, video is a part of it.

Think Mobile and Social

Think Mobile and Social

As we continue to progress in 2016, let’s look at how to be more focused on growing our online platforms and increasing engagement with our online audiences. While there are no shortage of ways to do this, it seems that creating an online strategy is quite elusive for many organizations. One of the most important aspects of building an online presence for your organization is to develop a digital strategy, “before” you join any networks or start communicating online. 

#ATT28Days - Developing a Methodology

#ATT28Days - Developing a Methodology

One of the most significant accomplishments in my life was moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2007. Once I landed on the west coast, a series of events would start to unfold that would change my entire existence. In April 2007, I accepted my first position working with a megachurch. My job title was Web Developer, but my job description was to fix all things online the ministry did. 

What Are Your Moments That Matter? #ATT28Days

What Are Your Moments That Matter? #ATT28Days

There are numerous stories and people behind iconic images and moments in African-American history.  To tell the story of all of them would take a lifetime but for the next 28 days, AT&T has challenged all of us to investigate moments that matter in Black History.  In addition to Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and other names we hear referenced often during February, we should look into the stories that are not often mentioned and learn how vast African-American history is and the many people that have played a significant part in shaping our history.

How The Church Can Reach Digital Natives and Millennials

How The Church Can Reach Digital Natives and Millennials

When my children were younger I would give them iPads to hold their attention while I had to tend to other things. This early introduction helped them become comfortable with technology at an early age. Many of us have all seen toddlers who have been given an iPad or smart phone and watched them “click and swipe” to their favorite apps or watch their favorite netflix cartoon.

Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Do You Need Both?

Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Do You Need Both?

There is a huge difference between an app and a website, and companies of all size need to consider whether theirs is a "one or the other" or "both" situation. While it is a given that any business has to have some accessibility for mobile devices of the Android or Apple varieties, many are unaware of which choice is the best. To help you make the right call about your company's needs, let's take a moment to compare a mobile website versus mobile apps.

YouTube Is Still on the Rise

YouTube Is Still on the Rise

You don't need to take our word for it, just look at any of the latest reports, studies or articles about the future of marketing and you see one word over and over again - video. However, along with that word you tend to see another - YouTube. Content is king, to be sure, but a YouTube video does double or triple duty as it can boost your SEO results, help you appear at the top of any SERPs, and be used for almost any purpose.

What is Inspired Mobility

What is Inspired Mobility

Inspired Mobility – Exploring the Relationship Between Mobile Technology and Faith...Do you use any faith-based, inspirational or worship-related mobile apps? Have you ever donated to your church through a text service or application? Have you enjoyed watching a live streaming sermon on your phone, laptop, or tablet? More and more people are answering “Yes” to these and other questions about mobile technology and faith practices, but others are still hesitant.