This post can apply to either the brand new podcaster or the seasoned podcaster.
When it comes down to getting serious about your podcast, you want to start branding yourself from the start so that people can recognize the name of your podcast.
Today I want to talk to you about using branded links for your podcast so that people can easily access certain long form links that can’t be mentioned in a podcast itself.
Simplified branded links are easy to use when you’re trying to give out a website where the address is far too long to mention while podcasting. But if you're resourceful, you’re able to put those long links inside of your own branded link with a very simple extension.
For example, if I had a link I wanted to promote in my podcast that took my listener to a location where that post is hosted, I could give out the address, "theshanman.com/4"--a link that takes them to the hypothetical 4th episode of my podcast.
Branded links also give you the ability to cross-promote previous episodes as short links.
Let's talk to you about three types of branded links, two of which you’ll definitely want to use for your podcast.
When I had a WordPress website, this was one of my favorite plugins to use for any links I wanted to share. Pretty Link allowed me to redirect any long-form link by sharing a simple, branded link.
If I happen to mention a link in my podcast, more than likely I was using a Pretty Link.
A Pretty Link also takes the domain name of your website address and allows you to append simple extensions.
One of the other benefits of having the Pretty Link plugin is that each Pretty Link you create inside of WordPress can be organized and grouped together. This way, if you start using the plugin more, you can organize which links are being used and which ones aren't. Or you could determine which links are popular clicks and which ones don't perform.
Let’s use another example with my domain name. Say that I have a link that is "theshanman.com/paperback". Because that link is now a short link, the actual link is to a product that is listed on Amazon.com But if I wanted to change the direction from Amazon to another seller, you could definitely achieve this without changing the actual short link itself.
Pretty Link also gives you the ability to see the stats of how many people are clicking on your short link.
There is a free version of Pretty Link, but if you want to manage multiple sites with Pretty Link, it will cost you.
Just as a note, Pretty Link works for Wordpress sites that you set up on GoDaddy or Bluehost. This will not work on a wordpress.com website.
I realize that there are a lot of people out there that don't have a Wordpress site. Perhaps you have a Wix or Squarespace site and can't use these types of short links. In my case, I no longer have a WordPress website and have upgraded to a site called Kajabi.
My example is still applicable for those who don't have the ability to use something like Pretty Links.
For me, Kajabi doesn’t give me the ability to have these types of short links within the platform itself. I’m forced to go outside of the platform and find a domain name that is somewhat similar to what my normal domain name is.
My domain name is obviously "theshanman.com" and I found an alternative to Pretty Links with a service called Rebrandly. It is somewhat similar to Pretty Links, but has a few different changes.
First, Rebrandly does cost money to access a domain. Also, if you want a matching domain to your site, it won't be possible. So you'll need to find a domain that is close to your main site's domain. This may take some time to find, but it's worth it to maintain the consistent branding.
If you've seen my bio link in Instagram, you might have seen a link that I've posted that is shanman.tips/quickstart. This particular link accesses my quickstart guide that you can get through my website. But instead of providing the real link (http://www.theshanman.com/p/quickstart-guide-to-podcasting) I just provide the shortlink that ties to that particular page.
Once you find a Rebrandly domain name that you like, it’s going to cost you about $20 a year. With that price, you’ll be able to see how many people are actually clicking on those links that you are providing for the world to see.
Also, you can tie Rebrandly to Bit.ly and view deeper analytics that go behind that particular link.
Using something like Rebrandly will be completely up to you, but if you ask me, it's worth it.
Once you’ve gotten a domain name for your website, you should have the ability to use that domain name with an email service that is tied with GoDaddy or Bluehost.
I particularly don’t like to use the email system on GoDaddy or Bluehost. I like to use G Suite by Google. This allows me to tie my domain to Google's email server and gain access to Google Drive, Inbox--pretty much every Google product that is out there.
This does cost money, though.
For one email I do believe it costs $5 a month. If you want to upgrade into a better plan, you can go up to $10. With a $10 plan, you get unlimited storage for Google Drive and you’re able to do a lot more with G Suite.
From my perspective, that's one of the better deals that are out there compared to something like Dropbox.
Also, G Suite will give you the ability to add another email address instead of one main email address. So, if you wanted your co-host to have an email address, you have one extra address to burn on the $10 plan.
At $10 a month, it’s pretty affordable when you think about it. It would really help brand you and brand the name of your podcast when people start to associate you and your brand name.
If there’s another way that you use branded links for you and your website or your podcast, I’d love to hear all about it.
Just leave a comment down in the section below and I promise to you that I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Whether you're feeling inspired to make a podcast like mine or you're just trying to figure out where to start, my FREE PDF GUIDE will show you where to get started in under 15 minutes.
Shannon will share his 18 years of radio broadcasting knowledge and show you how strategies in radio relate directly to podcast creation and strategy!