While there is no “best” way to get people to subscribe to your podcast from your website there are things you can do to make the option to do so more obvious.
Here are the things I’ve done to help site visitors to subscribe to my podcast, offering subscription options, not pop-ups and other guerrilla tactics.
I don’t know where I heard this, but someone at Amazon once said something to the effect of, “They should be able to buy something on every page.” It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not… it’s good advice. I apply it to my site by saying, “They should be able to subscribe to my podcast from every page.” Here are some places I put subscribe options:
Subscription Options on the Main Page Header and Sidebar
I added a tab above the navigation but below the header. It puts a call to action right at the top of the main page (only). You’ll also notice a line of subscription icons along the top of the sidebar. The key icons are iTunes, RSS and Email. The Email links to a MailChimp subscription form.
Subscription Options on My Subscribe Page
I have a Subscribe link in my main navigation bar. This is what it links to. I added a brief description of what subscribing is, then a text version of the sidebar icons. Here I also directed folks to the option of listening on the website by directing them to the podcast archives.
I added links to the various podcast listening apps that I have available as well.
Lastly I list out three alternative feeds. My main feed only holds the last 100 episodes. So we have a feed for episodes 1-100, 101-200, and 201-300 (that gets a new addition each week).
Subscription Options under Episode Posts
Using a great plug-in called Shortcode Exec PHP I can add a short bit of code and have all of the text shown above automatically added. This is great because if this information ever changes, I edit it one time, in the settings of the plugin, and every page using the short code is updated.
You’ll see that I have repeated much of the content on the Subscribe page… but tightened it up for space reasons.
Just One Thing…
Between the main page header, sidebar, the subscribe page and the text added under every episode post I feel like I’ve got everything covered. You can literally subscribe to Nobody’s Listening from any page on the site.
I tend to obsess about my website… but from what I have gathered in 7 years of podcasting most of my subscriptions come directly from iTunes (to the tune of 98%) and most of my audience have experienced the show without ever coming to the website. So any stress you might feel about not having your website setup to attract new subscribers… get your house in order… but don’t lose any sleep over it.