My yearly theme for 2020 is Depth, which means I want to cut away a lot of stuff I don’t need to do, and really dig in deep on a few select activities – both personal and professional. One of the focus areas is using more tools to my advantage and automating more. This will allow me to do fewer small tasks, so I can handle the big tasks. And over the holiday break, I automated 3 areas of my podcast that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.
Automatically Upload Episodes to Libsyn
I have a confession to make. In my Podcast Process and Setup post I mentioned I’d like to do this, and since then said I was. That’s in part due to the fact I thought I finally got a Hazel script working that would watch a Dropbox folder, then upload new files to the Libsyn directory via FTP…specifically Transmit. But that was unreliable because sometimes (usually) Transmit would prompt for a password before uploading, rendering the “automatic” part of it useless.
Repurpose to the Rescue
Luckily, I recently signed up for Repurpose.io. It allows for connecting services to all sorts of other services, watches RSS feeds, and more. I got into it for the next automation task I set up, but automatically uploading to Libsyn seemed like a task that persisted for far too long. You can connect Repurpose to watch a specific Dropbox folder, and when a new audio file is added, it will send it to Libsyn for you. Fantastic.
Pushing the Show to YouTube
Speaking of Repurpose.io, I finally bit the bullet and sign up, mostly thanks to sale they had in December. My main purpose for getting it was that I wanted to start pushing the podcast to my YouTube channel.
I heard over the summer at Podcast Movement that you should be where people listen, and more people are actually using YouTube. Repurpose lets you customize the video artwork and a few other options, and pushes it over to YouTube without me having to lift a finger.
The last thing I’m using Repurpose.io for (which I need to test a bit more) is Audiograms. Over on YouTube I have a video on how to make an audiogram with Headliner, but I need something a bit more streamlined if I’m going to do it.
With Repurpose, I’m able to have it watch my podcast feed, then generate an audiogram and have it sent to Dropbox.
Create Episode Number Redirects
Without fail, the step I skip when scheduling a new episode is creating the short URL, which is the howibuilt.it – slash – episode number. I have to go to a different screen in the WordPress admin to do it.
Luckily, the redirect plugin I use makes it very easy to create redirects programmatically with a public function. So I added some code to my custom plugin. The code grabs the episode number and creates a redirect on save. One less step for me to worry about!
Aside: I was going to take it one step further and have it auto-increment the episode number. But, I often do bonus episode and might schedule some out of order. So until I think that through a little more, it will still be manual.
Email Guests When Episode is Publish
The last task I automate, also through code in my plugin, is emailing guests once the episode is published. That’s another task I had to do on Tuesday mornings that was some low-hanging automation fruit.
Now, I add the guest’s name and email to the post (unpublished). So as soon as the post goes live, the guest gets an email letting them know it’s out.