Blogging and Podcast integrations – Anchor x WordPress

Spotify is the parent company of podcasting platform Anchor.fm. In February 2021 they announced new plans to update interactivity on their podcasting platform and allow for integration between WordPress blogs and podcast episodes.

The reason why this is a big deal is pretty clear. Anchor allows for super easy podcast editing without a lot of other tools. It makes it very easy to get guest commentary using your phone, individual recordings or even allowing listener audio comments. But the best reason is because it makes the distribution to the main podcasting networks easy and connects you to a large network of sponsors for monetization.

Here’s what’s new:

Integrate your WordPress blog and Anchor podcast

To do so you will need to create a NEW Anchor account at https://anchor.fm/wordpressdotcom (You must use this link and a new account or this integration will NOT work!)

Once verified, you will be prompted to connect your existing WordPress blog and it will import your existing posts.

In addition to this YouTube video which details how to integrate the two systems, there is a detailed blog post from WordPress with the full instructions.

UPDATE: When you publish new posts on WordPress going forward, you will also be prompted after you publish news posts with the option to create your blog post as a podcast episode.

Wordpress publish screen with option to create Anchor podcast.

Publish Anchor podcasts from WordPress blogs

Once your blog is connected, your previous posts will appear in a list as potential episodes. You will click “Create episode” next to the post you want to transform into a podcast episode and then be prompted to select their “Convert text to audio” option or record the episode yourself.

Anchor episode list after WordPress import
This screenshot shows the top of my Episode’s dashboard in Anchor where my blog posts have been imported from WordPress.

I haven’t tried the automated text conversion but I found the ability for me to record the text myself very easy through their interface. They position the text so it’s easy for you to see and scroll to read and the recording timer is easily visible.

It’s likely that when you wrote these past episodes for a blog you weren’t writing with the tone of voice to speak about all your resources. So, things like references links, social media handles, data etc. you might want to think about before recording and tweak your script. When you are done recording, Anchor will give you the option to publish so you want to have the following things ready:

  • Episode thumbnail image
  • Episode season, number, and full name
  • A full text description of the post. If you are converting your blog post you shouldn’t need to do much work on show notes. Anchor does not automatically pull over your full post text for the description but it does provide a link to your blog post automatically. You’ll need to think about whether you want to use the default link, use an excerpt with link to your blog, want to copy and paste the full post, or create something else entirely. I fumbled a bit in recording text about the linked resources as to whether I was linking them in the episode notes or in the blog.

After you publish, your voice recording will be in the Anchor “Create your Episode” editor so you can add intro music, previous items from your library, new recordings, listener messages etc. When your editing is done then you can publish your final episode.

Publish podcast episodes to WordPress as a blog

In order to test this out, I downloaded a previous podcast episode I had made on my test Anchor account and then uploaded it to the new Anchor account that was connected to my WordPress. What Anchor claims “should happen” is that you are given a prompt to convert it to a blog post.

That did not happen for me. So, I also recorded some test audio and published it as a new episode. Again, did not get options on the episode or in the dashboard to convert the new audio to a blog.

This is a shame because it’s probably one of the handiest features that would be useful to create show notes and transcripts for ADA accessibility.

In any case, these is a useful effort by Spotify and WordPress to improve the podcasting experience.

If you use the integration, comment below and tell me how you like it or other features that might work for you.

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