Day 6: The hosts with the mosts

Pod Squad…happy Tuesday!

First and foremost, Dan and I wanted to stop down and let you all know that you are doing an excellent job! Seriously, this process can be daunting, and you all are taking it all in stride, being active, and helping one another.

Congratulations so far for sticking with this process. It will get more intense over the next several days, but stay encouraged, and keep going.

Today, we will select a podcast host. Now I know what you’re thinking, and that’s that YOU are the host of your podcast. And let me just say we have no intention of taking that title away from you.

When we ask “who is your podcasts host?” or ask someone where they host their podcast, we’re technically referring to a media hosting company. To simplify what this means, there are a few steps involved with getting your show from your mic, to your listeners, and we’ve spelled them out below:

STEP 1: You record your show and save it as an MP3 file.

STEP 2: You upload this MP3 to your media host (we recommend our favorites below).

STEP 3: This media host generates an RSS Feed, which is what distributes this MP3 to all of your listeners’ podcast players.

STEP 4: Your listeners see the latest episodes in their podcast player, and listen away!

It is important to host your podcast through one of the third party hosts. While there are a number of ways to cobble together a podcast without one, there are some serious drawbacks that make the risk and trouble far greater than small cost savings. (You are welcome to read this blogpost about why you should never host podcasts on your own website or you can take our word for it.)

Here is a list of hosting options in alphabetical order that we recommend. In full transparency, the hosting companies below are strong supporters of Podcast Movement, but more importantly the podcast community in general. There are a lot of companies out there looking to make a quick buck off of new podcasters, but all of these are ones that are in it for the long haul with us. As an added bonus, we have personal contacts at every company, so if you run into any issues or questions, we can bring them into the Facebook Group to help out!

For the most part, the core offerings of all of these will be the same, and they all get you from point Step 1 to Step 4, as described above.

However there are some things to consider when deciding between these great, but different, hosting companies:

  • Volume. Some of these hosts let you upload an unlimited number of episodes / podcasts per month, others have limits.
  • Integrations. Some of these hosts can distribute your show to other platforms, not just podcast apps. These include iHeartRadio, Spotify, YouTube, and more.
  • Monetization. Some of these hosts either have built-in crowdfunding platforms, or ways to get ads inserted into your show automatically.
  • Show Websites. Some of these hosts also create nice looking websites for your podcast. So if you don’t want to mess with creating a full website for your show, you might be interested in an all-in-one solution.
  • Embeddable Players. Each of these hosts offer a way to embed an episode or show player on your website. If that’s important to you, check out the different ones and see which ones best fit your needs. Please note there are a number of other ways to embed podcasts on your website, so this one should NOT be a make or break feature.
  • Price. This is the one “duh” of the list, but there is a large range of pricing options amongst them, and you’ll ultimately need to decide what balance of offerings to cost is right for you!

There are all kinds of other features to explore, but hopefully the above give you some guideposts to look for as evaluating your options. As always, when in doubt… feel free to ask fellow podcasters in the group what hosting companies they like and recommend based on your specific needs.

But Dan & Jared… I’m not in a financial position to commit to one of these hosting companies at the moment. Can I still create my podcast?

We’re glad you asked fictional, but likely real-life, future podcaster. The answer is YES. While we strongly advise podcasters to work with one of the hosting companies above due to our experience and the support they provide, they are not the only options.

Believe it or not, some free podcast hosting companies do exist. We cannot guarantee how long these companies will stay in business, because it obviously takes money for these companies to exist, but if it is the only way you can afford to get started, then by all means get going.

Here are 2 free podcast hosting options if you are not able to commit to a premium podcast hosting company now.

** Disclaimer ** We have never used Anchor or Whooshkaa. You have to use these at your own risk.

Take Action

What direction are you planning on going as it relates to podcast hosting? Have you already signed up for one, or are you still considering your options? Comment in today’s dedicated post in the Facebook group and let us know! We know this seems like a huge decision. And while it IS an important one, know that regardless of which one you go with, they are all good with helping you move from one to another if you decide to change at any time.

You’ve made it this far, almost a week We are in this to win this! We are stronger together!

Mark your calendars for tomorrow’s Facebook Live Office Hours. We’ll be talking the Challenge, answering your questions, and even featuring some fellow Pod Squaders!

Talk tomorrow,
Team PM

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