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Issue #9 • September 2017

How (and Where) to Host and Publish Your Podcast

Content Marketing Podcasting

After you have two or three podcast episodes recorded, edited, and finalized, it’s time to actually get those episodes into the smart phone apps and playlists of your audience. But how does that happen?

For every beginner podcaster, this can be a confusing question. If you’re thinking you upload it straight to a publisher like iTunes, you’d be wrong, but you also wouldn’t be alone in that assumption. Do you set up it up on your own website? Well, you can, but for now you probably shouldn’t. I’ll get into that in a second.

So if you don’t give it to iTunes and you don’t put it on your website, where exactly should your podcast live? It has to go somewhere right?

Deciding where and with who you host your podcast is step 1 to going from podcast creation to listener downloads. Today, I’ll walk you through those steps and give you some options to look into to make the right decisions for your podcast hosting and publishing.  

Why you shouldn’t do your own podcast hosting

Where you host your podcast is basically the place you’ll be uploading all your finalized podcast files. When I say it like this, can you start to guess why you probably shouldn’t host your podcast on your website? If not, let’s talk about that right now.

We recommend that you own your own podcasting if you have the technical skills and know-how to do it. Blubrry is a very popular option for hosting your own podcast through your WordPress site with their plugin (which I’ll discuss later). So if you feel strong in your ability to solve problems that arise, go for it!

But while you absolutely can choose to host your own podcast for the control and complete ownership of it, it’s not something that comes highly recommended for beginners. Here’s a few reason why.

Stability

If you’re hosting your podcast on the same server as your website and something goes wrong with that, then you’re going to see problems in your podcast downloads. Think about it. If your website crashes because you have a high volume of readers visit it at once, your podcast is crashing down with it. Not good.

Content management system (CMS) issues

Your CSM itself might pose the biggest threat of all. It’s possible that no matter how popular and well-known they may be, some plug-ins and other website options can break your podcast RSS feed by sending invalid information, changing tags, or having poor coding. And the more you have on your website, the higher the risk is for them to create problems for your podcast. This can happen in anything from membership and SEO plugins to the theme you’re using for your website.

Shared hosting

If you’re hosting your website through a shared hosting provider, then you’re living on the kindness of strangers. You never know if someone else on that shared provider will abuse or take up all that server’s resources, leaving you and your podcast with little to spare. If this were to happen, you’d possibly have a slow-running website on your hands with a podcast feeds that often hits a timeout.

This “why not” list could go on, but that’s not really the point of this article, so let’s talk about where you should be hosting your podcast.

The benefits of podcast hosting platforms

Hosting your podcast through a third-party podcast hosting platform is how most creators choose to move forward in publishing. The ease, the reliability, and the features of a professionally managed hosting platform will almost always outweigh the few benefits of hosting your podcast on your own. Here are some of those benefits.

Bandwidth

Hosting platforms are specifically designed to handle the specifications and growing needs of podcasters. As your audience grows with your podcast archives, this will be super important for you. You need your podcasts to live in space that can scale with you.

Support

Never underestimate that power of a good customer support team. If something happens to go down, you’ll want to have a knowledge team at your fingertips to help you know what goes on and fix the issue as quickly as possible.

Automatic RSS feed

Most podcast hosting companies will offer to not only host your episodes, but also the automatic generation of your RSS feed– don’t overlook this plus. The metadata found in your RSS feed is how publishers like iTunes and other directories will pick up your podcast. Having that set up in your hosting platform means one less thing for you to think about for your process.

How to set up your RSS feed will be dependant on the hosting platform you use. But while each one calls for different steps in their process, they all ask for the same basic pieces of content. To make sure you’ve got everything you need for your hosting platforms to set up your RSS feed, have these pieces of content ready to go:

  • Show artwork (square format)
  • Show name
  • Byline
  • Description
  • Category

Features

And on top of all that, many podcasting hosting platforms offer a variety of other special features that can make your process more interesting and smooth. Some of these features include:

  • Download and audience statistics
  • Monetization options
  • Mobile apps
  • Podcast directories (to help listeners find you)

Ready to start looking for a podcast hosting platform now? Great!

Find the right podcast hosting platform for you

There are quite a few podcast hosting platforms to choose from out there. Some will sound similar, some will offer extra features, and some will be very basic. It’s up to you to know what you want when it comes to your podcast hosting platforms, but I can help a little by putting some of the more popular ones in front of you right now.

Podcasting hosting platform- audioboomaudioBoom

Whether you’re a new podcaster, podcasting pro, or a radio group, audioBoom offers a solution for you. With over 60 million listens per month, audioBoom’s clientele and listener base is always growing.

  • Key features:
    • Distribution
    • Monetization
    • Analytics
    • Embed players
  • Pricing- Starts at $9.99 a month for new podcasters

Podcasting hosting platform-blubrryBlubrry

If you’re on WordPress, Blubrry will be your go-to platform. While you can use its plugin to host your podcast yourself, many use Blubrry as a podcast hosting platform.

  • Key features:
    • Distribution
    • WordPress plugin called PowerPress (if you want to self-host)
    • Monetization
    • Analytics
    • Monthly storage starts at 100MB to unlimited.
  • Pricing: $12 to $80+ a month

Podcasting hosting platform- buzzsproutBuzzSprout

Buzzsprout is known for making it easy for podcasters from all levels of experience to start their own podcast as well as for its fantastic customer support.

  • Key features:
    • Simple migration
    • Distribution
    • Embeddable players
    • Analytics
    • Unlimited monthly storage with paid plans
  • Pricing: $0 to $24 a month

Podcasting hosting platform-libsynLibsyn

Established back in 2004, Libsyn was one of the first podcast hosting sites. It’s most known for it’s simplistic interface and is a great place for new podcasters to start.

  • Key features:
    • Distribution
    • Easy RSS link generation
    • Customizable information for iTunes
    • Mobile app (advanced accounts)
    • Analytics
    • Advanced analytics (advanced accounts)
    • Monthly storage ranges between 50MB and 1500MB.
  • Pricing: $5 to $75 a month

Podcasting hosting platform-podbeanPodBean

PodBean has a user-friendly interface that lets you upload, publish, manage, and promote your podcasts with just a few clicks. This platforms is used by enterprises, large organizations, radio stations and individuals podcasters alike

  • Key features:
    • Distribution
    • Embed players
    • Mobile app
    • Analytics
    • Monetization
    • Monthly storage starting at 100MB to unlimited
  • Pricing: $3- $99 a month

Podcasting hosting platform-simplecastSimpleCast

SImpleCast is clean, easy-to-use podcast hosting platform perfect for beginners. Just as it’s name implies, you can create your podcast very easily.

  • Key features:
    • Simple migration
    • Embed players
    • Analytics
    • Unlimited storage
  • Pricing: $12 a month

Podcasting hosting platform-soundcloudSoundcloud

Before Soundcloud became a popular podcasting platform, it made its name as a musician's platform. Because of this, Soundcloud already has a wide reach for your potential new audience.

  • Key features:
    • Distribution
    • Embed players
    • Timed comments
    • Creator app to track stats, share, and reply to comments
    • Analytics
    • Monetization
    • Upload monthly from 3 hours to unlimited.
  • Pricing: $0 to $16 a month

Find the right podcast publishing platforms for you

While many podcast hosting platforms provide direct distribution with many podcast directories, you still might want to add a few more to your list. With your podcast listed on the right directories, you’re easily multiplying your chance of being seen by a wider audience.

Here’s a quick list of the some of the top directories and the steps you need to take to have your RSS feed automatically update with each new episode.

Popular podcast directories-itunesiTunes

How to submit to iTunes:

  • You must have an active Apple ID to submit podcasts to the iTunes Store podcast directory.
  • Sign in to iTunes Podcast Connect
  • Click the at the top left of the iTunes Connect dashboard.
  • Enter your RSS feed into the provided text box and then click the “Validate” button.
  • A Feed Preview will load if you do not have any validation errors. Make sure to review your podcast artwork, description, general information (e.g. description, categories, etc), and episodes so they are correct.
  • Click the “Submit” button.
  • Wait for approval.

Popular podcast directories-googleplayGoogle Play

How to submit to Google Play:

  • Visit g.co/podcastportal.
  • Click “Get Started.”
  • Login with your Google account.
  • Click “Add a Podcast.”
  • Review and accept the terms of service.
  • Enter your podcast-only RSS feed.
  • Check your email (the address in your RSS feed) and verify your ownership of this podcast feed.
  • Click “Publish Podcast.”
  • Wait for approval.

Popular podcast directories-stitcherStitcher

To submit to Stitcher:

  • Navigate to http://www.stitcher.com/content-providers to sign up as a content provider
  • Once Stitcher has approved your account go to Add Feed and login
  • Complete the submission form with your podcast RSS feed URL
  • Review the terms of service, then click continue
  • Once your podcast has been approved you will receive an email from Stitcher.

Popular podcast directories-tuneinTuneIn

How to submit to TuneIn:

  • Complete the TuneIn submission form
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Click submit
  • Wait for approval.

Which podcasting hosting platform will you use?

Now that you’ve read through some possibilities, you’ve got some decisions to make. Which hosting platform will you use for your podcast?

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Dani Stewart

As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.

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