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Do you need a podcast host?

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Can you host a show by yourself or do you need a little help?

The quick answer to the question “Do I need a podcast host?” is YES!

Unless you know how to whittle your own RSS feed, which most of us don’t, you’re going to need a podcast host to make sure every episode gets from your computer into people’s ears.

Apple Google Spotify

What is a podcast host?

A podcast host is the middle man between you and your listeners.

It’s the place where you’ll store all of your podcast episodes and when you upload your first MP3 it’ll generate your ‘RSS feed’ which is the link that tells podcast directories when you’ve released a new ep.

What happens when you change podcast hosts?

Read

How does your podcast get into podcast directories?

There are three things you need for a podcast to make its way to your audience…

  1. An MP3 file – this is the format you’ll save each episode in so you can upload it to…
  2. A podcast host – where you upload all your episodes as well as your show description, artwork and any other information that’s displayed in podcast apps.
  3. RSS Feed – this is what you submit to directories (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify) so each new episode of your podcast is delivered straight to your subscriber’s podcast app as soon as it’s released. The term “RSS Feed” sounds like a very technical line of code but it’s really just a URL that looks something like this…

https://showname.podcasthostname.com/rss

Each podcast host will have their own structure for the URL but one thing they all have in common is they include the letters “rss.”

The steps to release a podcast episode

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Recommended Podcast Directories

These are some of the places you’ll want your podcast to be so listeners can find it…

iTunes

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Stitcher

Pocketcasts

TuneIn

How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

Read

Podcast hosts I recommend

When you’re looking for the right podcast host make sure you think about where you want your podcast to be six months or a year from now.

You might not need all the features a podcast host offers immediately but ideally, you want to choose a host you can grow with rather than chopping and changing.

Whooshkaa

Logo for podcast host, WhooshkaaThis is the platform I use to house my personal podcasts.

Their podcast player has a great design that plays natively in Twitter and Facebook.  They also have a number of other great features including private podcasts and an ad management tool that allows you to manage your own ads.

Omny

Omny Studio LogoThe platform I’ve used for both the networks where I’ve been Head of Podcasts.

They have a really easy to navigate interface and a nice player design.

LibSyn

Where to host your podcastThis is one of the most established and well-known podcast hosts and is used by a lot of the major podcasts in America.

They’re really podcaster focused and big on privacy.

How to record a podcast

Read

A note on free podcast hosts

When you’re starting out and you don’t want to spend a lot of money I understand why a free podcast host might sound appealing.

While your choice of host is ultimately up to you, one of the things I’d say about free podcast hosts is to make sure you read the Ts & Cs thoroughly because if you’re not paying with cash you want to make sure you’re not paying with something else.

There have been problems with free podcast hosts in the past refusing to let users move old episodes of their show to another podcast host, or making changes to show notes without podcasters approval.

Wherever you house your podcast you need to have complete control over the content because it’s your intellectual property and no one should be able to mess with that.

So make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start uploading audio.

What is Anchor?

Read

Choose the host that’s right for you

It’s impossible to go it alone without a podcast host if you’re starting out, so do your research and pick the one you prefer.  If you go with any of the above recommendations you’ll be using platforms tested by thousands of podcasters so you’ll be in safe hands.

Whichever one you choose they should have support pages and tutorials that will take you through everything you need to get set up.

This is also where you’ll find your analytics so you’ll be able to see how many people are listening to your show and where they’re coming from.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

10 Comments
  1. Marta Gonzalez says:

    Have you heard about Buzzsprout? What do you think about them?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Marta, I’ve not used them personally but haven’t heard anything negative so if you like their features and it seems like the right platform for you, go for it!

  2. Small says:

    Hi! Can you host your own podcast and distribute.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey there, As I mentioned in the article you don’t want to house your MP3s on your website so I’d advise going with a trusted podcast host. Rach

  3. umnia says:

    Hi! What do you think of do it all apps like Anchor?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Umnia, Anchor has had a few too many hiccups for me so at this stage I don’t recommend it as a host but if it’s right for you, great. You should always choose the host you feel has the best features for you. It’s also essential you own your RSS feed so you can move your show to another host anytime because the content is yours. Rach

  4. Grace Odumosu says:

    I have created a podcast for my job it is not for profit. Are there any hosts specifically for that?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Grace, Not that I’m aware of. Really, your host is just the link between you and your podcast directories so they’re more focused on tech than content. Rach

  5. Dinora Marquez says:

    Hi Rachel, if you’re an Australian creating a podcast. Which host platform will be better to use? if that makes a difference at all.

    I’ve look at your choices but I am still confused in which one to get :/

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Dinora, Your location doesn’t matter too much it’s really more about the features you’re after and your budget. Libsyn has been around since the beginning of podcast time and they’ve got a basic plan that can be good if you’re starting out and you can grow with the platform which is good. I use Whooshkaa for my podcasts because I think their tech is great but any of the ones listed in the article will be fine. Rach

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

SEND IT TO ME!