We all love a good podcast now and then – and if you are looking to start one of your own then you’ve come to the right article.
The idea of podcasting seems very interesting; having the opportunity to share your audio content and its insights with the world. This is why if you want to do it, you need to do it right. And to do it right you need a podcast hosting service.
Now there are a multitude of podcast hosting services and even website hosting services that offer podcast file management.
In this article, we have tested and reviewed them and highlighted the best podcast hosting websites that would suit you.
Best Podcast Hosting Websites
Podbean is a simple podcasting website that is user-friendly and great for the beginning
podcaster while also meeting the standards of the professional podcaster.
The dashboard of Podbean is very easy to understand and its interface is generally clean. You can monitor your podcasts’ statistics, distribution, and episode management.
Some of the features offered by Podbean are unlimited hosting, easy publishing, social media sharing as well as integration with customer email for effective email marketing, and promotion on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Alexa, and all the major apps.
A free plan is offered which comes with basic stats, 100GB of bandwidth and you can upload up to 5 hours of content per month with the major downside being that you won’t be able to use your own domain name on this tier.
The paid plans start from $9/month and the features include unlimited storage and bandwidth as well as advanced podcast stats.
The recommended plan for professional podcasters is the Unlimited Plus which goes for $29/month. It includes all the features of the $9 plan including unlimited video hosting.
Also, an added advantage of Podbean is that it is compatible with your phone and you can publish podcast episodes right from your phone.
BuzzSprout has been around since 2009 and they are one of the most trusted and patronized podcast hosting services.
It is very beginner-friendly and they even provide excellent instructional videos and articles that provide all you need to know about starting a podcast.
BuzzSprout offers a completely free plan with allows you to upload 2 hours of content per cycle (each month). The free plan comes with all the basic features including advanced statistics and unlimited team members.
You can start out with this plan and get an upgrade if it suits you.
There are even cooler features with the paid plans. Some of those features include Magic Mastering; which levels out your audio and improves its overall quality.
Also, your podcast would be hosted indefinitely as opposed to the free plan where it’s only hosted for a period of 90 days.
BuzzSprout constantly aims to update and add new features and options for their 100,000+ users. Some of these unique features include the Embed Player from BuzzSprout which allows you to embed a podcast on your website.
Once you upload new content, it is automatically submitted to all the top podcast directories ensuring that your podcast is properly distributed across all devices and apps.
With their thorough statistical analysis and predictions, you get to monitor your podcast closely, and also you can monetize your podcast by making use of their affiliate marketplace and their other options in the ‘Monetization’ section which is visible on your dashboard.
BuzzSprout’s paid plans start from $12 to $24/month and vary mostly based on the hours of content you can upload per month.
A great catch Castos offers is that you ‘Never run out of storage or bandwidth, no matter which plans you choose.’ That alone is an advantage that many Podcast hosting websites do not offer.
Castos is mostly favorable by WordPress users but, you can directly sign up on their site and start hosting your podcast straight on the platform.
To take advantage of its seamless integration with WordPress, you can simply install the WordPress Plugin called ‘Seriously Simple Podcasting’ and easily upload new podcasts to your site.
It gets even better, the WordPress Plugin enables you to add a customizable media player that you can tailor-make to look how you want it to look and thereby fit in perfectly with the original look of your site.
Castos hosting services come with some pretty useful features for veteran podcasters like a simple importing system that helps you import all your podcasts from previous platforms into your Castos dashboard.
You also get to make use of features like automatic republication if you are a YouTuber and easily link your YouTube account with your podcasts.
A 14-day free trial option is available and after that, you get to decide which of the plans is suitable for you based on what features you are most interested in.
The starting plan is at $19 per month offering all basic features including unlimited storage and bandwidth with the exception of the YouTube republication feature.
To have access to the YouTube republishing and video podcasting you’d have to go for the higher plans which are $34/month and $49/month respectively.
Founded in 2009 by the parent organization, Voxnest.inc, Spreaker is a popular web and mobile platform that helps you create, manage, distribute and monetize your podcast.
Spreaker isn’t only for podcast creation but, for listening to podcasts of others as well. The podcasts are categorized and very well organized and seeing/listening to all those great podcasts will inspire you to start recording yours.
Although, Spreaker offers a free version, to really enjoy this app and all its great features you’d need to go pro and choose one of its paid plans. Options such as joining the monetization program and advanced statistics are only available on Pro plans.
Just like most efficient podcast hosting websites, Spreaker integrates with various streaming services such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc.
Other features offered by Spreaker include pre-recording or hosting live broadcasts, audio FX library, and auto-post to social media handles.
The pro plan begins at $7 per month and could cost as much as $20 per month or $50 per month for more advanced features. You can find out more about the different plans right here.
If you’re a sucker for 100% transparency like myself, then you would absolutely love Podcastics.
Podcastics is a relatively new podcast that was created by Podcasters.
This reflects from their website interface which is as straightforward as it gets and also their clearly stated features for whichever plan you choose,
Podcastics promises to take podcast hosting seriously and they do just that through their powerful Amazon servers, great distribution plan, and extra services such as a free website builder.
Many podcast hosting services talk about monetizing strategy but fail to make it clear and easy to understand for the rookie podcaster, with Podcastics it is hassle-free and explained in detail along with other articles and helpful resources. This makes Podcastics very ideal for a beginner as well as an experienced podcaster.
This platform offers four plans in total. A free plan, which is great for basic podcast management but, unfortunately does not include a hosting plan.
The $4 per month plan is also ideal and includes all podcast management, monetization options, and the likes but, it is also not a hosting plan.
Podcastics hosting plan starts at $8 per month and it really offers all of the services you would need as a podcaster and even more.
The final plan which is the Max plan goes for $39 a month and this plan will enable the distribution of your podcast all over the world! Note that every plan offered by Podcastics is completely free for the first month.
Captivate’s user interface is clean and bordering on the line of beautiful but, that’s not the only reason why it’s one of the best podcasting websites available.
Unlike most hosting websites, Captivate doesn’t restrict analytics, the number of shows, upload time, or other features based on the plan you purchase. This is why Captivate prides itself on being ‘the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host’.
Captivate also has a WordPress podcasting connector plugin called ‘Captivate Sync’ that allows you to easily link your WordPress website to your Captivate podcast hosting account and seamlessly publish from one platform to the other, whilst keeping everything synchronized.
When it comes to features, Captivate comes ready. From advanced analytics and a podcast website to brilliant marketing tools, embedded media player, and many more. The best thing is that all these features are available on all the plans.
A 7-day free trial is offered (although you need to fill in your card details first). There are three plans available. The starting price is $19 per month. The other plans; audio influencer and podcast brand cost $49 per month and $99 per month respectively. The differences in the prices are based on the number of monthly downloads that are allowed.
Simplecast has been around since 2013 and they have been providing their users with ‘industry-leading industry-leading publishing, distribution, analytics, and sharing tools’. The user interface is very practical and easy to use with reasonable prices.
This website is great for quality audio broadcasting and supports most audio formats such as MP3, mp3PRO, OGG, and WM9, etc.
Apparently, Simplecast underwent a major upgrade in features and general interface not too long ago.
This change may have caused some challenges amongst its users who were still stuck with the old version but, as of now, 2021, the new and improved Simplecast platform is available for all users, both old and new.
Just like most recommended podcast hosting platforms, Simplecast provides an embedded player that you can add to your website or page with the details of your episodes.
They also provide top-notch analysis tools that present you with the usual data such as listener statistics as well as unique data such as where you are listening in from.
Simplecast offers a free 14-day trial which we tried out but, the full features that would impress you (like access to your shows analytics in the overview section of the audience page) are available when you upgrade to one of their plans.
They offer three plans for independent podcasters. These plans start at $15/month for ‘Basic’ and go as high as $85/month for the ‘Growth’ plan.
You can check out what features each plan offer right here. The basic plan for $15/month does seem to be the most popular.
Fusebox is a really high-end WordPress plugin that provides a handful of features that are intended to make your podcasting journey blissful.
There’s just one major con and let’s get it out of the way- it doesn’t work on non-WordPress sites. So if the site you’d like to upload your podcast player on isn’t a WordPress site, then this isn’t the podcasting tool for you.
However, if you run a WordPress site and you require a quality podcast player then, Fusebox is one of the best options for you. An additional feature is that it also comes with a Transcript WordPress plugin.
Even though Fusebox is often referred to as a podcast hosting website, it doesn’t provide those typical services like recording or live broadcasting and the likes.
Fusebox is more accurately described as a Podcast player. It does offer additional features like Email capture, social sharing, and advanced customization.
To make it perfectly clear, you can’t record on Fusebox or ‘host’ your podcast on Fusebox. Fusebox is not for starting a podcast or goofing around.
To use Fusebox to be of benefit to you means that you already have a podcast that you would like to share with your audience through your WordPress website.
This is made evident when you sign up on Fusebox and to get started you’d need to provide your RSS URL. No need to fret if you don’t know what that is, Fusebox provides helpful tips for any challenge you might encounter.
A free version that offers all the basic functionalities is made available. You can try that out but, to have access to the full package as we have described so far, you’d have to upgrade to the pro version.
One of the prominent differences is that the pro version comes with four players; Single Track Player, Archive Player with Playlist, Full-page Archive Player, and Sticky Player while the free version only has the Single Track Players.
The pro version can be billed either monthly or annually and costs $19/month and $15.83/month respectively.
Transistor is a smaller start-up that came around in 2017. When you record your audio and upload it on Transistor, the platform helps you to distribute your podcast to all the popular streaming platforms which include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
This platform is for everyone; from creatives to businesses and also professionals. As expected, they also provide audio hosting and analytics.
Transistor also provides email marketing services by providing integration with mailing sites like Mailchimp and Hubspot just to mention a few.
One of the good things about Transistor is that it lets you pay one price and take no extra charge from you for running more podcasts.
So essentially, you can run as many podcasts as you want for the price of even the most basic plan; which goes for $19 per month. This way you can run multiple podcasts easily from one account.
Transistor offers a free 14-day trial. For the pricing, they differ based on the number of downloads and subscribers your show has.
The starter plan goes for $19/month and allows 15,000 downloads per month. This plan offers all you might need but, the branding is not removed from the embed player so if that’s a problem for you or if you have tons of downloads and subscribers, you may prefer to go with some of the other plans.
These plans include the pro plan which goes for $49 per month with 75,000 downloads and the business pan which goes for $99 per month for 200,000 downloads per month.
Resonate is as new as they come. It’s official launching date was July 1st, 2020. A breakthrough in the midst of a pandemic.
Just because Resonate is new in the podcast hosting game doesn’t mean it’s a rookie service. In fact, Resonate Recordings has been in the audio production, video editing, and content creation business since 2017.
Just like any other top notch podcast hosting service, Resonate provides features which include an embedded media player, distribution across streaming platforms and detailed analytics. But, what is it’s edge?
In addition to providing top-notch hosting services, Resonate serves as a software tool for editing and mixing your podcast. This is an added advantage to you as it will help cut costs and you would be able to handle your podcast on one platform.
One really cool feature is the Podcast Microsite which showcases your podcast by providing a complete episode listing with a player to listen to each episode.
It also provides links to subscribe to your show in popular podcast players and offers you a customizable theme to match your show’s color palette. This feature is available on the premium and pro plans.
The pricing starts at $25 per month for unlimited show episodes and all the other features you would need including advanced analytics. The premium plan costs $49 per month and comes with the podcast microsite feature.
They also offer a 14-day free trial. Resonate hosting might be new but, it is trustworthy and definitely worth your money and time.
Remember the first time you heard about Soundcloud? It was most probably in relation to finding new music or trying to share your music as an artist. If you didn’t know that Soundcloud also serves as a podcast hosting service, then now you know!
Soundcloud has been around since 2007 and over the course of the years, it has grown to be a household name with 175 million+ monthly listeners and accessible from 200 countries. With these numbers, hosting your podcast with Soundcloud automatically comes with some great advantages.
You can pin your most popular episodes to the spotlight section, engage directly with your listeners through the comment section or direct messages, and many more!
When you choose to go with Soundcloud, think about how amazing it would be if your podcast becomes noticed. Instantly you are having thousands of listeners and interacting with them as you please. Feels a little bit like a mini-celebrity, to be honest. The familiarity of Soundcloud is wholesome.
Of course, Soundcloud would have been even bigger as a podcast hosting platform but, it does have a few unreconcilable cons.
One of them is that Soundcloud’s analytics are not IAB compliant. Basically, there are a set of standard metrics to measure and track podcast listens and downloads and if the website’s analytics does not meet up to it then technically, the numbers are not ‘legitimate’.
This might never get to affect you ever but, it’s information you should know in case your sponsors or advertisers would be thorough and require IAB compliant analytics. You can learn more about IAB compliance here.
Soundcloud’s pricing is great. They offer a completely free version which poses some limitations but, you can start with it if you are a beginner podcaster. Their pro unlimited plan goes for $12 per month and has all the features you would need.
Blurbrry is a podcast hosting service made by podcasters and has been around since 2005. Its longevity in the industry represents its reliability and assurance that it is a trustworthy service with satisfied users.
Blurbrry’s podcast hosting helps you publish and distribute your podcast to all major platforms, provides professional analytics, and also provides a free WordPress website. You also get free migration from your previous host and great technical support.
Yes, Blurbrry is a standard podcast hosting website with most of the expected features but, what really makes it so popular to this day is its WordPress Plugin; PowerPress. It’s the most trusted podcast plugin since 2008 and helps you control your brand conveniently from your WordPress dashboard.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, Blurbrry is a great choice for you especially if you use a WordPress website. They also provide podcast production services.
Their pricing varies based on monthly storage mostly. The smallest plan goes for $12 per month and provides 100MB of monthly storage while the largest plan goes for $80 per month for 1000MB of monthly storage.
There are two other plan options in between with the medium plan of $20/month for 250MB of monthly storage being the most popular.
A 1-month free trial is available so you can try that out and see if you like this host.
Libsyn are veterans in the podcast hosting business and have been around since 2004. They are a safe and trustworthy platform and one of the most popular options when it comes to podcast hosting.
Libsyn’s pricing is strategically low and starts at $5 per month for 50MB of storage space. The pricing mostly depends on the amount of storage space provided.
Most users can get away with the $5 plan and be able to upload content of about 10 minutes weekly with no problem.
If your show will require you to post more often like daily for about 10 minutes then you’d need to upgrade to the next plan of $15 per month for 250MB which is still pretty affordable.
They provide a very helpful community and also all the typical features of a good podcast host such as Stats and analytics, embeddable HTML5 media player and, a frequently updated platform.
Podomatic is mostly known for being a free platform that provides podcast hosting and services that would help novice podcaster to manage and promote their podcast efficiently.
However, Podomatic also offers extra features that would impress professional podcasters. These features are available on their pro plans which start at $8.32 per month.
With the Pro plan, you can take your podcast to the next level by having access to more features which include Featured placement across Podomatic, Advanced statistics, Expanded bandwidth, Massive storage, Personal customer support, and access to PRO design tools.
Since Podomatic is widely known mostly for its free version, let’s highlight some of the basic features available. You have access to promotional tools, statistics and analysis of your episodes, Crowdsourcing, and social media embedding.
Podomatic is really a smart choice for you especially as a novice podcaster and its only drawback might be that when it comes to editing features, it’s not up to the level of other popular podcasting hosts that provide editing tools.
Audioboom is ‘for Podcasters, for advertisers, and for listeners’. With Audioboom you get to host, distribute and monetize your podcast all on one platform.
They also provide a customizable embeddable player as well as integration with streaming platforms.
Even if you are not starting out your podcast with Audioboom, as an already established podcast with at least 10,000 plays per month, they provide a great monetizing scheme for you to make money off your podcast.
If you are just starting out your Podcast with Audioboom, the plan available to you goes for $9.99 and provides features which include: Up to 10,000 plays/month, Advanced site analytics, Distribute via iHeartRadio, GooglePlay, Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts, Embeddable Players for social media and website integration. This plan only allows you to publish up to 5 episodes/month,
Audioboom’s pro plan(available to you if your show has at least 10,000 plays per month) offers a wide variety of features which includes Sponsorships, Host endorsements and live reads from top advertisers, ad network services, and many more.
What is Podcast Hosting and How to Start a Podcast?
Most people are familiar with the concept of Website hosting, well Podcast hosting isn’t much different. To efficiently and smoothly run your podcast, you’re going to need a service that enables you to create, manage and distribute your audio files. Podcast hosting entails all the management, distribution, and even customization that goes into branding your podcast.
A podcast hosting service or website is one which provides the following:
- Create/Record your audio file or upload already recorded audio file with ease
- Generate an RSS Feed URL for your podcast
- Store your audio files
- Distribute your podcast to streaming services and also provide a platform for your podcast to be found.
So basically, podcast hosting is a means to make your journey as an independent podcaster a simple process. You have the luxury of not focusing on all these details and you can focus on creating your podcast content and display it to your audience.
Now you know that before you start a podcast, you should definitely consider which podcast hosting service you should go with but, there’s an even bigger question; How do you start a Podcast?
This entire guide is intended to answer that question and also recommend the best podcasts to enable your podcast to go smoothly but, in this section, we would provide a step-by-step layout for how to start a Podcast and common mistakes you should avoid when starting a podcast.
How to Start a Podcast in 2021
While we’d like to think of Podcasting as just talking into a mic and rapidly growing a friendly audience that tunes in every episode, the process isn’t as easy as our fantasies. Starting a podcast and running it successfully requires some steps that will be grouped into three in this article. Let’s get right into it!
Planning and Preparation Phase
The first steps in creating a podcast are mostly mental. You need to ask yourself some key questions and come up with answers that you’re hopefully going to be sticking with for the long haul. These questions are:
- Why do you want to start a Podcast?
There is no wrong answer but, you need to answer this question as it determines the number of resources and time you would be investing. Some reasons people start Podcasts include love for a particular topic and desire to enlighten others about it or to use it as a means of extra income and oftentimes, both. So why do you want to start a podcast?
- What audience are you trying to target?
Who are you making your podcast for? What audience are you trying to appeal to? This will determine many things, from the niche of your podcast to the name to even the cover art and all of that branding stuff. Once you can plan this out in your head, you can channel your language, customization, and tone to appeal more to your target audience.
- What niche are you leaning towards?
There are broad podcast niches like lifestyle or pop culture and there are more specific niches like perhaps a podcast about a particular sport or a particular kind of business. If you are a hobbyist and are not too sure about this, you can go broad and narrow it down later. However, picking a specific niche and respecting it is the surest way to build a solid audience.
Now, you can focus on the preparation. These would include:
- Choosing a name for your podcast.
- Creating the cover art for your podcast (many people click on stuff because of how the cover art looks so this is not a step to be belittled).
- Choosing your Podcast format – This step includes how lengthy you want your episodes to be and also what style you intend to go with. Your audio length is determined by your content and your audience; two points that were highlighted above. You might not be able to determine what length is ideal for you until you start. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a static figure. You can adjust as you progress in your podcasting journey.
When talking about styles, there are a bunch of common formats that are used: solo shows, co-host shows, interview shows, and roundtable shows are some common formats. Just like the length, this doesn’t have to be fixed except you want your show to specifically always be that type of show. For example, an interview format show which always involves you interviewing guests. Mixing it up works great though.
- Extra preparation: This could include choosing an intro background music, planning out your episode names (you can have a unique system like the series Friends with the episodes always starting with ‘The one where……’ or ‘The one with…….’). Most of these extra preparations play a very important role in personalizing your podcast and making it seem more organized to your audience.
Recording and Editing Phase
Although this article is focused on the best podcast hosting services, there is an important part of podcasting that comes before finding a host.
This phase is finding the best podcast recording software. You can’t just record audio straight on your phone or computer recorder and upload it on your podcast host……well you can but, that would most likely not turn out well.
So for recording and editing your podcast, you’re going to want to have a good recording software by your side. Here are the most recommended recording software to consider:
- Audacity: This is a completely free recording software and it’s available on both Mac and Windows platforms.
- Alitu: Easy to use podcast making tool that pretty much does everything when it comes to recording and editing. There’s a 7-day trial available. If you decide it’s worth it(which you most likely would) then you can subscribe.
- Garageband: Good choice for Mac users as it is installed on your computer by default. It provides all the basic features you would need and it is completely free.
- Adobe Audition: As with most Adobe software products, Audition comes feature-packed and with a steep learning curve and worth the price. This is a great choice for professional podcasters that want all the features to manipulate their audio and get the best results.
To record, don’t forget you’re going to need the best podcasting equipment. You can find out all about that further in this article.
Launch and Promotion Phase
In this phase, your audio is already all done and ready to go. The first step here would be to upload your audio file to the podcasting host of your choice. Check out the list of the best podcast hosting websites in 2021.
Once you upload your audio file on your podcast host and fill in all the other details and descriptions of your podcast, your podcast host handles the distribution to streaming services and provides statistical analysis of your episodes.
While your hosting service would definitely provide means of marketing and promoting your podcast, don’t forget to spread the word to your family and friends. Another recommended promotion strategy would be to create a website for your podcast. This is even a better idea because many of the hosts provide website builders and embedded players that you can put in your website so your audience can listen right on your site!
You can check out this very informative article on podcast promotion and ways you can grow your podcast audience fast.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Podcasting?
Podcasting continues to grow in popularity and this doesn’t come as a surprise. Nowadays many people find it easier to insert listening to podcasts into their busy schedules rather than reading blogs or watching videos.
When it comes to the receiving end of podcasts, the audience, there are no disadvantages, only benefits. The only con is if you stumble upon a podcast you do not enjoy.
As a podcast creator, however, there are some challenges that can be seen as disadvantages of Podcasting as well as a ton of advantages. Let’s identify them shall we-
Ease and Convenience
Obvious advantage. Compared to any other means of reaching out to a large audience, podcasting requires the least effort, money, and time. Sure if you’re aiming for something professional and perfect, you might get a little frustrated during editing and production but, this isn’t always the case.
Even recording and editing a 2-minute video for YouTube can be more of a hassle than getting your podcast audio ready. This makes podcasting very convenient for all.
Connection with Audience
A podcast is a very genuine and direct means of communicating with an audience. You would typically have your listeners’ undivided attention. No ads, no distracting video, it’s personalized by you to give off the energy you want to give off.
This is an advantage for a variety of reasons. You can build a real connection with your listeners and use it to your advantage to monetize your podcast and even advertise.
Editing and Production
This is a challenge that can be seen as a disadvantage. Editing and applying production techniques to long, raw audio files can pose to be a really tiring and boring task.
Even with great podcasting software tools and equipment, a person with no previous knowledge could get overwhelmed.
The good news is that there are methods you can take to bypass this process. The easiest route would be to hire someone else to do your editing for you. It actually costs less than subscribing to an expensive editing tool that would leave you with headaches.
Growing an Audience
Podcasting is competitive. Not as competitive as Vlogging or blogging but, still competitive nevertheless. It can be a real challenge to find your audience, keep your audience and grow it.
There are different strategies for promoting your podcast and most of all you have to keep at it and spread the word.
How Much Does Podcast Hosting Cost?
Podcast hosting prices depend on what podcast host you decide to go with. There are some that provide plans that cost nothing at all – completely free like BuzzSprout and Soundcloud.
Generally, the price for a starter plan ranges between $5 to $20 for a month. The better plans offering more features could go as high as $50 per month.
Best Podcasting Equipment for Podcasting
When it comes to getting the right equipment, most people tend to do too little or too much. This doesn’t come off as a surprise because podcasting is unlike activities such as video editing or photography which have equipment and software that are indisputably the best in their respective industries.
Many a time, the kind of equipment you need depends on a few factors such as your budget, the purpose of your podcast, and your level of experience with podcasting.
So, irrespective of these factors, let’s get the essentials out of the way before we recommend further equipment based on the listed factors.
The essentials are a computer and, a microphone. Now let’s look at the best equipment for podcasting based on some factors.
Best Podcasting Equipment for Beginners
Nowadays, there are podcasting software that you can record directly. Basically, it seems you don’t need a microphone or any other equipment because you can record straight on the software and edit as you like. Unfortunately, while this is an option, it does not yield quality results and it comes with risks such as losing your recorded file.
So, what are the best equipment for beginners that would actually yield great audio quality of your podcasts?
Recording and Editing Podcast Software
These help to make podcasting even easier for you as a beginner. Great options for these types of software include Alitu, Audacity, and Adobe Audition.
As a beginner, your best bet would be to go with a free one at least at first. Audacity might be the way to go but, if you are ready to put some money into it then consider Alitu as it is very easy to use and navigate.
No doubt there are a handful of microphones to choose from but, don’t waste your money on super expensive equipment that you would use in the same capacity as that of much cheaper equipment. For a beginner, what you want is a USB microphone. One that handles background noise reduction well, provides good frequency response, and preferably provide sound settings. Other benefits of any particular microphone would be added advantage.
The Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390 is our first recommendation. It is really affordable, goes for around $39 on Amazon. It’s a USB Headset and also serves as a microphone so if you are looking to cut cost, this would be a good idea for you. It also performs the basic functions of background noise reduction and providing decent sound. If you have more experience with podcasting and audio recording, then you might not be as thrilled with this equipment as a beginner.
A very popular USB microphone is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB. If you have some extra cash to spare, do yourself a great service by trying this microphone out. It is lightweight and rated very highly amongst veteran podcasters and audio recorders. For about $79, the features you get include a tripod desk stand, a stand clamp, and a mini USB cable.
You can go with a microphone and headset built into one unit like the Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390 or the Audio-Technica BPHS1 headset which provides even better audio quality but, is quite pricey at $199.
If you want the headset separately, we recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M20x. It only costs $49 on Amazon and it is designed for studio tracking and mixing while offering a high-frequency range.
Best Podcasting Equipment for Intermediate Podcasters
If you have been podcasting for a while and are past the beginner stage, you might want to up your equipment.
Recording and Editing Software
Audacity is great but, if you can afford it, you should try Alitu or Adobe Audition. Adobe Audition’s editing capabilities are next level and once you figure out how it works, you’d be glad you made the purchase.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone is easily one of the most popular USB microphones for recording. It offers many useful features for an affordable price and is considered to be a standard podcasting microphone. You can get a new one for about $130 on Amazon and you can easily find a used one in good condition for less than $100.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone is another great choice for you as an intermediate podcaster or any podcaster really. It goes for around $90 on Amazon and you won’t regret it mostly if you move around a lot for you podcasts as it is very portable compared to the Yeti microphone. It provides great audio quality and noise reduction.
Audio Technica ATH-M40x is a major upgrade of the Audio Technica ATH-M20x and goes for $99. They provide a great balance of comfort and audio quality while still being pretty affordable.
Skullcandy Grind Bluetooth Wireless is a good choice if you are looking for an affordable headset with wireless connection. It costs about $90 and looks very stylish as well. Careful with it though, the body isn’t as durable as some other headphones.
Other equipment which Podcasters use include:
- Pop filter: A simple explanation of the use of a pop filter is that ‘it helps reduce or eliminate popping sounds caused by the mechanical impact of fast-moving air on the microphone from plosives during recorded speech and singing’. One of the best pop filters is the Stedman Corporation Proscreen XL.
- Shock mount: This isolates the microphone from mechanically transmitted noise. These could be little sounds like movement of your elbow or even unnoticeable sounds like the vibration from the floor.
- Soundproof/acoustic treatments: Based on where you are recording. If you are recording somewhere that has a lot of echoes then investing in acoustic treatments is advisable.
- Mixer: This is totally optional and not even recommended for you if you have no experience with audio manipulation and all that. Only seek out a mixer if you absolutely need one. Chances are you won’t but, if you do the Creative Sound Blaster K3+ Digital Mixer is both efficient and affordable.
Tips on How to Promote Your Podcast
Do you have a podcast that is stuck and you need to gain real listeners? Or you’re just about to start out your podcast and you’re looking for the best promotion strategies to get noticed quickly. Here a few tips on how you can promote your Podcast in 2021.
- Create Quality Content: Before you can talk about promotion, you need to make sure the podcast you want to promote delivers quality content. It has to be valuable and unique. This way you would be confident in what you’re marketing and supporters would be glad that they are finding value in your content so they would keep coming back.
- Launch your podcast with at least 3 episodes: This is a tip that is highly emphasized by top podcasters. If you are about to launch your podcast, don’t make the mistake of only launching with one. Launch with at least 3 quality episodes and start out your podcasting journey with a professional edge.
- Email Newsletters: This is also a launching tip but, not necessarily. Before you launch your first episodes, compile a list of the email of your potential listeners (would most likely be family, friends, and colleagues at first) and send them a newsletter to inform them of the launch of your podcast.
Make sure it looks unique and interesting. Even if you already have your podcast up and running, adding email newsletters to your marketing strategy is something you can always do.
- Audience interaction: Encourage your listeners to comment, subscribe and ask questions. Your method of speech should be conversational and if you have a blog, use that as a medium too to interact with your audience. Some hosting platforms like Soundcloud make it exceptionally easy to directly communicate with your listeners outside of the podcast.
- Word of mouth advertising: You know how you go on a site and you see reviews on their platform by some business owner or something like that. That almost instantly makes you trust them. There are different ways of applying WOM advertising and you should really consider making use of it to draw more crowd to your podcast.
- Social media is your friend: This cannot be overemphasized. Use social media to your advantage. If you really want to grow your audience organically, then you cannot be ‘too cool’ for social media. One really smart strategy is to use Youtube. I came across this insightful post on How to promote your podcast with Youtube and I think it is a strategy that truly works.
- Giveaways: You know what they say about ‘everyone loves free stuff’? It’s true. You can use your episodes directly or social media or your podcast’s website if you have one (you should) to announce giveaways. You can give stuff that applies to what your podcast is about and would therefore appear to your listeners. You can also give stuff that most people agree is generally cool like an affordable, simple gadget.
- Podcast Website: Your podcast should have a website and a beautifully customized landing page. This will come in handy for a number of reasons and it’s generally inexpensive. Many hosting websites provide a free website and if you want to use your own domain and you don’t have one, you can check out our guide on everything domain registration and the best registrars in 2021.
- Ads: Sometimes, the easiest and fastest way to promote your product is by buying ads. Paid podcast promotion and even paid social media campaigns are strategies that you should definitely consider if you’re trying to build an audience rapidly and you have the money.
- Interact with other podcasters: Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to other podcasters and respond when you are reached out to. Also feature guests on your show if you can and, be a guest on other podcasts that are preferably more popular than yours.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Best Podcast Hosting Websites
Where can I host a podcast?
You can host your podcast on any of the podcast hosting services available. There is a handful of them but most recommended would be BuzzSprout, Podbean, and Castos.
Some website hosting services also provide podcast hosting but, for proper management, storage, and distribution of your podcast, going with a podcast like Podbean is a much better choice.
Where can I host a podcast for free?
You can host your podcast for free on podcast hosting services like BuzzSprout, Libsyn, and Soundcloud. Most of the free hosting plans come with limited features and may not be the most ideal solution for a pro.
However, if you are just starting out or you find that you don’t need any of the extra functionalities of paid plans, then these podcast hosting websites are a good way to go.
Do I need to have podcast hosting?
Yes, you do. Do you want to have to figure out how to distribute your podcast across all streaming services all by yourself? or to learn how to generate an RSS feed by yourself? Or effectively manage the organization and customization of your podcast all by yourself? No you don’t.
Podcast hosting websites save you from so much of the work that you won’t even realize. Running a podcast without a podcast is a bad idea 9 out 10 times.
How often should I publish a podcast?
This is mostly up to you. Most podcasters publish on a weekly basis, some once in 2 weeks and a few post daily.
It really depends on how long you need to produce something of good quality and that you’re satisfied with. If you find it difficult to produce an episode each week, then you can switch to once in two weeks or even posting on a monthly.
Quality would always be rated over quantity when it comes to podcasting. Just try to have a pattern as this is helpful to your loyal listeners.
Podcasting is constantly a growing form of media and currently there are tons of great podcasts available that would mean you need to up your game to be recognized. You need to deliver unique and quality content consistently and take the time to gradually and steadily grow your audience.
Resist the temptation to overspend on services and tools you wouldn’t make use of. Once your content is of value and your audio is decent, you’re pretty much good to go.
Don’t forget to make proper use of social media for promoting your podcast and trust the process!
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Hi, I’m Chandan Negi, Founder of SoftwareTools – a Software Review Blog that provides Software Reviews, SaaS Software, Software Tutorials, and Software Products.