Time for a new episode of The Story Behind the Lemon, my podcast about podcasting and the fun of running a business in the world of podcasting. (New episodes drop, as the kids say, every Friday afternoon.)
For this episode I’m answering the question: Where should you host your podcast?
You can listen right here on the site thanks to Transistor’s sweet embedded player – in dark mode (cue dramatic music):
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The quick answer is “everywhere.” Get your podcast out to as many places as you can. But that’s overwhelming and with more and more podcast hosting companies, apps, and aggregators popping up every week, who has time for that?
Let’s break this down into where you should host your podcast. And then I’ll talk about where you should be publicizing or sharing your podcast.
Where Should You Host Your Podcast?
Ok so where your podcast is hosted matters only so much as it needs to be a good, reliable company that knows podcasting and isn’t going to disappear in a few months and force you to move everything around. In some ways a podcast host is a lot like your website host – the average viewer of your website doesn’t care if your website is hosted on Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, Netlify, or Geocities – they just want to read what’s on your website. And you can say the same for podcast hosting – the average listener just wants to be able to hear your show. They don’t really care where the MP3 is coming from over the internet, as long as they can get it when they’re ready to listen.
I should also say that I’m a little biased in that my good friend Justin Jackson runs a podcast hosting company called Transistor that I use for my own podcast network at Goodstuff.fm – and he’s also a client of mine. I edit Transistor’s own podcast called Build Your Saas where Justin and Jon talk about the fun and frustrations of building a web app in 2019.
Despite that bias, podcasting is an essential part of my business and I wouldn’t recommend a company or trust them with my podcasts if I didn’t think they knew what they were doing. I’ve been really happy with Transistor for my podcast hosting and have no problem recommending them to friends and clients.
There are lots of other great podcast hosting companies out there – Fireside, Simplecast, Pinecast just to name a few. You really can’t go wrong with any of these fine podcast hosting companies. They’ll all provide you with a place to host your MP3 files for each episode, the ability to build a website for your podcast, an RSS feed to submit to all the various podcast aggregators like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and others, and great analytics on each episode so you can see how well your podcast is performing. You will have to pay for these companies and I firmly believe that investing money in your podcast hosting is well worth it if podcasting is going to be any kind of part of your business or marketing efforts.
If you spend any time on Google looking for podcast hosting, you’ll see plenty of free hosting providers out there. And much like free hosting for your website, you get what you pay for. There is one company I’ll mention that you should check out if you want to just try out podcasting without having to commit to a monthly fee – and that’s Anchor.
Anchor is both a podcast hosting company as well as a podcast creation app. And it’s completely free. Which is something to enjoy but also be aware of that if it’s free, somebody somewhere has to be paying for all the hosting and bandwidth they’re using. And in Anchor’s case, that somebody is Spotify. Spotify recently bought Anchor and so far have seemed keen to keep Anchor running as a place for people to create podcasts, which in turn help build more content out for Spotify’s listening side of the business.
Anchor has apps for iOS and Android, and also runs great in your browser on Windows or macOS. It’s not the most powerful editing app – but considering what it allows you to do on the go, it’s pretty amazing. And you can also use it with fancier mics and gear to record. So if you want to just try out this podcasting thing with minimal cost up, Anchor is the way to go.
Ok that’s where you should host your podcast. Now let’s cover where you should post and share your podcast.
Where Should You Share Your Podcast?
Most of the podcast hosting companies I talked about will automatically, or with the click of a few buttons, submit your podcast to aggregators like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. And from there, most of the smaller podcast players like Overcast, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, Castbox, and more – will build their databases off of Apple Podcasts listing. But it’s still worth checking in various apps to see if your show is appearing. Might as well make sure it’s getting to as many people’s ears as possible.
Sharing your podcast on social media can be a great way to build awareness and gain subscribers. Obviously sharing it on whatever your primary social platforms are – Twitter & Facebook. LinkedIn can be a big driver of listeners if your show’s topic or style lends itself to a business focus.
If your brand has a verified Instagram account, using the clickable link in Stories is a something to consider trying. Posting episode artwork and descriptions to Instagram and using appropriate hashtags for discovery is a good idea as well.
Beyond that, finding an appropriate subreddit on Reddit can yield new listeners who don’t use Facebook or Twitter. Even if your podcast is audio only, creating a video version of it to upload to YouTube can help reach folks on there.
And of course, if you’ve got an email list of some sort, that’s a great place to send out reminders of past episodes as well as promote new episodes. Wherever you share your podcast, it’s important to take a long term view of it. Podcasting isn’t an instant buy or instant gratification kind of marketing effort. You have to be in it for the long haul. 3 episodes shared on Reddit when you’ve never used Reddit before are not going to tell you much. It’s important to experiment, try things, and then review the data after a reasonable time period and see what’s working. And don’t beat yourself – or your marketing person who suggested doing a podcast – up too much if you’re not getting a bunch of listeners.
Just like where we started this discussion with your website, you’re building up a library of episodes for right now and hopefully for the future – people will discover your podcast episodes long after you’ve finished recording them and still be able to hear about why you’re so great to work with, or why they should hire you, or whatever your podcast was about.
Got Questions for a Future Episode?
If you’d like to send in a question for a future episode, there’s a few different ways to do it:
- Leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
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I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’m excited to continue telling both my own story in podcasting as well as answer your questions about podcasting. I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years and it’s awesome to see how it’s grown and changed over the years. I continue to believe that it’s one of the best ways to engage and communicate with your audience, fans, or potential customers.