There’s no denying that podcasting is a ton of work.
From audio editing and writing show notes to booking guests and figuring out the technical aspects of publication, it can be a major challenge to keep it all straight.
That’s why it’s often best to delegate certain tasks to save time—and your sanity.
As the owner of a company that provides done-for-you podcast services for entrepreneurs, I’ve had hundreds of calls that have illustrated a lot of different needs out there.
Some people only want basic help with hosting and recording setup so they can run with their shows, while others don’t want to do anything but record content and hand it off to someone else for production.
And then there’s everyone in between.
Over the years I’ve spent directly helping podcasters get their shows off the ground—often pointing people to other services and support options when they are a better fit for that person’s needs—it has become clear to me that a resource outlining the different podcast services and solutions out there would be useful to a lot of people.
So in this guide, I’m going to share the best options I’ve seen in the industry for getting podcast help.
I’ll break down low-cost solutions that require more input from you, mid-range options that will take more off your plate, and higher cost services that leave you free to focus only on your biggest impact activity: creating content.
Whether you prefer DIY or don’t want to think about anything but recording shows, the information below will help you find the perfect solution to fit your needs and budget.
What types of help can you get?
In a nutshell, there are three main kinds of production services out there to help you get your podcast up and running and keep your episodes on track:
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solutions
With budget-friendly do-it-yourself options, you’ll get SOME help from outside sources, but you’re essentially making your podcast happen on your own. These include things like software, courses, and coaches that allow you to handle the heavy lifting but offer guidance to make sure you’re on the right track.
- Done-For-You (DFY) Services
As the name implies, these services have developed done-for-you systems to handle podcast setup, audio editing, show notes writing, publishing services, etc. Of course, how many tasks they take on will vary with pricing and the organization.
- Podcast Managers
A podcast manager is in charge of planning, running, managing, and implementing your show. Essentially, this is someone (or a team of people) you hire as the point person for making your podcast happen and ensuring everything runs smoothly for your releases.
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solutions
Now, there are plenty of choices out there that fit into each category, but for this guide, I’ve narrowed it down to tools and services I can personally recommend.
This post will get updated over time as new options become available and my recommendations shift.
And to make it as simple as possible, the options outlined below are generally laid out in order from lowest cost/highest time investment to highest cost/lowest time investment.
Let’s take it from the top!
If you’re working with a tight budget—or if you just like figuring things out on your own—here are some of the podcasting tools that I recommend:
Typically best for hobby podcasters who have time to invest in learning and want to keep their costs low, there are some awesome software systems that allow you to record easily, do simple editing, and create ready-to-release audio for your podcast.
Here’s what I recommend for:
Hosting – Hands down, the best podcast hosting service I’ve used is Libsyn. It’s only $15 / month, so it won’t break the bank. (You can also get your first month for free using the coupon code “engine” at checkout.) There are MANY other hosting options, but for simplicity sake, this is my top recommendation.
Recording/Editing Audio – Audacity is a great (free) software for recording episodes when only one person is talking. You can also use it for basic and even some advanced editing. It’s a simple tool, and it works for both Mac and PC users. I’m also a fan of using Garageband, which comes standard on Macs.
Recording Calls – The easiest (also free for most podcasting uses) way I’ve found to record interviews is Zoom. You simply email your guest a link that opens up on their computer (Mac or PC) and you have a phone call through your internet connection. Once the call is complete, you get an audio file of your conversation.
Another great browser calling solution is Zencastr which is a handy alternative.
Transcriptions – For turning your audio into transcripts quickly and relatively cheaply, I recommend Rev at $1 per minute of audio. They have great turnaround times and solid accuracy. Just make sure to check for brackets if there are any areas of unclear speech or uncertain spelling.
Podcast Website Creation – I generally recommend using the website for your business or the project the podcast is associated with, and using WordPress whenever possible.
Pro Tip: A wildly versatile WordPress Theme with 100s of pre-built layouts, plugins, and tools (and the theme we use for our own site) is Divi from Elegant Themes. But if you’re looking to create a simple stand-alone site for your podcast that’s as easy as possible, Podcast Websites offers a drag and drop interface to help you get a site rolling for your show. This also works as a hosting solution, as they offer unlimited podcast hosting.
Squarespace is a good runner up and alternative platform for creating a simple, easy to use website.
If you have the time and want to learn the nuts and bolts of the technical side of podcasting, I’ve seen two really great courses out there that will help guide you on your podcasting journey.
They’ll not only teach you how to do it yourself, but also how to do it in the most effective way.
I recommend Podcast Host Academy if you’re looking to learn how to go about starting a podcast from scratch, what makes a podcast compelling, advice on technology and equipment, or general advice on how to make the most impact with your show. You can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription, depending on your budget.
Pat Flynn’s Power-Up Podcasting is another great option that’s a one-time purchase. It’s a bigger upfront investment, but you can access it forever after that. This course focuses on how to launch a successful podcast to grow your online brand.
Want more personalized guidance for your podcast?
Sometimes it makes sense to hire a single person with experience running a podcast similar to the one you want to create.
If you’re looking to master the craft and technical aspects of podcasting yourself, hiring a podcast coach instead of a service could be an amazing option for you.
An incredible coach who’s been around since the early days of podcasting—and one of the original podcast educators—is Dave Jackson from School of Podcasting. He offers one-off and ongoing coaching options.
Another great coach is Jodey Smith with an impressive track record and great interactive style.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have time to invest in learning all the aspects of podcasting on your own, it probably makes the most sense for you to look into working with a podcast production service.
Below, you’ll find my recommendations broken down by pricing:
These options are a little more hands-on and will likely require you to review things yourself, but they’re great if you’re more invested in saving money than time.
Resonate Recordings offers multiple packages, but their cheapest is $59/episode. That includes mixing and mastering, ID3 tagging, adding intros, outros, and sponsors, removing background noise, uploading to your host, etc. There are also pre-pay options that will save you a bit as well.
We Edit Podcasts has different ways you can mix and match services. You can hire them just to edit your audio, take care of your audio and show notes, handle audio and transcription, etc. Their plans start at $249/month.
Services in this tier offer more nuts and bolts help, but will still require management and reviewing from you.
Podcast Motor hosts one of the top podcasting blogs, but their main focus is podcast editing and publishing. All of their packages include show note writing and ID3 tagging, but their higher range packages offer even more.
Another reputable podcast production team is over at Pro Podcast Solutions who have similar packages to Podcast Motor.
These turnkey managed solutions are a bit more expensive, but they help with strategy, planning, AND technical aspects (setup & ongoing).
They tend to be more dependable and proactively alert you of industry changes and strategic opportunities. They are also more tailored to ensuring your show gets results without requiring as much oversight.
Think of it as hiring a podcasting department for your company at a fraction of the cost.
Of course, at Cashflow Podcasting (*waves*) we help entrepreneurs start a podcast that grows their business. We help get podcasts outlined, created, and launched in 6-8 weeks, and help set up your show, coach and guide you, and produce your podcast completely for you. You’ll also get the benefit of time-tested launch and marketing strategies that are proven to work.
On the other hand, Audience Ops focuses on the ‘content engine’ concept of podcasting as a done-for-you service and operates similarly to releasing blog content but in podcast form.
This solution is more set up to work with corporate teams and larger company departments. A top option is Sweetfish Media, which is a B2B podcasting service.
Another option is Come Alive Creative that focuses more on ‘highly produced’ podcasts meaning mixing multiple interviews and separate pieces of content into a storyboard for each episode.
If you’re not quite on the corporate level but are still interested in hiring an agency, I’d recommend reaching out to a company similar to yours that has a podcast to see who they work with.
Podcast managers are perfect for people who just want to focus on being the host of the podcast, but also have custom needs for their show and a highly specific vision for their editorial or publishing process.
They are also ideal if there are multiple decision-makers involved in creating the podcast, like if your podcast is for a department or organization where many opinions need to be weighed.
This solution is tailored toward companies and organizations doing a podcast, but hobby podcasters will still see benefit from this as well.
That said, there are two types of managers you can hire:
Contractors are generally paid hourly and can range from affordable to expensive.
If you’re looking to hire a contractor, I recommend Freeeup as a simple way to search for pre-vetted and trained contractors. It’s fast and easy to get started, but you’ll have less ability to be highly selective.
For more reach and possibilities, try Upwork. They have a massive job-posting system for finding contractors, but you’ll need to be super specific with what you want and filter out unqualified parties.
2. Team Members
Hiring or assigning an internal team member (or multiple team members) is likely to be expensive, though you can always hire them as part-time employees as your budget allows.
The idea here is to hire someone as part of your organization whose job it is to manage, run, and produce the podcast. The main perk here is that they can be in charge of the whole podcast project. They can even be the host if needed.
To find and hire a team member, your best bet is to create a job listing and post to job boards just like you would for any other position within your company.
Pro Tip: Whatever solution you decide is right for you, I strongly recommend that you make sure there’s a quality review process of some kind to review your completed show and episodes before they publish. (You’d be surprised how many services and providers don’t have a quality review process. Don’t fall into that trap!)
Ensuring whoever you hire has their Quality Assurance figured out will help you avoid releasing episodes with massive, unnoticed issues.
Other Service / Support Options
As a final note, some people find support in the area of podcast guest interview booking helpful.
This can go two different ways: Either you want to get booked as an expert on a series of other podcasts, or you want a systematic way of having interview guests booked for your own show.
Interview Valet is the go-to premium option in this space. They’re not cheap, but they do really great work, and you get what you pay for.
Another great option is Interview Connections who boasts some big names in the online marketing and entrepreneurship space.
I know there are MANY services, softwares, coaches, etc. out there besides the ones I recommended above, and there are more are popping up daily.
The podcasting landscape is always changing, so if I didn’t mention something in this guide, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
It just means I can’t personally vouch for it—at least not yet.
As I mentioned before, all the companies, tools, and resources listed are solutions I’ve personally used, vetted, or reviewed to ensure I’m only sending people to the most reliable and reputable options.
My goal with this guide is to weed out all the fluff and give you the top options based on your needs and situation. With all the solutions out there, I know there’s a fit for you and your podcast.
I hope this guide will be the start of you finding it.
Do you have more services or tools to share? Leave them in the comments below!
Note: Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please know that I have experience and a relationship with these companies, which is why I recommend them to you because they are helpful, useful, and the best options out there.
I do NOT promote these services as a significant revenue source, as affiliate earnings account for less than 2% of our revenue. I encourage you to only purchase these products if you feel they are the right fit for you and your business.