Do you know how to launch a podcast?
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 everything running smoothly.
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 editing services and podcast production services for entrepreneurs, I’ve quickly learned about the needs of those looking to launch a podcast.
Some people only want basic help with hosting and recording, 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.
From how to be a good podcast host to how to prepare for a podcast, I have taught entrepreneurs a wide range of skills and techniques to take their audio content to the next level.
In this guide, I’m going to share the best options I’ve seen in the industry for successfully launching a podcast.
If you can nail the fundamentals of launching a podcast, you will be able to build an audience and establish yourself as an industry leader, and create deep relationships with your audience.
I’ll break down low-cost solutions that require more input from you, mid-range options that will take work off your plate, and higher cost services that leave you free to focus only on your highest impact activity: creating content.
The information below will help you find the perfect solution to fit your needs and budget.
Alongside exploring how to launch a podcast using a range of different solutions, I will also be answering some common questions about what to do once you’re ready to start publishing episodes.
I believe it’s important to have a clear plan for how a podcast is going to be distributed before even pressing the record button. Picking the right services for the job goes hand-in-hand with planning distribution and monetization opportunities.
Are you ready to learn how to launch a successful podcast? Let’s dive straight in.
How To Launch A Podcast – What Services Are Available?
In a nutshell, there are three types of production services on the marketplace to help you get your podcast up and running:
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solutions
With budget-friendly do-it-yourself solutions, you’ll get SOME help from outside sources, but you’re essentially making your podcast happen on your own. These packages 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.
- Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Solutions
- 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 depend on pricing.
- Done-For-You (DFY) Services
- 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.
- Podcast Managers
Now, there are plenty of choices out there that fit into each category, but for this guide, I’ve narrowed the options down to tools and services I can personally recommend.
This guide on how to launch a podcast will get updated over time as new options become available and my recommendations evolve.
And to make it as simple as possible, the options outlined below are generally laid out in order from the lowest cost/highest time investment to the highest cost/lowest time investment.
Let’s take it from the top!
DIY Podcast Solutions
If you’re working with a tight budget—or if you just like figuring things out on your own and you are fiercely independent—here are some of the podcasting tools that I recommend:
1. Podcast Software
Software is typically best for hobby podcasters who have time to invest in learning and want to keep their costs low, some awesome software systems allow you to record easily, do simple editing, and create ready-to-release audio for your podcast.
Here’s what I recommend:
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’s 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 both basic and advanced editing. It’s a simple tool, and it works for Mac and PC users. I’m also a fan of using Garageband, which comes standard on Macs.
Recording Calls – The easiest way (also free for most podcasting uses) 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 $1.25 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.
2. Podcast Courses
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.
3. Podcast Coaching
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.
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DFY Podcast Solutions
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.
4. Podcast Agency
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
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 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.
If you want to go down the do-it-yourself route, you will need to know how to upload your podcast episodes to a variety of platforms. Without jumping the gun, here are two quick step-by-step guides on how to upload your podcast episodes to iTunes and Spotify.
How To Upload A Podcast To iTunes (Now Apple Podcasts)
Once you have podcast episodes ready to hit the airwaves, you will need to start thinking about hosting.
Getting your podcast on iTunes (or Apple Podcasts) is actually rather easy. We’ll talk you through the process of how to upload a podcast to iTunes in just a few steps:
- Create a new Apple ID
- Set up a podcast hosting account
- Submit at least one episode to the Apple Podcasts directory
- Log in to Apple Podcast Connect
- Find the RSS feed URL for your podcast
- Paste the RSS feed URL into Apple Podcast Connect
- Confirm your Apple Podcast submission (and wait for 5-8 days)
How To Upload A Podcast To Spotify
The process of how to upload a podcast to Spotify is even easier! You can achieve this in just four simple steps:
- Visit the Spotify For Podcasters page
- Find the RSS feed URL for your podcast
- Paste the RSS feed URL into Spotify’s form
- Add podcast information (language, category, country)
- Review the podcast information and submit
How To Make Money Podcasting
Even in the early stages of turning your concept for a show into a reality, it’s important to start thinking about ways to monetize the content.
There are so many different ways in which a person could make money podcasting. When thousands of ears have your attention, this can be leveraged for financial gain. If you want to know how to make money podcasting, here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Explore affiliate marketing opportunities
- Reach out to businesses in your niche for sponsorships
- Publish books and audiobooks for listeners to purchase
- Launch a crowdfunding campaign with the support of listeners
- Encourage listeners to book coaching sessions with you
In my experience, the more narrow the niche is, the easier it will be for you to monetize your podcast. If you have a clearly defined niche, your content will inevitably appeal to a very specific type of person. This means you will be able to understand whose attention you have.
How To Get Podcast Sponsors
With the right niche, finding podcast sponsors shouldn’t be too hard. Businesses pay for the attention of those in their target market. If you have access to their target market, getting a mention on your podcast is going to be invaluable to these businesses. Here are just a few ways of attracting sponsors:
- Run email outreach campaigns
- Take part in networking events
- Tell listeners about sponsorship opportunities
- Establish a strong social media presence
- Connect with professionals on LinkedIn
How To Launch A Podcast – Final Thoughts
I hope this guide has helped you to learn more about how to launch a podcast – including how to prepare for a podcast and how to make money with a podcast. There has never been a better time to launch a podcast. I would recommend taking a read through our book, Podcast Strategies so you can hit the ground running.
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!
Founder and Chief Podcast Educator at Cashflow Podcasting. Ben specializes in helping thought leaders and entrepreneurs amplify their impact through podcasting. He’s a world traveller, outdoor sports junkie and future enthusiast!