A podcast host is a location where your podcast audio files are stored and distributed. These hosts provide a unique RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) which you can submit to podcasting sites where listeners can tune into your podcast. Simply put, your podcast host will be the home of your audio files and distribute your files to where people listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.).
A typical podcasting host usually charges a monthly fee for housing your audio files; however, Anchor does not which is why we recommend it. But, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. When you give Anchor your podcast, you don’t technically control your Apple distribution. This is problematic for those running a business, but if you’re into podcasting just as a personal hobby, this is fine. Other hosts include (Libsyn, Buzzspout, Podbean) and each host has their own benefits and flaws. As you can probably tell, there’s a million ways to approach the topic of finding a podcast host. But for the sake of time, clarity, and a little bit of sanity, we do recommend Anchor for hobby podcasters.
When you’re ready, head over to Anchor.fm and hit “Sign Up” on the top right of the site. Right here, you are prompted to enter your full name, email, and a password. After you fill this out, go to your email and confirm it.
From your dashboard, you’re prompted to make your first episode. Skip this for now. But scroll down a little bit and click on “Go to podcast setup.” Over here, there will be a fill out for different parts of your podcast: the name of the show (Chapter 3), the description (Chapter 3. Remember when we had you write that out before you chose a name?), the topic of the show (Chapter 2), and the language of the show.
After this, you’ll be prompted to upload your cover art. If you haven’t created a cover art for your podcast already, we highly recommend for you to check out Chapter 3 where we walk you through how to create a cover art for your podcast.
But if you have done this already, upload your cover art. One common problem here is for Anchor to apply their own text over your cover art. But if that happens, just toggle the on and off switch on the bottom of the photo to remove it. Another common question at this step is regarding the weird icon on the top right corner of your cover art. This is the logo for Anchor, and we recommend keeping this on as a small thank you for hosting our podcast for free. But if you really feel the need to remove it, go ahead to your settings where you will find an option to do so under the “advanced settings.”
Congratulations! You now have a whole hosting site for your podcast!
Right now, we know you’d love to know where you’re at in the process. So let’s give you a little bit a context. If you’re this far, great job! You’ve made it through the quagmire of podcasting. The good news is that all you need to learn now is how to podcast! In your first episode (ironically named Episode 0), you will need to give an introduction of your podcast and the purpose of it. After that, feel free to cover any story or topic you’d like!
Let’s trudge on to our next chapter of planning out an episode.