How to Start A Podcast for Free: A Step-by-Step Guide


Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, creating a podcast for free is possible, which is why I am going to take you on a step by step guide to starting your first podcast for free.

So, can I start a podcast for free, and how?

You can start a podcast for free by using the free podcasting app, Anchor FM. This application allows you to record, edit, and host your podcast for free. If you don’t want to use Anchor, then you record and edit your episode on Audacity for free and use PodBean’s free podcast hosting platform subscription.

There are other things that you should take into consideration when you decide to start a podcast for free, like picking a niche for your show and coming up with a suitable title.

All of that will be covered in today’s step by step guide to starting your podcast for free, so make sure that you continue reading!

How to start a podcast for free?

Pick your podcast’s niche

Having a clear message about what you want your podcast to be about is very important because it allows your target audience to find you more efficiently.

How to Start A Podcast for Free- Niche

Whether you are running a website, a business, or YouTube channel, or a podcast, it is always a good thing to have a clear direction that represents what your content is all about.

Let us assume that you are running a podcast about fishing, so fishing is your niche. You can create content on anything related to fishing, but you should not be releasing episodes that teach people about becoming a professional athlete.

Why?

People who want to learn about how they can become professional athletes will be looking for podcasts that focus on that particular need of theirs. But that is not the only reason.

What about those who subscribed to you for information related to fishing? What are they supposed to do?

This is going to create confusion, loss of subscribers, and the inability for newer people to trust and commit to subscribing to your podcast.

So, think about the type of content you want to make, understand that your episodes should all be related to that particular niche, then move on to coming up with a title for your podcast.

Pick a title for your show

Because there is not much of an algorithm or much optimization that can be done to help your podcast be discovered or recommended, you should pick a title for your podcast that includes the keywords that represent your niche.

Try to come with something unique and creative and makes sure that it clearly communicates the niche or theme of your podcast to people who are searching for podcast shows or episodes that are related to your podcast’s niche.

After that, we have have reached a crossroads. We have a very simple way of starting a podcast for free, and a more complicated method of doing so.

How to create a podcast for free using nothing the easy way?

Let us start by discussing how you make a podcast with your smartphone. What I am about to share with you is the easiest way to create a podcast for free.

How to create a podcast for free using your iPhone or Android?

Many professional podcasters use their smartphones as a part of their podcasting setup, but for people who have a total budget of zero dollars, can they actually manage to turn their smartphones into their entire podcasting setup?

Yes, they can! Creating a podcast for free has never been easier thanks to an application called Anchor FM. The creators of this application already claim that Anchor FM is the easiest method for podcasters to make podcasts, and I agree. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also FREE!!

However, I am not going to end this post by telling you that you can record, edit, and publish your podcast for free using this application. Instead, I am going to take you on a step by step guide and show you screenshots of me doing everything that you need to do to have a published podcast.

Everyone, take a deep breath because this fantastic application is free to download for both iPhone and Android, so literally, anyone with a smartphone will benefit from this step by step guide to making a podcast for free.

Without any further ado, let us start creating our podcasts using the Anchor App. First things first, I am going to the Apple store to download the Anchor application.

Downloading Anchor from the Apple Store

Kindly note that this blog post is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form by Anchor. 

Now, I would not recommend using Anchor forever, but it is an excellent way for new creators to get into the waters of the glamorous world of podcasting. So while the app is installing, let us briefly discuss what the Anchor application is similar to. By the way, the application has a website as well.

The Anchor application/ website is a podcasting platform and distributer that can be easily compared to YouTube, but for audio content/ podcasts. They are both free, and they both handle a lot of technical things for you, so the interface is not complicated for content creators and content consumers.

Anchor app downloaded on an iPhone

When the Anchor application is downloaded, let open the application and begin exploring Anchor FM. At the end of this step by step guide to creating a podcast using Anchor, I will be answering three crucial questions.

These questions are the following:

  1. Does it do what it claims to do; aka, allows us to record, edit, and publish our podcasts?
  2. Is the App easy to use?
  3. Is it efficient?

Now, let us talk about creating your Anchor account.

How to create an account on Anchor for your podcast?

There are only two methods for you to sign up on Anchor, which via signing up with your email or by using your Facebook account.

Opening and signing up for the Anchor app

I have personally decided to sign up using my email, but feel free to do whatever you want. To sign up for an Anchor account, all I needed was to type in my name, email address, and password to able to explore the application. 

I got redirected to this page on the App that offered me four different options to answer the question of what brings me to Anchor.

These four potentials answers are the following:

  1. Because I want to make a new podcast
  2. Because I want to learn more about podcasting ( which you can always check out from further guidance)
  3. Because I am moving my already created podcast to Anchor
  4. Because I want to listen to podcasts
Anchor's " what brings to you to Anchor" page

Since we downloaded the application to be able to create a podcast for free, I have clicked on the firs, red button.

Next, a message will pop up asking whether or not we are interested in receiving notifications from Anchor.

I personally said no because I no longer allow ninety-nine percent of the apps on my phone to send me notifications, but feel free to do whatever you like.

Now that we’ve responded to that pop-up message, we will be redirected to a page that is still on the app, where Anchor is going to share with you four simple podcasting tips to help create your podcast via this application.

Anchor’s podcasting steps and tips

The first step or tip is all about recording or importing your episode’s audio. Since we are using Anchor to do everything, this means that we are going to do that on the app itself. 

However, it is good that people who record their episodes on other applications can actually import their episodes into Anchor and still be able to use it.

The first step in Anchor's guide to starting a podcast

The second step or tip shows us that we can make an episode by building it up using multiple different segments. This means that you can easily record your episode part by part; you do not have to record the entire audio at once.

The second step in Anchor's guide to starting a podcast

Each segment can record up to an entire hour’s worth of audio content, so if you are creating episodes that are longer than one hour, do not worry. You will just have to record your episode by recording two different segments and add them to your to be uploaded episode in the correct order.

The third step or tip is telling us that we can distribute our podcast everywhere with just one click. However, when we actually reach that step, we won’t press on that button. We’ll just manually submit our podcasts to the popular podcasting platforms ourselves.

Why?

So we could access our podcast’s analytics on each one of these podcasting platforms. If you let Anchor do that for you, you won’t be able to access your podcast’s analytics on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.

The third step in Anchor's guide to starting a podcast

The mini-episode I am going to record is only going to be Anchor though ( I won’t manually distribute it) because this is just me testing the application.

However, when I actually launch my podcast, I will make sure to take all of the important screenshots and make more step-by-step blog posts on that.

The fourth step or tip is publishing our podcasts and waiting for our audience to find our podcasts and listen to them. 

The fourth step in Anchor's guide to starting a podcast

Now that we have a clear idea regarding how we can create our podcasts on Anchor, let us start recording that our first episode.

Of course, you have first to do some research and outline your episode. I am going to assume that you already know what you are going to talk about in this episode, or you can create an experimental episode just like yours truly.

How to record audio on Anchor?

Like we have mentioned before, an episode is made of multiple segments, so let us start by recording a segment. You can do that by tapping the plus sign in the purple circle that is above the word “Tools“.

Now, let us record a segment. To do so, just click on the plus sign in the purple circle. Next, press on that red, recording button and start talking.

Anchor's recording tool

Once you finish recording your segment, click on the X in the red circle to end the recording. 

Press the big play button to listen to your audio recording. If you really hate it, you can delete your segment and record another one.

If they’re just a few things that you would like to change, you can just stick to editing it, which comes later on. So if you like the segment, but you think it needs some editing, click on the Save button.

Previewing your audio on Anchor

Name your segment and click on the “Add recording to episode” button. You will be asked whether ready to publish this episode or not. Since we still want to edit our segments, we will press on not yet.

Make sure that your segment is fully uploaded. Next, we’ll start editing our recorded audio!

How to edit a podcast episode on Anchor?

Now that our segments are fully uploaded, we are going to click on the three dots next to the uploaded segment. We are going to get a few options to pick from when we click on theses three dots. We have segment options like adding background music, renaming the segment, or deleting it from our episode.

We also have editing options like trimming our segments’ start and endpoints and editing our audio.

How to create a podcast for free- Anchor's editing tools

I personally first started by trimming the silence that existed at the beginning of my segment and deleted a sentence from the end of the segment. Here is how doing that looked like.

When you click on Trim start/ endpoints, this is what you are going to see.

Trimming the audio on Anchor

The picture above is my untouched, recorded segment. The picture below showcases that I am removing the silence that exists at the beginning of my segment.

Next, I pressed on the save button and moved on to editing my segment. This means that I clicked again on the three dots and clicked on edit audio this time around.

Anchor’s editing program basically works by allowing us to split our audio and save all of the split segments. Then, we can remove the unwanted segments by deleting them from the dashboard. It is very basic and simple, but it is going to get the job done.

As you can see, the image that I have up above, this is what my episode looks like. Now, do not worry about me having three separate segments. Since all my segments are in the same episode, Anchor will sync and play them as if they are a single audio file.

Now that we’ve finally edited our first podcast episode, let us move on to setting up our podcast and creating our podcast’s cover art.

How to setup up my podcast on Anchor?

There are a few things that we have to do every time we record and edit and new episode, and that is typing in the episode’s title and description.

We can also customize a specific image for our episode, which I have done here, but I don’t recommend doing it. We can insert the season and episode number, which is also optional and not required.

The photo on the right is what my dashboard looked like at the end. But don’t worry, because I will still be taking you through the remaining steps.

Click on publish now and type in your podcast’s description. Try to include keywords that are related to your niche, then click on use this description.

Next, add some tags that describe what the podcast is about, and add tags that include keywords that are related to your niche and your episode, then click on done.

Up next is working on the cover art. So, I searched for an image and played and added the podcast’s title on it in the font Karla and clicked on continue.

Now that we are finally done setting up our podcasts, Anchor is going to suggest to us that we distribute our podcast on the major podcasting platforms. Avoid clicking on the Great, thanks button, and instead, go for the I’d rather do that myself.

PS: The image on the right is an overview of the episode that I have just published.

How to create a podcast for free

The last thing that we are going to do is disable two options that Anchor automatically enables for your podcast. We will do that by going to podcast settings and turning off the Anchor logo on cover art and the Anchor post-roll in episodes. 

By doing so, we are ensuring that there won’t be any Anchor related Ads being played to your audience, and there won’t be an Anchor watermark on your podcast’s cover art.

If you are interested in listening to my experimental mini-episode that is edited and published on Anchor, then all you have to do is click here!

Now, do you remember the three questions I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post? 

  1. Does it do what it claims to do; aka, allows us to record, edit, and publish our podcasts?
  2. Is the App easy to use?
  3. Is it efficient?

From what I have experienced so far while using the Anchor app so far, the answer is yes to all of these questions.

What makes this podcasting application truly shine is how simple and easy it is to use. Oh, and the fact that it is totally free.

If you are interested in testing the waters of the glamorous world of podcasting, then I believe that using Anchor is truly the way to go. Once you get the hang of it, though, I would recommend that you move on to something more prominent and paying for your podcast hosting site.

How to create a podcast for free by taking the higher road?

Now that we have discussed how you can easily create a podcast for free, let us talk about how we can create a free podcast the harder way, aka, without the Anchor application.

Step one: Recording and editing

Since we are not relying on the anchor application, we are going to need an application or software to record and edit our episodes.

Depending on what sort of devices you have, you can pick your recording and editing software.

  • BandLab to record and edit our podcasts on Android phones.
  • GarageBand to record and edit our podcasts on iPhones, iPads, or MacBooks.
  • Spreaker Studio to record and edit our podcast on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Androids.
  • Audacity to record and edit our podcast on laptops or MacBooks.

Step two: Getting a podcast hosting service

There are three great hosting platforms that offer you free memberships. These three sites are the following:

  1. Podbean
  2. Buzzsprout
  3. Soundcloud

If you need help with choosing the perfect podcast hosting site for you, then feel free to check out my recommendations for the best podcast hosting sites.

Of course, since you are using a free membership, you won’t have access to a lot of features, but at least you will have an RSS URL feed that you can use to distribute your podcast onto different podcasting platforms.

However, it is going to be super easy for you to just upgrade for a better and a paid tier when your podcast starts growing or when you are ready to spend a bit of money on your podcast.

Here is what you get from each of these hosting platform’s free subscriptions:

PodBean

When you subscribe to PodBean’s free plan, you are going to have the ability to upload five hours ( 5 hrs) of content every month. You are given a bandwidth of one hundred GB ( 100 GB) every month

You will also get access to basic statistics regarding the performance of your podcast.

Buzzsprout

When you subscribe to Bussprout’s free plan, you are going to have the ability to upload two hours ( 2 hrs) of content every month, have access to the entire podcasting dashboard, but your storage duration per episode lasts for only ninety days (90 days).

Soundcloud

When you subscribe to Soundcloud’s free plan, which is the SoundCloud Basic Plan, you are going to have the ability to upload three hours ( 3 hrs) of content every month, have access to basic statistics, and embedding options.

Get your podcast on multiple podcasting platforms

The more podcasting platforms your podcast is own, the higher your chances of getting discovered and listened to. However, you should at least have your podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Pandora.

If you do not know how to do this, do not worry! I have three short posts that guide you when you are submitting your podcast to these podcasting platforms.

To get your podcast on Apple Podcasts, read my How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts blog posts.

How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts?

To get your podcast on Spotify, check out my How to Publish A Podcast on Spotify blog post.

How to Publish A Podcast on Spotify?

To get your podcast on Pandora, read my How to Submit Your Podcast to Pandora: A Step-by-Step Guide blog post.

How to Submit Your Podcast to Pandora: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you can get your podcast on Google Podcasts, that would be amazing! To learn more about Google Podcast, make sure that you check out my Can My Podcast Appear in Google’s Search Results?

Can My Podcast Appear on Google's Search Results

Other questions related to how to start a podcast for free

How to Submit Your Podcast to Pandora?

To get your podcast on Pandora, go to Pandora AMP, and register for a new account or log in. Next, make sure that you meet their requirements like having cover art that is 3000 x 3000 pixels in .png or .jpeg, and that is original and is not explicit. Now, insert your podcast’s RSS feed.

For a step-by-step guide on how to submit your podcast to Pandora, make sure that you read my How to Submit Your Podcast to Pandora: A Step-by-Step Guide blog post.

What are the requirements needed to submit a podcast to Apple Podcasts?

Two major requirements include are:

  1. Go to your podcast’s hosting site and get its RSS URL feed link.
  2. Making sure that your podcast’s cover photo is at least 1600 x 1600 pixelsbut at most 3000 x 3000 pixels.

You can learn about all of the requirements you need to meet before you submit your podcast to by reading my How to Publish A Podcast on Apple Podcasts blog post.

How to Grow Your Podcast Audience?

Five things that you can do to grow your podcast’s audience are the following:

  1. Appealing to your Audience
  2. Asking your listeners to rate your podcast and leave honest reviews
  3. Improving the quality of your podcast
  4. Utilizing the features that the podcast hosting site provides you
  5. Using Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy

To learn about how you can grow your podcast’s audience, read my How to Grow Your Podcast Audience blog post.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now be able to start your podcast for free.

There are also so many free methods that you can use to improve the quality of your content, promote your podcast and grow your audience, so make sure that you browse this site for these resources and check out my sources.

My Sources

Till next time,

Ayah

Ayah Assem

I am a creator and a consumer of many forms of artistic content. With podcasting leaving its mark and declaring its significance in the current content world, I have decided to learn everything related to how to create a podcast. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will start uploading and sharing my creative work in the audio format. Join me on my journey of understanding the podcasting world, as I will be sharing with you all of the information that I am going to learn. Feel free to share with me your podcasting journey at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com and keep an eye on all of the music, books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and YouTube channels that I always reference.

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