How to Host your Podcast Yourself!
When most podcasters start out (us included), they look for the cheapest all-in-one option for hosting their new podcast audio. We read a few blogs about RSS feeds, not always understand them and look for the quickest way to get the podcast into Apple Podcasts / iTunes. Most of us are unaware it’s quite simple to self host our podcasts all in one place with a few useful free tools from around the web.
The benefits of sell hosting can be huge: you are unlimited in your uploads, it is very cost effective and if you had gone with a company like Soundcloud or other audio hosts and they shut down…. You won’t lose your precious subscribers!! Soundcloud users are currently a bit worried as they have lost millions for the last few years and recently cut 40% of their staff!
If you are a control freak like us and want full control of your podcast, then self hosting is the way to go!
In this guide I will tell you how to host yourself easily with some free online tools. But first; just so you don’t read this and get to the end and say “I don’t use WordPress”. This guide counts on you using WordPress as a huge percentage of the web do. If you don’t, or don’t have a podcast website, maybe think about this at the same time. WordPress is free to use, all you need is a domain and a host which can be very cheap.
1.) You will need to hold the files somewhere on the web, think of your google drive or Dropbox files… Those files need somewhere to sit. The audio files you upload need to be held with a web address (URL) with public access. If this sounds like French (or a foreign language you don’t speak), then don’t worry. Go with Amazon Web Servers (S3) like we did, it charges you based on the amount of downloads your podcast has on a monthly basis and the cost is very very low, especially when you start out.
Plus, it’s Amazon…. Those servers are not going down easily and therefore your listeners will never not be able to get your podcast!
Once set up, or you have a location ready… Upload the audio files (MP3 files) of your podcasts and get the URL for each.
2.) You will then need to get an RSS feed built for your podcast. In WordPress download the POWERPRESS PLUGIN from Blubrry. It is a free plugin built specifically for podcasters, by podcasters. ( https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/powerpress/ )
Once the plugin is installed into your WordPress website, activate it, and follow the instructions to get setup. You can find detailed instructions for setting up a new podcast on POWERPRESS in this guide: https://create.blubrry.com/resources/powerpress/using-powerpress/
3.) Then upload your podcasts, this is as easy as writing a blog post on WordPress…. In fact it is exactly that, you upload episodes by creating a blog post. Click add new post, put the podcast title in the title box, put your show notes and descriptions in the blog post dialogue box and scroll down to where the Powerpress settings box is. Here you will fill in specific podcast episode data such as meta description and this will also be where you tell POWERPRESS where the episode is located.
Remember those URLs I mentioned you needed in step 1, this is where you add them. Cut and paste the URL for the episode into the media box and hit Verify media, this will tell you if it can access the file successfully and fill in the duration for you.
4.) You are good to go!!! You can add plenty of extra data as you would with other blogs: feature artwork, tags etc. Otherwise you are ready to either schedule the post, or hit publish. This will put the audio file into your RSS feed.
The powerpress tutorial should then help you through getting your show on to iTunes/ Apple Podcasts and other directories. You will need to have at least one audio file in the feed to get the rest setup, and receive your RSS address. Once you have it, the RSS is exactly what you give to iTunes, Stitcher, Android apps…. And HEY PRESTO!! each episode you upload to your feed, automatically goes into people’s podcast apps… As if by magic (RSS feeds are magic!).
How do I get stats I hear you say!? No I’m not telepathic… It’s a question I asked straight away too… There are probably a number of ways. But this is our favourite…. Blubrry Stats! Once setup you can claim your podcast via Blubrry’s directory, and then you can register an account with them to get free statistics. Once you have done this, they give you an extra URL, you simply go back and put this before your podcast media URL’s in step 3. Cut and paste it before the AWS S3 address and the stats will start to flow in. Nifty eh, the nice guys at Blubrry not only create an RSS with their plugin but also give you stats…
Because they are so awesome in doing this we like to give a little back and upgrade to the paid statistics with Blurbrry, which gives you a load more detail on your listeners for just…… $5 a month!!! Yep, just FIVE DOLLARS…. It’s worth it just to say thanks to Blubrry, but then you get all the awesome stats too! BARGAIN.
There you go, you are in full control of your own podcast, and podcast website…. You control freak!!
Are you an aspiring podcaster? Here are some more awesome blogs:
Thinking of podcasting? Check out our podcast all about podcasting, it’s a bit like inception but makes starting a podcast simple and doesn’t have Leonardo Di-Caprio in it. Listen in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.