November 10, 2016
So you want to start a podcast. You have thoughts, and they must be conveyed in audio form to everyone with a half hour to listen to something on the drive home from work. After all, it’s not like we have enough Westworld recap shows.
Sarcasm aside, hosting a podcast online, and getting it onto iTunes specifically, has never been easier. I know because I did it the old way: Buying my own domain and figuring out juuust enough about how to upload files to it in order to create the RSS feed that iTunes requires. Luckily, podcasting has exploded in the years since: According to a five-part series by Nieman Labs’ Ken Doctor exploring the podcasting world, advertising in the space rose 48 percent rate last year, is expected to grow 25 percent per year at least until 2020, when it would hit nearly half a billion dollars annually.
You’re probably not getting any of that by hosting your own. But stranger things have happened. Here’s the fastest way to host a podcast.
Get on Soundcloud
Soundcloud is my hosting service of choice: It’s free, it’s simple, it has name recognition. The audio sharing site even has a page dedicated to convincing people to host their podcasts on it.
Join the site. It’s like any other social media network, you can join it in your sleep. Just upload your first episode, and then look for the RSS feed. Soundcloud has only offered the RSS feed for the last year and a half, but it’s the reason they work as a podcast host: Whenever you upload a new soundcloud file, the feed is needed to let any podcast network you’re in know that a new episode is out.
Deal With iTunes
iTunes is still the best place to host a podcast, despite faults like a lack of adequate podcast data. Hop over to the main iTunes Podcast link, input all the needed information like your RSS feed link, your email, and a 1400 x 1400 jpg image for your cover photo. Then just wait a few days to see if iTunes rejects you. If not, you’re in. And all it took was a Soundcloud account and a few minutes of typing.
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