Launching a Podcast on a Budget

If you want to start a podcast, but have concerns about your budget, don’t worry—we have you covered. Here is the bare minimum you need to launch a podcast

March 23, 2020

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to kick-start your dreams by creating a podcast series. But how do you start? And how do you ensure that your creative endeavor doesn’t end up breaking the bank, but still ends up successful? After all, don’t you need very high-end products and technical equipment to produce and edit a great podcast? Fortunately, that last part isn't true. It’s actually fairly easy to launch a podcast on a budget without sacrificing quality, if you know what to prioritize, how to get started, and where to purchase affordable podcasting equipment.

If you want to start a podcast, but have concerns about your budget, don’t worry—we have you covered. Here is the bare minimum you need to launch a podcast:

1. Figure out your podcast name, structure and concept

First things first, it’s important to figure out what your goal is for your podcast—do you want to become a thought leader in a particular field? Generate sales leads? Educate or entertain your audience? Knowing your underlying objective will help you make decisions when it comes to deciding on the topic, format, length, and structure of your podcast.

2. Create a brand kit that includes a logo, brand guidelines, and cover art

If you already have access to a following, you can also include your existing social media. Whatever you do, don’t neglect the artwork as it’s the first thing that potential consumers will see and will communicate the type of quality that listeners can expect from your show. At the end of the day, your artwork is your first impression, yet this step is often overlooked by many content creators.

3. Record, edit and produce your podcast

Recording and audio editing have one of the biggest impacts on the quality of your show and so you may be tempted to go all-out on the most expensive tech you can find. There’s no need for that! You can buy decent equipment to get you started for as little as $100–500 (check out our product recommendations here). As for audio editing, you can either do it yourself by taking advantage of free editing software or outsource this aspect of production to one of our expert freelancers on Quill.

4. Make hosting and distribution decisions

Signing up for a media hosting site is the easiest and simplest way to publish your podcast on major platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Play. We’ve recommended some of our favorite hosting sites at all price points in the guide below. 5. Set up your analytics. It’s important to keep track of analytics because each platform has unique data that can help you paint a fuller picture of who your listeners are, what content they prefer, any areas for improvement, and how well your podcast is doing. For instance, in addition to being distribution platforms, Apple Podcasts and Spotify provide analytic tools specific to their platforms.

While launching a podcast takes effort, commitment, time and resources, it doesn’t have to break the bank. The following step-by-step guide was designed as a resource for all content creators looking for advice on how to launch a podcast on a budget.

Download our 10-step guide to launching on a budget:

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Platform
Price
Pro’s
Con's
Anchor

Free

  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously
Buzzsprout

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work
Libsyn

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point
Podbean

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:

Unlimited

  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.
Blubrry

Classic

$5/month

Monthly Storage

50mb

  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.
SimpleCast

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
    website.
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!