There's a growing market of people who prefer to consume information while they're involved in an activity, like driving, jogging, working out, doing yard work, etc.
This is where podcast hosting platforms come into the picture. In fact, podcasts have gained tremendously in popularity over the past decade.
Ten years ago, only 25% of people in North America knew what a podcast was, right now this number is 70%.
If you’d like to take advantage of this popular medium to market your online business, you’ll need to set up an account on a podcast hosting platform.
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no additional cost to you that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my years of digital marketing experience working with clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that will offer you the best return on investment.
Now, given the growing popularity of podcasts, the podcast hosting space has become crowded with many new entrants offering amazing deals.
However, before you jump in, keep in mind that if these outfits ever go out of business (and many do because their business models are just not sustainable) so will your podcast and all of your hard work.
So make sure to choose a platform that's been around for a while and that best fits your needs.
Here are the podcasting platforms I recommend for online solopreneurs:
With over 250,000 podcasts hosted since its inception in 2006, Podbean is recognized as one of the most user-friendly, feature-rich and dependable podcast hosting platforms.
Podbean has proven with its longevity and popularity that they're here to stay.
Their user interface is simple yet powerful, which makes it ideal for beginners. They offer excellent analytics to help you understand your listeners better and improve your marketing (paid plans only).
Podbean's plans are very affordable and even include a Patreon-like feature to help you monetize your podcasts through member contributions.
On the money side of things, once you get to a significant amount of listeners, they will connect you with their network of advertisers via their dedicated sponsorship marketplace.
Podbean Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Ease of use, short learning curve
- Detailed analytics
- Unlimited audio hosting (with Premium plan)
- Automatic uploading of your podcast to YouTube
- Automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter
- Podcasting app (iOS and Android)
- Great monetization features (Affiliate sponsoring and Patreon-like feature)
- Ability to deliver premium content
- Distribution through popular sites like Apple, Google, Spotify, etc.
Now the Cons...
- Does not provide an uptime guarantee
- Has limited customization options
Find Out More About Podbean Here.
Best Budget Podcast Hosting Platform: Fusebox.fm
If you’re looking for a budget option, I’m going to take you down a different route than hosted platforms. Instead I'll suggest a great podcast player that allows you to host your own podcast on your WordPress site.
While this is not something I recommend for podcasts with a reasonably large audience due to storage and bandwidth server costs, this is a perfectly good approach for most beginners.
You can always switch to a hosted service when your audience grows.
When it comes to self-hosted podcasts, you can't beat the value in Fusebox.fm.
This is a versatile and highly customizable podcast player that plugs into your WordPress site, enhancing the user experience for your visitors.
For example, you can set up this player so that your visitors can listen to one or several of your podcast episodes while they browse your site.
You can also embed a single track player (i.e. single episode) on any page where there’s relevant content.
It even offers an email-capture form that easily integrates with popular email marketing platforms so you can build an email list.
Fusebox.fm also loads really fast, is mobile responsive and is designed to play on all types of devices.
Fusebox.fm Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Highly customizable player that can match the brand of your website
- Podcast transcript plugin (extra cost)
- Email capture form for subscribers
- “Sticky” player allows visitors to browse your site while listening to a podcast
- Shortcode allows a single track player to be added to any page or post
- Connect to popular social media networks through handy social sharing buttons
- Users can download podcasts directly from the player
- Mobile responsive
- Email support and extensive documentation
- 60-day money back guarantee
Now the Cons...
- Not as flexible as a hosted service (e.g. Podbean)
- No monetization features (e.g. advertising sponsorships, affiliate commissions, Patreon-like feature)
- May add storage and bandwidth costs to your website depending on your traffic and web-hosting caps
- No phone or live-chat support
Find Out More About Fusebox.fm Here.
Best Runner-up: Transistor.fm
With Transistor.fm you can host unlimited episodes, manage multiple users per account and even create multiple podcasts in one account.
They also offer a handy migration feature to move your podcasts from competing hosting services.
Their analytics dashboard and features are excellent (one of the best among competitors, in fact) and offer wide distribution for your podcast to the most popular sites and apps (e.g. Apple, Google, SoundCloud, Spotify, etc.).
The best part is that all of their plans give you access to all features.
The only difference between plans is the number of members that can access you account for collaborative projects, the number of downloads per month you're allowed and the number of private (premium) podcasts and subscribers you’re allowed to host.
Transistor.fm Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Excellent podcast analytics
- Unlimited shows
- Multiple users allowed in a single account
- Wide podcast distribution
- Podcast migration tool
- Allows multiple podcasts per account (some competitors force you to open new accounts for multiple podcasts)
- You can easily embed their player on your site
- 14-day free trial
Now the Cons...
- No free plan
- More expensive than Podbean
- Can’t use it to record episodes (unlike many competitors)
Find Out More About Transistor.fm Here.
Best Freemium Podcast Hosting Platform: Buzzsprout
This is the best podcasting platform for beginners, because they're easy to use and have a generous free plan. Over 100,000 podcasters use this service worldwide.
Their free plan allows unlimited team members to join your account and offers up to 2 hours of content for 90 days.
Their analytics dashboard is very well laid out and easy to read. In fact, the entire platform is super-easy to use and has a minimal learning curve.
Their best feature for beginners is a step-by-step guide that makes the entire setup process a breeze, all the way from uploading your episodes to distributing them to all the popular sites.
They also offer an easy to use migration tool to transfer all your files from any competing service to Buzzsprout.
On the monetization front, they’ve created an innovative affiliate marketplace where they can connect you with brands to earn commissions from their affiliate programs (so far they have a limited number of brands in their program, but it’s growing day by day).
Buzzsprout Features that Stand Out for Online Earners (Free Tier)
- Super-easy to use, very minimal learning curve
- Simple to understand analytics
- Handy step-by-step setup guide (a godsend for beginners!)
- Great podcast migration tool
- Transcription service (additional fee)
- Excellent customer service
- Ability to embed a player on any page or post on your site
- Social media sharing buttons
- Wide distribution channels
- Affiliate marketplace for podcast monetization
Now the Cons...
- Free plan will become limiting when you grow
- You’ll be serving ads with the free plan (they go away on paid plans)
- Limited brands in affiliate marketplace (will likely grow over time)
Find Out More About Buzzsprout Here.
What to Do Next
Now that you have a basic idea of what each of the above podcast hosting platforms does, take advantage of their free trials or money-back guarantees to check them out before you fully commit.