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Can You Start a Podcast For Free?

A common question that many potential podcasts have about starting a podcast comes down to prices.

This concern makes sense. Sure, you may start a podcast for your business or starting a podcast to create a business – but many people start a podcast as fun or as a hobby.

Starting a podcast can cost anywhere between $200 and $500 for a basic podcast host and some equipment, and you may not want to invest financially if you’re only trying podcasting out and haven’t committed to trying it long term.

In this article, we’ll look at if you can start a podcast paying no money upfront.

Table of Contents

Can You Start a Podcast For Free?

Yes. It is possible to start a podcast for free. Most quality podcast hosting comes at a monthly fee that varies from a few dollars a month to a hell of a lot more. However, it is possible to start a basic podcast for free. This requires you to make a certain choice of podcast hosting platform and not emphasize the quality of your sound (as you won’t be buying a microphone).

Why Does Podcasting Cost Money?

There are a few reasons that podcasting usually costs the hosts money to start.

  1. Podcast Hosting: Podcast hosting is vital for any guest. Basically, the podcast host is basically the middleman connecting you and an audience. A podcast host will take your MP3s  audio file and tuck them away in a little cyber storage facility, so when someone finds your podcast and wants to listen, they can stream or download it directly without you having to lift a finger. A podcast host is so much better than hosting on your own website or self-hosting because the file sizes of all your episodes add up extremely quickly – self-hosting will lead to a slow site and an undiscoverable podcast. A podcast host will also create an RSS feed for your podcast, so you add it to popular devices like Apple and Spotify (no, your podcast won’t automatically appear on Spotify).
  2. Equipment: Another part of podcasting that will cost you some money initially is equipment. Sure, you don’t have to have the best-of-the-best equipment to launch a podcast; in fact, I’d suggest you buy more equipment as you go. However, you will need to have at least a basic microphone to start. You can find a USB microphone that’ll plug straight into your computer for a reasonable price. Now, if you’re desperate to start for free, you can use a microphone on your computer. But the quality won’t be as good. However, if you’re desperate to start at absolutely zero cost, it is possible to use your inbuilt microphone and free sound editing software. 
  3. A website: A website isn’t vital, but many podcasts have their own external website where they keep show notes and whatnot. It’s a great way to grow your show further and promote your podcast.

Where To Start a Podcast for Free

If you want to start a podcast for free, I’d suggest looking into anchor.fm. The site lets you record, create, publish, and syndicate podcasts for free.

However, you’re all old enough to know that nothing really comes for free these days. Sure, you can create your podcast and get it out there for free. However, Anchor makes their money in the back-end off you.

There’s also a bunch of other issues that I have with how Anchor works, especially if you’re looking to make a profit from podcasting.

Although this article isn’t an Anchor.fm review, it’s an article on creating a podcast for free. So yes, you can definitely host your podcast for free with Anchor. 

Final Thoughts

Yes, you can host a podcast for free. Just keep in mind though you’ll be sacrificing quality, profitability, and some content distribution rights.

If you’re starting a podcast as a hobby or seeing if the model works for you as a content creator, then you can definitely experiment with free tools. However, if you want to turn podcasting into a business, I’d suggest you look to find a podcasting hosting business.