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What is BuzzSprout?

Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting platform that made it to our list of top podcast hosting companies in 2020. You can read the whole list and comparison here. Buzzsprout was founded in 2009 and they’ve grown to support more than 100,000 podcasters as of the statistics we obtained in early 2020.

Buzzsprout is available in all top directories such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Alexa among others.

Is Buzzsprout Free? Free Plan/Free Trial

Buzzsprout offers free and paid plans. The free plan limits podcast uploads of up to two hours per month. Also, the uploaded episodes are only available for 90 days as they get deleted after 3 months. Other features of the free plan are unlimited Ads, and unlimited team members.

Here are the free plan features in brief:

  1. 2 hours of upload each month
  2. Episodes are hosted for a period of 90 days
  3. Unlimited team members
  4. You’ll need to upgrade to remove ads as this free Buzzsprout plan has ads
  5. Limited podcast statistics
  6. A free podcast website 
  7. Custom embed players
  8. Submission to podcast directories

How to start a podcast with Buzzsprout

Buzzsprout provides a step-by-step guide for starting a podcast with the hosting platform. On their homepage, you can clearly see the ‘start a podcast tab’ which will take you through the following steps to get you started with Buzzsprout. 

Step 1: Develop a podcast concept

Podcast ideas because the people who create them have different personalities, perceptions, and interests. For example, a podcast can be based on history, fashion, pop-culture, politics, dating, among others.

To develop a concept, you need to:

·         Identify your podcast goals

It is essential for you to ascertain whether the objective of the podcast is to have fun, to share an important message, be recognized as a leader in a specific sector, or to generate leads for a business.

Tip: write down the objective you have identified to refer to it as you develop your podcast’s model.

Pick a theme or topic for your podcast

 Be advised, your podcast’s topic can be either broad or specific, as long as you are well-informed about the theme. For example, you can listen to podcasts that are similar to your intended topic and improve on their shortcomings.

·         Name your podcast

Pick something catchy, memorable, and that which ranks the best by using relevant keywords. You can use any of these podcast name generators.

Check Apple’s tip or a good podcast title below:

Photo Credit: Buzzsprout

·         Use keywords without stuffing

To avoid stuffing your title with keywords, add a short description in the title tag to make it easy for people to find your podcast.

For example:

Sulwe: Book by Lupita Nyong’o

It is significant to include Lupita Nyong’o’s name in the title because many people will probably find this podcast when searching for the famous actress.

·         Don’t create podcast artwork, yet

It is advisable for you to do a few episodes before developing your podcast’s artwork because they may change with your developing concept.

Step 2: Choose your podcast format

Select the format that you need to structure your podcast, which could be single host, scripted stories, news recap, scripted non-fiction, or feature in-depth interviews.

Tip: Choose a format that suits the aims of your podcast, and which you are comfortable with. For example, if you like banter, it is advisable for you to have a co-host while it is sensible for you to implement an audio structure if you like everything scripted.

Also, it is essential for you to consider the length and the publishing schedule for your podcast when determining its format. For example, keep in mind there is no optimal length for a podcast because it can be short or long as long as your content is of high quality and engaging. Concerning the publishing dates for your podcasts, it is advisable that you adhere to publishing issues because it earns you loyal followers and also enhances your commitment to producing content.

Step 3: Podcast recording equipment and software

podcasting equipment

Photo Credit: The podcast host

Product requirements are minimal because you can start recording with your smartphone and a pair of headphones. However, as your podcasts grow, you will have to purchase high-quality podcast equipment to improve the of your audio, content, and videos.

Remember, the equipment needed depends on the number of persons participating in the podcast.

The basic podcast equipment is Audio-Technica ATR2100, Pop filter, Focusrite Scarlett 212, and Zoom H6. Additionally, you can but accessory gear such as the Rode PSA 1 Boom Arm, the On-Stage My420 Shock Mount, and the Newer Pop-Filter. You can check out our list of recommended podcast microphones.

Related Helpful Reading:   Podcast Rankings

 After getting recording equipment for your podcast, it advisable to get podcast software to enhance your editing techniques to have the best quality as the end content for your recordings. Audacity, GarageBand, Hindenburg, SquadCast, Zoom, and Skype are some of the best software to record and edit your podcast recordings.

Step 4: Recording your first episode

The best way of recording a podcast is preparing to record your podcast by:

·         Writing your podcast outline in point form to prevent rumbling because it improves the flow of your episode

·         Pick a quiet, large room to avoid echoes and noises that may undermine the quality of your audio.

·         However, you can record in a small room, which has few reflective surfaces and lots of stuff to absorb sounds such as furniture or a closet full of clothes.

·         Setting up your recording equipment and software

A podcast setup is either a USB Microphone Setup or a ZLR Microphone Setup, which gets your microphone ready to record.

Photo Credit: Buzzsprout

Photo Credit: Buzzsprout

The important thing to remember as a blogger is, even the podcast today started with a low-quality episode. So, please, do not give up when you experience difficulties. Remember, the best way to improve your podcast is by recording new episodes consistently and learning on the go.

Step 5: Editing and Uploading your first episode

Editing a podcast entails segmenting your content, removing audible distractions, and adding pre-recorded ads, voice-overs, intros, and outros.

Editing of podcasts hosted in Buzzsprout includes several steps, which are:

  • Creating a podcast intro

Efficient podcast intros improve the listening experience and engagement of the listener. However, they are not mandatory.

  • Choose your podcast theme song

It is advisable for you to have a podcast theme song, especially if you have an intro. 

Note, search for royalty-free music to use if you are not willing to purchase exclusive music.

If you will invest in unique music as your theme song, you can buy them from Audi Jungle and AudioBlocks.

  • Edit content, then distractions

To make the editing process simple, edit your podcast content on your first pass and work on noise and other distractions on your second go-round.

  • Create a punch-list

A punch list is a list that identifies areas that you should improve in your next recording, which helps you to avoid listening to the full episodes repeatedly. Also, a punch-list reduces your editing time. For example, you can turn up your co-host’s mic if you realize he is quieter than you.

  • Fade between tracks to remove unwanted noise

Fade tools are used at the beginning and end of clips to disguise the little pops or clicks that occur when you cut parts of your audio.

Photo Credit: Buzzsprout

  • Do not over-edit your podcast

It’s advisable to not over-edit your podcast because you risk eliminating essential information of your recording.

After editing, save and export your podcast episode as a Wave file.

Note, Buzzsprout will automatically add ID3 tags and convert your file to a suitable file format and encoding.

However. It is highly advisable to export your podcasts as MP3s to enhance compatibility with the majority podcast apps. Set the bitrate to 96kbps mono for ‘spoken word’ podcasts and 192 kbps stereo ‘music features’ podcasts.

Finally, upload your edited episode to Buzzsprout. 

  • You need to sign in to your Buzzsprout account or sign up if you don’t have a running account.
  • Click the UploadsPodcast Episode and drag and drop your audio file on the page.
  • After uploading your episodes, you can add the name and description of your new podcast.
uploading episodes to Buzzsprout
Photo Credit: Buzzsprout

Step 6: Podcast artwork, categories, and show notes

After uploading your podcast to your Buzzsprout account, it’s important for you to add artwork, categories, and show notes to improve the look of your podcast delivery.

  • Podcast cover artwork, for example, enables the potential listeners to understand the content of your episode. The below images provide information about the technical requirements of your artwork and tips for creating efficient artwork respectively.
buzzsprout cover, artwork

Photo credit: Buzzsprout

buzzsprout artwork

Photo credit: Buzzsprout

  • Write a description for your podcast

Writing a description for your podcast is essential because it provides the name of your show, the description, the episode number, the release date, the release year, among others.

Podcast descriptions are critical because it enhance the success of your podcast: it makes your podcast visible on Apple, Google Play, Spotify, and other top directories.

Buzzsprout episode description is key
Photo Credit: Buzzsprout
  • Pick a Category for your podcast

Picking the right category for your podcast is important because it maximizes how your podcast looks at Apple Podcasts.

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For example, your podcast on ‘Kim Kardashian’ will be more visible when you place it under the category ‘Pop Culture’ than under ‘Politics’.

Step 7: Getting listed in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify

Ensuring that your podcast is listed in top directories improves its success rate.

To get listed in the top directories, go to directories, click get listed under all the directories you wish, and submit your episodes when you upload any new episode.

Step 8: Launch your Podcast

There are two ways of launching your podcasts, The Grand Opening, and the Soft Opening

The Grand Opening is when you have big promotion plans, announce the launch date, organize critics and influencers preview your episode, and rum man ads to create a hype about your podcast.

The Soft Opening is the method of releasing podcasts without anyone knowing and waiting for about one or two weeks before engaging in mega promotions.

Buzzsprout Magic Mastering

Magic mastering is the latest feature that Buzzsprout released and available to its paid plans. The magic mastering improves the audio quality of your podcast using audio-leveling feature that is inbuilt.

Buzzsprout Paid Plans/Pricing

If you want to try Buzzsprout paid plans, you can choose from their three paid plans. Below is a summary of the three plans:

$12/m Plan:

  1. Has 3 hours of upload each month
  2. Episodes are hosted indefinitely unless you delete them
  3. You can pay $4 per hour if you need more hours above the allocated 3 hours. 
  4. Unlimited storage
  5. Unlimited team members
  6. You can import podcasts at no cost to you

$18/m plan:

  1. It allows you 6 hours of upload time per month
  2. Episodes are hosted indefinitely unless you chose to delete them
  3. You can pay $3 per hour if you need more hours above the allocated 6 hours. 
  4. Unlimited storage
  5. Unlimited team members
  6. You can import podcasts at no cost to you

$24/month Plan:

  1. Buzzsprout’s most expensive hosting plan allows you up to 12 hours of content uploaded. 
  2. Episodes are hosted indefinitely unless you chose to delete them
  3. You can pay $2 per hour if you need more hours above the allocated 12 hours. 
  4. Unlimited storage
  5. Unlimited team members
  6. You can import podcasts at no cost to you
Buzzsprout pricing plans

Buzzsprout Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • It offers a free trial period (90 days), which helps you decide whether the platform meets your podcast needs.
  • Secondly, Buzzsprout provides different pricing plans, which enables you to subscribe to the packages that suit your podcast best.
  • Thirdly, Buzzsprout enhances the growth of your podcast because it lists podcasts in all of the top podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, a d Podchaser, enabling you to reach millions of prospective listeners.
  • Also, Buzzsprout provides advanced podcast statistics that enable you to track your podcast growth.
  • Finally, Buzzsprout enables you to manage multiple podcasts under one account and also permits you to have unlimited team members in your podcast.

Cons:

  • Not the most ideal for tutorials. Try Libsyn for tutorials

You can read more on Buzzsprout vs Podbean here

How to use Buzzsprout Monetization

For a successful monetization protocol in any podcast hosting provider, you will need a monetization option that includes your intention, consistency, as well as your patience. Luckily for you, I have vast experience in podcasting and have tried out a variety of monetization options on your behalf.

I have created and summed up 9 ways in which you can effectively monetize your Buzzsprout podcast. Even so, you will need to have already completed the preliminary steps that I have indicated in the list below:

  • You should make sure that you have been listed on most of the major podcast directories
  • You should create a target audience niche for your podcast such that you have a precise target market for your monetization strategies
  • Engage your audience on various social media platforms
  • You should create show notes for each of the episodes you are hosting on your podcasts
  • You should invest in a separate podcast website to complement all the items you need for your podcast to be optimally ready

Note: As a business entrepreneur or a professional brand builder, you should not focus a lot of your energy on monetizing your podcast right after you get started. In most cases, this does not yield the required results despite using a lot of resources to propagate the podcast. As such, it is paramount for you to focus on building trust and gaining traction among your listeners before you think of monetizing your show.

C:\Users\user\Desktop\images\Live-Stream.png

Before you even think of using any of the monetization strategies that I will provide for you, think of any existing problems with your audience that needs to be handled.

Best monetization strategies for your podcast…

  • Create an in-depth guide for your podcast show
  • You should, couch, counsel and consult your audience on podcast topics
  • Host a paid webinar service for your podcast
  • Create an online course on your show’s subject matter
  • Sell physical products that compliment your podcast topics
  • Consider partnering with third-party affiliates such as Amazon
  • Try to get various podcast sponsorship programs
  • You can also try to create a podcast crowdfunding resource
  • Finally, you can prompt your audience for a one-time donation program
Related Helpful Reading:   Podbean Review 2021 Vs Others

I have used and can validate the use of these various methods of monetizing your podcast. As mentioned earlier in the article, you should only try to use these monetization strategies once you have effectively set up your podcast such that it is running seamlessly and you have been able to establish trust from among your clients. 

Novice users usually try to rush to the money side instead of focusing on their podcasting content first, a mistake that you should avoid at all costs. DO NOT try either of the strategies until you are certain that your podcast is ready.

Buzzsprout RSS feed

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One of the most important things to consider when hosting any podcasting material is the RSS feed. Your RSS feed will enable all your users from different platforms to be able to effectively access your podcast material.

What is RSS feed?

RSS feed stands for ‘really simple syndication’ and was originally used to track specific articles with respect to blogs. Ideally, RSS feeds are directories that contain your media content information. It could include things such as images, texts, videos, audios, as well as relevant metadata.

Podcast RSS feeds are specifically designed to store audio files and their metadata such that it can be accessed publically on the internet. Most podcast listeners will do so through various podcasting apps instead of locating your podcast and downloading it from your site.

Your Buzzsprout podcast should have a valiant RSS feed for it to be accessed on different platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, among others. You can also set up your RSS feed from scratch or use the Buzzsprout’s automatic podcasting option.

Buzzsprout Squarespace

Earlier on the article, I mentioned that you should create a separate website for your podcast such that you may be able to monitor your podcast’s monetization options. Using this precedent, Squarespace is a top website builder that lets you get started with your website with ease.

I am of course assuming that the website that you created is an extension of your Buzzsprout podcast. If not, then you would want to make sure that the website content has some deep relation to your podcast topics.

Squarespace allows you to create audio sections where you can include your audios on the site, and further promote your business and/or brand.

Linking Buzzsprout to Squarespace

Are you stuck on how to share your audio content on Squarespace with other hosting platforms? Worry not, for I have the perfect solution for you. All you need to do is use the Squarespace plugin to create the RSS feed that will be visible and available on relevant podcast directories.

It is that simple! Squarespace offers audio plugins in which you can be able to attach the audio files with the necessary titles and metadata that will make it easy for you to trace it on other podcasting platforms. As such, whenever you open your Buzzsprout or any other podcasting app, the audio will be automatically downloaded from the webserver and played on your phone or device.

Linking Buzzsprout to WordPress

Linking Buzzsprout to WordPress essentially uses the same process as with Squarespace. The only major difference is that WordPress is a tad specific with the information that you are required to provide in their PowerPress Plugin.

WordPress has such strict provisions so as to make sure that your audio files will be accepted in the major podcast directories on the internet. You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Artwork (1400×1400 pixels to 3000×3000 pixels at 72 dpi)
  • Podcast Category
  • Language
  • Explicit Rating

Disclaimer: As the audio files on your WordPress hosted site are stored on the main server and not on Buzzsprout server, if you run out of storage space on the website, none of your listeners will be able to access your podcasts. This creates a certain level of mistrust with your listeners such that they may even abandon your show altogether. This should not discourage you as you have much better ways of hosting your podcast with Buzzsprout.