List of Podcasting Tools Every Podcaster Should Know
There is a lot that goes into running a podcast. From recording and editing…to marketing…to audience engagement…to podcast monetization, there’s a lot of little moving parts to manage. As it goes with most podcasters, you’re probably doing a ton of things, either by yourself or with a tiny team, and on a very tight budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of great podcast tools and podcast software to help podcasters manage everything that goes into running their podcasts.
In this article, we share a list of our favorite podcasting tools that we think is essential that every podcaster knows. Depending on the stage you’re at with your podcast, you may not use all these podcast tools…but knowing about them will come in handy when you eventually are looking for the right tool to streamline your process.
Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:
- Podcast Hosting Companies
- Podcast Recording and Editing Software
- Podcast Interview Recording Platforms
- Interview Management Tools
- Podcast Audience Engagement
- Podcast Sponsorships
- Platforms to Build Your Podcast Audience Community
- Podcast Newsletter Platforms
- Social Media Marketing
- Podcast Directories and Discovery
Podcast Hosting Companies
When you have a podcast, you need a company to host your podcast (the actual audio files) for it to then be distributed to the major podcast players, like iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, etc. Having a podcast host is one of the few mandatory tools for being a podcaster.
These days, there are countless podcast hosting companies on the market, and you can check out our article for a more detailed list of podcast hosts with pricing. For this article, here’s a shortlist of a couple podcast hosts you might consider.
Anchor is one of the most popular and easy-to-use options. With free and unlimited hosting, you are able to distribute your podcast to be listened to on all of the major listening apps such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more. In addition, Anchor provides you with analytics from Spotify that can help you better understand and engage with your podcast audience.
Libsyn is another popular option for podcast hosting, however, this one does require a monthly payment which varies depending on how many tools you want to be able to access. At the basic level of $5 a month, you are able to have access to the basic features needed to make a podcast. However, by spending more you have access to tools such as extra storage, using your own domain, advanced statistics, etc.
Podcast Recording and Editing Software
When choosing a podcasting tool for recording & editing your audio, you’ll probably want to first decide whether you want to do it on your local computer or do it on the cloud. Luckily, there are some great options for both.
For most of the tools listed below, you can use them for direct recording and audio editing. Alternatively, if you have already captured your audio through another source, and you have the audio file, you can use any of these tools just for your audio editing.
Garageband is an app bundled with Apple devices that allows you to record and edit audio recordings. Garageband is very user-friendly as well as intuitive on its own. This allows users to record, edit, mix, and export podcast episodes with a high-quality level of audio. Being so easy to use, Garageband is a great audio editing option for both beginners and pros.
Descript is a web-based podcast recording service that you can use completely from your browser. Descript does have a limited free option, but most consistent users opt for one of their monthly memberships to be able to create as much content as they need. This online audio recording and editing tool allows you to edit recordings, fix audio mistakes, create transcripts, and create a podcast that sounds clean and professional.
Auphonic is another web-based podcast recording service that allows 2 hours of free processed audio every month as well as paid options to have access to more audio time and services. Auphonic has advanced technology for leveling audio, creating cinematic content, multitrack audio, and more.
Alitu is also a web-based podcast recording service that provides an incredible amount of tools and resources to help you build and grow your podcast. Alitu helps with planning, editing, production, choosing equipment, learning new software, and even distributing and monetizing your podcast.
Podcast Interview Recording Platforms
If you have an interview-style podcast show, you’ll need a tool to record your interviews with you and your guest. The options listed below are the best podcast interview tools in the market. Since most podcast interviews are conducted online, the most important core features you’ll need is a tool that works reliably over the internet without glitches, easy to use for both you and your interviewee, and outputs high-quality audio and video, if you also plan to publish the video.
Zoom is a popular and free service that can be used to conduct interviews. Using Zoom allows you to be face-to-face with your interviewee as well as record both the audio and visual parts of the conversation. In order to have the most high-quality experience on Zoom, it is recommended to use headphones, an HD camera, and a strong, stable internet connection.
Zencastr is a professional podcast recording service that includes both video and audio recording. Their chat feature allows users to be able to record interviews while having an interactive experience in the process. With their professional recording and editing tools, you’re able to take the audio from your interview and put it into a high-quality podcast. Zencastr has a free option in which you have access to basic tools, however, they do have paid options for more professional clients.
Squadcast is an audio recording app for podcasts, and with their cloud studio, you’re able to conduct and record interviews online. Within the cloud studio setting, you can have one host and up to three guests at a time that you are able to record and interview. This is a great option for those wanting looking got very high-quality audio.
Riverside is one of the quickly growing options in the industry. It’s a recording platform created for podcasters who want consistent and high-quality recordings audio and video recordings. You’re able to use Riverside to conduct interviews by using their live stream feature, which allows you to record and/or livestream your interview, as well as have real-time messaging protocol (RTMP) to communicate easier.
Interview Management Tools
Managing and conducting interviews are very different. The managing aspect of an interview is all the planning and prep work that goes behind running a podcast interview show. Conducting interviews is just the relatively short segment of time when the interview is actually happening. If you run an interview-style podcast show, you’ll want to streamline all your interview management tasks and lean on all the right tools to make your process more efficient and repeatable.
Here are some podcast interview tools and apps that will make managing your podcast interviews just a little bit easier.
Calendly is a free online appointment scheduling software that makes it easier for podcasters to find times to connect with interviewees. This allows you to share all the dates and times you’re available to do the interview, and all your guest needs to do is book one of your available time slots. For most podcasters, Calendly can be used completely for free. But, if you’re looking for something more professional, Calendly offers paid subscriptions with different features for those who need it.
Typeform is an online survey and form tool that can be used to gather information prior to your podcast interview. Many podcasters use Typeform in creative ways to streamline their interview process with their guest. For starters, once you’ve confirmed your interview with your podcast guest, you can use Typeform as an easy way to collect information with your guest, such as guest bio, contact info, social links, and any subjects they might want to cover during the interview.
Google Docs is always a great tool for podcasters to share documents with their podcast guests. For example, podcasters might use Google Slides to pitch their show to potential guests. Then they might use Google Forms to collect guest bio information, which then might feed into a Google Sheet to store all the guest info. Then a podcaster might use Google Docs to share with their guest any FAQs and prep notes a guest might need prior to the interview. The Google Docs Suite is definitely a useful tool in the podcaster’s interview management toolbag!
Matchmaker.fm. Before you can have an interview, you’ll need a podcast guest. Matchmaker is a growing marketplace that connects podcasters with potential guests. It’s a great way to search for experts in your category looking to get onto podcasts. The unique feature of this platform is the use of video pitches. Guests and podcasters can record a short video pitch in their request for an interview. This is a great way to see if your potential guest will be a good fit for your style of show.
Podcast Audience Engagement
With the growing sea of podcasts out there, podcast audience engagement is becoming increasingly important to podcasters to increase listener loyalty. Engaging your audience not only helps you keep your listeners, it motivates them to help spread the word about your podcast and become your podcast evangelist.
In today’s world of social media and instant communication, podcasters need to find ways to be more accessible to their audience. Fortunately, there are a growing number of tools to help podcasters, or anyone with an audience, to engage for effectively with their fans and supporters.
Patreon is a service that makes it easier for podcast listeners to connect with their audience in a fun way, and even monetize off their fan base. On the flip side, it also provides a way for fans to support creators to keep creating content they enjoy. This really does make your supporters feel as if they are part of you and your podcast, and a simple way to build listener loyalty. By creating monthly memberships specific to your podcast, you can offer your podcast supporters exclusive content, such as extra podcast episodes or content. It’s really up to your creativity.
PodInbox is a fun and easy way to engage with your audience. As a podcaster, you can setup an audio inbox in minutes, giving you a public page to accept audio messages from your audience. You can use it in creative ways, giving you an opportunity to engage in audience questions, hear listener stories, and even get feedback. You can even download the audio clips to use directly on your show, giving your fans an opportunity to hear themselves on your show and to share that excitement.
Community is a service that allows you to connect with your audience through voice messaging at scale. Whenever you see a celebrity sharing their phone number with their fans, chances are they’re using Community. Fans use this phone number to leave voicemail and texts, giving your audience a way to engage with you in a safe, personal, and more manageable way.
Podcast sponsorships are a way for podcasters to make money off your podcast and get more resources to grow your podcast. Finding these sponsorships can be a bit difficult, but there are platforms to help make it a bit easier.
Rephonic is a podcast searching service that allows both podcast listeners to find quality podcasts, but also a way for advertisers, sponsors and agencies to find podcasts that they might want to contact and work with. By using Rephonic as a podcaster, you have a closer reach to these sponsors and other ways to gain funding and build a bigger foundation for your podcast.
Advertisecast is a way to monetize your podcast and procure advertisers more easily. They make it easier to find sponsors and advertisers for your podcast through the use of matching services after adding your podcast to their platform. Potential podcast sponsors can sort their desired podcasts by niche, allowing sponsors to easily find you.
Platforms to Build Your Podcast Audience Community
One of the best tactics for growing your podcast audience is to create a community for your listeners. Chances are, your listeners have some common interests, and you can provide a place to help bring them together. Community based marketing is one of the top marketing tactics podcasters are using today to grow their brand and audience.
To build and nurture your community, you’ll want to use a platform where your community members can engage with you, and more importantly, each other. Here are some podcast tools that we see a lot of podcasters use to manage and grow their community.
Discord is a hub for any sort of community of people in a group together or who share similar interests or hobbies. This platform allows podcasters to create a community for their audience, and works well for communities who desire real-time group chat. Discord creates a secure, invite-only online group that allows members to conversate, and hang out online 24/7. We find podcast communities using Discord, over a tool like Slack, mainly as a cost-saving alternative to the relatively high per-user pricing of Slack. You can always run your podcast community for free on Slack and switch to Discord’s more premium features for a pretty low monthly price.
Slack, like Discord, is also an online community platform where group members are able to communicate both in large groups and with individual members. Slack was first popularized in the workplace but has since been adopted by interest & hobby groups as a way to foster their community. This platform can be helpful both for podcasters and listeners by providing a community communication platform for podcast audiences. Slack is secure and members are only able to be added through invites, creating a private group environment. As mentioned, moving up to Slack’s more premium community features can get real pricey, as their monthly pricing is charged per user. For larger communities needing richer community-building features, you might want to check out Discord as an alternative.
Facebook Groups is another community platform that podcasters can use to create groups for their audience to join. This is probably the most popular option we see podcasters use, as Facebook Groups are free to setup, easy to use, and most of their listeners are already on Facebook. If you want to build a community around asynchronous communication, letting members share posts and discussion, Facebook Groups is a good place to start your podcast community
Reddit is another popular community-building platform that functions a lot like a forum. A lot of people might not consider Reddit as a place to build their community, as it’s mainly thought of as a discussion platform. But if you create a subreddit around your podcast’s area of interest, it might be a great place to foster group discussion, and even a way for people outside your audience to find your community and ultimately grow your podcast audience.
Podcast Newsletter Platforms
Creating a newsletter is a way to further engage with your audience, and give them a way to consistently hear from your podcast even if they aren’t actively listening. Creating a newsletter is significantly easier if you have a service to help, and here are a few that make it significantly easier to create a newsletter.
Mailchimp is one of the most widely used newsletter platforms, that provides tons of helpful tools for creating, managing, and sending newsletters in bulk. It helps you manage your audience list, and makes it pretty simple to craft beautiful emails to send out on a consistent basis. One thing to note is that this service can get costly, especially if you have a large audience who opted-in to your newsletters.
Substack is one of the leading platforms pioneering the trend of paid newsletters. In today’s creator economy, it’s becoming more important for creators to make money off their work directly from their audience, and audiences are becoming more and more supportive of the creators they follow. It’s an exciting time to be a creator, and creators are using tools like Substack to manage their paid newsletters. The nice thing about substack is that they only make money when you do, and don’t charge until you begin to monetize off of your newsletters. Once you do get paid subscribers though, note that Substack takes a 10% cut of your revenue, and you’re also charged credit card processing fees on top. This cost can add up over the long run.
Ghost, like Substack, is another option in the space of paid newsletters. How Ghost is different is that it’s completely open-source, which is a lot like WordPress. If you have the technical skills to set it up, it’s a great Substack alternative cause it’s free to use and you won’t incur the heavy 10% revenue share of Substack. If you’re not technical, well Ghost also offers a Pro option at a very reasonable flat monthly rate…which is great if you have many paid subscribers, and your monthly rate is lower than your what Substack would charge with their 10% fee.
Social Media Marketing
One of the main ways most podcasters grow their audience is through social media. Whether you’re just starting your podcast, of have been doing it for 10 years, social media marketing is an important tactic in your overall podcast growth playbook. Here are some tools every podcaster must have in their social media marketing toolbox.
Canva is one of the most popular, and fastly growing, online tools for creating beautiful marketing graphics and design. As a podcaster, it’s common to create multiple posts for every episode AND for every platform, like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. That’s a lot of marketing assets you’ll need to create for even a weekly show! This is where Canva excels. Even if you don’t have any graphic design experience whatsoever, Canva makes is incredibly simple to use their huge library of templates and their drag-and-drop UI to create beautiful posts for every platform…in literally minutes. It’s a great tool for both the DIY podcaster and the professional graphic designer.
Headliner is a hugely popular tool for podcasters. Like Canva, the main goal is to help you simply create social media posts in minutes. The big difference between this and Canva is that headliner focuses on what’s called “audiograms”. In a nutshell, audiograms are actually video posts that has a background image, an audio track, and animated subtitles (captions) that appear in sync with the audio. For podcasters, these are some of the most engaging posts as it both engages the viewer through audio and video. Headliner makes it very easy to create the main visual image, slice up your audio track, include an animated waveform, and even uses speec-to-text technology to automatically generate animated captions from your audio. It’s a super useful tool that will save you hours using a professional video editing tool. Other really great audiogram creation tools in this space are Veed and Wavve…both definitely worth checking out.
Later. For anyone managing posts and content for social media accounts, we recommend using a social media planning tool. In a nutshell, these tools are designed to help you automate the scheduling and posting of your content across all your social media channels. There are TONS of options out there in this space…some very powerful tools designed and priced for large teams. For podcasters, we recommend the best tool is the easiest tool, and one you’ll actually use…so for this category, we recommend Later. Whether you’re just a team of 1, doing it all yourself, or if you have a couple people helping all your social marketing…later is a good option for individuals or small teams. It’s arguably one of the simplest tools of all it’s competitors, and works with all the major platforms a podcaster would actually care about, such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Pinterest.
Podcast Directories & Discovery
One of the major concerns you need to think about as a podcaster is podcast discovery. With an estimated 2 million podcasts in existence…how will listeners find your podcast in the sea of podcasts out there?
For starters, you’ll want to make sure your podcast exists in the top 4 podcast players in the world: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. There are countless articles that can help you make sure you’re listed on those major directories. Beyond that, you’ll want to make sure you’re on these other podcast directories, podcast charts, and podcast discovery platforms listed below.
Podchaser is a platform for both podcasters to promote their podcasts and for listeners to be able to find new podcasts to listen to. Every podcast has a page where you can find episodes of the podcast, the creators, reviews, statistics and more information for listeners to determine whether or not they want to give it a listen. Podchaser makes it easier to find podcasts based on the niche the listener might want to listen to, and provides them with the best options for their individual listening.
Podyssey is an online platform for podcast listeners to find the best podcasts in the niches that they want to listen to. They provide playlists for podcasts based on the niche which makes it easy for listeners to find new podcasts to listen to. In addition, you’re able to search for certain podcasts or people, and connect directly with people you find on the platform.
Chartable is a service for podcasters to gain analytics and attribution about their podcast and their listeners. You’re able to compare statistics on different streaming platforms, track advertising efforts, and see what your listeners like the most to where you can create the best content possible. When podcasting, analytics are essential to know how your podcast is doing and what you are being successful with.
Founder and Editor of PodInbox.
Avid podcast and audiobook listener.
Lives in Portland Oregon.