Another Buzzsprout review? Well, after being inspired by people like Pat Flynn, I’d been wanting to start a podcast for a while. I had been giving some serious thought as to the topic and eventually decided on a careers themed podcast. Specifically helping people build transferable skills that can help them remain employable for life.
I had previously assumed, incorrectly, that I would need to upload my podcast episodes to platforms like Apple, Google, and Spotify directly. I soon learned that I would need a podcast host set about on my search for a suitable platform. I narrowed my choices down to three: Audioboom, Soundcloud, and Buzzsprout. I chose Buzzsprout based on its features and did also test Audioboom. I have been so impressed with Buzzsprout that I decided to write this review.
For a full video review, take a look at my YouTube video.
(Spoiler alert! This article contains some affiliate links to Buzzsprout, which means that if you decide to purchase anything, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I have a paid subscription to Buzzsprout and have not been given any free products or anything else for the mentions in this post. The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions. I only promote those products or services that I truly feel deliver value to you, and this podcast platform is certainly one of those.)
If you sign-up using this link and stay on the paid plan for at least two months, Buzzsprout will send you a $20 Amazon gift card!
Setting Up Your Podcast
So, let’s start with configuring your podcast. This is super quick and assuming you already have your podcast artwork and a bit of text, your podcast will be set up in a couple of minutes. The platform allows you to add team members so that multiple people can work on the podcast. Buzzsprout will also provide a website for your podcast but you can specify your own domain name to redirect to Buzzsprout.
The Buzzsprout platform will also help you register your podcast with most podcast services. Some of these are done automatically and some you will need to do yourself.
Uploading an Episode
Next, let’s look at uploading a new episode to the platform. This is dead simple. Buzzsprout supports most audio formats (I use MP3, generated by GarageBand) and once you have chosen your file you can begin to enter your episode information while the platform processes your audio file. There is an option to apply Magic Mastering to your audio, which automatically balances audio levels and improves audio quality. Unfortunately, this comes at an extra cost, so I don’t use it. I find that using a decent microphone does the trick.
Buzzsprout provides loads of customisation options for each episode. Episodes can be assigned to seasons and can be further categorised as a full episode, a trailer, or a bonus. You can also provide custom artwork and a custom homepage for each episode. Finally, you can provide an episode summary or show notes.
For each episode, you are also able to upload a transcript (which helps with search engine optimisation and is handy for listeners) and add chapter markers. The latter is especially handy for longer episodes.
Having set up your podcast and uploaded some audio, listeners will now be able to download your podcast either from the Buzzsprout (or your custom domain) website or podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify. Should you be looking for another option, Buzzsprout will allow you to build a custom podcast player and generate the script that you can then embed elsewhere, for example, on a blog post or web page.
The platform provides some decent analytics and will show your episode downloads over time, where your listeners are, which podcast directories they are listening on, and which devices they are using. Taking my podcast as an example (www.agilecareerpodcast.com) the majority of listeners use Apple Podcasts on a mobile device. Most of my listeners are in the UK, followed by the USA, and then South Africa.
Marketing your podcast is important and Buzzsprout helps you do this too. Episodes can be shared directly to social media, emailed, embedded, or download as an MP3 file. The killer feature though is the ability to create a visual soundbite. Choose a starting point in your episode and a duration of between 15 and 60 seconds and Buzzsprout will create a video (think graphic equaliser) of your sound clip. This is great for sharing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
There are also monetisation options available via the Buzzsprout platform. Unfortunately, my audience needs to grow a little more before I take advantage of this!
Migrating Your Podcast
Moving from another platform is easy and the Buzzsprout platform will do all the work for you. Just point it to your podcast on Apple Podcasts and that’s it. If you do already have a podcast, it is possible to sign-up for a free Buzzsprout account and import a couple of your existing episodes to test the look and feel of the platform, before committing to any cost. Also, as I previously mentioned, signing up via this link and staying on the paid plan for at least two months, will earn you a $20 Amazon gift card, sent to you by Buzzsprout.
In summary, the Buzzsprout platform is superb. It is slick, the UI is great, and it has all the features you need.
There is however one small drawback and that is cost. The entry-level plan (at the time of writing) will cost $12 per month versus Audioboom at $9.99. Whilst this is negligible, Buzzsprout limits you to three hours of uploads per month. You can, of course, go above this which costs $4 per additional hour. Other plans scale up, should you have the need. The other thing to note is that a platform like Audioboom will allow you to host multiple podcasts (i.e. not episodes) as part of a single subscription, while Buzzsprout requires a separate subscription per podcast.
Monthly then, I do pay either $12 or $16 for a weekly, one-hour show. Audioboom would be cheaper, but the platform is not nearly as slick as Buzzsprout, so I happily pay the difference.
There is also a free plan, but it does limit you to two hours of uploading a month and episodes will only be hosted for 90 days. This is a great way to evaluate the platform. If you want to learn a little more, take a look at my full video review on YouTube.
Finally, a reminder that signing up via this link and staying on the paid plan for at least two months, will earn you a $20 Amazon gift card, sent to you by Buzzsprout.
I’d love to hear about your podcast story or experience, so please leave your comments below.