Anchor is a website and app that allows users to create, host and distribute podcasts. Unlike most apps of its type, Anchor offers unlimited free hosting, distribution to major platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and monetization.
I personally use Anchor for The Eagle’s podcast “Beyond the Byline.” I’ll use our account to demo this, since we already have episodes uploaded (and it’s a chance to shamelessly self-promote).
Step 1: Making the Podcast
The challenge that many face when making a podcast is the editing process. Although there are free and fairly straightforward apps that make editing easier (see the post on Audacity), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
To start recording and editing, go to the “New Episode” button in the top right corner of your account. Here you’ll find four buttons: record, messages, library and transitions. By navigating these options, you can start putting together the recordings, sound effects and transitions that will eventually make up your episode.
For those who edit with another software, you can upload an already edited audio file by dragging the file into the “Your Episode” space.
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your episode, you’re ready to upload! Click “Save Changes,” add a title, description and choose when you’d like to publish (now, or at a later date and time).
Step 2: Distribution
The great thing about Anchor is that your podcast does not only have to live on Anchor. Most podcast-listeners have a go-to platform, where they listen to podcasts. For many, this is Spotify or Apple, but there are also plenty of podcast-specific platforms, such as Podbean, Google Podcasts and Pocket Casts.
To get your podcast on more platforms, go to your settings and scroll down to “Where your podcast can be heard.” Once you’ve chosen to distribute your podcast, Anchor will do all the work of connecting your episodes with other platforms. Usually the first distribution takes a couple of days, since your account must be verified and approved.
However, once you’ve chosen to distribute, and you’ve gone through the process once, every time you post a new episode to Anchor, your episode will be posted on all platforms without you having to manually post.
Step 3: Monetization
Quite honestly, monetizing a podcast is what I know the least about (The Eagle does not monetize due to bureaucratic reasons), but here’s what my research shows:
To start monetizing go to the “Money” section in your settings, the same way you did for distribution. Here, you can enter a message to encourage listeners to donate to your work.
Anchor will also connect you with potential sponsorships. These are companies that would advertise during your episode. You can decide who can advertise in your episodes, where in the episode you’d like to place the ad and which episode will have ads. You can also record the ads yourself to make them more interesting to your listeners.
Once you start monetizing, go to the “Money” tab at the top of the website. This is where your wallet lives. It shows how much money you’ve made from your podcasts and allows you to cash out whenever you’d like.
Step 4: Analytics
When you’ve accumulated a few episodes and have given your audience some time to actually listen, you can check out your analytics. Analytics are the first thing that come up on your dashboard when you open Anchor.
Analytics give you a few ways to looks at how your podcast is doing, what’s working for your audience and what’s not. On the page you can see the total plays, plays per episode, plays over time, comparisons of downloads per episode and on what platforms your audience is listening to your podcast.