Finding a good place to host your podcast can be a struggle; the struggle is doubled if you want to find a place to do so for free. I have been producing Filibuster, the premier podcast about D.C. United, for the past 4 years, and in that time we have switched hosting providers twice (and may be doing so again soon with the problems that are coming out at Soundcloud).
But you need two main things to successfully host a podcast:
- A place to store the file
- An RSS feed to put into Apple Podcasts, Google Play Podcasts, Stitcher, etc.
Since our podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, I have also been uploading it to the Internet Archive as a backup storage solution and as a hedge against what might happen to Soundcloud or other hosting providers. Once you reach 50 episodes on the Internet Archive, you can contact them and have them create a collection for you. This gives you a unified place for your episodes and, more importantly, and RSS feed.
However, until you get to 50 episodes, or if you prefer to have finer control, there is a free workaround to getting a separate RSS feed. Simply create a free WordPress.com blog for your podcast, and include a direct link to the MP3 hosted on the Internet Archive (I chose to do it as a link to directly download the episode). I also embedded the Internet Archive’s web player into the post. I created the above blog as a proof of concept, and it works. You can then take the RSS feed for the blog and put it everywhere it needs to go. This may also work on other blogging platforms, but I haven’t tried.
Paid hosting providers can provide a lot of features, such as automatic submission to Apple Podcasts and other locations, statistics, mobile apps, and more. And if those are features you want, there are plenty of great hosts out there. But to start and sustain a podcast, you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to.