Creating your first episode
The first step to setting up and distributing your podcast is creating an episode (you can't distribute it while it's empty!). Episodes can include original voice recordings, transitions, background tracks, uploads, and music. You can always add segments, rename segments, or delete segments - even after the episode is created and published.
*Hint! You'll want to give each of your segments a unique name so that you - and your listeners - can distinguish each separate segment of your episode. These can also be edited at any time, even after your episode is published.
Once you have an episode, you'll have a few options for its status:
- Leave it unpublished: No one can hear it but you (also known as a draft)
- Publish it only on Anchor: Only Anchor listeners will be able to hear it, and it will not be valid for distributing your podcast on other platforms
- Publish everywhere: Everyone can hear it, everywhere your podcast is available! (It's not available anywhere *yet* but we'll get to that in the very next step)
Once you've published your episode everywhere, by default Anchor will distribute it for you to all the major podcast platforms. It then needs to be approved by each platform, which can take up to a few days depending on the platform.
Currently, Anchor distributes podcasts with the tap of a button to:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Pocket Casts
If you want to make your podcast available on additional platforms not included in this list, you can either wait for us to support those platforms (we're adding new ones all the time), or you can just grab your RSS feed from your settings and distribute it yourself!
How podcast distribution works
We automatically distribute your podcast to external platforms once you've decided you want your podcast published everywhere. There are a few things to keep in mind about distributing your podcast:
- It typically takes 48 hours for your podcast to be approved by external platforms, though some platforms may take longer
- There's a chance your podcast may be approved on one platform and rejected by another
- To avoid rejections, you'll want to make sure your podcast contains all of the following before distributing externally:
- Podcast name
- Podcast description
- At least one episode (with a title!)
- Episode description(s)
- Cover art
*This is important to consider if you have a specific launch date in mind! You'll need at least one episode in your podcast for it to be distributed and approved, so if you're looking to release your podcast on a certain date we suggest you leave ample time for this process. If you don't want to release the first episode of your podcast, publishing a short trailer is a good way to ensure that your podcast is available on all the platforms you care about long before you officially announce your first episode. (You can even delete your trailer once your first episode is out, if you want.)
If you've already distributed your podcast to external platforms, follow these steps to input those existing links into your profile to ensure your podcast is published correctly through Anchor:
- Log in to your web profile
- Scroll down to "Your podcast details" in the lower right corner and select "Edit"
- Choose "Where your podcast can be heard"
- Input the corresponding links for platforms on which your podcast is already available
*You'll also want to make sure you've completed the redirect from your previous host to Anchor so all of your existing podcast information will sync to your Anchor RSS feed.
Once your podcast is approved on other platforms
What you should know now that your podcast is on additional platforms:
- Changes made through Anchor will automatically update through your RSS feed to external platforms, although it may take up to 24 hours for these changes to reflect
- You must have at least one valid episode in your podcast at all times; if you wish to delete your only episode, first upload another episode and then you will be able to delete the original one through your profile
- As your podcast becomes available on each platform, an icon for that platform will appear on your web profile...this helps your listeners know where they can listen to your podcast!
Status of your podcast
As your podcast becomes approved on external platforms, you can find the corresponding links in your Settings. If you have already distributed your podcast externally, you can (and should!) input those links directly into the corresponding URL fields by logging in to your account in your desktop browser at anchor.fm. From there, we'll continue to distribute to additional platforms on which your podcast does not yet appear.
If your podcast is rejected, check out some of the ways you can fix it here.
Updating your podcast settings/appearance
You can make changes at any time to your Anchor podcast settings.
- On mobile apps, click "•••" in the upper right corner of your Profile tab
- On desktop, choose the "Settings" tab
- On iPad, head to your Profile and choose "Account Settings"
Once there, you can edit things like:
- Your author name
- Your author photo
- Podcast name
- Podcast description
- Podcast cover art