How do I get started?
Click the sign up button at the top of the page. You will be asked to answer a few questions, and then someone from the Glow team will get in touch to start onboarding. You will set up an account, create a podcast offering, and design your page.
Do I need bonus content to get started with Glow?
No. You can use Glow to collect donations from listeners directly, whether or not you have premium content.
What payment types do you accept?
Listeners can pay with credit, debit, or prepaid cards. They can provide their payment information in a form or use Apple Pay or Google Pay.
How do listeners access bonus content or an ad-free feed?
We provide listeners with buttons to add their new feed to popular podcast players. It is a two-tap process to choose the player and add the bonus feed. Alternatively, listeners can copy a bonus feed and paste it in players that accept entering custom feeds.
What types of exclusive content can I charge for?
Your listeners find what you create valuable and are happy to support you for a range of content. Here are a few things that you can use Glow to charge for (of course, you can offer a combination of the below):
- Ad-free content: Create your regular feed without ads, and give listeners the option of accessing it
- Early access: Are your listeners waiting on the edges of their proverbial chairs for the next episode? You can use Glow to give early access to new episodes, so subscribers can get a peak at new content before it’s released to the full feed.
- Episode backlog: Maybe you produce content that never goes out of style. Anything that’s not newsy might fit into this category: a good audiodrama, a deep dive into startups, or a fitness podcast might all work. If people are loving what you’re doing and want more, you can put a good chunk of your old episodes behind a paywall.
- Bonus content: Maybe you have an interview-style show and are always looking to have on new guests, or have a bunch of cutting room floor tape. That’s prime bonus content material that you can use Glow to help charge for.
What is podcast hosting?
For most podcasts, the host and the website are two very different things. The podcast website functions like most websites for creative projects - it explains what the project is about, who’s involved with it, and provides extra content as well as links to social media channels. The podcast’s host is a separate place, usually managed by a large media hosting company, and it serves as the repository of your podcast’s media files.
Podcasts use a lot of storage space, especially when episodes are longer than an hour or when the podcast has a large audience. A number of companies have sprung up to meet this need to host large amounts of media files. So whenever a new listener subscribes to your podcast, the RSS feed they subscribe to will look at your podcast host and request to download the latest episode files. Listeners don’t see this process, but a functioning podcast host is essential to having a podcast that works smoothly. At Glow, we recommend using a podcast host that supports private feeds.
What are private feeds, and where can I host one?
In order to host a podcast with both publicly available and premium content, you will need to set up two separate podcasts feeds with your host: the first with a public feed and the second with a private feed. Hosting a private feed allows you to ensure that your premium content remains exclusive to paying listeners and is not available for people to find online (unlike your public content).
Transistor and Pippa both support private feeds and are our recommended hosting options. Other hosts (like ZenCast, Buzzsprout and Pinecast) only support public feeds, but allow you to disable or hide public webpages linked to your public feed. Check out more information on choosing a podcast host and setting up a private feed here.
Can I host a private feed for free?
Kind of. Although no free hosting options currently offer plans with private feeds, you can still set up your podcast to be compatible with Glow using a free option. If you are looking for a free option that we recommend, check out Buzzsprout and our guide on setting it up.
When you choose to host your premium content for free, it will be associated with a public feed, so it’s important to pick a free host that allows you to disable or hide any associated websites. Also be sure not to connect this feed to any directories— we will take care of setting that up for you.
What if I already have my podcast set up with a different host?
If your current host meets our podcast host guidelines (can host multiple podcasts, create private RSS feeds, and turn off auto-updating websites), then there is no need to change anything. Otherwise, you have two choices. The first is to migrate your content to one of our recommended hosting options: Transistor or Pippa. Both platforms have easy ways to import existing podcasts and will ensure a smooth transition. The alternative is to keep your public content where it is and set up a podcast for your premium content on a different host that supports private feeds. For more information, check out our blog post on setting up your host.