You’ve done all this work of creating a great podcast, you’re marketing it to grow the audience, and next comes something that you may have been thinking about for a long time: How can you make money from this?
If you haven’t thought about that question, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, those who start a podcast specifically with profit as the end goal aren’t on the right track and will likely end up disappointed.
Just as you should enjoy the work you do, you should enjoy creating your podcast. Otherwise, you will quickly suffer from podfade.
But being realistic, as fun as podcasting is, most of us are looking for some return on investment. After all, putting together and marketing a quality podcast takes a lot of time and money.
It is certainly possible to earn money from your podcast either directly or indirectly, but most likely your podcast will serve as a supplement or lead generator for your overall brand or business.
Think About What You’d Do With the Money
Would you re-invest it into the podcast to purchase new equipment and generate an even better product? How about paying for ads or giving away prizes to try and earn new listeners? Keep the money to pay yourself for the hard work? If you’re not prepared, bringing money into the mix may even complicate things. Have you thought about taxes? Will advertising detract from your message?
What to Monetize With
Your Own Products or Services
If you’re a business, freelance entrepreneur, coach, service provider, or just have something to sell, this is a great idea. It may even be one of the reasons you launched a podcast in the first place.
Selling affiliate programs comes with several benefits. These are programs in which you earn money for referring new customers to a product or service. They’re available in a wide variety, such as digital products on sites like Clickbank.com, subscriptions to something like Audible, meal kits, web hosting, and more.
The nice thing about affiliate programs is that you don’t need to convince any sponsors to spend money, so they’re perfect for newer podcasts. Some affiliate programs do require a minimum listener count or number of sales, but most allow anybody to join, and it costs you nothing.
There are some great lists available online if you’re looking for inspiration or ideas of affiliate programs. It’s also useful to check out the websites of your favorite services or products. Usually, if they have an affiliate program, you’ll find a link to it by scrolling to the very bottom of the page. What could be better to promote than something you already love and use personally?
Direct sponsorships are when a third party pays you for ad time on your podcast.
Some may still use a referral code or special link, even if they aren’t paying you a commission, as many sponsors like to track their CPA (cost per acquisition).
To help identify the type of sponsor who would be ideal for your podcast, consider the audience you are speaking to and what type of product or service may improve their life.
Looking for a more grassroots way of earning income from your podcast? Patreon is a great option to explore!
With a Patreon subscription donation model, you can offer rewards for different tiers of donations, along with premium content like bonus patron-only episodes!
Create an E-mail List
As the ancient proverb says, the money is in the list! If you have an audience of listeners and website visitors, build an e-mail list and send updates with new episodes and other valuable content.
Before you can make a cent from your podcast, you will need an audience, and building an audience takes time. If you already had a sizeable following on social media or elsewhere before starting a podcast, that’s a big help! But no matter the platform, building a following is an uphill battle.
Interested in learning more about monetizing your podcast? You can learn more about specific ad delivery methods, what to charge for advertising, how to find sponsors, and more with Podcast Marketing 101 from Podcast Propeller.