How To Make Money From A Podcast?

Did you know that the number of Americans who listen to various podcasts in a month has grown by around 60% in the last three years? Moreover, annual podcast ad revenues are expected to cross $2 billion by 2023! Therefore, podcasts’ reach and earning potential are expected to grow in the coming years.

So, if you already host a podcast as a hobby or are looking to start one, there are many ways to earn some money through it. Moreover, if you already have a vast network of listeners, you could make your podcast a primary income source with just a little effort.

However, as it is with any other business, you have a lot of choices to make and a lot of obstacles to overcome. So, we have prepared a detailed guide for you explaining six amazing ways to monetise your podcast, along with some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

How Can You Monetise Your Podcast?

Here are the six most popular ways to make money from a podcast:

Affiliate Marketing

One of the most common ways to earn money through your podcast is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you generate leads or refer your audience to other companies and brands. The said companies pay you a certain commission for each person that makes a purchase through you.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The brands you partner with usually provide you with a unique referral link that directs customers to their website. Thus, you could simply mention the product during one of your episodes or bring it up naturally while conversing with your listeners.

Moreover, you could attach it with your episode recording. This way, every time someone listens to your past episodes, they could access that link, and you could keep making money through these episodes for a long time.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Find affiliate products: Amazon products are the most commonly sold affiliate products in the market. You can easily find all kinds of products on Amazon. So, it is a safe bet no matter which field you are in. Besides this, you can also look at some affiliate marketplaces like BuzzSprout or ShareASale.
  • Choose the correct product: To earn good money through affiliate marketing, choosing the right product that aligns with your listeners’ interests is essential. For example, if you host a beauty podcast, recommending a beauty product would probably help you earn more money than promoting baby wipes. If you are still confused, you could use some analytics tools to understand your audience better.
  • Credibility: To build credibility and trust with your audience, you should only promote the products you are already familiar with and have used yourself. This would also help you make the best out of affiliate marketing as you would be able to give your honest and authentic opinions about the product.
  • Loyalty and honesty: It is crucial to be honest with your listeners. Therefore, do mention that you will be earning money through these recommendations.

How Much Will You Earn?

Affiliate marketing works only when the user buys a product or service from the concerned company. Therefore, as an estimate, if you have around 10,000 downloads per episode, you could make $500-$1000 per episode.

Advertisements And Sponsorships

Advertising different products on your podcast is the default path most podcasters choose to earn some money. Sponsorships are different from affiliate marketing in the sense that you simply get paid for promoting the product. Whereas, in affiliate marketing, you get paid only when people actually buy the product or service through you. This is why sponsors are somewhat particular about the podcasts they invest in.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Find the right sponsor: Loyalty to your audience and giving quality content should always be your first priority. Hence, make sure that the product or service you are sponsoring aligns with your audience’s interests.
  • Decide the right time: You should make sure that you provide quality content and have established a reputation with your audience so that they are loyal to you. In countries like the US, if you have more than 5000 downloads per month, you can easily get a company to sponsor you. However, some companies also look for a smaller but engaged audience. So, you can still try and find a suitable sponsor even if you have less than 5000 downloads per month.
  • Where to find a sponsor: there are many ways to find a sponsor. You could find a product or service that your audience persona desires or wants and reach out to such companies to sponsor you. Moreover, there are many podcast marketplaces that connect sponsors and podcasts. Some popular examples are Podcorn, Podbean, Acast, etc.

How Much Will You Earn?

Your earnings through sponsorships are usually calculated through the CPM (cost per mille) model. Here ‘mille’ means a thousand. So if a particular company is offering $30 CPM and you have 4000 listeners or downloads per episode, you can easily make $120 per episode. So, the more the number of downloads or listeners, more the money you make. However, the benchmarks vary depending on the number of listeners and the niche.

Premium Content And Subscriptions

Another great way to scale up and monetise your podcast is by providing premium content to your listeners. Here, instead of selling other products and companies, you are selling your podcast itself. Premium content could include various services ranging from additional and exclusive episodes, episodes with no commercials, live recordings of episodes, live interaction with the host, behind the scenes footage, private community groups, and early access to specific episodes.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Select a suitable platform: to enable your listeners to access the premium content easily, you could use some popular platforms like Patreon and Supporting Cast. These platforms charge a fee or a commission and provide you with a password-protected page for your premium content.
  • Provide value: if you decide to open up memberships and subscriptions for your audience, make sure to provide them value worth their money. If you ask your listeners to pay for your services, make sure that you offer them content that isn’t available anywhere else for free.

How Much Will You Earn?

If you have a strong network and you have been providing good content that isn’t available elsewhere, then your listeners would definitely be willing to spend some money to be a part of your premium community. This could prove a good source of money because even if you charge $50 per month and have 1000 subscribers, you could earn $5000 per month!

Crowdfunding And Donations

You can also make some money by asking your listeners to donate a small amount to keep the podcast alive. The donation model works well if you have already built up a loyal audience by providing regular quality content. This is because listeners often look for ways to show gratitude if they receive value worth their money.

Furthermore, setting up crowdfunding is much easier than looking for sponsorships or affiliates. Here, you are not selling any product or service. Instead, you are just asking your audience to enable you to continue providing quality content.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Popular platforms: when it comes to setting up a way to let your audience easily donate, there are a lot of options available. You could use online platforms like Patreon, Seed & Spark, IndieGoGo, or Kickstarter. Additionally, you could simply add a PayPal donate button on your website saying ‘help me buy a cup of coffee’ for one-time monthly donations or use Venmo to accept tips on social media. 
  • Consistency: trying to survive through crowdfunding and donations is not easy at all. It can be tricky to persuade your listeners even if you have a big following or boast a large number of downloads. Therefore, just like providing premium content, you must be consistent and keep coming up with new ways to provide value to your listeners. There are a lot of ways to get creative and hype up your podcast like daily shoutouts to the donors, sending exclusive merchandise, live one-on-one sessions, declaring milestones and rewards, etc.

How Much Will You Earn?

The earning opportunities through crowdfunding are not very well defined. It all depends on the quality and the number of your listeners. If they are generous enough and if they truly value your content, there is no limit as to how much you can earn through donations. For example, Noah Lugeons, the host of a very popular podcast called Scathing Atheist, makes around $1200 per episode through Patreon! Hence, it all depends on how you persuade your audience.

Sell A Product

Instead of selling products for other companies, you could also sell your own products through your podcast. This is much more advantageous as you get to keep all the profits you make rather than just a small fraction of it. If you already have a product or an up and running business, your listeners could serve as a ready-made target audience. However, if you are looking for a suitable product to sell, you could simply sell something that would be useful to your audience and that aligns with your niche. This way, you could start marketing and promoting the product even before it’s on the market.

Additionally, you could sell merchandise related to your podcast. This way you can not only earn some money but also build and promote your brand.

Some Helpful Tips

  • Decide the right product: choosing the right product to sell could be a major gamechanger for your business. Therefore, before settling on any industry, make sure that the product aligns with the interest of your audience. Interact and engage with them to find out their needs and provide them with something that they would like to buy.
  • Set up an online store: developing and selling a product from scratch requires much more effort than just advertising someone else’s product. You will need to think about fulfilment, packaging, delivery, payment, etc. However, there are various e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce available that provide a variety of services to make this task easier for you. After deciding on a suitable platform, you will have to set it up by adding your products, a logo, a payment method, designs, etc., to attract more and more customers. Additionally, you could also go with a dropshipping service or a print-on-demand service to make things a little easier for yourself.

Sell A Service

Selling a service through freelancing is another great way to monetise your podcast. This is even better than selling physical products as you don’t have to worry about fulfilment or packaging. In fact, you can complete most of the freelancing gigs like content writing or graphic designing by working from your home itself! 

For example, suppose you are a photographer and host a podcast show about the same. Now your audience regularly listens to your daily experiences in the field, your work ethics, and your knowledge about photography. They already recognise you as an expert in the field. Therefore, you could easily procure clients who already know you as an expert photographer.

Similarly, you could sell various services based on your niche and the needs of your listeners. You could be a content writer, a graphic designer, a marketer, and so on. It all depends on the skills you have and the efforts you are willing to make to turn those skills into services.

Furthermore, a common service that can be provided in almost any field is consultation or coaching. Since your listeners already see you as an expert in the designated field, they would be happy to take some one-on-one consultation from you. Moreover, if you do not have time for one-on-one coaching, you could develop an online course.

How Much Will You Earn?

The earning capacity here depends on your field of work and your expertise. For example, a freelance content writer could earn anything ranging from $10 per article to $1000 per article, depending on their industry expertise.

However, selling a service is definitely more profitable than sponsorships or advertisements. Suppose you have 50,000 downloads per episode which is a big number in itself. Then you could probably charge $1000 for an ad spot in your episode. Contrarily, if you market a course worth $1000 to your audience and persuade even 1% of them, you could make $50,000 per episode! Hence, it all depends on your reach and your expertise.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

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How To Make Money From A Podcast?

by Tanya Chhabra