How to Make Money Podcasting: A Guide – We’ve all heard claims that podcasters can make a living while building their audience, but are these claims true? The answer appears to be yes, based on the rising net worth and popularity of successful podcasters (Joe Rogan, anyone?). Podcasting offers a lot of money-making potential that have yet to be realized.
To make money, podcasters use a variety of monetization tactics. Podcast sponsorships are one option, but landing a high-paying sponsor for a new podcast is unlikely unless you’re already a well-known host. The good news is that there are plenty of alternative methods to make money from podcasting that doesn’t necessitate reaching Joe Rogan’s dizzying heights of fame.
So, how do you monetize your podcast? Let’s look at six monetization strategies for podcasters who are just starting out.
1. Become an affiliate to Make Money Podcasting
When a company advertises its product or service on your podcast, this is known as affiliate marketing. You work as a middleman, bringing your listeners to them in exchange for a fee from the business. This is usually accomplished by your listeners purchasing something or signing up for a service, with each new sale being attributed to your podcast.
Because it relies on successful conversions to bring in money on both sides, this type of marketing is perfect for both aspiring podcasters and enterprises. The more successful the relationship, the more both parties benefit, making it a great option.
How does podcast affiliate marketing work?
When you join a company’s affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique code or URL (known as an affiliate link) to share with your audience. Because your audience will hear it in audio format, make sure this link is straightforward to remember and re-type. An excellent strategy is to use your affiliate partner’s website including your podcast name in the URL (e.g., affiliate.com/yourpodcastname).
Your listeners can use your link to take advantage of your affiliate partner’s offer once they receive it. When they complete the planned subscription or purchase, your partner will credit it to your podcast and pay you a set amount for the number of people you bring in.
How do I find an affiliate program for my podcast?
Affiliate marketing works best when the proper podcasts and businesses collaborate. Choose the affiliate programs that best fit your audience while looking for one for your podcast. Your audience is unlikely to be interested in a company that sells kitchenware if your podcast focuses on the latest book releases. Companies like Audible, which frequently partners with podcasters for marketing, will pique their attention.
Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to assist businesses and podcasters in collaborating. Simply sign up for one of the affiliate programs listed below to start promoting a company’s product or service through your podcast.
- Shopify Affiliate Program
- Amazon Associates
- Skillshare affiliate program
- Rakuten Advertising
- CJ Affiliate
Because each program has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, it’s wise to diversify and use a variety of affiliates.
2. Offer tiered subscriptions through Patreon
Patreon is a subscription service that allows fans (known as “patrons”) to support their favorite creators with monthly contributions. You can categorize podcast subscriptions into different “tiers” on Patreon, with each tier receiving different rewards. Keep in mind that each tier will require enough exclusive content to justify a monthly subscription.
Here are a few additional pointers on how to attract and encourage listeners to donate to your Patreon:
- Set a low barrier to admission. Subscriptions should be inexpensive, and you should concentrate on developing your content. It’s far easier to persuade ten people to join for $5 a month than it is to get one person to subscribe for $50.
- Increase the value of higher tiers. Higher levels should include extra perks to make your fans feel like they’re getting a good deal. These can range from early access to fresh material to branded merchandise discounts.
- Maintain a regular schedule. Make sure to stick to a schedule, whether you plan to release an episode daily, weekly, or monthly. Podcast listeners want a consistent stream of content, so do your best to be on schedule with your podcast releases.
- Keep your audience updated. Give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your production process and keep them informed about upcoming episodes. People are more willing to pay on a monthly basis if they have a stronger, more personal relationship with the host.
- Using a crowdfunding platform to collect donations from fans is another option. Crowdfunding sites, on the other hand, are recognized for supporting one-time initiatives with funding choices that are tough to incorporate into a podcast.
3. Sell custom merchandise to fans
We all have posters, t-shirts, and other memorabilia from our favorite bands, movies, or sports teams when we were kids. You can now make and sell the same goods (and more) to your own podcast followers thanks to print-on-demand.
You may simply build personalized things to give to your audience if you are a creative type or know someone who is. All you have to do with print-on-demand services is create an account on a print provider’s website, upload images, and logos, and select the products you wish to sell.
Some popular print-on-demand services include:
Each service has a wide range of products and may be integrated with your own website or other marketplace platforms. They will require early setup expenses and effort, but because this form of production is on-demand, you won’t have to spend a fortune on stock. You also don’t have to be concerned about running out of something because they only make what is ordered. This type of setup is ideal for podcasters since it allows you to have a merch store open 24 hours a day, seven days a week while you concentrate completely on your podcast.
4. Write and self-publish a book for your audience
It’s easy to presume that your followers appreciate hearing your ideas and opinions on various topics. After all, why would anyone listen to your podcasts if not for you? As a result, you might presume that your audience would welcome further content from you in different formats. Self-publishing is now a thing.
Self-publishing a book is a terrific method to add to your content while also earning money from your audience. Perhaps this is why so many well-known podcasters have turned their ideas into books that their listeners can purchase for a set fee.
Deborah Frances-White, for example, wrote a book called The Guilty Feminist as a spin-off of her unscripted panel podcast of the same name. Other famous examples include creator Joseph Fink reworking the events of the Alice Isn’t Dead podcast and Serial host Rabia Chaudry’s Adnan’s Story.
A book based on your podcast can provide you with a number of advantages that can help you increase your fame and income:
- Increase the number of people who know you. While many of your listeners will find your book through your podcast, some may discover it first. If they like the book, they’ll probably look for the source, which will expand your fan following.
- Increase your authority on the subject. Whatever topic your podcast covers, having an associated book will increase your credibility and give your content more weight.
- Increase your merchandise sales. Fans of your book and podcast may fall even deeper in love with your brand, leading to increased sales of additional merchandise like bags, posters, and t-shirts.
5. Host live podcasts and collect tips
Not every podcaster will achieve the level of popularity required to book a live show. This does not rule out the possibility of hosting live shows and earning money from them.
Users can set up live broadcasts on sites like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, which can be viewed by anybody with an internet connection anywhere on the globe. These are excellent alternatives to live venues because the upfront fees are inexpensive, and you can record your podcasts in the same location.
You can utilize services like Venmo, Cash App, or Ko-fi to allow viewers to tip you while you record your live podcast. Create an account and place a link on the screen, in the stream’s description box, or in the chat log. These are one-time payments that can be made at any moment during your performance, similar to what you might give to a barista or waiter.
The wonderful thing about these tipping systems is that they don’t have to be connected to your live streams exclusively. Make it easy for your podcast listeners to show their support by tipping by including a tip button on your websites, show notes, or social media pages.
6. Join a podcast advertising network
One disadvantage of this type of monetization is that you won’t be able to keep your podcast content ad-free because you’ll have to incorporate an ad. If you want your podcast advertising to be as subtle as possible, you may make them post-roll ads that play at the end of your episode.
Podcast advertising networks bring podcasts and companies together to reach a common audience. They can be an excellent method to monetize your streams, but they normally demand podcasters to have a particular number of regular listeners in order to participate (usually beginning at 1,000).
One disadvantage of joining a network is that your podcast will be compelled to host advertisements for the network’s products, services, and other podcasters. You can control when these adverts appear, but you won’t be able to publish your podcast without them. As a result, once you’ve joined an advertising network, you won’t be able to keep your podcast ad-free. You may make these podcast advertising less intrusive by deploying them as post-roll ads that play at the end of the episode.
If you’re wanting to join a podcast ad network, here are a few of the more common choices:
Remember that when you partner with a brand from a podcast advertising network, you must test and measure the performance of your campaigns to ensure that the agreement benefits both parties.
Turn your audio content into cash
There you have it—six ways to make money from podcasting on a consistent basis.
Remember that the best lucrative podcasts use a variety of monetization options to maintain a consistent income flow while focusing on growing their audience.
Because most of these strategies rely on automation to generate passive revenue, they’re great for podcasters who want to focus their efforts on creating and growing their brand.
Make money podcasting FAQ
How do people make money from podcasts?
The majority of podcasters generate money from a number of sources, including affiliate marketing, producing live podcasts, selling items, and advertising to their listeners. The overall amount of money you make from a podcast is determined by the size of your audience, marketing efficacy, and the cost of creating your episodes.
What equipment do you need to make money podcasting?
Producing a podcast necessitates the use of a high-quality microphone and audio-editing software. Investing in a video-conferencing service like Zoom may boost your podcast content if you plan to have guests remotely. Read What Is a Podcast? for additional information on how to start your own podcast. Find out how to start a podcast right now.
How much money do you need to start a podcast?
A good podcast microphone will set you back roughly $100, but basic audio editing tools such as Audacity is free. If you plan on conducting more advanced sound mixing, a more capable audio editing application, such as Adobe Audition, which starts at $20.99 per month, would be worth considering.
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