How to Make Money from your Podcast
Recently I got all “ranty” on social media about “monetization” of your podcast. I didn’t think it was a word in the English Dictionary… turns out I was wrong there, but it is a yukky word! 🤢
Creatives often see words like this as YUK and it puts them off making money from their creations. 🤑
Podcasts are no different and I can get even more ranty about the misleading information given on making money from your podcast. I here a lot of:
1.) “Buy a microphone, make a podcast, get a sponsor, make millions!!” (Normally accompanied by an Instagram picture of their “new rolex” bought only from “podcast money”)
2.) “You need 10,000 listeners per episode to get a sponsor!”
Both of these are WRONG!!
Podcasting is not a quick win, whether you are looking to get more listeners, more followers, or make money… It all takes time and consistency.
You may make millions, but it’s not an overnight success and it won’t only come from sponsorship.
The second WRONG: You don’t need 10,000 listeners per episode! This is a number thrown around by ad-agencies like MidRoll or ad-insertion platform A-Cast.
You can get a sponsor for a podcast with 10 listens! If those listeners are highly engaged and relevant to a product niche, then they are likely to buy and have a lot more value than 1000 listeners who aren’t relevant to your topic / niche.
So here it is, our list of the ways we have found people making money from podcasting and doing it well:
1.) Sponsorship – Like I said you don’t need 10,000 listeners per episode. Value your brand, value your audience (however big they are) and put a price tag you would be willing to add sponsorship for.
Our top recommendation for getting sponsors is to build an additional web page for your site. Have clips, numbers, stats and testimonials that show why sponsoring your podcast is awesome.
Then make a list of 10 businesses that would fit your show, that would see real value in reaching your audience. Contact them, going down the list, sending them to the site with all the stats.
We have a show sponsor on a show that has only 200-300 listens per episode. The listeners are highly engaged and so the price reflects the brand association.
2.) Affiliates – An affiliate is where you sell someone else’s products with a link that gives you a cut of the sale.
These can be a nice source of income for products relevant to your brand…. BUT we cannot advise this strongly enough: Make sure the product is awesome, and you actually recommend it!
You don’t want to end up sounding like the podcast version of one of those websites where you can’t find the content through the weird unrelated banner ads or worse still pop-ups!
3.) Donations – We all make our podcasts for free, we put our blood sweat and tears into them and people get to listen for free! Doesn’t seem fair when you put it that way does it?!…
Donations through a system like Patreon is often described as a “non-yukky way” to ask for something back.
There are actually nice people in the world, and they will send you a little donation now and then because they enjoy your podcast. 😊
4.) Sell something – Here is where podcasts really convert. You may have a writing service, a coaching class, a piece of software, a membership site… Whatever it is, the podcast builds trust with a listener base and is the perfect way to naturally offer that product.
Again, make sure it is relevant to your show’s topic but selling your book, your web design plugin, your one-to-one coaching etc is the number one way to make money from your podcast. 💰
5.) Premium Content – This can be set up as donations or as a membership site. However selling additional content to your podcast can be a great way to make money.
Personally I don’t like the idea of telling half a story in a podcast, and someone has to donate to hear the other half… But I have seen it done.
Maybe though you offer an amazing free podcast with great interviews, but then there is a premium podcast feed that has all the “rituals and routines” of your guests. Or they get video content sent to them with a certain level of Patreon donations… All good ways of generating extra revenue.
6.) Merchandise – If you have a loyal fan base that love your show… Merch is a great way to go! AND it is a double win!
You sell a product generating some income, and they walk around as an advert for your show in a branded t-shirt or with a logo’d baseball cap. Win win!
Please don’t get bogged down with the total number of listeners on your show and think that because you don’t have 10,000+ you can’t get some of that well earned money back from your podcast. You can! 🎉
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