Who doesn’t enjoy making money doing something they love? Though your podcast may just be a hobby for you, wouldn’t it be better if you were making money with podcasting?
Podcasting takes a lot of your time from finding guests to editing. And even if it is something you love doing, why not make some money for your time.
Yes, it may take time to see money rolling in. But, the longer you put off, the longer it will take for you to have a profitable podcast. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results.
And making money with podcasting is a logical extension for anyone entering the podcasting arena. For many, making money from podcasts is why they started in the first place. But if you are unsure of how to make money with a podcast, we give you the best methods below.
Do I Have to Monetize My Podcast?
No, you don’t have to monetize your podcast. But why wouldn’t you?
Not only did you spend money to buy podcasting equipment, but what about your time. As the saying goes, “time is money.” Making money with podcasting is a nice reward for all the hard work you have put into producing your show.
And don’t let thinking that monetizing a podcast takes serious work stop you from turning your hobby into extra income or a profitable business. Though some strategies for how to make money from podcasts may take effort, most others do not.
So, why not start letting your work pay for itself?
How to Start Making Money Podcasting
Though there are lots of different methods for making money from a podcast, each method will fall into one of two categories: direct monetization and indirect monetization.
So, what’s the difference?
Direct monetization is when the product you are selling is your podcast. Asking for support is one way to monetize your podcast with this method. Another is that all the original content you create on your podcast can be repurposed and expanded upon. And then you offer that bonus content to paying subscribers.
With indirect monetization, you are making money with podcasting by selling other products. Either through commercials or by product placement within your podcast. Promoting a product and generating demand is an indirect way for making money for podcasts.
And don’t think that you need to stick with just one way on how to make money from a podcast. Try several and see what works. But don’t think that you should just choose one to start or to stick with. If the goal is to make money, you can certainly do several methods at the same time. Mix it up!
How to Monetize a Podcast Directly
These are the best ways to create a profitable podcast using your show as the product driving a source of revenue. All are common and successful ways of making money with podcasting.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for some help from your listeners to keep your podcast going. Crowdfunding and asking for donations are very common ways for making money with podcasting.
The best platform to set up crowdfunding is Patreon. It’s easy to get started with your own page for accepting donations. And, the site also allows you the flexibility to offer merchandise or extra content as a way to entice donors to give more. As an alternative, you can set up a PayPal link on your site to accept donations.
And it helps to add a small pitch to each of your episodes reminding listeners that if they enjoyed the episode, then help keep it going by donating. You can count on even more donations if you are upfront with what the money will be used for – upgrading quality, getting guests, etc.
We’ve all heard it. “Today’s episode is brought to you by ” followed by a blurb about how wonderful the product is. This is how companies pay you to promote their product on your show.
Payment is usually based upon the number of listeners or downloads. So, the larger your audience is, the more money you can make. But price also varies depending on where the ad is placed in your podcast episode.
Terms you will hear a lot in the podcasting world are “pre-roll,” at the start of the episode, “mid-roll,” the middle of an episode, and “post-roll,” at the end of the episode. Typically, ads placed in the middle of an episode will pay more and ads placed at the end pay the least.
But you also don’t want to overload your audience with too many ads. And most sponsors will expect at least two mentions in one episode. So too many ads can be a real turn off for listeners. Therefore, you need to find a balance that works for you and your audience so you can make money with a podcast.
To find sponsorship, you could reach out to individual companies and make a pitch about why they should work with you. Or, an easier approach is to use companies who act as intermediaries between podcasters and companies to find a perfect fit.
Websites to find sponsorships include:
But whoever you go with, you need to make sure that the sponsor’s company and/or product keeps with the message of your show. If you are approached by a potential sponsor but they aren’t a good fit for you, you should say “no thanks.” Otherwise you are going to confuse your audience. You want to monetize your podcast, but you also don’t want to be a sellout to just anyone.
Selling access to premium episodes is a great way for making money with podcasting. If you are a hit with listeners, they most likely want to hear more from you. So, why not monetize that demand?
And there are lots of ways that you can easily create premium content that include:
- Extended interviews with guests
- Q&A sessions with the hosts
- Ad free episodes
- Video versions of the podcast
Yes, this does mean a bit more work for you, but it is work that pays in the end.
VIP Access to Previous Episodes
If you have been podcasting for over a year, you have an extensive back catalog of old episodes. Do you leave them out there just sitting and not doing anything for you? You could, but why not make some money from them instead.
By adding a paywall to older episodes, you can charge listeners to access that content. It could be as little at $0.99. But it is a simple way on how to make money with a podcast. And, the money can add up quickly.
Though you are charging for older episodes, you still keep your current content free so you can attract new audiences. But, if those new audience members want to hear more from you, why not ask for a little something in return?
How to Monetize a Podcast Indirectly
But there’s money waiting to be made using the indirect approach for making money with podcasting. These methods use your podcast as the vehicle to sell other products. The best ones to use are:
Nowadays every business has at least one promotional product that they offer. And that can be your podcast, too. You can sell a product line with your podcast’s logo or podcast’s tag line on it. T-shirts, hats, keychains, bumper stickers, pens, mugs…you name it.
But keep your audience in mind when you are picking the products to logo. Use the analytics from your podcast hosting site to determine who your target audience is. Once you have that, think of what they would want and use.
And don’t make the mistake of bulk ordering product. As this is a new offering from you, you have no idea if the product will sell or not. Not only will you be paying out a lot of money for the product, but you may also be sitting on inventory that never moves.
To avoid this situation, find a printing company that prints to order. This means they do not print an item until a customer has actually purchased it. This will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Everyone loves to learn something new or gain deeper insight into a subject. So, if you are selling you and your podcast as a subject matter expert on a particular topic, monetize that knowledge. It’s a natural extension of your podcast and a very easy way for making money with podcasting.
Selling knowledge can take the form of e-books, e-courses, templates, guides, etc. It can be anything that fits the message of your podcast and that will benefit your listeners.
For e-courses, the easiest way to create one is to use a third-party site like Udemy or Skillshare. And you can place your e-book on Amazon.
Best of all, you can plug your product in each podcast episode reminding listeners that these beneficial tools exist and how it can make their lives earlier. And, you can highlight the products on your podcast’s website.
Offer Consulting Services
Again, you are marketing yourself as a subject matter expert with your podcast. So, take advantage of that. People listen to you because they feel like they can learn something from you. So, make that learning more tailored to the individual.
Through a form on your podcast’s website, listeners can request a coaching/consulting session with you. It’s easy to schedule, and you meet either over the phone or via Skype or Zoom. On these calls, you listen to the challenges listeners are having and help work through them. Whether it affects them personally or professionally, you are there to help.
It’s easy to set up a tiered system for different pricing based upon the duration and frequency of the calls.
Sell Affiliate Products
If there are products you use and love that would benefit your listeners, advertise them with affiliate ads. Listeners purchase the product through a link on your podcast’s website. And after the sale is made, you make a small commission. That’s affiliate ads and it’s one of the easiest ways of making money with podcasting.
It’s quite easy to set up. But you don’t want to sell too many products. And you want to promote products or services that you genuinely use and love. People can sense if you are just promoting something for profit or if it something that you really know.
To get affiliate links, you can either go directly to the brand/company and see if they have an affiliate program. If so, it’s typically very easy to sign up with. Or, you can join Amazon’s affiliate program for a larger range of products you could link to.
As an authority on a particular subject matter, you may be approached by organizations to speak at an upcoming event. These people have heard your podcast and think that your message will align with their event.
The benefit of doing speaking engagements is that you may find new listeners for your podcast in the audience. If they like what you have to say and how you say it, they will most likely look for your podcast and have a listen.
And there is no set fee for doing a speaking engagement. If you have never done one before, you may ask for a couple of hundred dollars. Or, if travel is involved, to at least cover all travel and lodging expenses. The more you do, the more your speaking fee can increase.
Host an Event
Why not meet your listeners face-to-face? Hosting an event is a great way to create a community based around your podcast and to connect with your fans. But, what exactly do you host?
Well, what you host depends on the type of show you have. You can give a speech (like a TED talk), do a workshop based around learning a new skill, or just have a discussion on a particular topic. Whatever it is, though, it needs to be a natural extension of your podcast.
But it should be noted that this method for making money with podcasting should be considered once you have a strong listenership. And, you need to know where your listeners are. There’s no point hosting an event close to where you live if most of your listeners are thousands of miles away. You need to look at your analytics from your hosting site to determine where an event would make sense. And where people will show up!
Remember, there is no right or wrong way for making money with podcasting. There’s no one size fits all that works every time for everyone. You have to find which combination of direct and indirect monetization works best for you with your audience.
You know your audience best. And that means you have an idea of what they want and what they want more of. So, find a way to give it to them while making money from it so you have a profitable podcast.
The best ways on how to monetize a podcast are listed above. So, there’s no reason why you can’t start making money with podcasting.