The road to monetization can take many twists and turns. In our last article, we covered securing sponsorships for your podcast. But in reality, if your show isn’t getting 10,000 plus downloads per episode, it’ll be difficult to partner with an agency and get ad space sold for your show. Fortunately, there are various other ways to make money with a podcast that don’t require sponsorships. That’s what we’ll be covering in this article.
Monetize Your Podcast Through Premium Content
Offering premium content is a great way to make money with a podcast, and give your audience something special that isn’t a part of the standard show.
If you’re a regular podcast listener you’ve probably heard of Patreon. If you haven’t, here’s the skinny. Patreon is a monthly membership site that content creators use to give their fans exclusive content. Patreon offers fans various levels of membership. As the offerings go up, so does the monthly fee that audiences pay.
Exclusive Content Ideas For Podcasters
- Bonus segments
- Q&A’s with listeners
- Full episodes
- A video version of the show
- Live hangouts
- Community Forum
Patreon gives podcasters a private RSS feed, where fans can access all of the bonus content. We love this. We love the idea of being an independent podcaster and not having to wait till your show is big enough to reel in some scrill from ad sales.
Having a platform to grow a community that exists outside of the gatekeepers, is key for controlling and executing your vision. Podcasters can use this to begin to build income in exchange for offering extra value. By offering your fans a forum to connect, you’re building up your tribe. FOMO will kick in for those who aren’t part of the exclusive club, and they’ll wind up wanting to join your Patreon.
Supercast is a subscription podcasting platform. Podcasters can monetize their podcast while remaining in full control of their content. Supercast is integrated with all the major podcast players, so you don’t have to pull your listeners off their favorite listening app. They can subscribe to the private feed from where ever they listen.
The built-in community aspect of the app is a great way to connect deeper with fans. It has an AMA (Ask Me Anything) tool, where listeners can connect with hosts, and other fans.
You’ll never lose your relationship with your audience.
Creators can see their subscribers’ names and email addresses, and have access to export this info into the email marketing platform they use. If you’re thinking about going private, this could be a solid way to make money from your podcast.
Not sure if your listeners would be interested in some premium content?
You may find that there’s a percentage of your listenership that would love to connect with you on a more personal level. As we all know, humans love feeling like they’re a part of something special. If you’ve got some ideas for exclusive content, you could be well on your way to monetization.
Are you looking to make money from your podcast while you sleep? Us too.
Affiliate marketing is when an affiliate (you), earn commission for selling other peoples products. Podcasters do this all the time.
To get started, search for a product you like, and sign up for that companies affiliate program. The company will then assign you a unique link for that product. If people buy the product through your unique link, you earn a commission. Different companies have different levels of commission, but on average, expect anywhere from a 3%-20% commission on your sales. That’s decent little chunk of money.
How does this work for podcasters?
Say you want to promote your favorite podcast microphone to your audience. You’d link to that microphone in your show notes, on your website, across your social media channels, and wherever else you can think of.
The easiest place to start is with Amazon’s affiliate program. There’s tons of podcasting gear that you can begin to recommend and market to your audience. Truth be told, Amazon’s commission structure is on the lower end. But, consumers trust Amazon and are used to making Amazon purchases.
Another great affiliate program for podcasters is Guitar Center. They have tons of podcasting gear to promote and their commission structure is slightly higher than Amazon’s.
Hosting a podcast helps build authority in your niche, because of the intimate relationship you and your listeners. As you earn your audiences trust, they will look to you for advice and answers to their questions.
You can use this relationship to build a consulting business, by offering services that relate to your podcasts topic.
If you host a marketing podcast focused on SEO, you can sell SEO consulting packages. If you host a podcast focused around health and wellness you can sell wellness coaching packages.
These can be one time sessions, weekly sessions, or part of monthly plan. You’d be surprised at the amount of money people will pay to get direct access to an expert. This is especially true, after you’ve built trust over the course of all the episodes you’ve released.
A well produced consistently released podcast can act as a launch pad to you selling your expertise. Don’t sleep on this idea, it’s actually a really common way to make money with a podcast.
If you’ve got an informative podcast that teaches your listeners a skill, selling an online course is a great way to make money from your podcast.
Host a podcast about trading Crypto? Create a course that teaches your trading methods. Do you host a podcast about video editing? Create an Editing 101 course.
You get the picture.
People have an innate desire to learn things. If you’ve built up a dedicated podcast audience, and you’re delivering real value, chances are some of your listeners will be willing to purchase a course from you.
How much can you make selling a course?
Teachable recommends pricing your course at a minimum of $100. That’s a good chunk of change! And, you can use your podcast to market the course. Once you’ve set a launch date, you can start teasing the release of the course somewhere in your episodes. Create a little buzz and BOOM, you’ve got some buyers. The best thing about this is that the course will be evergreen, so you can tease your pitch for it, into your episodes, for many months and years to come.
Creating an online course is a lot of work, but with a little effort it’s possible to can create an evergreen, passive income stream.
Selling Digital Products
Selling digital products through your podcast is a great way to leverage your existing audience. Popular digital products that podcasters sell are, ebooks, design templates, and “how to” manuals.
Shameless plug, but we actually have an ebook for sale on Amazon, The Four Pillars of Podcasting. It’s a guide on how to launch a podcast.
If you have an educational or informative type of show, digital products are a great way to supplement your income.
Create a digital product that solves your audiences problems, and some of them will buy it. That’s why they’re listening to you in the first place.
The best way to plug your digital offering is to give your listeners a call to action in your episodes. You can pepper this in at the top of the show, or at the end of the show, or both. Your email list is also a great place to plug your products.
Regardless of where you promote your digital products, be tasteful and strategic. You want create good, informative content first, then casually pitch.
If you’ve built your tribe over time and they’re digging the content you’re putting out, they may want to show you off. Start smacking your logo on various items, like t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and hoodies.
Merch is a community builder. How cool is it when you see someone wearing a shirt from your favorite band? It’s pretty rad, and you feel an instant connection with them. The same goes for podcasts, especially as the medium continues to grow and podcasters begin to see some fame.
Printful is a great on demand print shop. You can create tee’s backpacks, hoodies, custom shoes and more.
SPOD is another popular print on demand shop. Users can create bags, tee’s, mugs, water bottles and various other items.
Conferences are more popular than ever, and influential podcasters seem to be getting invited to speak more and more. Everyone has something to say, and if your podcast audience is eating up what you’re putting out, chances are conference attendees will buy into you as well.
The pay for speaking at events can range from a few hundred bucks, to tens of thousands of dollars. Once you get on the circuit it can be quite lucrative. Plus, you’re already used to scripting and speaking on a microphone. Public speaking is a shoo-in for podcasters.
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