The dream of all Podcasters is to get paid to make their podcast. In todays world with the rapid rise and continued growth of the podcast market, it is completely realistic. You might not make a living from your podcast, but if you have a well-produced show with a solid following, you could make some money from it. Here are some ways to monetize your podcast.
Advertising is the most popular way to make money with a podcast. Just like a radio or television show you get paid to run advertisements on your podcast. A minimum number of downloads are necessary to attract advertisers, typically around 10,000 per month.
There is a way you can attract advertisers with a smaller number of downloads, even as low as 2,000 per month. If your podcast has a niche market, then it has more value. If your podcast is about HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, then your listeners may be young or old and have a wide variety of mixed interests, so they are not as valuable to advertisers. If your podcast is about raising and breeding alpacas, then your listeners probably all raise or breed alpacas and is valuable to any company which wants to advertise their alpaca breeding products or services.
Another form of advertising is a sponsorship. This where a company sponsors your show. Rather than have a commercial you let all of your listeners know your show is brought to them by your sponsor.
Many podcasters do not want to advertise on their podcasts because they feel advertising is a turn off to their listeners. Listeners are used to hearing some advertising, so if done properly, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you have too many ads it could adversely affect your listeners. You also want to be sure any products you advertise match up with your audience.
Advertisers can be easy to find through your podcast hosting site or through sites such as Midroll or Advertise Cast. If you have a niche market, then call on some specialty business who would be interested in your audience and see if you can sell them a sponsorship.
Another popular way to monetize your podcast is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you offer a code or link to a product and if your listeners use your code or link to buy the product, you earn a commission on it. An example would be if you’re listening to a travel podcast and they say there is a great deal right now on a Caribbean cruise if you go to the cruise website and use the code xyz. This is an affiliate program and they make a commission on anyone who uses this code.
Amazon, eBay and lots of other popular websites make it easy to set up affiliate programs. Amazon is great because they will give you affiliate links to the products on their site and you can offer those on your website or social media. Then it is as simple as letting your listeners know you’ll have links available for the books you just referenced in your podcast. This is a super organic way to make some money and limit the items to things specific to your show.
Patreon is a platform where Artists create an account and their fans sign up to donate money to them. This approach is very similar to Public Radio. Ask your listeners to pledge a certain amount to help you with the cost of producing your show. If you got 500 fans to donate $1 per show and you podcast 4 shows per month, you would make $2,000 per month. It is a good idea to offer patreon members something above and beyond to recognize their commitment to your show. This can be some behind the scenes access or promotional items.
The methods mentioned above are the most popular, but there are many other ways to monetize your site. You could offer your own products including digital books or guides. You can offer coaching or consulting services.