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Everyone knows about the new buzzword around – Podcasts! Probably you too have one channel and now you’re looking at how to monetize a podcast. Or maybe, you’re still thinking – can I monetize a podcast?
Let me tell you something. Even if you have started your podcast today, you have started at the right time. Since 2015, the US has seen 45% of growth in Podcast Listeners.
The internet has very little information available about how to make money with podcasting because it’s very new and people are still exploring podcasting space.
So, most of the podcasters start podcasting as a hobby. But in 2020, you can make a serious career out of it. Producing podcast episodes can be tedious and comes with an investment of at least $100-$200 (to buy some basic stuff) and of course, your time.
To keep running your episodes, you obviously need some motivation, and what could be the great motivator than money?
So here are the top 6 ways to monetize a podcast:
1. Find Sponsors & Advertisers
I know this is the obvious point and this would have been your first thought when you started thinking about making money from podcasting.
If you don’t have at least 5000-10000 listeners, you should probably skip thinking about making money from this.
But if you’re already popular, brands are going to reach out to you for endorsements and offer you some money to talk about them. You can always negotiate here.
If you have a niche podcast with a niche audience, you can reach out to brands or companies and sign a deal.
This works on a CPM model where CPM stands for cost-per-thousand where you are paid a fixed amount when your podcasts are downloaded a thousand times or you had 1000s listeners in an episode.
Just think of it as a radio show. You have slots, and you keep a price for those slots.
There are 3 standard prices:
- Pre-roll ads ($18 CPM): The ads which play for 15 seconds before you start your episode.
- Mid-roll ads ($25 CPM): They are generally 60 seconds long and run somewhere in the middle of your podcast.
- Post-roll ads ($10): This is the least paid category because a lot of listeners don’t hold till the last and many would just close the podcast know that it is just an ending ad.
So, if you are lucky enough and able to fill out all 3 slots and your podcast almost daily, you will earn around $1500 a month. Is it low? Check out the next one!
2. Monetize a Podcast with Affiliate Marketing
If you are already a blogger, you would probably know this. This is the best way to earn money. The beauty of affiliate marketing is you can do this even if you have just 100 targeted listeners. You can make a decent amount of money out of it.
So how affiliate marketing works?
In affiliate marketing, you get a commission of the sale whenever your referred person makes a purchase at no additional cost.
Basically you partner up with a company or a brand and you are provided a unique link. Whenever someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, you get some commission. It’s like a finder’s fee or a reward that the company pays you.
Also, you are not fooling your audience because they are not paying anything extra. Whether they click through your affiliate link or not, they would be paying the same price. Here’s how it works:
If you don’t have a blog/website (what were you doing?), it can be difficult to do affiliate marketing. Because the affiliate links are very complex and you cannot narrate it to your listeners.
To promote affiliate links on your podcast, you can advertise in one of your ad spots. Or, you can always naturally recommend the product or service while talking. For example: “…so I woke up this morning and my new microphone had arrived which I ordered through amazon. You can check it out at yourwebsite.com/mic”
You will find affiliate products to promote in almost any niche. But I strongly recommend promoting the products that you actually use. If something goes wrong with your listener, he/she will never come back to your website.
There are many affiliate programs and one of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon.
Also, if you use Buzzsprout (Click to Create Free Account) as your podcast hosting, they have their own affiliate marketplace to help you making money with podcast shows. Check out more detail in the video below:
3. Create Online Courses
The best part about online courses is you also get immense exposure and it’s the two-way traffic. You can send traffic from your podcast to your courses and vice-versa.
I actually use online courses to drive traffic to my blogs and it has always worked for me.
If you’re thinking about what can teach in your course, then look out for the kind of questions that your audience asks. Try to understand their problems and solve them with your course!
You can always use Learning Management Systems like Podia if you want to have a private course listed on your website/blog.
So I would personally recommend having your course hosted on your own website so that you can also collect the emails of your listeners and use email communication tools like ConvertKit and send them affiliate links via emails.
Email lists are the best assets anyone can ever have.
4. Listener Donations & Exclusive Content
If you have a really great pool of listeners and some of them are die-hard fans, probably they would support your podcast. You will have to be open to your listeners that you need their support and need some donation.
Or just say “if you really liked this episode you can buy me a coffee at <URL>”
You may use buy me a coffee for collecting donations.
If asking donation is too shabby, you can start your own membership program and provide exclusive content to your members. This is one of the great ways of getting a recurring income from your supporters.
You can host exclusive webinars or have live QnA sessions. Basically you have to make them feel that you are providing some exclusivity in return of their membership.
For this too, you can use buy me a coffee and monetize your podcast.
5. Sell your own services
Did you know, most businesses, rely on their content strategy. That’s where they get most of the clients, leads, or customers.
You can sell your services too.
Professionally, I’m a Digital Marketer and I blog about digital marketing stuff in one of the blogs. I promote my services saying if someone needs my help they can reach me on my contact page.
The same way it works for Podcasters. Converting your listeners into your clients is fairly easier than going out and looking for one. Your listeners are already listening to you and you are showcasing your expertise in your podcasts.
So they already trust you.
6. Sell your Merch or Physical Products
A lot of content creators are following this strategy when you create your own cult of regular listeners, you can easily ask them to purchase your cool T-Shirts or Jackets.
You can create your own products on Teespring and they will take care of the printing, shipping, and billing. All you have to do is design and upload.
Or if you have your own products, let’s suppose you make awesome dreamcatchers, you can create your own e-commerce store with Woocommerce if you’re using WordPress or Shopify and sell your products.
If you don’t wish to create your own e-commerce store, another great idea is to sign up as a seller on Amazon add your physical product.
Did I miss any podcast monetization method that you use? Which one from this list you loved the most and you will use to monetize your podcast?