Podcasts have become a popular medium for creatives and storytellers of all types to share their message with the world. And as the industry has grown marketers, entrepreneurs, businesses, and brands have jumped on the bandwagon. And this is mainly because podcasting provides an easy channel through which anyone can share valuable knowledge, and build an audience. (When I say ‘easy’, I’m referring to the relatively low barrier to entry. I am in no way implying that creating a successful podcast is easy. Because it’s not. But that’s a discussion for another time and place!) And once your podcast is up and running, a very common “next question” concerns podcast monetization and is usually along the lines of, “How do I monetize my podcast?” In short, you want to know if podcasts actually can generate money. And then, you want to know how podcasts generate money.
In this blog post, we will break down the different ways podcasters can monetize a podcast. With consistency, diligent effort, and some intentional strategizing, you will find that, indeed, your podcast, can, actually, generate money!
Let’s check out all the ways your podcast project can turn into a steady stream of income.
How Podcasts Generate Money
One of the most common ways podcasters make money is through advertising. Advertisers look for popular podcasts that cater to their target audience. Podcasters place ads in their shows, either at the beginning, middle, or end of each episode. The ads can either be ‘baked-in’ or they can be dynamically inserted. Using this method of monetization, podcasters usually get paid for each ad they run, and the revenue varies depending on the agreement they have with the advertiser.
This is often a simple first strategy when podcasters are looking to use their podcast to generate money. And this is mainly because podcast advertising revenue has grown exponentially over the years, and there are now countless brands looking to advertise via podcasts. Making this a very viable option for podcasters looking to monetize a podcast.
Sponsorship is another way for podcasters to monetize their shows. Sponsors typically give a flat fee to the podcaster to produce a set number of episodes or seasons. The sponsor’s name is then mentioned as the sponsor at the beginning and often at another point during the episode, as well as in the show notes. The sponsor usually aligns with the content and niche of the podcaster’s show. An alignment between the sponsor and the podcast niche and audience usually yields the most successful results for all parties.
Another way podcasts generate money for podcasters is through the offering of premium content behind a paywall. Patreon is the most common platform used by podcasters for this type of podcast monetization method. Patreon is a membership platform that enables podcast fans to support their favorite shows on a monthly basis. Patreon supporters usually get additional perks, such as exclusive content, early access to episodes, and merchandise. Patreon memberships can be set at different levels, with each level having a different price. Depending on the number of supporters, podcasters can generate a significant amount of income from Patreon.
4. Affiliated Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another effective way to generate income from podcasts. Affiliated marketing involves promoting a product or service and getting a commission for any sales made through the affiliate link. This has become an effective way for podcasters to monetize their podcast due to the trust that is developed between podcast hosts and their audience.
Podcasters can promote products that are relevant to their audience, such as books, software, or services. They can incorporate the affiliate links into the show notes or mention their unique code during the episode. When someone buys a product or service through the podcaster’s unique affiliate link or using their specific code, the podcaster earns a commission.
Again, if the podcasters have carefully selected niche and audience-related brands or businesses to approach for these affiliate marketing opportunities, it usually yields great results for all involved.
Related read: 20 of the Best Affiliate Programs Paying the Highest Commission
Podcasters can also make money by selling podcast-related merchandise. Podcasters can let their creative juices run wild and create and sell products that are branded with their show’s name or logo, such as t-shirts, hats, stickers, and phone cases. Merchandise can be sold on the podcaster’s website or third-party platforms such as Redbubble, Podswag, or Etsy.
If you’ve done the work to build a buzzing community around your podcast, and if you have a fairly large group of loyal listeners, this could be a great podcast monetization option for you. Listeners who love you and love your show would love to show their support by buying merchandise. Which in turn, obviously, generates revenue for you, the podcaster.
Love the idea of creating merch for your podcast but stuck on ideas? We’ve totally got you covered! We’ve come up with 30 of the Best Totally Fun Podcast Merch Ideas that you can use to monetize your podcast!
6. Live Events
And finally, podcasters can generate money through their podcast by hosting paid live podcast events. Live events are an excellent way to connect with listeners and make money. Again, if you’ve been consistent in your approach to delivering high-quality content, and you’ve built the trust of your listeners and overall podcast community, hosting a live event in relation to your podcast should be a great success in terms of monetization.
Podcast fans are incredibly loyal, and seriously love the opportunity to meet their favorite hosts. This podcast monetization method is super versatile and it can be scaled according to your audience size. But it is also flexible, with many options that fall under the banner of “Live Podcast Events”, it doesn’t only refer to full-blown conferences or Q&A sessions.
You can check out some other options for live podcast events here.
In conclusion, there are many ways podcasters can monetize their podcasts. Advertising, sponsorship, affiliate marketing, hosting live events, and creating merchandise are just some of the ways you can generate revenue from your podcast. However, it’s important to remember that monetizing your podcast takes time and effort. You first need to build an audience, create valuable content, and establish credibility.
And remember, when choosing a monetization strategy, choose one that aligns with your brand and your values. Don’t compromise the integrity of your show for the sake of making a quick buck. Instead, focus on creating great content, engaging with your audience, and building a sustainable business model for your podcast. From this foundation, any methods of podcast monetization you choose to use should meet with success.