Podcasting is a growing trend in the publishing world. As more and more people are tuning into podcasts for entertainment, information, or to be entertained while they work out, it’s becoming increasingly important for podcasters to make money from their work. The good news is that podcast monetization can be easy with these 11 tips!
Podcast Sponsorship and Advertising
Sponsorship is when you partner with another company to generate revenue through their advertisements within your podcast episodes. It’s much like when you watch TV, you see commercials for other products & services that the TV station earns money from, but it doesn’t impact your viewing experience.
The same goes for podcasts; listeners won’t be distracted because they usually consume content passively (listening while doing something else).
You can get sponsors for your podcast by finding a company that is related to the topic of conversation. You can then contact them and pitch them on why they should advertise their business to your listeners through your podcast.
This type of sponsorship may require you to mention the sponsor’s product or service at least once or twice in each episode as well as come up with creative ways to weave it into the conversations happening between you and your co-hosts.
Sponsorships are a great way to monetize a podcast because revenue is generated with each episode. You can also create a long-term partnership that can be very beneficial.
There are many companies that act as the “middle man” so you don’t have to do any of the leg work. You can be assured that they will find great sponsors for your podcast.
Their services typically include Media kit design, advertising sales, billing & payment processing, campaign tracking, and reporting.
You will need to go through an approval process before you’re allowed to run ads on your show(s). These types of services usually take a percentage of the sponsorship price (usually around 20%). This is important to consider when looking into these companies because some may not accept all podcasts.
The main advantage of using their service is convenience; they act as an ad agency you can run all aspects of your ad campaigns through them .
Podcast Affiliate Marketing
In the same sense as sponsorships, this method of monetizing a podcast may require you to promote the affiliate’s product or service in some capacity during episodes and/or on your website and related social media accounts.
It requires more work than just getting one-time payments for each episode like sponsorships do, but most podcasters prefer it because they don’t have to go looking for new advertisers every few months.
You will want to partner with companies that sell products or services that are related to the topic of conversation. You can then contact them and pitch them on why they should be an affiliate for your podcast.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize a blog, website, or podcast because it doesn’t require much work after you find suitable products or services to promote; simply deliver traffic to the offer by mentioning it during episodes every now and then, promoting it on social media accounts, etc.
In most cases when you sign up as an affiliate partner with a company, they’ll give you guidelines on how often and in what ways they want you to promote their product. For example, you might only be allowed to mention the product or service during a certain percentage of episodes and/or social media posts.
There are many affiliate networks you can join to find the right affiliate products and offers for your podcast. We will explore several of them below.
The ShareASale network is a network of over 2,500 affiliates and 1,500 merchant affiliates. The platform provides tools for merchants & advertisers as well as publishers (affiliate marketers).
They provide useful tools such as: sales tracking, reporting and analytics. The ShareASale network has been around since 1998 allowing it to continue to grow at a steady pace with new merchants and affiliate marketers joining daily.
The AWIN network hosts thousands of affiliate marketers who are all building their own businesses through its platform.
The Affiliate Window is the company behind AWIN and they provide all kinds of tools and resources for advertisers and publishers alike.
A few benefits to working with the Affiliate Window: your own dedicated account manager, tools for analytics, reporting, tracking/monitoring affiliate activities, etc. Their network is global so you can work with advertisers from all around the world.
CJ Affiliate Network:
This is another popular affiliate marketing network that has been around since 1996. CJ Affiliate Network provides tools for publishers and advertisers alike.
Understandably, they also provide exclusive tools for affiliate marketers who want to promote their products and services through the CJ Affiliate Network platform:
– Tracking and Analytics: these help you monitor affiliate activities and performance
– Promotion and Placement: gives publishers direct access to promotional materials such as banner ads, text links, etc.
Offer Premium Content:
This method of monetizing a podcast is not as popular as the others mentioned above, but it can benefit your audience if done right. Premium content refers to anything that supplements the original podcast such as bonus episodes, behind-the-scenes footage, cheats sheets or worksheets, etc.
For example, if you host a podcast episode about health and fitness that provides valuable information to your audience and then offer bonus episodes for an additional fee, it can be beneficial for you and your audience.
Creating free content for your listeners is great, but you can offer additional access to content by allowing them to become paid members. You can charge a monthly fee or have pay-per-view options for higher-value products and services. This way, you are providing exclusive access to your audience.
The membership platform you choose should allow you to set recurring billing intervals that work best for your business, such as monthly or annually. Some platforms only offer yearly billing.
This can be limiting if you want something shorter such as 3 months or 6 months subscriptions, etc. It’s also important to note that you should always include cancellation procedures in your terms and conditions so that your customers can cancel their subscription at any time they wish while still allowing the process of canceling itself within reasonable grounds (i.e.: giving them enough time).
Merchandise can also be an effective way to monetize a podcast if listeners are interested in buying T-shirts, coffee mugs, hoodies, or anything else branded with your show’s logos or images on them.
If you decide to take this approach, just know that there are several things you’ll need before selling merchandise online, such as: producing the designs (for example, getting them drawn up by someone or creating them yourself), web hosting
Many podcasters provide a “Donate” button on their website to encourage listeners to contribute financially. The donation methods will vary depending on what you decide, but just be aware that the IRS has a long list of rules for donations and contributions.
Patreon is a popular platform used by many podcasters who want to improve their monetization efforts. Patreon helps artists get paid more efficiently by offering tools such as campaign management, fan interaction, etc. It’s important to note that it isn’t only limited to podcasts.
You can manually set up PayPal as a donation method on your website or mobile app. You can link it to your existing PayPal account if you already have one, but this is not mandatory. Just make sure that you create an account first and understand how to use it before doing so.
This is a great way to monetize a podcast and provide listeners with exclusive access to content. Similar to offering premium content, this method gives listeners access to valuable information and resources by charging them for it.
If you are in a niche that has topics related to how-to, or self-help, then selling courses can be a great way for you to monetize your podcast.
Sell Your Own Products & Services:
If your podcast is related to another business you run, this method may work well for you. Sell relevant products and services through your show when relevant or on an occasional basis. For example, if you own a fitness studio, sell nutritional supplements or workout plans to complement the topics of your podcasts by displaying ads at the beginning of each episode.
Some podcasters get paid to host live events. This can be in the form of hosting seminars, workshops, panels, etc.
This is a great way to monetize your podcast if you have built an audience who are interested in attending these events. It’s important to note that this method isn’t suitable for all podcasts so it’s best to see if your audience would be receptive to it before risking time and resources on creating branded live events.
There are many ways to monetize a podcast depending on what type of platform you want to use and what kind of content you plan on delivering. Be creative. The more options you offer your listeners, the better chance you have at monetizing your show.
Remember to take things one step at a time and do research on what you want before making any decisions because there are many factors that can affect your ability to drive revenue through certain methods.
Youtube Partner Program
Many podcasts have crossed channels by taking a video recording of the Podcast and publishing the video to Youtube. When using Youtube to host your video, you can then apply to the YouTube Partner Program and allow advertisements on your show. This is a great way to monetize a podcast because it doesn’t require listeners to be subscribed to pay anything.
If you have written a book relevant to your content, selling it as an add on or bundled service can be a great way to monetize. This method is extremely popular with “How To” podcasters because it gives them another revenue stream outside of the podcast and allows them to expand their audience.
Tim Ferris, of “Four Hour Work Week” fame, has been known to sell physical copies of his books when giving live talks.
Offering a physical product is only one way you can monetize a podcast by selling your book. You can also use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing where you can upload ebooks and make them available for sale on Amazon in return for royalties from each purchase.
This method doesn’t require listeners to subscribe, but they still need to be aware that the book exists in order to purchase it.
Examples of Monetized Podcasts:
Jordan Harbinger offers live training events through his website, Art of Charm to monetize his podcast.
Tim Ferriss restricts access to the first three episodes of The Tim Ferris Show only after signing up for an email list. Depending on how many chapters are available, he also uses this method to restrict access to certain parts of Tools of Titans.
Bento Box is a Sacramento-based podcast where four friends discuss different aspects of Japanese popular culture every Friday night. The hosts do not monetize their show but instead have found another revenue stream by selling Bento boxes through their website for listeners interested in trying Japanese cuisine.
Jay Baer from Convince & Convert monetizes his Social Pros podcast by selling live events and membership programs.
Joe Rogan sells his own line of supplements called Onnit through the Joe Rogan Experience.
Pat Flynn has a membership site on his website, Smart Passive Income, where listeners can gain access to exclusive content in return for monthly donations.
Monetizing your show by offering products or services to listeners is an excellent way to increase revenue without forcing listeners into monthly subscriptions that may not be affordable for them. Podcasting is still a relatively small industry but the market is expanding every day with new companies cropping up all over the world to give podcasters even more options when it comes to monetization.