Thinking of starting a podcast? Do you already have one but don't have the slightest clue on how to monetize it?
If you're looking for other monetization options to add on top of your current efforts, don't fear!
You can start monetizing now depending on your niche, downloads and engagement.
Listen to the entire blog here, podcast style! 👇🏽
- Here are some ways to monetize a podcast:
- Join a subscription service
- Sell information products
Work with an ad agencies
Host an event/webinar
To set up PayPal, go to their website, log in and then you link a card to your account. Once that’s done, you can have a link set up so people can pay when they click on your link.
I'm not very sure about Stripe but that is the whole gist of it. Another option is you could set up a GoFundMe.
The problem here is that you know they're not the most reliable streams of income. But if you're starting out or looking for a little extra cash if you want to buy a new microphone soon, it doesn’t hurt to try.
Join a subscription service
We called it “premium podcasts” in the audio version but this title was more appropriate
You could set up a Patreon, Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Offer a monthly membership service and have fans contribute each month.
Some ideas to incentivise them to sign-up could be:
- Special guest episodes
- Ad-free episodes
- Exclusive podcast episodes
- Live episodes
It's a good solution to asking for donations since it provides some kind of stability.
The problem is that people can drop off whenever they want to and unsubscribe. Now you’re feeling a bit bad cause you’re wondering where your faithful fan John went. Let's say he’s having financial problems this month.
This leads us to...
Sell information products
An information product is a way to share what you know through selling like a guide, e-book or online course.
If you like audio content, you could even make an audio course. You can go in-depth on your most popular podcast episode.
If people seem to love your content on SEO, you can expound on it though that audio course.
Since your audience already loves the audio medium, it would be perfect for you both.
There are some podcasts that I love their content but sometimes I wish they go more in-depth. But if you ask them, “hey can you talk about this again,” it's gets buried within the content.
Even if there’s a solid three people who are willing to pay for premium content, that’s great. Courses go for about $100+ each!
FULL DISCLAIMER: Looking for sponsors is a lot of work, especially if you're an indie podcaster. Unless you have five to 10,000 downloads monthly (which is the 1%).
Before looking for sponsors, collect some data about your podcast demographics. Do surveys as early as possible (about a month before) to get any meaningful results. Announce it on your podcast with each new episode!
Next, make a list of the brands you want to work with. If you have a podcast about productivity, you don’t need to find a productivity tool. I mean, office chairs can increase productivity too, right?
Magellan is a good place to start. It shows you the breakdown of companies spending on podcasting ads. Although these are big guys, it’s a good point to start your search.
Now it’s time for you to make the sponsorship package. Make sure it’s in place before approaching them, and don’t wait for brands to do it for you.
And as an extra bonus, I found another pitch deck on Reddit for two podcasts with over 140k downloads.
If you’re thinking of ads, podcasts are usually divided into three parts.
- Pre-roll, which most people skip.
- There's a mid-roll (the most expensive position). They’re those ads that you have to insert bang in the middle.
Post-roll, which is like a pre-roll but at the end.
Worried? There are ways around it though to make it seem more natural. A lot of these podcasters somehow relate the brand to inside jokes and their lives. Think Call Her Daddy and Honey/Hello Fresh.
If you do it well, you could have six ads added to the podcast, even more. I listened to some podcasts that had around five to six ads, but I didn't mind it too much because they made it funny.
Now let’s breeze through ad metrics. There are who kinds, CPM (cost per mille) and CPA (cost per acquisition).
CPM (cost per mille or a “thousand” in Latin)
- This is an ideal metric for the bigger guys (>5k downloads).
- Divide the cost by the impression and multiplying the resulting number by 1,000 to get the CPM.
- Sponsors will use this to calculate how much they pay a creator and understand how well an ad is performing.
- If a sponsor were to pay $800 for an ad on an episode that got downloaded 40,000 times, the CPM would be:
- (800/40,000) x 1,000 = $20 CPM ($20-$40 is often a major win for the sponsor).
CPA (cost per acquisition)
Usually there’s a special code that your listeners can use to get a small discount on an advertised product. That’s what CPA’s are. The more people use it, the more it signals to the sponsor that they were there from a particular podcast.
This tactic is for smaller, more niche podcasters. If that’s what you are, consider calculating your ads via CPA. Although, Jameela Jamil uses this tactic for her podcasts so I guess it depends.
The problem again with sponsorship or ads is that you have to hustle to get any type of revenue. Take it from Justin Jackson, whose quite the Twitter influencer:
Here’s an alternative 👇
Work with ad agencies
Again, this is profitable for larger scale podcasts. But, it's is still possible for smaller, engaged podcasts too.
Ad agencies act as the middleman between you and a brand. They can help you negotiate with brands, all for a 70/30 cut between the agency and yourself.
Here are some ad agencies or other partnerships that can help:
You can sign-up to some of them for free, and they’ll find brands for you. Be wary of that cut!
This is the most sustainable way to make money online.
Uploading your podcast on YouTube is also a good way for starters. You can videotape yourself recording podcasts and you enable ads for your videos.
You can do affiliate links too. Oh my gosh, Audible shot at every YouTuber at one point. Everyone had an affiliate link with Audible at the height of Youtube. It’s a slow build when making money though but grows overtime.
You can even convert your podcast transcription into an ebook. From there, you elaborate more on your thoughts.
Host an event/webinar
If you’ve got a decent following, sell tickets for a webinar where you can meet you fans or teach them something.
Depending on your topic, you could give a lecture, live advice, conduct a workshop, or a discussion.
Go the extra mile by recording the audio from this event and use it as a premium episode. Only do this if you have a loyal following or built a community.
If not you can do coaching or consultation, which I’ve covered in the last bit of this extensive blog post.
This works for smaller podcasts, and can be either in a group or one on one. Your podcast builds on your credibility. Chances are your audience trusts you with advice.
Open yourself up to coaching and helping out members of your audience, and charge for it! You provide great value.
This is especially helpful for wellness, mentality, and productivity podcasts. You can coach via call, video sessions, or email back and forth - the choice is yours!
There are many ways you can monetise your podcast.
If you're starting out, consider:
- Making premium podcasts
- Selling extra episodes or audio courses
- Having your podcast videos up on Youtube
If you've been around for a while and are looking for a bigger reach, try:
- Sponsorships or ads
- Partnering up with ad agencies
Audio courses are a good way to monetize your podcast compared to podcasting. If you’d like to learn more, click here