WANT TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST BUT NEED A LITTLE HELP?GRAB MY GUIDE
GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

blog

How to make money from your podcast

GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!
by in Podcasting
Piggy bank

Looking to quit your job?  Cool your jets.

The question on everyone’s lips is “How do you make money from a podcast?”  And while there are some podcasters making a living from their show the majority of people don’t make a dime.

That doesn’t mean you can’t generate revenue from your podcast but you need to think more creatively than just “How can I sell ads?”

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

Why aren’t ads the answer?

Most podcast ads are sold on a ‘cost per mille’ basis.  That means advertisers pay a certain price per thousand listeners.

That’s great if your show is bringing in half a million listeners per episode but if you’re broadcasting to an audience more around the 200 mark that’s not going to generate much coin.

How to find content for your podcast

Read

How much is “not much”?

Midroll is a podcast advertising agency in the US and according to their ad revenue calculator, if you…

  • Release an episode every week for 52 weeks
  • Sell one 30 second ad at the start of each episode and one 60 second ad in the middle of each episode
  • Have 200 listeners

You’ll stand to make, a whopping…

US$179 – $335 / YEAR

Hardly seems worth it when you consider most listeners don’t want to hear ads.

So how can you make money from a podcast if you don’t have a big audience?

How do you grow your podcast audience?

Read

How to make money from a podcast

The direct approach

If you’ve got a small audience of really engaged listeners you might be better off approaching an advertiser directly and setting your own sponsorship price.  Especially if your show is focused on a niche area of interest.

When you’re coming up with a number you should take into consideration the fact that your listeners don’t like ads.  So the amount you set needs to justify the impact the ads will have on your content.

For example, if you’re doing a podcast for people who love knitting and your audience is interested in the newest types of wool you could approach an online wool store to sponsor a few episodes.

If they offer a subscription service where new wool is sent to your home each month wouldn’t that be something your 200, super keen, knitting loving listeners would jump at the chance to sign up for?

Putting that offer in front of your audience might be something a store would be willing to pay $500 an episode for, depending on their return on investment.

Alternatively, you could bite the bullet and start your own yarn subscription service.  If you’ve got a really keen audience this might turn out to be more lucrative than selling ads (or it could be a logistical pain in the butt).

Whatever your situation, once you’ve got an audience, if you want to make money off your podcast you need to think of ways to monetise that aren’t just running ads.

Does your podcast have to be niche?

Read

Sell products or services you’ve created

Think of your podcast as a chance for people to try before they buy.

Turning up in people’s ears every week builds trust, so if you’ve got a product or service that ties into the content of your podcast you can introduce people to it via your show.

Then if they like what they hear they can upgrade to the paid content if they want to dive deeper.

That’s what I do with my podcast, PodSchool.

People who listen to the show can get a sense of my teaching style and expertise.

Then, if they want further assistance putting their podcast together, they can sign up to my online podcasting course secure in the knowledge that a) I know what I’m talking about and b) I’m not a dick (at least, I hope that’s what they think!).

Learn how to podcast in PodSchool

Read

Affiliate marketing

This is when you sell a product or service on behalf of another creator and get a cut of the purchase price.

I would advise only doing this with products or services you’ve tried yourself because if you endorse something that’s not high-quality, it will erode the trust your audience has in your recommendations.  And that trust is what you rely on when it comes to generating revenue from your show.

It’s never worth recommending something just for money because the cut you get won’t be enough to cover the resulting damage to your brand if your audience loses faith in you.

Some companies will offer affiliate programs as standard, while others will only allow their products to be sold via people they trust so it might take some time to build relationships.

If you’ve got a really keen audience of people a seller might not be able to get in front of without you, it could be a great opportunity for both of you.

But again, it’s important the product aligns well with the content of your show.

How to find content for your podcast

Read

Selling subscription services

A couple of examples of this could be a membership site where people get additional content each month or a closed Facebook group where listeners get advice or coaching from yourself or other experts.

Something to remember if you’re thinking about this option is it’s A LOT of work.

When you’re asking people to cough up a recurring amount of money you have to make sure the service you’re offering is worth it.  That means you have to constantly offer up new stuff which can be a huge undertaking.

For some people, this model works really well,  for others you might be better off offering a course for a one-off fee.

Ultimately, you have to ensure that if you go down this path you’re giving your audience enough added value every month to make sure their investment is worth it.

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?

Read

The donation model

This is usually only possible when you’ve built up a loyal fan base of people who love your show and would rather pay a small amount per month to keep it alive than live without it.

If you want people to donate money to your show (Patreon is a website a lot of podcasters use) you’ll need to develop additional content as a reward for their investment.

Examples might include free show merchandise, access to behind the scenes videos and recordings, first access to live show tickets or an ad-free version of the podcast to listen to each week.

The possibilities are endless so get creative.

People who are willing to pay for your content are your biggest fans so you want to reward them for parting with their hard earned cash.

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo

Read

Live events

If you’ve got an audience that loves listening to you they’ll probably want to turn up to a live show and experience your podcast in person.

Getting in front of your fans is an amazing experience for both you and them because it allows you to really see how people react to your show.

It also builds the relationship your audience has with you and makes them feel like they’re part of something.

And it can be a great way to generate additional revenue (provided you keep your costs low…so don’t go renting the Opera House for your first gig).

How to promote your podcast before it’s live

Read

Establish yourself as an expert

Doing a weekly podcast can get you in front of people who might not have been able to find you previously.

I’ve seen people get job offers from their podcast, sign up coaching clients and get contract work.

If you know your stuff and you’re sharing tips and information you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities will come through your door because people like your approach and can get a sense of you before they’ve even met you.

The steps to release a podcast episode

Read

Get booked for speaking gigs

This is another benefit of establishing yourself as an expert in your field and can be a great way to generate revenue because speaking gigs usually pay really well.

Having said that, when you’re starting out, you might be asked to do them for free and you should always say yes.

The benefit of getting in front of a room full of people who might be interested in your product or services can be invaluable.  And if you’re starting out, you usually need a few speaking gigs under your belt before you can start asking people to pay you.

Having a podcast is a great way to show people your style behind the mic.

Instead of contacting event organisers and trying to get your personality across in an email, you can send audio of your show so they’ll get an immediate sense of you as a host.

How to avoid podfade

Read

See!  Making money from a podcast isn’t just about selling ads!

Making money from your podcast isn’t just about pumping your show full of 30-second bits of crap your audience doesn’t want to hear.

You can be much smarter about how you generate revenue so you keep the content of each episode as enjoyable for your audience as possible.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!