To start a podcast for the sole purpose of making money, you need to be warned upfront. It is not likely to happen immediately (at least not for the foreseeable future). Learn How to monetize your podcast.
Those who make money from podcasts are in the minority. There are very few! You can make money with podcasts. You can do it. It is infrequent to achieve without a lot of effort and work. Someone just starting in podcasting is seldom able to accomplish this. Exceptions include people who have made a name for themselves somewhere else (sports figures, actors, singers, etc.).
Perhaps you are wondering if it is even possible to start a podcast so that you can make money. Even if you want to offset your podcasting expenses or perhaps supplement your other income streams, there are several ways you can turn your podcast into a money-making machine. You can make some extra cash by using your podcast in one of these ways.
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Get sponsors for your podcast
Finding sponsors for your podcast is one way to earn money from it. A sponsor will be a company hoping to promote a product or service they provide. A sponsor is usually only involved in one podcast episode. Once the podcast is done, you will either mention your sponsor only once or mention it repeatedly.
You won’t usually have more than one sponsor per episode.
In the case of a sponsored podcast, you might include a line stating, “Welcome to (Name of Podcast), this episode is sponsored by (Company).” It gets their name out there, and you might mention what they do later in the show. You can finish your podcast by mentioning your sponsor again, including a call to action so that listeners can view the website or find out more information.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
You can use affiliate marketing to promote products created by other people. Having promoted someone’s product to your listeners through a unique link you provide in your show notes, that person or company will pay you a certain percentage of sales.
If you discuss a specific topic in your podcast, you may include a link to a product relevant to that topic in the show notes and on the blog post where the topic is discussed (we discussed this in an article previously).
If a user clicks on your link and buys the product, you will receive whatever commission you have negotiated with the seller. Marketing products to different markets in this way is a great idea.
Listeners of some podcasts can earn significant amounts of money by sharing affiliate links with them.
Featuring a specific product or service
The principle is the same as getting sponsors, except some companies don’t just want their names mentioned. The best way to ensure you get their attention is to mention a specific product or service. Using sponsorships to earn money from your podcasts is yet another way to do it.
If your podcast episode discusses a topic that is utterly relevant to the product, this also works well as affiliate marketing.
For example, natural health products are not appropriate for discussion during a political discussion. Your audience would not understand it, and the sponsor would likely not be pleased either.
Donations will help
Podcasters have been earning money from donations for years—donations only or in combination with other sources of income.
If you accept donations, you may include a mention in the description and upload a link to your webpage where the podcast is hosted (without actually promoting it). By offering the donation feature, you essentially let people support you and your podcasting endeavours without charging them an additional fee.
Offer exclusive podcasts to paid subscribers
You can try it out and see what works for you. Not every podcaster will do this, but you can give it a shot. Your podcast might have most free episodes, but do some exclusive ones where people can only listen to them by paying.
Your paid subscribers will receive exclusive information not included in the average episode. Your podcast might include a detailed tutorial or information that you don’t want everyone to have access to.
It might include a guest. Someone might provide specialized training to your listeners. You have worked out an affiliate agreement with the guest to provide training that they usually charge for. The company will pay a fee for the services sold through your podcast rather than the regular affiliate fee (for purchases of products).
If you want to monetize your podcast, you have some options. Be sure to choose a variety of methods. You should first try one out for a month or two. You should try another one after that. Your listeners will tell you which program works the best after several months. Combinations of one or more will often produce the best results for monetization.