Podcasting has quickly become one of the most enjoyed forms of content on the internet. In fact, a third of Americans aged 25 to 54 listen to podcasts every month.
Besides it being a fun way to pass the time or market an online business, podcasts make serious money, as well. Look at Joe Rogan as an example. It’s estimated that he earns $1.8 million every year from podcasting!
Don’t you want to be making that kind of money? It’s a lot easier than you might think. There are heaps of ways to monetize a successful podcast, and many of them can be done today.
That is why in this article we will be teaching you how to make money podcasting step by step.
Affiliate marketing is the go-to monetization method for podcasters all around the world. It’s the definition of passive income. You sit back, earn commissions, and don’t worry about inventory or other responsibilities.
The affiliate marketing program you will need to join depends on the niche you’re in. Many podcasters will find Amazon’s Associates a good place to begin, as you are automatically accepted and can earn commissions on any Amazon product.
However, podcasters should consider finding exclusive affiliate programs that offer higher commissions and are tailored exactly towards their niche, too.
You can do so by visiting Google, and searching for queries like:
- Keyword + “affiliate program”
- Keyword + “become an affiliate”
- Keyword + “affiliate”
Find a program that you believe would make a good fit for your podcast. You want to be able to promote products that would genuinely help listeners, and that you’re interested in.
Fill out the form or application that is required to become an affiliate. Some programs will automatically accept you if you fit their criteria.
Once you’re accepted, special affiliate links will be given to you in the form of text, images, and banners. These can then be placed in the descriptions of podcast episodes like done from this popular business podcast.
Sell an e-book
Over $266 million worth of e-books were sold in 2017. They are one of the best monetization methods for podcasts, as it’s passive and has a low barrier to entry.
You don’t require a publishing deal or need to work with a publishing company to start releasing books. Podcasters simply need to be an expert on a topic and follow the below steps.
Choose a topic
What is your podcast about? Choose topics for e-books that your listeners would enjoy or take existing podcast subjects and use those. Dive deeper into them than you normally have to add more value.
Outline the book
As tempting as it may be to begin writing off of the top of your head, it’s best to stay organized by creating a skeleton for the e-book first.
Map out every individual chapter with its main points and ideas you have. This helps to ensure that once you begin writing, you don’t hit writers’ block and maintain a smooth workflow.
Edit and proofread thoroughly
Before selling your book, it needs to be polished. You wouldn’t want to hand it off, only to hear about grammar and spelling mistakes from customers.
Read through every chapter, editing for readability and smoothness. I recommend using a free tool like Grammarly to clean everything up.
Sign up from the homepage, and click the “New” button on the dashboard. Copy and paste in sections of your e-book, and it will alert you of any issues.
Sell your book!
There are several different platforms online that will host e-books for you and help generate sales. One such platform is Barnes and Noble Press.
Sign up for free and select “Create a New Book” from the projects tab. Here you will be prompted to enter a title, description, upload a file, and fill out the details of your book.
Once the interior, cover, and book details are complete, publish it to be approved by the B&N team!
E-books can also be promoted to an email list, through social networks, and by performing basic SEO strategies like keyword research.
Podcast sponsorships are the bread and butter of learning how to make money podcasting. Once a large audience is reached, businesses will pay a premium to be placed in front of it with their product.
Sponsors will pay you to have a short commercial or shout out of their company on a podcast for a set fee. This helps them gain exposure and allows you to generate income. Everyone wins.
However, you will need to grow your podcast to a large size before these opportunities come knocking at your door.
Ensure that your contact information is easily found on your website or platform used to publish episodes. Otherwise, sponsors may have difficulty contacting you, and there could be missed opportunities.
According to John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, the following are standard sponsorship rates:
- A 15 second pre-roll is $18 x 1,000 CPMs
- A 60 second mid-roll is $25 x 1,000 CPMs
- A 30 second post-roll is $10 x 1,000 CPMs
Let’s say that you get approximately 5,000 viewers per podcast episode. That means you could charge $90 for a pre-roll ad, $125 for a mid-roll ad, and $50 for a post-roll ad based on the above numbers.
It’s also common to include a sponsored link in the show notes of an episode for readers to click.
Create an online course
Digital products are great. You don’t need to worry about inventory, manufacturing, or a lot of the common processes found with physical good. This is what makes them an effective way to monetize a podcast.
Creating a course is a lot like an e-book. You’re going to educate users on a certain topic, so it needs to be structured and laid out beforehand. I suggest using a service like Thinkific to host your course.
Their service is completely free, and they guide you through the steps of setting up an online course.
The drag-and-drop system makes creating a curriculum very simple. Thinkific allows users to integrate video, audio, text, discussions, and other material to teach students.
Other useful features include customizable course requirements, drip-feed course sections, multiple instructors, and more.
Most importantly, remember that courses need to relate to the podcast you run. If you speak about digital marketing topics, you could create a course on how to become a better digital marketer or an agency, for example.
Promote the course through your podcast, social media accounts, and other channels you use to reach listeners.
Without your fans, your podcast wouldn’t exist. So, don’t be afraid to accept donations or ask for them. A popular website is Patreon because it empowers podcasters to generate more income and give listeners good incentives.
Tell your fans you’ve created a Patreon page if they wish to support the continuing growth of the podcast. With a fast and large reach, you’ll have no issue informing listeners of this.
You can establish tiers that users gain access to more premium content the more they donate. This also unlocks different rewards, such as merchandise or exclusive access.
Look at the popular podcaster Philip DeFranco as an example. According to Creator Hype, he’s earning approximately $50,000/month with over 14,400 patrons.
Charge guests a fee
Just like it’s common to charge a fee for someone to write on another’s website or appear on their YouTube, the same goes for podcasts.
If your podcast has a sizable reach, that is something that shouldn’t go under-appreciated. That large influence over a targeted audience is often monetized by having a fee for guests to come onto the show.
While you will be providing insight from the conversations for podcast listeners, the guest can talk about their business, and tie their products or services into the episode. It essentially acts as a low-key sponsorship.
The first step is to decide on how much you would like to set your rate. This can be a specified amount or based on average viewership.
While over time you will most likely have guests reach out to you that are interested in participating in your podcast, you can ramp up revenue by reaching out first.
Begin by narrowing down which types of guests you would like to have on your show. This will make it easier to search for them versus being generic and casting too wide of a net.
You can use social networks like Twitter to find suitable guests. Imagine you were running a podcast on digital marketing, you could search for “digital marketer” under the “People” tab.
Message or tweet suitable candidates, asking them to come on your show. Make sure to personalize your outreach by complimenting them on their portfolio or achievements.
Podcasting is a fun hobby and an effective channel for growing a business. It can also generate serious revenue if you understand how to make money podcasting properly.
I’d recommend beginning with affiliate marketing, as it’s timeless and simple. Find a program in your niche or sign up for Amazon to get your feet wet.
Selling digital products like courses and e-books are the next best monetization methods. There’s no inventory or extra processes involved, and they are easy to create.
Sponsorships, donations, and speaking fees are other common ways to make money with a podcast you need to consider.
What have you found to the best way for how to make money podcasting?