How You Can Try To Monetize Your Podcast
First, if you are looking at starting a podcast in order to make money, I have to warn you up front. It is probably not going to happen (at least not right away).
Very few podcasters ever make any money with their podcasts. Very few!
It can be done. It is done. But it is very, very rarely accomplished without a lot of work and effort. It is almost never accomplished by someone who is just starting out in podcasting. The exception is someone who has already made a name for themself somewhere else (sports figure, actor, singer, etc.).
If you are looking to start a podcast in order to make money, you might be wondering if it is even possible. There actually quite a few different ways you can turn your podcast into a money-making machine, even if it is just off setting your podcasting expenses or possibly supplementing your other sources of income. Take a look at some of these different ways to use your podcast as a way to bring in some extra money.
You Can Get Sponsors
A common way to earn money with your podcast is to get sponsors. Sponsors will be businesses that are trying to promote certain products or services that they provide. You will typically have just one sponsor per podcast episode. You will then mention your sponsor either once during the podcast or multiple times.
You usually will not have multiple sponsors for each episode.
For example, if you are sponsored by a website, you might say “Welcome to (Name of Podcast), this episode is sponsored by (Company).” This is going to get their company name mentioned, and you might then later talk a little bit about the services they provide. You can then end the podcast by mentioning the sponsor again and including a call to action for your listeners to visit the company website or services as well.
Through Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you are trying to promote products that someone else has created. That person or company will then pay you a certain percentage of all the sales from people you promoted their product to that purchase through a unique link you provide to your listeners (usually in your show notes).
For example, if there is a product relevant to a certain topic you are discussing in your podcast, you can include a link to that product in the show notes and on the blog post where you discuss the topic on the podcast (we discussed this in a prior article).
If someone clicks on the link and purchases the product, you earn a commission for whatever the seller has negotiated with you. This is a really good way to advertise products to a different market.
Some podcasters make a significant amount of money by offering to share affiliate links with their listeners.
By Mentioning Specific Products or Services
This is similar to getting sponsors, but some companies don’t just want you to mention their company name. They would prefer that you actually mention a specific product or service they provide. This is yet another way to use sponsorships in your podcasts to earn money.
Like affiliate marketing, this really works best when the topic you are discussing in that particular episode of your podcast is completely relevant to the product.
For example, you do not want to talk about a product for natural health when discussing politics. It would not make any sense to your audience and the sponsor will likely not be happy either.
It is not uncommon for podcasters to earn their money through donations. Either direct donations only, or in combination with multiple methods of income for the podcast.
You can mention that you accept donations, or just place a link in the description and on your website where you are hosting the podcast (without actually pushing the fact). The donation feature is basically to give people the option of supporting you making more podcasts without having to charge them a fee to listen to your podcast episodes.
By Having Exclusive Podcasts For Paid Subscribers
This is something not every podcaster will do, but you can try it out and see how it works for you. You might have mostly free podcast episodes, but then have some exclusive podcast episodes where people have to pay to listen to them.
These won’t just be run-of-the-mill episodes but offer special information only to your paid subscribers. Perhaps you give a detailed tutorial or information hat you don’t want to be readily available to everyone listening to your podcast.
You could have a special guest. Perhaps someone will provide exclusive training for your listeners. Training that the guest normally charges for and has worked out an affiliate arrangement with you. But instead of the normal affiliate fee (for product purchases), they will work out a fee for their services sold through your podcast.
There are numerous ways for you to monetize your podcast. Do not simply rely on one method. The best policy is to try one for a few weeks or months. Then try another. Over the course of several months, you will know which program works best for your listeners. Usually, a combination of one or more will generate the best monetization results.