So, you’ve decided to set up a podcast – good stuff, you’ll have great fun.
But as with any other product or service, it would be nice to make a little money out of it, wouldn’t it? Whether you see your podcast as a fun snobby or as a side hustle.
And the good news is that there are loads of different things you can do to monetize it!
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the more common ways of monetizing podcasts, and hopefully, there may be one or two methods that strike a chord with you that you might want to try out.
We’re going to concentrate on proven methods and strategies. But although we’re going to number the different methods, please note that they are not listed in any particular order.
And we get that you’ve got questions surrounding all of this, so at the end of the article, we’ve also got an in-depth FAQ section for you, where we tackle some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in!
Table of Contents
Ways to Monetize a Podcast
1) Traditional Advertising and Sponsorships
This is by far the easiest method of monetizing a podcast because it requires minimal effort on your part. You barely have to do anything. And it’s probably for this reason that it’s become one of the most common ways of monetizing a podcast.
You can sell ads directly on your podcast. Or better yet, you could set up a sponsorship. This is where the person sponsoring your podcast gets a regular mention on your podcast to help get their name out there.
How much money you will gain from a sponsorship deal depends on your negotiation with your sponsor. The more people who listen to your podcast, the better a sponsorship deal you can attract.
You can seek a suitable and relevant sponsor yourself and choose a brand that fits your podcast’s image.
2) Join an advertising network
If you feel daunted by the idea of finding your own sponsor for your podcast, then you might prefer the idea of enlisting the services of an advertising network.
Advertising networks are kind of like a middleman between the podcast host and the sponsors. And unfortunately, this means that they charge a fee.
But the good news is that you don’t have to pay anything upfront, and instead, the advertising network takes a cut from the ad placements.
Different advertising networks will charge a different percentage fee for their service, but the podcast host always takes more than the network. And we would advise doing your homework on this before you sign up.
Examples of advertising networks you could turn to if this is of interest to you are AdvertiseCast, Midroll, Podcorn, and PodGrid.
3) Sell Subscriptions To Your Podcast
Once you have established a regular following, the next step is to start charging people for your podcast content.
This is easier to set up than you might think. We recommend using Patreon. They can set up a subscription service for you.
Of course, there is a drawback to charging subscription fees, and that’s the possibility of losing potential listeners who would have kept listening to your podcast if you made it available free of charge.
However, there is a way around this. You could broadcast some podcast content for free but charge a subscription fee for more exclusive podcast content.
4) Ask your listeners for donations
Now, granted, this isn’t necessarily going to bring in a large passive income stream. However, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the generosity of some of your listeners. Your biggest fans will want to support you and show how much they like and value your podcast content.
Self-promotion can be a worthwhile investment. If your fans learn that you need donations to keep producing top content, they’ll be more inclined to help out.
But if your podcast’s monetization is important to you, you would be wise not to make it your only monetization method. Instead, you can use this method alongside as many other methods as you’d like to take up.
And the beauty of this method is that it’s effortless, and you can start as soon as you like. All it takes is one quick question to be repeated on every podcast episode. (Maybe at the end.)
It’s straightforward to set up the receipt donations too. You can use universal, tried, and trusted methods of payment, such as PayPal. Alternatively, you might like to use SoundCloud, Squarespace, a Stripe account, or even a GoFundMe page.
5) Sell repurposed content
You know what? Keeping your content in just one format can really limit your audience. Deaf people don’t listen to your podcasts. But they might be persuaded to read your podcast transcripts.
This is easier to set up than you might think. You don’t have to transcribe them yourself if you don’t want to. You could use Castos automatic transcription services or some other transcription organization to transcribe your podcasts for you automatically.
And with enough transcripts behind you, you could even repurpose this content in the form of a downloadable eBook. You could then convert it to Kindle format and sell it on the world’s biggest eBook platform Amazon. Imagine how many sales you could make!
Then you can bring the project full circle and talk about the eBook on your podcasts, generating even more sales.
6) Publish your podcasts to YouTube
It’s actually pretty easy to convert your podcast into a video that can be uploaded to YouTube. You don’t have to loads of video editing, and you could make do with just a single image, perhaps a photo of yourself or your podcast logo.
Once you have set up a YouTube channel, you will need to enable monetization in your account settings, and Google will handle the ads for you and pass on your money.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get sponsors for my podcast?
There are several easy ways to get sponsors for your podcast – you can pitch directly to relevant brands, or you can join a podcast network. Just to name the main two.
Joining a podcast network is possibly the easiest method. And by joining such a network, advertisers and potential sponsors will get your podcast content and approach you directly, rather than you having to reach out to them. How easy is that!
But the trouble with this option is that the podcast network will take a fairly large cut out of your takings.
So, if you don’t like that idea, the next best option is to seek out your preferred sponsors yourself. Find brands that are relevant to your podcast’s niche. Then pitch to these brands and convince them of your podcast’s future value. Provide your stats, perhaps, or offer them a trial period.
How many listeners do you need to make money on a podcast?
How many listeners you need to make money on a podcast depends entirely on what methods you’re using to monetize it. If you were to look at sponsorship deals alone, you would need to be getting at least 3000 listeners minimum, preferably 5000, before they will consider taking you on. And that can be quite the task in the early days.
Of course, sponsorship is not by any means the only way to monetize your podcast, as we discussed earlier. And to be honest, the methods we discussed earlier are really just the tip of the iceberg.
However, whatever method/s you decide to use to monetize your podcast, the number of listeners is critical. If you were to approach a podcast network, as we discussed earlier, for example, then they will need to see that arranging to advertise via them is profitable for themselves also.
How much do ads pay on podcasts?
The measurement used to judge an advert’s worth is its CPM, where CPM stands for “cost per thousand impressions.” Once you hit 5000 downloads of your podcast, you can charge about $20 CPM for running ads.
And if you add this figure to your other monetize methods, you could make approximately $5,000 per month if you do this right.
And if that were to ever double to 10,000 downloads, you can charge about $50 CPM for ads. And adding this figure to your other podcast monetization income could bring the total monthly figure to just over $13,000.
So, it will take some time to reach enough of a following, but if your podcast really does take off and thrive, having ads on your podcast to monetize it is a no-brainer.
And if your sponsor is connected to your podcast niche, your sponsor may pay you a higher CPM.
How much do podcast hosts make?
Putting an exact figure on how much a podcast host can make is tricky because it really varies. Most podcasters tend to make very little in the early days, but at the other extreme, you’ve got the likes of Joe Rogan, who makes about $800,000 for a single episode!
And that’s not by any means the only example of podcast hosts making a really lucrative career. You’ve also got Pat Flynn, who makes a very impressive $100,000 per month.
But, we don’t want to set your expectations too high. Remember what we said earlier. You will need to have drummed up 3000 to 5000 listeners before you can attract a sponsor.
That doesn’t mean to say it can’t be done; with a little luck and a lot of grit, you too could be making real money with your podcast, especially if you incorporate all the different monetizing methods we discussed with you earlier.