Podcasters October 15, 2020

How to monetize your podcast

Charlotte Zhao @brainfoodinator

If other people are doing it, so can you.

Thinking of starting a podcast? Do you already have one but don't have the slightest clue on how to monetize it?

If you're looking for other monetization options to add on top of your current efforts, don't fear!

You can start monetizing now depending on your niche, downloads, and engagement.

Here are some ways to monetize a podcast:

1. Donations

To set up PayPal, go to their website, log in and then link a card to your account. Once that’s done, you can have a link set up so people can pay when they click on your link. Stripe works great for this to.

Another option is you could set up a GoFundMe.

The problem: you know they're not the most reliable streams of income. But if you're starting out or looking for a little extra cash, it doesn’t hurt to try.

2. Join a subscription service

You could set up a Patreon, Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Offer a monthly membership service and have fans contribute each month.

Some ideas to incentivise them to sign-up could be:

  • Special guest episodes
  • Ad-free episodes
  • Exclusive podcast episodes
  • Live episodes

3. Sell information products

An information product is a way to share what you know through selling like a guide, e-book or online course.

If you like audio content, you could even make an audio course. You can go in-depth on your most popular podcast episode.

Example: If people seem to love your content on SEO, you can expound on it though that audio course.

Since your audience already loves the audio medium, it would be perfect for you both. There are some podcasts where I love their content but sometimes I wish they go more in-depth. But if you ask them, “hey can you talk about this again,” it's gets buried within the content.

Even if there’s a solid three people who are willing to pay for premium content, that’s great. Courses go for about $100+ each!

4. Sponsorship/ads

FULL DISCLAIMER: Looking for sponsors is a lot of work, especially if you're an indie podcaster. Unless you have five to 10,000 downloads monthly (which is the 1%).

Before looking for sponsors, collect some data about your podcast demographics. Do surveys as early as possible (about a month before) to get any meaningful results. Announce it on your podcast with each new episode!

Next, make a list of the brands you want to work with. If you have a podcast about productivity, you don’t need to find a productivity tool. I mean, office chairs can increase productivity too, right?

Magellan is a good place to start. It shows you the breakdown of companies spending on podcasting ads. Although these are big guys, it’s a good point to start your search.

Make the sponsorship package. Make sure it’s in place before approaching them, and don’t wait for brands to do it for you.

ADS: Podcasts are usually divided into three parts.

  • Pre-roll, which most people skip.
  • Mid-roll (the most expensive position). They’re those ads that you have to insert bang in the middle.
  • Post-roll, which is like a pre-roll but at the end.

Worried? There are ways around it though to make it seem more natural. A lot of these podcasters somehow relate the brand to inside jokes and their lives.

You'd have to keep ad metrics in mind of course: There are two kinds: CPM & CPA.

We go more in-depth on sponsorship pitch decks, and Ad metrics on our blog post 👉🏽 here.

5. Work with ad agencies

Again, this is profitable for larger scale podcasts. But, it's is still possible for smaller, engaged podcasts too.

Ad agencies act as the middleman between you and a brand. They can help you negotiate with brands, all for a 70/30 cut between the agency and yourself.
Indirect tactics

We've got a list of ad agencies you could look into 👉🏽 here.

6. Indirect Tactics

This is the most sustainable way to make money online.

Uploading your podcast on YouTube is also a good way for starters. You can videotape yourself recording podcasts and you enable ads for your videos.
You can do affiliate links too. You can even convert your podcast transcription into an ebook. From there, you elaborate more on your thoughts.

7. Host an event/webinar

If you’ve got a decent following, sell tickets for a webinar where you can meet you fans or teach them something.

Depending on your topic, you could give a lecture, live advice, conduct a workshop, or a discussion.

Go the extra mile by recording the audio from this event and use it as a premium episode. Only do this if you have a loyal following or built a community.

8. Provide coaching/consultation

This works for smaller podcasts, and can be either in a group or one on one. Your podcast builds on your credibility. Chances are your audience trusts you with advice.

Open yourself up to coaching and helping out members of your audience, and charge for it! You provide great value.

This is especially helpful for wellness, mentality, and productivity podcasts. You can coach via call, video sessions, or email back and forth - the choice is yours!

In Short

There are many ways you can monetise your podcast. It all depends on your niche, audience, and size.

Audio courses are a good way to monetize your podcast compared to podcasting. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

Happy creating everyone! x

  1. 1

    Hi Charlotte, thank you for this super informative post! Really great stuff and super inline with what we're working on.

    We developed a podcast player that has an integrated shop for selling digital products - so basically listeners can shop while they listen all in the same app.

    Would be super interested to hear what you think about it: https://www.indiehackers.com/product/paudium

    1. 2

      Hey Luka, I'll definitely have a look and tell you what I think. Seems like great stuff already!

      1. 1

        Perfect! Let me know what you think :)

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