The 8 Best Ways To Monetize Your Podcast
Podcasts are an excellent way to share your thoughts and ideas and grow a community around what matters to you. What’s more, they can also be a source of income.
If you're considering starting a podcast, you're probably wondering how you can monetize it.
There are many options for monetizing your podcast, but not all of them are suitable for everyone. If you want to do it in the right way, you'll need to find one that best matches your show’s profile, audience, and goals.
In today’s post, we'll take a look at the 8 most popular ways to monetize your podcast. We’ll also help you decide which ones might be a good fit for you.
Ready? Let’s begin!
What You Need To Know Before Monetizing Your Podcast
If you’re starting a podcast, it's important to understand that the revenue won't appear overnight. As a first step, you’ll need to build a community. That implies, for instance, making your podcast episodes available on multiple distribution platforms and repurposing your podcast content across marketing channels. Once you established your audience, you can start generating revenue from your podcast.
Generally speaking, podcast monetization methods can be divided into two categories:
- Being paid primarily by your audience through patron programs, creating premium content, subscription models, donations, and merchandising.
- Being paid primarily by sponsors with advertisements, sponsored content, and ad campaigns.
Based on these scenarios, these are the most effective podcast monetization methods:
- Affiliate Programs
- Premium content
- Live events
- Advertising management
Let’s take a closer look.
Podcast Monetization Through Sponsorships
Finding sponsors for your podcast is the most common and effective way to monetize it. Getting sponsorship involves contacting brands that:
- Align with your podcast’s brand
- Are interested in getting in front of an audience like yours
You can easily notice a podcast sponsorship when brands are mentioned during a show. Or, in the case of video podcasts, when their logo appears on the screen at the beginning of each episode. It’s also possible for these sponsors to appear in specific podcast segments. During an interview section, for instance, podcasters may say: "This interview section is sponsored by [brand name]".
Sponsor advertising campaigns can also involve:
- Dynamic ad insertion. Dynamic ad insertion is a technology that allows embedding pre-recorded ads in a podcast. The advantage of this type of advertising is that it seamlessly integrates with each episode because it aligns directly with the commercial break. Thus, there’s no need to leave silent spaces or re-record episodes after the campaign ends.
- Baken-in ads. Baken-in ads are a permanent advertising message in each episode’s audio file. The ad message often is read by the podcast host, providing an opportunity to leverage his personality for brand endorsement.
Should You Create a Podcast Affiliate Program?
Affiliate marketing programs consist of mentioning a product or service during your show and then offering it through an affiliate link. The podcast creator receives a commission if a listener clicks on that link and buys the product.
All in all, an affiliate program allows brands to advertise through the podcast’s influence. Depending on your audience size, this program may be more or less profitable.
However, the most important thing is that the product you promote aligns with your podcast philosophy (and that of your audience), so nothing falls out of place and it doesn't seem forced. Our best advice is to promote a product that you actually believe in. Doing so will increase credibility, make the partnership more valuable and get you more sales.
How to Sell Podcast Merchandising
If you’ve been building a loyal audience, then producing and selling your own products is a great idea. Your products can be anything from t-shirts and hoodies to stickers, mugs, and keyholders. But make sure to use your podcast's name, logotype, or catchphrase to brand the products.
You can offer merchandising through:
- Your podcast website.
- A third-party platform. For instance, the website where you broadcast your show.
Creating stylish and appealing merch is not only a great way to monetize your show, but also to expand brand awareness.
How to Monetize your Podcast with Premium Content & Subscriptions
Selling premium content is a great monetization method for your podcast and a highly valuable marketing strategy. Basically, listeners pay a subscription fee to access content not available on your regular podcast feed.
For instance, you might release various episodes per week, with one available for free and the rest for paying subscribers only.
Your exclusive content may consist of:
- Special episodes with interesting guests
- Extended interviews
- Live recorded shows
- Video versions of your episodes
- Ad-free episodes
- And more
If you want to implement a subscription fee, offering valuable and unique content to your audience is the most important thing. Researching and providing your listeners with what they want will help you monetize and scale this resource.
How to Monetize your Podcast through Live Events
Live shows are a great way to raise funds and strengthen your relationship with your audience. You can host a live show "IRL" and even interview your audience or do a Q&A session. Alternatively, you can also host exclusive events for long-term or high-tier subscribers.
Live events have the following benefits:
- The live event will offer listeners the chance to watch, participate in, or even influence their favorite show.
- Live events can help you strengthen your relationship with your audience.
- You can monetize your show by offering paid access and sponsoring.
Last but not least, having a strong content marketing strategy is essential to promoting these events. That way, more people will find out about your live events, resulting in more attendees every time.
Should You Accept Donations from Your Podcast Listeners?
Donations are a very effective mechanism to monetize your podcast.
You can collect donations through:
- Twitch streams
- Youtube live streams
- Paypal and other payment platforms
Remember that whether you can implement donations as a monetization channel is all up to your audience. If you want to get donations, you will have to persuade them to donate.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to involve complex marketing strategies. Asking nicely in each episode or offering rewards (such as access to exclusive content) can go a long way.
How to Grow your Podcast with Courses
If your podcast is educational and aims to teach a skill, consider expanding your brand presence and offering online courses.
Let's say you have a podcast about fashion, you build some authority and people often ask you specific questions about fashion history. This is an excellent opportunity to create courses aimed at people who want to expand their fashion knowledge and discover the stories behind their favorite brands.
If the content you provide in your podcast helps your target audience learn and improve in a specific discipline, they will not hesitate to buy your course.
Moreover, if you don't want to advertise your course yourself, you can partner with certain companies to promote it and represent you in communicating with clients.
There are also online platforms that will host your course for you, such as Udemy. Regardless of your choice, make sure to leverage your audience’s attention and let them know that you’re creating great resources for them.
Some Advertising Management Tips for New Podcasters
Podcast ad networks are third-party platforms for connecting podcasts with the sponsors that best align with their brand. Basically, ad networks analyze your show and its audience and search for an advertiser that has a similar target market. Then, managers plan and report on advertising campaigns and their results.
Some ad management platforms for podcasts are:
These services are helpful for monetization because they automate ad placement and generate an interesting ad network.
It’s worth noting that ad networks pay per 100 impressions, but take a percentage of your earnings. So don't forget to read the fine print.
Ad networks may be especially useful if you have:
- A large audience
- A track record of successful partnerships with small brands
- A well-defined target audience
How to Choose the Right Monetization Method for Your Podcast
As you already know, there are numberless ways to monetize a podcast. Your best fit will depend on several factors, including:
- Community, the sense of community you have been able to achieve so far.
- Time & commitment, your availability at the time, and your commitment to organizing a public event, as well as creating new assets to go along with your podcast.
- Budget, your available budget for implementing your monetization strategy.
If your audience is not as large and well-targeted as you’d like it to be, we recommend only asking for donations. Plus, finding sponsors who will support your project as a potential long-term investment is a good idea.
Once your audience follows you beyond a few episodes, you’ll be able to offer paid subscriptions, courses, and live events. Basically, build a good listener base, start with the most accessible monetization approach, and scale up from there.
Grow Your Audience with Stunning Audiograms
Ultimately, successful monetization relies on engaging and growing your audience through your marketing channels. A podcast without active participation on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok is losing a fundamental source of engagement.
As a result, original and authentic content creation is almost as important as the podcast episodes themselves. If you’re embarking on your podcasting journey with high expectations, it’s key to maintain your audience engaged and invite people in your niche to dive into your show.
This is where audiograms come in handy.
With Audiotease, you can turn your episodes’ best moments into engaging and shareable audiograms. No editing skills or expensive software required.
Grow your audience, expand your outreach, and attract new sponsors with short-form videos.
What are you waiting for? Create your first podcast video for free, today.