How Do Podcasts Make Money: 7 Ways to Monetize a Podcast

How Do Podcasts Make Money: 7 Ways to Monetize a Podcast

With its seemingly endless growing popularity and access to quality production tools, starting your own podcast is more accessible than ever. A third of all Americans regularly listen to free on-demand podcasts in any niche.

So, how do podcasts make money?

Whether you’re looking to create your own podcast on a private hosting service or work under a podcasting network, let’s see how to get money from podcast views with these seven podcast monetization methods:

How to Make Money With Podcasts

Podcast listeners are some of the most active internet users, surpassing other social media demographics.

Some podcasters integrate ad-reads, paid sponsorships, merchandise, or product promotions throughout their show.

Other podcasts devise a plan for how to make money doing a podcast by limiting external advertisers – offering optional memberships, relying on crowdfunding from the podcast listener, or joining a podcast advertising network.

Podcasters tend to combine these methods for multiple revenue streams.

Let’s look at the seven ways how to make money doing a podcast and offer some examples.

Sell Custom Merchandise

Sell Custom Merchandise

The tried-and-true step for a successful podcast with an engaged audience is selling podcast merchandise. Your podcast audience doesn’t have to be large, but it should be loyal before you consider creating products.

The trick is consistency.

By maintaining consistent traffic with, hopefully, some continuous growth – and backing that up with social media followers and interactions – you should have the potential for merch.

The goal is profit.

Selling to around 20 out of every 1,000 listeners (or 2%) will give you an average online conversion rate – the percentage of sales you make from your total audience. It’s not competitive, but it shows potential.

Once you have demand, create products with sales margins – a few dollars above the production price – to raise a profit. This way, you should have a reliable strategy on how to make money podcasting.

Create merchandise without risk.

One of the ways podcasters prevent potential losses from merch that doesn’t initially sell is by using a print-on-demand (POD) service. On-demand podcast merch can be an excellent income stream with minimal risks.

Print-on-demand requires no initial investment costs and zero inventory management. Your customer orders an item, and the custom product is made on-demand for that buyer – no inventory, no wasted production.

Why choose Printify POD?

Printify’s print-on-demand service has the most extensive catalog of printables. With product blanks, you can create branded merchandise fast and easy. We offer 600+ items and free design tools for a quick logo or artwork drag-and-drop.

Printify has easy eCommerce platform integrations that can link directly to your online store, such as partnerships with Shopify, Etsy, and WooCommerce, to name but a few.

If you’re willing to join our platform as a merchant, create a free account with Printify. You’ll get on 24/7 merchant support, automatic shipping and handling, and modern printing techniques.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

You can make money from an affiliate program podcast. With this podcast monetization strategy, businesses look to expand their revenue by offering paid advertising sponsorships.

By accepting an affiliate offer to sell ads, you become the company’s voice and place recorded ad reads in your episodes. Most successful podcasters are paid to be engaging – integrate your ads in a way that relates to your audience and why they listen to you in the first place.

By joining an affiliate marketing program, you receive a unique affiliate link that is tracked to estimate how many listeners interact with the ad.

Once a listener enters the unique URL, you receive a commission for the traffic your audience generates. Alternatively, the payment can rely on affiliate sales – product purchases – or be set at a fixed rate.

Check out the Printify Affiliate Program for insight into the application process. Printify offers a quick sign-up to advertise a custom affiliate link. Promo codes are added upon request, giving your listeners a better deal. 

The ad revenue payment works on a 5% commission for a 12-month period. On average, an active affiliate earns $1,000 per month with Printify.

You don’t need to have the same content niche to become an affiliate – it does help, however,  if you know the benefits of the service.

Make It Happen Today!

Offer Memberships

You can offer exclusive content memberships for paying listeners through flexible cash tiers. Paid content relies on the audience’s existing interest – use your feed to bring early access to previews and bonus content.

Membership plans can offer production updates, early insights, additional episodes, or interactive activities that paying listeners can use to personalize their experience. Pledge tiers can start between $2 to $100+, but most members stay at the $5 to $10 monthly range.

Join a podcast membership hosting platform:

Patreon is one of the most popular and widely spread podcast hosts. Hosting with Patreon allows you to have a well-designed membership hub for payment gateways, membership tiers, and a feed for consistent updates to let your most dedicated fans in on the production process.

The site has a 5% commission on your monthly income – it will not charge you without active member pledges. You can increase your perks by subscribing to a higher membership plan.

Kickstarter gives you the tools to create a page for your pitch, where you can add tiered rewards for any amount you wish. It’s best used for larger projects that might not produce immediate results – a whole podcast season, for instance. 

Once a funding goal has been reached, Kickstarter collects a 5% fee of the total pledge. The payment is processed relative to your location.

Memberful is a platform that selectively caters to podcasters and offers extensive integrations to your RSS feed. Their platform doubles as a management system with analytics, custom membership plans, and secure payment gateways for one-time or recurring payments.

Memberful has a free subscription option but asks for a 10% transaction processing fee. You may choose a pro or premium plan for more perks – discount codes, custom branding, lowered costs, and tracking.

Self-host your own membership plan:

Wondering how to get paid from podcast hosting on your own?

Expect more work to get things set up. However, with pre-built website templates, you can self-host with little-to-no experience if you’re willing to put a bit of time and effort into back-end designing.

Use a content management system (CMS) to develop your own membership platform and revenue stream.

As a starting choice, the WordPress CMS is a standout option that powers almost 40% of all websites. Buy a catchy domain name, get website hosting, and create an account to start designing a website from a blank template.

WordPress has extensive open-source plugins you can use to add design templates, analytics trackers, page integrations, payment gateways, and content feeds throughout your website.

Best of all, you can add your podcast episodes, updates, and membership plan in one place, using your self-hosted platform as a homepage for your business. You can even add your own merch and designs with the integrated WooCommerce WordPress plugin.

Alternatively, get a freelance website designer to do it all for you if you’re willing to spend a few hundred dollars extra.

Sell Services or Digital Products

Sell Services or Digital Products

Not every idea fits a podcast episode format. This creates an opportunity for more experimental, extensive, and detailed projects that you can use as supplements to your podcast or a separate existing product.

So, what can you sell apart from merch and premium content?

Online courses

Create an online course or try hosting events guides, how-to’s, and workshops can offer listeners valuable insights into your practice. Promote your online courses during a podcast episode, aiming to dive deeper into favorite topics via pre-recorded content or live events.

Services

Try public speaking gigs. Offer you skills in editing, freelance writing, researching a topic, or providing expert podcasting advice. You can even guest host or offer cameos in different media to diversify your fanbase and share the audience of other podcasters.

Products

To make money with podcast products, create items like themed books, youtube videos, OSTs straight from your music assets, and other authorial pieces. Any digital asset that connects to your podcast will pull in eager listeners that can’t wait for a new release.

Promote your products, services, or courses throughout your podcast feed, descriptions, newsletters, show notes, and on-air promotion.

Try Donations and Collecting Tips

Relying on tips and donations is a tried and true way how to get paid for podcast work, but you have to sell your authenticity and gratitude to receive altruistic offers.

One way to do this is by promising an increase in the quality of your work and maintaining exclusively free content. Limit on-air ads, increase your audio budget and deliver value to the community.

In 2020, a survey found that 20% of podcast listeners under 55 had previously donated or paid to access a podcast.

You’ll need to establish an easy payment gateway to start advertising for potential donors.

Make money with podcast tips using options like PayPal, Venmo, Ko-Fi, and Buy Me a Coffee – websites with donation options and well-integrated checkout pages.

Reach out with call-to-action incentives prompting listeners to donate – provide direct links to your online wallet, integrate donation buttons in e-mail lists, newsletters, media posts, and descriptions.

Make It Happen Today!

How to Make Money From Podcasts With Sponsorships

Podcast sponsors pay a certain amount depending on episode viewership, in sets of 1,000. Where affiliate marketing follows a cost-per-action model, sponsorships pay based on CPM or cost per mile.

When you’re just starting, your relative CPM could bring a podcast revenue of $20 per 1,000 views, meaning once you jump to 2,000 listeners, your revenue will double to $40.

How do you find podcast sponsors?

Rely on relevant keywords

Use a search engine to research potential keywords near your niche. The ads on SERPs should show you the blogs, articles, and services more open to potential podcast sponsorships.

Look up the business in charge of the marketing content, and see if they offer business-to-business marketing opportunities, including sponsorship deals.

Research your competitors

Look at the podcasts that inspired you in the first place. What sponsors are they advertising? It could be Hello Fresh, Great Courses Plus, or Casper Mattress, among other famous examples of successful marketing ads.

With the success these sponsors have already received, they’re more likely to branch out to a more niche audience.

Look for podcast marketplaces:

Podcast marketplaces, such as Podcorn, can give your work more visibility, but they also invite podcast sponsor competitors. They will connect you to a podcast sponsorship by developing creator and brand collaborations.

Before sending or receiving offers, prepare a summary of your content. Pick audio excerpts and a trailer (even a video version), potential advertising ideas, and a closer look at your analytics, target niche, and the authority of your content.

Podcast Advertising Networks

Podcast Advertising Networks

Podcast advertising networks are ad agencies that act as membership platforms – they connect advertisers with podcasters in one convenient place. The business model considers and analyses similar brand identities and shared market audiences to create optimized ad campaigns that fit both parties.

A podcast host has advantages that can potentially ease your workload. They offer custom advertising strategies and provide consulting services, potentially making you more money.

Here are some of the more exclusive podcasting platforms on the market that can give you a sense of what you can aspire for:

Midroll is an advertising juggernaut with plenty of celebrity endorsements to its name. It hosts popular podcasts such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “My Favorite Murder.” Midroll is well-known in the podcasting scene and provides its own exclusive host-read ads.

Megaphone is a Spotify subsidiary. It tries to keep things fresh with dynamic ad integrations and analytic insights. The platform hosts such shows as “Making Sense” and “In The Dark”, among other more entertainment-focused podcasts.

Authentic prides itself on having more brands in podcasting than any other agency. It has more than a decade of experience in top-quality premium content. The platform hosts the now-famous “This American Life” and “The Daily”, to name but a few.

When to Monetize a Podcast?

There’s no hard line regarding how much podcasters need to grow once their flagship series starts making money, but here’s a quick cheat sheet for when to start planning:

It’s unlikely that your first episode will get you to make money podcasting. Try uploading the first couple of episodes in larger batches before gauging your potential audience, and then stick to a schedule.

Time to Make Money!

With podcasting on the rise, you have the potential to explore a wide range of monetization techniques that match the most successful podcasts, audience preferences, and your own personal financial goals.

Advance your podcasting journey with custom merch and premium content, offer a service or product, use crowdfunding or join an advertising network – start getting paid for your next audio masterpiece together with the highest earning podcasts out there.

Make It Happen Today!

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2 comments

  1. Dinamicostudio
    August 28

    I really appreciate your blog post about how to make money with podcasts. I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast and this is a great piece of information for me to have. I also loved reading about how to get sponsors for your podcast. I think that this is a really important step to take if you want to be successful in this industry!

    1. Martha Simmons
      August 29

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your feedback! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful. Stay tuned for more interesting and valuable articles coming soon.

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