So you want to know how to monetize a podcast. As a podcast host, that is probably some pretty important information.
Up until now, you might’ve heard of podcast sponsorships and advertising and wondered if you’ll ever be able to make money podcasting. After all, securing a podcast sponsorship isn’t easy (at least not at first).
But did you know that there are so many different ways to monetize a podcast, and sponsorships are just the tip of the iceberg? When you have a loyal audience, the options for earning money are endless.
Podcast monetization doesn’t have to be a scary topic. So, without further ado, let’s check out all the ways you can earn money from your podcast!
How Do Podcasts Make Money?
Podcasts, like any other media platform, require financial support to thrive. While creating compelling content is essential, finding effective monetization strategies is equally crucial. During your podcasting journey, you can come across direct and indirect ways of podcast monetization, which we have listed below:
- Sponsorships and advertising,
- Paid subscriptions and exclusive content,
- Crowdfunding and donations,
- Repurpose to YouTube,
- Affiliate marketing,
- Live events and workshops,
- Merchandising and eCommerce,
- Courses and e-products.
Now that you know how podcasters make money, let’s dive in a little deeper.
Ways to Monetize a Podcast Directly
Let’s address the elephant in the room – what does it mean to monetize a podcast directly? Essentially, monetizing a podcast directly refers to strategies where revenue is generated directly from the podcast itself.
These methods involve incorporating advertisements, sponsorships, subscriptions, or donations within the podcast content or associated platforms. The income is directly tied to the podcast and its audience. These are some of the direct ways of growing and earning money from a podcast:
Sponsorships and Advertising
One of the primary methods of monetization for podcasts is through sponsorships and advertising. Brands pay to have their products or services mentioned, endorsed, or featured within podcast episodes. The more popular the podcast, the higher the potential revenue from sponsorships.
Sponsorships involve a brand or company financially supporting a podcast in exchange for promotion or acknowledgment. Typically, sponsors pay podcasters a fee to have their brand mentioned or featured in episodes. This can take various forms, including:
|Type of Sponsorship||Description|
|Pre-roll Sponsorship||In pre-roll sponsorships, the advertisement is placed at the beginning of the podcast episode. It is often a short message introducing the sponsor’s brand, product, or service.|
|Mid-roll Sponsorship||Mid-roll sponsorships occur during the podcast episode, usually after a certain amount of content has been covered. The host reads out or plays a pre-recorded ad for the sponsor.|
|Post-roll Sponsorship||Post-roll sponsorships feature advertisements at the end of the podcast episode. This format is less common but can still be used for promotional purposes.|
|Integrated Sponsorship||Integrated sponsorships involve more seamless integration of the sponsor’s brand or product within the podcast content. It could be in the form of a discussion or endorsement by the host(s).|
Apart from sponsorships, podcasters can also generate revenue through traditional advertising. This typically involves partnering with an ad network or platform that connects podcasters with advertisers. Advertisers pay the podcast network, and in turn, the network places the ads within relevant podcasts.
Advertising in podcasts can be either host-read or dynamically inserted:
|Type of Ads||Description|
|Host-read Ads||Host-read ads are typically integrated within the podcast episode and read out by the host. These ads are often personalized and can be improvised, making them more engaging and natural for the audience.|
|Dynamically Inserted Ads||Dynamically inserted ads are pre-recorded advertisements that are inserted into the podcast during post-production. These ads can be tailored to specific audiences based on location, demographic information, or other targeting criteria.|
Ad networks facilitate the process by matching advertisers with suitable podcasts based on the target audience and demographics, maximizing the chances of reaching the right podcast listeners.
Example: Platforms such as Squarespace sponsor many creators on their creative journey. Squarespace gives the people they sponsor the opportunity to express the sponsorship in their own creative way. Usually the ad is a mid-roll sponsorship.
Paid Subscriptions and Exclusive Content
Many podcasters offer exclusive or bonus content to their loyal listeners through paid subscriptions. This could include early access to episodes, ad-free listening, behind-the-scenes content, or access to a members-only community. By providing additional value, podcasters can generate a steady stream of income.
Example: Platforms like Podia offer a space for creators to upload exclusive content for viewers. The viewers have to pay a monthly fee toward their favorite creators if they want to see this monthly content.
Crowdfunding and Donations
Some podcasts rely on the support of their dedicated fan base through crowdfunding platforms or direct donations. Platforms like Patreon allow listeners to contribute financially in exchange for perks such as shoutouts, merchandise, or personalized content. The key is to nurture a strong and engaged community that believes in your podcast’s mission.
Repurpose to YouTube
It’s also possible to earn money from repurposing to podcast networks. One of these networks is, of course, YouTube. YouTube’s content creators earn money from Google AdSense, which might serve as an additional revenue stream for podcasters. Uploading content to YouTube also increases the chances of getting more sponsors and reaching a larger audience, which in turn means more money.
When it comes to old content, you can upload it with either an edited video or simply an illustration. For newer videos, we recommend recording videos as you record the audio.
Ways to Monetize a Podcast Indirectly
And then, of course, there’s the more indirect way of monetization. So what does it mean? Monetizing a podcast indirectly involves generating revenue through avenues that are related to the podcast but not directly embedded within the audio content.
These methods typically leverage the podcast’s influence, audience, or brand to drive revenue through external means. Examples of indirect monetization include affiliate marketing, live events, workshops, merchandise sales, or e-commerce ventures. Let’s take a deeper look at them as well:
Podcasters can generate revenue through affiliate marketing by promoting products or services relevant to their audience. By including unique referral codes or affiliate links in their show notes or descriptions, podcasters earn a commission for each sale or lead generated through their platform. You can also include an affiliate link on your social media platforms and earn money in this way.
Example: If you’re podcasting about fashion, you can use affiliate links from shops like Zara. If your listeners use your affiliate link, then you can get a small commission on the purchase.
Live Events and Workshops
Hosting live events, workshops, or meetups can be a lucrative avenue for podcast monetization. These events allow podcasters to connect with their audience in person while offering premium experiences, such as exclusive access, merchandise, or VIP meet-and-greets.
Example: Tony Robbins does many live events and workshops on the topic of personal development. If you’re not afraid of talking live in front of a larger audience, then hosting these types of events could bring you a great income.
Merchandising and E-commerce
Developing and selling podcast merchandise, such as branded t-shirts, mugs, or stickers, can be a fun and profitable venture. Additionally, setting up an e-commerce store to sell products that align with your podcast’s niche can help diversify your revenue streams.
Example: Many podcasters sell physical products during a presale. That way, they can guess how many products they need to produce in order to sell out. You can design your merch even on platforms like Canva, and sell directly on Etsy.
Another indirect way of earning money from a podcast is offering coaching services. If you think that your podcast listeners would benefit from getting 1:1 coaching with you, then by all means go for it! Coaching can include personal development and finance, as well as health topics and others. You can also coach others on confident speaking, or gaining confidence for speaking out.
Example: Famous YouTube podcaster Hamza used to offer 1:1 coaching to men when he first started his YouTube podcast journey. You can follow in his footsteps and offer 1:1 talks about the topic which you think is the most useful for your audience.
Courses and e-products
Last but not least, a great way to earn money indirectly is to offer courses and e-products. These can include courses on the theme of your podcast, or e-products such as e-books, templates, and so on.
Example: Many YouTube podcasters create courses on their channel topics. Sorelle Amore, who’s a podcaster on YouTube, has created many courses and e-products that her viewers can buy on her website. The courses are photography and finance related — both of these niches are represented on her channels.
Perhaps, you haven’t started your podcast and you’re not sure yet what your podcast is going to be about, and that’s totally ok. Did you know that with our podcast name generator, finding your podcast name and niche is much easier?
Monetizing a podcast and achieving success requires careful planning, dedication, and a deep understanding of your target audience. Here are some key takeaways:
- Sponsorships and advertising can provide a steady income stream for your podcast.
- Paid subscriptions and premium content offer an opportunity to cater to your most loyal fans.
- Crowdfunding and donations rely on cultivating a strong and engaged community.
- Affiliate marketing can be an effective way to monetize your podcast indirectly.
- Live events, workshops, and merchandising add additional revenue streams while fostering a deeper connection with your audience.