Different Ways to Make Money with Your Podcast

don’t put all your revenue eggs in one basket

You spend a lot of time on your podcast, wouldn’t it be nice to make some money doing it? So, what are your options? Believe it or not, there are several ways to make money podcasting, you can even do multiple things. What you choose is really dependent on your personal podcast goals. Today we’ll review ways to monetize your show so you can determine what works for you.

Here’s what we’re talking about today…

  • When can you start making money with your podcast?
  • 8 different ways you make money podcasting
  • How to get started earning revenue

keep more of your money!

Here are some great ways to avoid podcasting pitfalls causing you to lose time and money.

Sunny Gault | Podcast Coach and Mentor | Independent Podcast Network

Episode Transcript

You spend a lot of time on your podcast? Wouldn’t it be nice to make some money doing it? So what are your options? Believe it or not, there are several ways you can make money podcasting. You can even do multiple things, be creative. What you choose is really dependent on your personal podcast goals. Today, we’ll review ways to monetize your show, so you can determine what works best for you. Take it away, Mister radio man. Podcast Your Business.

Hello, everybody. And welcome to the show. This is Podcast Your Business. And I am your host, I’m Sunny Gault. I am a podcast coach, and I’m a mentor. I’ve been podcasting for a really long time about 17 years. I’m the founder and CEO of Independent Podcast Network, please visit our website at https://independentpodcast.network. Because we’ve got a ton of free content for you guys. If you’re brand new to podcasting, or you’re just trying to up your game, there are just a ton of free items that you can check out. So be sure to do that. But today, I am here to help you create amazing podcasts specifically for your business. But even if you don’t have a podcast that’s connected to your business, you’re gonna get a lot out of today’s episode. And we do this meaning we create amazing podcasts by mastering the five P’s of podcasting. That’s right, the five P’s of podcasting: prep, plan, produce, promote and profit. And I talked about all five peas in the first ever podcasting course that I launched online that is available on the website as well, if you want to check it out. And in each of these episodes for Podcast Your Business, we focus on a different p. So Mr. radio man, what are we talking about today? Profit.

I love it when he says that. So we haven’t actually talked about profit in a while I was going back into older episodes, I’m like, Well, yeah, we got to talk about making some money, right, and making money and definitely falls into the profit side of podcasting. My goal today is just to get everybody thinking outside the box when it comes to how do I make money with my show? I think a lot of times we think about advertisers. And that’s not always going to work for every single podcast. But I’m hoping and going over some of these options today. Just maybe something kind of goes off a little bell goes off a little light bulb, whatever metaphor you want to think about. And that you think, Oh, well with my podcasts, maybe I could do this. Or maybe I could sell things that way. So here’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode. First of all, we’re going to talk about when you can start making money with your podcast, my answer to that might surprise you, then we’ll explore eight different ways you can make money podcasting, I have experience with almost all of these, there’s a couple of them like and I tried, and it didn’t quite work for me. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for your show. But we’ll get into all of that. And the last thing we’re going to talk about is how to get started earning revenue and some of the things that you should consider before you dabble into all of this, okay? And we’ll get right started, right started, how about get started right? Up to this quick break. I believe all podcasters can make money with their podcast. And it’s not just about the size of your audience. It’s really about the quality of your audience. And you also have to figure out the best way for your show to make money. As I mentioned earlier, everyone just jumps to the whole, let me find advertisers for my podcast. And that may not be what you want to do, especially for those of you who have a podcast that’s connected to your business. So let’s dive into this.

Okay. The first question is, When can you start making money with your podcast? Now, or if you haven’t launched your podcast yet? Let me let me clarify, you have to launch your podcast first. Then after you launch your podcast, you can make money from day one. I know I’ve stressed that on the show before. Now you may need to do some prep work, including figuring out what monetization option or multiple options work best for your podcast. But I want all of you now if you haven’t done this before, I want you to think of your podcast as a business. In order for businesses to survive, they have to make money. So don’t even view it as an optional thing. If you’re serious about this, consider it either part of your business or a separate business, either of which has to make money in order to survive. A question is, how are you going to make money with your podcast and I’ve narrowed this down to eight ways. But there’s really infinite ways so I just want to get the grease the wheels in your brain right now and just get you thinking about what’s already out there. And then hopefully, you can come up with more options. 100 different ways to make money with your podcast, but every podcast is a little bit different. So let’s go over the 800 pound gorilla in the room. And let’s talk about advertisers first because they know what’s on everybody’s mind.

And I’m gonna break this down into two different categories, we have direct sales. So that’s working directly with advertisers. And we also have something called programmatic, which you’re not working directly with the advertisers. But you enable ads to be in your show. And they’re usually more generic ads, right, you hear him on a lot of different podcasts, and usually make a little less money doing programmatic. But first, let’s talk about direct sales. Again, direct sales is working with the advertiser, so they know that they’re advertising on your show, usually, there’s some sort of campaign order that’s involved, you either reach out to them, or they reached out to you really doesn’t matter. Usually, if you have at least 5000 downloads per month for your podcast, or I would say, maybe 500 downloads per episode, that’s when you can start working with advertisers on your own. Or you can actually work with my company IPN, because this is something we specialize in, is working with small to medium sized podcasts who they can’t quite go to a regular agency. So we do some creative types of campaigns where we combine podcasts. So maybe the campaign isn’t just your podcast, but we combine that with a few other podcasts. And, you know, therefore, we’ve got enough downloads to be of interest to an advertiser. So we do some interesting things that IPN. But you can also do that on your own. If you’ve got the time, it can be very involved, but you can do it on your own starting with about 5000 downloads per month for your entire podcast. If you have 20,000 downloads per month, or about 10,000 downloads per episode, that’s when you can start working with the bigger ad agencies. That’s a huge discrepancy between the two, right, which is another reason why my company IPN has chose to tackle this issue because there’s so many podcasts that are amazing out there that aren’t getting 20,000 downloads per month. Needless to say, that’s kind of where the industry is right now. So that’s direct sales. Now let’s talk about programmatic. These are automatic ads that are placed on shows and it’s usually according to the shows demographic, whatever the brand wants, oh, my demographic is women between the ages of 45 and 55. Right. So then the ad is going to go out, it’s more of a general ad. You don’t have to voice the ad or anything like that just goes out on your show. And it usually happens instantaneously if you’re part of any of those programs. So those are dependent on your podcast host provider, sometimes podcast host providers have that service, you can just ask them for programmatic ads, do you offer anything like that? And they’ll be able to tell you yes or no. Sometimes there’s a download minimum. But I will say we partner with megaphone. So if we help find ads for your show, then that’s the platform you’d probably be on. And they don’t have any kind of minimum, as long as you’re on megaphone, you can opt into their program. You can also this may be the case with other podcast host providers, I’m not sure. But you may also be able to exclude certain types of advertising categories. So let’s say Yeah, I’m okay with those kinds of general ads. But I don’t want anything about drugs or sex or something like that, that just doesn’t fit with my audience. So you can take out those whole categories. You can’t take out a specific advertiser, like you can’t say, oh, I don’t want to work with Bud Light. But I do want to work with Heineken. Like that doesn’t work. It’s all or nothing, either you’re doing alcohol, or you’re not doing alcohol. So that’s programmatic ads. And I do like to use programmatic ads as a way for podcasters to get in to having ads on their shows kind of like a starter. Because again, usually, there’s no download minimum, so you can get started right away. And then this is also about allowing your audience to hear ads in your show. So they’re not so shocked when an ad comes out that hopefully is direct sales. Does that make sense? You’re kind of warming them up. Think of it as like, you’re like the pre show to the big show. And trust me, it really does help. So those are the first two options. Okay, we have direct sales ads, working with advertisers. And we also have programmatic ads.

Next, let’s talk about affiliate marketing. And you probably could lump this in with advertisers. But this is just a more general approach to working with advertisers. Again, this is something that can be done on day one. It’s easier to do this when you have dynamic ad insertion, which I’m not going to go into today. But that’s the ability to add ads to your podcast through technology as opposed to editing them in or seeing them live into your show. So that’s a whole other technology. But that’s really easy to do with affiliate marketing, because you can take them out whenever you want. And I have seen more brands moving in this direction. So simply due to the economy, right now, podcasting is in a little bit of a slump when it comes to direct sales campaigns. So what a lot of brands are doing is they’re saying, we’re not ready to just offer you money upfront, but we can work with you in some sort of an affiliate capacity. And I say, take those opportunities when they come your way. Because you just don’t know, right? The market is a little volatile. Right now, the two main companies that kind of do affiliate advertising for a bunch of different like smaller companies and brands, the two main ones that you can join are Share-a-sale, so just Google these, or Commission Junction, those are the two big ones. So brands will work with those companies, that’s basically the middleman. So then you join those sites, and then you get access to do affiliate deals for a whole bunch of companies, as opposed to you going to individual companies and trying to set up something on your own. Now I’ve done that, too. There have been brands that I’ve been very passionate about that I use in my house, you know, for my parenting shows. So they’re different products that I use as a parent. And I have just outreach to the company and set up something just for us. And sometimes they do that. So it’s worth reaching out to the brands that you love to become some sort of an ambassador. So that’s number three, that’s affiliate marketing.

Number four, and this, I’m specifically talking to people out there that have a business that’s connected to their podcast, sell your own products and services, please, that is going to be the easiest way for you guys to make money, podcasting. So you can have physical products, you can have digital products, I mean, you may have something physical that you’re trying to sell in a store, right? You may have, um, there’s a ton of different digital products, you could do webinars, you can do courses, you can do books, I guess that could be physical, or digital. And this can also help you get clients. So regardless of whatever you’re podcasting about, maybe you do one on one coaching, maybe it’s group coaching, whatever it is, use your podcast as a way to promote how good you are and how much of an expert you are in whatever field that you’re an expert in. In fact, we did a podcast episode not too long ago about how to promote your business within your podcast. So if that is you go back and listen to that episode. And they give a lot of tips on how to naturally do that. So it doesn’t turn into a giant infomercial. But if you have a business that’s tied to your podcast, please, please make selling your own products and services a priority even before working with advertisers. Because you are the best person to sell your product because hopefully you’re passionate about it. And that comes through in your podcast, right?

All right, next option is subscriptions. And I’m gonna lump this into creating a community. They’re a little bit different, but sometimes they’re kind of combined. So hopefully that makes a little bit of sense. Subscriptions simply are someone has to pay to get some additional content or be part of your podcast community. Okay, some of the things that you can offer are ad free content. So if you are doing, especially this is so easy to do with dynamic ads, it’s another reason that I really promote doing it this way. If you are using dai dynamic ad insertion, it’s really easy to create a separate feed that doesn’t have any of your ads in it. And then you can use that as part of your subscription or for your community. You can also do early releases. So everybody else gets the episode on Wednesday, but for our community, for anyone that’s subscribed, and it’s a member of our community, you get it on Monday. Right. So that’s early release, you can do bonus episodes. And I did this actually with my parenting shows for a while. I didn’t do a whole separate episode. But what I did is after each interview, I saved a few of the questions with our experts, I save that for the bonus content. So that’s a really easy way to get some bonus content without having to go out of your way and create something special. And then you can just have some sort of a community. So whether that’s a Facebook community or mighty networks, or something like that, where your listeners can congregate and, and chat with each other and just have a good old time. So all of that falls under subscriptions or creating a community. First, I would check with your podcast host provider because a lot of them are creating their own subscription services because that’s how they get more money from you. So see if they offer that type of service. But there are plenty of other options out there. A couple years ago, Apple launched their own podcast subscription. I just looked it up and right now if you guys are curious about that users pay $19.99 per year, and then for the first year you give apple 30% of your earnings and then it’s 15% See the next year and the next year and the next year after that, so they drop it down. Spotify also has a subscription. And honestly, that seems like a better deal, because they only take 5%. And there’s no fee that you have to do every year. supercast is another one you pay per subscriber glo.fm, another one you, you pay per subscriber PLUS credit card fees, things like that. And then you have good old Patreon and a lot of podcasters use Buy Me a Coffee, right. So those are some different options that you can look at. To create some sort of community. Please be mindful of how people are going to access all of this additional bonus content. Because if you’re going to go with Apple Podcasts or Spotify, they’re only going to get that bonus content, if they’re on those platforms. Something like Supercast, glow.fm Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, those are more agnostic when it comes to platforms. So that’s just something to consider if you’re thinking about having some sort of membership.

Okay, next option is merchandise, I’m going to be honest, I have very little experience with creating merchandise for shows. Here’s what I do know, I did launch a podcast and I wanted to create some merchandise for it just to kind of go through the motions to see if I could launch something and you know, everything that was needed in order to do it, I have found that it’s very easy to create merch, because you can get some amazing designs on Fiverr. And sites like that, it’s a lot harder to get people to actually buy it. And you’re probably going to have to have some sort of an account with shopify.com. And that can be $39 per month plus credit card fees for any transactions, you really have to be dedicated to it. So I wouldn’t recommend creating merchandise until you have a really nice following for your show. You need some groupies.

Okay, next events. Now that may seem like a huge undertaking, and it certainly can be if you host your own event. So those could be meetups and stuff like that. You don’t have to make it this, you know, ginormous rent out like, you know a stadium kind of thing. But another thing to think about is joining somebody else’s event. Think about the topics that you talk about on your podcast. Are there other live events that could tie into that maybe you can get some gigs being a moderator going to these events, interviewing people on the floor, I made a whole pitch one time for it was a an expo for like babies and kids and pregnancy stuff. And I remember writing up a proposal for one of the biggest ones in the US one of these big expos to just be there person that went around and interviewed people. And then they could have the content and put it wherever they wanted to. So that’s what I’m talking about, start to think outside of the box on how you can use your podcast to make you money.

Another option is just to ask for donations. So we call that listener support. Because that sounds better than saying give me some money. So you can just ask your listeners to donate, I would keep this really simple. Create some sort of easy link, whether that’s Pay Pal, or whatever service that you want to use. And just include it in your description, say it off the top of your show, this does work. In fact, if you do that, if that feels more comfortable for you than any of these other options we’re talking about, I would just be really honest with your audience and say, You know what, we thought about doing advertising, we thought about doing a community we thought about doing all this extra stuff. But instead we’re coming to you, our audience just to say, can you donate so we can keep the show going week after week. Honesty is definitely the best policy when you’re dealing with a podcast audience because they’re very savvy.

And there’s also what I like to call “non-trackable” ways to make money with your podcast. And what I mean by that is sometimes it’s really easy to tell, oh, I promoted my course. And then they bought my course. And it’s really easy to show, you know that that happen. Because of your podcast, there’s going to be other opportunities that you have, that your podcast gives you that you may not make money initially. But it leads to other things. And it all comes back to you doing a podcast. For example, let’s say someone hears your podcast and says, Oh, you’d be amazing at this gig that I’ve got coming up this event, but they don’t pay you to do the event, you decide to do the event anyways. And when you are at the event, you meet XYZ partner, which leads to this whole other venture that brings you $50,000. And all of that was because you started a podcast because it had your voice not been out there, that person wouldn’t have heard you, you wouldn’t have gotten the gig, and then the project would have never happened. So consider all of that as well. And hopefully, now that I’ve given you some ideas, your brain is just going wild with different ways you can make money with your show.

Now let’s talk about how do you get started with all of this. First of all, do some brainstorming, come up with some other options, and then pick some options that are going to work best For you and your podcast, you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket. In fact, I recommend you don’t do that. So if you’re going to do advertising, maybe combine that with something else, and think about what is going to work for you what’s going to work for your audience. Then once you have some of those options, I want you to set some goals and timelines for implementation. Because you know how this goes, you have an idea, and then it gets put on the backburner and put on the backburner? You know, you need to make a priority for this. So set some goals and a timeline for when you’re going to launch these options. As you’re launching, tell your audience what you’re doing. It’s okay to say, Hey, guys, coming up next month, we’re going to start to work with advertisers. So you’re going to hear some ads in the show, this is how we cover our costs, we’re going to try to find advertisers that we think you guys are going to enjoy. If there was anything that you don’t like, feel free to reach out to us, just bring them along for the ride. Because if you don’t have an audience, you don’t really have a podcast. And finally, be sure to stay consistent with releasing your podcast as you’re testing out these different options. For example, if you’re working with advertisers, you have to have a release schedule. And you have to commit to that release schedule, because they want to see episodes are coming out, people are listening, you’re meeting your impressions, and all of that good stuff. Plus, if you ever want to switch up your advertising options, let’s say you start to work with advertisers. And then you realize that maybe I don’t really want to do that maybe that’s not quite working with our listeners, we’re going to switch things up and go to a subscription model. In order to compare the two and their effectiveness. Your release schedule is going to become super duper important if you released weekly when you were working with advertisers. And then suddenly you dropped off to every other week with subscriptions. That’s comparing apples to oranges. So stay consistent with the release of your podcast. All right, we got some freebies coming up. But first, a quick commercial break.

So, I hope you guys have some great ideas now on how you can make money with your show. And I’ve got a great handout that goes hand in hand with this. It’s called “Six Huge Money Mistakes Podcasters Make. Not only do we want to make money with our podcast, but we also don’t want to make silly mistakes that take money out of our pocket. So I encourage you guys to download this. It’s a free PDF. It’s just a couple of pages. And you don’t even have to give me your email address, just click on the link and download it from there. Also, we have made a bunch of changes to our website at https://independentpodcast.network, including that brand new course that is coming out this week. That is all about how to incorporate ads in your show. It is awesome. You guys I’ve been working on this for the last few months. I encourage you guys to check that out. That is coming out….I believe it’s this Wednesday. And so again, completely free on the website, https://independentpodcast.network. Until next week, remember, podcasts are awesome!

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