How I 10x’d My Podcast Revenue

Making Money with Your Podcast

Sometimes in business, you have one of those magical moments. I call them “lightbulb moments”. You’re plugging away at something and then BOOM, the light comes on. The pieces start to align. You’ve figured something out. Something big. This is how I felt when I first started making money with my podcasts. I was working so hard. Then I had my lightbulb moment… and before I knew it, I had 10x’d my podcast revenue.

In this podcast episode, you’ll learn…

  • What’s most important when starting your podcast
  • My personal struggles with making my podcasts profitable
  • The difference between dynamic and baked-in ads
  • How you can easily increase your podcast revenue


Not all podcast host providers are created equal. We recommend Megaphone if you’re serious about making money with your podcast. Check out these video tutorials and step-by-step instructions on how the platform can help you increase your podcast revenue!

Sunny Gault | Podcast Coach and Mentor | Independent Podcast Network
Megaphone: Getting Started with Your Podcast | Independent Podcast Network

Episode Transcript

Sometimes in business, you have one of those magical moments. I call them light bulb moments. You’re plugging away at something and then boom, the light comes on. The pieces start to align. You figured something out something big. That’s how I felt when I first started making money with my podcasts. I was working so hard, then the light bulb moment. And before I knew it, I had 10x My podcast revenue. Want to find out how. Take it away, radio man. Podcast Your Business!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get started. Hey, everyone. Welcome to podcast your business. I’m Sonny Gault. I’m a podcast coach and mentor. And I’ve been podcasting for about 16 years. I’m the founder and CEO of Independent Podcast Network, and I am here to help you create amazing podcasts specifically for your business. And we do this by mastering the Five P’s of Podcasting. Oh, it always sounds better when he says it. Yes, the Five P’s of Podcasting. So this is a concept that I teach in my online course, it’s called “How to Launch Your Profitable Podcast in 30 Days, and everything is divided up into these five P’s. If you can master the five P’s then you’ve got podcasting down flat, okay? The five P’s are prep, plan, produce, promote, and profit. When you prep, you’re doing research for your show, you’re trying to figure out if podcasting is even a good fit for you and your business. When you plan, you’re determining the look and feel for your podcast, produce, you’re creating your content, promote, you’re telling everyone about it, and profit. You’re making money. So radio man, which of the five P’s are we talking about today? Profit. Money, money, money, money, right? Everyone wants to know how to make money with their podcast. So we’re gonna talk about that today. How did I 10x my podcast revenue? It felt like it literally happened overnight. And it can happen for you as well. So after today’s episode, here’s what you’re going to be able to do. First, you’re going to be able to discern and know what’s most important when starting your podcast. Sometimes podcasters are kind of all over the place with metrics, and oh, I should be focused on this, I shouldn’t be focused on that. Really, it’s pretty simple. So I’m gonna give you some things to focus in on in the very beginning. Next, I’m going to share with you my journey of how I finally 10x’d my podcast revenue. And then finally, you’re going to learn how you can do it too. So there’s some tools that you need, and I’m going to give you access to those tools. So let’s take a quick break. And we’ll be right back.

So why should you be concerned with making money for your podcast? Because honestly, there’s a lot of podcasts out there that are not making money, they’re trying A for effort. But they’re basically putting ads on their show and not getting paid for it. You should not do that. By the way, if you have a podcast for your business, don’t just put random ads in your show, we’ll do a whole other episode on that. If you are podcasting for your business, it’s important that your podcast makes money, because your podcast is going to cost money. And just like any other business expense that you would have, you have to justify this, right. It can’t just be this endless money pit that you you know, you just keep putting money into it every month and you know, hope something grows? No, we need to be strategic about this because we’re making business decisions. Unfortunately, what happens with most podcasts is they get all excited and they start their shows, and then the energy starts to wane. And they do what we like to call the business pod fading. Right? It’s like, Oh, I’m gonna do a weekly show. And it’s like, Oh, I’ll do it every two weeks. And before you know it, it’s like once a month, and then once every six months, and then they just fall off the planet. I don’t want that to happen to you. And so that’s why it’s important that you learn how to effectively make money with your podcast.

So let me tell you a little bit of a story. Okay. When I started my podcast, let’s see it was 2012 is when my main podcast actually launched. So I was working on him like six months prior to that. And I knew going into this because I’d worked on other people’s podcasts but as far as launching my own this was kind of my first endeavor. I knew that I was going to create my podcast and tree eat them, like a business. This was not just something fun that I was going to do. I wanted to be able to work from home to raise my kids to have a flexible schedule. So I was really taking a chance here. And so that’s the first thing I always tell people, especially if this is for your business, treat your podcast like a business. And as I started to piece the shows together, you know, the first thing that you think about is like, Oh, well, I want people to listen. And then like every five seconds, you’re like downloading your episode or, you know, checking your stats to see, oh, I have someone in China listening to my show, don’t get me wrong, all of that stuff is pretty cool. But if I had to give you any advice in the beginning, it is to focus on your content, focus on creating amazing content, that people are going to hit the subscribe button and listen to you every time you release a new episode.

Do not be focused on advertisers. I’ve heard so many podcasts out there that are, you know, they’ll do those, like free ads from Spotify playing in their show or whatever. And it just, it ruins the content. And they never get to a point where they could really work with quality advertisers. So in the beginning, I mean, I did not have any advertisers for my show for two years, guys. And I was producing at one point, because I started with three shows. And then I added two more crazy. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, every day of the week day, I was releasing a new episode, this was pretty much a full time job for me. And I still wasn’t really getting paid at all. I was getting a little bit of money from membership fees. But I’m talking like less than 100 bucks a month. But one thing that I did do that was really smart, is I thought about my show format. And I thought about where I would put commercial spots if I was working with an advertiser. And that was an opportunity for me. Because again, treating everything like a business, thinking ahead, thinking about ads, because I came from radio and TV. That’s how programs made money. So I actually had a separate document that I wrote down all the time codes for, and in my particular shows, they were 30 minute episodes, and I had four midroll spots. midroll spots are ads that are placed after your show starts and before it wraps up. Technically, I know that’s a very kind of general description, but that is the description of a mid roll. So I would space them out in my show, maybe we’ll do a whole episode on how to organize commercial spots. But that’s what I did from the very beginning. So I wrote down all these time codes, I didn’t really have the means to be able to, you know, insert any ads at that point. And I didn’t have any advertisers that were interested. But I had it set up. So there was ready to go, when in theory, the advertisers came knocking on my door, right? Because it was bound to happen sooner or later. That’s what I thought. And after a couple of years, I did start to work one on one. With some advertisers, they were very small sponsorships, maybe like $500 I remember the first time I got a $500 check. I nearly freaked out at that! Oh my God, put a payment on my credit card for my podcasting equipment. Right? And I did a few of those. And then, you know, half of this is just it’s just confidence you guys. And the more you sell these ads, and the more confident you feel and the product you’re creating, the easier it gets. But $500 even though that was a milestone for me, $500 was not going to help me create a business focused on my shows, right? I needed a lot more money than that. And then I was introduced to something called dynamic ad insertion. Sometimes it’s abbreviated DAI. Now, this is something that radio and TV has been doing forever, and it was not available to podcasters in the very beginning. Now there are several podcast host providers that provide it. So I learned about it and I was like, Oh my gosh, this may be exactly what I’m looking for.

So let me explain to you what dynamic ad insertion is. Instead of just reading an ad into your show or even recording it separately and physically editing it into your show. It allows you to put what they call “ad markers” in your show. So after you upload your episode you go back in. And then you tell the system where you would want an ad to go if it were available. So if you had an advertiser come to you, and they wanted to start running ads in your show, where would that ad play in your episode, which is really important, because you don’t want you know, someone to just randomly interrupt whatever you’re listening to with some ad, right? It needs to be strategic. So all this is done, electronically, which allows you to take the ad out, which is really important because promo codes expire, links expire. It’s really annoying if you’re a listener, and you’re like, Oh, I’ve got this great coupon code, I’m gonna go to this website, and then you enter. And it’s like, I’m sorry, that’s not a valid promo code, that does not look good for you. It’s a mess. Okay, so if your ads can be taken out, when the campaign is over, you avoid that whole mess. Now, because you have these ad markers in your show, that means you can run an ad, not just on your most recent episode, which is what you would have to do if the ad was baked into your show if you were editing it into your show. But because you just have these markers, you can put the same ad across all of your episodes. So in my case, I’ve been producing my podcast for a couple years already had a great library of material that people were still listening to. So I knew that I could place one ad, in all of those shows, let’s say there were 100 episodes, I could place them in 100 episodes as opposed to one. Now I’m not the best at math, guys. But if an ad goes out on 100 episodes, as opposed to one, you’re gonna make a lot more money. And in my case, literally, I flipped the switch and I 10x my podcast revenue. And here’s the crazy thing, it was the exact same amount of work because I would have created the ad anyway, it was just going out on one podcast as opposed to 100. So how do you make this work for your podcast? I’ll tell you how after the break.

So how do you get started with dynamic ad insertion? This all starts with your podcast host provider, they have to offer dynamic ad insertion, so check with them first. But there was a provider that I’ve been using for a few years now I absolutely love them. I recommend them to anyone on my podcast network that wants to get into making money with their show, and it’s called megaphone, they have incredible tools. And usually megaphone just works with larger podcast networks. But because I have a podcast network, I can get some of the smaller show small to medium sized shows in under our account. And it’s at a fraction of the cost of what megaphone would charge you. And you also don’t have to sign a contract, which is really cool. So with us, the price starts at $50 a month minimum, but it does depend on how many downloads your show gets. But that’s the minimum amount of money. I’m going to include some links in the podcast episode description, guys. And I’ll include some additional information about megaphone because I’ve done some tutorial videos and I’ll show you the behind the scenes because you do have to really like your podcast host provider. And it should have a really good user interface which megaphone does. So I’ll show you some videos like that. And then if you’re interested, there’ll be a link to a form and that form will come directly to me and I’ll reach out to you and see if this is a good fit. Sounds good. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. You guys are awesome. Thanks so much for listening. Until next week, remember… you should start a podcast!

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