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How to Monetise Your Podcast (Ultimate Guide)

How to monetize

Published 6/10/2024 by Babalola Alabi

You’ve probably started or are planning to start podcasting and you’re wondering, “How can I monetise my podcast and turn it into a money-making machine?”. Luckily, you’re reading the right article.

Podcast monetisation is a great way of making income; after all, you’re either entertaining listeners or giving out some amazing information, and you deserve a reward for that.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about podcast monetisation, and how to make money on your podcast. We’ll also be answering pressing questions regarding podcast monetisation. So, stay relaxed and let’s begin!

How Much do Podcasters Make?

The amount of money podcasters make from their podcasts depends on several factors, like the number of downloads, the chosen podcast revenue strategy, sponsorships and so on. Frankly, most podcasters make $0 especially when these factors don’t go the right way for them. On the other hand, several other podcasters make tons of money from podcasting.

For example, the U.S. number one podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, makes roughly over $100,000 per podcast episode. Reports have also indicated that he was paid over $200 million by Spotify to create podcast episodes on the platform exclusively. The point here is that podcasting is an amazing way to make money, but the amount you’ll get depends solely on the growth of your podcast and other factors.

How do Podcasts Make Money?

Podcasts make money directly or indirectly, depending on the strategy used. The direct method involves monetization strategies where you directly earn revenue from your audience or sponsors without intermediaries. On the other hand, the indirect method involves generating revenue indirectly through means other than direct listener support or sponsorships.

How to Monetise Your Podcast Directly

Here are some of the proven ways to monetise your podcast directly. You can choose the ones that are best fit for you and your podcast.

1. Accept donations from listeners

One of the easiest ways to make money podcasting is by asking for money. It is as simple as setting up a PayPal or Stripe account and adding the necessary details and some written content to a landing page or your website. Several podcast fans are ready to donate a few bucks to their favourite podcasters and if you are on their list, then it’s your lucky day. You must be authentic, especially with the website content and calls-to-action. Keep it simple and let people know where their money is going. If it’s supporting the podcast and create more quality content, let them know. An example is Night Vale’s donation page.

Night Vale’s donation page

2. Set up membership tier packages

Paid membership packages have been in existence and are one of the most common ways to earn money while podcasting. Upon payment, members get access to exclusive content and other interesting add-ons in private groups.

Although Patreon has been the leading platform for this podcast monetization strategy, there are more options that help you control your group and share content better. Each membership tier must contain unique features and be worth the payment, all of which are displayed on your website or landing page. You can make loads of cash depending on the amount charged and the number of people subscribed to any tier. A perfect example is Radiolab’s membership page.

Radiolab's membership page.

3. Sell exclusive content

Another way you can make money podcasting is by selling exclusive content. Aside from the normal podcast episode, you’re creating special content for people who paid for it. Such content could include extra minutes with your guest, unedited behind-the-scenes of each podcast episode, extra exclusive content and so on. A perfect example is the exclusive content from the Dropout Podcast called “Drunk Episode,” hosted by Zach and his best friend Jared.

Dropouts Podcast premium subscription page

4. Sponsorships and Ads

You’ve probably heard a podcast where the host says, “This podcast episode is brought to you (or sponsored) by [company name]. [Company name] is a…” That right there is called a sponsorship. In this case, a company signs a deal with you in which the amount collected is most likely dependent on the number of listeners on that episode or some other conditions. All you have to do is promote the sponsor at the beginning, midway or end of your podcast, depending on the contract.

5. Add a paywall to your back catalogue

If your back catalogue or old podcast episodes contain some juicy information that is worth placing a price on, you can leverage that to make some money from your podcast. What’s left for you to do is tell your listeners to refer back to those episodes to get a better understanding of whatever topic you’re talking about. This can also be added as part of your premium membership package for your podcast.

How to Monetise Your Podcast Indirectly

1. Sell Podcast Merchs

The way fans love their favourite celebrity is similar to how they love their favourite podcaster. Fans want to get closer to their favourite people in one way or the other and will go as far as buying different merchandise to feel the closeness with them. If you have a large fanbase, you can leverage creating and selling customised merchandise to your fans to generate money. The Joe Rogan Experience, Dropout Podcasts and some other popular podcasts have merch they sell to their fans.

2. Sell an e-course or access to the e-course

If your podcast is all about educational and informational content, then this is specifically for you. After doing the talk on your podcast, you can inform your audience to get more information regarding the topic you are talking about by paying for access to or buying your online course. Giving them access to the course involves placing a compulsory stipend on the e-course monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly, which will be accessible only after payment. It’s just like subscribing to Netflix! You can either host the e-course on your website or use third-party platforms like Coursera and Udemy. An example is Omar Zenhom’s $100 MBA Course.

Omar Zenhom’s e-course landing page

3. Sell consulting or coaching services

If you’re a professional in your field and your podcast content revolves around your profession, you can offer services related to it. Typically, podcasting gives you the edge to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and when people know how good you are, it becomes easy to sell to them.

4. Affiliate marketing

Some companies run affiliate campaigns where you earn a commission every time you refer someone to their product or service via your unique link. If you have numerous podcast listeners, you can easily refer them to it and earn tons of money depending on their response rate. A perfect example is Audible’s partner program, from which you earn $15 every time someone signs up for their service using your link.

Branding, Marketing and Promotion Strategies to Boost Podcast Monetization

There are over 5 million podcasts out there and it’s not easy to stand out in the noise without having a strategy. If you’re serious about getting the best from podcasting, you have to invest your time and money in it to make it work effectively. Here are some strategies to follow to help you stay unique in the podcast industry.

1. Define your brand identity

Your brand identity is what makes your brand unique. It involves identifying your niche and audience, choosing a tone, style and format of content and establishing a brand voice (how you communicate with your audience). Ensure your brand identity shines through every podcast episode.

2. Create appealing visuals

Your podcast visuals are one of the most important aspects of your branding and marketing as a podcaster. Even after choosing a catchy name and working hard to create an amazing podcast, you still need to prove to your audience that your content is worth their time. Your artwork is often the first thing your audience will see; if it’s bad, it’ll affect your podcast. Use simple tools like Canva or hire a professional freelance designer to create quality designs for you.

3. Repurpose your content and add transcriptions

Have you ever been in a bus or noisy environment and seen a video that catches your attention but you scroll past it because there’s no transcription and you can’t listen to the audio at that moment?

That’s what your audience does anytime they come across content like that. Make your content easier to consume. Add captions, transcriptions, show notes and repurpose your content into blogs and videos.

You can use SoundMadeSeen to repurpose your content easily. With just audio or video, you can automatically create long and short-form videos and generate written content like captions, descriptions, show notes and blog content. No complex technicalities at all; all it takes is a few minutes. Sign up now!

The iconic SoundMadeSeen homepage

4. Create a good website

Your podcast needs a website, especially a landing page where your audience can access your old episodes and perform other activities like buying your e-course for your podcast monetization. Also, having a website increases the chance of being visible and discoverable on search engines like Google.

5. Use podcast SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimising a website or online content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages. With podcast SEO, your website and podcast can gain more discoverability and recognition, increased traffic, high rank on search engines for certain keywords and also experience long-term growth and dominance in your niche.

6. Use social media

Social media is one of the cheapest, easiest and most common ways to promote your content. It is capable of reaching millions of people once content is published. However, the best strategy to use here is short-form videos. SoundMadeSeen is a perfect tool to create such videos within a few minutes. You can create shareable content, add great pictures—if you have only audio—or cut your video into short clips easily and faster. You can also add captions, generate written content and control the video editing process on your own with a simple yet effective interface. See for yourself how easy it is to create videos with SoundMadeSeen.

Final Thoughts

Podcasting is an amazing way to make money and even if you’re doing it because you love it, you still deserve some reward for what you’re doing. So, if you’ve not started or you’re still thinking about starting a podcast, give it a go today. Use our ultimate guide to help you throughout the entire process. Also, check out our guide on choosing the right podcast equipment to help you make the right choices for your podcast equipment.

Remember, we’re always rooting for you and your podcast!

Happy podcasting!

FAQs on How to Monetise Your Podcast

Can I earn money from podcasts?

Yes, you can! You can make money from podcasts by accepting donations from listeners, selling exclusive content and through sponsorships and ads. You can also take the indirect approach, like selling an e-course, coaching and consulting services or through affiliate marketing.

How many listeners do you need to monetize a podcast?

There is no precise figure available for this. However, keep in mind that monetizing your podcast is easier with a larger number of listeners, meaning that the more listeners you have, the easier it becomes to monetize your podcast effectively.

How much can I make on a podcast?

There is no exact estimate for this because the amount you earn on a podcast depends on the strategy you are going for, the number of listeners and episode downloads you have among other conditions. For example, if you’re going for sponsorship and ads, you can decide to charge $30 and above per episode for every 1000 listeners or followers. Putting that together with other strategies like selling merchandise and e-courses could skyrocket your podcast revenue.

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