Updated: Mar 30
Podcasts have always been about more than just the content. It’s a medium that allows the listeners to be part of the experience and interact with you as a host. With millions of podcast listeners around the globe, it’s time for those who create podcasts to think about how they can monetise it.
Without further ado, here are some ideas on how to earn a passive income from your podcast, without compromising your content.
What is Podcast Monetisation?
Podcast monetisation is the process of making money from a podcast. This can be done through advertising, sponsorship, affiliate marketing, and more. Because of the new ways in which podcasts are being consumed by listeners, it’s time for podcast creators to explore this medium and use it to make money. It’s also a great way to generate passive income which isn’t so passive!
There are a few different ways to do this, so let’s explore seven of them below.
1.0 Monetise through advertising
The first and most obvious way to monetize a podcast is through advertising. You can offer sponsorships for your show, or run ads during the episodes themselves. Podcasting continues to grow as a medium, and with that growth comes more opportunities for advertisers.
There are many opportunities to advertise as a podcast host as well as the opportunity to work with brands that already have an established relationship with your listeners. You can also work with other podcasters and offer ad time through their shows in exchange for promoting their work.
This passive income option is perfect if you want to dedicate all of your time towards producing high quality content and establishing relationships within the podcast community.
2.0 Monetise through sponsorships
A podcast can be a great way to connect with brands that are relevant to your audience. However, podcasts are more than just an advertising platform. The more of your listeners you get on board with the content, the better your show will become.
When you work with brands who sponsor your podcast, you must remember to be open and honest about how they will benefit from sponsoring your show. Make sure that this partnership is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
Some ways that you can monetise through sponsorships include:
- Advertise your podcast on social media channels
- Offer a product for a discount for anyone who mentions it on the show (e.g, an ebook, special offer)
- Sell merchandise or share products with your audience that you think they might like
3.0 Monetise through Patreon
Patreon allows your listeners to be more than just passive consumers. Your listeners can become contributors and patrons. This is a great way for you to monetise your podcast, while still providing the content that your listeners want.
The idea of crowdfunding has been gaining traction in recent years, and Patreon is just one of many sites that allows creators to get paid by their fans and supporters on a recurring basis.
What’s great about Patreon is that you can set up different levels for rewards, so if someone wants to contribute $10 per month, they can get access to exclusive content or ad-free episodes of your podcast every week. This allows you to give back more than just the content itself.
Patreon also takes care of all of the messy financial aspects involved with running a podcast business. They take care of taxes and they provide additional analytics tools to help you better understand who is supporting you and how they are contributing financially.
4.0 Monetise through membership platform
This is a great way to monetise a podcast that has a community of listeners. Essentially, you create a subscription-based platform for your podcast listeners.
Your listeners get exclusive access to bonus content from the show, and other things like live chats, email responses from the host, and even behind the scenes action.
If you have enough listeners, you can offer monthly or yearly subscriptions for your members. You can also offer monthly or yearly packages that give your members discounts on merchandise or even exclusive items.
Membership platforms offer a wide range of services and content, which can be incentivised with exclusive offers to those who are subscribed to their platform.
The key is getting people to sign up for your membership platform, and that’s where you need to focus on converting your listeners into subscribers. This can be done through listening parties or through using relevant influencers in your industry.
Once you’re able to convert listeners into subscribers, you’ll have access to lots of different features and benefits from the platform. From guides and tutorials that help you grow as a podcaster, to exclusive content for members only, it will keep them coming back for more!
This option might take more work than just monetising through ads, but it allows you to build an even stronger relationship with your consumers and really help them feel like they’re part of something special.
5.0 Monetise with product placement
Product placement in podcasts is not a new thing. Many traditional TV shows have had product placement in their episodes for years. It’s also not unusual to see products in the background of films, especially when they are set in an office environment.
The benefits of this type of sponsorship are that it does not interrupt the flow of your show and it’s very low-cost to get started. You only need to find one or two sponsors who will pay you enough to cover your production costs. Plus, you'll be getting free items for your show!
Product placement is one of the simplest ways to monetise your podcast. It’s a way to make sure that your listeners know where they can find your show and how to make it a part of their day.
For example, if you were to mention Amazon in one of your episodes, it would be easy for someone to go and purchase something on Amazon after listening. And you could earn a commission from each sale as well as an affiliate fee.
Another option is to mention a product that is relevant for the episode and offer listeners a discount code for it. That way, you don’t have to worry about promoting the product yourself and trust that people will remember and use your code!
6.0 Monetising with crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a great way to monetise your podcast. It’s a way to raise money from a large group of people in order to fund a project, product, event, or company. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two of the most popular crowdfunding platforms.
Podcast listeners may be willing to invest in their favorite podcast if they think it will continue to be successful. Or, they may donate because they want you to keep providing them with content.
Some people might be confused about the difference between podcast advertising and crowdfunding.
Podcast advertising is when you advertise your show on your platform and are in charge of selling ads. Podcast crowdfunding is a way to help fund your project by asking for donations from listeners, typically around one dollar. The money comes in a single lump sum, so you don't need to worry about getting paid a percentage of sales like you would with podcast advertising.
One thing to note: Although there might not be an option for sponsorship opportunities with podcast crowdfunding, there is usually an option to add a pay-what-you-want donation button within the show so that anyone who wants to donate can do so. This means that some people will give more than one dollar—which will make it easier for you to reach your financial goals while still making sure the content can stay free.
7.0 Monetising the podcast with affiliate links
The power of podcasts is that they allow the listener to be part of the experience. There is no doubt that you are going to want your listeners to send you their thoughts, questions and feedback on your podcast. One way for you to monetize this engagement is by making it easy for them to do so.
A great way to make this happen is by implementing affiliate links in your podcast episodes. An affiliate link allows your listeners to take an action after listening, such as buying a product or using a service, and then earning a commission if they decide to do so.
One example of this type of strategy could be the following: If someone listens to Episode 1 of your podcast, he will get an email from you asking what he thought about it and what he would like to see in future episodes. In order to make sure that you earn money every time someone takes actions based on what they heard on your show, you could implement an affiliate link in Episode 1 that goes directly into a page where people can buy tickets for upcoming shows with all proceeds going straight back into the show's revenue stream.
Podcasts will continue to grow in popularity and with that, Podcasters need to think about how they can monetise this medium. In this piece, we looked at seven ways one could earn a passive income from their podcast. Just remember - don't let your audience turn on you!
In summary you can monetise your podcast uses various mediums such as:
1) Ask your listeners to donate
2) Sell merchandise
3) Sponsor other podcasts
4) Host a live show
5) Offer paid coaching sessions
6) Sell ad space
7) Participate in product placement
9) Use Patreon’s platform
10) Adopt a subscription model
The list is not exhaustive but we hope the overall article helps you understand that you can successfully monetise your podcast, and the option you choose is based on your own personal circumstances.