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5 Ways to Make Money Podcasting

Many people dream of getting into the podcasting world. Take a look at our tips!

Bryan James

06/28/2022 | By Bryan James

Podcasts have become incredibly popular in recent years, in fact, in 2022, 62% of US consumers listened to audio podcasts — and there’s a good reason for that! Podcasts can be consumed while doing other things, like commuting or housework, which makes them a very practical form of content.

People can learn about new topics that interest them or just be entertained while doing otherwise mundane tasks.

Some people start podcasts just for fun, while others start out with the intention of making money or using a podcast as a promotional tool. Even though many creators don’t start a podcast with the intention of monetizing it directly, if you have a large enough audience, you might want to consider monetizing your podcast.

In this post, you’ll learn 5 different ways to make money podcasting!

Building an audience

The rise in popularity of podcasts is a double-edged sword. While it does mean podcasts have become a mainstream form of content, it also means there’s a lot of competition.

To be able to make money podcasting, your podcast needs to have a strong listenership. Without regular listeners, your podcast won’t be very useful for sponsors or to promote your own business. 

So before even thinking about monetizing your podcast, focus on nurturing a listener base. Make sure you’re providing valuable content that is well produced. 

If you’re having trouble standing out, you may want to consider focusing on smaller niche topics. While niche markets are smaller, competition tends to be smaller as well. 

Podcasting as a promotional tool

Many people start a podcast to promote their work on other channels, increase brand awareness, connect with audiences, or build authority.

Podcasts really shine as a promotional tool, since they let listeners get to know creators and brands better. Regular listeners feel connected to the hosts of the shows they listen to and are more likely to buy from them.

Keep that in mind when thinking about how to monetize your podcast. You don’t necessarily need to directly make money from your podcast; instead, you can use it to promote your other sources of income.

Ways to make money podcasting

If you’ve crafted a successful podcast with a regular and engaged audience, read on to learn 5 ways to monetize your podcast!

1. Sponsors/ads

Getting sponsors is probably the most common way to make money podcasting. It’s reminiscent of traditional TV marketing, where advertisers pay to have their commercials played on the air.

If you have a large enough audience, advertisers will pay you to promote their products and services on your show. 

To promote sponsors, podcast hosts usually read ads throughout their show, and sometimes offer discount codes to encourage listeners to purchase products on a particular site. In 2020, these kinds of ads accounted for 56% of ad revenue for US podcasts.

If you want to work with sponsors, make sure to work with sponsors that make sense for your niche. For example, if you have a sports podcast, you could work with a company that wants to advertise its sports-betting service.

Also, be careful not to read too many ads throughout your podcast, as this could take away from the listener’s experience. 

2. Offer subscriptions

The easiest way to make money podcasting is to charge for it! This is usually done via a subscription model.

If you use a subscription model, it’s still a good idea to release free content for your audience. Many creators release regular episodes of their podcast for free and offer additional, exclusive content behind a paywall.

Other creators release partial episodes of their shows for free, and full episodes for paying subscribers. Alternatively, you could also offer paying subscribers an ad-free version of your show.

There are many ways to charge for your podcast or additional content. Find what makes sense for you, and remember to consider your audience. 

3. Live events

If audiences enjoy listening to your podcast, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t want to see you live.

One way to monetize your podcast is to sell tickets to live in-person or online events. These events could be a live episode of your podcast, or maybe a different kind of show.

Maybe you’re going to have an important guest on your show, or you’re going to give an educational workshop, so why not sell tickets to watch the livestream?

You could also offer a live experience where you engage with your audience, and answer their questions in real time. 

Regardless of the format, selling tickets to live events is a good way to monetize your podcast audience.

4. Sell to your audience

Many creators start podcasts to promote themselves, a product, or a service. Podcasts are a great way to build authority and gain the trust of your audience. 

Fans of a podcast are very qualified leads. Through a podcast, listeners get to know you and your content, which makes buying from you much easier.

This means creators can easily sell to their audiences since they’ve already earned their trust. What you sell to your audience will depend on your niche and audience.

For example, many comedians host podcasts to promote their standup and sell tickets to shows. Creators can also promote their own digital products to their listeners. 

If you don’t have your own digital product, you can use your podcast to promote other people’s products as an affiliate. This will allow you to earn money through affiliate commissions. 

Another option is to sell merchandise. Many fans are happy to buy podcast merchandise to support their favorite shows and let people know what they like. Merchandise usually takes the form of apparel, but you can sell other items and be as creative as you want!

Services like Printful and Printify make it easy for you to create your own merchandise without having to worry about the logistics.

5. Ask for tips/donations

Some creators don’t like charging for their content since they want it to be accessible to everyone. At the very least, releasing your content free guarantees that the highest number of people will be able to see it. 

If you don’t want to directly charge for your content or sell to your audience, one option is to simply ask your listeners for tips or donations. 

It might not be the most guaranteed way to make money podcasting, but you’d be surprised how many listeners happily contribute to their favorite creators. 

If your content is truly valuable and transforms people’s lives, many of them will open up their hearts to thank you. 

Consider your audience

Like anything else in the marketing world, it’s extremely important that you consider the needs and desires of your audience. 

Maybe your buyer persona expects to listen to your podcast for free but will be happy to support your show in other ways, like buying your merch or paying to see you live. 

So no matter what monetization strategy you choose for your podcast, keep your audience in mind. You don’t want to upset your listeners because without them your show is worthless.

Hopefully, you now have some ideas to monetize your podcast. If you still haven’t started a podcast and don’t know where to start, check out this post for a complete tutorial to start your own podcast.