In the past, a show would have needed at least five to ten thousand downloads per episode to even be considered advertising. And when that advertising money came in, you’d be lucky if you walked away with a decent profit when everything’s said and done. As podcasting advances, more and more ways of monetizing your podcast are becoming apparent.
A Kickstarter Campaign
Kickstarter is a tool designed to help bring creative projects to life with financial support by ‘the people’. Since 2009, 11 million people have backed projects with a total of $2.4 billion in supporting funds. Though nearly 60% of Kickstarter campaigns fail, there have been some that have been extremely successful. In 2013, Roman Mar’s 99% Invisible Podcast made $375,000 on the platform.
Listener Sponsorship via Patreon
This platform was made to connect creators to sustainable income. Patreon differs from Kickstarter in the sense that it gives podcast listeners the opportunity to ‘sponsor’ shows with a recurring financial commitment rather than one large lump sum. As an example, Tom Merritt’s Daily Tech News Show is currently making nearly $16,000 a month from over 2,500 Patreons.
Offer Premium Packages
Another option is to offer a ‘members only’ paid premium option to listeners. You can hide bonus content, behind the scenes, takeaways, tips and tricks etc. behind a paid subscription. If you can offer enough value and produce enough engaging content, listeners will pay to get access to all the exclusive privileges.
Sell Your Products or Services
Offering listeners a physical product to buy is a great way to add an additional revenue stream. Introduce some branded merchandise on your site like T-shirts, hats, mugs, water bottles, or bracelets. Companies like Printful make this extremely easy to do. Adam Carolla went the distance and introduced his own alcoholic beverage, Mangria which, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from its title, is a ‘Manly Sangria’.
Advertising and Sponsorships
Podcast sponsor advertisements are a sure way to monetize your podcast and build in an additional revenue stream. Once your audience has grown, the next step is to seek out sponsors for your show. You can essentially have multiple sponsors, and select specific shows for each to be featured on. Each sponsor guarantees a consistent income for your podcast, and is a sure fire way to monetize your show. This is also a great way to provide additional value for your listeners, so make sure that your sponsors are aligned with your core values and select them wisely.
Build Your Mailing List
A mailing list is like online business gold. Mailing lists guarantee a captivated audience with eyes on your products and services. Using your podcast to grow your mailing list can ensure that your listeners are subscribed to see any and all promotional material that you provide. This is key for increasing sales when it comes to launching new products or during discount opportunities. Your podcast is an effective communication channel to funnel your listeners back to your business, to ultimately build up your mailing list.
There are several ways to create an extra revenue stream with affiliate sales. You can promote complimentary products to your listeners and receive a commission for each listener that signs up with your affiliate code. Make sure that these products are a value add for your audience. Another way to monetize your podcast with affiliate sales is to partner with your guests and allow your listeners to sign up or purchase their products with your unique affiliate link. Affiliate commissions can also be earned in conjunction with your podcast sponsors; provide your listeners with an affiliate link to purchase products from your sponsors.
Repurpose Content to Sell
Each podcast episode creates valuable content that can be repurposed or combined to create a product. The transcripts of episodes can be compiled to create a book or ebook that can be sold to your listeners to provide valuable insight from each of your guests, all in one place. Episodes can also be turned into full courses, with supplemental workbooks and powerpoints focusing on a specific topic that has been covered in detail. This is a great way to repurpose content and create an additional revenue stream through your podcast.
Host an Event or Webinar
Live events such as a conference or seminar can provide a space for your audience to come together and learn from each other, while also purchasing your products or services. Ticket sales for the event can create an additional revenue stream for your brand and can be promoted through your podcast communication channel. Another great way to sell products is through hosting a webinar online. Your listeners can join in to receive valuable content, which is a great way to create leads for sales of your products. Partnering with other podcasters on these webinars can increase your sales potential by capturing additional viewership from their established audience.
Build Your Brand
Ultimately, a podcast is an essential way for you to build your business and create awareness for your brand. As your listenership grows, the more eyes you will have on your business. Greater traffic will lead to greater sales. Using your podcast as a communication channel to connect with your audience and build a brand loyalty will enable you to expand your reach and sell more products or services. Don’t neglect the opportunity to establish your brand with this essential tool to monetize your business.
As podcasting expands its impact on society, monetizing opportunities increase. There are many more ways to create an income through podcasting today than there was five years ago, and there will be even more as time goes on. If you stay committed and keep providing valuable content for your listeners, you will make money!