Five Ways To Make Money With Your Podcast
Earning your podcast is certainly a dream for many podcasters. Who would like to make a living from podcasts or earn a decent extra income with them? In today’s article, I will present five ways you can generate income from your podcast. I’ll also go into it when it’s worth it. Have fun.
Five Ways To Make Money With Your Podcast
Here are five ways you can make money from a podcast.
Patreon / Steady
Crowdfunding has become very important in recent years, especially for podcasts. But instead of collecting money once, like with Kickstarter, platforms like Patreon or Steady allow you to generate permanent income with a podcast. Patreon is the most popular because it is based in the US. Here you can register your podcast and define different support levels. These cost different amounts and offer additional rewards for the supporter (here called Patreon). So at the first tier for $1, you could get a simple thank you, while for $5, you already get all the exclusive episodes. This is one of the great secrets of Patreon’s success. It offers people additional complete episodes for money! Many hope users will voluntarily become Patreon, but this rarely works.
But if there are great episode formats only for money, the number of supporters increases significantly. Additional tiers for more money could include merchandising or a mention in the podcast, for example. There are many successful examples of Patreon-funded podcasts. For example, one of my favorite podcasts, Stay Forever. Over 12,000 dollars are currently coming in per month from around 2,200 supporters. That’s very neat. This service does the same thing, even if one convenience feature is missing. Nevertheless, it is a good alternative since the billing is correct according to tax laws, you receive credit notes, and users can pay by direct debit in addition to PayPal and credit card.
A second way to earn good money with podcasts is affiliate marketing. Your link to certain online shops, such as Amazon, and then you get a commission if someone clicks on this link and buys something in this shop. At Amazon, this is between 1 and 12% depending on the product category. Thousands of online shops offer so-called partner programs, i.e. enable affiliate marketing. There are thousands of shops in the affiliate networks AdCell, SuperClix and Belboon. You can register once and then use many of these affiliate programs there. Some large online shops, such as Amazon, operate their affiliate program. It is best if you don’t just advertise products but use them, present them, share experiences, etc. Then the probability is greatest that listeners will click on the affiliate links and buy these products. The affiliate links are in the show notes or the related episode post in your blog.
The more listeners you have, the better advertising works. It also depends heavily on whether you win advertising partners for your podcast. But if you have a large audience and deal with an issue that involves many medium-sized companies, in my experience, you have a good chance of finding advertising customers. Such advertising in a podcast usually consists of a 20-30 second commercial block, which is spoken either by the podcaster himself or by a third party. The former naturally ensures more trust among the listeners. The best thing to do is write to suitable companies and invite them to a podcast interview.
This first contact should be completely non-binding. Only later, when the connection has been established, can one also mention the possibility of advertising. Many podcasters mention the possibility of advertising in the podcast at the beginning of each episode. If there is a potential advertising customer among the listeners, they will find out about it. In general, however, you should only advertise products and services that you stand behind and that fit the podcast. After all, ads are always a bit annoying, and this is where you interrupt the actual content of ads. That should do very well and be interesting for the audience.
Own Digital Products
It becomes more complex with your digital products. This means, for example, your eBook, a video course or an online seminar. Own products make sense, especially if you have made a good name for yourself in the subject area in question. If you are considered an expert, the listeners are much more willing to spend money. It is best to start with a relatively short eBook. Don’t try to write 200 pages right away because you’ll get bogged down very quickly. If the eBook is well received, you can expand it or create other digital products.
Own Physical Products
The high art of making money with podcasts is your physical products. This can be, for example, merchandising products such as T-shirts, but also a printed book, for example. But you have to be very well known and popular for that because only a small part of the audience will spend money on it. You should also be careful and prefer to use on-demand services instead of having 500 t-shirts printed at once. In the end, you may be left sitting on them. For example, Amazon offers print-on-demand books, while Spreadshirt prints t-shirts on demand, mugs, mouse pads and other things.
There are certainly other ways to make money with a podcast. Coaching is one such option, but it doesn’t work in all areas. Consulting is also possible if you work in a B2B area. It depends very much on the topic here.
When Is It Worth Making Money With A Podcast?
That’s a good question that doesn’t have an easy answer. The more listeners/subscribers you have, the more you can earn. With Patreon/Steady, affiliate marketing and your products, you have to consider that only a fraction of the users are willing to spend money. This is often only 5-10%. Of course, it makes a difference whether 5% of 1,000 or 5% of 10,000 listeners click on an affiliate link and buy something. It’s a little different with advertising since it’s about the broad reach (i.e. the number of listeners). But here, too, more is better, although you must have a reasonably homogeneous audience.
In my experience, finding advertisers is much easier when you have listeners interested in the same topic. As a result, the advertising customer has no waste. So it’s better to have 1,000 listeners interested in exactly one podcast topic than 2,000 interested in very different things. For this reason, it is also better to only cover one issue in your podcast and not many different ones. My board games podcast is all about that and not about cars, cooking and movies. In general, however, there is no minimum limit to start with. Installing affiliate links or going on Patreon with 40 listeners is not worth installing. You better take your time and build up a larger audience first. Then you can always start making money later, and it will work.