Your podcast is out in the world, and listeners are starting to trickle in. Through learned marketing tactics, maybe you’re even growing momentum quickly. Now the big question: Can you make money as a podcaster? The answer is yes. Whether podcasting is your passion project or a full-time gig, learning how to bring in the bucks could mean more projects in your future. From branded deals and affiliate programs to tiered memberships, merch, and more, read on for five ways to monetize your podcast.
Secure Sponsored Deals
Sponsorships are one of the most popular methods for generating revenue. Sponsored ads are an effective way for brands to advertise their product or services on your show. You’ve likely heard them at the beginning, middle, and/or end of your favorite podcasts, and they typically sound like this: “This episode is brought to you by [insert brand name].” You can find partners through online ad networks like Midroll or reach out to companies you think would be a good fit for your audience.
Join an Affiliate Marketing Program
You’ve probably heard this term mentioned quite a bit lately—especially in the content creation space. Affiliate marketing is when you earn money each time someone makes a purchase through a unique link or promo code generated just for you. When a listener clicks on the link, that’s commission in your podcast’s pocket. Be sure to include the link or code in your show notes, website, newsletters, and/or social platforms for listeners to easily find when you mention a product or service.
Just remember only to promote products you would use—while monetizing any way you can may sound tempting, quality content and honest recommendations will help you build credibility and trust with your community of listeners.
Start a Subscription-Based Fan Club
Another way to earn money is by creating paid membership tiers with access to exclusive content like bonus episodes, mini-episodes, Q&As, live recorded shows, early ad-free shows, free or discounted merchandise, private groups, primary entry to pop-up events, and more. Patrons of your podcast will happily pay a small monthly fee for premium perks and entry to your fan club.
Create a Merchandise Shop
Do you have a loyal fan base that can’t get enough of your show? If so, creating swag and limited-edition merchandise like sweatshirts and stickers with your podcast’s logo or a catchphrase is another way to make money—while keeping your audience engaged and connected.
Ask Your Audience for Donations
Another way to monetize your podcast is by simply asking for money—let your listeners know you accept donations and share how their contribution helps support your business. Is it for higher-quality audio equipment? To help cover the cost of future episodes? Be authentic and transparent with your audience, and in return, you might be pleasantly surprised by how many are willing to chip in.