Tons of people make money podcasting every day. Some people believe that traditional podcasting that involves only audio will soon be outdated and supplanted by services like Netflix, YouTube, and other video platforms.
At best, podcasting offers a perfect way to share some information or express your passion for a specific hobby with your friends, right?
However, the truth is that the demand for audio content has increased dramatically over the years. These days, the best way to consume content is through a podcast.
This reality means that now is the time, more than ever, to make money podcasting.
The information economy is getting crowded with the best tech, and it’s evident that video has its appeal. But podcasting has its advantages over video content, and podcasting’s recent success shows it.
For instance, you can’t watch a video while at the gym, exercising, or outside. Activities like this make podcasts the most appealing form of information source.
And in general, many people prefer to consume content via audio rather than video or text anyway.
So, what are the most realistic ways people can make money from the podcasting industry? This article will break down some popular options that new podcasters can consider when aiming to make money podcasting.
What Is A Podcast?
Any audio broadcasting available on the web is called a podcast. You can listen to it on the go, while working or while heading to the office.
Unlike a blog post or video, a podcast won’t require all of a listener’s attention. Because of this, it has become a wildly popular method of media consumption.
The demand for podcasts is high, and according to Triton Digital and Edison Research, the number of people listening to podcasts has continuously increased every year.
The research also showed that regular podcast listeners spend five hours every week listening to them. With the number of people listening to podcasts growing, many business owners have noticed their potential as income sources.
Why Are Podcasts So Popular?
Why are podcasts so popular? Well, they are accessible, and anyone can tune in to them without preparation. Anyone can go to a website or use a smartphone and listen right away.
iPhones even come with Apple Podcasts, the premier podcasting platform, pre-downloaded on the device. But if you don’t have an iPhone, other apps like Spotify, Stitcher, RadioPublic, and Luminary are great options.
Podcasts have also gained popularity because they allow you to multitask. When going on a run, doing some dishes, or other activities, they are your best friend.
Podcast episodes also come in various lengths; some are 10-minutes each with a recap of important news for your commute. Some can even last for an hour — perfect for a road trip to keep you entertained.
Possibly the most appealing part of podcasts is that they’re simple to make. The average person can quickly create one from their kitchen, living room, or basement.
When a thought pops in your head, and you feel the need to share it, you can simply take it to your podcast.
Additionally, podcasts are versatile. A study by Podcast Insights from June 2019 showed that there are more than 750,000 different podcasts right now. There is a podcast for everyone.
Every year, the podcasting world draws in more people searching for solutions to their problems. This number should give you the confidence to start a podcast and know that you will build an audience with persistence.
How to Make Money Podcasting
Now that you know what a podcast is and why they’re popular, it’s time to learn how to make money from one. There are a few ways to make money podcasting. Let’s break down the most common methods.
1. Make Money Podcasting with Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, podcasters can promote someone’s service or product and earn a commission. Smaller businesses prefer this strategy to grow because marketers don’t get paid unless they make a sale.
Therefore, they will keep making money regardless of the number of products they sell.
When you want to decide the product that will be an excellent fit for your podcasts, you need first to answer these questions:
- Personal Preference: Would I use this product on my own?
- Product Type: Is this related to my podcast subject?
- Audience: Will my audience appreciate that I am sharing this product with them?
It can be tempting to choose affiliate partnerships that offer massive commissions, but never sacrifice your audience to make quick money.
When you try to sell a product that doesn’t fit your brand, your audience will notice. So, concentrate on finding products that your audience will love so that they can be glad they found the information through you when they take action.
You can boost your affiliate earnings by going beyond working directly with only individuals and businesses by signing up for the Amazon Affiliate program.
This program enables you to share links to any product listed on Amazon. When someone uses that link to make a purchase, you get a percentage of the sale.
The percentage you get from the products compared to the time it takes to get paid can be an issue. Still, when you continuously reference Amazon items on your show notes, you can easily earn some passive cash.
2. Make Money Podcasting By Selling your Products
This approach requires more work than marketing other people’s products since you’ll make the product first. But when you sell a product of your own, you get to enjoy all the profit.
There are a few options to make money by selling your products. You could start an online course, write an ebook related to the subject matter of your podcast, or create cheatsheets that the listeners would find valuable.
Alternatively, you can also offer an exclusive webinar to discuss something in depth that you discussed on your podcast.
Selling products is the most popular choice for most podcasters because your audience will view you as an expert. For example, Rick Mulready teaches people how to use Facebook ads to grow their business through his podcasts.
He also offers an online course that helps his audience implement the strategies that he talks about on his podcast.
Podcasters make the product more valuable for their listeners by offering a more in-depth discussion than they can get from the podcast alone.
Example: Make Money Podcasting Through Selling Your Products
For example, let’s say you spend an hour talking about how someone could start an organic herb garden. You can then consider creating a series of videos that show the step-by-step process or record a downloadable audiobook.
You can also sell merchandise like custom T-shirts, coffee mugs, or stickers. A popular method is to add an inside joke that only your fans will understand.
Doing this will create a sense of exclusivity for your audience. Your fans will love to wear your fantastic podcast swag, and their family and friends will then take notice.
You can also sell products through print-on-demand service. Print-on-demand is where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products (like baseball hats or tote bags). You can then sell them on a per-order basis under your brand with your designs.
In other words, print-on-demand is a method of dropshipping (You can find our full guide on how to start the perfect dropshipping business here). These services will help you make new products, eliminating the need to fulfill orders, ship them, and deal with customer service and returns.
To do this, you’ll need to upload your design, set up an online store, and share the link in your show notes. Remember to ask your audience to subscribe to your email list and offer a free PDF showing what the product will look like before marketing it.
3. Make Money Podcasting By Starting a Consulting Service
When you have a loyal audience that always listens to your podcast, you are an expert of some sort. And since you are an expert in your area, you can offer your insight to anyone in your audience who needs extra help.
Offering coaching or consulting services enables podcasters to help people overcome obstacles in their business or life. Depending on your level of expertise, you can charge between $100 and $1,000 for each session.
Why? Because as soon as one of your listeners implements the strategies you taught them, they will get their investment back in freedom, resources, and time.
The most crucial part of this strategy is to clarify what you are offering to people. Will you share insights for your relationship or marriage, or will you take people behind the scenes? Do you want to assist people in starting their podcasts?
You will also need to be clear about how you will improve your client’s life. Will they make more money, or will you help them save energy and time? How your consulting will transform their life is what brings them to you.
When you decide what type of consulting you will offer, let your audience know that you will start working with them in that capacity.
When people see what you will offer them, they will start looking to you to help them manage their problems.
Lastly, you can also benefit from consulting services through paid speaking gigs. Start looking for live events within your area that focus on your niche and reach out for a chance to be a featured speaker.
4. Make Money Podcasting By Seeking Support from Your Fans
Another way to make money podcasting is to ask for donations from your fans. There are a lot of radio stations such as NPR that have benefited from crowdfunding from their fans.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. This method is becoming increasingly popular in the podcasting world.
To get started, you can try Patreon, a popular fan-funding website. Patreon makes it easy for listeners to support their favorite podcasters. It will take about an hour to create your page and add exclusive bonuses and content for those who donate.
Then, the next step is to promote it on your podcast.
The Liturgists is an example of a podcast that take full advantage of Patreon. They offer premium content to their listeners who have supported their podcast with donations of $1, $5, or $20 every month.
This consistent income has helped them concentrate on making excellent podcast content instead of looking for advertisers. Now, they have more than 5,000 monthly supporters, and the list keeps growing.
About 1-2% of your podcast audience will likely become patrons, and while you might see that as a small figure, it can go a long way. Let’s look at this scenario:
A podcast show goes live every week. If it hits 1,000 downloads per week, the podcaster will make about $80 per month because the standard rate to run ads is $20 for every 1,000 listens.
If only 2% of the same audience size agreed to offer some support for $5 each month, you could earn up to $100 per month. You would make $20 more without finding any advertisers.
Remember to add a PayPal link on your website for your listeners to support the show.
Podcasts offer an outlet that businesses can use to connect with their listeners. The platform’s popularity keeps growing, and research by Infinite Dial found that the number of podcast listeners in the United States stood at 51 million.
This type of content isn’t going anywhere and quickly becoming the premier method to communicate with your audience about various industries and niche topics.
Aside from their popularity, podcasts can turn the most mundane topics into something engaging that people can learn from, which is why they are beneficial for brands and businesses.
Research shows that about 15% of people living in the U.S. listen to a podcast every week. Since the audience keeps growing, there is plenty of room for new podcasters to enter the space confidently.
As a bonus, podcasts can uniquely capture an audience’s attention. According to a Salesforce study, about 3% of listeners will only listen to the introduction of a podcast episode, while a whopping 42% will listen to the entire episode.
You can use a podcast to convey your message to your audience and feel confident that about half of your listeners will listen to the whole show.