A podcast can make money by implementing various monetising options such as sponsorship deals, advertising, hosting options and donations. The amount a podcast can make will depend on audience size with major podcasters such as Joe Rogan signing deals worth $100 million.
The advent of the internet has brought with it so many amazing new ways to share information and opinions, but none have been more popular and accommodating in recent years than podcast.
The thought of having what is essentially your own mini-radio show is something so unique that many are drawn to it as the best way to express themselves online. Whether it be film, music, politics, etc., if you can dream it, there’s a podcast out there for you, and if there isn’t, you can just make your own!
They’ve become so popular in fact, that some people have even made a living out of hosting a podcast. But how did they, and more importantly, how can you monetise your podcast so that you too can turn it into a profession?
Well, it’s a little more complicated than just slapping some advertisements in front of your show, so here’s a guide on how to monetise your podcast.
Choosing a Platform to Host Your Podcast On
There are a multitude of different ways to monetise a podcast, and the large majority of them depend on what platform you’re posting your podcast episodes to.
Your best bet will be to post your podcast to a variety of platforms. This way your podcast will get the most exposure, and you’ll also be able to maximise income.
Of course, if you choose to earn income by locking the podcast behind a paid membership service such as Patreon, you then can’t upload those same podcasts to YouTube for free. So, you need to find your niche, and commit to that niche and that niche only.
Traditional “CPM’ Based Ads
By far the most common, simple, and effective way of monetising your podcast is to take part in a CPM based advertisement system.
If you’re unaware of what this means, essentially, the platform that you choose to post your episodes on will place an advertisement in front of, or during, your podcast; every time someone clicks on your podcast, that ad will play, and you will earn a teeny-tiny but of money.
Depending on what platform you post on will depend on how much you earn per view, as different sites take their cuts, but the average is around $0.15-$0.18 (£0.11-£0.13).
This may not sound like a lot, but if you get roughly 10,000 views/listens on just one episode, that’s a minimum of $150 (£108).
This sort of monetisation system works on platforms such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer, Apple Podcasts, etc.
If you think this is the option for you, there are plenty of tutorials out there on the internet showing you exactly how you go about setting it up.
Instead of letting any ol’ company advertise in front of your podcast, how about choosing a specific company you’d like to work with?
Sponsorships are great ways to monetise a podcast.
The biggest benefit of this method of monetisation is that there is a chance to form a long-lasting relationship with a sponsor; this will make them want to continue to sponsor your podcast, bringing you in more money every time.
Most sponsors will usually have you link their service/product on your page, and ordinarily, you’ll get a certain percentage for any money that the sponsor makes through direct traffic from your page.
It’s an all-around win! However, these sorts of relationships are not guaranteed, unlike CPM based ads. It’s definitely more of a gamble, but it certainly pays off if you are successful.
We previously mentioned membership services such as Patreon, but let’s explore this concept in a little more detail.
Membership services are another solid way of guaranteeing a steady income. They work by setting up a paywall whereby viewers have to pay a certain amount per month/week to access the content you upload.
You can set this paywall as low/high as you wish, which is far better than the unpredictability of CPM based advertisements. These services also allow you to post additional exclusive content which is a better incentive for fans to pay for membership!
A lot of people turn their heads in the other direction when they hear the words “ask for donations”, fearing that they’re going to be labelled as desperate and greedy, but there is really no need. Asking for donations from fans should not be a taboo subject!
If you choose not to pursue any of the previously mentioned methods, then asking for donations is perfectly fine! If you come across well in your podcast, you have a good level of interaction with your fanbase, and above all else, you’re deserving of donations, then you shouldn’t feel any shame in taking them!
Now, if you were to ask for donations on top of charging a membership fee, then this might be perceived as being a bit greedy; you shouldn’t be asking for more cash on top of an ongoing subscription.
Of course, if a fan insists then that’s completely up to them, but you shouldn’t openly ask your fans for more money on top of a standard subscription service.
The same goes for CPM based ads. If a fan wishes to make a donation, then that’s their decision.
The best way to receive donations directly from your fans to link a PayPal or Vimeo account to your podcast page. This makes the transactions, safe, secure, and so that they aren’t going through other unnecessary services which may take a large chunk of the cash away.
Which Option Should I Choose?
Unfortunately, there’s no universal answer to this question.
A lot of it comes down to personal preference and the branding of your podcast as a whole. Some methods may maximise profit but limit the exposure of your podcast, and some may not be possible based on the platform you choose to post on.
Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so pick wisely and experiment!