Who said there’s no money in podcasting? Whether your audience is large or small, learn five different strategies that you can use to make money from producing your podcast. Get paid to do what you love!
How To Make Money From Your Podcast
Don’t start podcasting expecting to strike it rich and be able to quit your day job–If you’re seeing dollar signs, there are much easier and less stressful ways to try to get rich than through podcasting.
While there have been podcasting success stories, including Leo Laporte, Adam Carolla, and many others, they are the exception, not the rule. While it can happen, there’s certainly no such thing as an overnight success, it can take years of hard work.
Podcast because you want to, because you have to–not for money!
However, there’s certainly nothing wrong with monetizing your production, even just to make your show self supporting to pay for equipment, hosting, and any other associated production costs.
Myth: “You have to have a large audience to be able to make money.”
Having a large audience can help, but it is by no means a necessity; there are multiple ways to monetize (not just advertising), and having a loyal, engaged audience can be more important–quality over quantity.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for donations–you won’t get what you don’t ask for, and some people will be more than willing to pitch in to support the continued production of a show they love and want to see continue. Just don’t be constantly nagging your audience begging for their money.
One way to encourage donations is to give them a shout out thanking them for their contribution, or maybe allowing them to “sponsor” an episode to get a short message read–“this episode is brought to you in part by the generous donation from Joe Schmoe.” For some, hearing their name on your show can be a huge incentive.
You can accept donations through PayPal, which offers tools to create both one-time amount and recurring “subscription” donations.
For an example, here are custom donation buttons from Geek Cred:
$2 / Month
While this is referred to as a donation, unless you are a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, it is not tax deductible!
There are multiple types of advertising:
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
Cost Per Action (CPA)/Cost Per Conversion (CPC)
An advertising campaign is usually limited to a monthly or quarterly time period, and sometimes the impressions may be limited geographically to a target demographic the advertiser is trying to reach, such as people in the United States.
Many advertisers prefer a host-read endorsement, instead of the traditional commercial break playing that slick pre-produced, but impersonal advertising spot, allowing you more creative freedom in your delivery as long as you get the advertiser’s message across.
On a CPM campaign, if you produce a weekly show (4 episodes per month) with 1,000 subscribers, and an at a CPM rate of $25, you will earn $100 per month. But, if your advertiser is trying only trying to reach people in the United States, if only 500 subscribers are located within the target demographic, you might only earn $50 per month. CPM advertising does better with larger audiences, but doesn’t require your subscribers to do anything.
On a CPA or CPC campaign, you only get paid per lead of sale you generate when your audience does something, such as signing up for a service using a unique discount code that tells the advertiser that you referred them. This requires your audience to actually do something for you to get paid, but you don’t need a large audience, but a loyal, engaged audience.
Advertising networks negotiate with advertisers to get their message on many different shows:
If you are on a CPM campaign, the advertiser will want verifiable, third-party download statistics.
Remember: When you join an advertising campaign you are (usually) signing a contract! You need to produce your normal number of episodes.
3. Premium/”Freemium” Content
Much like subscribing to a newspaper or magazine, this requires people to pay a subscription fee for full access. You have to have great–not just good–in demand content. However, most people aren’t willing to pay without a sample–before paying, they want to know that it is worth it.
This is where the “freemium” model comes in, where there’s both a free version, to get people hooked, and a premium version where people can pay to get the full experience. For example, premium members might have access to exclusive bonus or behind the scenes content, or maybe only some episodes are released for free, while other episodes are restricted to premium members.
Don’t make every free episodes seem like a commercial for the premium membership. Only a small percentage of the most hardcore fans (usually 10-20% or less) will pay for a premium membership.
4. Affiliate Links
When someone buys something through your affiliate link, you will receive a small affiliate income, usually a percentage or flat rate. For example, if you click a link in the show notes to buy equipment (such as a microphone or headphones), you are helping support Podcast Perspective. A specially formatted link with a unique identifier tells the vendor (such as Amazon.com) that I sent you.
You don’t have to be a corporate shill, but if you’re already talking about a certain product (for example, the latest video game or the hotest new gadget) include an affiliate link in the show notes, so that when people go to check out that product (or service) you can get an affiliate income.
Popular places for affiliate links:
Chances are, if it’s an online business, they have some sort of an affiliate program!
Use PrettyLink for WordPress to create an easily memorable short code–for example, podcastperspective.com/dreamhost for $25 off a year or more of hosting with DreamHost.
Just remember, full disclosure isn’t just ethical, it’s the law–visit CMP.LY for more information
The show itself is a tool to promote your own products or services and grown your personal brand. Products would include something you sell, whether physical, such as a book or t-shirt, or digital, such as an ebook or tutorial video. Services would include something you do, such as photography, consulting, etc.
Podcast Perspective is itself promotional tool to get out the word about me and my services, including podcast consulting, podcast evaluation, audio production, and voice overs.
Share Your Thoughts!
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Suggestions? I welcome your feedback! Send your written text or recorded audio to [email protected]
or call 424-254-9763, or leave a comment below!
I am available for one on one podcast consulting, podcast evaluation, audio production, and voice over work. I’d love to work with you to make your podcasting dreams a reality. If you’re interested, please contact me!
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