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One of the most common questions from podcasters is, “How do I monetize my podcast?” Our answer may surprise you.
Most people assume the best (and only) way to profit from their show is through advertisements. However, in our experience, selling ads isn’t always the most effective, profitable, or feasible option.
Today we’re diving into five ways you can monetize your podcast before your show meets the significant milestones and benchmarks many advertisers expect.
Ways to Monetize Your Podcast
1. Monetize Your Podcasts by Marketing Yourself!
Every time you show up for your audience and release an episode, you build brand loyalty and value. One incredible way to connect with your engaged audience is to use your podcast to discuss your service and products. At Podcircle, we encourage podcasters to bet on themselves!
If you have a product or service that will benefit your audience (and you do if they’re consistently tuning into your show!), you should talk about it. Self-promotion is only off-putting when you’re not connecting and providing a solution to someone’s problem. Don’t shy away from discussing your course, book, unique skills, and services through organic conversation or an internal ad with a direct call to action.
2. Monetize Your Podcast by Offering a Subscription
In recent years, many content creators have monetized their podcasts through subscriptions. Platforms like Patreon, Podia, Buy Me a Coffee, and even Apple Podcast Subscriptions have come on the scene to facilitate a space for creators to connect with super fans and host exclusive content in addition to their free offerings.
Subscriber-exclusive content may include:
- Early access to episodes
- Bonus episodes
- Community forums
- In-depth show notes
- Q&As with hosts
- Live recording events
- Monthly newsletters
- Exclusive merch
The opportunities are endless!
3. Monetize Your Podcast by Selling Ads to Others in Your Space
Have you ever heard an ad on a podcast and thought, “That doesn’t fit.” Doing an ad for ads’ sake will never be effective for you, your audience, or the advertiser. The most beneficial and effective ads are relevant to your audience. We love when you can create a solid brand partnership that benefits both parties.
Find ad partners with similar customers. For example, if you have a podcast about dog training, effective brand partners may include a local dog groomer, your favorite treat dispenser, a subscription dog food service, etc.
According to Hubspot, the average podcast ad slot costs between $10 to $50, with additional premium fees for shows with high listenership or engagement. Engagement goes up when the ad meets the needs of your audience.
4. Monetize Your Podcast by Selling Sponsored Segments
Another incredible way to partner with a brand is through “sponsored segments.” This particular ad strategy creates space for an ad partner to have consistent exposure in your show. You often hear this on podcasts where there are distinct and different segments. This type of ad may appeal more to partners who want to speak into or be associated with a specific type of content.
If you had a pop culture news show, one of your segments each week may highlight new streaming service releases, and you could begin that segment with “This segment is brought to you by Roku.” Or if you have a monthly show about investing, perhaps one of your segments is sponsored by an investing professional. Again, this is a great option to explore partnering with brands and creating a solid connection between your content and their product or service.
5. Monetize Your Podcast by using Affiliate Links in Your Show Notes
Want to make money for things you’re already recommending to your listeners? Then, it’s time to use affiliate links! Whether through Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program, or individual partnerships, affiliate partnerships are an incredible way to monetize your podcast by pointing your listeners to products and services you love and use yourself.
We’ll pull back the curtain a bit for you. At Podcircle, we found ourselves consistently recommending this Shure Podcast microphone. So now, when we recommend it in a Podcircle Podcast episode, we can use an Amazon Affiliate link in our show notes!
We consistently recommend Transistor.FM for hosting your podcast and Riverside.FM for recording remote interviews. We now have a partnership with them where we can offer our affiliate code whenever we talk about these awesome platforms.
You don’t have to wait until your podcast reaches millions of downloads before you start monetizing. You can start right where you are TODAY!
Before you go! Download our Complete Podcast Starter Kit.
✅ Podcircle’s Essential Equipment Guide
✅ The Ultimate Podcast Launch Checklist
✅ Content Calendar Template formatted for Google Sheets
✅ Remote Interview Preparation Pack
✅ 8 Tips to Improve Your Interviews
✅ Three Steps to Writing a Compelling Podcast Show Description