5 Ways to Make Money Podcasting – Even If You’re a Beginner

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Have you ever dreamed of quitting your day job to become a full-time podcaster? A common question I get from people is, “How do you make money podcasting?” If you have a story to tell and a microphone, you too could be a podcaster. It’s a great way to monetize a hobby or make a living, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The podcasting industry is still in its infancy: it’s difficult to attract listeners and make money as a podcaster. So I reached out to five successful podcasters and asked them how they make money. I’m sharing their insights in this post.

Sell Ads On Your Podcast

A common approach to making money from podcasts is to get advertisers to advertise on your show. In addition to providing value to the advertisers, you’ll usually get a few easy revenue streams: you’ll get paid a set amount each time an advertiser buys an ad on your show.

You probably don’t have enough listeners to make money on your podcast. But if you have a skill you can offer and have time to develop, you can market your podcast in the form of podcast ads.

Lou Manfredini is an avid car enthusiast and he recently recorded an ad for a local dealership, NAPA Auto Parts, on one of his episodes. Eoin Colfer is the author of bestselling novels The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Life of Pi. He records his podcast, The Intellectual Adventurer, about his love of science, history, and philosophy. A lot of his episodes feature branded ads that he interviews guests about.

Ask For Sponsorships

When you launch a podcast, you immediately get two offers: 1. Lots of ad spots from many brands, which can make an incredible amount of money. 2. Word of mouth. People give you credit for their favorite new book, new website, new program, etc. The best choice for most podcasters is a mix of the two.

Podcasts with many sponsors are much more likely to have repeat listeners and sustain the subscriber base. A survey from Newsy shows that podcast listeners have the highest rates of repeat listening. If your podcast is part of a larger podcast network, you can be asked to comment on their podcast regularly, or to create a show for their network.

Sell Products Through Your Podcast

If you listen to podcasters with large audiences, it’s likely that they’re selling a product or two as part of their show. Some podcast hosts will dedicate a segment of the show to talking about a new product. Others will have a recurring “showroom” segment where they talk about a certain product and invite people to buy.

Over the past two years I’ve gotten over 700 unique podcast subscribers, and even though these listeners aren’t monetized through affiliate links or ads, I do use this “showroom” segment as a way to help my listeners discover the new products they are interested in. In many cases, my listeners buy the product I recommend on the spot! Podcast listeners are usually tech-savvy.

Sell Services

People want to know you can help them and take care of their business. Start by talking about your work and services. They want someone they can trust to handle their business. Once you gain some traction, look for other opportunities to generate income.

If you’ve got a great product or service to sell, it’s a natural extension to make podcasts. There are tons of ways to offer ancillary services to make money. It’s about offering what people need. There are tons of little pieces to it.

Sell Subscriptions

One of the most popular income opportunities for podcasters is to sell subscriptions to the shows you record. You can easily implement this strategy through an “upsell”.

If the listener purchases a subscription to your show, you’ll get a percentage of the purchase price. For example, assuming your show is free, and your listener pays $10 a month for the podcaster “subscribe and listen” option, you’ll get a $1 payout for every person who buys a subscription.

You Can Make a Living Podcasting

According to Corey Sell, podcaster and founder of Encrophy, you can make a living podcasting, even if you’re an amateur. Sell started making a podcast in 2005 and went from having about 200 podcast followers to over 50,000, making him one of the most successful podcasters.

I love listening to podcasts and being on the radio, and I’m not alone. Over 65 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly. So what are you waiting for? Self-hosting your podcast is cheap and easy, and with a monetization strategy for your podcast in place, you can make a living from hosting it.

If you are ready to start your own podcast, here are some key points to think about when you are getting started.

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