Podcasting is an interesting concept because anyone can start recording and use some audio editing software and self-publish a podcast for others to listen to.
Not all podcasts catch on, and it helps if you have something interesting to say, but if people like to podcast you can earn money by creating a recurring show that people listen to.
If you’re wondering how to make money podcasting, there are many ways for you to do it and there’s a ton of money to be made in the industry.
We have spent hours researching and below we dig into things like podcast advertisements, selling custom merchandise and premium content just to name a few ways you could earn money from your listeners.
Table Of Contents
- How Much Money Can Podcasts Make?
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sell Ads
- Direct Support
- Repurpose Content on Social Media for Additional Revenue
- Sell Physical Merchandise
- Offer Related Services to Listeners
- Who Are The Highest Earning Podcasters?
- Ready To Try On Podcasting?
How Much Money Can Podcasts Make?
If you want to know if you can make money with podcasting, the answer is yes, but the amount you earn depends on the size of your audience.
Generally speaking, the larger your audience of podcast listeners is the more money you can earn per episode.
A podcast with just 1,000 downloads per episode could still make a few $100 per month, and top podcasts earn millions of dollars per year.
Mid-sized podcasts can earn well over $10,000 per month, and the potential really lies in the size of your audience and the monetization methods you use on your audience.
Generally, ad revenue is about $20 per 1,000 downloads on a podcast, and that’s just advertisements, not multiple revenue streams.
Affiliate marketing is a technique that both small and large businesses rely on to make money from podcast listeners.
The technique relies on including ads or recommendations that get listeners to visit a website or contact a business for a specific product or service.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a system where affiliates recommend products or services to potential customers, and that affiliate gets a percentage of the sale generated from that recommendation as a commission.
A new podcast owner that wants to begin making money can try being an affiliate because even a small following can generate profits.
Most podcasters generate affiliate sales by including an affiliate link for a product such as Athletic Greens during the podcast.
When a listener visits the website and inputs the referral code, or uses the referral link the podcaster gets a percentage of any sales.
Some podcast services make it easy to include a link to a program, and most podcasters also say the name of the affiliate link out loud for listeners to type in.
If you match a program to your audience well you will be impressed by how much you can earn from an affiliate program.
Finding the Right Affiliate Program
The affiliate program you choose should fit your niche audience well.
To find the right program to try and generate affiliate sales from, choose a program with reputable products that you truly think your audience will be interested in.
The right program allows you to offer valuable products to your listeners and will result in the best earnings for you.
When you own podcast content that gets listened to by a decent audience you have an opportunity to sell ads on your content.
Companies will pay you to mention their brand and speak a commercial to your audience, or to play a clip provided by the company.
It’s possible to offer direct sponsorships on your podcast, or you can join podcast advertising networks to automate the process a bit.
Working With a Podcast Advertising Network
Some owners prefer to keep their podcasts ad-free, but even most major podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience and the Tim Ferris Show include ads.
Even smaller podcasts can demand $15 per post-roll or pre-roll ad and $20 for mid-roll podcast advertisements.
If you put up a few podcasts each week you could start earning money with ads even with a modest following.
Understanding Podcast Ad Types
There are three major types of ads on most podcasts.
Pre-roll ads are the ones that come before the show, mid-roll interrupts the show for the ad, and post-roll ads come at the end of the podcast.
Generally, mid-roll ads are worth the most as podcast advertisements and pre and post-roll ads are worth a bit less.
Along with podcast sponsorships, you should think about obtaining money directly from your listeners through special perks, events, and incentives.
Selling premium memberships and creating exclusive events for your fans to attend are just two more podcasting tools you can use to make money.
Offer Tiered Subscriptions Through Patreon
Patreon is an online membership program designed to enable content creators to offer special perks to followers.
You can create different membership tiers that your audience can subscribe to for a small monthly payment.
If you make the price affordable enough and offer valuable perks to your fans, Patreon can be a worthwhile program to establish.
Consider creating premium content just for members, offering early access to subscribers, or giving discounts for your other services to members.
Even charging as little as $5.00 per month for membership is an effective way for you to make money with your podcast, and members pay for early access and exclusive content all the time.
Hold Live Events Online
Another way to leverage your audience directly is to hold live events online.
These special events are a way for you to answer questions, insert additional advertising, and to promote your own products such as online courses.
Many major podcasters host live podcasts where they host guests remotely.
You could charge a small entry fee to go to your live podcasts or make them a perk of your Patreon membership.
Host In-Person Events
Along with online podcasts, you could also monetize your audience using in-person events.
Set up an event with an entry fee and you can earn a few hundred dollars or more by getting your fans in the same room as you for a short time.
The live meetups are a fun way for you to interact with your podcast audience, and to help you make money with podcasting.
Repurpose Content on Social Media for Additional Revenue
As you create podcasts, you’re generating entertaining content that you could monetize in several ways.
To make the most of each podcast record your podcasts and use clips from each podcast to create YouTube videos and TikTok clips for additional revenue.
Spreading snippets from each podcast is the quickest way to build your audience and you can earn additional revenue for that same content.
If you’re trying to figure out how to monetize a podcast you should make the most of any content you create by finding more audiences for it.
Using social media pages to spread your content around, and creating a video version makes it easy for you to earn more ad revenue for each podcast.
Creating a podcast episode takes time, which is why it’s best to monetize each episode as much as you can.
Sell Physical Merchandise
As you grow an audience you can start to learn what your brand and your podcast is all about.
Most successful podcasts have a mission or values that you and your listeners share.
Putting a few dollars towards setting up a merchandise shop, and paying a designer to help you create custom shirts, mugs or other types of merchandise to sell to fans can pay off big time.
Choosing Products to Sell
Choosing the products to sell to generate revenue can be challenging at first, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to determine what products your listeners will value most.
Try to select products that fit your podcast demographic best.
If you have a successful podcast in the fitness niche you may be able to add a custom saying to a nicely designed protein shaker bottle and sell that.
Athletic apparel would also sell well most likely.
If you have a finance brand things like money clips, wallets, and stock-related apparel would likely sell well.
Get to know your brand, establish a merchandise store on your own website and use that to earn more money for your podcast.
Offer Related Services to Listeners
Many podcasts make money for their owners by creating additional opportunities to earn money outside of the podcast through related services.
This is an excellent way to earn money with your podcast when you come off as an expert at something.
Consulting services are a simple way for you to leverage your skills to earn money from your audience members.
Turn your audience into customers that pay you for your services.
Start selling online to your listeners and as your reach grows so will your base of customers you can earn from.
Even if you only want to promote your services to prospective customers, creating a podcast could be a good way for you to do that.
When you have a popular podcast and people want to listen to you, you can start getting speaking gigs as well.
Talk at universities, businesses, and events around the world for a fee.
This is a powerful way for you to earn money and it’s one of the most lucrative monetization ideas after you’re established.
Professionals that maintain podcasts take on public speaking engagements all throughout the year for added revenue.
Sell an Online Course
Another form of premium content you can offer to your audience is an online course.
Invest in creating a professional course that your audience can take advantage of.
Instead of putting up a podcasting FAQ or answering all questions in-depth for your audience, direct them to a course for the best answers and the most help.
Who Are The Highest Earning Podcasters?
A look at Forbes’ list of the top earners in the podcasting industry reveals:
- Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, is downloaded an average of 190 million times per month and brings in $30 million per year.
- Murder’s Karen Kilgariff and Georgie Hardstark make $35 million a year thanks to their podcast’s 35 million monthly downloads and $15 million in annual revenue.
- David Ramsey, the host of the popular podcast The Dave Ramsey Show, pulls in $10 million a year and has 13 million listeners.
How Do You Monetize a Podcast?
You can monetize a podcast with affiliate marketing, crowdfunding, sponsorships, and advertisements, live events, premium content, or merchandising. It turns out that making money off of podcasts is easier than you would think. You can earn money podcasting in a variety of ways; all it takes is some effort on your part.
Never assume that just because something worked for your favorite podcast, it will work for you.
How Many Downloads Do I Need To Start Monetizing My Podcast?
To start monetizing a podcast, you do not need a set number of followers. For obvious reasons, a larger audience, or at least a smaller but extremely loyal listenership, is preferable when trying to monetize your podcast.
In spite of this, there remain opportunities for less popular podcasts to generate revenue.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Podcast?
The cost of starting a podcast will depend on a few factors. If you have a lot of money and want to buy a top-notch professional setup, you can expect the costs to skyrocket. Yet, if you’re just curious about podcasting and want to give it a try, you don’t need much to get started.
Do Podcasts on Spotify Make Money?
Yes, podcasts do make money on Spotify. As we’ve discussed, podcasters on the platform now generate revenue via sponsorship, advertising, and affiliate marketing. Now, podcasters in the United States can make use of Spotify’s new podcast monetization system.
You can increase your podcast’s subscription income with this exclusive plan from Anchor, their podcast hosting service.
Is Podcasting a Good Way To Make Money?
Making money through podcasting is possible, but not always easy. One could easily spend a lifetime listening to the podcasts of the most popular podcasters, some of whom make millions of dollars each year. Yet, this is not true for all people. While some people have made a living from podcasting, it is not easy and is not a viable option for everyone.
Ready To Try On Podcasting?
Podcasts are an excellent tool to make money and advertise other businesses or services.
Other podcasters earn huge profits from their creations and you can too with the right monetization methods.
Choosing the best ads and leveraging affiliate marketing can help you earn well.
If you are interested in learning more about affiliate marketing check out this webinar and learn how to become a successful affiliate.