Do you love podcasting? Do you have a channel that has a healthy following and regular downloads? If you are wondering how to turn your passion into a viable business, you are not alone.
There are plenty of ways to make money through podcasting. Advertising is the most obvious and easy way to do it, but you have to be a little creative to actually make it work.
People don’t like the 15 seconds advertisement in the middle of a podcast. The only thing this will achieve is turn off your listeners, who may switch to another channel. In order to make money and keep your listeners you have to seamlessly integrate the advertisement into your program.
Product placement is the way to go. If your channel is about healthy living, can you find a sponsor who is selling organic products? Not only will the seller be happy with the results, your listeners will also be glad to listen to you recommend good products that will add value in their lives.
Companies spent around $402 million in podcast advertising in 2018. This number is expected to reach $659 million in 2020. Why is this number skyrocketing? For one thing, the traditional banner advertisements on websites are not generating the same level of returns as before.
Have you visited a website and noticed how your brain automatically ignored the banner ads on the front page? This phenomenon is pervasive amongst most website visitors. Podcasts are different. People seem to be more receptive to advertisements there, provided that they are done in a relevant and organic manner.
Affiliate marketing is all about promoting a product and making a commission when one of your listeners buys the product after your recommendation. Bloggers and mainstream websites have been using this strategy effectively to make a lot of money over the years, and now podcasters have started seeing success using this method.
Online retail giants like Amazon and even smaller companies have affiliate marketing programs to get more people to buy products from their platform. The commission you make will be different depending on the product.
In order to make this strategy work you should know you audience well. What are they interested in? What products do they really need? These questions should help you identify the best products to promote on your podcast.
Sell Your Own Products
If you have a large following on your podcast, why not leverage it to sell some of your own products? Instead of getting say 10 percent commission to sell someone else’s book, why don’t you think about selling your own eBook and keep all the profits?
A book is just one of the many things you can sell. It can be an online course or a physical product that you designed.
Some podcasters also sell merchandise on their channel. Things like branded t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, or hats. Adding merchandise on your channel will not only help you make money but also turn the buyers into ambassadors who will promote your channel every time they wear those t-shirts and hats. This will help you to spread the word about your channel and get more listeners.
Offer Your Services
Are you an expert physical fitness trainer? Yoga teacher? Or perhaps an image consultant? You can start a podcast to share free advice to help people and establish your name in the industry in the process. Once people have enough faith in you, you can offer to give one-on-one sessions to some of your more affluent listeners.
The expertise doesn’t have to be restricted to a profession. It can also be a business like a management consultant who helps to turn a business around. If you want public speaking gigs, podcasts are a great way to establish your credentials. Your popularity among your listeners should get you invites to host panel discussions or speak at a corporate event.
Donations are a good way to make money if you have listeners who are truly committed to your channel and see value in it. Services offered by Patreon and Supercast allow listeners to support the channel by making donations.
Heather McDonald of Juicy Scoop had a problem with her podcast. Not enough listeners were clicking on the advertisements, which was making it difficult for her to keep the channel financially viable. In a phone interview with Forbes, she said Patreon offered her an opportunity.
Listeners loved Juicy Scoop. Heather would get angry emails if she missed one of her podcasts, which shows people depended on her show. The low revenues from advertisements was making her nervous, and Patreon solved the problem by giving her listeners an opportunity to support the channel through donations.
Donations may sound like a small side income, but there are people who are making a full time income from it. According to the Patreon blog, 35 creators made over $150,000 on the platform in 2016.