How to Make Money Off a Podcast
Podcasts are a form of radio on demand; listeners have the power to subscribe to shows, rate them and review them, and so they determine their success and how much money a podcast creator can make.
If you want to expand your business or start a side hustle and you love talking about things that you love, starting a podcast is surely a good choice. However, you'll probably want to monetize it - even if you just want your podcast to be sustainable. In this OneHowTo article, we'll give you some tips on how to make money off a podcast.
First of all, create your brand.
- Choose a clear name that's easy to remember and make sure it's exactly the same in all your social network profiles: you have to be easy to find.
- Establish your own domain and clear up any possible copyright issues. Ensure your brand is yours.
- Build a good website: it's especially important that it's on a strong host and has a well-maintained archive with clear dates. If your content is good, your listeners might want to catch up on older material. Go for simple, coherent graphic design that looks good in portable device screens.
- Create social media profiles and keep them active. Always include a link to your main website. Engage with listeners: Here are some tips on how to get more followers on Instagram and Tumblr.
- Do some research on the podcast as a medium and learn how it works inside out. Even if it has boomed in recent years, many people - including potential sponsors! - have no idea what podcasts are actually about.
- Take a look at the major figures in the podcast world at the moment and learn from their strategies. How do they monetize their shows? What makes their work so influential?
In order to make money off a podcast, you should build up your follower base. One of the main reasons behind the success of the podcast as a format is that it's free. Once the listeners come to you, you must keep them there - if they become subscribers, they will automatically download your new episodes, which will boost your ratings.
- Be honest and open about the purpose of your podcast. When people download and listen to an episode of your podcast, they're listening to you and giving you their time. Make it worthwhile.
- Create and curate valuable content: What you do with your podcast and its related social network profiles must be relevant and tailored to your audience.
- Keep the connection with your listeners between episodes: Keep a blog or start a newsletter with extra content and special insider looks - you can host seminars or giveaways, for instance, or explain your work process. People are naturally curious and they will want to see how things work!
- Link to your sites and content, but don't be a spammer.
- Ask for reviews and ratings from your listeners, and act on them. Engage with critics - if they are constructive. In order to keep your content relevant, do ask what they want to hear more or less about.
Since a podcast is all about the host's voice, if your show is successful enough you'll be considered an influencer. Once your download ratings are in the thousands per episode, companies will want to sponsor you. There are many different ways you can make money off a podcast through sponsorship:
- Your podcast is your space: Sell some of it and have ads. If your follower count is high enough, you'll be paid according to your influence and the length of the ads. Since your listeners are expecting honesty from you, try to advertise products you would actually use and make sure they fit your audience's interests. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and theirs.
- Affiliate marketing: Instead of making money through direct advertisements, you can redirect your listeners to a product and charge a commission from the company for each sale that you get them.
You can also make money off a podcast all by yourself:
- Start a members-only space. People actually love to be called "premium users". Of course, reward them with extra content and pay close attention to their feedback.
- Use a podcast to promote your main business. If you're a cook, coach, educator, or speaker and your podcast is related to that, you can use your podcast to find new clients. If you're in the tech field, use it to sell your app.
- Host special events like seminars, workshops or talks. They can be in real physical spaces (would any educational institution be interested?) or online.
- If your podcast is popular enough, consider starting a merchandise shop. Put your logo on notebooks, t-shirts or mugs for your fans.
Keep moving: Even when you've started monetizing your contest, you shouldn't get too comfortable.
- Watch your subscriber analytics and tailor your content to the audience.
- Increase feedback.
- Keep your listeners' interest alive: Have guest speakers on your podcast and hold giveaways or contests.
- Make reviews visible worldwide. Like David Hasselhoff, you might become huge in Germany.
Get to know your fellow podcast creators: There might be chances you can't even imagine. Go to podcast conventions, share tips, attend workshops. Never stop learning. Remember that there are awards for podcasts that can shine a huge spotlight on your work!
Once you're running a successful podcast and making money out of it, remember to invest in it. Tune it up every once in a while: Buy better equipment, polish your website and get a stronger host to support your growing subscriber list. If you have collaborators, maybe you will be able to afford to pay them.
Remember that sponsors and listeners expect quality content from you; show them what you're doing with their money and time, and they won't stop giving.
And even if it's boring, keep a close eye on your taxes. Making money off a podcast means you have income!
Here you've seen how to make money off a podcast no matter your approach - whether you're doing it as a hobby or want to become the next big thing. Now you just have to start creating!
If you'd like to read similar articles to How to Make Money Off a Podcast, we recommend you browse around our Economy & business category.