Monetizing your podcast is possible and we share the seven best ways to do it! Obtaining podcast sponsors, developing courses, gaining affiliates, utilizing social media, hosting events, pursuing speaking engagements and employing donation sites are the secrets to successfully monetize your podcast.
As podcasters, one of the questions we hear all the time is, “Can you really make money from podcasting?” And the answer is… ABSOLUTELY YES. We are the living, breathing, money-making proof!
We started Almost 30 as a side hustle while working our full-time jobs (more on that in this blog post!), but within a year, we monetized and turned it into a successful full-time business. And there is so much opportunity in this industry for you to thrive too!
In this post you’ll learn:
- How podcasts are monetized
- How we make money from podcasting
- Why podcast sponsors are important for monetizing your podcast
- How to get podcast sponsors to monetize your podcast
- How courses can help you monetize your podcast
- How affiliates can help you monetize your podcast
- How social media can help you monetize your podcast
- How events can help you monetize your podcast
- How speaking engagements can help you monetize your podcast
- How donation sites can help you monetize your podcast
Podcasting has been around for more than a decade, but in the last few years, the industry has seen explosive growth. Podcast advertising revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion in 2021 (eMarketer, 2019). In 2018, marketers spent $479 million to advertise on podcasts in the U.S., a 53% increase from $314 million in 2017, according to the Internet Advertisement Bureau. How amazing is that?
The #1 thing you need to make money in this business is a product that you believe in with your whole heart.
Focus on your content first and make sure you’re putting out something that you love and you think others will love too. That’s the most important thing to start with and the foundation you’ll build from.
From there, sponsors and other monetization opportunities will come.
These are the 7 best ways to monetize your podcast
1. Podcast sponsors
Sponsorships are KEY and the #1 way we monetize. Choosing the right sponsors is essential because they are an extension of your brand and they should feel authentic to you. Plus, you want to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your partners.
To find the right podcast sponsors for you, we recommend making a list of 10-20 brands that you use in your daily life. Literally, down to the toothpaste you use or your favorite coffee and tea. It may seem challenging, but if you take stock of your brand choices in your house, you can easily find 10-20 brands that you can pitch to work with.
Other ways to find sponsors you align with are:
- Attend events in your town and notice who is sponsoring.
- Listen to podcasts in your target demographic to hear what brands are open to sponsorships.
- Engage with brands on social. Look for brands you love, like and comment on their posts, and post about them and tag them on your account.
- Ask for a referral from friends or other brands you’ve worked with.
Then, you’ll want to execute your pitch just right. Check out our Podcast Pro eBook to learn exactly how to craft a podcast sponsor pitch!
If you have your own courses, content, or trainings, you can further establish yourself as an expert in the space. Plus, you can promote your products during episodes as ad spots or in the intro and outro.
We offer spirituality, career, and relationship programs that meet you where you are, and help you to evolve into your truest most embodied, powerful self.
For example, we launched our Sacredness of Being Single course, which is all about embracing radical self-love in the “in-between” single season. We also have an Inner Peace self-guided course that helps you reclaim a sense of calm and inner peace in times of chaos. You can learn more about all our courses and programs here!
Another course that we are so proud to offer you is PodcastPro. If you’re looking to start, grow or monetize your podcast, you’re going to want to check it out.
Your courses should align with your brand mission, and offer real, authentic advice, and tangible takeaways. Your members will appreciate a no BS approach and support from YOU.
With some affiliates, you can make thousands of dollars by leveraging your network and audience. We suggest finding 5-7 affiliates that you truly love and can promote naturally online or on the podcast.
4. Social media platform promotion
As you grow your social media following and newsletter list, you can begin to charge per post/email or make additional revenue from your affiliate partnerships with swipe-ups. But first, you’ll need to grow your podcast’s social media account.
One great way to grow your podcast’s social media account is to share behind-the-scenes looks at your podcast creation and launch process to give listeners a peek behind the curtain. Social media is the ultimate tool to get the word out about your podcast, connect with your audience, and build a community — and it can become an amazing tool for monetizing your podcast. Get more tips and tricks to grow your social media following in the PodcastPro e-book.
Bonus tip: You can use scheduling apps to help with your workflow on social and plan your content in advance. One of our faves is Coschedule.
This is a great way to drive more listeners to your show and build community. This can be a live podcast recording or any other gathering that relates to the topic of your podcast. Start small with little to no costs by asking for partner donations, hosting in partnership with a venue, or even teaming up with other organizations or podcasts in your area.
Events are seriously such a great way to grow your community. Throw events that are community-focused. They don’t have to be huge or elaborate, the point is to bring like-minded people together to connect. Meeting people in person is MAGIC!
If you can’t meet in person or prefer to host events online, digital workshops are also an amazing way to monetize your podcast and build community around your podcast.
6. Speaking engagements
Look at this as an extension of something you would do on your podcast and find a similar audience you’d like to reach. Pitch yourself by leveraging your media kit. You can start unpaid for experience and work your way up to paid speaking engagements.
7. Patreon and other donation sites
Platforms like Patreon can be a great resource to make money. Some examples of how to leverage this include:
- Posting episodes early
- Offering additional episodes
- Providing exclusive content
- Releasing merchandise
- Giving out discount codes
Looking for more info on how to monetize your podcast?
We have an entire PodcastPro course dedicated to monetizing.
We dive much deeper into how to pitch sponsors, lock in partnerships, build relationships, execute campaigns, and organize your biz.