How Are Podcasts Really Monetized? We Break It Down

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As podcasters, one of the questions we hear all the time is, “Can you really make money off podcasting?” And the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. And we are 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! 

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. 

Here we’re breaking down the different ways to monetize your business and potential revenue streams you can tap into. 

  • Podcast sponsors:Sponsorships are KEY and the #1 way we monetize. Podcast advertising has seen explosive growth recently and it’s only the beginning. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, podcast ad revenue nearly doubled in two years to $314 million in 2017, and they project revenue to double again in 2020. How amazing is that?! 

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. We’re going to dive more into how to choose sponsors and build relationships in future blog posts!

  • Courses: 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 of course have PodcastPro and we’re so excited to offer that as part of our business. 
  • Affiliates: 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.
  • Social 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.
  • Events: 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. Smart 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. 
  • 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. You can start unpaid for experience and work your way up to paid speaking engagements. 
  • 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 and offering additional episodes, content, merchandise, and 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. 

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We're Krista + Lindsey. Co-hosts of the Almost 30 Podcast, entrepreneurs, creatives, community leaders, best friends, wellness-obsessed spiritual seekers, alien lovers...and always ch-ch-ch-changing. We're excited to have you here. If you're enjoying these posts, check out our podcast, our story, and find more education in our shop!

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