Imagine a world where sharing your unique message (and/or interviewing others about theirs) is all you need to make a gorgeous living with endless time & financial freedom.
Now, stop imagining. Because with podcasting all of the above can easily be true. While most people think of podcasts as a marketing channel and not necessarily their main income stream, a few simple tweaks can transform your podcast into a big moneymaker.
It’s true: You can turn your love for the mic into a major cash cow. If that sounds like a dream come true, then hold onto your headphones, friend, because we’re about to explore 6 ways you can transform your podcast into a money-making machine (while maintaining your sanity & flexibility).
1) Sponsorships and Advertisements
This one’s a biggie and you’ve likely heard it before. One of the most common ways to monetize your podcast is through sponsorships and advertisements.
Here’s how it works: As your show gains traction and attracts a large, loyal audience, you can start to seek out (or say yes to) sponsors. Sponsorship packages can include everything from quick mentions to longer ad spots to even long-term collaborations. It’s up to you what you want to offer your sponsors–and for how much.
But either way, no matter what you offer, your main concern is to not alienate your audience. Make sure every product, service or brand you partner with is in alignment with your business & your values. Also, you want to make sure the product or offer is valuable to your listeners. Your listeners are everything–don’t take their precious “ear waves” for granted or you might lose their trust (and listenership).
2) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is another fruitful avenue to explore when looking to morph your podcast into the main (or one of the main) ways you bring cash into your biz. Affiliate marketing–like sponsorships–requires partnering with brands and businesses that align with your values and offer a product/offer that’s beneficial to your listeners. When you sign up as an affiliate for a product or service, you’ll receive a unique link or special discount code you can offer your listeners–and when they use said link or code, you earn a commission. Not all affiliate partnerships are created equally, though, so you’ll want to do your research and choose one that pays a decent chunk of change.
It’s also ideal to have real-world experience with the product and/or brand, so you can recommend it with confidence (and not risk potentially breaking listeners’ trust).
3) Patreon and Crowdfunding
Another easy way to make more money from your podcast? If you have a dedicated fan base that can’t get enough of you (and that is the goal, right?), why not give them the opportunity to support you directly with platforms like Patreon or Buy Me a Coffee? Patreon allow your fans to become patrons (hence the name) and contribute a set dollar amount to your podcast monthly. As a thank you, most Patreons offer exclusive bonus content or behind-the-scenes access. It’s a win-win – your listeners get even more of your amazing content, and you get a steady stream of income.
Patreon even allows you to set different levels, so your patrons can choose just how much they’d like to pledge every month – and how much they’d like to receive in return.
4) Promote Your Products & Services
The methods we’ve talked about so far are great ways to make money directly from your podcast, but there are loads of ways to indirectly make money from your podcast, too–including strategically talking about your products & services in your eps.
One easy way to do this? Include a call-to-action several times in each episode for one of your products or services. It obviously makes the most sense to choose products or services that align with the podcast topic in some way. For example, if you just released a juicy episode on email marketing, don’t (just) plug your one-on-one coaching–include a call-to-action to snap up your email marketing course, too.
Oh and don’t forget to mention time-sensitive offers, either. If you’re offering a workshop a week or two after your latest podcast episode drops, you’ll definitely want to talk about it. You can even offer listeners a special discount code or bonus for extra incentive to sign up.
5) Create a Paid Private Podcast or Other Premium Content
If you really want to take your podcast profitability up a notch (or twelve), consider creating a private paid podcast–or a free podcast that also has premium content for sale.
Podbean is a great platform for private, paid podcasts. Captivate is another fantastic option, and it allows you to gatekeep all–or just some of–your content, so you can choose what costs extra.
As far as what types of premium content to offer, here’s a quick list (and keep in mind you could also offer any of these as perks to your patrons, too!):
– Live, Members-Only Episodes
– Bonus Episodes
– Ad-free Episodes
– Live chats or Q&As
– Access to a private community on social media or Mighty Networks, etc.
– Special, exclusive access to you (via discounted coaching sessions or services, Voxer or another avenue of your choice)
– Other Exclusive Resources (These could be downloadable, like workbooks, templates or cheat sheets, for example)
6) Don’t Forget Merch!
If your podcast has a fun slogan, tagline or name (or you have your own famous catchphrase), you can set up an easy, print-on-demand merch shop. Why not give your loyal listeners an opportunity to rock your brand with pride? From t-shirts to mugs to sassy tote bags, offering merch is fun for your listeners and can create a sense of community, plus it’s free publicity, to boot.
And that’s it! And of course, I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it just in case) that none of the above will work if you don’t already have the building blocks of a great podcast on lock. Your podcast needs to provide relevant, valuable and targeted content for your listeners. You’ll also need to be consistent with it – because let’s be real, nobody wants to dole out their hard-earned money to a podcaster they can’t trust to come out with new episodes on time (or at all). But if you’ve got all that in place? Then it’s high to time to turn up the volume on your voice–and your profit!