How can you make money from your podcast? Here are 10 ways podcasters are generating an income from their podcast and how you can make money podcasting.
How to make money from podcasting?
Podcasting is a massively booming industry with listenership growing year on year. There are a lot of celebrities now being made in the podcasting space but how can you make money from podcasting? Today I am going to show you 10 different ways you can money from your podcasting efforts.
Hi! I am Ryan from podcastfast.com, showing you how to start a podcast, how to make money from a podcast. I want to help you guys. Basically let me just start by saying I make a fulltime income from podcasting. Not a huge income at the moment, I have been working online full-time for the last 18 months or so and generate a decent income enough to support me and my 3 kids – they are 3 kids, they make me tired, but totally worth it. My revenue at the moment, somewhere between 5 to 7, sometimes 10 grand a month in terms of revenue for my business. So I am not a podcasting superstar, I am not making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or millions of dollars a year but I am making enough to get by and support my family without having to get a job and I love what I do. I love creating podcasts.
Now there are many different ways that you can make money from podcasting but they all require you to have a business model associated with your podcast and this is what we are going to be talking about, the different business models that you can use. This could also be referred to as different monetization methods for your podcast. Basically, the way you should see it – to start out, your podcast is a way to get attention from people, from anyone who is listening to your podcast.
Step number 1, you start a podcast and the goal of that podcast is to get attention. The second thing, which was what we were talking about, is your business model around that or your monetization model – how you will actually be going to make money from the attention that you get. That is what we are going to be talking about, we are going to be talking about how to make money through podcasting and there are 10 different ways that I have thought to do it. I am sure that there are more out there that I could add in the future but for now these are the main things that I have seen work.
The first one which we are going to talk about is the most obvious one and that is making money through advertising. That is what most podcasters go after. They create this podcast, they get the attention and they try and sell the attention to advertisers. Now, this does work but it does not work for some people. You need a decent sized podcast in order to make any significant income from your podcast. For example, I said I make a fulltime income from my podcast. The main podcast that I have is called On Property, which is for Australian property investors, niche market, small market. My downloads for that podcast is less than 10,000 downloads per month and I have over 250 podcast episodes.
So I have a significant amount of episodes, low downloads for that podcast and so for me to try and monetize that podcast through advertising, even when you are looking at – it tends to be on CPM, which is cost per one thousand, even if I have a maximum revenue of $40 or around that. $40 times 10, because it is 10,000, would make $400 per month from that podcast, which would not be worth my time and effort that I have put into it. So advertising can work but you do need to know that you need to have a huge audience if you are going to make money from advertising. Advertising is going to work better; it will be the easiest sales pitch for you, yes if you have that big audience. But also if you have a targeted audience around people who are interested in a specific topic and who tend to spend money.
Now there are a lot of podcasts out there that might be about The Game of Thrones, that might be about the Walking Dead or that might be about public speaking – that is one that I have. But it is very difficult to monetize those podcasts because people who watch The Walking Dead are just so different – there is me, there is a 40-year old single mother then there is my dad who is 30 years older than me and semi-retired. There are always different people with different lifestyles who come into this show and it is hard for the advertisers to know who they should advertise to. But then you have something like the Ask Pat Podcast or the Smart Passive Income Podcast which is about internet marketing. And so Pat can go to advertisers and say, Look, everyone who listens to my podcast is an internet marketer running their own business.
If you run services that help internet marketers, what a perfect fit. You market and they are in need of your services. The more niches that you are for advertising the more likely you are to get advertisers, to get better advertisers who are willing to pay you more money. So advertising can work but you do need a large audience, hopefully a specific audience. You do need to know as well that you are going to be selling advertising.
You need to go out there and sell it. It does not just come to you, like what people do on YouTube at the moment where you just put up a video and click the monetize button and bam! I am monetized baby! That is it! No, that is not how it works in podcasts. You are going to have to email people. You are going to have to teach a lot of people about podcast advertising. You have to do sales calls, literally drive to someone’s business and do a sales call to convert them to my podcast advertising. It is not set and forget advertising. It is good but it is not the best way to make money through podcasting. As you can see from me, it just would not work.
The second way to do it, which is becoming increasingly popular is to crowd-fund your podcast. So you see people when they are saying, You can support this podcast on (it’s not) Indigogo. They ask you to donate to the podcast, $5 a month or $15 a month or $20 a month and this is very similar to what public radio stations have done in the past where they are supported by donations from their community to keep them going. Basically with advertising and with the crowd-funded option, you are selling entertainment to people. You are not selling any particular benefit. You are selling the education that you have supplied to that person. And so this is hard to sell entertainment. It is possible but it is difficult unless you have a large audience that is super passionate about you.
The next things that I am going to go into are more value-added ways to make money where you are actually providing a product. You are providing a service where you are actually providing something that the person listening to your podcast is getting an improvement in their life because they are purchasing this product or this service from you. So the first things advertising and crowd-funding, you are just selling entertainment to that person. For the next things we are going to go through are a lot easier to make money. You can make a lot more money if you are providing people with some sort of benefit in their lives which would be difficult to do from something that is purely entertainment podcast.
So if you have a podcast about a tv show or something like that that is not specific to a skill, that can be difficult. But if you have a podcast about internet marketing or about business – I have one about public speaking or I have one about property investing, if you have one that is specific to something then it is easier to monetize through these next methods that we are going to go through.
Number 3 would be affiliate marketing and this is you actually going out and saying to people, here is a product that I use, here is something that I recommend, go through my affiliate link and if they go through and sign up then I get my affiliate commission. For example, for my property podcast which is going to apply to a lot of you, one of the books that I recommend is From 0 to 300 Properties in 3.5 Years. I read it, I loved it, and I recommend people to get it and I said, Look, if you are interested in this book, go to my affiliate link on onproperty.com.au/130 or 1-3-0 and if people go through that they go to a site called Fish Pond and if they buy that I get a 5% commission.
The same could be done with Amazon or a lot of people do it with hosting. And I could say I actually did in an earlier Podcast Fast episode I recommended Arvixe. And I said, Look, if you get to arvixe.com and if you use the coupon code Podcast Fast, you get a 20% discount. That is an affiliate link. So every time someone signs up through that, I get a commission from that and I think since starting Podcast Fast I have had 1 person or 2 people who went through Arvixe already and I have not done anything to promote this site.
So affiliate marketing is marketing someone else’s product for them and you get a commission whenever that person signs up for that product or purchases that product. So affiliate marketing, it can be done from anything like books on Amazon, to things like hosting, any sort of services out there you can generally find affiliate marketing for. Information products are great to be affiliate marketed because you tend to get a higher commission.
If you are marketing things like makeup or consumer items that are physical, your commission is going to be lower and you are going to need to sell more. But affiliate marketing is something that you can just do and you can say, Okay, look I am going to go out there. I recommend this and you can use this coupon code or go through this particular link, something that is really easy to do and implement. You do not need to go out there and sell advertising. You can start making money as soon as people use your affiliate offer.
Fourth way to make money is through drop shipping. Drop shipping is the next step up from affiliate marketing where you are actually selling things on your own website or through your podcast. Let us say through Podcast Fast I was recommending microphones to you and I recommend that you buy from Amazon and you can check out the mics by going to podcastfast.com/mics, m-i-c-s. It has my list of mics there. If they go through Amazon I get an affiliate commission. That is affiliate marketing. But if I want to I could just potentially drop ship those items. I could contact the manufacturer or contact a supplier of these microphones and say, Look, every time I sell it you ship it out to the customer but put my labeling on it.
So basically, that is what drop shipping is. People go to you. They go to your website from your podcast and they buy the product but someone else handles all the shipping, procurement and the manufacturing and stuff for you and so your commissions are generally higher than affiliate marketing but not as high as if you were to actually sell the product yourself which leads into…
Method number 5, making money from podcasting through retail and that is selling the products yourself. You could call this e-commerce because you are selling them on your website. Basically, you collect all the items that you sell and you sell them on your website. Great product for this is Shopify, if you want a sudden e-commerce site or you can use WordPress but basically, let us use the microphone example again. I would be sourcing these microphones.
I would be importing them from say, China or something like that. I will be storing them in my garage and I would be saying, Look, go to podcastfast.com/mic, see the list of microphones. If someone buys it, they pay me and then I ship it out. Generally, your margins on that are higher but then obviously there is a lot of work that goes into that like procurement. You have to find this stuff.
You have to buy it. You have to import it. You have to store it. Then you have to do all the shipping stuff and go to the post office and get it out. Most of us who are starting podcasts are in it because we love the entertainment aspect of it. We love talking to people so us wanting to spend time in retail doing that sort of stuff. It is probably slim to none for most people. It is not going to be the best strategy but it is a strategy so I do want to share it with you.
My favorite strategy. Now onto my favorite one, number 6 is creating and selling your own product. So this can be products that are physical or it can be information products which I prefer. Membership sites are an example, eBooks are an example, courses like udemy.com are an example. There are so many different things that you can sell. With onproperty.com.au I have a podcast absolutely free. I teach about investing a property in Australia. I talk about the market. I talk about different ways to invest. And then I have a membership site where I show people exactly how to invest one way. I actually show people positive cash flow properties.
It is too detailed to get into it if you are not in the Australian market but basically they pay $50 a month or $300 a year to get access to this membership site and I have something like 150 members on that membership site.
So you guys can do the math on that. I have not actually done it so I do not know how much I am making from that. I have another one called propertytools.com.au which is a software program. It is a calculator to help people calculate the cash flow. I sell that for $5 a month or $50 a year. I launched that about 2 months ago and I have 50 members. So you are looking at, $50 times 5, $250 a month from that. You can see that is catching up to my advertising already. So creating and selling your own products I think is the best way to go if you want to monetize a small audience because basically you know exactly who your audience is and you create products to fill their needs. It might be a training course. So I have a site on public speaking. I have a podcast on public speaking.
I could create training courses like How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking or How to Craft a Speech or How to be a Better Impromptu Speaker. There are so many different courses that I could create on that and then sell that. And this is what I do through On Property. I create these courses and then I sell them. I create these membership sites and then I sell them. And in the podcast, I am saying to people, check out On Property Plus, check out Property Tools or check out this free offer I have on my website and they go to that and I send out emails saying, Hey! Have you thought about Property Tools or have you thought about On Property Plus.
And so I am either marketing directly through my podcast or I am sending them from my podcast to a free product, getting their email address and then marketing through email. So creating and marketing your own products is a great way to make money podcasting and that is how I make the bulk of my income.
I would say 90% of my income comes from selling my own products through my podcast.
Number 7 is actually selling a community. Now the guys over at the DC have done this really well. Their podcast is The Tropical MBA Podcast and these are guys who live around Southeast Asia and they talk about running a business and being lifestyle independent and traveling all over the world. But they have a community called the DC or the Dynamite Circle that you have to pay to be a part of. So it is $100 a quarter or something like that. So it is not actually a product that they have created. They are actually selling access to the community.
So they have created a community around their podcast but they have focused this community on these traveling entrepreneurs as a part of this forum and so they are selling people access to that and selling people access to the community. So if you have a super passionate community, people who want to get in contact with each other but cannot in real life, well then actually selling access to that community can be good way to do that.
That is something that I have seen only on Tropical MBA guys do but they could definitely work across the board like I could see that working for Public Speaking, if you wanted people to mastermind with. I have seen that done as well actually with the Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast where he created a community of like a hundred people and sold access to that people wanting to create podcast and stuff. So rather than creating a product, you create a community and sold access to that community and created a mastermind. So creating a mastermind or selling a community could be something that you could do. That is number 7.
Number 8 is Pay to Podcast. This is something that I find really interesting, I have not done myself, I probably would like to do but the opportunities are few and far between. But I have seen this done by Cliff Ravenscraft who is the Podcast Answer Man. Basically he wanted to create a podcast on virtual assistants. So these are people that you hire from overseas who virtually assist you in your business. I have a virtual assistant myself. He wanted to start a podcast on finding and working with virtual assistants. And so he went to this company that I think he was working with and said, Look, I can start this podcast and I can advertise it through affiliate sales or I can do whatever.
But why don’t you just pay me to create this podcast? And they worked out a fee, either per episode or for the whole series of the podcast. And they paid him and he then went and created the podcast. I think he finished it now but it just sits there and continues to generate traffic to this virtual assistant website that he was marketing. So he went to someone, got the revenue upfront and then actually podcasted for them. This could also be done if you went to a company and said, Look, I’ll be the voice of your podcast. They could host it on their own sites so you would not have ownership of it. That would be an example of being paid to podcast. So you are actually going to a business with a podcasting solution. Hey business! Mike’s Pizza Shop. You want to get more people to your pizzas, I think a podcast is going to be a great way to do that.
How about you pay me $100 an episode and I will create 20 episodes for you. That is $2,000. You pay me $2,000 and I will create 20 episodes for you to put up on your website and drive more people to your pizza place. Pizza place is a bad idea because it is so localized but you get the idea. I know that if my business did not work out, I could instantly go into any business in the local area specially things like mortgage brokers, people that work nationwide, and I could just show them my sites and say, Look, here’s what I’ve done. I could do the same for you. Hire me for $80,000 a year. I will create a podcast and generate this much traffic for you. So you can approach businesses and get paid to podcast.
Tip number 9 is selling services. So this would be selling your own services or consulting or something like that. Again Cliff Ravenscraft did this for Podcast Answer Man. He sold podcast consulting so people get on a call with him for half an hour or an hour and he would then sell his time. You could do this with businesses or with consumers or whoever it may be. You can sell your services as consulting or you could sell your services and say – that is actually how I was going to monetize Podcast Fast in the beginning, I was going to say, Look. Here’s how you can create a podcast but if you don’t want to go through all these effort, you can pay me and I’ll set that up for you.
So that is a service that I would charge people for which is similar to creating and selling your own products but is different in the fact that a product is something you can create and sell over and over whereas a service is where you are trading time for dollars or you are trading a certain project for dollars. You are doing your own project by project basis but selling consulting, selling services can be a great way to monetize your podcast especially in the beginning because if you do not have products, you can instantly just start selling your time and you can say, My time’s worth $100 an hour and when someone pays for it, great. And if they do not then it is not costing you anything.
You have not invested anything into it. I know that there are guys from the Flipped Lifestyle Podcast, through this they have consulting calls and they charge $200 per half an hour or something like that. But you can get on a consulting call with them. They also have products. They also have a community but they are still selling this. So selling services or consulting will be the ninth way to make money from your podcast.
And the tenth way would be to monetize your brand. Now this is a very high level strategy. This is something that is long-term, something that you would not get into podcasting and say, Okay, the way that I am going to make money from my podcasting is I’m going to monetize my brand. That’s how I’m gonna do it.
No. It is something that happens over the long term and the best example of this is a guy called Tim Reid or Timber Reid who has the Small Business Big Marketing Podcast here in Australia and he has built that over the years. He never really made any money from it. I think he had a couple of courses or masterminds that he sold. But what happened for him was he then became a personality with an audience. He then got an agent and then ended up doing a lot of public speaking.
He got an agent that sold him to speak at conferences and stuff like that. So he really created a personal brand around himself and then went on and sold that brand in terms of public speaking. The same with Gary Vaynerchuk. He does have his own podcast, the Ask Gary V Show. He uses that really to build his brand and then he makes money through public speaking appearances or through high level clients who contact his company because of the brand that he has built. And so what you can do is that you can build your personal brand and then you can monetize it in areas that do not directly relate to your podcast but because of the fame that you built around your podcast you can then monetize that.
So there you have it, 10 different ways that you can make money from your podcast. Let us go through it again.
(1) There is advertising but problem with advertising is that you need a lot of people to download your podcast and then ideally you would like to be specific to a particular niche. But yeah, you are going to need a lot of people to make a full-time income from advertising.
(2) You have the crowd-funded idea where you ask people to donate on a monthly basis. Again you are going to need a big audience to get enough donations in order to continue your podcast. I know with the crowd-funded you also need to give away perks and stuff like that to encourage people to sign up.
(3) You have affiliate marketing which is where you market someone else’s product or service and whenever someone signs up through your link you get a commission on it.
(4) You have drop shipping which is where you sell the stuff on your own site but someone else does all the fulfillment for you.
(5) You have retail which is where you sell stuff on your site but you are collecting all these stuff, housing it and then posting it out so you are acting as a full online retail store. That would be retail or e-commerce.
(6) Number 6 is creating and selling your own products. That could be eBooks, that could be courses, that could be membership sites. It could be physical products that you create yourself. Maybe you talk about creating beautiful tapestries and you actually create tapestries and you sell them. You could create and sell your own products.
(7) Number 7 is selling access to your community. So you collect your community into one place, get them to pay to have access. That could be in the form of a mastermind or a larger form of community like the Dynamite Circle.
(8) Tip number 8 is to pay to podcast so you could go out and get a business to pay you to podcast for them. You could get like a course sponsor for one podcast and say, I’m going to create these episodes, they’ll live online forever. Pay me in order to do it. So you are not paying based on or in terms of – with advertising it is usually based on how many downloads, you are just kind of paying to podcast for this business or for them to be the main sponsor for your podcast.
(9) Number 9 is selling consulting or selling services. You are trading time for dollars but hopefully at a higher rate than what you get paid in your job.
(10) And then number 10 is monetizing your brand through things like speaking engagements and stuff like that.
So these are 10 different ways to make money from podcasting. I make 90% of my income by creating and selling my own products. And as I have said before, most of my money is made through On Property which gets less than 10,000 downloads a month. Come on! Show me another podcast that is making $6,000, $7,000, $8,000 a month that is only getting 10,000 downloads. Show me one that is making that much through advertising. If you can show me then I will be flabbergasted because I do not believe anyone would be making that much money with only 10,000 downloads a month. But I can do it because it is such a small community and I am helping solve a real need by my products and I think that is the best way to make money through podcasting.
I am actually considering creating a course about how to make money podcasting and exactly how to do it so how to drive people to your own products and what sort of products to create or that sort of stuff. Check that out. Just go to podcastfast.com/course, c-o-u-r-s-e. If you go there right now, the link will not exist but in the near future it could definitely be there. That is something that I want to help people with.
I just want to get people away from the fact that I need to advertise in order to make money from my podcast and the start-up podcast where cereal made heaps of money from MailChimp and getting them to advertise. You know, the chance of you having this massive podcast where you are making millions of dollars through advertising is like slim to none. Let us face it. Most of us are not going to get that sort of downloads. We just do not have that audience. Forget about advertising. Try and create your own products and sell them or sell consulting or your services. I am really passionate about that. So go to podcastfast.com/course to check that out. To see the full links and the transcription for this episode, go to podcastfast.com/21, that is 2-1 and not actually the spelling of 21.
This has been awesome. I love talking about how to make money podcasting. I hope that you guys have enjoyed this. I hope it has been insightful to you. I hope that my perspective on this has been different from a lot of people out there and has actually allowed you to see that I do not need hundreds of thousands of downloads to make money from my podcast. If I create an audience, solve a real need, I can make a full-time income from my podcast.
I wish you guys the best of luck in your podcasting. Until next time and remember, don’t just podcast, podcast fast!