According to Buzzsprout, more than 60 percent of Americans aged 12 and older have listened to a podcast at least once in 2022.
For some, podcasts are a form of entertainment. Others treat podcasts as a platform to learn something new. It is also common to see both of these aspects combined in podcasts that have a light-hearted and entertaining approach while also teaching something interesting to their listeners.
Podcasts have become a popular medium, and it is no surprise to see more people trying to start a podcast themselves.
It is no secret that many approach the idea as a means to make money, even though podcasts are an excellent way to express yourselves. Some see it as a better blogging alternative because you do not have to write articles. Instead, talk about things you find interesting and shed light on others.
And if you end up trying to make money on your podcast, do not limit yourself to just a single method. Try multiple ideas and see how it goes. But first and foremost, you will need to build an audience that you can monetize.
After that, it comes to trial and error to find the most profitable method or a combination of methods that we will cover below.
Let’s start with an idea that is arguably the most popular way to monetize a podcast. Print-on-demand allows you to create and sell custom merchandise. T-shirts, hoodies, pillows, and other POD product ideas allow podcasts to treat their platform as a brand and offer merchandise to the fans.
Listeners can express their support for a podcast by spending money on the merchandise. Getting a cool t-shirt or a hoodie to wear can be an excellent way to spend money, particularly if you also want to show your support to a content creator you love.
As a podcast host, you will want to collaborate with a professional graphic designer so that the merchandise is high-quality and you can add new products regularly.
A Patreon page
Crowdfunding platforms offer a way for content creators to receive support directly from their audiences. It is common to see many YouTubers, for example, rely on Patreon.
Podcasts can also take advantage of the patron system and use it as a way to make money. The tricky part is figuring out how you can encourage listeners to pledge themselves. Your biggest fans will likely need no encouragement, but relying entirely on them might not cut it.
Exclusive content, early access, free merchandise, podcast topic suggestions, and one-on-one sessions are some of the examples of how you can create a tier list on Patreon or another crowdfunding platform and attract more pledges.
If you were to listen on a podcast, you would likely hear disclaimers about how this episode is sponsored by so and so.
Giving a shoutout to a podcast’s sponsor is one of the most common methods to monetize the content. You can simply make a short break in the middle of a podcast and announce who today’s sponsor is. Or, as an alternative, get it out of the way before starting an actual podcast episode.
When looking for sponsors, make sure that they are reputable and, ideally, relevant to your podcast. You do not want to shoutout a pharmaceutical company as a podcast that covers video games, for instance. Instead, it would make more sense to promote indie video games from various publishers.
Digital products can work as a monetization method. The question is how you can approach product creation.
Some podcast hosts spend time writing ebooks or creating tutorial videos themselves. Others hire someone else.
You can announce your new ebook during the podcast and let the listeners know that they can purchase the digital goods and support the podcast.
Your marketing options might be limited in this case, but you can still advertise the digital goods on your social media channels that you should have. That should help.
Live streaming is quite popular, which is why more and more podcast hosts are joining platforms like YouTube and Twitch TV. The latter, in particular, is excellent to establish as a podcast and also attract new listeners who might not have heard of you before because they did not bother checking the platforms your podcast is on.
The possibility of transitioning from a podcast host to a full-time streamer should not be underestimated either. You can still stick to your regular schedule as a podcast host while also building an audience on Twitch TV.
Donations, subscriptions, sponsorship deals, and other opportunities are present on the platform if you are looking to make more money as a podcast host who expanded their brand on different platforms.
All in all, the idea of monetizing a podcast is understandable, and you should not hesitate to try multiple methods to see which ones work. Early on, you might struggle, especially if you still have low listener numbers. However, as time moves and your audience grows, you can expect to make more money.