How to Monetize Your Podcast Effectively

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In this article, we will explore 1) why you should monetize your podcast, 2) ways to monetize your podcast, 3) tips for launching a great podcast, as well as 4) examples of successful monetization of podcasts.

WHY YOU SHOULD MONETIZE YOUR PODCAST?

Monetizing is not only about obtaining podcast sponsors. You can earn money by means of podcasting through selling premium content, promotion of affiliates, the creation of products and services, promotion of your business, acceptance of donations or crowdfunding, or any other way. Here are some good reasons for monetizing your podcast.

  • Cost of podcasting: Whether you are into podcasting for a hobby or business, there would be ongoing costs or one-time expenses. These expenses amount to around $20 to $30 per month. If you are unable to afford it, monetizing is the best way to sustain it.
  • Improvement costs: It might be education, equipment or additional help, improvement in all aspects of the podcast would require money. You might require a faster computer, a mixer, a better microphone, lighting, website plugins, better software, and other stuff- and for all these you need financial support.
  • Sustainability through revenue generation: If you can have the expenses of podcasting covered, it will relieve some stress. This enables you to put more focus on the creation of quality, consistent content.
  • Value for quality content: When you have worked hard for something, you do deserve a reward. When you are into the creation of something that is of good quality, the time you have spent must be given the right value. People would be ready to give it, as no reasonable individual would expect a talented person to work free of cost.
  • A part of business: If the survival of your business in some way or the other depends on podcasting, then it would do you good to make it profitable. However, you must understand that you cannot directly measure the return on investment in this case. Therefore, the podcast may not sell something directly every time, but the consistent quality could be enough promotion.
  • Returns from the audience: When people obtain something for free, they tend to develop a reciprocal feeling. So, people might come up to render financial support. There are a number of shows that are getting immense success on crowdfunding platforms.

WAYS TO MONETIZE YOUR PODCAST

There are a number of ways in which you can make money through podcasting. So if you have a passion for podcasting, you may as well consider these ways of monetizing your podcast.

Monetization #1: Lead Generation

A podcast serves as a very potent lead generation tool. It can be leveraged to educate your customers regarding new services and products, and attract traffic towards your website. Moreover, through podcasting you can create a personal connection with people, which is not possible through any other promotional medium.

When your podcast is downloaded, people are spending time, may be minutes or hours, with your voice sounding in their ears. Through this listening activity, a bond is created. This bond brings with it a kind of trust that written word often fails to do. This trust you can convert into leading your audience to buying recommended products or services for which you take a commission.

Monetization #2: Sponsorships

Sponsorships offer you one of the easiest ways of earning money because in it, you simply get paid for promotion. Sponsors are not interested in your audience size, but the level of engagement of your audience, and how likely it is that they would act on the sponsors. The majority of podcast sponsorships pay off on the basis of the number of thousand impressions you receive, and the number of actions taken or they may also consider a flat rate.

The most significant aspect of any sponsorship style is the relevance it has to the audience. For instance, Audiobooks.com and Audible.com have achieved great success due to the appeal that their audiobooks have to anyone.

Prior to approaching a sponsor, remember that the presentation, production and content of your podcast should be of high quality. Moreover, you must understand your audience.

Monetization #3: Affiliate Relationships

Apart from directly monetizing your podcast, you can leverage the platform for building relationships with people who can be outstanding affiliates. A considerable amount of rapport can be created by spending some time (say, one hour) for an interview. Through nurturing relationships with those whom you interview, you may rope in a number of excellent affiliates.

If an organization has no affiliate program as such, a coupon code can be negotiated with them. In this way, you may get a part of all the orders through that particular coupon code. A promo code is a good option since it acts as a great incentive.

Monetization #4: Product Resale

You may try to earn 4 to 8 percent from other sites, but it would be great if you can resell yourself. Through reselling, the same items could help you get as much as 50%. This procedure is known as ‘drop shipping’. If you are unable to beat the price, consider beating the value. This extra value could be made through recording some secrets, a video showing the procedure of any setup or any other thing, which your audience might not get elsewhere.

Monetization #5: Product Creation

This is one of the most effective ways of making money. Once you invest the resources and time for making a product, 100% of the profits would come to you. It has been seen that the most profitable podcasters are leveraging their courses or products for generating income. For instance, Cliff Ravencraft is podcasting digital products and A to Z while Lou Mongello is podcasting unofficial Disney products.

When you are creating your first product, it is advisable to promise less and deliver more. If you start off small, you can also gain long term success as people are gradually exposed to your value creation. Remember that 80% of the audience will opt for freebies, but the remaining 20% would generate 80% of the income.

Monetization #6: Services or Coaching

You may have expertise in consulting and coaching on a one-to-one basis. It is true that a number of people would derive more benefit from this personalized coaching instead of a group one. You will have to start off with a small value, but the same will grow as you become experienced and gather a reputation.

If you feel that you do not have so much expertise as a teacher, you might offer some service. For instance, you might get hired on an hourly basis to teach somebody a particular subject. Or else, you may also get hired to do something for someone that involves your area of expertise. People would be more eager to pay for solutions rather than pay for time.

Monetization #7: Donations

Once you have a podcast, making money through donations will only be possible once you have a loyal and passionate fan following. Once you get donations, do not forget to thank the audience for the support that they have rendered. This will make them feel that they are a part of the show. For a more successful campaign, make your supports feel that they are exclusive. You may do some funny activity for them or specially thank them in your episodes.

Monetization #8: Premium Content Creation

This was one of the very sought models in the early podcasting days, but a lot of podcasters are using this even today with great success. If your audience pays for a subscription, you can give them premium content in the form of exclusive community, exclusive episodes, back-catalog for episodes and lots more.

This model might not suit everyone because some podcasters are unwilling to sell their previous episodes since every episode is a promotion of the expertise.

Monetization #9: Selling of Mastermind Slots

When people listen to your podcast topic and are interested in it, it is an indication for your audience to like your content and their preference to hear more about this particular topic. Your job is to create a mastermind of similar minded people who are interested in learning more regarding the topic of your show. After this, you may consider obtaining individual support.

Monetization #10: eBook Sale

Selling ebooks is a difficult task. With each passing day, an increasing number of authors are trying their luck at Amazon Kindle. Given this, if you build a solid relationship with the book and ebook readers through the medium of podcasting, you job becomes easier as you get an opportunity to stand apart from others.

There are, in fact, many, who have succeeded over Kindle, although starting off from scratch, through interaction and consistent communication with their book readers. Podcasting is, in fact, a great way for the cultivation of a relationship and creation of a loyal fan following of people who wish to purchase your books.

Monetization #11: iPhone App Sale

You may offer free classes on your podcast. In association with that, you can sell an app and earn some bucks. For instance, say you are a yoga instructor providing free yoga classes through your iPhone. Through the app, you can enable people to get anytime access to your yoga classes and also sell material depicting the sequence of your classes.

Monetization #12: Event Hosting

Decide upon the category of people whom you would like to attract to your events. You can go then for the creation of content where you would get a response from them. In the podcast, declare the events (whether offline or online) you will be hosting.

TIPS FOR RUNNINING A GREAT PODCAST

If you are thinking of monetizing your podcast, you must ensure that it is of high quality. Here are some valuable tips to help you launch a great podcast.

Provide clear direction on subscription

There are many people who are not even aware of what podcasting is, leave alone subscribing to a podcast. Hence, it would be great if, once each episode of your podcast ends; you can offer clear-cut direction regarding subscription to your show. Your listeners or viewers would copy paste them for future use.

Send link email following guest interview

A number of people can be interviewed on your podcast. Once the interview is over, some might send you traffic by linking to the interview while others might not. You can convince these people to link to you from their social media accounts and websites, by doing the actual job on their behalf. You may create some social media posts (say for Google Plus, Facebook, etc.) for them and write a thank you mail asking them to share the same.

Give something in exchange for reviews

Reviews may help you in getting good podcast ranking in iTunes. But it is quite difficult to get people to write reviews. You need to offer something to people in exchange for positive reviews. For instance, if you are offering an online course, you might give out some lessons for free for those who write reviews for you.

Get the best of ‘New and Noteworthy’

There is a prominent display segment in iTunes for podcasts that are ‘New and Noteworthy’. Once your show is launched, your podcast will be highlighted in this area for a portion of the initial 8 weeks. Once the first 8 weeks are over, you would not be visible in this area. These 8 weeks are very crucial for you, and you must use it in the best manner possible.

Use CommentCast

So far as iTunes is concerned, there is country wise separation. This implies that if you are from US and somebody from Canada writes a review for your podcast, people in the US will not be able to see it. To overcome this issue, download CommentCast. This is free software enabling all the reviews to be viewed from around the world. You should be aware of reviews coming from other countries since this gives you the whole picture.

Prepare attractive artwork

The artwork representing your show is visible in iTunes, along with the creator and the name of the show. In fact, users browse through a display of thumbnails for choosing a new show. The quality artwork has a major role to play in the success or failure of a show.

Read negative reviews of competitors

Reading negative reviews of other podcasts belonging to the same industry will give you an idea of what mistakes you should avoid. Also, if you carefully read the negative reviews, you will also come to know about ways in which you can impress your listeners.

Include several segments

If you do not include segments, your podcast narration will ramble. By inclusion of segments in the show, you can make the content more useful and keep the produce more structured. Segments do away with the rambling leading you as you proceed. Examples of segments include recommended resources or products, listener questions, listener feedback for previous shows, book reviews, interviews with industry experts, as well as news.

Use a generic name

Podcast listeners have two short pieces of text, the name of the creator and title of the show, at their disposal through which they have to determine which show is worth lending an ear. If you select a generic name, it would more clearly reveal to your listeners that your show revolves around their area of interest. For instance, for a show dealing with email marketing, the name ‘The Email Marketing Show’ is preferable to the name ‘Email Buzz’.

EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL PODCAST MONETIZING

John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire

John Lee Dumas is the host and founder of Entrepreneur On Fire (EOF), a podcast that is based on interviewing top entrepreneurs. The show runs for the whole week. This has been one of the most successful cases of podcast monetizing, with EOF receiving the Best of iTunes award in 2013, for its commitment to sharing valuable insights that give due guidance on entrepreneurship.

One of the most positive aspects of the show is its structured content. The first story shared on EOF is the biggest setback of the guest and the lessons learned from that. The second story revolves around that groundbreaking moment and how things took a turn from there. In the concluding finale, guests are asked a rapid-fire question, through which they share their experience and wisdom.

The podcast has been very popular amongst the audience. As per the monthly income report of December 2014, the gross income generated was $298, 146, with a net profit of $199,451. The income sources were coaching, sponsorship, masterminds, books, affiliate relationships and more.

Profitcast along with Daniel J. Lewis

Profitcast had a hangout with Daniel J. Lewis of the Audacity to Podcast fame. In this show something unique happened- instead of one person interviewing another, two podcasters co-hosted this specific Profitcast episode. The episode dealt with brilliant monetization strategies that have made some podcasters successful.

This was the lengthiest episode of Profitcast, wherein a lot of strategies were discussed, including the manner in which these strategies work, what would suit you, and how you can get started by leveraging these strategies.

CONCLUSION

There are a number of podcasters who are successfully earning million dollars from their shows. Once you get a fan following, it becomes easier to monetize your podcast and succeed in the long run. There are numerous opportunities, it is up to you to identify the right path and go ahead with your show.

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2 comments

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1
John Lee Dumas (@johnleedumas)

What a great article! Thanks for the kind words...it's an honor!

2

You are very welcome, John. Love your podcasts.

Cheers,
Martin