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Monetising your Podcast through Affiliate Marketing | S5E02 Podcraft Podcast

Hosted by: Colin Gray

Colin has been teaching people how to podcast since 2007. He's worked with Universities, businesses and hobbyists alike. He started The Podcast Host to share his experience and to help as many people as possible get into Podcasting. He runs Podcraft, to spread the art of podcasting, and does the Mountain Bikes Apart podcast whenever he can. Who doesn't like to talk bikes, after all!

Now we're we're into the detail of Series 5, exploring in-depth the range of monetisation methods for podcasting. Today, it's affiliate marketing, and how you can use affiliate deals to monetize your show. Affiliate marketing is a great one to start with, I think, because it really is available to anyone, right away.

Podcast affiliate marketing takes little preparation, no product creation time and you can start out even with a very small audience. If you have a group of listeners that trust you, and you search out products and deals that will benefit them, then you can make money with affiliate marketing right away.

“How?” you may ask! Well, let's find out.

Introduction to affiliate income

You don't necessarily need to sell something to make money in podcasting. If you build trust with your audience, you can refer them to products or services that you use yourself and would recommend. If the audience buys something through an affiliate program you have created, then you will earn a commission fee.

The great thing about affiliate programs is that you can begin to bring in small amounts of money to help cover your costs, even if you have just started out and have a very small audience. In this episode, we are going to show you how.

How can I earn affiliate income?

Generally, any niche will have something you can sell – or in the case of affiliates, recommend, by building it into your show content.

Some examples of how a niche podcast can make money through affiliate links are

  • A guitar show, who might recommend equipment, pedals, speakers etc
  • A gaming show, who might find a game or a platform with an affiliate deal
  • A sports show, who would have access to potentially huge amounts of equipment companies.
  • A business show, who could look into the many SAAS companies, books, or software programs out there.

What if I Have an Entertainment Show?

You might think that there's no real products or services that relate to your show, but this is where you need to take a look at your avatar and listener demographic. Who do you make the show for? Who listens? What age or gender are they? Where are they from? What are their hobbies and interests?

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Answering some (or all) of these questions will really help you to come up with some great ideas for potential affiliate income. For starters, are there some books or DVDs you could recommend?

Courses or Services as Affiliates

If you haven't created your own training course, you can recommend someone else's through setting up an affiliate program with Udemy. Be careful with this though – if you’re planning to create your own product, better to build trust at this stage, rather than direct your listeners to other gurus before you have something ready. Remember, people will listen to your back episodes so make sure you're not always sending them off somewhere else, if that's a space you plan to sell in yourself in future.

Building Affiliates into your Content

You have the option to talk about a particular product in a review style feature, or you can simply use your affiliate as a sponsor or commercial by mentioning it at the beginning, middle, or end of the show.

Resources Mentioned

Creating Memorable Shortlinks on a Podcasting Website with Pretty LinkWithin this episode I mentioned a few affiliate marketing resources, all of which may be useful to you at some point.

  • Prettylink, great for easy referring to affiliate links, on your shownotes, website, social media, or elsewher
  • Amazon, a first stop for many. Especially when recommending tech, music, books, DVDs, etc. With amazon, use EasyAzon for geo-targeting
  • Affiliate Window are someone I've used often. They have a good range, good dashboard, and quite a few sports outlets.
  • Commission Junction also have a decent range, but I'm not a huge fan of their system
  • Or someone like Skimlinks. They deal with many many providers, make it very easy for you, and convert your links.

Task bigWhat next?

Here's what you should do now, to get started in affiliate marketing:

  1. Find a programme
    Google your niche and search for companies who offer affiliate programs. You’ll be surprised at how many businesses, from independent stores to big companies, are running their own.
  2. Make a deal!
    Find someone really suited to your niche and ask if they have a programme.
  3. Nudge them to set up a program
    If you find someone perfect, but they don't have a program, let them know you've got hundreds of people really suited to their product, ready and waiting to buy.
  4. Help them, if necessary
    If it's someone really worthwhile, ask if they'll set up a code for you, and maybe offer a little discount. Tell them you can even help them with tracking!

Need More Monetisation Help?

Remember our Academy is always there to help you, no matter what stage you're at. If you need advice on how to go about your affiliate marketing, or any other monetisation method, then join the Academy. We can help through live support sessions, the community forums and a range of courses and resources. Hopefully see you there!

Image credit: adavidholloway on Flickr

Discussion:

5 Comments

  1. Christine on 25th October 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks so much for your helpful advice. If I might respond in kind: there is an old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Please put music on your podcast that draws your listener in; what you have now is so painful to listen to that I fled your podcast as quickly as possible. I don’t want to listen again, and I am trained in piano and voice.

    • Colin Gray on 4th November 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Christine, I appreciate the honest feedback! Can I ask, is it the music, the voiceover, the effects, that are putting you off? I’d love to find out so that I can look to make it easier on your ears in future 🙂

  2. politie in beeld on 24th February 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4.

    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    With thanks!

  3. Angelina on 11th April 2016 at 10:35 am

    Funny I thought the same thing about the music. I persevered though and really appreciate the show, your voice and style. I think the biggest problem is that the music does not in any way reflect the style of your show. It’s as if it was taken from another show (I’m not implying it is). My original though was that having such a US-sounding intro and voice might be to appeal to that audience. Nothing wrong with that, just that it’s a little jarring – so different to your easy-to-listen to voice and style.

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Written by:

Colin Gray

Colin has been teaching people how to podcast since 2007. He's worked with Universities, businesses and hobbyists alike. He started The Podcast Host to share his experience and to help as many people as possible get into Podcasting. He runs Podcraft, to spread the art of podcasting, and does the Mountain Bikes Apart podcast whenever he can. Who doesn't like to talk bikes, after all!

September 2nd 2015