Some people earn a living from their podcast. Others are happy enough just to bring in enough to cover their hosting costs, and perhaps pay for a takeaway every few weeks. Whatever your aims are when it comes to monetization, experienced podcaster, The Real Brian, explores all possible routes in his weekly show Profitcast.

making money with a podcast
On this episode, I have Brian’s help in kicking off Series 5. This series aims to cover each method of monetisation, what context it’s suited to and to outline some case studies around each method. By the end of the series we’ll have a catalogue of methods anyone can try out.

This episode is an introduction to monetisation, looking at each of the most common methods in brief. It should give you an overview of the monetisation methods, and help you decide which one might suit you. Then you can dive into the detail when we get to the episode on that method later in the series.

Let’s get to it!

Before you think about monetizing…

Brian explains that there are 3 main things you need to think about, and make sure you are hitting these goals.

  • Content
  • Presentation, Delivery, & Performance
  • Building Relationships & Community

1. Content

Are you being “the best you?” Is your content and your podcast sustainable?

Brian’s Profitcast tagline is “Where passion meets profit.” By passion, he means the topic that best resonates with you, and by profit, he means that this also resonates with your listeners. Get the first part right and you will have the opportunity to profit, not just financially, but from relationships and by making a difference in people’s lives.

2. Presentation, Delivery, & Performance

How do you come across when you are behind the microphone? You can have the best topic and message in the world, but if the listener is bored, they either won’t care, or won’t listen.

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This doesn’t mean you should act like someone else, but be aware that in audio, your body language is channeled through your voice and your vocal inflections. Audiences are drawn to passion and enthusiasm, so make sure that comes across in your presentation, and always strive to improve your performance.

3. Building Relationships & Community

Brian believes that “if you don’t have time to build a community, then you don’t have time to do a podcast.”

Audiences are galvanised by interactions and conversations, not only with you as the podcast host, but with other listeners who share a passion for your topic. If you have no community and no interactions then it isn’t a conversation, and you are just talking at your audience and not with them.

People want to feel involved, and if you give them that, they will like you all the more for it. They will trust you more, and they will strive to support you.

The Methods of Monetisation

Firstly, ask yourself what your strengths are. Are you a teacher, a coach, a thought leader, a performer, or a creator? What kind of podcast do you do? What is your topic, and who is your audience? These are all relevant questions to the various monetization options available to you.

1. Creating Courses

If you like to teach others the nuts and bolts of your subject matter, break things down and explain them in a simple way by creating a course. This could be in video, audio, or written form.

2. One on One Coaching

If you’d like to get on Skype calls and talk people through processes, answer questions via emails, and offer general guidance and advice, then you can charge for this service.

3. Sponsorship

One problem with sponsorship is that many companies are still fixated on numbers rather than interaction. If you’d like to get a sponsor for your show, choose someone that fits with your topic and your audience and approach them. Try smaller or local companies, and talk to them about the ways they can benefit by supporting your podcast.

4. Write an eBook

A popular option. You can self publish an eBook on virtually anything, find something that’s hot in your topic and write about it, but make sure the reader will get something from it. Can you identify a problem and solve it?

5. Create a Product

Again, think of the problems your listeners face, or better still, survey and ask them. Can you create a product that will make life easier for them?

6. Sell a Product or Service

You can sell your skills as a service, or find a product created by someone else that is relevant to your topic, and offer to sell it for them, taking a percentage of the profit.

7. Affiliate Income

Every time you mention a product favourably, your listeners might be interested in buying it. You can easily set up affiliate programmes on Amazon, or approach companies directly to request becoming an affiliate partner. A good way to earn affiliate commission is to create a free course or eBook which has affiliate links in it.

8. Premium Content

Some podcasters sell their back episodes, or create extra episodes for sale on top of their free content.

9. Sell Yourself as a Podcaster

Are there businesses in your niche who don’t have a podcast? If you have the expertise, offer to make one for them.

10. Patreon/Crowdfunding

More suited to content creator and hobbyist podcasts, if you have a loyal listening community, ask them to help support you by pledging a small amount of money to the show.

11. Create an Email List

No matter what strategy you choose, make sure you have an email list. Not only do they help strengthen connections and interactions with your audience, they also help supplement each of the monetization methods we’ve mentioned above.

Find more great content from The Real Brian at Profitcast and Arrow Squad.

What’s Next on the Series?

The rest of this series is dedicated to looking at each of these methods in detail. I’ll be covering each one in the method we do best here on Podcraft: in depth, in bite sized chunks. After that, I hope to get a range of case studies together showing how real podcaters are using these methods to profit.

This series will be running weekly over the next few months, so keep your ears peeled!

Come on the Show and Share Your Story

I mentioned case studies above – if you’re making money with your podcast, even just a small amount, then please do get in touch. I’d love to get you on the show. We’ll get a great example of how money can be made, and promote your show to a new audience at the same time. Win-win!

I look forward to hearing from you!