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“There are several ways on how to make money with a podcast. But, the number one rule to make money on a podcast is, you need a lot of podcast subscribers. And this means, really a lot. I understand that you feel that your 50 subscribers are a success for you, and this is true. You’ve made a wonderful thing. But compared to the most successful podcasts, this is peanuts. For example, This American Life, a successful podcast, has 1.000.000 listeners per episode.
What you can expect on making money on a podcast is that you will make $25-$50 per 1000 listeners.
5 ways for you to make money with a podcast:
- CPM advertising
- Direct sponsorship
- Affiliate marketing
- Own products
There are different podcast advertising networks that will allow you to add advertising to your podcast. They are the easiest way to find someone that is willing to pay to advertise on your podcast, but the total amount that you will be able to make won’t make you rich. Podcast advertising networks allow you to get advertisers fast, but the pay per one download is low. But it is a start. Some of them will allow almost anyone to join, and others have limits on how big your number of subscribers should be.
If you want to make big bucks, this is the best way to make money with a podcast, but it also requires more work. You will have to find advertisers that would find it interesting to advertise on your podcast, then reach out to them, negotiate a deal with them, make them create the ad and then include that ad into your podcast. Also, you will have to collect the payment and you will have to work with them on a long-term basis to get their money every month.
You have to put in much more work, but this also means a bigger reward. When you find a company that is willing to advertise on your podcast, you can expect much more money than on a CPM advertising network. But you will have to have a bigger number of downloads, or you will have to have a very specific niche, that is really interesting to advertisers.
Affiliate marketing to make money with a podcast
Affiliate marketing is the process, where you present products (or services or online-products) to your listeners and then receive money for every person that buys that product. The company that you promote will create a special landing page only for your customers and you will tell your podcast audience to use the specific URL to buy the product. This way you and the company that pays you will know how many people visited their website and purchased a product.
You will be paid somewhere in the range of 5 – 20 % of whatever the company makes on every sale. This means that you usually have to bring a lot of people to their landing page to earn any real money.
This is probably the most complicated way to make money with a podcast because you have to create your own products. This can be digital or physical products that will be interesting to your audience. So you need to think of a product that will be interesting, you need to design that product, promote and sell it to your listeners and then ship it to them.
Of course, compared to the affiliate marketing idea, you will keep all the money and not only the fraction, but there are different risks connected to this way of making money. If you produce 1000 products but sell only 5, you will have to pay for the production anyway and will lose money.
This is the most “organic” way to make money with a podcast. People who love your podcast will be prepared to donate money to your cause and help you support the podcast. There are several ways how to do that.
The simplest way for you is just to set up a PayPal account, and allow people to send you money to your Paypal account. This is an easy way for you and your subscribers. The modern “hip” way to do this is for you to publish your BitCoin wallet and ask people to donate to your BitCoin wallet. There are limitations to this system because you can’t offer additional content or quirks to your subscribers, so the number of subscribers will probably be lower, but you can start making money with your podcast easily.
There are different websites that allow you to have a membership website, where you can publish additional content for your subscribers, post videos, text, audio and other interesting things, have a forum or live chat with your subscribers and other things. One of such websites that is great for podcasters is https://www.patreon.com where you can have a big and differentiated community for your paid subscribers. (Just for orientation, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe has 2000 subscribers on Patreon).”