How to Make Money Podcasting

For storytellers, experts, and enthusiasts alike, podcasting opens up a world of possibilities. With on-demand audio content on the rise, seizing the podcasting trend means tapping into a vast audience hungry for engaging conversation.

With podcasting, you can monetize your creativity without having to worry about production logistics. So what do you do? Build a brand presence online, create compelling content, and connect with your audience.

Whether you’re looking for supplemental income or a full-time career, podcasting offers flexibility and potential. Here we’ll explain how you can turn your podcasting passion into a profitable venture, so you can join the ranks of successful podcasters.

How to Make Money From a Podcast: 6 Ways

  1. Join a Podcast Advertising Network
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Sell Merchandise
  4. Offer Exclusive Content Through Patreon
  5. Host Live Podcasts to Collect Tips
  6. Publish a Book

1. Join a Podcast Advertising Network

A podcast advertising network is a platform or company that serves as an intermediary between podcasters and advertisers, facilitating the placement of ads within podcast episodes.

For podcasters, joining such a network provides an opportunity to monetize their content by gaining access to a pool of advertisers interested in leveraging their listener base. Networks typically take a percentage of the ad revenue, which can be around 30%, as compensation for their services.

Here are some examples of top podcast advertising networks:

  • AdvertiseCast
  • Midroll Media
  • Adopter Media
  • WebFX
  • Audioboom
  • SXM Media

These networks are distinguished by their ability to offer strategic ad placements, detailed analytics, and a variety of advertising options that cater to the specific needs of advertisers and the interests of podcast listeners.

If you want to join a podcast advertising network, follow these steps:

  1. Evaluate Your Podcast’s Eligibility: Most networks have specific requirements regarding audience size, episode frequency, and content quality. For instance, some networks might require a minimum of 1,000 downloads per episode or a consistent weekly episode release.
  2. Research and Select Suitable Networks: Look for networks that align with your podcast’s genre and audience. Some networks specialize in certain themes, such as true crime or comedy, while others are more general.
  3. Prepare Your Pitch: When reaching out to a network, prepare a compelling pitch that highlights your podcast’s unique value, audience demographics, engagement metrics, and how it aligns with potential advertisers’ goals.
  4. Understand the Terms and Conditions: Before joining a network, thoroughly review the contract or agreement terms. Pay attention to revenue sharing models, creative control, ad placement policies, and any obligations you might have towards the network.
  5. Apply to Join: Once you’ve selected a network that fits your podcast, follow their application process, which usually involves filling out a form on their website and submitting your podcast for review.

Remember to regularly check how ads are performing and adjust your approach as needed to strike the right balance between making money and maintaining the quality of your podcast content.

2. Affiliate Marketing

Another effective method to monetize your podcast is through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing operates on a performance-based model. As a podcaster, you become an affiliate partner with a company. This partnership enables you to share a unique affiliate link with your listeners. When your audience members use this link to make a purchase or perform a specific action, the company tracks these actions back to your podcast.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Affiliate Partnership: When you sign up for an affiliate program, the company provides you with a personalized affiliate link. This link is your key to trackable earnings.
  2. Promotion: During your podcast episodes, you share this affiliate link with your listeners. You might introduce it while discussing relevant topics or recommending products or services.
  3. Listener Action: If your listeners click the affiliate link and engage in the desired action – like making a purchase – the company attributes the action to your podcast.
  4. Earnings: For every successful action traced back to your podcast, you earn a commission. This commission could be a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount, depending on the company’s terms.

To be successful at affiliate marketing, you have to align your products and services with the interests of your audience. For example, a podcast about gaming should collaborate with gaming companies to ensure relevance and resonance.

Don’t limit yourself to a single affiliate partner. You can experiment with partnerships across various niches to identify what resonates best with your audience.

However, you must clearly disclose your use of affiliate links to your audience. This can help you build trust to enhance engagement and increase the likelihood of action.

Here’re some affiliate programs tailored for podcasters:

  • Amazon Associates
  • Rakuten Advertising
  • Skillshare Affiliates
  • ClickBank
  • ShareASale
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Awin
  • AffiliaXe
  • GiddyUp
  • Impact

Remember to regularly review the performance of your affiliate links. Discard underperforming ones and focus on high-conversion options.

3. Sell Merchandise

Selling merchandise to your loyal audience is also a good way to increase your podcasting revenue. You can create a range of items like trendy t-shirts, eye-catching stickers, stylish posters, practical mugs, versatile tote bags, and appealing journals – all customized to reflect your podcast’s identity.

Personally, I chose a hassle-free print-on-demand model to manage my merch store. This approach involves a third-party handling the manufacturing and shipping process as orders roll in. You don’t have to bother about upfront costs, shipping logistics, storage concerns, and financial risks.

Though setting up an online store and product selection requires an initial effort, once established, your store practically manages itself.

If you decided to run a Shopify store, you might consider using a renowned print-on-demand platform compatible with Shopify:

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • Teelaunch
  • SPOD
  • Apliiq
  • CustomCat

This approach fits right in with podcasting. Your merch store can quietly do its thing in the background, while you focus on making awesome podcast episodes.

Here are a couple of ways to make the most of your merch:

  • Get the Word Out: Turn your merch items, like t-shirts and tote bags, into walking billboards for your podcast. Even when people are offline, they’re still spreading the word about your brand.
  • Engage Your Fans: Hosting giveaways and contests with your merch can supercharge audience engagement. Encourage your fans to show off their swag and create a tight-knit community.

By adding custom merchandise sales to your podcasting adventure, you’re not only bringing in more cash, but you’re also building stronger fan loyalty and giving your podcast room to grow.

4. Offer Exclusive Content Through Patreon

Patreon, a prominent patronage platform, allows content creators to receive recurring financial support from their audience. For podcasters, this means they can convert enthusiastic listeners into “patrons” who make regular monthly contributions.

Using tiered memberships, creators can offer multiple subscription levels, each with unique benefits. It caters to different levels of commitment and fosters a sense of community.

Here’s how to use Patreon’s tiered memberships to monetize your podcast:

  1. Create an Account: Start by signing up on Patreon and selecting ‘Podcasts’ as your category.
  2. Customize Your Page: Add a compelling description, attractive cover art, and any other relevant information that represents your podcast.
  3. Set Up Tiers and Benefits: Decide on the number and type of tiers. Common tiers range from $1 to $20 per month, each offering incremental benefits.

Here’s an example of tier benefits:

  • Basic Tier ($1-$5): Offer ad-free episodes, early access to episodes, or a shoutout on the show.
  • Mid Tier ($10-$20): Include bonus episodes, behind-the-scenes content, or merchandise discounts.
  • High Tier ($20 and up): Provide exclusive Q&A sessions, the ability to influence podcast content, or personalized merchandise.

You may also give patrons access to a private community, such as a Discord or Slack channel, where they can interact with each other and with you. To optimise your content, allow patrons to vote on future topics or participate in the content creation process.

You can promote your Patreon page during your podcast episodes. Explain the benefits and what the funds are used for. Be transparent about how the funds are being used to foster trust and loyalty among your patrons. 

5. Host Live Podcasts to Collect Tips

Live, in-person events have long been associated with revenue generation, yet they come with inherent obstacles, particularly for emerging podcasts. Securing gigs in traditional venues is often tricky, and without a substantial following, payment for performance is rare.

But what if you could curate your own podcast events, gather tips, and extend the influence of your podcast without relying on external venues? With the integration of live streaming capabilities and tip collection tools, this is not only feasible but can also prove advantageous, especially for smaller podcasts.

To get started, you must select an appropriate platform for hosting your live podcast. The choice should reflect the preferences of your target audience:

  • Patreon: Crowdcast on Patreon provides a valuable tool for creators to host livestreams that are only accessible to their patrons, providing a private and secure environment for engagement.
  • Twitch: If your podcast aligns with gaming interests, Twitch’s Squad Stream feature enables up to four creators to monetize and collaborate within a shared window.
  • Facebook Live: If you have an established audience on Facebook, it can be easy to engage with them directly through live streaming. While this platform lacks paid streaming features, you can capitalize on monetization through in-stream ads.
  • YouTube Live: This platform offers the option to monetize through ads and fan payments via the Super Chat feature. It’s important to note that access to these features requires acceptance into YouTube’s Partner Program.

To increase your earnings, consider integrating tip-collection tools into your podcasting strategy. Some common options include Venmo, Cash App, Buy Me a Coffee, and Ko-fi. By including tip URLs across your social media, web pages, and show notes, you facilitate a convenient channel through which your audience can express their support.

6. Publish a Book

If your podcast becomes popular, you can turn its success into a book that resonates with your listeners. In fact, many accomplished podcasters have already taken this path.

Here are some notable examples:

  • Scott Bradley – Known for his horror-themed podcast, Scott Bradley expanded his reach by authoring “Screaming For Pleasure: How Horror Makes You Happy and Healthy.”
  • Gareth Reynolds and Dave Anthony – Creators and hosts of “The Dollop,” a podcast that delves into the weird and lesser-known tales from American history. They compiled some of these stories into a book, offering illustrated profiles of the outrageous and absurd tales not typically taught in schools.
  • Dan Harris – Known for his “10% Happier” podcast, which explores mindfulness and meditation, Harris wrote a book under the same name.

Remember, you already have a wealth of content from your podcast, which can be repurposed into a book format. This approach not only saves time and effort in content creation but also allows you to present your material in a new, potentially more digestible format for different audiences.

Unlike podcast episodes that might be buried under new content, a book remains a static, enduring piece of work that people can return to. It can continue to generate income long after its publication.

It might even open up other revenue streams such as enhanced sponsorship deals for your podcast, speaking fees, and workshops based on your book’s content.

Your book and podcast can promote each other. The book can direct readers to your podcast for more dynamic discussions on the topics covered, while the podcast can continuously promote the book, keeping it in the minds of your listeners.

By publishing a book, you can further enhance your credibility and authority in your field.

How Much do Average Podcasts Make?

Podcast earnings can vary significantly based on factors such as audience size and monetization strategies. For instance, a podcaster with 10,000 downloads per episode could earn between $500 to $900 per month.

Here’re some global podcasting market insights:

  1. Listenership: Approximately 464.7 million people worldwide listen to podcasts.
  2. Market Value: The podcasting market was valued at $18.52 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $130.63 billion by 2030.
  3. Regional Dominance: North America leads the market, generating over 39.1% of global podcast revenue.
  4. Advertising Revenue: Podcast advertising revenue is expected to surpass $4 billion by 2024, with a typical rate of $50 for an ad slot and a minimum of $180 per episode for a 30-second advertisement.

There are various avenues to monetize your podcast, including:

  • Advertising
  • Sponsorships
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Listener donations
  • Premium content or memberships
  • Merchandise sales
  • Live events and speaking engagements

Around 69% of podcasters start earning money after two years, often by combining multiple monetization methods for stable income. 

Some podcasts start earning early with ads or sponsorships, while others take longer to make money as they grow their audience. Those with bigger audiences and engaged listeners usually earn more through higher ad rates and better sponsorship deals.

Read more: Best Side Hustle Ideas


1. How do people monetize podcasts?

To earn money as a new podcaster, use various monetization methods while focusing on growing your audience.

This way, income streams work in the background as you attract more listeners and supporters.

2. Can I make money podcasting on YouTube?

Certainly! However, to maximize your reach, consider sharing your podcast on multiple platforms.

If YouTube is your focus, learn about building a successful YouTube channel.

3. What equipment do I need to start podcasting for profit?

You’ll need microphones for each host, audio-editing software, and possibly conference tools like Zoom for remote interviews. Visit “How to Start a Podcast in 2022” for comprehensive podcasting guidance.

4. How much money do I need to start a podcast?

A quality microphone can cost around $100. Free software like Audacity or GarageBand is useful for basic editing.

For advanced options, check out tools like Adobe Audition (starting at $20.99/month). Music production software is pricier but not essential solely for podcasting.

5. Do I need special licenses or rights for my podcast?

No, starting a podcast doesn’t require special permissions. However, use royalty-free music to avoid copyright issues if you include music in your episodes.

6. How many episodes should I record before launching?

While technically one episode is enough, it’s recommended to have a backlog of a few episodes ready. This ensures you can maintain a consistent release schedule and engage your audience effectively.

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