How to Make Money from a Podcast

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Podcasts keep growing in popularity daily, with a number of shows that are currently more than 2 million. As this platform grows, so does the competition and the options for the listeners to choose from, making it hard to stand out and monetize your content. It’s important to know from the beginning that this is not a business that usually allows you to make lots of money quickly. It takes time and effort to build an audience that will be loyal, engaged, and most importantly, that will buy what you sell in a figurative and literal way.

So let’s go to the real question, how do you make money from a podcast? The good news is that there are many ways in which you can do so, and we will list them below. 

Affiliate Links

This is a way of making money by selling other companies’ products and services. You get a commission from each sale that is made under your unique link.

We will make it easier by giving you an example, let’s say you have a cooking show where you tell your audience about your best recipes and step by step on how you do it at home. In the middle, you can recommend your go-to brand of kitchen tools and tell your audience that they can buy from the personalized link that you should also have on your show notes and your podcasts Instagram or website. The brand will give you a percentage of each sale made from this link.

Since it’s so important to keep your audience’s trust and loyalty, we strongly recommend letting them know you are making money from this.

How to Get Affiliate Links

When you are just starting, or even when you have been podcasting for a long, it can seem hard to find companies that will trust you to sell their products and services. The best way to do so is by checking the main affiliate networks, once you sign up you can start selecting the best affiliate programs for you and applying for them.
Some of the most efficient networks are Amazon, Buzzsprout or Podcorn.

A more traditional way is to just check the websites of the brands you would like to work with, probably the ones you really use or believe will be a great fit for your content. Some companies run affiliate programs in-house instead of joining affiliate networks, in this case, you can find the information on their website and apply from there. Another way of finding these companies is by checking the competition or other niches to see who they are working with, this way you know that these brands work with affiliates.

Lastly, always keep an eye on social media, there are thousands of Facebook groups, Instagram accounts and pages that gather information about affiliate marketing and share it.

Sponsors

Advertisers are always looking for popular podcasts where they can plug their products or services in ads that appear during your show. They usually pay from 17 to 25 dollars for every thousand monthly downloads, which are referred to as CPM. This means that the more people download your episodes, the more money you will make out of the sponsorship.

Affiliate marketing is pretty similar, but instead of paying a commission for actually selling something, sponsorships pay for potential sales which may or may not happen. Because of this risk, advertisers are very picky when they pick the shows they want to invest in and can make it harder for you to get one. They usually pick podcasts that have a minimum of 5000 downloads each month and it might sound crazy, but less than 10% of all podcasts reach this number. Needless to say, you still need to try to get them, especially when you have a very small target niche that might work amazingly with some brands.

How to Get Podcast Sponsors

First of all, it’s important to understand how this deal works. And to know its two most important metrics, CPM (cost per mille) which is the price they will pay per 1000 downloads on your podcast, and CPA (cost per acquisition) that measures the number of sign-ups or sales that came from the ad on your show.

Second, it’s key to understand the prices and make an offer that the advertiser will be willing and able to pay. This involves knowing the prices of the market, how much the brand usually pays, and the fact that prices may be lower or higher depending on the part of the video.

And lastly, it’s all about making a list of prospective sponsors, creating an amazing presentation and contacting them with your offers!

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a great way to monetize your podcast when you are just starting and can’t reach big brands or advertisers since it essentially relies on asking for financial support from your audience.
The idea behind crowdfunding is to raise funds to be able to cover your podcast expenses and grow in the future. But instead of getting help from one big investor, it takes many small amounts from different donors. It’s all about communicating your idea and your intentions to the public and getting them to believe in your story and the success your show might get. It usually comes from emotions and trust from the audience so promoting it the right way is the first and most important step.

Crowdfunding Platforms

Since many podcasters are just starting and don’t have a huge fan base on any other platform, it’s very hard for them to promote their idea, and therefore to get the funds. So a great idea is to choose a crowdfunding platform, in this space, there are thousands of people looking for innovative and amazing ideas where they can invest money and hopefully get earnings in the future. Like on any other platform, there are lots of people competing and trying to get funds, so it’s important to have an outstanding presentation that will convince the investors that you are the best one for them.

Here are some of the best crowdfunding platforms:

  • Kickstarter
  • Indiegogo
  • Gofundme
  • Crowdfunder
  • Classy.org

Lastly, since there are many people that might give your podcast funds just out of the good of their hearts, others might want something in return. It’s a good idea to offer something in return (a part of the ownership or even just a mention on the show).

How Much Do Podcasters Make?

The honest answer to this question is: it depends. For Joe Rogan it’s millions and millions of dollars, for others it’s a couple thousand per episode, and for many others, it’s zero. It all depends on the amount of effort, communication, connections, and engagement from the audience.

Copyright Free Music For Podcasters

As we all know, music plays a key role when it comes to Podcasts because it’s an all auditory experience that has to hook the audience by using the right sounds, tracks, and of course voices. Music is one of the most effective ways to set the mood you want your audience to be in and guide them through the emotions you want them to feel throughout the show. As well as being something that can help build your image and make the audience recognize you from the beginning (for example by having amazing intro music).

I know it might be tempting to use well-known music or your favorite tracks for the show, but the truth is, music with a copyright can be extremely expensive ( we are talking about millions of dollars) and it’s a complicated topic that we recommend you read about before using anyone’s music. Even if it’s for a few seconds, using music that belongs to someone else can be penalized, and your show might get deleted or banned.

The best option for Podcasters is to use royalty free music, this way you won’t need to pay royalties every time the song is played and you can forget about copyright claims and hidden fees. At Hooksounds we have an amazing library of exclusive music, sound effects, intros and outros that were created by our in-house team thinking about your content!