Top 4 Ways to Make Your Podcast Profitable
People enjoy listening to podcasts for many reasons – the fact that they’re “free” is certainly one of them. Of course, nothing is completely free, and podcasts are no exception. People may have to pay a subscription fee to a platform like Spotify or Apple Podcasts and usually sit through some ads here and there. But if you’re producing a podcast yourself, you might wonder how anyone makes any money off such a venture. After all, those second- or third-party subscription fees aren’t directly passed onto you, the podcast creator or host.
In fact, many podcasters struggle to earn a dime from their podcasting endeavors, especially in those early days (a significant chunk actually lose money after dishing out on microphones, software, and other recording equipment). This isn’t to say that making money off your podcast is impossible, though. On the contrary, there are many ways to boost your bottom line using your podcast as both launchpad and income stream in its own right. In this article, we’ll explore four of the best ways to make your podcast profitable.
1. Network with Guests
Networking is a crucial part of building up your business. Traditional networking methods include attending conferences and making cold calls, but the internet has opened up a whole host of new ways to establish strong relationships with peers.
Often overlooked, podcasts serve as optimal vehicles for modern networking, allowing hosts to conduct organic, long-form conversations with guests. Not only are these conversations useful for creating content and learning something new – they’re also great for making connections that might not otherwise have occurred. Sales calls and forced meet-ups aren’t exactly appealing, but a good discussion via podcast can make a strong and lucrative impression.
2. Promote Your Brand and Business
Your podcast is essentially your soapbox. With a microphone at the ready, you can speak about whatever topics interest you (ideally, they’ll interest your audience, too). If your podcast is directly related to your business ventures (which is usually the case), then you’ve got yourself an excellent promotional tool for informing listeners about your business.
Perhaps you’ve just written a book and you want to produce multiple episodes that explore different chapters. Or, maybe you run a chain of restaurants and you want to discuss new menu items and related topics. Maybe your band has a show or tour coming up. Whatever the case, your podcast serves as a less jarring advertisement for your brand – one that can yield a high return on investment.
3. Gain Sponsorships and Affiliates
Advertisers are always looking for fresh avenues to spread the word about their products and services. With more people listening to podcasts than ever before, brands all over are running to popular podcasts for sponsorship and affiliate opportunities. Smaller podcasts might have a hard time landing sponsors, let alone high-paying ones. As your audience grows, however, you’re more likely to find these opportunities.
Quality and audience trust are key components to landing and maintaining lucrative deals with brands – the better your podcast, the more your audience will grow, and the more your audience trusts your opinions, the more worthwhile it is for businesses to advertise their goods and services on your platform. Some shows can earn anywhere between $500-1000 per episode from their sponsors and affiliates, and larger podcasts can earn much more than that.
4. Earn Direct Support from Followers
While it’s true that most people would rather find “free” content than pay for it, people also like supporting creators they respect and enjoy following. This support isn’t always monetary, but it certainly can be. Platforms like Patreon, Kickstarter, and Google/YouTube’s “Super Chat” feature all give audience members the opportunity to directly support content creators.
Listeners, viewers, and followers might send small donations sporadically or on a regular, automated basis to help creators maintain their operations. Likewise, you can offer “Premium Content” that requires payment to unlock, such as a bonus podcast that you create alongside your “free” content, exclusive merchandise, fan Q&As, etc. Podcasters who gain a large enough following can enjoy significant profits from these direct support avenues.
Talking Your Way to Earnings
No one said making money off your podcast is easy. With the right approach, however, you can turn your podcast into a powerful tool for networking, marketing, ad revenue, and community support. If you’d like to learn more about making your podcast profitable, please get in touch!
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