This is the Part 3 of our podcasting series: Listen In. In this series, we reach out to various podcasters to cover a variety of different ways to make your podcasts successful. You don't want your podcasts to go in one ear and out the other. We're here to help, so all you need to do is: Listen In!
Click here to read Part 2, which gives advice on how to grow a podcast audience.
So, you've now learned the importance of transcription services for building a podcast audience, as well as the many different ways that you can develop a strong following of listeners. If your podcast is starting to gain a community of listeners, you may be asking yourself: "Now what?" Well, now it's time to monetize. CHA CHING!
Podcasts are a fantastic way to gain popularity and generate a decent revenue, once you build your audience up well enough. The struggle that a lot of podcasters have is figuring out how to generate revenue from their podcasts. Or rather, how to turn a podcast into a legitimate business venture.
This is difficult to accomplish in our current day and age, because the internet has effectively convinced people that they should be able to get any service for free, so charging money for podcast downloads isn't always a viable option if you haven't already established your podcast among a large audience. This means that you will need to strategize through other means of monetization.
Monetizing your podcast not only produces a great return on your investment, but it also allows your podcast to grow by potentially improving production quality and creating opportunities for more prominent guests. What's beautiful about this is that your audience will grow even further as a result, allowing for opportunities to generate more revenue. Sounds pretty nice, huh?
The tough part is knowing where to start. We reached out to 6 leading podcasters to comment on the strategies they use to monetize their podcasts.
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Top podcaster, John Dumas, offers some great advice on how to monetize your podcast in his article How To Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Podcasting. Here's what he says,
"EOFire monetizes to the tune of over $200,000 every month so yes…there is money in Podcasting. Let me clarify. There is money in growing an audience, and Podcasting is the best way to grow an audience in today's world. I truly believe that.
Products and Services: This one will start off being your smallest source of revenue, but as your audience grows…it will quickly turn into your largest.
1 on 1 mentoring: Over the last 2 years I have personally mentored over 40 Entrepreneurs who were looking to launch their Podcast.
Sponsorships: EOFire has generated over $400,000 in sponsorship revenue since April of 2013, the first month we implemented sponsors. Our first month, our total revenue was $12,350 (30 episodes). Since April 2013, our monthly income from sponsorships has risen to over $46,000 each month.
You can start a podcast today about a niche you are passionate and knowledgeable about (the knowledge can come), work hard for a significant amount of time (6 months… a year?), build a captive and engaged audience, and then have sponsors beating down your door to get in front of your listeners."
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"We charge appearance fees on our podcasts. Three times a week, we tape at a local improv comedy club (DC Improv) and occasionally sell tickets for evening podcast tapings. Something else that we do is partner with local businesses where sponsors will have to pay to be on the podcast and promote an event or launch."
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"I have been podcasting for nearly a year and the single most important way I monetize my podcast is using LeadDigits to offer listeners to text a special number with a word of my choosing. They immediately get the download or cheat sheet that I'm giving away, but they also automatically get added to a segmented email list. I'll use this email list to connect with them about upcoming events, programs, webinars, etc. that I am promoting and selling.
Using this approach allows listeners to easily get what they need and I have an email I can bring value to."
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"I am a professional musician, and I host the program each week. The show features independent music from around the globe, and I monetize the program three ways:
I have program sponsors that sponsor the show and are then announced at the beginning and end of each program. They also have their graphic displayed on the podcast page.
I use Fiverr, which allows artists to submit their music to the program through "Gigs." For a submission fee, they are able to have their music played on the program. Their submission fee pays for the programming of their song, which includes the administrative tasks of adding them to the program lineup, uploading their information to the radio show page, uploading their photo, their mp3 song, and adding their artist bio to the podcast notes for that day."
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"We promote our trips to Costa Rica, Bali, Machu Picchu, Iceland, etc.... to our listeners. We have an amazing community of young people who love listening and want to travel to the places we go.
We have experimented with sponsors and affiliates but found that the listener develops a relationship with the host and will buy a product (in our case travel) that the host is willing to put his blood, sweat, and tears behind."
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"I began podcasting in September 2014 and added a second podcast in July 2015. To date, we have close to 3 Million downloads and are frequently in the top 100 for what's hot, in multiple categories.
Here are some ways to monetize:
Sponsors who pay you
Affiliate sponsor where podcaster promotes the sponsor and has a special link that is their affiliate link
Selling your own products, services, and events by sending to a landing page
Adding to your list through a free lead gen that goes into a sales funnel that sells them
Develop strategic partnerships or joint ventures with your guests that result in new products, podcasts, programs
Becoming an affiliate with guests to sell their products/services/events to your listener/list and to sell your products/services/events to their listeners/lists
Leverage your fame as podcast host to get on other podcasts, tv, events, stages to sell your products / give away your lead gen and thereby get more people into your funnel
Get paid speaking events by networking based upon your podcast"
We hope that the above advice and stories have started turning those gears in your head on how you will start generating revenue for your podcasts. As you may have noticed, there is no one sure-fire way to monetize, but discovering what works best for you, your podcast, and your listeners are just a part of the battle.
However, they key takeaway point is that you can't just expect to start a podcast and instantly begin generating revenue. It's common for someone to fall under the impression that building an audience is equal to building a monetary value for your podcast. The problem is that it's not that simple, because money doesn't just fall into your lap for every thousand downloads you get. You have to strategize in order to monetize.
Strategizing involves knowing your audience. If your podcast tailors to a very niche group of people, then you're limited in the kinds of sponsors you can obtain. No company wants to advertise to an audience that would have no interest in their product.
Knowing who your audience is also allows you to know the industries that you should be developing relationships and partnerships within, as well as the types of products that you could advertise and sell to your listeners. Test out as many relevant monetization options for your podcast to discover what works, and soon you'll be reaping the rewards for your hard work.
Stay tuned for the next part of our Listen In series.
P.S. If you want to try using transcription services for your podcasts, we have a special program for podcasters to receive a perpetual discount off transcripts. You can get transcripts done for as low as 98 cents per minute! Apply Here.