Since 2018, the number of podcasts has grown by over 700%. Over 55 thousand people search “how to start a podcast” monthly. With more creators like yourself venturing into the space and spending lots of time creating unique content for their growing audiences, it is only natural to ask yourself two crucial questions— can you make money podcasting, and how do you do it?
To answer the first question, yes. You can make money from podcasting even as an individual creator who doesn’t have the luxury of being associated with an extensive podcasting network. If you want to learn how you can make money from a podcast, continue reading this article for everything you need to know about generating revenue (or securing opportunities to make more $$$) Bring out your pen and pad.
Many creators underestimate this powerful way to generate revenue. Affiliate marketing, aka driving sales to commissionable links, is essentially a way to work with brands you love without necessarily scoring or negotiating a sponsorship deal (though that is an excellent stream of revenue—more on that later). When you join an affiliate marketing network, you can suggest products or services you love and get a commission from them.
Similarly, you can reach out to brands you feel are a good fit to promote to your audience to give you an affiliate or discount code to share. When you provide an affiliate code (or link) for your audience to use, you don’t only receive a commission; you show brands that your audience genuinely respects your opinion.
Crowdfunding and Donations
If there’s one thing we must stress to creators, it’s never to be too proud to ask your audience to support you by sending donations and tips to help you continue making content they love. After all, you bring them so much joy through your content: why wouldn’t they want to support in any way they possibly can? One simple way to accept tips from your viewers is by using a tool such as Streamlabs Tipping to create a customized tipping page that your supporters can easily access.
Offering exclusive content via a one-time fee or recurring membership is a great way to monetize your podcast in a fun and exciting way for listeners. Using a platform like Patreon, you can easily create a membership and deliver exclusive content directly to those interested. Just make sure that the premium, members-only content is worthwhile. Who knows? Maybe word will get around, and even more people will join.
You don’t have to be famous or have millions of followers to sell merch successfully. All you need is the drive and the willingness to promote your products (and, of course, a simple tool like Streamlabs Logo Maker to bring your design to life). If you really want to create your own merch and don’t know where to start, you should check out this article about setting up your custom merch store using Streamlabs. The best thing about creating a Streamlabs Merch store is that all of the fulfillment is taken care of for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than creating and promoting your one-of-a-kind merch.
While many people reference repurposing content as a way to pump out valuable content across multiple platforms consistently, it’s also a great way to monetize content that you’ve already created. For example, say you have a podcast episode that also pertains to a subject with pretty good keyword search volume on Google. Instead of just having it on your podcasting platform of choice, you can repurpose it via:
Creating Blog Posts—Create a podcast transcript (using a platform such as Streamlabs Podcast Editor to convert speech to text), then edit it into a blog post on your website. This way, you can gain revenue from ad views on your website appearing alongside the content (which is simple to auto-generate with tools such as Google Adsense). In a blog post, you can easily share relevant, commissionable links for readers to check out for products or services you may have referenced throughout.
Upload Video Podcasts to YouTube: People watch and listen to podcasts on many different platforms. YouTube is one platform you need to take advantage of largely because of the monetization opportunities. There is a lot to gain by having a presence on the platform. One option is record your podcast (say with a web-based live streaming tool such as Talk Studio) and upload it to YouTube. You can edit the audio onto a stock video with a tool such as Video Editor if you wish not to upload the original video footage. Or you can even edit the original video (with audio included) using Streamlabs Podcast Editor which allows you to edit your podcast episode as you would a text doc—by selecting the text to omit unnecessary parts such as fumbles, pauses and filler words.
YouTube’s Partner Program gives creators access to many monetization tools, such as running ads and channel memberships. Streamlabs has a fantastic article about YPP and monetizing on YouTube—you should check it out to get the full rundown.
Promote Your Products and Services
While you can make money from podcasting alone, it’s also a good marketing tool to promote products or services you sell (especially merchandise associated with your brand). Make it a habit to organically plug them on your podcast by telling your listeners everything they need to know, all while building awareness and hopefully converting them to shoppers. To sweeten the deal, offer listeners a unique discount code for a limited time.
We’re living in a very different world than we were two short years ago at the start of the pandemic. People are more excited than ever to get back into the world to socialize and attend events, from large-scale conventions to intimate meet-ups with their favorite creators. Consider throwing a live event, whether it be a live podcast taping or an activity that allows you and your audience to have some one-on-one time IRL. Whatever you decide to do, make the event worthwhile (with appropriate pricing) and ensure that the event is an excellent reflection of who you are as a creator and the brand you’re building.
As you build up your viewership/listenership, approaching brands for sponsorships should be at the top of your to-do list. Having a steady audience and knowing the demographics of your audience (plus how they align with the brands you’d like to sponsor for an episode or segment of your podcast) can open you up to a world of new monetization opportunities. If you have brands in mind that you’d love to work with, check out this guide on pitching yourself for sponsorships.
We listed quite a few ways for you to start monetizing your podcast. Which one of these revenue streams will you be working towards first?