How do podcasts make money? This is a big question to ask yourself as you put time and effort into creating a podcast as a business. If you want to do this seriously, you need to find a way to earn money while podcasting to help you keep producing it for the long term.
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Ask For Donations
One of the simplest ways to monetize your podcast is to ask people for money. A lot of fans will be happy to donate small amounts to the podcasts that they love to make sure they can continue making great content. This is the first solution you should try, because it’s easy to set up and promote.
You can add a PayPal button or a Ko-Fi account, or add a donation form to your site. If you want to fund something in particular, you could use a GoFundMe campaign for a simple collection method.
Keep your calls-to-donate authentic. Are you asking for donations so you can spend more time working on new episodes? Then say so. Do you need donations to help you upgrade your equipment or hire a podcast production service? Say that. If people understand where their money is going, they’re more likely to donate.
Create Paid Membership Tiers
Listeners can pay to access exclusive content, private Facebook groups, or extra merch.
Patreon is the easiest way to do this. It’s easy to use and people know it. Use their default settings or create your own levels and rewards for your donors.
Sell Sponsorship Or Ads
Sponsorship is another very common way to monetize a podcast. Aside from accepting donations, it is also the easiest because you don’t have to create or sell anything. You just need to make a deal with a sponsor.
You will have probably already heard podcasters start their show or take a break with something like, “This episode is brought to you by…”. This is a sponsorship. Some podcasters include an ad break in their show.
Sponsorships will pay more depending on how many people listen to your show. As the number of people who listen to your podcast increases, so will your revenue. However, this also means that it can be a hard way to make money if you don’t have many listeners yet.
Generally, you can charge for pre-roll and mid-roll mentions. Mid-roll ads, which play during your episode, will usually pay more. Promote the sponsor at both points of the show if you feel comfortable doing so.
There are lots of places to find sponsorship deals, including:
- Ad Results Media
- Adopter Media
- True Native Media
Join An Advertising Network
Advertising networks like AdvertiseCast, Midroll, Popcorn, and PodGrid act as middlemen between you and a sponsor.
When you join these platforms, they will take a cut from the ad placements that are included in your show, so make sure you read the fine print. In most cases, the revenue share will follow a CPM model where you are paid for every 1000 impressions served to the ad unit.