Monetizing your podcast can be confusing. There are so many different avenues you can take and only certain options will likely fit your podcast. So, there's a lot to think about. Since you're just starting out with this whole monetization thing, we are going to help you understand how you can possibly generate some income while creating something you love, your podcast.
Firstly, if you are looking for a list of the best ways to make money podcasting, take a look at our article here. We list all of the ways you can make money podcasting as well as a short description of each method.
In this article, we are going to talk a little bit about what monetization is, the beginning stages of monetizing your podcast, and what the best monetization methods are for a podcast that is just starting out.
What is monetization?
Monetizing something means that you're making money from it. So, when trying to monetize your podcast, you are trying to figure out how you can ask people for money in exchange for the value that you're delivering to them through your podcast.
The biggest thing to remember with monetization is that yes, you are looking to make money from your podcast. However, you cannot lose sight of your listeners. Make sure that anything that you offer to your audience has value. In order for you to truly make worthwhile money from any monetization, you have to communicate something worthwhile to your listeners in an engaging way. If you don't offer anything of value in an engaging way, you may lose listeners, which does not help your monetization efforts.
How do I begin to monetize my podcast?
Before you begin to look for the best options for monetizing your podcast, ensure that your podcast has a specific topic. Without a specific topic, you won't be able to target an audience. And, beginning your podcast too generally will likely make it much more difficult to gain and retain listeners as well as potential advertisers in the future. Also, make sure that you devote yourself to your podcast. Making the best podcast possible should be your main priority because it is the key to gaining listeners and it will help you down the road when you may be looking for potential advertisers.
Obviously, once you have a solid podcast, you can then begin to consider monetization methods. Creating a list of companies that you would like to work with is great way to begin, regardless of the methods you end up choosing. Also, include any companies that are already within your network. List companies within your industry, companies you use and love, and any other companies that you think would be great potential collaborations. You can then enter into your decisions about monetization methods with some ideas about what you would potentially want to offer to your listeners in exchange for money. You may not end up even collaborating with these companies, but noting the companies that you're interested in and what they offer gives you direction into what kind of monetization methods interest you.
What are the best monetization methods to start with?
There are a lot of options for monetization, but many of them only become options further down the road when your audience is larger. So, when you are just starting out, the best options are generally sponsors, affiliate marketing, offering services, coaching/consulting, or courses, donations, and premium content.
Sponsors and affiliate marketing are some of the most common ways to monetize your podcast. Even if you have a smaller audience, there are affiliate programs that you can enroll in and there are many sponsorship opportunities. The benefit of a smaller, dedicated audience is that they are so loyal and trust the podcast host, so they are more willing to buy products or services that are advertised to them.
Since you are presumably an expert in your podcast topic, you might be able to offer a service, coaching/consulting, or a course to your listeners. Again, since they are dedicated and interested in your podcast topic, there is a high chance that they would pay for your work, coaching, or knowledge. And, if you have a smaller audience, the one-on-one attention that you could offer to listeners may be even more appealing to them.
As for donations, this might be a more viable option as an addition to the above methods. If you have a medium-sized audience, this may also be a great option and could help you bring in the cash to advance your podcast.
Finally, you can offer premium content. Since your audience is loyal, they may be willing and even excited to purchase extra content from you. However, this option is something that you need to consider the costs of creating extra content and if offering premium content will off-set these extra costs.
Networking is also a potential way to monetize your podcast, but networking is something that you should be consistently doing to grow and improve your podcast.
For a description of the monetization methods discussed, read our Best Ways to Make Money Podcasting article.
Remember, you can make money podcasting if you find some monetization methods that work well for you. However, prioritizing monetization over your listeners will eventually make your monetization efforts worthless. You have to have engaged, dedicated listeners in order to make money. So, prioritize listeners above all else. Monetizing your podcast takes time, so it may take awhile for you to see the results that you want. But, with some hard work and patience, you should be able to grow your podcast and start generating income from it in the near future! Happy podcasting!
For specific information on getting podcast sponsors, read our How to Find Podcast Sponsors article.
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