The most popular podcasts utilize multiple strategies of monetization. Here’s exactly how podcast creators are getting paid.
Within the past few years, podcasts have significantly boosted in popularity due to them being easy to access and listen to without needing to look at your screen. And like most other social media platforms and content on the internet, it’s possible to make money from your podcast!
While you might not be making a ton of cash at first, building different monetization strategies early will only set you up for success as your podcast grows.
Whether you already have a podcast or are looking to create one, you can start getting paid for the content you produce. Let’s dive into how exactly podcast creators get paid.
How Podcast Creators Are Able To Earn Money
Most podcasts that are making a lot of money are utilizing multiple different forms of monetization at once. The strategies for monetization are broken down into two forms: Direct and indirect.
Direct monetization is when viewers pay you or your podcast directly. Whether it’s promoting your Patreon for exclusive content or having a donation link, direct monetization is a great way to build community within your audience.
Indirect monetization is when you incorporate marketing or advertisements of a product or service into your podcast. This can include things like sponsorships and advertisements which helps guarantee a set amount of money you are making.
How Much Money Do Podcast Creators Earn
Depending on the popularity of the podcast and how many listens each episode has, podcasts can dramatically range in earnings.
On average, a podcast that generates 10,000 downloads will typically earn anywhere from $500 to $900.
Some of the Top Money-Making Podcasts
- The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast with Joe Rogan
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
- Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn
- True Crime Obsessed with Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle
- The Ringer with Bill Simmons
- My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
- The Dave Ramsey Show with Dave Ramsey
- Tiny Meat Gang with Cody Ko and Noel Miller
- Doughboys with Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger
- Flagrant 2 with Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh
Different Ways To Monetize Podcasts
Many podcast creators use multiple different monetization strategies to maximize the amount of money they make. Here are some of the most popular ways podcast creators are getting paid.
Sponsorships and Advertisements
Sponsorships are often the most popular way for podcast creators to monetize their content. A sponsorship is when a brand reaches out to you wanting you to advertise their product or service. However, don’t be afraid to cold pitch sponsorships to companies you’d love to work with.
Depending on the sponsor, they will either give you a script or allow you to be more flexible with how you choose to advertise their product or service.
Something else to keep in mind is where you’re putting these advertisements in your podcast. Ads placed at the very beginning or very end of the episode are essentially worth the same amount of money to sponsors. These are known as pre-roll or post-roll ads.
On the other hand, ads placed in the middle of the episode, also known as mid-roll ads, are seen as more valuable because you already have the audience’s attention. Because of this, sponsors will often pay more for mid-roll ads.
Another way that podcast creators monetize their content is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you advertise a brand’s product through a special link they give to you in exchange for a small commission of that sale.
To maximize the amount of money you can make from affiliate marketing, it’s important to only promote products that you actually believe in. This builds trust between you and your audience, so it will be much more likely for them to buy whatever you’re promoting.
Here are some of the most popular affiliate programs that podcast creators use:
- Amazon Associates
If you’re in a niche that allows your audience to learn something from you, you may benefit from selling a course or coaching.
Viewers who want to learn more about what you are already talking about in your podcast may benefit from a virtual course. Online courses are a great way to teach your audience about your expertise in a step-by-step format.
On the other hand, coaching can also be a great way to talk to your viewers one-on-one and help them achieve the results they are looking for. Coaching is also a strategic way to get to know your audience and curate better content that they want to listen to.
Exclusive Content With Patreon
A lot of podcast creators also utilize Patreon. Patreon is a membership platform for creators to offer exclusive content and benefits to their viewers for a monthly cost.
Depending on what niche your podcast is in, there are plenty of different options regarding what to post on Patreon. Some of the exclusive content that is selling on Patreon include:
- Additional podcast episodes
- Behind the scenes
- Q and A’s
- Just chatting videos
Selling a Product or Service
A lot of popular podcast creators will also sell a product or service.
When selling a service, you want to make sure that what you’re doing lines up with your expertise. So if your podcast is about marketing, you may want to focus on marketing services like social media management or email campaigns.
If your podcast is large enough, selling merchandise is a great way to make some extra money. For example, you can sell things that pertain to your niche or general merch like tee shirts, hats, and pins.
Crowdfunding and Donations
Another way you can monetize your podcast content is with crowdfunding and donations. However, this will only be impactful if you have a large and engaged enough audience.
Platforms to take donations include PayPal, Kickstarter, and Buy Me A Coffee.
To incentivize viewers to donate to your podcast, you can promise shoutouts or send small gifts like pins or stickers.
So, if you’ve built up a large enough following that is loyal enough to want to donate to you, this can be a great source of income for your podcast.