As podcasts continue to explode in popularity, more and more people are jumping in head-first and creating new shows, in an effort to leverage themselves as industry experts, build an audience, connect with more influencers, build personal brands and boost exposure for their businesses.
A lot of people are also now successfully using podcasting as an additional revenue stream for their businesses and for themselves as individuals.
If you too are interested in making more money from podcasting, here are eight different ways you can profit from your show:
1. Podcast sponsorships
Popular podcasts like Entrepreneur on Fire, The Art of Charm and the $100 MBA Show generate thousands of dollars -- each month -- through sponsorships. With the CPM (cost per impression) model, your show will get:
• $18 per 1,000 downloads for a 15–second pre–roll
• $25 per 1,000 downloads for a 60–second mid–roll slot
If your podcast gets 3,000 downloads per episode, you'll get $54 for a 15–second pre–roll and $75 for a mid–roll slot.
"This could help cover some of your podcasting costs," says Yann Ilunga, organizer of the Podcast Success Summit, the largest digital conference about podcasting. "New podcasters in particular focus on downloads and landing sponsors, but there are different ways to profit from a podcast -- even if you have a “small audience."
Some may not consider relationships a profitable element within the podcasting world. Ilunga, however, disagrees. "Regardless of whether you’re hosting an interview–based podcast or not, relationships are a very powerful element in podcast, just like in business," he says.
"After interviewing several top podcasters I can say that networking is the number-one reason why many entrepreneurs, marketers, authors and coaches decide to start a podcast."
When looking for guests to interview, don’t focus exclusively on their status, but think about your business. "Many hosts want to interview A–listers on their shows, and there isn’t anything bad with that," says Jessica Rhodes of Rhodes to Success. "Think about your business, though. Instead of chasing guests because of their status, be strategic and try to interview people who you may collaborate and actually do business with."
3. Increase the sales of your products and services.
Before running after sponsors, take a look at the products and services your business is selling already. Is your product relevant to the people who tune in to your show episode after episode, week after week? If the answer is yes, think of ways you can strategically leverage your podcast to increase sales.
An exclusive discount for your audience could contribute to an increase in sales. Remember, your being in your listeners’ earbuds is a powerful way to build authority and reinforce the “know, like and trust" factor. You’re building that factor with your show, so don’t be afraid to promote your products and services or offer exclusive discounts, assuming they are relevant to your audience.
Start looking at your show in a more strategic way and think of it as a marketing tool that can help you turn listeners into subscribers, and turn prospects into paying customers.
In Booked, best-selling author Josh Turner discussed an appointment–setting system that builds around social media. Are you a business coach with a podcast? You may want to consider a similar approach that, instead of social media, revolves around your show.
Again, think of ways you can turn listeners into subscribers first. Do you offer a free 30-minute session? Why not leverage your podcast and invite people to sign up for it?
If free consultations aren’t part of your coaching business plan, consider exclusive discounts for your audience.
5. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is an option to consider, especially if your show is rather technical and often features you mentioning resources. "During a recent interview The Audacity to Podcast host Daniel J. Lewis shared the fact that affiliate commissions allow him to generate a good income from his podcast," Ilunga recalled.
In all likelihood, most of your own podcast content is evergreen. This means that the information you shared yesterday is still relevant today and will be relevant over the next months and years.
This means that, as your show grows, you could potentially generate passive income -- through affiliate marketing -- by podcasting.
6. Books and audiobooks
As a podcaster, you spend hours creating high-value content, which you give away for free. People tune in, get advice and have the option of applying it to their business. In "3 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Be Addressing in Q2," I talked about repurposed content as a powerful content-marketing practice.
Who says that you can’t apply repurposed content to your podcast to make money?
Hack the Entrepreneur host Jon Nastor is a great example of a podcaster who repurposed part of his content and created a product people pay for: a book. To write his book, he simply took some takeaways from the interviews he hosted on that podcast and combined them with brand new content.
Not that everybody is a writer, and writing a book may not be your thing. But, what about audiobooks? "As podcasters craft their art, they become better communicators and better storytellers," says narrator and audiobook creation expert Krystal Wascher. "Why not take your recording skills and create an audiobook? You probably have content and know how to record. It’s a no-brainer, really."
In some cases, you may consider asking for your community’s contribution. A crowdfunding platform like Patreon allows you to get your audience’s support in the form of pledges. "Noah Lugeons, for instance, is making $1,200 an episode," explains Brian Kane, a.k.a. “The Real Brian, host of Profitcast. "There are several components that go into successful crowdfunding, but it’s important for podcasters to understand that there are ways to profit from your show beyond the traditional CPM sponsorship model."
8. Virtual summits
Podcasts and relationships can also turn into a monetary business opportunity, in the form of virtual summits. Navid Moazzez, founder of The Branding Summit, and Yann Ilunga with his Podcast Success Summit, are examples of podcasters who leveraged their shows to build relationships and then used those to put together world-leading digital conferences.
With the Branding Summit, Moazzez generated $20,000 in sales and increased his email list by 3,000 subscribers.
Adds Llung: "Are you a podcaster who would like to organize the largest virtual summit in your industry? Tap into the connections you made through your podcast -- that’s how I did it, and managed to put together an event that features over 80 expert speakers. I leveraged the relationships I had built through interviews for my podcast."
As you can see, a podcast interview can be much more than a simple conversation with an influencer in your space.