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How to Make Money Podcasting (Monetize Your Podcast Today)
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The most common question I get asked is this, “Alex, how can I make money podcasting?” … In short, my answer is this: Not in the way you’re imagining. You CAN monetize your podcast today, but not by doing what you’ve heard from the industry.
As a full-time podcaster since 2020, I’ve learned some things about making money through this powerful medium. But what I share differs from what most educators in the podcasting space would tell you.
In this blog post, I will share 4 of my favorite ideas for making money with a podcast when you have a small audience (or a large audience, for that matter). But before I get into that, we must cover three critical things you must understand to make real money through podcasting.
If You Want To Make Money Podcasting, Here Are Three Perspective Shifts You Need Right Now:
Before I share these perspective shifts, I first want to answer the most commonly asked question I get about podcast monetization:
How realistic is it to make money from a podcast?
Making money from a podcast is highly realistic, but not through advertising or sponsorships. There are alternative methods for podcast monetization that will yield much higher monetary results for you. Such as: PodMatch’s PodValue Initiative, paid subscriptions, Value 4 Value, and more! I’ll explain each in this post.
Here are three perspective shifts you need to make before we can get into these unconventional monetization ideas for podcasters.
#1. Avoid Podcast Advertising As a Monetization Strategy
You must avoid the idea of advertising as the method of monetization for your podcast. I don’t even consider this a real monetization strategy. If you have a small or large audience, having advertisers on your podcast is the worst monetization idea you can implement.
Let me explain why you must avoid advertising on your podcast:
Statista, AdvertiseCast, The Podcast Host, and other publications show a range of $25 CPM to $45 CPM. CPM is the cost per thousand downloads. For example, let’s pretend your sponsor will pay you the highest possible CPM of $45 per thousand.
Imagine you’re in the top 1% of all podcasts. To be in the top 1% means you’re getting 5,277 downloads in the first seven days of an episode being released.
You’ll make $236.25 in the first seven days of a new episode by running ads. So, if you have a weekly podcast, you’re looking at $1,023.75 monthly. I know you continue to get paid after the first seven days, but new listenership drops dramatically afterward. Let’s play the best-case scenario; you could use the advertising model to bring in $25,000.00 annually. That’s still not livable income! And you’d have to scratch your way to the top 1% before being able to obtain this. It’s just not realistic.
Watch The Breakdown: How Joe Rogan Could Have Become a Billionare While Keeping His Soul: https://youtu.be/Te-dU1yBE9g?si=FASmciGPug8_KJq8&t=196
My advice is this: Don’t be like 95% of people I talk to in podcasting; their biggest aspirations are to find a sponsor or run advertisements. You’re worth more than that!
#2. Perspective Shift: High Podcast Downloads Don’t Equal Dollars
I recently met a podcaster who’s extremely “accomplished.” He gets over 50k downloads on his podcast per month!
Most people read that and say, “Whoa! That’s the dream!”
Want to know a secret about this “successful” podcast host? He still works a full-time job he hates because the podcast isn’t bringing in enough to provide for his family.
You may be wondering how that’s possible. The reality is that just because people listen to your podcast doesn’t mean you’ll make money.
I want you to understand that you DO NOT need downloads to make money podcasting.
Hypothetical: I have a podcast with 770 listeners every 7 days. Must I focus on growing the podcast? The answer will shock you: https://youtu.be/Te-dU1yBE9g?si=j2jwH44kxX2i8n2W&t=559
#3. Podcasting is NOT about making money.
It’s about adding value and serving listeners so the world can become a better place.
If that makes you mad to hear or you say, “Well, that’s not why I’m podcasting. I’m in it for the big bucks!”
My advice to you is this: Quit now.
The data shows that you have FOUR TIMES the chances of making it as an entrepreneur rather than as a podcaster. That’s wild. Here’s my advice: if you’re in podcasting for the money, quit now. Instead, start a business. You’re 4x more likely to succeed that way! Plus, I’ve found that the people chasing money in podcasting never make it. The only ones who succeed are those who lead with value – Typically, it happens to them by mistake.
If you’re serving people and improving their lives, you need to be generating revenue simultaneously.
Three Important Things We’ve Covered About How To Make Money Podcasting
We’re not going to run ads as a monetization strategy, we’re not going to focus obsessively on download numbers, and we’re going to remember that we’re in this to serve first. Are we in agreement? GREAT! 🙂
Now for the good stuff! I want to give you an alternative perspective on podcast monetization. Here are 4 of my favorite unconventional ways to make money with a podcast.
4 Ways to Monetize Your Podcast Today:
- Use PodMatch’s Monetization Features
- Offer Paid Subscriptions For Additional Content
- Enable the Value 4 Value Model
- Save Through Tax Benefits
These are 4 of my top podcast monetization ideas (I have 12 more that I’ll share at the end) that any podcaster can implement, even if you have low download numbers or only a few listeners. Those things don’t matter when it comes to monetization.
Why am I sharing four ideas instead of just one? Because, in podcasting, there isn’t one size fits all. Before reading any of the ideas I share, scroll through them! Skip the ones you know won’t work for your podcasting strategy/brand, and go through and read the ones that you like/that you know will work for you! (Pro tip: Implement all 4 + others to compound the money you make with your podcast!)
IDEA 1: Use PodMatch’s Monetization Features
This 1st way to make money podcasting is the easiest and quickest monetization win you can gain as a podcaster. I do this and currently earn $2,345.40 every month through PodMatch. (That number is continuously increasing too!)
If you’re not on PodMatch and have no idea what it is, here’s a quick overview: PodMatch.com is a website that automatically matches ideal podcast guests and hosts for interviews. It works like a dating app, but it matches you for podcast interviews instead of dates.
PodMatch has several ways for members to get paid. I’ll go over each real quick:
A. PodMatch pays podcast hosts simply for releasing episodes.
They call this their PodValue initiative, which launched in 2022. You may be asking the following question…
How much does PodMatch pay podcast hosts?
You can expect to earn between $55.00 – $225.00 per month through PodMatch just for releasing episodes!
Here are more details on how it works and also how much PodMatch paid podcast hosts last year:
- PodMatch.com Now Paying Podcast Hosts When They Release Episodes
- PodPros’ PodValue Initiative Pays Podcast Hosts $72,802.70 in 2022
B. Use your PodMatch affiliate link.
Like most software companies these days, PodMatch has an affiliate plan. Their affiliate program is top tier because they pay 20% lifetime reoccurring affiliate commission.
The PodMatch team recommends inviting all your podcast guests to join PodMatch and any other podcast hosts you know. This strategy has worked very well for many of the podcasters on PodMatch. Some have reported earning over $700.00 per month using this strategy!
C. Only use PodMatch.
The brightest PodMatch members accompany A and B above and take it a step further. They don’t accept any guests who are not on PodMatch. So when a person asks to be on the show (or an agency reaches out to pitch their clients), they automatically respond with their affiliate link, saying, “Reach out to me on PodMatch. Here’s where you can join.” It’s worked very well for these pro-level podcasters because it earns them revenue and streamlines their workflow.
A final note about PodMatch: They’re familiar with making money through podcasting, even with a small audience. And they’re working very hard to continue to offer ways to help podcasters earn more. (Get ready, they’re going to be putting more money in the hands of creators soon!)
Click here for a detailed step-by-step explanation of how to monetize your podcast using PodMatch!
IDEA 2: Offer Paid Subscriptions For Additional Content
This idea is simple to start and can yield immediate monetary results for your podcast!
What are paid subscriptions for podcasts?
Podcast subscriptions are additional episodes of your podcast that sit behind a subscription-style paywall—allowing you to accept payments for additional exclusive content of your podcast!
Many podcasters I talk to say, “Offering paid subscriptions for premium content won’t work for me because I don’t have any premium content…”
Please don’t say that. It’s just not true! You’re selling yourself short with the wrong mindset. My buddy, the founder of Buzzsprout, Tom Rossi, passionately said it best: “All of your content is premium!!!”
You are worthy of charging for extra content!
It may seem like a complicated task, but if you use Buzzsprout as your hosting provider (which I highly recommend you do), it’s super straightforward.
How you can offer a paid subscription for your podcast:
- Use Buzzsprout as your podcast hosting provider.
- Enable Buzzsprout Subscriptions.
- Choose to accept monthly payments from listeners.
- Set the price.
- Begin offering subscriber-only content.
- Engage with your audience beyond your podcast.
- That’s it!
If this is your monetization strategy of choice, I encourage you to get creative with the content you offer your listeners. Creativity is part of what caused you to start. Keep flexing that muscle and develop more to serve the super fans!
Click here for a more detailed explanation of how to get started with paid subscriptions as your podcast monetization strategy!
IDEA 3: Value 4 Value
This one is the most futuristic and innovative of every monetization strategy out there. Value 4 Value is a program created by no other than Adam Curry. Adam is also the creator of podcasting! (Wild, huh?)
Value 4 Value is a way for listeners to send you crypto while listening. They can “boost” when they like something, allowing listeners to engage with you. It’s a unique way to earn as a podcast host, and many who use this as a monetization strategy are reporting massive success with it.
I’m calling it now; Value 4 Value is a glimpse into the future of monetization for more things than just podcasting! Get into this while it’s still new.
The exciting thing about Value 4 Value is that you don’t have to do anything differently than you already do. Setting this up doesn’t take long at all! Here are the steps you must take to enable you to offer Value 4 Value to your listeners: https://value4value.info/guides.
Click here to watch an exclusive interview with Adam Curry about Value 4 Value and how to succeed using it!
IDEA 4: Save Through Tax Benefits
The 4th and final way to make money podcasting has a bit of a twist. It’s not about making money but saving it instead. But so few podcasters take advantage of the immediate savings in front of them; I want to help change that!
Please register this in your mind as a creative monetization strategy because It’s highly likely that you’ll save more than you’ll earn.
What would be better for you? I can give you $100.00 today or cut $700.00 from your expenses in the next 12 months. Sadly, most people will take the $100.00, but not you. You’re smart and know there’s much more value in the savings on an ongoing basis. This is what we’re talking about with tax benefits!
If you bring in any income with your podcast, you must treat it like a business. If you do this, and you’re podcasting from home, you can write off many things in your home, including parts of your home.
The tax side of podcasting can be unique by state, country, or territory. Depending on where you live, my advice is to talk to the person who handles your taxes. They’ll be able to ensure that you get the maximum return from treating your podcast like a business!
Again, through tax benefits, you’ll be able to save more than you’d make in most cases!
Click here for step-by-step help on setting up your podcast like a business!
Pro Move: Combine All 4 Of The Above Podcast Monetization Ideas To Earn More
An important insight to note is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just 1 of the four ideas above. I recommend that you do all 4 of them! Imagine that each of the above ideas earns you $250.00 per month. If you do all 4, you’re looking at $1,000.00 a month!
If you’re bringing in 1k per month doing this, again, regardless of audience size, you’re bringing in just as much as a top 1% podcaster is through ads! How amazing is that???
I encourage you to combine the above mentioned monetization ideas and consider adding more. I have 12 more ideas for making money with a podcast that I want to share with you. Here they are:
Get 12 More Ideas For Making Money With Your Podcast
I share my additional podcast monetization ideas within this quiz: https://start.podscore.io, which you find incredibly helpful. (This is 100% free; it will ask for your email address to email the report to; that’s all!)