Before new podcasters plunge into the virtual world of online podcasts, they always ask, “how much money do podcasters make?” It’s only natural to want to know the rewards they can reap before they invest all their time and energy into growing podcasts.
So how much money do podcasters actually make? Frankly speaking, most of them make nothing, and many lose money making podcasts because they need more equipment for better quality, and need to pay hosting fees before they start earning.
Podcasting is a time-consuming creative work that doesn’t make you quick money unless people choose to listen to you. The value of a podcast depends entirely on the listeners. So, if you’re looking for a quick way to get the next paycheck, this might not be for you.
But if you’re dedicated, you can make amazing content and release it consistently while engaging your audience. You will eventually be able to build a show that helps you earn money with each episode.
This article will help you navigate numerous ways podcasters use to make money today. So, if you’re still interested, keep on scrolling.
Sponsorships are one of the most common ways through which anyone with a virtual audience makes money. Your podcasts help promote the sponsor’s products and business. You have probably heard your favorite podcasters plug ads from sponsors in their episodes.
The amount of money you make per ad from your sponsors depends on how many downloads you get on your episodes. Sponsors like to determine that and pay your due on a per mille, or per thousand, basis.
Depending upon where you place the ads in the episode, you can price them differently. Ads that run at the beginning of the show are pre-roll ads and run for 15-30 seconds, while post-roll ads that run at the show’s end may last a tad longer. Post- and pre-roll ads are priced at the same value and are virtually the same for advertisers.
The most valuable ads are the mid-roll ones because the audience is fully immersed and captive at that point. Most of the time, the sponsors will tell you what to say, but other times they’ll give you more freedom and flexibility to design your own script.
2. Direct support for premium content
Direct support is when you simply ask your fans to donate to your podcast to show their support. If your content and personality translate well on the podcast and people have fun listening to you, there are plenty of people who would happily support you so you can continue making high-quality podcasts.
You can add your PayPal details or open a Stripe account so that the donation process can be easily accessible to your audience.
Patreon is an excellent platform for podcasters that allows you to express freely what you do and why your show deserves to be supported. You can also upload premium content on Patreon that only people who donate can have access to. If your premium content is great and exclusive consistently, more people will donate, and you’ll have separate earnings just from people wanting to access your premium content.
3. Affiliate sales
Sponsorships and affiliate sales are similar, but you don’t get paid depending on the download number. Instead, you get paid for what you sell for the company, and the company pays you a commission for each sale.
A good example of this is Audible, which has a popular affiliate program that many YouTubers and Podcasters use and earn from. Audible generates a unique link for you to promote their business, so you earn money when any of your listeners use your link to buy something.
Affiliate sales are great and if you’re interested in going down that route, make sure that the company can provide you with a link that works and is easy for you to say and for your audience to understand.
4. Complementary merch and products
Another common way to monetize a podcast is to sell complementary items, including branded merchandise, online courses, consulting services, live event access, books, and more.
Selling products or providing services gives you a lot of freedom. You have full control over design and logistics. It is your decision whether you want to drop or increase shipping charges or if you wish to offer customizable print-on-demand services for your listeners. Just be sure to have a functioning website that is easy for your listeners to navigate.
5. Online courses
Ever since the pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives, it has also given us a new perspective to look at things. Online courses were normalized when we were quarantined, and there’s no going back from it. Online courses are a great way to engage with your audience and share your knowledge with them. It allows people to learn and interact with you, just like in a real classroom.
Many photographers host editing and photography courses online for a fee. There’s an option to promote your courses via a webinar platform that helps your audience engage with you online live.
6. Hosting events
Hosting events is a great way to make money from your podcast; all you need are the right connections. A good example of this would be podcasters inviting the cast of a beloved TV show. You can choose to do this virtually or physically. But with a physical event, you can involve more sponsors that add value to your event.
If you choose to do an event online, you can sell tickets for that event on your Patreon for a fee.
7. Public speaking
Since podcasting is ideally a talent focused on your ability as an orator, many podcasters get approached for public speaking gigs. It makes sense that if an audience likes to listen to someone online, they would definitely pay to see and listen to them in person. These public speaking gigs include Ted Talks, motivational speaking, or even comedy shows, depending on the niche of your podcast.
Like any other career, podcasting takes time and effort to bloom. However, in this day and age, podcasting is a lucrative career if you stick with it with passion and dedication.