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How a Podcast Earns: Ways to Make Money Podcasting

Learn how a podcast earns money and the things to know before starting one.

A lot of new emerging content creators are curious about how a podcast earns. This can be a complex topic because there are so many ways to earn money in podcasting.

Podcasts are not like most businesses; they have more similarities to online content sites or blogs than traditional business models.

The best way to think about making money from podcasts is that it’s a mixture of community building and advertising income. You build your audience first, then sell ads against their attention to your show.

What is a Podcast?

"podcast" text on the smartphone screen

A podcast is a program that comes out in one weekly episode or daily, but usually it’s weekly. Some podcasts are live recordings of speeches/videos being played while others are recorded and edited (like radio shows).

Podcasts don’t have to be audio based as they can just be videos. Such a podcast would then be called a vodcast. Video-casted podcasts are becoming increasingly popular on sites like YouTube and Blip TV. It’s hard to stay focused with video though so unless there is some sort of narrative going on within the recording, people can easily get distracted by an interesting scene in the background and stop listening.

If this were to happen, you would lose your viewers as well as your audience. In order for a video-casted podcast to be successful, there must be some sort of narrative or focus/topic at hand. The story can be whatever you want it to be but in order for the listener/viewer to stay interested, it needs to have some kind of concrete plot line that is easy enough for a person to follow.

How Podcasts Work

Many people nowadays use their personal computers and podcatchers which download the podcasts directly from the internet into your computer so you don’t even need to do anything except let the podcatcher do its thing. But how does this work? When you download an audio file from say Google, it comes with instructions on where else google thinks you might like to go based on your previous searches. When you click on a podcast link in Google, it then goes to download the file for you and adds it to your podcatcher which will play the episode whenever you want it to.

When people listen or watch a podcast, they usually do so through their computer using their smartphones or any similar device which allows them to easily access all of their favorite podcasts along with music, movies, pictures, etc.

How a Podcast Earns Money

Many people have found the freedom of making money from home through podcasting. It is a great way to create an income and it requires very little overhead. Most podcasters record their media files in a basement or spare room, which they may already own. Then they upload the podcasts to their servers and publish them on iTunes for free downloading by anyone around the world with an internet connection. After that, all they need to do is promote these podcasts online.

how a podcast earns

Now that podcasts are a decent cash-making business, many people have questions about how to do them right. This article will discuss several ways you can earn money broadcasting podcasts.

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When you start your own podcast, your main goal should be to help others and build your audience slowly. It is important that you create valuable content for the community, so they will keep listening week after week (or month after month). You could try to make money in the beginning by selling advertising on your show or offering affiliate marketing opportunities . But once you’ve built up a good fan base, then these other options may not work as well for you because it’s harder to get advertisers and affiliates when there isn’t much of an audience yet.

You can make money several ways as a podcaster by:

1. Sell Advertising Space 

You are going to receive requests for advertising space on your site pretty much from day one after you start your podcast. This is something to consider because you don’t have to pay anything up front to earn money with advertising. You simply run small advertisements with your podcast feed . The podcasts are played online and advertisers will sometimes pay a decent amount of cash just to put their ads at the beginning or end of your program. 

It’s easy to set up and can be done without any expensive equipment. It’s like having a radio show, except that you don’t have to tune in at the right time ever again because people can just download your podcasts whenever they want.

2. Selling Your Own Products or Services 

If you are an expert on something, then it may be worth selling your products or services directly through podcasting. For example, if you’ve started a small online business selling printer ink , you could create some informational videos and then offer them as downloads with advertisements for related products on your website . Or maybe you teach dance lessons somewhere in your community? You could record some video classes and sell them as DVD’s or downloads.

If you have a good product that helps people, then it is worth putting in the time and effort to create valuable content for your fans . You could either have an online store that accepts payments through PayPal , accept credit card payments via a phone app like Square , or simply take checks mailed through the post office.

3. Accepting Donations 

One of my favorite ways to make money with podcasting is by accepting donations from listeners who really appreciate my work. You might feel weird about doing this at first, but as soon as you get over your reservations and start accepting donations there will be people who become hardcore fans of what you do. I think that’s awesome!

The great thing about donations is that you don’t have to charge a lot and people are generally very generous, especially if they can donate with a credit card from the privacy of their own home. So if your podcast or videos help people, then it’s quite possible that you’ll be able to make money in this way.

4. Use Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is another effective way to earn money through podcasting . You might not think about doing affiliate marketing for your podcast because there isn’t much opportunity for affiliates or products related directly to podcasts . But as long as you’re a good blogger who writes reviews on different things, then it should be possible to get some affiliate deals . If you build up an audience and create  good content related to that audience, then it will be easier to find affiliate marketing opportunities .

Affiliate marketing basically means you’ll earn a commission through each sale generated by your site. You might not ever make 10k or even 1k through affiliate sales in a month, but if you have more than 50 visitors per day going through your website on average and create lots of different content , then the commissions should start rolling in as time goes by.

You can use services like Amazon Associates (for bloggers) or use plugins like FlexOffers (for podcasters) to run your own affiliate programs for free. It’s easy to set up and completely automated once you get everything started.

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5. Use Patreon   

Patreon is a new service for podcasters that allows people to earn money with content. Think of it like kickstarter, but on an ongoing basis instead of a 1-time donation. The way it works is that your supporters pay in advance to receive access to all of the content you create.

So it’s kind of like a subscription service where you set up tiers and different levels for people who want further rewards. It’s still growing quickly so there are lots of ways you can benefit from getting involved right now.

6. Sell Merchandise 

One last way to make money with podcasting is by creating merchandise for people who are fans . This could be in the form of t-shirts or hats, but it might also include car decals or anything else related to your topic. Just make sure that whatever you create matches the theme of your podcast if it has one! Be creative and take advantage of all the opportunities out there. You never know where an opportunity will come from.

Now, I want to be clear that this kind of merchandising is for people who already have an audience. If you’re just starting out, then it will be hard to get much of a following before you have any merchandise available . But if you’ve been doing podcasting for some time and are building up a community , then now is the perfect time to take advantage of all the options out there for earning money through your podcast.

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When it comes down to it, podcasting is still in early stages and there will probably be lots of changes and developments in the years ahead. The truth is that almost nobody makes a lot of money with their podcasts in the initial phase but with some work into creating valuable content over time and building up an audience, then the possibilities for earning money are just exploding in this relatively new field.

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