There’s a lot of buzz these days about how to make money podcasting, and different ways to monetize a podcast.
And I don’t blame them… if you’re a podcaster, you want to monetize what you do.
But there are over 550,000 active podcasts streaming across the world.
- You can be one of them.
- You can monetize your podcast.
- You can build authority and develop your brand.
Just know that it’s a slow process to make money from podcasting.
Podcasting is no magic pill to gaining exposure and launching your online business, although once you’re well-established, it can be a great way to add additional value to your audience and promote your products.
John Lee Dumas makes $50k a month through podcast sponsorships and $200k-$300k a month selling his online courses and various affiliate offers.
John’s success didn’t happen overnight.
You can struggle for years and “fail” to get any real results.
It’s challenging to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of podcasters, but if you manage to overcome the obstacles, you can become part of a thriving industry.
Why the Podcasting Industry is Thriving
Podcasts get a high level of engagement.
Most podcast listeners listen to about 80% of a podcast episode once they hit play, according to a 2018 Infinite Dial Report.
Sponsors and advertisers love this!
It means that when they pay of ad-rolls, their ad will play while people are actually listening.
EXCLUSIVE FREE BONUS DOWNLOAD
Download my FREE Virtual Summit Mastery Cheat Sheet PDF to learn more about my favorite way to make money from podcasting, and build an email list of buyers quickly.
It’s so powerful that it helped me and my students generate 100,000’s of email subscribers and millions of dollars in sales with our virtual summits in just the past year alone.
Note: This in-depth guide to making money from podcasting is over 5,000 words long, so you can check the table of contents below to jump to the section you’d like to dive in to more.
My favorite way to monetize a podcast is the first monetization strategy (which will also help you grow your email list faster than anything else you’ve ever tried before as proven by my Virtual Summit Mastery students).
How To Make Money From Podcasting In 2019 (And Beyond)
Part of John’s success with his podcast Entrepreneur on Fire is that he publishes episodes like a maniac seven days a week.
He interviews top entrepreneurs and addresses pain points that speak directly to his audience.
Solving important problems for your listeners is a must.
It’s what keeps them coming back for more.
For your podcast to have any chance of being profitable, you’ll need to…
- Build genuine relationships with industry leaders and your audience.
- Build authority by associating yourself with knowledgeable people, quality products, and delivering helpful advice.
- Address the pain points that affect the happiness and wellbeing of your audience.
- Provide a ton of free value.
By the time you offer an upsell, recommend an affiliate product, or reach out to sponsors, your listeners will be so grateful that they’ll be begging to buy.
Your podcast can literally be about anything as long as it strongly resonates with enough people.
Ben Grundy and Aaron Wright have a wildly successful podcast called Mysterious Universe, where they cover topics like UFOs, paranormal events and conspiracy theories.
Mysterious Universe has been going strong for over a decade.
It currently gets 1 million downloads a month.
How to Get Started with Your Podcast
What will your podcast be about?
Before you get too excited about your ideas, check the iTunes Top 40 chart to see what’s already working.
Take note of:
- Subject matter
- How the shows are composed
- What types of products they promote
- The number of subscribers
Don’t expect for the listeners to start flooding in overnight…
…although there is a trick to making this happen, but more on this later..
Make a detailed audience persona of your ideal listeners:
- How do they make money?
- What do they do for fun?
- Do they have kids?
- Are they married?
- What are their passions?
- What stresses them out?
- How old are they?
Pay close attention to the comments your early listeners leave and take note of which show topics perform the best.
The faster you learn what appeals to your audience, the sooner you can address their pain points and develop a loyal following of 1,000 true fans.
The more you know about your listeners, the easier it will be to pick winning products and services.
There’s a lot of options out there for funding your podcast.
Here’s a few of the best ones (starting with the top list building and monetization strategy I personally love)…
1. Virtual Summits
Building an early fanbase for your podcast can be a slow and arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be.
Remember how I promised to share with you a little known secret that could your podcast with subscribers, that will help you make money podcasting a lot faster?
Well, here it is: VIRTUAL SUMMITS.
A virtual summit is a collection of webinar interviews that you conduct over several days.
As the host, you curate a couple dozen or so industry leaders and sell all-access passes to the event.
Anyone who opts in to your email list gets to watch the interviews on the scheduled air date for free.
Here are some of the benefits of virtual summits:
- Grow an email list
- Generate revenue
- Build authority
- Network with industry leaders
Use Virtual Summits to Grow Your Podcast
I struggled to get my Lifestyle Architects podcast off the ground for 18 months from 2013-2014.
I was also blogging to promote my personal brand, but traction was slow.
After a year-and-a-half of hard work I only had a few hundred email subscribers to show for it.
Then I discover the transformative power of virtual summits as, not only a marketing strategy, but as a full business model.
The month after I launched The Branding Summit, I generated roughly $40k in revenue and grew my email list to 3,600 subscribers.
Podcast-to-Summit Success Stories
Marie Grace Berg had been podcasting for two years without seeing much traction, then she launched her first virtual summit and things really took off.
She made more money from her first summit than she did with over 500 podcast episodes!
Marie has made well over 6 figures from the two summits she’s hosted, and she’s not the only one to see these types of results.
Chandler Bolt has a successful blog and podcast called the Self-Publishing School, where he teaches writers and entrepreneurs how to make money publishing and selling books.
Just look at what his first two virtual summits did for his online business:
- Brought in 60K email subscribers.
- $700K in revenue.
- Exploded his blog and podcast into a multi-million dollar online business.
Just think of what an email list that big could do for your podcast.
2. Influencer Relationships / Joint Venture Partnerships
Build meaningful relationships and partner with influencers in your industry.
Just like any business, relationships are a powerful element of any podcast.
In fact, networking is the number one reason why most online entrepreneurs decide to start a podcast.
Reach out to other podcasters and bloggers in your niche and provide value.
One of the most effective ways to do this on a large scale is by hosting a virtual summit.
You get to rapidly make connections with dozens of major players,
you provide significant value to them in the process.
People love participating in virtual summits because it’s free publicity and content promotion.
Each guest gets exposure to the viewers that other participants pull in.
All for doing just one interview!
It’s a difficult deal to pass up on.
Just make sure to reach out to guests that will be most relevant to your audience.
Your audience couldn’t care less about “A-listers” if their content doesn’t provide value and solve their pain points.
And after your virtual summit you can continue to create rewarding partnerships with influencers.
3. Online Courses
Most podcasts generate revenue through sponsors or by selling their own products.
Online courses are one of the many information products you can sell.
There are two main benefits to selling your own course:
- Unlike physical products, you don’t have to worry about shipping.
- Unlike affiliate sales, you keep all the revenue (unless it’s a partner promoting your course).
- Unlike sponsorships, you don’t have to continually hunt down opportunities.
By creating your own course, you guarantee that the content will be highly relevant to your audience.
You’ll never run out of stock.
Creating Your Online Course
Are you scratching your head trying to come up with ideas for your first course?
Look no further than the content you already have.
Your podcast episodes are full of useful content that can be packaged into your course material.
Ask your listeners what topics they want to learn more about.
Create information products specifically for them.
This is part of the beauty of having a loyal audience ̶ you already know that your products are going to sell before you release them.
John Lee Dumas created his premium course Podcast Guest Mastery after surveying his audience about what type of course they’d be interested in buying.
He’s now sold over a million dollars of that product.
An online course pairs best with podcasts that are already geared towards educating listeners:
- Making music
Packaging the information in an easy-to-follow online course makes the knowledge itself more accessible.
People are willing to pay extra for that.
You can easily enhance your course by recording actionable expert interviews and saving the bonus content for the course.
Andrew Warner does this with his Mixergy podcast.
The extra content is used as in-depth techniques for Mixergy Premium.
Don’t try to hit a gigantic home run with you first info-product.
Keep the project small and make sure it provides incredible value.
Think of your first info-product as warming up your audience so that you can upsell them on your first really big premium course.
You may even want to consider giving your first info-product away for free.
Your audience will feel almost guilty if they don’t buy your premium product when it comes out.
Some of the most profitable podcasters sell their own products:
- Michael Hyatt: Platform University, Best Year Ever, and various of other training programs
- Cliff Ravenscraft: Podcasting A to Z
- Lou Mongello: unofficial Disney products
- John Lee Dumas: Podcasters’ Paradise and other training programs
5. Premium Content
Give the bulk of your content away for free.
Your biggest fans will always want more, and they can have it for a small monthly fee.
Premium content can include any bonuses and extras you want.
Common premium content includes things like:
- Behind-the-scenes extras
- Early-access to episodes
- Ad-free episodes
- Live Q&A sessions
- Back-catalogue of episodes
- Bonus interviews
- Exclusive community
Ben and Aaron, the co-hosts of Mysterious Universe, make a substantial profit form their premium content program called Mysterious Universe Plus.
They charge $9/month for extra content with no ads.
The Daily Wire offers video version of their podcast, a tumbler, live episodes and other bonuses for listeners who purchase and annual subscription.
The annual subscription model isn’t as common as it once was, but podcasts like NPR and Keith and the Girl still find it profitable.
The Infusioncast podcast with Joshua Millage teaches people how to optimize Infusionsoft so that the application and their website run well together.
Their free content puts listeners right on the verge of being able to master Infusionsoft.
Once they’re hooked on the free podcast episodes, they’re more than willing to pay to join their subscriber community and Infusioncast Confidential Facebook group.
The podcast content answers the what and why of Infusionsoft.
The premium content answers the how.
5. Promote a Membership Site
A membership site is an entire website of premium content.
Membership groups allow listeners to become more deeply engaged in your community.
Nick Quah of the Hot Pod podcast runs a membership group called the Hot Pod Members Only Forum.
Membership costs $3 to $7 per month.
Not a bad price to get access to actionable, expert-level advice.
The Podcast Host started the Podcast Launch Mastermind in June 2018.
Members of there Podcast Launch Academy get 50% off (discounted from $395).
The Podcast Host ran the mastermind once a week for six weeks.
Each 1.5-hour session combined group discussions with Q&As.
They ended up getting great feedback from their members!
Don McAllister of ScreenCastsOnline.com has been running his podcast and membership site since 2005.
He offers detailed advice and tutorials about Mac and iOS applications.
He was one of the first ever podcasters to offer a premium podcast service built around the membership site model.
The vast majority of traffic to ScreenCastsOnline’s membership site comes from his podcast.
Don charges $8/month if you pay monthly, or $72 for a yearly subscription.
Both membership packages get you:
- Unlimited Access to ScreenCastsOnline Video Library
- Two new tutorials per week
- SCO Members Apps for Apple TV, iPad & iPhone
- SCO Monthly Magazine for iPad & iPhone
- Downloadable Tutorials
They have an extensive library of video tutorials on a wide range of topics, including…
- and many more
Prior to launching the subscriptions site, ScreenCastsOnline operated on the crowdfunding model.
More on crowdfunding later…
6. Coaching & Consulting
Hardcore podcast fans may want a more personal touch, and they’re often willing to pay for it.
Michelle Evans hosts the Breaking Free podcast.
After less than a year of podcasting, she was getting between 4 to 15 emails a week from people who wanted to hire her for 1-on-1 coaching.
70% of the people who inquired become clients.
Coaching and consulting can be an upgrade to a paid subscription or a stand-alone service.
If you already have a consulting business, a podcast can be a great way to promote your services and get more people signed up for free consultation calls.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be an entire source of revenue on its own, or it can be a great way to supplement the income coming from your own products.
They pay their affiliates $65 per new customer sign-up, and their entry-level service is only a $2.95 buy-in with a 30-day money-back guarantee (From what I’ve heard Pat gets even higher commission from them since he sends them a lot of sign ups each month).
It’s an easy sell!
When I hosted my first virtual summit after struggling with my podcast, a significant portion of my $40K in revenue came from affiliate sales.
In fact, to this day I generate 6 figures in affiliate commissions each and every year on auto pilot pretty much.
The best part is, most podcast content is evergreen, so you can continue to promote the same affiliate deals on old episodes for months or even years.
As your show grow in popularity, the passive income from affiliate sales can grow exponentially.
Other potential affiliate programs include:
- Audible: $15 per sign-up
- Amazon: 3%-8% commission
- Airbnb: $25 account credit per sign-up
- Ting: $25 account credit
- Website Magazine: $2 per sign-up
As you can see, some affiliate deals are better than others.
Services like Pretty Links can turn long, obscure-sounding URLs into short, memorable affiliate links that you can recite to your listeners.
How to Find Affiliate Deals
Reach out directly to the influencers in your industry who have courses and other information products that can provide value to your audience.
Most podcasters and bloggers are excited to have people who are willing to work as their affiliate.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved ̶ more sales for them and extra income for you.
You can also promote software and other resources you’re using in your business that would be of value to your audience.
Although I personally don’t go out and search for affiliate offers there, if you have no clue where to go you can find affiliate opportunities on sites like ShareASale and ClickBank.
8. High End Masterminds
Masterminds have several benefits:
- They encourage a sense of community amongst your listeners.
- Members feel intimately engaged with the content and will be more likely to buy future products.
- Members are able to receive individual support and get all of their questions answered quickly.
- Masterminds can generate significant revenue.
Premium masterminds can fetch a high price, often between $10k-$50k for annual memberships.
You need to build up a solid audience and email list first before you can hope to make a high-end mastermind successful.
It takes a lot of trust to invest that much money.
James Wedmore charges $25k/year for membership to his high-level mastermind called The Inner Circle, but it didn’t just happen overnight.
James has been an ambitious online entrepreneur for over 9 years.
He’s launched several profitable courses, including Video Traffic Academy and the 48hr Film School, which teach businesses how to leverage the power of online video.
James currently hosts the Mind Your Business Podcast and sells his most recent signature program, Business by Design, off the back end.
His personal brand is now a multiple seven-figure business.
Do you sell a service that’s relevant to your podcast.
For example, you may have a business podcast and are also a web developer.
If you have a marketable skill that solves the pain points of your podcast listeners, by all means promote it on your podcast.
Denise Griffitts gets between 4k to 6k listens a week on her podcast, Your Partner In Success.
She doesn’t monetize it directly, but many of her listeners reach out to hire her for her web development and virtual assistant skills.
While Denise generates business passively, you can always take a more aggressive route with monetization, like John Jantsch from the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.
John also has a book and consultancy by the same name.
He promotes both of them through his podcast.
When he was first getting started, he got early traction by interviewing big names like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki.
Rubbing elbows with big names allowed him to be seen as an authority in the eyes (and ears) of his audience.
His consulting business has grown by 500% since starting the podcast, expanding his network and building multiple six-figure sponsorships.
Try offering exclusive discounts that are only available to your subscribers.
Get a solid feel for your audience so that your self promotion doesn’t come across too tacky.
10. Podcast Sponsorships
Having companies sponsor your podcast is one of the lowest hassle ways to monetize your podcast.
Some podcasters stick to just one company.
Onnit is an natural supplement company that sponsors many podcasters in the health, fitness, and self-improvement niches.
Onnit compensates their podcasters well, and the products themselves are high-quality and easy to stand behind.
How Do Sponsors Determine Pay?
Every company sponsor scales their rates differently, and there’s usually room for negotiation.
Many companies use a CPM (cost per impression) model that goes something like this:
- $18 per 1k downloads for a 15-second pre-roll
- $25 per 1k downloads for a 60-second mid-roll
A podcast that gets 3,000 downloads per episode can earn $54 for a 15-second pre-roll and $75 for a mid-roll slot.
As your listenership grows and you produce episodes more frequently, you’ll have a lot more available slots to sell to sponsors.
You can see you your income can grow in a hurry.
Lewis Howes of the School of Greatness podcast is constantly approached by companies with sponsorship offers.
His podcast gets over 800k downloads a month!
When you’re putting up numbers that large, you get to work with the companies that resonate with your audience and pay you the most money.
How to Find Sponsors for Your Show
I recommend you wait until you have at least 3,000 downloads per episode before you start reaching out to sponsors.
Before you start approaching sponsors,
- Know your numbers: use tools like Blubrry Stats.
- Know your audience: the products and services you promote have to speak to them.
- Have an incredible podcast that oozes professionalism.
You have several options for finding new advertising opportunities:
- Libsyn: Choose them as your podcast host and they’ll occasionally send you deals.
- Adopter Media: Podcast advertising broker.
- Ad Results Media: Podcast advertising broker that can bring in bigger advertisers.
- AdvertiseCast: Advertising marketplace where you can create your own listing.
- True Native Media: Podcast advertising broker.
- Midroll: Podcast advertising broker.
Ad networks take care of a lot of the work for you:
- Negotiating rates
- Finding advertisers
- Getting the script
Most ad networks require you to have a minimum audience of 5k to 10k listeners per month before they’ll work with you.
I’d suggest reaching out directly to companies and only promoting the products and services that you truly love.
These will be the best fit for your audience and will generate the most revenue. These ad companies take a 20%-50% commission, so it’s always best to reach out directly to advertisers when you can.
Book sales can be yet another way to monetize your podcast, but most podcasters struggle to make them a substantial source of revenue.
For most podcasters, books are just another way to offer free value.
Giving away ebooks can nurture relationships with your listeners and help you develop a loyal following.
Self-publishing Through Your Podcast
Kindle publishing is getting more difficult to succeed at every day.
The market is continually flooded with new books in every niche (most of them garbage), but you can leverage your podcast and give yourself an edge.
Use your podcast audience to boost initial sales and get positive reviews.
According to a recent study by Edison Research, podcast listeners tend to share what they’ve learned on social media:
- 94% of podcast listeners are active on social media (compared to the national average of 81%).
- 52% of podcast listeners follow brands on social media (compared to the national average of 31%).
These people will help spread the word about your upcoming book, just make sure to hype them up about your book release.
Amazon’s algorithms heavily weight your book’s sales performance during the first few days of its release.
If your sales are low in the first week, it will hurt your rankings in future search results.
On the other hand, if you sell a lot of copies in the firsts few days, your book will continue to rank at the top of Amazon’s search results.
Let your podcast audience know that they can get a discounted copy if they buy within the first few days of your book launch.
Record an Audiobook
Not every podcaster is a writer, but every podcaster is a talker.
If writing isn’t your thing, you can always record an audiobook instead.
It’s a no-brainer, really.
You already have the equipment sitting right in front of you.
Audiobooks are thriving in today’s publishing industry, growing faster than any other format.
In 2016 alone, they accounted for $2.1 billion in sales.
Even Print Books Benefit from Podcasts
Pat Flynn wrote the Washington Street Journal best-seller, Will It Fly?, and Chris Ducker recently published the Rise of the Youpreneur.
Their books were published in hard copy as well as ebooks.
Neither of these guys are veteran writers.
They were podcasters who plunged into writing because it made good business sense.
Macmillan Publishing runs the Quick and Dirty Tips network, one of the most well-known podcast publishing networks.
Its first hit was Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl podcast in 2007.
The podcast quickly led to a New York Times best-selling book and an appearance on Oprah.
Quick and Dirty Tips currently runs 10 weekly podcasts that collectively get 2 million downloads a month, and many of their hosts have been able to publish wildly successful books.
12. Public Speaking
Podcasting should be a natural segway into public speaking for most podcasters.
While it’s not as comfortable as recording in your underwear at home, there’s a lot of authority and recognition to be gained from speaking gigs.
Unfortunately, public speaking isn’t a dependable source of revenue unless you’re a major industry leader.
There are three type of speaking gigs:
Unpaid Speaking Gigs
As your podcast grows in popularity, it won’t be long before you’re approached with speaking opportunities, but most of them will be unpaid.
You might as well accept the unpaid gigs.
It’s free exposure and is an excellent opportunity to build your audience.
Paid Speaking Opportunities
Paid speaking opportunities at conferences and other live events can pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.
As a general rule of thumb, here’s how much the average speaker makes:
- Newbies: $500-$2,500
- Beginners, or those establishing a new brand or who have just one book: $5,000-$10,000
- Several books or other significant social proof: $10,000-$20,000
- Best-selling authors and well-known personal brands: $20,000-$35,000
It all depends on how polished you are, how well-established, and most importantly, how much value you have to offer their audience.
Shade Adu is a digital brand strategist and paid public speaker who got her start by hosting virtual summits.
She tripled her email list and received several paid speaking gigs thanks to the connections she made with her first summit.
At the same time, her Facebook group exploded to over 3,000 members.
While Shade is onstage, the auditorium is full of future clients, so when she speaks, her fanbase grows.
It’s a chain reaction of self-promotion that all started with virtual summits.
Sales Speaking Gigs
Even better than getting paid a set amount per speech is the opportunity to sell while you’re you’re there.
If you have a high-end product, you can make a killing at live speaking events.
ClickFunnels founder Russell Brunson once did over $3 million in 90 minutes at Grant Cardone’s 10X event.
Pete Vargas, the founder of Advance Your Reach, gets similar results as a speaker at live events.
However, there’s a catch.
The event’s host usually takes a sizeable cut, oftentimes 50%.
Speaking opportunities like these are still well-worth pursuing.
In the case of Russell Brunson, half of his $3 million in sales is still an incredible haul for an hour-and-a-half of work.
Of course you won’t get results like Russell Brunson and Pete Vargas right away (especially if you’re just starting out), but over time you can at least get to 5 and 6 figure pay days from speaking.
13. Sell Your Own Physical Products
Why sell other people’s products when you could sell your own?
Jocko Willink is an ex-Navy Seal, multi-best-selling author, and host of the Jocko Podcast.
He sells almost everything under the sun:
- Athletic shirts
If you decide to go the Jocko route, keep in mind that selling physical products involves a few extra steps:
- Payment processor like Stripe
- SSL certificate (encrypts your website against hackers)
- Reseller license and tax ID
- Ecommerce software like Easy Digital Downloads or Woocommerce
- Shipping logistics
Be ready for your life to get more complicated, at least for a little while as you iron out the kinks in your order fulfillment.
14. Repackage / Repurpose Content
Who’s to say you can’t repurpose your podcast content and make even more money?
Turn Your Podcast Content Into a Book
Tim Ferriss wrote not one, but two New York Times best-sellers out of re-hashed content.
His breakthrough book, The Four-Hour Work Week, was a repackaging of his blog posts.
For Tools of Titans, he took all the best advice from his podcast guests and turned it into a book.
With the right promotion and a little finesse, you can do the same.
Jon Nastor of Hack the Entrepreneur is a content repurposing guru in his own right.
He used the Tim Ferriss technique as well, taking information from the interviews he hosted and combining them with new content.
Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation did the same.
He combed through all 500-something episodes of John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire and made a list of all the guests’ favorite books.
Nick’s book, Work Smarter, became a bestseller.
Syndicate a YouTube Channel
You might also consider posting your podcast episodes on YouTube.
No video necessary, just post it as an mp3 with a placeholder image.
You won’t get anywhere near as many streams as the podcasts themselves, but you can probably hope for an additional few hundred dollars just by throwing it on YouTube.
Use a tool like TunestoTube.com to get it formatted correctly.
15. Host a Live Event
Hosting a live event is a great way to bring together your listeners and help build a tight-knit community.
This strategy is in the same category as high-level masterminds.
You’re going to need to wait until you’re well-established and have a large loyal following.
Live events are costly and time consuming to put together.
However, if you know that you have the skills to do well with a live event, there’s a way to overcome these obstacles fast ̶ by hosting a virtual summit.
Virtual summits can help solve the major obstacles of hosting a live event:
- Large following: Virtual summits can bring in thousands, even tens of thousands of high-quality emails.
- Costly: Virtual summits can generate tens of thousands of dollars in a single summit.
Now that you have the obstacles of cost and reach taken care of, you just have to get your new email subscribers to trust you..
…which brings us to the third obstacle of hosting a live:
- Trust: Leverage the fan base of your summit guests to promote your live event. Your guests’ fans will now see you as an authority and trust you by association.
Live Events Take Fandom to a Whole New Level
There’s nothing like meeting your favorite podcaster to get you pumped about their next product launch.
Live events are a great way to offer additional value to your fans.
A prime example of a live event in action is the Walker Stalker conference.
It’s a conference hosted by a podcast that covers The Walking Dead TV show.
The conference has grown to the point that they do events all over the world and even get the actors involved.
Sam Harris is a bestselling author and the host of the Waking Up Podcast.
He combines crowdfunding with live events.
Anyone who donates to his podcast through Patreon gets early access tickets.
More on crowdfunding in a sec…
16. Charge Your Guests
This is a somewhat controversial monetization strategy in the podcasting community, but it has been used successfully by some podcasters.
Joe Pardo charges his guests $500 to $3,000 per episode on The Business Podcast.
Joe’s reasoning why guest should pay him is the same as why podcasters get paid by sponsors: it’s exposure to his audience.
If you have a large following, an hour on Joe’s podcast is essentially 120 X 30-second slots.
When you’re his guest, it’s an entire show’s worth of advertising, the only difference is that the guests are advertising their personal brand rather than a product.
If you use this strategy, you’ll want to make sure that your podcast episodes don’t end up sounding like one long ad.
Make sure to establish clear boundaries with your guests.
For ethical reasons and to maintain the trust of your fans, you’ll want to be upfront to your audience about your business arrangements.
17. Sell an iPhone app / Software
Depending on your niche, selling an app or another piece of software may work well with your business model.
Elsie Escobar hosts Elsie’s Yoga Class Live and Unplugged, where she guides listeners through free yoga classes.
If her listeners want video instruction, they can get it in the app store for only $3.99.
The app gives subscribers access to over 70 yoga classes with PDF’s that outline the flow of each class.
Elsie launched the app with the help of the software development company Wizzard Media.
Mike Auzenne is the co-host of the Manager Tools podcast.
He doesn’t charge his listeners or pursue sponsorships.
Instead, he has several products available on his website, including a “behavioral profile instrument” trademarked DiSC Profile.
The tool helps subscribers improve their communication skills by exposing their natural social tendencies.
Not just any podcaster can succeed with product like DiSC, but after four years of building trust with his audience, Mike is allowed to get creative.
When in doubt, ask for money.
Any podcast worthy of monetization needs a loyal fan base that supports it wholeheartedly.
Many of your listeners will be so grateful for the value you provide that they’ll be looking for ways to thank you.
Crowdfunding is a simple solution.
If you don’t yet have a product of your own to sell or an affiliate to promote, you can use a service like Patreon to ask for donations.
Joshua Sheats of the Radical Personal Finance podcast set up a pledge page on Patreon.
Over 250 backers donate a total of $1,500 a month to his podcast.
Fans are so appreciative of the daily content he puts out that they’re willing to pay him for it.
Rob Cesternino brings in thousands of dollars a month through Patreon, as does Tom Merrit, who receives more than $13k in donations from his audience every month.
Crowdfunding with Patreon
Patreon isn’t free.
They take a 5% fee for acting as your virtual donation box.
While you could always set up a system for accepting donations directly, using Patreon adds a level of trust with its clean platform and stellar reputation.
Jen Briney’s podcast, The Congressional Dish, is entirely listener-supported.
She receives donations through a variety of channels, including Patreon, Zelle, PayPal, Venmo and even regular ‘ol checks in the mail.
Crowdfunding with Kickstarter
The Kickstarter platform allows you to take donations prior to the product’s release date.
It’s an incredible model that takes a lot of the risk out of making a physical product.
John was able to raise over $280k out of his $25k goal from over 7,000 backers for the Mastery Journal.
What makes Kickstarter so powerful is that donors can buy in at different price points.
For the Mastery Journal, John’s entry-level pledge was set at $27.
His backers got:
- The 100-DAY fillable PDF of The Mastery Journal
- Access to the private Facebook community
- The Kindle and ePub version
- The Mastery Journal AUDIOBOOK
John had nearly 20 different donation levels, the most expensive of which were:
- A $6,500 donation for a spot at John’s mastermind retreat at his home in Puerto Rico.
- A $10,000 donation for a full day of 1-on-1 coaching with John.
- A $10,000 donation for John to keynote your event.
As you can see, this is another high-level monetization strategy.
It’s going to take a while before you can market yourself with such expensive packages.
Your Next Steps: How Do You Plan To Make Money Podcasting?
You’ve got plenty of options on the table.
Are you going to sell your own information product, be an affiliate, get sponsored, or simply ask for donations?
You’ll have to start out with one, but you may end up using several.
The fastest and most effective way to turn your podcast into a revenue-generating machine is through hosting a virtual summit.
If you’re just starting out, a virtual summit can give you immediate revenue, a boat load of email subscribers, and authority.
If you’re already an established podcaster, you can use your listener base to help make your virtual summit even more profitable.
You may even get so good at hosting virtual summits that it turns into a full-time business.
That’s what happened to me!
I ditched the podcast game altogether and developed an implementation program called Virtual Summit Mastery to teach others how to accomplish what I did with virtual summits.
What do you think is the most powerful way to to make money podcasting?
Will you leverage the virtual summit strategy to exponentially grow your email list and as a result monetize your podcast quickly?
Let me know in the comments below.
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