Crazy Rich Podcasters: How to monetize your startup’s podcast

Have you ever thought of starting a podcast? This fast-growing channel for communicating over a specific topic is appealing to many entrepreneurs and startups today. Many podcasters around the world are now making a living from their passion, and are encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. 

It’s important to mention that commitment is very important for podcasts; it is dangerous to release three episodes and see what happens! It’s better to commit to a well-crafted, consistent and regular monthly podcast than to multiply the episodes and give up after a few months.

If you are a self-starter looking to monetize your podcast, here are a few tips on how to do so. Note that some work well when you are just starting out, and others are more effective when you are more established and have a wider audience.

Why start a podcast in the first place? 

Don’t just start a podcast to sell your products like a “get rich in 2 months” training. If you are passionate about personal finance, economics and entrepreneurship and would like to share this passion and various teachings with a community of people who also want to improve themselves on this subject, then you have the right intentions. The goal is to bring value to your community while building your own reputation as a podcaster.

Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing or performance marketing allows you to earn commission when you refer people to other businesses. In general, you earn money when someone makes a purchase.

Affiliate marketing works best when you promote products or services that you use or know about, so you can promote them authentically. You could create your own ‘commercial’ to promote an affiliate offer if you don’t have the audience size of traditional sponsorships. You can also naturally include a mention of a product or service when you deliver your regular content.

There are many affiliate programmes out there for almost every popular product or service. Amazon is one of the most popular programmes, or you can also join a network like ShareASale where you can search and apply to specific programmes.

Sponsors and advertising

Advertising and sponsorship are probably the first things you think of when looking for ways to make money from podcasting.

There are several different podcast advertising networks that can connect you with advertisers. They do all the work of finding advertisers, negotiating rates, getting the script, etc. You usually need a larger audience of at least 5,000 or 10,000 listeners per month to work with them. One of the biggest advertising networks is Midroll, another popular network is Authentic, and many podcast hosting companies also have their own networks.

Designing podcasts 

More and more brands are taking up podcasting because they have finally realised that it is a great way to do storytelling or brand content while fully engaging their target audience. So why not use your experience to offer your skills and know-how to professionals? You can approach them by offering to produce a series of customised podcasts for them, independent of your main podcast.

Partnerships

Naturally, when you start networking and team up with brands you will be able to develop partnerships to drive revenues for your podcast. Take advantage of your position as a micro-influencer to establish paid partnerships. 

When you currently have an engaged community around your podcasts, and above all well-earned credibility, people turn to you for specific issues. It could be interesting to use your credibility to promote products, trips or activities to your listeners. How can you do this? Contact organizations you want to partner with, indicating your number of listeners and the theme of your podcasts.

Another option that can work well if you have a smaller or more specific audience is to go directly to companies that would be a good fit for your audience.

Courses

Many popular podcasters create their own online courses to teach content similar to that of their podcast.

Online courses are a great way to teach a topic in a simple and easy to follow way, where you can get a specific outcome once you have completed it. It is useful to have an email list so that you can inform your audience about your course, both on your podcast and by email. 

Another option for promoting courses is to use a webinar platform to help demonstrate the value for about 45 minutes, and then offer the course signup at the end. They work well because people are engaged and interact with you ‘live’.

Services

You can offer services related to the content of your podcast, too. If you talk about entrepreneurship and personal finance management, you could propose cash flow management as a service.

By showing that you are an expert on the topic, people know that they will get expert level finance management. This makes it much easier to get clients. Of course, you could do something similar in many different industries.

Coaching and counselling

Coaching and counselling is a bit like a service, but you don’t usually do the work for them. Instead, you help or guide them on how to improve. Common industries that have a lot of consultants and coaches are fitness, food, business and education.

Premium content

Premium content can really live up to your expectations and offer a wider range of content for a few euros a month. Here a couple of examples in terms of content you could propose to premium members: 

  • Additional interviews
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Questions and answers with the hosts

This can be launched when you already have a good size audience, and you’re sure that you have a number of dedicated listeners every episode.

Crowdfunding

You can ask for donations to help you and support your podcast. A good story can help you advertise your podcast in this sense; make sure to show what you will be talking about in future episodes, your plan or strategy to show that you’re well-organised and committed, and what additional content you could add if you had enough resources. The goal is to show the added value for people to support you. Check out platforms like Patreon, or crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter.

Events 

Organising events is not only a great way to make money, but also to bring your best supporters together and give them even more value. You can invite other people to join and present what they are doing online, or offline. This way you are also building a network which will help you get traction for your podcast, as your guests share the content that they’ve participated in.

We hope that you found this article useful, and that it supports you on your way to monetising your podcast. Don’t forget that you can try multiple ideas at once, or stagger them over time to test one by one. Good luck!