When Podcasts Make Money

gold_dollar_sign-1920x1200Podcasting for Money

All podcasters want to make money doing what they enjoy. They ask how can I make it and when can I start making it? These are questions I ask myself as I plan my first podcast. We all know a quality podcast can make a good income for the host or hosts, but what is that formula for getting it monetized? Is it a per show deal, all affiliate marketing or is it something else all together?

 Affiliates Make Money Too!

Any Online Marketer knows that affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to build a small income. If you are successful at it you can make a four or five figure income just from affiliate marketing, but add this to podcasting and you can not only build engagement from your audience but you can increase what your making per month substantially. This is a good idea when you are first starting out in podcasting, it helps you to start monetizing your work and it can help keep you encouraged each day.

Where do you find affiliates to build this income? Practically anywhere online. It can be a product you use everyday and you are familiar with, this is sometimes the best affiliate because you can relate to it and point out some of its benefits even better. It can also be a product that you feel fits well with your podcast or business goals. You can usually find the link for a companies affiliate program in the footer menu or even in the main menu depending on how much they are pushing their products referral program. You can find affiliate programs by signing up for an account through Share-A-Sale or Commission Junction or other online affiliate or link share programs.

When setting up an affiliate program that you are running through your podcast as a commercial you want to make it easy for your listener to find your affiliate, the best way to do this is to make a page for the affiliate or to link with a domain that is associated with your podcast or business. An example of this would be www.podcastreviewshq.com/ontraport this link will take you to my affiliate page for Ontraport that also has a link on the page to my affiliate id that gives me credit when someone buys their service after clicking from my site. Most affiliate programs are easy to get involved with but their are some companies that want to see your website and content before the approve to be sure that your website fits with their image and does not have any major conflicts of interest. Be sure you keep your site clean and appealing and you will gain their approval in most cases.

Sponsors Mean Everything!

Podcasting just like radio can make money from selling ad time to a business or company that wants to buy time. The formula for charging a client is a little different from radio but it can make a great income for the seasoned podcaster.

One of the most successful podcaster for 2013, John Lee Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire, recently wrote about getting that coveted podcast sponsor and even shared his formula for charging his sponsors. His formula has gained him one of his most record breaking months in October of 2013 and it is fast becoming a model for most podcasters to use when it comes to charging for ad time.

When I launched EntrepreneurOnFire back in September of 2012, I had no idea what the source of my income would be. However, I did know that if I provided enough amazing content and value to my listeners for free, that the income side of things would fall into place.

 ”You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Sure enough, at the six month mark, my download numbers and ranking in iTunes began to attract sponsors who started to approach EntrepreneurOnFire.

The month of April, 2013 turned out to be our first 5-figure month ($12,584), with 85% of the revenue generated coming straight from sponsorships.

To celebrate EntrepreneurOnFire’s 1 year anniversary in September of 2013, we decided to begin releasing a monthly income report. September proved to be a record month with over $50k in gross revenue, and we blew the doors off in October with our first six-figure MONTH.

Today, sponsorships make up about 40% of EntrepreneurOnFire’s monthly income, as we have introduced products and services like Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise, which each account for a large percentage of our total revenue as well.

John’s article recommends keeping your advertisers to a minimum though and not flooding your listeners with clutter when they are coming to you for a quality podcast full of information and entertainment. We all know that advertising is the normal thing to do for those of us trying to make an income and pay for all these great products we need to put together our podcast, but their is a balance to what is too much and not enough. In the end our listeners are one of the most important reasons we do this and succeed at it.

You can read the full article on Sponsorship for Your Podcast at www.entrepreneuronfire.com/podcast-sponsorships/

 That Something Else That Pays?

So what is that something else that can pay for your podcast? If you are trusted by your listeners and you are providing quality content or entertainment your listeners may start asking you for things. Products, mentorships, ebooks, consulting, etc. When you show that you can be trusted with the information you provide you will be rewarded by your listeners. They trust your product and the information provided within and will continue to buy as long as you keep it straight with them. That is why most of your podcasters like John Dumas and Pat Flynn and others are becoming so transparent in what they are making and sharing with their community. This gives them the credibility needed to continue to improve and to keep their loyal listener base. If you can show a success at what you are doing and are willing to share you will be able to provide a product that will contribute not just to your income but to the credibility of your niche or podcast.

Ultimately we all strive to be successful and to make an income and podcasting is becoming a top earner for many of those that are willing to provide a quality content based podcast to listeners.


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  • Eric,

    Great article! Thanks for the feature and LOVE what you have going on here!

    Keep rockin!

    ~ John Lee Dumas

    • John thank you for the comment! This has been a journey that I could not have done without listening to EOFire almost a year ago. Thank you for the content you put out and all the support you have given this site. Keep Inspiring!

  • John Dumas goes on to mention in his post about how important it is to accept the right sponsors for your audience. I think it’s tempting when a sponsor approaches you to want to take whatever comes your way. Sure, it’s possible for a new podcaster to make a couple hundred dollars or more per show, but the wrong sponsor can turn away listeners and “dilute” the show as John says.

    As my plan is to go full time with podcasting, sponsorship is definitely an avenue that will make that happen faster. But it has to be a carefully planned approach. And quite honestly, I don’t see it happening in the first 3 months of launch. Being in New and Noteworthy as I am right now may actually appeal to sponsors because of the mainstream exposure, but what happens after 8 weeks when I drop off (the dreaded “podcast cliff”)?

    The download numbers and iTunes rankings that I get after falling off the podcast cliff will be the true gauge of how much I need to grow in order to be a success, and be remotely attractive to sponsors.

    • Paul thank you for the comment. I believe you will rebound pretty quickly as you do have a quality and you are getting your name out pretty good.

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