9 min read

How to Make Money Podcasting: The Definitive Guide (2021)

Want to start a podcast or take your existing podcast to the next level? With these 7 intuitive tips, you'll be well on your way to make thousands of dollars a month.
How to Make Money Podcasting: The Definitive Guide (2021)

Are you looking for sure-shot ways on how to make money podcasting in 2021. Lots of people are. Especially because podcasting has seen a 37% growth in active listeners over the last three years.

Partly because of the new smart speaker technology such as Amazon Echo but also because it’s much easier to listen to a podcast while commuting than pulling out a 230-page book that weights a thousand tons.

This increased listening comes along with money-making opportunities. That’s the shot, right there!

Get ready as I’m going to serve you the juiciest of meats on your plate. Yes, you will get a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to make money podcasting in 2021.

It doesn’t get any better than this, believe me! Let’s start, shall we? In this blog post, I'll cover the following:

  1. Understand your podcast niche and approach relatable sponsors
  2. Promoting and selling your own merchandise on your podcast
  3. Make money podcasting through affiliate marketing
  4. Sell your own services or products through your podcast
  5. Host commercial podcasts for businesses
  6. Evolve from Apple Podcasts and Spotify to YouTube
  7. Ask for donations

Let's dive straight into the very first thing you want to do when starting a money-making podcast.

1. Understand your podcast niche and approach relatable sponsors

Getting sponsorships is the most common way to make some serious money through podcasts.

In a podcast episode, you have to dedicate an agreed-upon amount of time and slots to advertise your sponsors. You’ll have to determine the most natural spots where you can add advertisements.

Now, there’re two ways of finding sponsors for your show:

Advertising networks

Ad networks will help you in finding and contacting several sponsors and advertisers.

They’ll also take care of the price negotiations. The more audience you cater to, the better and bigger deals you’ll get.

Midroll is one of the biggest podcast ad networks out there. AdvertiseCast is another advertising network that you can get in contact with.

Find and contact niche sponsors

There is nothing better than finding a company that aligns with your podcast shows’ niche. For this, you’ll have to personally find and contact those companies whose business interests align with people’s interest in listening to your podcasts.

If you successfully get sponsorships from such companies, you won’t have to run just any ad in between the shows. In fact, the advertisements will fit-in naturally with the flow of the script.

Getting sponsors and advertisers can be a wee bit difficult if you are just getting started. You’ll need a decent size following to get a sponsorship.

When you finally achieve at least 5000 listeners for your podcasts, please make sure not to sign up for just any ad for the sake of making money. It’ll haunt you in the long run.

You don’t just build an audience through podcasts, you build bonds and relationships. You wouldn’t want to ruin that bond by throwing in an absurd ad that even you don’t believe in. To make money podcasting and keep making it, you should not weaken the bond of trust for short term benefits.

This is why we always advise hosts to find sponsors whose products or services are relatable to the people listening to your podcasts.

2. Promoting and selling your own merchandise on your podcast

We know what you’re thinking.

No, it doesn’t cost a lot of money.

No, it doesn’t take a lot of time, either.

And, no, it is also not difficult to implement!

Selling your own merchandise to your podcast listeners has become relatively easier than it was a couple of years ago. All thanks to a bunch of online services that have made it easier to sell personalized products like t shirts, mugs, caps, sweatshirts and much more. If you want to make money podcasting, don’t skip this step!

You can utilize the services of a site like Teespring that allows you to upload your own design on the site, print once the purchase has been made, and ship directly to the customer.

Another way of dealing with this is opening a store in Shopify and implementing print-on-demand services.

As far as the design ideas are concerned, you can go with the ‘name of your show’ printed on the merch. If there is something you say more often in your podcast, you can get it printed as well. Have you given a name to your audience? If you have, you can get it printed on t-shirts and hoodies – your people will love it!

There is no upfront payment for setting up your online merchandise store. The perceived hassle of keeping an inventory or stock on hand is deleted. Print-on-demand services save you from any monetary loss. They’ll ship your products directly to your customers, making you free from any stress what so ever!

Apart from generating money, merchandise has an added benefit too. They serve as marketing tools. If your listeners wear t-shirts, hoodies, and caps that have your show’s name printed on them, their friends and relatives will get to know about your show as well. This kind of word of mouth marketing will essentially grow your followers and help you make more money podcasting.

3. Make money podcasting through affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing could have you making some serious money – regularly.

If you are not aware of affiliate marketing, it’s a scheme where you funnel traffic from your followings to a product or service and get a kickback when a purchase is made.

Amazon is the most significant player in the world of affiliate marketing. Amazon Associates program is one of the best places where you can start your affiliate marketing journey.

How does it work?

  1. Sign up for an affiliate program on Amazon or any other affiliate network.
  2. Choose a product/service that you’d like to promote in the podcast.
  3. Create an affiliate link to that product/service sales page.
  4. Use a plugin like Lasso to shorten the affiliate link and create a tracking dashboard.
  5. Mention the product/service on your podcast and persuade your audience to click on your link. This can be in the bio or description of your episode.
  6. Receive a commission on every purchase that took place through your affiliate link.

Pretty simple and straightforward, isn’t it?

Apart from Amazon, there are many other sites that you can use to earn a fair amount of revenue.

With Fiverr’s affiliate program, you can earn up to $150 for every sale.

If your podcast’s episode is about health and fitness, you can get a 10% commission on every sale you make through the Nootropics Depot affiliate program.

If you crack the affiliate marketing game, you can earn thousands of dollars in commissions every month. That’s true! Here’s my post on the 75 most profitable affiliate programs. A great and easy way to make money podcasting!

4. Sell your own services or products through your podcasts

When people come and listen to your podcasts every week, it’s a given fact that they’re getting some value out of it.

As a podcast host, you have a certain kind of value that you provide to your listeners, and they consume it too. Maybe it’s the way you speak, the opinions you make, the guests you get on the show, or just your personality that your listeners like.

Heck, not every podcaster gets regular listeners.

Why not utilize this likability to sell your own services or products, and make money podcasting?

You can produce sellable services in the form of e-books, online courses, consultation, training programs, personality development programs, and various other services.

You can even build a niche-specific product and sell it on your podcast show. Your audience will give your services and products a try if you have succeeded in building a bond and trust with them. Think as creatively as you can. If you are good at something, make a service around it and promote it to your audience.

Thinkific, Teachable, and Uscreen are some of the most prominent e-course marketplaces where you can build and sell your courses.

If you feel intimidated by the idea of creating a full-fledged course, start small by making an e-book around your niche. Just throw it out there to check if there’s interest among your audience, and then ramp up from there.

It’s a proven way to monetize a podcast. Also, it may yield a much better result than affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you were earning just a percentage in commission. However, by selling your own products and services, you get to keep the entire income generated.

Successful podcast hosts are earning hundreds of dollars by selling their courses on their podcasts.

5. Host commercial podcasts for businesses

One of the most successful ways to make money podcasting is to approach various businesses and host internal podcasts for their employees.

Many big companies look for influential podcast hosts for hosting internal podcasts for their employees. They do that for various reasons like boosting their employees’ morale and letting their employees have a fun session, team-building exercise, and others.

There are numerous benefits of utilizing your podcast experience in something like this:

  1. You get to use your hosting expertise in building commercial podcasts.
  2. You get to make big bucks if you work with big companies.
  3. You get paid instantly on the spot.
  4. You get recommended to other companies if you do a splendid job.

It has the potential of becoming a full-time career choice. If you do a good job organizing the podcast and please the company’s heads, they could recommend your services to their friends in other companies as well.

You’ll end up getting at least 3 to 4 projects every month if you become good at it.

It is becoming a trend these days, and we know for a fact that there will always be a market for commercial podcasts. You’ll never run out of a job if you build a good repo and have enough experience.

6. Evolve from Apple Podcasts and Spotify to YouTube

Having made podcasts on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, you now need to evolve from there to the second biggest search engine in the world – YouTube.

You can add a new type of component to your regular audio podcast show – Video.If you create video podcasts and post them on YouTube, people’s chances of coming across your content increase exponentially.

People love watching a host hosting a podcast.

Don’t you believe us?

How about some stats?

According to this report, more than 43% of the survey participants said they went to YouTube to watch podcast shows. 34% said Apple Podcasts, and 23% said Spotify.

The Youtube channel of Joe Rogan’s podcasts has more than 10 million subscribers and 2.8 billion views.

The video component increases engagement ten times more than just audio.

There’s a pro tip you can use on Youtube to make more money:

  • Once you have recorded the entire podcast, make a copy of it, and save it.
  • Now, cut down several small videos (5-6 minutes) from the podcast and edit them as standalone videos.
  • Schedule these smaller videos for going live and create hype for the full episode.
  • Monetize these videos to generate some extra revenue.
  • Now, release the full-length video podcast and monetize it too.
  • Enjoy the flow of ad revenues from multiple videos of the same podcast.

Youtube’s algorithm works in mysterious ways. However, we know for a fact that Youtube loves it when you keep bringing content on the platform. It’ll push your podcast videos to the recommended lists of avid podcast viewers.

Also, people who don’t know about you and your podcasts could land upon any of those small standalone videos (5-6 minutes) and travel all the way to your full-length episode (1-2 hours long).

With youtube views, you’ll generate ad revenues and make money podcasting. If you keep grinding, your subscriber’s list will eventually grow, and you’ll start getting brand endorsement deals. That’s a lot of money we are talking about!

7. Ask for donations

The final and most obvious step of making money podcasting is merely asking your audience for their support and donations. If you provide your audience with some value in the form of knowledge or entertainment, don’t be afraid to ask for donations.

Donations could be in the form of Paypal donations, or you can even set up a Patreon account. Through Patreon, you can give away monthly subscriptions to your listeners where they pay to get some exclusive perks from you.

There are many investments you put in to create a show, like your time, efforts, equipment, and skills. Don’t shy away from asking for donations. If you have a caring audience, which most of the podcasters do, they’ll love to support you in any form they can.

How much money can you make from podcasting?

If you are good at it, then the answer is a lot of money!

The Joe Rogan Experience makes a whopping $800,000 for every episode. Well, let’s not aim that big for starters.

The Tiny Meat Gang makes more than $80,000 per month. The Tim Dillon Show makes $72,000 every month.

There are hundreds of thousands of podcasters making money by generating revenues through advertisements, selling merch, affiliate marketing, selling e-courses, doing commercial podcasts, or just asking for donations.

If you follow the steps mentioned in this post, there’s a higher chance that you’ll make money podcasting in 2021.

Didn’t I tell you that I wouldn’t let you leave high and dry? I’ve delivered what I promised. Now, it’s your turn to act. Get back to your recording studio and start making some big bucks! All the best.