As people increasingly spend more of their time on the internet, the popularity of podcasts is on the rise. A podcast is like a spoken blog, or an online radio show. There are some podcasts that have an enormous fan base with hundreds of thousands of listeners.
If you promote it effectively, hosting a podcast can be a very lucrative endeavor. A successful podcast host can earn $50,000 plus per episode, and that is with a following of just 1,000 listeners!
Starting a podcast does not require an enormous start up cost, or a lot of overhead costs because, unlike an actual radio station that normally requires an expensive broadcasting studio, you can start your own podcast from the comfort of your home. All you really need to start a podcast is a reliable internet connection, a decent microphone, and podcast hosting which can be very inexpensive or, in some cases, free.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know enough about podcasting to tell you exactly what you need to launch or build a successful podcast, but what I will do is tell you ways that you can monetize a podcast, and give you some platforms where you can start your own podcast. So let’s jump right into it, shall we?
8 Ways To Monetize A Podcast
Before I get into the ways you can monetize your podcast, I think that it is important to note that these monetization strategies will work for you after you’ve already established a decent size audience that listens to your podcast on a consistent basis. If you are just starting out, I recommend finding ways to grow your audience before you put too much focus on monetizing your podcast, because you can’t monetize something if no one knows it exists.
If you aim to get a sponsor you definitely need a healthy following. You also need to focus on the brands that are right for your audience. If your audience is gamers, Monster energy drinks or X-box Live would be good sponsors, and you should probably avoid Victoria’s Secret. Focus on getting sponsors whose products your audience would be interested in.
2. Ask for donations
If you establish a following of people that love your content and listen to your podcast religiously, then you should have no shame in asking for their support. You’ll be surprised at how many people will donate to the cause just so that they can keep listening to your podcast.
3. Audio Ad Networks
There are quite a few ad networks out there that work with podcasters. If your audience is large enough, this is an option that you do not want to overlook. Ad networks do a lot of the work for you as they’ll get the advertisers that are right for your audience, they’ll implement ads in a way that are the least intrusive for your audience, and they will pay you based on the number of listeners you have per episode, you just do your thing and watch the money roll in!
4. Sell broadcasting minutes.
This is a great alternative to finding a sponsor or working with ad networks. For a fee, you allow a brand spokesperson come on your podcast and talk about their brand. Depending on the size of your audience, you can charge pretty hefty prices for this, and their are brands that will pay it.
5. Charge your listeners a monthly subscription fee
If your podcast is popular enough, your content valuable enough, and your listeners loyal enough, they will gladly pay a reasonable subscription fee to be able to listen to your podcast.
6. Record your podcast, and sell the recordings.
Many podcast hosts do this, and they see much success. You can sell the recordings of each podcast episode individually, or you can bundle them and sell the bundle as a series.
7. Sell branded merchandise
Just about every popular radio station or radio show sells merchandise, why not sell merchandise for your podcast? If you have fans, you should definatly sell merchandise, fans buy merchandise.
8. Transcribe your podcast episodes, and sell the transcripts as an ebook.
You may have content that your listeners will want to review and study, what better way to make that possible for them then transcribing your content?
6 Free Podcast Hosting Platforms
The startup costs for launching your own podcast can be almost nonexistent. If you find the right platform, you can launch your podcast without paying a penny. Here are some podcast hosting platforms that will host your podcast for you free of charge.
With Anchor FM, you can create unlimited episodes, distribute them anywhere, and make money all for free. Anchor FM will host your podcast for you, find advertisers that are right for your audience, and even allow you to charge your subscribers a subscription fee, so you can have two income streams consisting of the subscription fees that you charge your listeners, and the revenue from advertisers that Anchor FM shares with you. Anchor FM has a mobile app so that you can record audio from anywhere.
Castbox offers one of the simplest ways to get started with podcasting. Castbox allows you to upload and store audio for free and they give you your own virtual creator studio which includes analytics tools to measure subscribers, streams, and downloads. They also allow listener comments, sharing, and other social features to engage with your listeners and get you noticed.
They say that they’re an audio blogging platform, but in my opinion, that’s no different from a podcasting platform. With Podbean, you can start your “audio blog” for free, and they’ll provide you with everything that you need to create, manage and promote your audios. Podbean will provide you with easy uploading and publishing tools, social and promotional tools, an embeddable audio player, and several monetization tools. Monetize your podcasts through advertising revenue, charging listeners for premium content, and crowdfunding.
Podomatic provides unlimited podcast hosting forever. You can monetize your podcast through advertising revenue and crowdsourcing. Podomatic even allows you to create a website for your podcast through Weebly.
“Podcasting for all talks of life.” Talk Shoe is a community building podcast platform that provides storage, streaming, global call-in capabilities, and the tools to get you noticed online. With Talk Shoe, hosting is free and unlimited.
Having quite the name for their platform, Whooshkaa helps creators produce, host, share, track, and monetize audio on-demand content. They have a forever free plan for creators that includes unlimited shows and episodes, unlimited bandwidth, 1 hour of transcripts per month; 1,000 dynamic ad impressions per month, distribution to all major platforms, and standard analytics. I’d say that’s a pretty great deal for a zero dollar price tag!
That’s everything I wanted to cover in this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this read. There are many more podcast hosting platforms out there, but the 6 that I mentioned are the only ones that I know of which are totally free. If you know of any other platforms like this, please mention them in the comments below.
I would like to have a guest contribute more on this topic. If you have experience hosting a podcast, and know what it takes to host and monetize a podcast successfully, I would like to invite you to write or speak on my website about this. You can write a guest post, or if you prefer, I can embed an audio recording of you speaking about this topic. If you are interested in doing this please contact me.
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For the next post in this series, I’m going to discuss websites where you can publish and get paid for your original poetry.
Keep monetizing my friends and thank you for reading!
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