How to Make Money From a Podcast

Written By Duncan Ryan
Last updated November 1, 2021

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Personal Finance
November 1, 2021

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

If you’re a podcast creator, you may have wondered how you can make money while discussing your favorite subjects. Here’s what you should know about how to make money from a podcast, regardless of your niche or audience size.

Before you explore how to make money from a podcast, let’s discuss when you should actively start monetizing your show. You can start making at least some money from a podcast with as little as 200 to 300 listeners per episode. To earn a full-time income, though, you’ll likely need an engaged audience of at least a few thousand listeners.

Ideally, you should have monetization in mind when you begin your podcast project. The most effective methods of making money will depend on your niche and audience. If you’ve already started a podcast and don’t have a monetization strategy in place, though, don’t worry. Once you know how to make money from a podcast, you can easily select the right methods for your show.

Earnings for podcasts vary widely. The most popular ones can earn over $100,000 per episode, though these are extreme outliers. Overall, it’s reasonable to expect to earn about $1,200 per month by the time you have 1,000 to 3,000 listeners. With 5,000 downloads per episode, you can likely approach a full-time income. At 10,000 or more listeners, you could make $10,000 per month or more. The sky is the limit for podcast earnings, though few shows make it into the upper-income brackets.

1. Earn Money With Sponsorships

Sponsorships are by far the most common and lucrative way for podcast creators to monetize their work. Businesses will usually pay between $18 and $50 per thousand downloads a sponsored podcast receives. Suppose, for example, your podcast had an audience of 3,000 listeners and each listener downloaded the sponsored app. If a sponsor paid you $20 per thousand downloads, you’d earn $60 per episode. As you can see, this kind of arrangement can scale to hundreds or thousands of dollars as your audience grows.

To find sponsors, you can either approach businesses on your own or join a sponsorship marketplace. For convenience, marketplaces are usually the best solution. These marketplaces allow you to list your podcast and make it easier for sponsors to find you. From there, you can set your sponsorship rates and select the businesses you want to promote.

2. Create and Sell a Relevant Course

Creating and selling an online course is a great way to earn passive income from your podcast. Creating the course will take a considerable amount of upfront work. Once you have it ready, though, you can sell it repeatedly and earn an ongoing income. As long as your course relates to the subject of your podcast, you should have no trouble marketing it to your audience. Using a course sales site like Udemy, you can quickly and easily put your course up for sale.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Like monetizing a website, affiliate marketing is a great answer for the question of how to make money from a podcast. You can place links in your podcast description for listeners to click through and buy products you promote. Then, you can discuss the product in the show and direct the listeners to your affiliate link. Each time a listener makes a purchase, you’ll be paid a small commission.

Amazon has one of the best and easiest-to-use affiliate programs, though there are many other options. Affiliate earnings can vary widely by conversion rates, commission and the price of the products. This method is, however, a good way for beginner podcast creators to monetize their shows early on.

4. Allow Listeners to Support You With Donations

If you have an engaged audience, you can easily make extra money from listener donations. Both PayPal and Stripe are useful for onetime donations and tips. For the best results, though, consider using a recurring donation platform like Patreon. Top podcasters can make thousands of dollars per month through Patreon donations. Even with a smaller audience, you can use Patreon to supplement other monetization strategies.

5. Write an Ebook

Earing royalties from an ebook is one of the best ways to make extra money online. The idea of writing an ebook is very similar to creating an online course. Using your podcast, you can market your book to people who are already interested in your niche. Your book will also allow you to further establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise.

The best place to sell your ebook is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. This platform lets authors self-publish, set their own prices and take advantage of Amazon’s massive reader base. One very popular book or a handful of related books can reasonably make you up to $2,000 per month.

6. Create Premium Episodes

Podcast creators with large audiences can earn good money by creating paid, premium content. Premium podcast episodes are often longer than their free counterparts. You can also add value by doing live shows or engaging in Q&A segments with your audience. To access premium content, listeners usually have to pay a monthly subscription fee. You can also use access to premium content to encourage your listeners to support you through Patreon.

7. Put Your Podcast on YouTube

Finally, you can put episodes of your podcast on YouTube as videos and earn ad revenue. YouTube doesn’t pay a huge amount, but the effort required to upload existing content is also minimal. Although you probably won’t earn much from ad revenue, YouTube is still a useful platform. With it, you can drive affiliate sales, encourage donations and promote your courses or ebooks. In this sense, YouTube is best used as a channel for enhancing your other income streams.

As you can see, there are many options for making money from a podcast. If you’re just starting out, focus on affiliate marketing, course and ebook sales and donations. As your podcast grows, you can tap into other revenue streams more effectively. The more streams of income you build for your podcast over time, the more money you’ll make.

About the Author

Duncan Ryan

Duncan Ryan is a long-time professional freelance writer with a focus on finance, economics, science, technology and medicine. A lifelong independent learner, Duncan is always on the search for the next exciting challenge.

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