This is especially true for people who have a “passion” podcast, like I do, and didn’t start with any kind of monetization plan.
Thankfully, I’ve been interviewing a lot of spectacular people for my Podcast Prodigy course and have gotten some awesome ideas on how to monetize your podcast.
Here are 19 of my favorites:
1. Sell sponsorships.
This is a very popular option for many podcasters.
If you have a good amount of downloads per podcast episode (John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire tells me that the sweet spot for attracting sponsors is 3,000 downloads per episode), you can sell ad space to sponsors.
2. Find coaching clients.
I was recently talking to Michelle Evans of the Breaking Free podcast. She told me that even though her podcast has been around for less than a year, she gets between 4 and 15 emails every week from people who are interested in hiring her. About 70% of those people go on to become clients. Not shabby.
3. Promote a membership site.
I recently interviewed Don McAllister for my Podcast Prodigy course. He told me that he has “several thousand” members in his Screencasts Online membership and that the overwhelming majority of his traffic came from his podcast.
4. Build a mailing list.
Offer some kind of gift to entice your podcast audience into signing up.
Even if you don’t have something to sell them right now, creating a list is a very powerful monetization method for down the line. You can use it to sell affiliate products, your own products or services, or even just tell people about new episodes so you can build your numbers up for sponsorships.
If you use EasyAudello, you can even have opt-in forms show up during different points of your podcast – i.e., in minute 3, at the same time you mention a gift that people can get for signing up.
5. Sell services.
Denise Griffitts’ show, Your Partner In Success, gets between 4,000 – 6,000 listens a week. While she doesn’t directly try to monetize it, she tells me that many people reach out to her and inquire about hiring her for her web development and/or virtual assistant services.
6. Sell mastermind slots.
If people are interested in your podcast topic, it likely means they want to hear more about it. Create a mastermind of likeminded individuals who want to learn even more about your show topic and/or get individual support.
7. Create information products to sell.
Survey your audience and find out what they’d like to learn more about, then create products to serve them.
When I interviewed John Lee Dumas, he told me that he created his premium course after getting feedback from his audience that they’d be interested in learning more.
To date, he has sold well over a million dollars with that product.
9. Sell books.
In many ways, selling books is harder than ever. There are more and more authors entering Kindle by the day.
If you build a relationship with your book readers via podcasting, you create an excellent way to stand out from everyone else.
A few months ago, I interviewed a gal who said that her key to Kindle success (she’s currently making $80k/month+ with her books and became a NY Times Bestseller – starting from scratch, with zero list) was having consistent communication and interaction with her book readers.
Podcasting is an excellent way to cultivate a relationship and build a loyal following of people who want to buy your books.
10. Sell products as an affiliate.
There are many ways you can promote products as an affiliate with your podcast.
For example, if it makes sense, Audible has a partner program where they pay you $15 per person who signs up for a free trial account.
11. Have affiliates come on and sell products.
You can interview people on your podcast and then have them offer special discounts (with your affiliate code) to your audience at the end of the interview.
12. Ask for donations.
Before Don McAllister (see #3) created his membership site, people were contacting him and asking how they could donate for his efforts. If you directly ask for donations, it’s very likely that you will get some.
13. Give some content away for free, charge for the rest.
There are a few podcasts – Don’s included – where the host gives away some content, such as the first few minutes of a tutorial (which is still helpful), then people need to pay an upgrade fee to get the rest.
14. Build your brand.
Even if you don’t directly sell something, you can raise your perceived value by aligning yourself with experts.
In this interview, John Jantsch says that he was a “complete unknown” when he started podcasting. That didn’t stop him from asking people like Seth Godin to be on his podcast though.
From the interview: “Since starting the podcast, things have changed dramatically. Jantsch estimates that his business has grown more than 500 percent and he works a lot less.”
15. Sell an iPhone app.
In this interview, Elsie Escobar of “Elsie’s Yoga Class Live and Unplugged” explained how her podcasts offers free yoga classes. She sells an app for $3.99 on that podcast.
When people buy the app, they get anytime access to 70+ yoga classes as well as PDF’s that show the sequence of each class.
16. Repurpose content and sell it.
With some finesse, you can take podcast posts and put them into a book or ebook.
As an example, Nick Loper made money from a podcast that he didn’t even host. (Crazy, right?)
He simply went through 500+ previous episodes of John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire and compiled a listing of the interviewee’s favorite books. (John asks every guest what their favorite book is.)
His book (Work Smarter) became a bestselling book.
17. Brag about your numbers.
If you’re getting great download numbers, you can leverage them when trying to land traditional publishing deals, get sponsorships for events, or book paid speaking gigs.
18. Host an event.
Identify the type of people who you want to attract to your events, then create content that they would respond to.
In your podcasts, mention the (online or offline) events you’ll be holding.
19. Sell physical products.
Onnit, a supplement company, is a big sponsor for some very popular podcasts. If they’re continuing to sponsor, they must be making money doing it. What’s to stop you from selling your own physical product?
And if you’d like to learn more about podcasting, please check out Podcast Prodigy.