So…you launched your podcast six months ago, a year ago, and you love it right? The very first motivator for creating a podcast and keeping it running should definitely be love or passion. There should be a purpose behind what you’re doing. When I launched the Writer’s Life Mini Podcast back in February of this year, my primary goal was to make connections with other writers/authors, entrepreneurs, screenwriters/filmmakers, editors, agents, marketing experts, songwriters/producers and creative people who shared something valuable. It’s been an exciting journey, and I’m proud to say, some of my guests have become friends as well.
Another focus of a podcast is the audience, of course, teaching and imparting knowledge to them. Each of my podcast segments is structured in a way that my listeners should be able to take away at least one major point they can use in their lives, whether it’s for help with novel writing or how to find a literary agent. Now that you’ve gotten your podcast off to a great start, what next? Are you interested in monetizing? Here are some practical ways of doing this:
1. Sponsorships: Do you have a product or service that you feel strongly about ( or that you currently use)? Why not ask the vendor/company if they’d be willing to sponsor your podcast? Basically, the sponsorship benefits the vendor because you’re advertising their product or service during your podcast segment, which can draw customers to their site. In turn, the sponsor pays you. This is a means of passive income for you, no fluff or hard stuff to do, just be genuine in giving your sponsor’s product/service a ‘shout out’ for about 30-60 seconds. Whenever I’ve listened to podcasts, I’ve heard anything from hosts talking about hair products, vegan foods to shoes or phone apps. Choose what products or services you’re comfortable promoting and go from there.
2. Ad Share Programs: As a host, you’d give permission to advertisers to insert 20- to 30- second audio or visual ads into your podcast segments, typically at the beginning and/or end. You’ll be paid a % based on impressions (listeners).
3. Affiliate Marketing: I’m touching on my previous point regarding products and services. What types of items do you promote or use? If you’re not really into doing a sponsorship, another way to promote is through an affiliate program, establishing relationships with vendors by showcasing their products/services, such as on your website (via link clicks or banners). The vendor pays you whenever a customer clicks a link or banner from your site and makes a purchase on their site. Pretty cool, right?
4. Online courses/Workshops: Do you enjoy teaching or instructing others? Develop an in-house workshop or online course based on content from your podcast. Think about what interests your audience, how you can help them. It would be practical to even ask them what they’d like to know more about. I’ve perused author sites before where people pay for webinars and live Q&A sessions, so it really does work. Your audience is willing to pay for your expertise.
5. Merchandise: Many podcasters sell items on their websites and/or online stores (you can set up through Wix.com, Shopify, Printful, etc. for a monthly fee). Your podcast literally becomes a brand! If people love your show, then guess what? They won’t mind feeling a sense of connection with you by purchasing your merch. How many times have you gone to a concert and bought a memorabilia item? You may not be a Rockstar, but you’re a ‘star’ podcaster. Somebody wants your t-shirt.
These are a few ways to monetize that podcast you’ve worked so hard to produce and maintain. Explore ideas and have fun along the way.