Over the past few years, podcasts have experienced a rebirth. The benefits of listening to podcasts have been fully realized by the masses, and it's never been easier to find a show that you'll love.
There are a bunch of reasons why podcasts are popular right now. They're fun to listen to, they have a relaxed feel, they can get very personal, and they don't require corporate overlords (who can ruin them!).
The personalities are the most important part of any podcast. They give the listeners a reason to return for every new episode. Listeners build (one-way) connections, and in turn, your listeners will want to support you.
How to monetize podcasts
Now that you've built an audience, you may be wondering how to monetize your podcast. The first way is a technique that's been around for as long as radio: Advertising. Organizations like Audioboom and Megaphone, and other podcasts hosts sell ads for podcasts with big (10,000+ listener) audiences.
My shows, MuggleCast and #Millennial, both use Audioboom to secure host-read advertisements. We've seen steady and substantial revenue.
If you can't get a podcast host to sell ads for you, you can also go out and sell advertising yourself. You can accomplish this by finding companies who might be interested in running ads on your particular show. For example, if you have a podcast about cars, you could go out and ask businesses like tire companies to advertise on your show. Directly going to potential advertisers will make you more money than working with Audioboom, Megaphone, etc, because companies like these two will take a cut of the ad revenue.
The second monetization technique is selling merchandise. Those who enjoy your podcast will happily support you by purchasing a T-shirt, poster, signed album art, etc.
But there's a third option that can guarantee a steady revenue stream, and in most cases, generate more revenue than merchandise or advertising: Patreon!
Patreon Tips for Podcasters
Launching a Patreon for a podcast is a very smart move. Advertising and merchandise isn't guaranteed revenue over the long run, whereas with Patreon, you'll have a steady stream of steady income every month.
In exchange for financially supporting you on a monthly basis, you can give listeners bonus audio, a physical item, early access to episodes, and a whole lot more.
Or, you can combine all three revenue channels! In addition to making money off of advertising, you can also start a Patreon to double, triple, or perhaps quadruple your income. Feel guilty about making your Patrons listen to ads? Use Patreon's RSS Feed feature to give your Patrons ad-free versions of the show!
Let's make you money
For two of my podcasts I have sold merchandise, advertising (through Audioboom), and run Patreons. If you're looking for help launching a Patreon for a podcast, I am the perfect person to help you. Check out my Patreon online course for everything you need!
If you'd prefer to speak with me about earning money through merchandise sales or advertising, please see my podcast consultations page.