5 Creative Ways to Make Money from a Podcast

Your podcast following is increasing with every episode you put out. You’ve even interviewed some high-profile guests and are running advertisements on your show. There’s just one problem: you haven’t been able to make a single dollar yet. What’s the deal?

It can be hard to make money from a podcast when you’re just starting out. You don’t know what will work for your show and a lot of times, traditional monetization methods like sponsorships and affiliate marketing don’t always produce the results you want. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to monetize a podcast, you just have to think outside the box. If you need some inspiration, check out these five creative ways to make money from a podcast.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Use QUID to collect tips

Your listeners tune in because they love what you’re putting out. Whether it’s helpful advice or entertaining content, your episodes are striking a chord with people, so why not give them a way to reward you? With QUID, collecting tips from listeners is a breeze.

QUID is an innovative payment solution that lets you instantly accept contributions as low as $0.01. It’s changing the way content creators monetize podcasts by allowing their audience to pitch in whatever amount works for them. Micropayments are also excellent alternatives compared to subscription paywalls and spammy ads which can hurt the growth of your podcast in the long run.

Sean Cooper from the Burn Your Mortgage podcast said he wished he discovered QUID sooner because it’s an easy way to monetize a podcast even if you don’t have a big audience. Landing a sponsorship deal or finding advertisers can be a long process. QUID, on the other hand, takes just a few minutes to get up and running. You can install the WordPress plug-in on your website or use PennyWall to create a tip jar that can be shared on social media. The icing on the cake? QUID’s entry-level plan is free so you don’t have to worry about any set-up or monthly fees. The plan also comes with 10,000 transactions per month.

Host a live event

Have you ever thought about hosting a meet-up, seminar or workshop for your fans? It’s a great podcast monetization method because it gives you the opportunity to make money outside of audio ad revenue. Live events hosted by podcasters are gaining popularity. According to data from Vivid Seats, the number of live events based on podcasts has increased by more than 2000% since 2012 with ticket prices ranging from $58 to $117. Many people want to see their favourite podcast hosts in real life and have the disposable income to pay for it. A study by Edison Research found 45% of podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000 or more.

Let’s say you have 10,000 regular podcast listeners. You decide to organize an event and sell tickets for $100 each. Even if only 2% attend, that’s still $2,000 in revenue in one day. You could also offer special add-ons or exclusive experiences to generate more income. From private dinners to one-on-one coaching sessions, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the value you can provide to your listeners.

Photo by Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

Reuse old content

Podcast monetization can be as simple as repurposing old content. Go through your old episodes, round up key takeaways from interviews and use that to create a book or e-book. You can even record an audiobook if writing isn’t your strongest suit. Use sites like Amazon, Payhip, Google Play and E-junkie for self-publishing and selling e-books and Feiyr, Amazon and Awesound to get your audiobooks directly to your listeners.

Consider creating an online course if you have a lot of content that can be reused. That’s what Hack the Entrepreneur’s Jon Nastor did. He took the best tips from his show and combined it with new content to create a course on how to become a successful entrepreneur. Your listeners keep coming back to you because they’re eager to learn about a specific topic or want a solution to a problem they’re facing. An online course makes sense because it can fulfill both those needs.

Speak at conferences

What do famous podcasters Tim Ferriss, Stephen Dubner and Anna Sale have in common? They all do a lot of speaking engagements. People are interested in what they have to say and are willing to hire them to speak at their events. Take inspiration from these individuals and reach out to organizations that could benefit from your expertise. Let them know how you can enhance their next workshop or summit and give them examples of how you can tailor topics to cater to their audience. If you don’t know where to start, look to your listeners as a source for leads because your show will naturally attract people who want to learn more about your industry or niche.

Post episodes on YouTube

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world and used by over 1.8 billion people every month. Posting your episodes on YouTube gives you the chance to reach a whole new audience and grow your listenership. The YouTube Partner Program supports podcast monetization too in the form of ad revenue and earnings based on the number of video views.

To get started, set up a YouTube channel and use services like Tunes to Tube, Castos and Repurpose to convert your audio files into video ones. You can join the YouTube Partner Program once you’ve hit 1,000 subscribers and amassed more than 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months. Don’t get too caught up in creating a super fancy channel with tons of video content. Nick Loper from The Side Hustle Show likes to say he has the worst YouTube channel as most of his videos are just a still image with audio. Despite that, he was still able to bank $1000 in a year from the platform.

Not all podcasters like this strategy because they consider YouTube a place for videos only, but that’s simply not true. In 2017, 46% of all music streaming took place on YouTube – that’s more than Spotify, Apple Music and any other audio streaming platform put together. A survey conducted by the Canadian Podcast Listener also found that 43% of Canadian adults used YouTube for podcasts in the past year. You’ll also find popular podcasters like Joe Rogan and Paula Pant putting their episodes on the site. If the world’s top podcasters are doing it, why shouldn’t you?

Listeners first, monetization second

These podcast monetization methods work and can be extremely profitable, but they aren’t the only ways to make money from a podcast. As the number of podcast listeners grows, so do new opportunities for monetization. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your show and experiment with different strategies. Take the time to figure out what works and the money will soon follow.

Monetizing a podcast is an exciting milestone, but it’s important to not forget about your listeners along the way. Remember to put your audience first and always provide them with valuable content. This will strengthen your relationship with your fans and help grow your listenership – both of which are key for a successful podcast.

Author image

About Melissa Li

Melissa Li is a content writer and avid traveller who has visited 75+ countries. From Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, she has worked with some of the most innovative brands in travel and tech.