How do I make money from my podcast?

5 New Ways to Monetize Your Podcast Now

Step 1: Launch (or Relaunch) Your Podcast to the Top 100

Everyone loves numbers.

Step one in monetizing your podcast is to launch or relaunch your podcast. When you launch your podcast, you create an event that results in many new subscribers. The new subscribers trigger the podcast players’ algorithms to recommend or feature your show on their platform. The launch will also rocket your podcast up the charts, giving you undeniable credibility and domain authority. It’s really good. 

Your goal is to get a minimum of 100 new ratings and reviews for your launch.

But how do you get 100 people to rate and review your show? 

The answer: You send 100 people a text message and ask them to rate or review the show right now. 

If you can personally text 100 people and rightfully expect them to review the show, that’s awesome! Do that now. If you don’t have 100 people tee’d up, we have a recipe to help you find them.

Every podcast will need a bunch of marketing assets on launch, including cover art, liner notes, and of course, the audio. Assuming you are launching your first episode, all of your podcast assets will be new. However, if you are relaunching your podcast, consider refreshing your podcast brand standards for a grand reveal upon relaunch. 

We recommend you outsource the creation of some of these assets to create a team of stakeholders who will be motivated to help promote the launch. This is the critical component – you should add members to your team based on their willingness to promote the show. You will rely on your team to text their friends and family to ask for ratings and reviews. 

Here is a list of roles you may consider adding to your team:

  1. Photographer
  2. Graphic designer
  3. Copywriter
  4. Audio editor
  5. Music creator
  6. Show guest
  7. Co-host
  8. Booking coordinator
  9. Event director
  10. Social media/publishing director

Now that you have a team that has produced all the shiny new podcast assets, you are ready to launch. Publish the podcast on Monday. On Tuesday, assuming the podcast has been published to Apple Podcasts (or your preferred review platform), coordinate your text message/launch campaign. Keep the message brief and easy to follow! Here is some example copy: 

Hey there! I’m launching my podcast and I need your help. Will you please subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts? It’s really important to the algorithm that it happens today, so do you mind doing it right now? Here’s the link [link] TY!

There’s a lot of energy and excitement around a product launch, so chances are you will get a flurry of new subscribers. And with any luck, you will get some conversions and advertising opportunities as well! It’s a little nerve-racking asking for help so be strong. Your people will love helping the show, especially because it doesn’t cost them anything and only requires a couple of minutes. 🙂 

Use chartable.com to track your podcast’s progress up the charts. If this technique works for you too, let us know!

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Build your team.
  2. Create a list of 10 of people who you can rely on to rate, review, and subscribe to your show.
  3. Launch

Step 2: Repurpose your podcast episodes

Radically improve your conversion rate with strategic repurposed podcast interviews.

If your marketing team is already repurposing your podcast episodes, you know how powerful the content can be. Conversions skyrocket with the proper marketing in place. If you are repurposing the podcasts yourself, you know the benefits, but you also know how arduous it is (not the fun part).

We built the Podcast Content Studio to repurpose your podcast episodes quickly, at an unbeatable price. The Content Studio converts your podcast interviews into world-class evergreen marketing assets. And we make it super easy. Head to podcastcontent.studio, clickget started”, complete payment, and add your podcast link.

From there, we’re going to do three specific things.

  1. Create great artwork for your showfor social media. 
  2. Create inspiring quotes from your podcast interview. 
  3. Create an SEO keyword-rich blog post you can use on your website.

 

We designed this process because we know how hard it is to sit down and create content. But talking conversationally, particularly in podcasts interviews, is much easier. So all you need to do is have a great podcast conversation, send us the audio, and we’ll do the rest.

Benefits

  • Repurposed podcast content mirrors your words back to you – creating clarity of thought.
  • Evergreen content seamlessly integrates into your sales process – creating new prospect touch-points.
  • The keyword-rich blog posts dramatically improve your website’s SEO.

Podcast Content Studio Features 

For each of your podcast episodes, we create

ContentDelivered 
Artwork
X 4
 
Pull Quotes
X 5
 
Blog post (Episode recap and show notes)
X 1
 
Full audio transcription
X 1
 
Publishing schedule
X 1
 
 

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Purchase your package here
  2. Submit your episode
  3. Plan your media publishing

Step 3: Find Podcast sponsorships

Create win-win relationships with podcast advertisers.

This step will create a repeatable process to identify and connect with your ideal podcast sponsors. The key to finding successful podcast sponsors for your show is consistency. You must:
  • Be consistent in your publishing schedule and quality.
  • Be consistent in the engagement with your audience.
  • Be consistent in the types of sponsors you are courting.

 

When choosing the types of sponsors you would like for your show, consider the tools, brands, and services that your audience would find of value. Your audience connects to your content, so their desires and needs should be relatively easy to pin down. For example, if you have a show about corgis, with 1000 downloads a month, it’s safe to assume that the audience would be interested in dog products.

For lasting sponsor partnerships, your advertisers will want to see conversions. If you can drive customers to your podcast sponsors, you will have a long, fruitful relationship with the companies sponsoring your show. Let’s now explore the exact actions to take to recruit paying sponsors for your show.

 

1. Craft an Offer

Know your worth

To begin, understand exactly how much you need to earn from the podcast to make it sustainable. Remember, you only have so much time – make sure you aren’t selling yourself short. The amount of money you need to support the show may affect the kind of offer you are presenting. For example, let’s say that you would like $10,000 per month in revenue from your podcast. That might lend itself to 20 x $500 sponsors, 10 x $1,000 sponsors, or 1 x $10,000 sponsor etc. Usually, the larger the dollar amount, the more reach or perks the advertising sponsor will want. I recommend crafting a $500 and $1,000 monthly sponsorship opportunity if you are starting out.

Know your audience

If you have 10,000 monthly downloads, the advertisers and podcast sponsors will come to you. Once you have 80,000 monthly downloads, sponsors will outbid each other for your attention. Until then, however, you will put in a focused effort to court and close sponsorship opportunities. Advertisers want to know details about your audience. Here are a few key indicators they will be interested in

  • Monthly podcast downloads
    • Be honest. 🙂
  • Podcast downloads per episode
    • If your offer is organized per episode, this number is crucial.
  • Podcast niche
    • If your podcast is highly specialized, you might have a valuable audience. 
  • Podcast audience demographics
    • Are they men or women, Boomers or Gen Z? Are they accredited investors? What are their job titles? Poll your audience to get an idea of their categorical demographics.
  • Podcast audience engagement
    • How are you communicating with your audience? Emails? Newsletters? Website forms? Social media? It would be best if you had a very good idea of how your audience responds to feedback so you have a safe assumption that they will act when you ask them to.

Be clear with the delivery

Creating your offer makes it easy for prospective advertising sponsors to say “yes.” Your value prop should be obvious:

For x$ you get A, B, C.

Detail the key indicators above and spell out exactly what you deliver in your offer. We recommend you offer to a) read a script advertising the sponsor’s product or b) ask them for the freedom to talk naturally about the product (unscripted). Unscripted ads are much more natural and often drive the best results, but scripted ads allow you the convenience to record the ad reads separately and inserting them into the episode in post-production.

To make the offer more attractive, include an ad post (and backlink) to your website, your email newsletter, and social media. Get creative! What else can you do to add value and drive traffic to your sponsors’ links? Maybe it’s a contest; perhaps it’s a giveaway – do what you can to bring energy and excitement to your sponsors’ products. A little creativity goes a long way in closing the deal.

Call to Action

You and your advertisers will want to be able to demonstrate results from the podcast sponsor campaign. Sales attribution from your efforts should at least be accounted for. Veteran podcast sponsors will already have landing pages specific for your podcast that your audience can reach with a special promo code. For example brandwebsite.com/your-podcast.

For advertisers new to podcast advertising, you should have the option to build custom landing pages on their behalf. Creating landing pages (on your podcast website) for your sponsors takes a bit of extra work and yields some excellent rewards. If you manage the landing page conversions, you can also report on traffic, impressions, email capture, and more. When you control the landing pages, you get a bunch of data that can inform the way you are talking to your audience.

Rate Card

Now, you have a list of deliverables for prospective sponsors. You have insight into the value of your audience, and you have a price you would like to be paid. Gather this information into a one-page PDF you can easily send to a prospective advertising sponsor as an attachment.

 

2. Identify your opportunities

Are you feeling good about your offer? Great! It’s time to validate and test it. That means you will have to take it to market e.g., cold outbound. Everyone who creates a product struggles emotionally with cold outreach and the inevitable stream of “no.” Even an old grizzled entrepreneur will wince at rejection. All of us only have a certain number of “no” we can hear before we lose faith. The key to building grit is to find some early successes and some quick customers. New sponsors in hand, poll your customers to pivot the product, making it even more tantalizing. Here we will give a roadmap to 1) deliver early customers and 2) give you the necessary encouragement to stay on task.

Friends and family

You have friends and family in your circle that want you to succeed. If you’re really lucky, you have friends and family that will support you no matter what it is you do! Begin with these people. Get them on the phone. During the conversation, brief them on your podcast launch and ask them for feedback on your podcast sponsorship offer. Listen closely to their comments – especially their criticisms. If they feel good about your offer, ask them if they would pay for it. If they say yes, send them an invoice. If they pay the invoice, you know they support the offer. If they don’t fulfill the invoice, you may consider tweaking the product a bit.

Of course, not all of your friends and family will qualify as your “ideal sponsor” (more on that later), so you should create a unique opportunity for them to support the launch without necessarily needing to promote anything on their behalf. Patreon is a great option here.

Clients and colleagues

Clients and colleagues are like friends and family in that they generally want you to succeed and, they like you. They differ, however because clients and colleagues are more interested in mutually beneficial relationships. That is, they will be more interested in the transactional nature of the offer. Since they will be naturally more compelled to invest in what they see as an opportunity, their validation is more valuable to your offer. Same process here:

  1. Get them on the phone.
  2. Brief them on your podcast launch.
  3. Ask them for feedback on your offer.

 

Listen closely to their comments – especially their criticisms. If they feel good about your offer, ask them if they would pay for it. If they say yes, send them an invoice.

Ideal Podcast Sponsors

At this point, you have launched your podcast, you have some early monthly sponsors through Patreon, and you have picked up a few paying sponsors from clients and colleagues. Your focus for the next few months is dialing your delivery and reporting process. Please keep a close conversation with podcast sponsors and ask them for any conversions they have witnessed as a result of the podcast ad reads. That might be website traffic, email subscribers, social followers, or new customers. Use this data to refine your offer further as you move to cold email to your ideal podcast sponsor prospects.

When pitching a podcast sponsor opportunity over email, it is essential to have a particular persona in mind. You don’t want to pitch a broad offer to a broad audience. You want to pitch a compelling offer to one audience.

Create a list of prospective podcast sponsors. This should be a list of businesses. Qualify them by these criteria

  • Is the prospective business growing? If yes, they are likely to open to new opportunities.
  • Is the average listener of your podcast an ideal client for the prospective business? If not, don’t add them to your list.
  • Do you have demonstrable results that would be attractive to the prospective business? If not, you are a thought leader with the ear of their ideal customers, and that in itself is a powerful opportunity!

 

3. Test and sell

List your ideal podcast sponsor prospects in hand, and it’s time for outreach. Prepare three emails to pitch your offer. The first email should clearly outline exactly what you want i.e. you pay me, and I’ll read your advertisement on my podcast. They should have no doubt what you are asking for. Add your offer to this email that lists the benefits of your value prop.

The second email should speak to the benefits they will enjoy from advertising on your podcast. And the third email should recap your value prop and let them know that the opportunity is closing soon.

The conversion you are looking for is a phone call, so be sure to add your calendar link in each email. Calendly is a great free option to send links to your calendar availability.

Once you are confident with your email sequences, go to LinkedIn to search for the decision-makers within the business of your ideal sponsorship prospects. Begin your search with the Founder, the CEO, the CMO, the marketing director, and the social media manager. Send them email one, and continue to email two and email three if you get no response. Linkedin exists for cold outreach, so use that to your benefit.

Cold email is not received as well generally, so I recommend limiting your sales conversations to Linkedin unless your prospects agree to take the conversation to email or a phone call. If you are not getting your desired results on Linkedin, and you don’t mind rolling the dice, send your prospects a cold email. If your product is clear and the benefits are self-evident, chances are you may be warmly welcomed in their inbox. Hunter.io is a great tool to identify emails.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Craft an offer
  2. Identify your opportunities
  3. Test and Sell

Step 4: Increase the quality of the guests

Insightful conversation creates value for your show.

Assuming your podcast is an interview-based show, the quality of your episodes are determined by your skills as an interviewer and the dynamics of your guest. Adding value to your audience means getting better in both of those two areas. Leaving your interviewing prowess aside, let’s explore some opportunities to find great guests.

Linkedin

Linkedin gives you direct access to message almost any kind of guest you would be interested in. Your value prop is highly targeted at this point, so creating a case for them to be a guest on your show should be no problem. Most audiences want to hear from the creative visionary in organizations, so I recommend limiting your outreach to the founders. One potential downside of Linkedin is that you will base your qualification solely on their resume credentials. Not all successful founders can articulate a great story. 

YouTube

Vloggers and YouTube influencers are not as easy to search for categorically as they are on Linkedin. It’s also challenging to message them at times. But, they do have some strong attributes going for them. First, they are already committed to their personal brand and see value in media. And secondly, these folks are at least experienced in speaking in front of the camera. This experience goes a long way in crafting an engaging conversation.

Podcast networking platforms

Some slick podcast platforms are working to connect podcast hosts and podcast guests. As a podcast, you can create a profile and search for prospective guests on their platform. It’s safe to assume these guests are prepared for engaging interviews but often, they are new in their career and don’t have the kind of accomplishments (and failures) that accompany a more seasoned podcast guest. But of course, you know your audience better than anyone, so this might be a fantastic option. We like Podmatch and WildCast as podcast booking solutions.

Podcast Booking Agency

If you are looking for well-trained, highly seasoned podcast guest professionals, podcast booking agencies are your best solution. Podcast booking agencies work on the guests’ behalf to find them novel and valuable podcast opportunities. In most instances, the guests are highly reputable in their categories and are readily waiting for your outreach. If you are looking for guests that are funded startup founders, entrepreneurs with exits, or C-Suite executives from diverse walks of life, *Kitcaster is a clear choice.

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Search on Linkedin for thought leaders
  2. Search on youtube for vlogger influencers / trade content
  3. Hire a booking agent / ask an agency


(*Full disclosure, the Podcast Content Studio is a sister company of Kitcaster.)

Step 5: Optimize your production

This is showbiz - A little extra polish goes a long way

Adding production value increases the perceived value of your show to the audience and your advertisers. Not only does music and audio beds give your audience a reason to check out a new episode, but it also greatly influences the emotional impact of your stories and interviews.

Add a somber audio bed if there is a sad portion to a story. Did you share an inspirational story? Add some uplifting music. We know it works because audio beds are used in every movie and TV shows! Below are some resources you can use to add audio beds to your podcast episodes, free of charge without attribution.

  1. pixabay.com/music
  2. incompetech.com/music
  3. silvermansound.com/free-music
  4. freebeats.io

6. Stay the course

Excellence takes time and commitment.

Most podcasters quit. It’s called pod-fade. Often, great shows with big audiences are ignored by podcast creators who didn’t find value in keeping the show alive. Don’t let that happen to you! Remember, the key to your podcast’s success is planning and consistency. When you can, use your team so the tasks don’t become overwhelming. Work to monetize your podcast as soon as possible to give you a financial incentive to continue and improve your show. When in doubt, just send it. Paralysis by analysis is a sure-fire way to strip the joy of conversation from your podcast experience. Be nice to yourself and avoid judging your show too harshly. You have an audience – they like you. Keep it going. 🙂 

How do I make money from my podcast?

5 New Ways to Monetize Your Podcast Now