Podcast Advertising

How Podcasts Make Money

“How do I earn money for my work?” has probably flowed through your mind as you pour your heart and soul into your podcast. You know we’re no strangers to advocating for creators to make a living through their craft. We wholeheartedly agree that folks should be paid for their creative work, podcasts included. There are plenty of ways to earn money but how do you know if your show is ready for that next step? We’ll fill you in on the details and help you get where you want to be!

Invest in Growth

It’s no secret that a successful podcast focuses on growth, even after establishing revenue streams. Having a consistent and dedicated audience is crucial to creating a successful show. But it’s not enough to just post your podcast and hope for the best! You need to put effort into sharing your show with everyone you know and everywhere you can.

A great first step is to ensure you’re distributing to all of the popular listening platforms (and then some!) We looked at the top-performing shows on RedCircle and found the 5 most popular places to distribute your podcast.

Once you set up distribution on every listening platform you think is best, the next step is to share where to find your show with your audience. Take on Twitter (X), TikTok, Instagram, Tumblr, or whatever social media site you’re most comfortable with and post away! The louder you are, the higher the chances you have to reach your target audience. Don’t forget to encourage your audience to share with their network, too.

Speaking of networking, one of the best ways to grow your show is to connect with other podcasters, especially those in your niche. Collaborating through endeavors like Cross-Promotions and guest co-hosting is beneficial for both parties involved. You can meet fellow podcasters through features like the Cross-Promotions Marketplace or by attending conferences (virtual and in-person) like Podcast Movement and SXSW.

We’ve said time and time again that the way to grow your show is through sharing it loudly and proudly. You’ve worked hard to create your podcast, so feel confident when sharing it with the world and it will flourish!

Leverage Your Community

By now you’re probably wondering how investing in the growth of your podcast can lead to monetizing it. Well, the more listeners you have, the easier it is to monetize! With a dedicated audience, you have a group of people passionate about seeing your content grow. You can appeal to your audience and encourage them to help continue that growth through all the following ways!

Leave Reviews

There’s no better way to attract new listeners than having stellar reviews for your show. People often judge content, sometimes unfairly, based on others’ perceptions. Encourage your listeners to leave a review of your show and share it with others in their lives.

Accept Donations & Create Exclusive Content

It’s not uncommon for creators to rely on audience-generated revenue such as donations and subscriptions. With RedCircle, you can enable Donations and Exclusive Content from day 1. Donations are great if you want to create an easy way for your listeners to support you. If you’re more interested in giving your listeners a reward for supporting your show, then Exclusive Content might be the better option for you.

Make Some Merch

Creating merchandise for your listeners to purchase helps in two ways: creating another revenue stream and sharing your podcast with a wider audience. Listeners who purchase merchandise will inevitably “market” your show by just wearing or displaying your merchandise in public. Don’t underestimate the power of neat stuff!

Host a Live Event

Although this option comes with some costs upfront, it’s a fantastic way to earn money as well as create amazing content. Live shows and other events can help to create an intimate, and exclusive, moment with your listeners. You can invite them into your recording process and even give them the chance to be part of the show!

Not sure where to start with planning a live show? No worries, we have you covered in our blog.

Explore Advertising

Our proverbial bread and butter! We’re well-versed in helping podcasters to earn a living through advertising. The key differentiator is dynamically inserted ads rather than baked-in ads. A quick refresh:

  • Baked-in ads are ads that are added directly in to the audio files of a podcast. Put simply, they’re ads that are permanently added to your show (unless you manually remove them.)
  • Dynamic ads are ads that are added to your podcast in real-time. When a listener is streaming your podcast, tools like our Dynamic Insertion add in the most ideal ad for the listener. (Ideal referring to the highest CPM.)

The benefit of Dynamic Ads lies within its name – the ability to swap in ads in real-time for the benefit of you, the podcaster. Dynamically inserted ads are more flexible, customizable, and scalable than traditional baked-in ads. Read our blog on the benefits of dynamic insertion to learn more!

Besides dynamically inserted ads, podcasters can also take advantage of advertising formats like sponsored episodes, where a brand pays you to create an episode related to them! Examples include a Totino’s Themed episode of My Brother, My Brother, and Me, where the hosts only talked about pizza-related topics.

Podcasters can even work with small, local businesses to create “off-platform” campaigns (advertising campaigns that take place outside of RedCircle’s Ad Platform) which is a win-win for both the podcaster and the business!

Earning a living for your craft is not impossible, especially if you focus on the growth of your show and utilize tools like RAP, Dynamic Insertion, and Exclusive Content. So, what are you waiting for? Get earning!

Join RedCircle today and start making the money you deserve!