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How to Make Money Podcasting

A natural next step many podcasters take after perfecting their show and growing their audience is to monetize their podcast. Your mind might immediately jump to advertising, but there are plenty of different ways to monetize that fit every type of podcaster. We’ll explore them together in this article!

Monetization Through Ads

A popular way to monetize podcasts is through the inclusion of advertisements. Podcasters have an abundance of options when it comes to introducing ads to their shows.

There are two main types of Ad Formats in podcasting: Programmatic Ads and Host-Read Ads. These two formats differ quite drastically in multiple aspects and are often used for different purposes. In addition to Programmatic and Host-Read Ads, there’s also Branded Content which often integrates the brand into the entire podcast episode experience. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these formats entails.

Programmatic Ads – Programmatic Ads are typically professionally pre-recorded advertisements that play on your podcast either in the pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll spot depending on your Dynamic Insertion configuration. Similar to old-school radio ads, these ads range from a large variety of categories including entertainment, education, real estate, technology, and more.

Host-Read Ads – Host-Read Ads are pretty much what they sound like. You, the podcaster, read the ad to your audience during a break in your content. Either straight from the heart or off of paper!

Branded Content – This is a much newer form of podcast advertising but still worth mentioning! Branded content can mean an advertiser sponsoring an episode, a series of episodes, or even an entire dedicated podcast.

Podcast advertising revenue is based on a metric called CPM (cost per thousand downloads). CPMs can vary depending on the type of ad you have running.

For Host-Read advertisements, CPMs tend to be a bit higher depending on how lucrative the advertisers believe your audience to be. For example, shows with CEOs and business decision-makers with high-quality interviews can generally set their CPMs higher than a show that covers generic topics and has low-quality audio.

For Programmatic Advertisements, the CPMs are typically lower, but the podcaster has to do virtually no work at all! The money just flows in tandem with the downloads.

Branded Content is more negotiable as they’re sponsoring an entire episode or more.

Podcasts on RedCircle can begin monetizing through ads as soon as they average 500 or more weekly downloads. But that isn’t the only thing you need to start monetizing through ads! It’s important to have audience demographic information, an active online community, and a partnership mentality. Check out our blog post on the three things every podcaster needs before accepting Host-Read Ads to see why these are so important.

Of course, we have plenty of resources readily available for when you’re ready to start monetizing with ads:

No worries if you haven’t quite hit that threshold yet, though! There are still ample ways to get paid for your creative work. You can take advantage of Dynamic Insertion technology and run your own ads in partnership with local, small businesses. 

Our Dynamic Insertion technology allows you to run your own campaigns. Giving you the freedom to decide who gets an advertisement spot on your podcast. A great way to book slots is to engage with small businesses, both local and far away. Finding a business that meshes well with your content and audience benefits the both of you. You can provide them with a specialized or niche audience and they can provide you with a potential long-term partnership. It’s a win-win all around! Learn more in our blog post on the benefits of small business ads.

Diversify Your Revenue

Alongside focusing on the growth of your podcast, you can start monetizing through community tools like Exclusive Content and Donations.

Features like Exclusive Content & Donations give your listeners the power to support you in a personal and meaningful way. It can create a sense of personal connection and community with your show. Giving your audience special access to unique content helps to further build your relationship with them.

The best part? These features can be enabled from day one on RedCircle!

Check out our blog post “Let’s Talk Revenue Streams: Diversifying with Exclusive Content & Donations” for more tips on expanding past advertisements to earn revenue.

Even More Ways to Earn

Can you even believe there are more things you can do to monetize your show? These are a bit less common but not less valuable than the other ways!

Podcast Merch – A great way to monetize (and even market) your show is to create merchandise that your listeners can purchase. Not only can you earn revenue for your work, you can reach a wider audience thanks to your loyal listeners! And if you’re struggling to come up with some designs? Utilize your engaged community and see what they would like and want to buy.

Live (or Online) Events – Another great way to get paid is to organize a live event for your listeners. This can be done through a traditional venue or even just a private online stream where your audience can attend from anywhere in the world. Check out our blog post on hosting your own live event for more tips!

You’re not limited to only ads, or only donations, or only side-hustles when earning revenue for your show. There are so, so many different ways to monetize and be rewarded for your creative work. We encourage you to explore as many options as you can!

Ready to start exploring? Sign up today!