3 Ways to Make Income From Your Podcast

There was a big buzz in the last year about folks making a big buck by hosting podcasts and making audio shows. Google reported that the number of queries regarding podcasts in its search engine in 2019 was huge. Obviously, the popularity of podcasts will only continue to grow. 

With over 800,000 active podcasts streaming across the globe, some show-runners have already turned it into a money generating machine by monetizing channels. It is hard to blame them. Whenever you’re good at something – you’d look for ways to make money out of it. Don’t you? Besides, podcasts are a great marketing tool that attracts followers converting them into customers. With the right approaches, you’ll start not only to make money off of monetization but also to expand an existing business.

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Today podcasts can be downloaded and watched on any mobile device. Since this provides an even higher level of engagement now attracting people of any age group or cultural background, sponsors and advertising companies absolutely love it! An American media analytics company called comScore stated that every fifth American at the age from 18 to 49 listens to podcast episodes minimum once a month. The same statistics had TechCrunch that stated – every third citizen between in the age group from 18 to 34 likes to listen to podcasts too. However, finding your distinct way to stand out among thousands of others getting to the pinnacle of this game and making your own money is definitely a challenge. This is the reason why we suggest taking an online course or two to learn how to make money podcasting and the most effective strategies used for promoting your audio shows to wider audiences.

If you’ve already been podcasting but were treating it as a hobby, wondering how to generate more income by running audio shows is a smart way to go. Read this blog post and collect ideas about how to make a podcast generate money. We are going to talk about the 3 most effective ways you can try to make a decent living with podcasts.

An American media analytics company called comScore stated that every fifth American at the age from 18 to 49 listens to podcast episodes minimum once a month. The same statistics had TechCrunch that stated – every third citizen between in the age group from 18 to 34 likes to listen to podcasts too.

Go all-in on your podcast project with sponsorship

Man and woman in white shirts podcasters interview each other for radio podcast GRINFER

What is monetization? The first thing that comes to mind when talking about monetization of podcasts, blogs, and social media is generating profit through sponsorship and advertisements. This is one of the most common ways of monetization. However, don’t be fooled by a stereotype that when you start making podcast shows, all this money will start flowing in with advertisements. The actual truth most bloggers prefer not to speak about is that relying on ads and considering sponsorship as your only source of income is rather tedious. 

If you wonder “how do I get sponsors for my podcast” – here is some truth about it. Speaking from other podcasters’ experience, most companies won’t even take you into account unless your every audio show made over 10,000 downloads. Obviously, if a total number of clicks on your channel doesn’t add up to this yet, work on the content to expand a pool of followers driving more people in.

How do podcasts make money?

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Any magic formula for the cash-generating process is out there? Actually, there is one –  CPM advertising model. Let’s go over this and do some math. CPM model stands for “Cost Per Mile” (“mile” = one thousand in Latin and a letter M equals to 1000 according to a Roman numeric system).

Let’s talk about how much do sponsors pay for podcasts, how to make money with ads, and how much do podcasters make. Here is how everything works. Every 1000 downloads generate about $25 per every mid-roll ad (played right in the middle of an episode) which lasts about 60 seconds. All ads that play before or after a podcast don’t make much cash since users generally just don’t pay much attention to them and just skip over these ads.

Here is an example of a calculation of an estimate in earnings per week with mid-roll ads per episode. Let’s run some numbers:

$18 (intro) + $25 (midroll) = $43 X 10 (1,000 listeners) = $430; this calculation shows the amount that can be earned in one week for one ad in one episode. To calculate how much you’ll make per month, multiply a total amount for one week on a total number of weeks in one month.

The CPM model concept is used in a service called Advertisecast which is a self-service platform and one of the ways to get money podcasting. This resource will let you to select a particular type of ads that you want to use in particular – whether 60 or 30 sec. Once you receive offers, you’ll be the one who decides whether to accept them or let it pass. Keep in mind, that this service offers a 70/30 split. You’ll keep 70% and Advertisecast keeps 30% accordingly. However, your podcasts need to have at least 1,000 downloads per episode to make you eligible for this service.

What websites can make you money?

Find more sponsors with advertising networks like Midroll, Podgrid, Ad Results Media, Adopter Media, True Native Media. Also, go ahead and register on online forums created specifically for podcasters. One of the most popular ones is Subreddit, which provides support to podcasters by sharing all kinds of information regarding finding sponsorship, garnering new listeners, and many other helpful hints.

Bite a bullet by selling your premium episodes

Young woman interviewing a guest in a studio for a podcast GRINFER

Once gaining popularity among a particular group your niche is targeting, look into the option of selling episodes with premium content. Just make a couple of episodes and offer access only after paying a fee which will provide you with a good opportunity for earning money. Here is a quick list of recordings you can consider creating for sale: live-streamed episodes, ad-free episodes, Q&As with VIP guests. Another way to go is by setting up a monthly fee for access to video versions of podcasts. Let’s talk about different ways to make money and outline more strategies for selling content:

  • Offer a back catalog for sale. If you’ve been making podcasts for a while now, most likely you generated a back catalog of past episodes. Go ahead and start monetizing a podcast by offering it to your listeners for a fee. Basically, the way to go here is to limit access to previous episodes building up a paywall for users.
  • Use previous best episodes for repurposing your content. This strategy saves lots of time, as well as reduces the amount of energy which would’ve been spent otherwise. Just take those episodes that had the best ratings and transcribe with automatic transcription services like Castos. While in the process, provide more value to your repurposed content by adding fresh facts and resources or new transcriptions or edit old ones. Once you’re done, bind everything together in a book and make an offer either Amazon or promote in podcasts. In most cases, selling books through Amazon can be more efficient, rather than advertising them through your personal website.
  • Squeeze some cash out of your podcasts by posting them on the YouTube platform. How to start making money with Youtube and how to monetize a podcast with this platform? This approach is an easy one. Just open monetization on YouTube and let Google take care of the rest – handling advertisements and generating revenues. If you’re not sure about how to enable monetization on Youtube, there is plenty of info online or take an online course about Youtube marketing. Don’t forget about the YouTube SEO strategies that can be used for surfacing videos in order to make them more visible in Google search. By the way, most up-to-date information regarding SEO practices 2020 is provided in an online course “SEO 2020: SEO For Beginners: Learn SEO For 2020 Tutorial” created by Derek Bruce, an experienced marketer with extensive experience in SEO practices. This course provides the most complete and current information on the best SEO techniques used in 2020 and how to work online for Google and get paid.
Best money making strategies - Grinfer Blog

Indirect monetization of podcasts is an effective strategy for going outside of the traditional approach of direct sponsorship. Here we’ve collected some common ways to go about it, so take a look and make a note.

Do indirect monetization by offering your own merch for sale. This strategy will work well for a podcaster who gained enough popularity to offer things for sale that show off his show and are targeted to those who love his show. Actual stuff you can sell can be countless – mugs, cup holders, custom made T-shirts, baseball caps, etc. This list can be endless. Try to make sure that the merch you’re offering has your most popular catchy phrases, silly jokes that went viral, favorite memes. This will create a stronger bond between you and your listeners. Use such popular online platforms like Oberlo and Teespring for creating designs and building drop-shipping stores.

Take advantage of affiliate programs and sell affiliate products. Make some research and companies that offer affiliate programs and make your own money. The way it works is quite simple – just sign in for an affiliate program and tell a company where to submit payments. Once you join an affiliate program, you will be receiving payments every time someone signs up after clicking on a link. This strategy is a good way to go to earn money because you promote other people’s products without messing around trying to make your own stuff.

Benefit from selling coaching services. How to get money with coaching? Obviously by offering services that relate to your expertise. This is an effective way to monetize a podcast channel. Since people already recognize you as an expert, take advantage of the established authority by promoting services that are relevant to your niche. Where to start on this? Set up a landing page with a widget and provide a special form suggesting signing up for a coaching session with you or your collaborators.

Create an app and sell it to followers. One of the effective ways to make easy money is to offer an useful app to listeners. Start with doing good research to learn what common problems or challenges your followers are most concerned about. Create an application that would somehow resolve some major issues or problems they are experiencing. As an example – let’s pretend you’re a host of an astronomical podcast. Then go ahead and build an app that would help listeners to find particular astronomical objects. 

Recipe ideas to make money online - GRINFER

If your podcasts are targeting a topic of family and parenting, then a calendar app created for parents to fulfill some of their needs would be nice. Want to learn how to build your own mobile app from scratch? An online course “Complete iOS Development Course – From Beginners to Publishing your App on the App Store” would be a good one to take. After taking this course you’ll not only be coding with Swift and Xcode but also learning about iOS13. Once you create your app, you’ll learn how to add it and publish it on the App Store.

Make an online course and sell it. Do podcasts make money with online courses? Absolutely! If you create educational podcasts, then this would probably be one of the best approaches for promoting and monetizing your channel. Build a stand-alone course and offer your expertise to listeners by teaching new skills. We would recommend starting off by collaborating with third-party online educational platforms like Skillshare, Coursera, and Grinfer.

Join Grinfer’s community to start publishing and promoting online courses. Also, Grinfer offers an awesome option for providing expertise with 1-on-1 online consultations. Grinfer is not only a virtual space with all the necessary tools needed for setting up online courses but also is great marketing support for promotion. Start your online journey today by becoming Grinfer’s instructor or consultant!


Since the popularity of podcasts only grows and you want to catch this wave of making a decent living with monetizing, try to mix and match different approaches. The whole trick here is to find something that works for you and keep on working on sharpening your knowledge. With time, after your fan base expands, you will try more advanced techniques that will bring you even more profit and gain more listeners.

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