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Three Monetization Tips for New Podcasters

Oct 27, 2020

This post is by Michael Woodward of JumbleThink. I asked him for his best advice for monetization strategies for new podcasters.

Monetizing your podcast is one of the best ways to make it sustainable. 

But how do you effectively monetize your show? 

While I wished I could give you all the best tricks for making money with your show, I can only tell you what I’ve learned from my own experiences. 

Here are a few tips from my own personal experience:

Tip One: Ads aren’t the only way to monetize your show. 

Many of us see ads as the best option to make money from our shows.  Often this technique is just low hanging fruit.  It’s also one of the hardest ways to monetize your show. 

Why’s that, you ask? 

To really make money from ads you need an audience. Most new podcasters do not have an audience, especially a large enough audience to make a bank from ads.

(Little known secret about ads: The more narrow your niche, the more you can charge for each listener as they are more apt to convert into customers for your sponsor.)

What are other ways you can monetize your show?  

  1. Sell your own service or product. Let’s say that you are a coach. By selling your service, you will make more money converting one or two customers than by selling ads. Sell your service instead of services/products from others. It could be a mastermind group, event, coaching service, or physical product. What you offer is limited only by your imagination.
  2. Use your show to grow your status as an expert in your field and open up unexpected doors. Your podcast can lead to new business opportunities like speaking for an event or being hired as a topic expert. This can allow you to leverage your show to monetize the business you are growing around your show.
  3. Networking: Sometimes your show opens up doors to new opportunities through growing your network. This could be a guest that becomes a customer or a guest who networks you with a perfect customer or a dream relationship. While this might not directly open up monetization it will build the right relationships for new business opportunities.
  4. Directly from your audience. If your audience loves the content you create and it brings value to them, they may want to contribute to your show through donations or services like Patreon.  It could be a direct donation, but it might also be additional bonuses they receive including extra ‘members-only’ episodes, swag, mentions on your show, or some other fun tie-in they receive from you.  

Be creative in the way you think about monetizing your show.  Don’t just accept the obvious methods, but find a way that works for you.

Tip Two: Start with a strategy. 

Many of us when we first start our show we try the old method of doing everything to see which method sticks. 

This isn’t necessarily bad, especially if you really don’t know where to start.  However, if you build a strategy, you are more likely to have success in the monetization strategies you use. 

Having a strategy is more than just picking how you will monetize. It includes how you will incorporate that method in your show format, your marketing strategies, and what you communicate. You also need to define realistic goals for how much you want to make and the timeline for this goal.

That doesn’t mean you are a failure if you don’t hit your goals. But without goals, you do not have a method for measuring success along the way.

Tip Three: Bring Value in the ads you do sell. 

I hate when people say ‘does your show bringing value’.  I hate this because you aren’t defining value.  There is the value you are bringing to your audience (another conversation completely), but there is also the value you bring to those who trust you when they pay to sponsor your show

The ads that are put on your show should convert and bring value to the company or individual that is buying the ad spots from you. 

Don’t oversell. Don’t lie about your listener statistics. And don’t sell ads that won’t help your customer (in this case your sponsor) reach their goals. 

I made this mistake early in my podcasting career. Instead, price your spots fairly and build long term relationships.

As you do that, you can charge your sponsors more. Build trust with them.  Build a relationship with them. 

It will pay dividends over time.

Monetizing your show is something many of us strive to do.  Take the time to invest in creating your strategy and thinking through the right way to monetize your show. 

Don’t rush to be rich off your show when you first start your podcast. Take time and stay the course. 

It will pay off in the end.

Listen to Michael Woodward on The Christian Podcaster.

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