How to ACTUALLY Make Money As A Podcaster

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 1, 2023


Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Pandora

Have you been dreaming of having your own podcast? Not only can podcasts be a big part of your business, they can BE your business. 

Over the past 7 years, I’ve gotten behind this very mic and built my credibility, grown my email list, and personalized my brand. Plus, I’ve made millions of dollars sharing my journey, teaching what I’ve learned, and holding space for others to share their story!

I know that between the equipment and tech, you might be wondering if it’s worth investing in if you’re not sure your show could actually make money. But don’t worry… Between affiliate marketing, sponsorships, providing premium content and so much more, there are a lot of ways to monetize your show. 

In this episode, I’m going to give you tactical ways you could start monetizing your show with intentional strategy right from the jump and with the potential to grow from there.Whatever your niche is, these monetization ways will work for you, so let’s get into the nitty gritty of how much you can make (and how to do it)!

How A Podcast Can Build Trust

Trust comes down to credibility. If your listeners do not find your brand credible, they’re not going to believe what you say on the podcast, or they’re not truly going to use your show as an educational resource. Maybe they’ll listen to a couple of your episodes but without that credibility, there is no trust, and without that trust, you can be confident that overtime, the listener will drop off.

Ways to establish credibility with a podcast:

  • Research and Data: You can’t argue facts and statistics. Make sure to link the source of your data in your shownotes so listeners can explore it for themselves.
  • Guests: The guests that you bring onto your podcast are going to not only be a representation of your show but also your entire brand. Make sure that you’re bringing on credible guests that are either experts in their field or the experiences/stories they share are true and factual.  According to Quill Podcasting: to ensure this, conduct pre-interviews with your guests to learn more about their expertise and experiences. As the host, being able to showcase your own expertise is also crucial in establishing that credibility and trust. Overall, having a mix of the research and data as well as opinions and insights is most beneficial.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Engage with your listeners by encouraging feedback, questions, and comments. Use your podcast to start conversations with your audience and build a community around your brand. This will help you establish trust and foster a sense of connection with your listeners.
  • Builds Trust: Podcasting allows businesses to showcase their expertise and share their insights with their audience. By providing valuable information in an engaging and entertaining way, businesses can build trust with potential customers and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
  • Content Repurposing: Podcasting provides businesses with the opportunity to repurpose their content across various platforms. A single episode can be shared on social media, transcribed into a blog post, or repackaged as a video. This helps businesses reach a broader audience and increases their chances of generating leads. (Credit: HumblePod)

How Much Can You Make?

Podcasters charge for ads based on the number of people who have listened to the episode. This is known as cost per thousand impressions or CPM, which can range from $20 CPM to $100 CPM usually calculated at a dollar per 1,000 listeners.

For example, if your podcast has 100,000 downloads per episode and you are paid $25 CPM for an advertising campaign, your total income for that episode is:

25 x 100 = $2,500 per episode.

According to PodCastle, as in any other industry, some key metrics are used in podcasting to measure the show’s success. And one of those metrics is the number of downloads the podcast has. Your potential funders and sponsors will start by taking a look at the number of downloads you have, either per episode or per month, to understand approximately how many listeners you have. This will help them know how many people their ad can reach with your podcast.

So if you want to start monetizing your show through podcast advertisements, you should have at least 5K downloads per month as that is generally the low end of the spectrum in terms of what sponsors require  to consider collaboration. 

Keep in mind that this number is often even higher for most sponsors: they are looking for a podcast with at least 10K downloads. 

According to I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a podcaster who has around 10,000 downloads can expect to make anywhere between $500-$900 per month.

How I’ve Monetized My Show

Now, let’s dive into the different methods I’ve used to monetize my show. When I first started podcasting, HoneyBook was my first sponsor. They covered my podcast expenses in exchange for mentions in every episode. This was a win-win situation as it allowed me to start my show without incurring any debt and build a relationship with a trusted brand.

After transitioning away from that model, I experimented with a no-ad approach for a while. Instead, I focused on using my podcast to grow my email list. By offering valuable freebies and resources related to my podcast content, I was able to attract subscribers and nurture them through email marketing.

Another effective strategy is affiliate marketing. By promoting products and services that align with your podcast content, you can earn a commission for each sale made through your link or code. This is a great way to monetize your show from the beginning and track your results.

Creating and selling your own products or services is another avenue to explore. If you have expertise in a particular area, consider developing a course or workshop that complements your podcast content. This allows you to provide even more value to your listeners and generate revenue.

Additionally, you can sell books, e-books, or other publications related to your podcast content. This is a fantastic way to leverage your podcast to increase sales and awareness of your written work.

While I haven’t personally tried these methods yet, listener donations and crowdfunding, premium content or memberships, merchandise sales, live shows and events, and coaching and consulting are all viable options for monetizing your podcast.

Ready To Start Your Podcast?

My free class, Podcasting 101: 3 Easy Steps to Launch Your Show, will give you practical AND tactical advice to get your podcast out into the world. Click here to sign up!

You have a VOICE, your brand has a story—and yet, there’s a more connected, engaging way of sharing it…   If you want to see your business grow and thrive through life’s highs and lows…  If you want to save time by having one conversation & telling one story to MANY people at a time…  And if you want to make more sales without feeling like a sleazy salesman… 

A podcast could be your Win-Win-Win situation. (See what I did there?) 

As a new stream of revenue, a channel of communication, a branch out of what you DO into teaching what you KNOW—podcasting is a POWERFUL platform for growth. 

In my free class, you’ll hear I went from hitting ‘record’ on my first episode to seeing 2 MILLION downloads of my episodes every month. 

And the first 3 steps to start? They’re all yours. Save your seat today!

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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