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The longer you go without monetizing your podcast, the harder it will be to monetize.
To be honest, mostly it becomes a mental barrier.
If you start a podcast without a solid monetization plan, knowing when to monetize, and how to monetize becomes a conundrum.
If you start your podcast knowing exactly how you will monetize, then you can take the actions to make this happen. If you don’t know how to monetize your podcast, then you are wasting precious time creating valuable content that you may never see a return on.
Your first goal should be to make enough money from your podcast so you can outsource the production of your podcast, without having to come out of pocket for the production cost. So, let’s say to take the production of your podcast off your plate it costs $500 each month. So, what will it take to generate $500 of revenue each month?
It’s ok if you don’t get all $500 from one revenue source. Maybe you find one sponsor and offer them a sweetheart deal of $250/month to sponsor your podcast. Now, what else can you do to generate the additional $250/month?
Let’s pretend that you have decided to create a premium membership site for your podcast, and you offer additional content, information and resources that you don’t offer for free on your podcast. If you are charging $19.99 a month for this membership site, you only need 13 people to join to make your podcast self-sufficient.
So, now you’ve got your podcast making $500/month. Why not pocket that money as extra income for yourself? You certainly could do that, but you would be doing yourself a huge disservice. By off loading the production of your podcast, you will free your time to create more products and services that you can monetize. If you are saddled with the production of your podcast, you won’t have the time and energy to focus on the additional methods of monetization. So your earning potential with your podcast will be limited by the amount of time you have.
Let’s look further at the example of monetizing through premium content. If you know from the start of your podcast that this is a way you want to monetize it, then you can begin creating this premium content to go along with each episode. If you don’t decide to do this until much later in the life of your podcast, then you have missed valuable opportunities to create the premium content. Do you think the “big fish” that you landed an interview left will give you a second shot at an interview just so you can create premium content? I doubt it. You are missing potentially valuable opportunities to create premium content and more importantly, revenue by delaying the decision to monetize.
No one is going to tap you on the shoulder and say, “It’s time to monetize.”
So the earlier you plan for monetization, the better off you will be.
There is no one right path to monetize for every podcast!
There are so many other ways to monetize besides sponsorships!
Ideally, you should have several different streams of income from your podcast. Depending on your niche, you can really think outside the box to get some sort of income coming in.
Here are a few off the beaten path ideas to monetize:
- Sell branded physical products (T-shirts, cards, coasters,etc.) with quotes or tag lines from your podcast. Make it a monthly affair and let it evolve.
- Host a Twitter party to talk about a book or other product you may be promoting as an affiliate.
- Paid meet ups. Is there a group locally that you could engage in paid meet ups around your podcast topic? I bet so!
- Offer your guests with books/courses/training programs or businesses the opportunity to advertise it on your podcast for a discounted rate.
- Don’t want to give away all your content for free? Then why not have a premium email list? $5-$10 a month for valuable and specific content is a bargain. It starts to add up fast.
There are, of course the traditional ways to monetize your podcast as well:
- Membership groups
- Selling your own digital products
- Offering a paid service to your listeners
- Creating and selling e-books
- Coaching programs or mentoring for your niche
- Adding a Patreòn “donate” button to your website
- Paid mastermind groups in your niche
- Affiliate marketing
- Webinars for your niche
- Joint Venture partnerships to promote products to your list
What’s the most creative monetization strategy you have seen?