Podcasts have become a popular form of education and entertainment. People listen to podcasts on their commute, when working, or when they want to relax by having someone talking in the background.
Of course, there are few podcasts that exist purely out of the idea. If anything, most hosts have set out to monetize their content. After all, good podcasts require time and effort, and if there are no returns for someone who puts all the work into a podcast, there is very little reason to bother producing new episodes.
If you have been thinking about running a podcast or know someone who has been struggling with monetizing theirs, the ideas below should be useful.
Custom Merchandise Promotion
Custom merchandise is a solid monetization method. There is no need to promote the products directly to an audience. If there is a video feed, a host could be wearing a custom t-shirt and even have the guest do the same. Listeners would ask where they can get similar t-shirts or try looking for the information themselves.
A step by step guide on how to start a clothing line with no money should be enough to cover the bases and let a podcast launch a store where they can sell custom merchandise.
There is also another thing to keep in mind. The custom t-shirt market worldwide is expected to cross 10 billion dollars by 2025, but a podcast should not stick to just this type of merchandise. Sure, promoting a t-shirt by wearing them is great, but offering other products would also be beneficial.
Besides t-shirts, one can make money promoting and selling hoodies, face masks, calendars, stickers, and other types of print-on-demand merchandise.
Donations From Listeners
Not every podcast host will be comfortable with this idea, but if you feel like your audience will respond positively, then asking for direction donations could be worthwhile.
Creating a crowdfunding page is quite common among YouTubers. Podcast hosts could take them as an example. Of course, it would help if the patrons would have some perks. Besides rewarding those who donate, perks also incentivize even more people to join.
For example, offer a shoutout in the next episode, or send your patrons a piece of merchandise. Organizing a goal, like reaching a certain number of patrons or money, and hosting a special episode.
The subscription business model could backfire, but if you want, you could put the podcast behind a paywall. Those who want to access it would need to pay a one-time fee or get a monthly subscription.
A new podcast is likely to fail with this idea, but an established talk show might make some money. Also, if you notice that the idea is not working out, you can switch back and explain to your listeners that this was an experiment and you have no intentions of coming back to subscriptions again.
YouTube and Twitch TV Monetization
If a podcast is unavailable on YouTube or Twitch TV, it may be worth reconsidering one’s strategy. Monetizing YouTube and Twitch TV channels would not be that difficult if you already have a decent audience.
YouTube could be used as a hosting platform where you upload full videos. Ad revenue and affiliate links in video descriptions are a few examples of how to make money as a podcast host on YouTube.
As for Twitch TV, it can be a gateway for new people to find a podcast because the platform continues to grow in popularity. You may even consider running a show live on Twitch TV instead of recording it and uploading the recording later.
Donations, subscriptions, and ads are some of the most common monetization methods on Twitch. For a podcast, these three should also work quite nicely.
Repurposing Old Content
Repurposing old content may seem like too much work, but if you have the time and maybe someone willing to do the menial stuff for you, then why not give it a try? If nothing else, it will be another stream of revenue.
One could turn old podcast content into an e-book and sell it on Amazon. Or, as an alternative, start writing a blog and monetize that.
The possibilities are not endless, but there are quite a few options to take advantage of old podcast content if someone is willing to put effort into going back and listening to stuff that can be turned into something new.
Live Event Hosting
A podcast host could look to expand their brand and become someone who hosts live events. Even if it is a small gathering, like a conference or a debate, having someone moderate it is necessary in many cases.
It is worth pointing out that these days, live events are pretty slow because of the pandemic. There might not be that many opportunities. However, when the situation improves, live events could be just the thing to make money as someone who hosts a regular podcast online.