Teaching Audio, part 20 -- Making Money from Your Podcast


If ever your podcast is growing, you might want to start thinking of making money or even earning a living from your podcast. 20,000 to 30,000 regular listeners is really the sweet spot to be able to start attracting advertisers and being a full-time podcaster, but just 10,000 listeners could also be enough to get you going and quitting the day job.

Even if you haven't broken that 10,000 listener barrier, there are many ways to start seeking substantial funding. As for any creative project, going for grants and foundational / institutional money is a possibility for podcasts, as are donations through Kickstarter. One model that works really well for podcasters is to use the Patreon website, where you get regular subscribers to sustain your creative work. Your own website can have tip buttons or so-called sustainer gifts and listener supported subscriptions. If you are creating a product people like, chances are they will want to pitch in from time to time, especially small amounts. Trying to join a popular podcast network can also boost your chances. Many of the networks detailed in Teaching Audio, part 14 have submission forms to get you going.


If you are starting to have a substantial number of listeners, you can also try to find show sponsors and advertisers. There are "pre-roll" (before the show starts) and "mid-roll" ads (in the middle of the show) which some podcasters shun to keep the purity of their show, but these are usually the most lucrative. The referral system is quite popular for ads, whereby sales are tracked through codes which come from podcast referrals. There is also so-called native advertising, whereby hosts will do the "live read" ad method, promote a product within a discussion, or praise and tell their own anecdotes about a certain product as part of their show. Apparently, so-called programmatic advertising may also be on the rise. You can also use a service like Podtrac to make it happen.

This article does a really good job of explaining some of the advertising jargon for audio, such as "CPM", and all the revenue streams which the popular podcast 99% Invisible and other podcasts were able to obtain. This article explains the jargon, and also gives you tips on how to get advertising money rolling in for your own podcast.


If ever you get big, a podcaster can outsource the advertising headaches to companies specifically designed for podcasters such as Midroll or Podtrac. This explains why most ads on podcasts are always by the same companies ... Squarespace, Audible, Mail Chimp, Legal Zoom are some of the dominant advertisers in podcasting.

Here's a snake oil salesman type podcaster who has done quite well in building a brand by inspiring others. The podcast itself "Entrepreneur on Fire" is a compilation of success stories, cross-promotion, pumped up, "we're fired up", "let's ignite and take off", cult of success type show with business addicts speaking about each other's positive approach on making it on their own. Here's a list from very successful podcasters on some of their own keys to success, mostly from the business on business field as well.

The bottom half of this tutorial has some really good tips in terms of branding, getting advertisers and monetizing.

If you found this tutorial useful, check out other installments. Here's the full list of chapters from my audio tutorials:

Teaching Audio -- Instilling Passion

Teaching Audio part 1 -- Recording Audio

Teaching Audio part 2 -- Writing for the Ear

Teaching Audio part 3 -- Audio Editing

Teaching Audio part 4 -- Sound Effects, Using Music and Audio Libraries

Teaching Audio part 5 -- Anchor Leads, News Writing, Judgment and Features

Teaching Audio part 6 -- Voicing

Teaching Audio part 7 -- On the Scene Reporting

Teaching Audio part 8 -- Interviews

Teaching Audio part 9 -- Newscasts and Stacking the News

Teaching Audio part 10 -- Commercials

Teaching Audio part 11 -- Raising Your Game

Teaching Audio part 12 -- Podcasting Intro

Teaching Audio part 13 -- Window Dressing

Teaching Audio part 14 -- Podcast Lists

Teaching Audio part 15 -- Big Podcasts, Little City

Teaching Audio part 16 -- Listening to Podcasts and Publishing your Own

Teaching Audio, part 17 -- Joining Podcast Communities

Teaching Audio, part 18 -- Podcasting for PR

Teaching Audio, part 19 -- Promoting Your Podcast

Teaching Audio, part 20 -- Making Money in Podcasting

Teaching Audio, part 21 -- Building a Career in Audio

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