7 Ways To Monetize Your Podcast

Reading Time: 8 minutes
Reading Time: 8 minutes

7 Ways to Monetize Your Podcast

This is one of the most common questions asked, even before starting a podcast. No matter how big or small your show is, here are some of the monetization strategies that I’ve used and some that I’ve not, that can work for you. Read on to find out if and when you can quit your job!

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By Niall Mackay

7 Ways To Monetize Your Podcast

Monetize Your Podcast

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Monetize Your Podcast With Ads

1. Advertising To Monetize Your Podcast

Ads are generally sold on a CPM, or cost-per-thousand basis. The cost is based on the number of listens it will get, and where it is placed in the show. The most valuable being the pre-roll, right at the start of the show, followed by the mid-roll then post. I think you can guess where those last two are placed.

On average a 30 second Ad costs $18 per thousand listens (or CPM) and a 60 second Ad $25.

Depending on where it is placed…

  • For a 30-second pre-roll ad spot at the beginning of the show, you would get about $18 CPM.
  • For a 60 second mid-roll ad spot will be $30
  • And for a 25-second post-roll ad will work out the cheapest at about $10 CPM on average.

A weekly show with 1000 listeners could generate around $43 an episode, or $172 per month.

While that is a good amount of money, and would cover all your costs then some, it’s not something you would quit your full time job over. And if the goal is to quit your job make sure that podcasting is your number one strategy to do so.

And this a big one, 1,000 listeners per week would easily put you in the top 5% of podcasts in the world. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but it isn’t easy.

One of the things that annoys me the most is when I read a blog or see a YouTube video about starting a side hustle that will EASILY make you money, and devotes just a sentence or two around the advice of just “start a blog / podcast / youtube channel” when all of these take an inordinate amount of time and energy with no guarantee of success. They are certainly not easy.

The key to monetizing is volume, no matter which of these strategies you use. And how do you get volume? Number 1 quality content, number 2 promote your show in the right way.

Focus on this, and success will come in whatever form you want it to be.

Monetize Your Podcast With Memberships & Gifts

2. Offer Memberships to Monetize Your Podcast

You’ve probably already heard of Patreon or any other similar membership based platforms, where you voluntarily pay a monthly amount of money to a creator whose content you enjoy. This can be anywhere from $1 a month up to $100, even thousands depending on the benefits.

They key here is to create tiers of giving that give value to your listeners, but also to you. Don’t create a tier where it will lead to you spending hours creating and sending merchandise for just a few dollars a month.

One of the biggest surprises I learned when I started my Patreon with various benefits was the month of people who chose the option with no benefits. 

One of my favorite content creators, Julie Nolke, offers 5 tiers on her Patreon from $2 a month that gives you early access to videos, up to $100 a month that gives you ALL the benefits from every tier and a little bit more to support her work. These benefits include blooper reels, credits, merch and signed postcards. She has 726 Patrons!

Even if the average amount given was $5, that would mean she is getting $3,630 per month! That is incredible. But always remember how much had work it took her to get there, and all the years of not making anything while putting in the same hours. 

Monetize Your Podcast

My personal Patreon follows a similar strategy. I have low starting point with few benefits that most people enjoy because they just want to support you! I’ve been told by my members several times, they don’t want benefits, they just want to support what I do because they enjoy it so much. Nothing feels better than hearing that. 

I advise create at least 5 tiers, make the first one really low in cost with almost zero work for you, the 5th one really high and three in between something that gives value that matches the amount given and the amount of work it will take you to deliver. 

I would also recommend setting this up immediately, I waited far too long to do it. You have nothing to lose. Then give people a gentle reminder at the beginning and end of each episode and post on your social media the value the listener will get, not what you will get!

3. Monetize Your Podcast With One-off Gifts

There are several platforms that all do more or less the same. I chose Ko-Fi.com because of its ease of use and they don’t take a percentage of what you receive but there is almost nothing between them. You’ll get paid into a PayPal account which will take a fee when you withdraw from there. 

These platforms are very similar to Patreon, when I first used ko-fi.com it was literally to just buy someone a coffee, meaning they could send you a few dollars, not an actual coffee. (If you upgraded you could change the wording to anything you wanted like buy me a beer!)

Since then they’ve now developed to have tiers similar to Patreon so you can accept both one off gifts and have members. Whereas Patreon there is no option to accept one off gifts. 

Monetize Your Podcast

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Monetize Your Podcast With Affiliate Marketing

4. Affiliate Marketing Podcast Monetization

With Affiliate Marketing you share a trackable link that directs people to a website to buy a product or service, and if they click on it, then purchase that item you will get a commission. The Ads you see on this page are all for my Affiliate partners – NordVPN, Descript, Canva & Fiverr.

There are many different Affiliate platforms and products to apply to that if approved will give you access to many, many different affiliate products. You can also apply directly to individual brands.

Approval usually depends on your reach, like how many website visitors you get, or how you will promote the brand.

If you do get approval for an affiliate brand make sure you read the rules carefully. They are very specific about what you can and can’t do with the link and how you promote it. 

Try to find brands that match your podcast! 49% of people believe that podcast hosts use the products and services they recommend! So don’t be false or fake, promote products you use. Best of all, 60% of podcast listeners have bought something from a podcast ad!

Affiliate marketing can also be a much more lucrative form of advertising than paid sponsorship Ads, especially if you aren’t yet getting thousands of listeners. As I said a 30 second Ad would give you just $18 for a thousand listens. If you promote an affiliate link 1,000 times, it is reasonable to expect at least one person would click and sign up. If the commission is more than $18, then you can see how it is more lucrative than regular sponsored Ads. 

And if the commission is a monthly payment for a subscription service then you will be getting a passive income for months in the future.  

The partners I currently work with are all brands I believe in and can personally vouch for. And as I have done at the bottom of this page, and in this post, make sure you let people know these are affiliate links.

Sell To Monetize Your Podcast

5. Sell Merchandise To Monetize Your Podcast

This is not something I have done, and I would rank this low on the monetisation strategies. Primarily because the markup on merchandise isn’t very high, especially compared to a $40 affiliate commission that you spent no time to create and will take no time to fulfil.

If you want to sell merchandise it will take time and money to create it, then time and money to distribute it. Leaving you with precious little or time and money.

6. Sell Your Product To Monetize Your Podcast

If you already sell items and you are using your podcast as a tool to sell them so you already have the systems in place for this then a podcast is a great vehicle to do that.

But make sure it fits your niche or is generic enough that it would apply to everyone.

I promote NordVPN on A Vietnam Podcast as a VPN is something that everyone can use no matter where they are or what their interests. Whereas I don’t promote Descript on A Vietnam Podcast as it is completely unrelated to the niche of my show and as the vast majority of people don’t need a program like this it wouldn’t be a good use of that Ad space.

But if you sell hammers and make a podcast about hammers then 100% use your podcast to sell more hammers!!

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Create an Online Course to Monetize Your Podcast

7. Monetize Your Podcast With An Online Course

Since long before the pandemic, but accelerated greatly since then, learning online has been booming. More than ever people are used to learning new skills online and paying to do so. If you have any skill of any standard you can create a course and sell it online. 

This is not a quick and easy process. It’s taken me nine months to finish my podcast course; Get Your Voice Out. Share Your Story, but it is now ready to launch. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned in my years of podcasting and distilled it down into a step by step process to create your own podcast. 

If done right, this can be one of the best ways to moneitze your podcast.

Check out my new podcast course and let me know what you think! This covers everything you need to know from start to finish to create your own podcast. 

How to Monetize Your Podcast Summary


These are just some of the monetization strategies you can use for your podcast, and the ones I think will bring you the best success. But if you want to try something else there are many other strategies out there and I’d love to hear from you if you do.

Other strategies include selling premium episodes, sell access to your back catalogue, offer content upgrades but basically all revolve around selling something haha.

My top tips to finish would be to set up a subscription website like Patreon and a gift website first like ko-fi.com, then gently promote these on your socials and on the show. Don’t worry about running Ads until you get big, then they’ll come to you, and get associated with some affiliate brands in your niche and promote them.

If you can earn enough in the beginning to cover your costs then you’ll already be doing great.

Most of all focus on making great quality content. Don’t make making money your goal! It can and will come if you follow these strategies.

7 Ways To Monetize Your Podcast

From start to finish Seven Million Bikes Podcasts can help you create your podcast and share your story with the world.