Tag Archive for: monetization

In today's digital world, podcasting offers a unique way to connect with audiences, build relationships, and establish a strong online presence. However, many new creators tend to focus too heavily on podcast monetization, which can be detrimental to their progress.

Drawing from a decade of experience in launching and producing podcasts for clients, it's evident to us that the growth and impact a podcast can achieve are primarily derived from concentrating on the fundamentals first – SEO, visibility, audience engagement, and building trust.

Keep reading to learn why monetization shouldn't be your priority and the strategies you should focus on to make your podcast successful.

Podcast Monetization is Not For Everyone

Podcasts are often considered passion projects for indie creators, who immerse themselves in their favorite topics or share their unique perspectives with the world.

Interestingly, it is frequently these podcasters, versus podcasters with business goals, who are most eager to monetize their content quickly.

This eagerness could be attributed to the fact that when a podcast is integrated as part of an existing business, it offers a multitude of benefits beyond direct monetization.

The Multifaceted Benefits of Podcasting for Businesses

podcast monetization
Photographer: Andrej Lišakov | Source: Unsplash

Most of our clients at Polymash are businesses that leverage podcasting as a form of content strategy. Podcasts can enhance brand visibility and awareness, as they enable businesses to reach new audiences or deepen connections with existing customers. By sharing valuable content, businesses position themselves as thought leaders and experts within their niche, fostering trust and credibility with their target audience.

Podcasting can serve as an effective content marketing tool. By repurposing podcast material into blog posts, social media updates, or even visual content, businesses can maintain a consistent online presence and effectively engage with their audience across various platforms.

Additionally, podcasts provide an opportunity for networking and building partnerships. Through inviting guests, podcasters can forge relationships with industry influencers, potential clients, and other stakeholders. These connections can lead to mutually beneficial collaborations, such as joint ventures, product endorsements, or affiliate partnerships.

What About Indie Podcasters?

A few indie podcasters dream of instantly becoming the next "Joe Rogan". But most every passion podcaster realizes it takes some amount of patience. That said,

I think paying for the production costs and being able to pay for help with their podcasting projects is a worthy goal. After the first 20 episodes or so, many new podcasters come to realize the full extent of the work that goes into it.

So before we get into how to best achieve this goal, let’s look at some of the monetization approaches that may not be ideal for brand new podcasters.

Ten Podcast Monetization Approaches and Why They're a Bad Idea for New Podcasters:

  1. Sponsored content ads – Difficult to obtain without a sizable audience
  2. Affiliate marketing – Low conversion rates and potential for eroding trust
  3. Paywall – Can limit audience growth
  4. Merchandise sales – May not generate significant revenue without a large fan base
  5. Donations – Unreliable and unpredictable income stream
  6. Live events – Expensive to organize and may not attract enough attendees
  7. Workshops – Requires expertise and time commitment
  8. Branded content – Difficult to obtain without a sizable audience
  9. Premium subscription – May not offer enough value to justify the cost for listeners
  10. Crowdfunding – Can be time-consuming and may not reach funding goals

What New Indie Podcasters Should Do First

As an Indie podcaster, before you get distracted by the churn involved in podcast monetization, it's essential to lay the groundwork and create a strong foundation for your show. To help you on this journey, we've compiled a mini-checklist that covers essential strategies to increase podcast listenership and boost engagement before even considering monetization.

Checklist to Increase Podcast Listenership Before Monetizing:

  1. Own a podcast specific website and optimize for SEO
  2. Use social media to engage with listeners
  3. Build an email list
  4. Create shareable content
  5. Collaborate with other podcasters
  6. Leverage guest appearances
  7. Improve audio quality
  8. Focus on content quality and consistency
  9. Set a budget for promoting your show
  10. Gather feedback to ensure your show is popular and well-received

We've elaborated on all of these topics previously on our Blog, here are some links in case you are interested. The first one is a long read:

The second one is more of a quick summary:

Your Best Initial Podcast Monetization Move: Listener Support vs Sponsor Support

For indie podcasters, finding a niche sponsor can often be the best initial monetization move, as it allows them to secure financial support without burdening their growing audience. Turning to listener support too soon might deter potential listeners who are still discovering the show and could create an impression of being overly focused on monetary gains. By contrast, sponsor support enables podcasters to maintain a sense of authenticity and establish trust with their audience.

In the early stages of podcast growth, forging a connection with a niche sponsor who aligns with the show's values and subject matter can be a game-changer. Not only does this create a mutually beneficial partnership, but it also allows podcasters to maintain their creative freedom and focus on delivering quality content without worrying about listener support or donations. By opting for sponsor support, indie podcasters can continue to build their audience, strengthen their brand, and develop trust with listeners, paving the way for a more sustainable monetization strategy in the long run.

Our Take on Podcast Monetization For New Podcasters:

New podcasters should prioritize building a strong foundation for their show, focusing on audience growth, content quality, and trust-building before considering monetization. By investing time and effort into the fundamentals, you'll create a sustainable podcast that attracts sponsors and listeners alike.

Remember, the true value of your podcast lies in the relationships and trust you build with your audience and potential partners. Keep your priorities straight and watch your podcast flourish.

Sometimes it seems like everyone and their brother have launched podcasts in the last year or two. While a significant amount of podcasters do it out of passion for their subject matter, many other podcasters get into it with the hope of creating a hit show that will let them quit their day jobs. On the other hand, some podcasters want to at least cover their expenses and production costs. And at meetups and podcasting conferences, the business sense of podcasting and monetization comes up frequently.

Is There Any Business Sense In Podcasting?

“When you start talking about podcasting, it doesn’t take long before someone asks how you can make money from it.” Click here to view original article at www.businesslive.co.za

Our Take on Whether Podcasts Make Business Sense

If I had to summarize it, I would put it in a way that asks the question differently:

The simple truth is that unless you are a media celebrity, YouTube star or have a large social media platform, podcasting is an unlikely way for most individuals to create significant income. At least not the sort of income to retire on in a few years.

New podcasters may make next to nil when they create their initial episodes and work on building listeners. For example, The Jerry Banfield Show creator reported earning $188.73 for 74,080 plays, meaning he’s earning about $2.55 for every 1,000 people who listen to his Anchor.fm broadcast, although sponsors on the platform tend to pay more, Banfield reports. Click here to see the article at Listen Notes

How Podcasts Contribute To Your Business

Ask Not How To Monetize Your Podcast, Ask How Your Podcast Monetizes Your Business
Photographer: Nastuh Abootalebi | Source: Unsplash

That said, podcasting as content strategy does make business sense and is an excellent contributor to attracting and retaining clients. Inbound Marketing is all about getting potential customers to know, like and trust you, and nothing does this better than podcasting. We talk to so many business owners who share amazing stories about how their initial conversations with prospects has changed because of their podcasts.

  • The whole feel of an initial conversation with someone interested in your business changes if they have already listened to your podcast.
  • In many cases a podcast builds a connection and understanding of how your service, business or product fits their needs. And all this happens before the first conversation.
  • For interview shows, often the relationships established with your guests become an important asset.

Alternatives To Monetization Through Ads

Do ads make business sense for podcasters?
Do ads make business sense for podcasters? Photographer: Joshua Earle | Source: Unsplash

That said, many podcasters do not have a business associated with their show. And for them it is important to earn a little income from the podcast to offset or even pay for the production costs and listener growth.

There are many more elegant alternatives to podcast monetization than playing programmatic ads on a podcast. The best 3 approaches of late are sponsorships, memberships and guesting.


You can work out a deal for "host read promos" for select sponsors, all without accepting programmatic advertising placed on your show with little input from you.

  • Your sponsors contribute a negotiated amount of funds or resources for a period of time, in exchange for host read ads on your show.
  • It helps to have a DAI (dynamic audio insertion) capable podcast host, more on this in upcoming posts. This simply means you can add and remove sponsor promos throughout your back-catalog of episodes, even after publishing, and there is no “hard coding” of promos.


The other effective model of creating some income from your podcast listening audiences is through membership models. There are an increasing number of platforms around this, Patreon being the one that has been around the longest.

  • The most effective membership programs are around offering a combination of premium content, access to a membership group and personal access to you, the host.

Podcast Guesting

Guesting as a podcast growth strategy is pretty well known. Usually the term “guesting” is thought of as appearing on other podcasts, in order to grow a podcast’s own listener base. But there are also ways in which booking the right guests on a show can lead to financial success:

  • Guesting as monetization strategy involves reaching out to interview potential high profile clients in your niche.
  • Usually an interview podcast promotes their guests, and allows the host to outreach to people they would otherwise be shy to contact.
  • We have seen it time and again, recording a podcast together can quickly establishes a close relationship with potential clients one would not have otherwise have even met.

Podcast Monetization Blog Series

Coming up: We are about to launch a blog article series on podcast monetization, sponsorship models, guesting and podcast membership models. We will explore the following in more detail:

  • What are the best monetization options today?
  • The business sense of in-house promos delivered via DAI (Dynamic Audio Insertion), and how average podcasters can take advantage of it creatively, for pre-roll, mid-roll promo slots
  • Why dynamically updating a back-catalog of episodes can bring your old episodes back to life
  • How to structure DAI campaigns with in-house promotions even when there are no sponsors involved
  • Planning and executing on membership models, including the latest apps and solutions to deliver premium content
  • Guesting and outreach as part of a monetization strategy.

So stay tuned, and let me know your questions and comments!