How Do Podcasts Make Money?

Woman making money doing a podcast

Podcasts were once a way of conveying your thoughts to other individuals and building a community of people who have similar thoughts. However, today, it has become one of the best ways of earning money online.

In the US, six out of ten people above the age of 12 say that they listen to podcasts. It shows how popular this industry is and that you have plenty of opportunities to make your name in it.

In this article, we have discussed the best podcasts monetization methods to show you how many earning options you have. We have also mentioned the highest-paid podcaster along with his earnings to motivate you to get started.

What is a Podcast?

The term podcast is a combination of two words, “iPod” and “broadcast.” It is an audio program or audio recording in which a podcaster talks about a particular topic. You can download a podcast episode and listen to it anytime you want.

Overview of How Podcasts Make Money

Podcasts were initially started by people to share their views with their podcast audience and build a community of like-minded people. But today, podcasting has become a popular way of earning some extra money.

There are numerous ways of earning money through podcasts, including advertising, sponsoring, coaching, teaching, etc. You should select a method that suits your content and show the best.

Below is the list of the most popular podcast monetization methods.

List of How Podcasts Make Money

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which you earn commission by selling products and services of different companies. You refer people to their sites and earn money when they make a purchase through your affiliate link.

Suppose you are discussing “nutrition and dietetics” in a podcast. Here, you can talk about the usefulness of a variety of products like a diet chartbook or a diet recipe book and then refer them to that book. You can also leave show notes at the end of the podcast with affiliate links to these books. You will earn a commission when people buy through these links.

Doing affiliate sales is one of the best ways to make money online and it works great on podcasts.

Amazon, ShareASale, and eBay Partner Network are a few examples of popular affiliate programs. If you have a decent audience, apply for these affiliate programs and become their partners. 

2. Courses

 If you are an expert in a particular field or have knowledge that you think can help people, then start teaching through podcast courses. It is a more suitable option for people who are into teaching.

You can break your podcast online course into smaller parts and teach each part in an easy-to-understand way to keep your audience engaged. You can promote your course through email marketing or by conducting an effective webinar.

In a webinar, you can share bits of your knowledge to tell your target audience why it is important to have knowledge regarding a particular subject and then share a link to your course at the end of the session.

3. Services

Do you have in-demand skills and expertise? Then sell your services to your target audience by hosting podcasts.

You can start a show to teach people a certain skill. Then at the end of each episode, tell your listeners that if they do not have the time, they can always reach out to you to enjoy the benefits of working with you.

You can also hire a team of diligent workers if you have more work. This way, you can focus more on attracting clients, and your team can work on other tasks.

4. Advertising Revenue

Place ads within different episodes of your program and get paid by the advertisers. The podcast advertising revenue that you make will depend on where you place the ads and how large your audience is.

Pre-roll ads that you can place at the start of the episode and the post-roll ads that you can place at the end of the show have almost the same worth. Both ads can be 15 to 30 seconds long. On the other hand, mid-roll ads can help you earn more as they are brought in front of your audience when they are deeply immersed.

There are different podcast ad networks like Midroll that can find advertisers and negotiate the pricing for you, making the whole process simplified.

5. Podcast Sponsors

 It is one of the most common monetization methods that podcasters use to make money. In it, you are paid for getting a brand (of your sponsors) in front of your listeners. Know that you will first have to work hard and build up your audience. Otherwise, sponsors may not get attracted to your ideas.

Sponsors usually pay podcasters based on their total downloads per month. Try to target sponsors that are related to your topic. It will help you create a long-term relationship.  

6. Offer Coaching

 Another way of monetizing your podcasts is by offering to coach. It is similar to providing your services, but the main difference between these methods of monetization is that you do not actually work during coaching. Instead, you guide them and help them create proper business roadmaps.

There are many industries that require the assistance of coaches every other day. Popular examples of such industries include business, diet, and fitness.

7. Ask for Donations

 If you have a loyal listening community, you can request your podcast listeners to donate money to your podcasts. It is a great way to increase your podcast revenue.

You will not have to do extra work to earn through this method. All you need to do is create brilliant podcasts (which you might already be doing). You can encourage people to donate by offering them attractive rewards.

8. Offer Premium Content for a Cost

 You can sell your podcasts at a certain price to your podcast listeners. One way of doing so is by offering them a few podcasts for free and then asking the listeners to buy the next podcasts to learn more.

One way of attracting the listener is by ending the last free podcast at a curious or important point. Many listeners who really are curious or want to learn more will certainly go ahead and buy the next episodes.

9. Sell Physical Products

 Interact with your listeners and ask them about problems they are facing regarding the topic of your podcast. If they share the problem, then try to find a suitable solution. That solution could also be a physical product.

So, create the right product that meets their needs the best, share it with your audience, and start selling it. This way of monetization may take more time and effort, but it has the potential to make more money than many other methods. Sites like eBay, Teespring, etc., can help you boost your sales.

10. Combine to Have Multiple Streams of Income

Show your creativity and combine two or more of the above-mentioned methods of earning money through podcasts and create multiple streams of income. There is no limit to earning money through podcasts. All you have to do is dedicate your time and put in some effort to earn the revenue you want!

How Much Money Do Podcasters Make?

How much money a podcaster makes depends on how many methods of monetization he is using and how huge his audience is. On average, we can say that if you are having 10,000 downloads per episode, then you may earn around $500 to $1,000 per episode through affiliate marketing.

How Do Free Podcasts Make Money?

There are a variety of ways you can use to earn money even through free podcasts. Examples of some of these methods include:

  • By selling a physical product
  • Getting paid by sponsors and advertisers
  • Becoming a partner of affiliate programs and promoting their products
  • Offering your services and becoming a coach
  • Asking your loyal listeners to make donations

Who is the Highest Paid Podcaster?

Joe Rogan: The Joe Rogan Experience is the highest-paid podcaster of 2021. Joe Rogan is an American comedian, and he started this podcast in 2009. To date, he has published about 1,686 episodes. This show claims to have around 190 million downloads so far. He made $30 million in 2019, making him the highest-paid podcaster according to Forbes. 

Can you Make a Living Podcasting?

Of course, you can! We have already mentioned the top methods you can use to make money through podcasts. Choose any of these methods based on your preferences and likes, create brilliant podcasts, and start making money while you sleep.  

Can Anyone Start a Podcast?

The good news about podcasting is that anyone can do it. There is no obligation to first learn technical skills to start podcasting. However, having good speaking skills to convey emotions the right way can help you attract the audience and have a great following.

Know that even though anyone can start a podcast, not all can earn through it. You need to have good content and a few other skills to start earning through your podcasts.

You will need some equipment to get started:


Nice to have but not needed to start:

  • Headphones
  • Microphone Stands
  • Pop Filter
  • Mixer


Podcasts provide a great opportunity to make money online. There are plenty of podcast monetization methods, as discussed above. Go through the list again and find the monetization method that appeals to you the most.

Create your podcasts and make money while you sleep!

Rachel Garner

Rachel Garner is the head of marketing and will help write on any marketing topics. She is a wealth of knowledge about how to market our company to other YouTubers, podcasters, and bloggers.

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