Have you heard these myths about monetizing podcasts? Myth #1: You need a large audience to make money. Myth #2: CPM (cost per mille) advertising is the only way to monetize. Myth #3: It’s impossible to make a living from podcasting. The truth is that there are many strategies beyond traditional advertising that can help podcasters monetize, no matter your audience size. Our guest, Michelle Jackson, shares insights on how to make money from your podcast, including sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and creating your own products or services. Listen to this episode if you want to learn how to make money podcasting beyond traditional advertising models.
In this episode, we discuss:
- [2:30] Common objections podcasters have when thinking about monetizing their shows
- [7:54] Various reasons why podcasters should consider monetizing
- [11:53] The significance of aligning your monetization plans with your core values and mission.
- [15:43] How to earn money from podcasts beyond the typical CPM (cost per mille) advertising.
- [26:54] Creating a podcast monetization strategy.
- [29:13] Phasing out uncomfortable methods.
- [30:41] Unique monetization ideas for podcasters.
How To Monetize A Podcast:
Creating a Podcast Monetization Strategy
Developing a successful monetization strategy involves identifying your goals, understanding your target audience, and being open to trying different tactics. It’s important to focus on your strengths and interests while exploring new avenues for revenue generation, as well as staying true to your values and mission in the process.
Michelle Jackson shared valuable advice on how to create an effective monetization strategy for podcasters. She emphasized that success requires patience, experimentation, and a willingness to pivot. She also noted that understanding your unique value proposition and approach to content creation is crucial. Throughout the conversation, the importance of quantifying specific monetization goals to make progress was addressed, reminding us that success doesn’t always mean earning massive amounts of money.
This is Michelle Jackson’s story:
Michelle Jackson was tired of the traditional CPM advertising model dominating the podcast monetization scene. She knew there were countless ways to make money, and she was already doing it, but convincing others proved to be a challenge.
Frustrated with people’s reluctance to believe in alternative monetization methods, Michelle started speaking at conferences, sharing her own experiences and success stories. Eventually, she created Podcasters Getting Paid, a newsletter aimed at scaling her messaging and providing concrete examples of how podcasters can make money.
Today, Michelle continues to inspire others with her determination to help them find ethical ways to monetize their work while remaining true to their audience and personal values.
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Additional Ways To Make Money Podcasting
Making a living from your podcast doesn’t have to rely solely on ads and sponsorships. By exploring alternative monetization strategies, you can not only diversify your income streams but also create a more robust and resilient podcasting business.
This shift can help you weather the ups and downs, build deeper connections with your audience, and reach your podcasting goals. If you are running a show that is consistent, has received feedback from listeners, and has a well defined listenership, the sky’s the limit. You can absolutely attract money to your project.
There’s a million and one ways to make money, and like, 990,000 of them have nothing to do with CPMs. – Michelle Jackson
What are the biggest objections that podcasters have when they are thinking about monetizing their shows and how do you address them?
Michelle Jackson: I think the biggest objection is that podcasters don’t believe they can monetize their show until they get to a certain number of downloads. It’s a talking point that has sunk into the minds of people that it’s very difficult to get them to believe otherwise. They just don’t believe they can. There’s a million and one ways to make money, and like, 990,000 of them have nothing to do with CPM (cost per mille).
Why should podcasters consider monetizing?
Michelle Jackson: I have been in the content creation space since 2012 and I love it. It is not for the faint of heart, but there just came a point where I was like, this is now my business. This is a business and a business needs to generate revenue.
Even if it wasn’t a business, podcasting takes up a significant amount of time to produce good work.
A lot of people feel like, oh well, I’m selling out or I’m going to be sleazy in my approach to making money podcasting. And that doesn’t have to be the case.
I think it’s really important to ask yourself how do you imagine monetization looking like? There’s a lot of ways to make money where you’re not asking listeners to make a buying decision.
I write ebooks, both fiction and nonfiction. You’ll hear me talking about affiliate marketing where a lot of times with affiliates, you don’t even have to have someone make a purchase with your affiliate link. They could just click the link and you make money.
What are some roadblocks podcasters face when monetizing?
Michelle Jackson: First, address any mental roadblocks around bringing money into your project, that’s step one.
What are the mental things that are going to come up that freak you out about making money?
Next, understand who your audience is and what would actually be of service to them. You’re going to have to spend some time observing what they would want and what lights you up. Be honest with yourself.
I learned search engine optimization, I learned how to negotiate with brands on brand partnerships, I learned how to do affiliate marketing. I learned all these things, and it took a long time to do that.
It just means that you need to temper your expectations so you’re not upset or disappointed. Avoid setting unreasonable expectations about what should be happening.
It takes time and you need to set some reasonable expectations on the time component, but dream big, believe you can do whatever you want to do.
What are some lesser known ways to monetize podcasts?
Michelle Jackson: It could be that you make money with your platform that has no direct impact on your audience. Like you’re doing things completely unrelated.
So in my case, I’ve worked with brands on a video series. It had nothing to do with my podcast. They just saw me in my space and thought I would be a good fit for the project. I got paid a lot of money, has nothing to do with my podcast. Super happy.
Other ways to make money podcasting include:
- Paid newsletters
- Website ad revenue
- Hosting live events and workshops
- Freelance writing
- Creating products
- Win grant funding
- Start a membership
If you’re not willing to put yourself out there over and over again, it’s really difficult to attract the opportunities that you’re seeking. You have to be a part of the process. You can’t hope that it’s going to happen.
But the flip side is understanding what’s the amount that would really make a difference initially. Think about what your number is. Honestly, you probably need to start earning a heck of a lot less for your monetization goals to be impactful for you, and then you grow it from there.
Phasing Out Uncomfortable Income Streams
As you gain more experience, certain income streams may no longer be in alignment. Michelle recommends regularly assessing how you’re making money podcasting and ensure they align with your values, goals, and ethical considerations.
Be open to phasing out methods that no longer work for you and adapting your approach as you evolve.
During the episode, Michelle mentioned transitioning away from outdated monetization methods like freelance writing which no longer brings her joy. Ultimately, remain flexible and adaptable in your approach, embracing change as you grow.
Noteworthy Quotes by Michelle Jackson
- “There’s a million one ways to make money, and like, 990,000 of them have nothing to do with CPMs.”
- “Believe that you can even monetize.”
- “You can absolutely attract money to your project.”
- “There’s more than one way to get paid, and I’m living off of my money.”
- “It takes a real small number of paying folks to change your personal life.”
- “I don’t need to compete with you because out of 300 million Americans alone, I just need 1,000 people to be buying my stuff a month.”
Listen to this podcast episode on Spotify.
About Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson has established a name for herself as a podcast monetization coach, dedicated to supporting podcasters with smaller audiences in finding effective ways to make money from their shows.
She is the creator of the newsletter and platform Podcasters Getting Paid, providing useful information and different ways podcasters can monetize their skills and shows. Michelle also hosts her own highly successful, award-winning personal finance podcast, called ‘Michelle is Money Hungry.’
By offering her wealth of experience and knowledge, Michelle champions the idea of ethical monetization and supports others in sustaining their podcast projects while getting paid for their hard work.
Follow on Twitter: @MichLovesMoney
Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:
- Leveraging Podcasting To Promote Your Coaching Business – Episode 5
- How To Get Podcast Sponsorships With Debbie Arcangeles – Episode 1
What are your favorite ways to make money podcasting? How do you make money from podcasts?