Let’s start by stating that regardless of how passionate you are about podcasting or your niche, there’s still the place of hard work, effort, and time to be invested. To keep your podcast running, you need to go beyond being a hobbyist, mastering how to grow and monetize podcasts like a pro.   

Look around you; most of these podcasters are not making good money from their craft. For those making money, it took most of them years before they went from $0 to their first $500.  

That’s why you’ll see that the question on the lips of most podcasters is, “How do podcasts make money, or how to start a podcast and make money” This has become an important search query that every podcast hosting platform has written extensively, yet most podcasts are still not making money.  

Why?  

You know we always say we are in the golden age of podcasting, with the explosion and growth. That’s why you see most people becoming podcasters to have a share of the cake. Many are not ready to put in the work and grow to the point of being approached by advertisers.  

Another reason why most podcasters are not making money or not enough is their heavy reliance on advertising, yet they don’t have the right numbers. The big podcast advertisers are not interested in the small shows; they want only a few, killing it in hundreds of thousands of listenerships with every podcast episode.  

You need to look outside of advertising and consider alternative avenues to rack up revenues for your podcast. This will be the focus of this presentation. 

Before then, it’s pertinent to state that the alternative ways to monetize your podcast can either be direct or indirect. You can either make money through the original contents of your podcast or by repurposing it. In contrast, there’s also the avenue to leverage your podcast to sell other services.  

In this post, we will be exploring how to start a podcast, then grow it and monetize it like a pro. You can combine all or a few of these strategies for your podcast. 

1. Tips and Donations 

If you’re creating valuable content that is unavailable elsewhere, then you should be able to solicit donations and tips from your listeners.  

These listeners would not mind throwing a few dollars at you to continue getting amazing content. There’s nothing bad about asking for donations; so far, your listeners know you genuinely need it.  

Recently, Disctopia opened up the platform to allow creators receive direct payments from their audience. The beauty of this is that the creators can get 100% of the donations.  

As a podcaster, you can leverage this feature on Disctopia to monetize your podcast.  

2. Create a Premium Version of Your Podcast 

As much as you’re creating valuable content consistently, you can take it a step higher by placing the best of your podcast episodes behind a paywall.  

Just create a number of episodes that can only be accessed after payment. You can bring on special guests that you have a Q & A with or a How-To video podcast; it can also be ad-free episodes.  

The issue here is that you don’t want your growing listener base to feel you are becoming salesy. Moreso, you cannot afford to deprive these free listeners of value.  

3. Repurpose Your Content 

One alternative way to monetize your content that is often overlooked is the repurposing of content. There are numerous content formats into which you can repurpose your podcast episodes;  

If you can build a solid podcast blog, this can be monetized through multiple sources. There are still people who would prefer to read than listen to a podcast.  

A catalog of your old but evergreen podcast episodes can be transcribed into a book. You can take advantage of the Amazon Kindle Program and make money off the book.  

This is another goldmine. If you’ve been creating How-To content for your podcast, why not put it all together into a course. Just hire a course writer who will format your podcast episode into a course.  

4. Sell Merch 

If after knowing how to start a podcast and you’re sure that your listeners love your podcast, you can make money by introducing your podcast merch. Just the regular merch; T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, stickers, and everyday items.  

Look at Joe Rogan of The Rogan Experience. Despite arguably being the richest podcaster, he still sells merch to his audience.  

You may not have to lift a finger as Disctopia allows you to list your merch on the platform. You can also rely on drop shipping platforms to help make the deliveries.  

5. Become an Affiliate 

Affiliate marketing is as old as humankind itself. As a podcaster, there’s a growing list of affiliate programs you can explore. All it takes is to sign up and let them know where to send your income.  

In this instance, you are not creating products to sell; rather, you are helping others to sell their products, then get a cut when a sale is made.  

A link will be generated for you with a unique code to know if the sales came from you. You may need to reveal your affiliate relationship for them not to feel deceived.  

Round-Up: How to Start a Podcast, Grow and Monetize it

This list is inexhaustive; there are still numerous podcast monetization strategies that do not involve advertising. What is important is that you can know how to start a podcast and monetize it in a way that does not annoy or piss off your loyal listeners.  

Choose a podcast monetization method that does not come off as aggressive, intrusive, or annoying. Do a combination of methods rather than being too strong with a single method.