How Much Money Do Podcasts Really Make?

how much money do podcast make

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Podcast content is fast gaining momentum in recent times. According to PodcastHosting.org, about 104 million Americans listen to podcasts every month. With this surge in the podcasting industry, more people are wondering how they can earn massively from this craft. 

If you have questions like, “how much can I make from podcasting? Or What monetization methods should I adopt for my podcast?” You’ll find your answers here. 

In this guide, you will learn the things you need to know about making money off your podcast, the various monetization strategies, and some of the highest-paid podcasters. 

Let’s dive in!

How Much Money Do Podcasts Actually Make?

The amount a podcast makes depends on the marketing and advertising strategies adopted. If the right methods are used, you can earn extra cash between hundreds and millions of dollars.

Notably, content creators that market effectively and integrate many other monetization strategies like asking for donations, selling online courses, and uploading affiliate links on their shows will make more income than those who don’t.

For example, Joe Roegan from the Joe Roegan Experience revealed that he earns as much as $75,000 per podcast episode.

How Much Money Can You Potentially Make Podcasting?

The amount you make as a podcast host varies across the industry. Nevertheless, it is possible to earn a lot. In fact, some popular podcasters earn thousands or millions of dollars. On the other hand, small-scale podcasters can earn a few bucks. 

Many factors determine how much you can potentially earn from podcasting. These include your monetization methods, marketing strategies, your listenership, number of downloads, etc.

For example, if you monetize your podcast using additional revenue streams like affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and podcast ads, you’ll earn more than a podcaster using only one stream. 

Podcasters with a highly engaged niche audience and who create content regularly will probably earn more than inconsistent podcast owners.

What to Have in Place Before Monetizing Your Podcast

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to monetize your podcast. However, a few things ought to be sorted out first before that becomes the priority. 

Content

Your first podcasting priority should be on creating relevant, high-quality content. Focusing on this, you’ll be able to attract the right people, and build your much-needed audience.

Additionally, whatever your niche is, your podcast topics should resonate with you and your listeners. Focus on something you’re interested in, and tell interesting stories that will attract your target audience. 

Remember, valuable content attracts a loyal audience that will pay you. Therefore, make that your primary focus.

Presentation, Delivery, & Performance

Having great content isn’t enough. How do you present it? Are you bubbly when presenting? Or you’re boring your potential listeners with monotonous words. While you shouldn’t act like someone else, your body language and voice should reflect passion and enthusiasm. This keeps your audience glued to your show.

Building Relationships & Community

Building a community and podcasting are synonymous. If you want to be a successful podcaster, you need to prioritize building a community. Communicate with your listeners, and allow them to share their views and opinions on the topic of discussion. Involving your audience in the show endears you to them. Thus, increasing engagement and support.

The Most Common Ways to Make Money Podcasting

There is no one right way to generate podcast income. You can monetize your podcast in numerous ways, like affiliate marketing, banner ads, email marketing, crowdfunding, etc. That said, you don’t have to restrict yourself to a niche. However, you’ll need to gain mastery of one niche before pursuing other ones.

Affiliate Income

A quick way to monetize your podcast is by joining an affiliate programme. Podcasters earn a commission by promoting products and services to their audience, especially those they’re conversant with. You can mention these products during your podcast or add the affiliate links to the show notes. For each product sold via your affiliate links, you get a percentage of the sale. Of course, how much you earn depends on the product promoted. 

While there are several affiliate programs, Amazon products are the most sold affiliate products. However, if there are businesses you’ll like to work with, you can contact them. Affiliate marketing is a quick money-making scheme that earns you some dollars. And over time, it can become a high-earning income niche.

Sponsorships

Sponsorship is a popular method of making money from podcasting. Typically, this comes first on the list of money-making schemes for podcasters. Brands and businesses might want to use your listenership to advertise their products and services. This method seems easy as you don’t have to create or sell anything. Just set up sponsorship deals by creating advertising opportunities for the brands. The payout depends on the number of listeners on your show. 

Invariably, the more the number of listeners, the more revenue increases. This may not be a scheme to venture into if you don’t have a huge listener base. Sponsorship marketplaces offer podcasters a medium to connect with brands that want to place adverts on their shows. 

In addition, proactive podcasters seek sponsors with complementary products, relevant to their show. When looking out for sponsors, give a real-life experience of how you started podcasting, building engagements, and how your show can help their brands.

Crowdfunding and Donations

This is the simplest way to generate podcast income especially when you’ve built a loyal listener base. You can launch crowdfunding campaigns to support your podcasting journey. Also, you can ask for donations while the show is about to begin or end.

Podcasters can use the funds from donors to cover production expenses, including the purchase of production equipment such asfr podcast microphones etc. Ensure you account for the funds received via crowdfunding or donation. Typically, donors will want to know how their money is spent. 

Furthermore, let your call to action be authentic and transparent. This increases the willingness of donors to give promptly. To show gratitude to them, you can introduce special rewards like offering donors access to exclusive content or merch.

Premium Content

Some listeners are willing to pay for access to exclusive podcast content. If you have an established audience, you should consider this marketing strategy. This popular podcast monetization method is suitable for niche podcasts with loyal listeners. 

Besides having a dedicated audience, you’ll need to harness your content creation abilities to maximize this strategy. Sell access to behind-the-scenes content, exclusive interviews, and early access to scheduled, ad-free, and Q&A episodes. 

If you want to gain maximally from this method, ensure you churn out high-quality content. The more premium content you create, the more likely your audience will pay for it.

Banner Ads

While you’ve built your fanbase, you may seek several ways to interact with them. For example, starting an email list or launching a website is an excellent way to promote engagement. Subsequently, you can convert this into a money-making scheme by selling banner ads on your website. 

Consider uploading a video version of your podcast on YouTube. Although this helps you to reach a new podcast audience, it’s a potential income stream through on-page ads. This podcast monetization method requires investing time and effort, as you’ll need to create regular content and maintain social media platforms, newsletters, and websites. Creating banner ads in your space is quite rewarding. However, ask yourself if it’s a worthwhile investment.

Online Courses

If you know the nitty-gritty of a subject, you should give developing online courses a thought. Online courses are quite demanding compared to creating premium podcast content, but it’s rewarding and generates passive income. Plus, you keep on earning from it for months or years. As an established podcaster, you can develop a course to teach people about podcasting.

Coaching and Consulting

Plenty of people will always want to listen to your content if you’ve established yourself as a successful podcaster. They’ll likely want to learn from you and how you can help them. Offering coaching and consulting services are ways to share your knowledge with your listeners. Furthermore, you can coach people new to podcasting.

Live Events

As a professional podcaster, you can consider speaking engagements or hosting ticketed live events for your show. Considering your audience and podcast’s niche, you can run a workshop, lecture, or organize a group discussion. You may earn little from speaking events initially, but you’ll amass huge payouts over time.

Complementary Physical Products

Many listeners support their favorite podcasts by purchasing their merchandise, including stickers, novelty items, and t-shirts. Selling merch allows your listeners to connect with you and your show. You can imprint the podcast’s name, the show’s popular catchphrase, or an inside joke on the merch to build a connection.

Some Of The Highest Earning Podcasts

The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience is the biggest and one of the most successful podcasts in the world, with an estimated net worth of $30 million. It’s one of the world’s favorite podcasts, with millions of listens per episode and over 190 million downloads per month. Joe Rogan hosts the show, discussing trending topics about philosophy, science, politics, humor, etc. It’s estimated that he earns close to $75,000 on one episode. In addition, he releases 3 episodes each week, summing up to $900,000 in monthly podcast income and $10.8M each year. This ranks him as one of the highest-earning podcasters in the world today.

Chapo Trap House

Focused on American politics, Chapo Trap House is an intriguing pod hosted by 5 individuals. Since its launch in 2016, the podcast has always been in the news. The acclaimed podcast releases an episode weekly on SoundCloud, Spotify, and iTunes. Additionally, Chapo Trap House offers premium podcast content on Patreon. With over 35,000 patrons that donate about $1.5 million every year, the podcast is worth $1 million. So it’s not surprising that Chapo Trap House ranks among the biggest podcasts worldwide.

The Dave Ramsey Show

The Dave Ramsey Show, centered on personal finance lessons and budgeting tools, draws in 13 million listeners weekly. In addition, the podcast is broadcast on over 600 radio stations. According to Forbes, The Dave Ramsey show garners about $10 million in annual income.

My Favorite Murder

The true-crime podcast is a show hosted by American comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff that airs twice a week. Since its inception in 2016, My Favorite Murder has recorded many downloads. Today, it has over 35 million downloads and over 13 million weekly listeners . The podcast centers on crime with a dash of humor, making it one of the most popular podcasts worldwide. My Favorite Murder is worth $15 million in annual revenue.

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

With over 20 million regular listeners on the show, it’s not surprising that Armchair Expert is listed among the most popular podcasts. The weekly show features hosts Dax Shepard, Claire Danes, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The hosts interview celebrities, journalists, and academics about their lives and human nature. The estimated net worth of Armchair Expert is $9 million.

FAQs

How Many Listeners Do You Need to Make Money on a Podcast?

Typically, the number of listeners on a show correlates with podcasting success. In other words, the higher the number of listeners, the greater the monetization potential. There’s a high chance of monetizing your podcast if you have more than 5,000 listeners or downloads per episode.

How Long Does It Take for a Podcast to Make Money?

Generally, with the right strategy, you can start earning massively from your podcast in 6 to 12 months. However, each podcast is unique and sometimes, it may take years for podcasting to become one of your streams of income. 

Remember, the more listeners you have on your show, the greater your chance of earning from your podcast. Thus, it’s crucial you develop high-quality podcasts and effective marketing strategies. If you have more podcast listeners, you can charge more for podcast advertising. Overall, focus on how to increase your listenership instead of the monetization period.

Can You Make Serious Money Through Podcasting?

Of course, podcasting can make anyone good money. However, this requires a great level of commitment to creating quality content, investing funds and applying other effective strategies. In fact, a large number of podcasters start out on a negative cash flow because of what they may have invested in podcasting.
The typical average podcast makes money via
Complementary merch (caps, mugs, t-shirts, etc.)
Additional premium content (online courses, Patreon, etc.)
Affiliate marketing
Email marketing
Sponsorships and donations

What Is the Best Podcast Monetization Strategy?

The best podcast monetization approach varies based on the size of the show. If you’re just starting out as a podcast owner, then affiliate marketing is a great shot since you don’t need a specific number of listeners to start it.
 
As your listenership grows, you can gradually begin to integrate other methods. Those who have mastered the art of podcasting and make huge amounts of money understand how to combine multiple strategies like selling an online course, offering coaching services, or considering podcast sponsorships.

How Much Does an Average Podcaster Make a Year?

According to ZipRecruiter, a podcast host in the US earns roughly $72,970 in yearly podcast revenue. You can break this down into $35.08 hourly, $1,403 weekly and $6,080 monthly.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Podcast?

You can start a podcast completely free if you have some basic equipment like a phone and use the free option for the required digital tools.

However, we think it’s important that you consider investing in some decent recording equipment and software. This could cost between $300 and $400 if you’ll include gadgets like a computer, headphones, recording software, audio-editing software, and podcast microphones.
You can upgrade your equipment as you’re able to commit more funds towards the podcast.

Final Thoughts

While you should start a podcast because you enjoy sharing your views, there are tons of opportunities to make money podcasting. By now, you should know how much an average podcaster makes per episode, the revenue streams, and the highest-paid podcasters. 

Above all, earning from podcasts requires time, effort, and dedication. You need to invest time and effort in creating high-quality content that converts. Explore the various money-making strategies and increase your income potential. Wishing you the best in your podcasting journey!

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