Making Money Podcasting Is a Fun Way to Earn Income (Read on for Podcast Ideas)

There once was a time where people tuned into the radio to hear all sorts of programs. These programs would make money through advertisements and audio commercials. The modern version of this concept is the world of interesting podcasts.

In 2016, around 21% of Americans said they had listened to a podcast in the last month. With nearly a quarter of Americans listening to these podcasts fairly regularly, you can begin to see why making money podcasting is a real possibility.

If you have been tossing around some podcast ideas and want to create an interesting podcast or even make money from podcasts, this year’s guide is just for you. We will:

  • Show you the process of making a podcast
  • Help you brainstorm possible podcasting ideas
  • Give you a list of sample podcast topics
  • List the top three ways people are making money podcasting

When you are done with this guide, you will hopefully have a better idea of what podcast topics you could discuss and how to make money from podcasts this year.

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What Are Podcasts?

Podcasts are free audio files you can digitally download or stream online. They are essentially the new, modern version of a radio show. Podcast topics range from food and video games to running a business and learning about history.

Podcasts can typically be streamed online through the podcast’s website. If you want to download them onto your phone, tablet, or computer, you can use:

Not only are many people listening to interesting podcasts these days, many are making a podcast themselves. Why are so many people creating their own podcasts?

As it turns out, making money podcasting can be a lucrative and fun adventure.

What Are the Steps for Making a Podcast?

Making a podcast can feel like a huge undertaking, especially when you are hoping to make money from podcasts. Here are five main steps to help simplify the process for you:

Come up with Podcasting Ideas

Before you start making money podcasting, you will need to know what you are going to talk about. Below, we list some great podcasting ideas and sample podcast topics to help you brainstorm this part of making a podcast.

Choose a Podcast Name and Artwork

Choose a name and image for your podcast that reflect both your podcast topics as well as your personality. Make sure they are memorable and catchy. This way people keep coming back to listen, and you can start making money podcasting.

Choose Length and Frequency

Making money podcasting requires a bit of consistency on your part. Decide how long your podcast should be (between 30 to 45 minutes is usually recommended). Then, decide how often you will publish a new episode.

Record Your Audio Files

In order to not only record a podcast but also to make money from podcasts, you will need to invest in some recording equipment. Podcast guru Pat Flynn has a video tutorial and recommended product list to get you started.

Podcasting Ideas

Image Source: Creative Commons

Add Your Files to Your Feed

Making a podcast requires you put your audio files on a feed that gives companies like iTunes and Stitcher your podcast feed. This is one of the more technical aspects. To help you, check out Pat Flynn’s video tutorial on podcast feeds.

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Brainstorm Podcasting Ideas

In order to make money from podcasts, you will have to have to choose an interesting podcast idea. If you already know exactly what your podcast will discuss, you can skip this section and the next. For everyone else, let’s brainstorm some podcasting ideas.

To help you start thinking about podcast topics that might be a great idea for you, here is the list of the main iTunes podcast categories:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Comedy
  • Education
  • Games and Hobbies
  • Government and Organizations
  • Health
  • Kids and Family
  • Music
  • News and Politics
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Science and Medicine
  • Society and Culture
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Technology
  • TV and Film

Now, you can start breaking down these categories of podcast topics into even narrower categories. To find your ideal podcast ideas, ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I interested in? If you are passionate and curious about certain podcast topics, you will have a much better chance of drawing in your audience with your podcasting ideas.
  • What do I already know something about? There is no reason you cannot research and continue to learn about different things to create more interesting podcasts. But if you know absolutely nothing about sports, a baseball history podcast may not be high on the list of ideal podcasting ideas for you.
  • Who do I know? Run through all the connections you have and see which people you know may be an fun person to interview to create a more interesting podcast.

Sample Podcast Topics

Here are a few sample podcast topics to get you thinking in the right direction:

  • Give weekly “lessons” on a topic you know a lot about: etiquette, music, marketing, making friendships, books, your religion, a time in history, a city, crime, etc.
  • Interview people who have knowledge others may want to know: stay-at-home moms who run a side business, teachers who come up with innovative ideas, local businesspeople who started from nothing, etc.
  • Share your unique experiences: how you thrive even with your illness, how you raise 10 children, how you go through your dating life, how you get over a divorce, how you travel on a budget.

These sample podcasting ideas are only concepts to get you thinking. Another great way to come up with podcast topics is by listening to popular podcasts and seeing what is working well.

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How to Make Money from Podcasts

Many people are now probably wondering how offering a free podcast download could ever let you make money from podcasts. If you do not actually sell the podcasts you create, what can you do to earn?

There are actually quite a few ways people make money from podcasts, but we are going to look at the top three methods:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsorships
  • Selling

Let’s look at each of these ways for making money podcasting a little more closely.

Making Money Podcasting #1: Affiliate Marketing

First up on our list of money-making podcasting ideas is to utilize affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is one of the top ways of making money podcasting.

It works like this: a company or service wants to you talk about their product on your show. This is like a short commercial. You will hear these “commercials” on most of the top interesting podcasts.

The company will most often give you some sort of unique code to share with your audience for a discount. When the audience uses that code to purchase the company’s product or service on discount, you either get a commission or a flat fee.

If you are able to do this once or twice per show – and if you have a large audience – you can quickly start making money podcasting.

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Making Money Podcasting #2: Sponsorships

Next up on our list of moneymaking podcasting ideas is to offer sponsorships. These are quite similar to affiliate marketing, but they often come from larger companies who pay you more.

Typically, you will create either a 15-second opening “commercial” for that sponsorship company or a 60-second “commercial” in the middle of your podcast.

Podcast Topics

Image Source: Creative Commons

How much you earn depends upon how many people listen. Typically, sponsors will pay you:

  • $18 with a short before-episode spot for every 1000 listeners
  • $25 with a longer mid-episode spot for every 1000 listeners

Making money podcasting with sponsorships adds up quickly.

If you have a 15-second opener and 5,000 people listen to that podcast, the sponsor will give you around $90. If you have a 60-second ad in the middle of your episode, you will earn $125.

If you offer both and publish weekly interesting podcasts every single week, you should average over $900 each month.

Making Money Podcasting #3: Sell Your Product or Service

Last on our list of moneymaking podcasting ideas is sales.

Choosing podcast topics that are related to products or services you sell is a great way to build more income. In a sense, you will be using your podcast as a way to increase brand awareness and promote your products.

Examples of products you might sell are:

  • Books or ebooks
  • Courses
  • Software
  • Gadgets
  • Apps

Examples of services you might sell are:

  • Training or coaching
  • Consulting
  • Writing
  • Photography

While your audience probably will not keep listening if all you do is make each episode sound like you are pitching your product, you can make the topics naturally flow into your product.

Say you sell an online course and coaching services on budgeting through college. Some podcasting ideas that might fit are understanding finance as a young adult or interviewing rich people about what they wish they would have known in their early 20s.

You could then casually mention your course or service as you discuss your podcast topic.

You Need an Interesting Podcast

At the end of the day, the only way any of these methods will end in you making money podcasting is if you create an interesting podcast. No matter how amazing your podcast ideas may be, you need to also think about marketing.

If nobody listens to your podcast:

  • Nobody will buy anything with your affiliate link
  • No company will pay for sponsorship
  • Nobody will know to buy your product and service

Here are a few podcast ideas for making interesting podcasts people find and keep listening to week after week:

  • Create professional, high-quality content with good tools (like a nice microphone)
  • Do not say the same exact thing week after week, or people will not feel the need to listen anymore; shake up your podcasting ideas while staying in the same niche
  • Build a partnering website so people can learn more about your podcast and your topic

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Conclusion: You Can Start Making Money Podcasting

You now officially know all the basics of making a podcast, choosing podcast topics, and making money podcasting.

Now you can start the process of turning your podcasting ideas into podcasting reality. And that reality can absolutely include earning income from your interesting podcast.

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