Monetization is cool, but remember: your audience will always come first

Every single creator needs a way to support their production (and itself), but the most successful ones have found different ways to do so in a way that still shows respect to the audience.

After all, the audience is what makes your production viable. It’s not only about you as a creator or the guest you bring to the show, it’s about the audience and what they can get from investing their valuable time and money in you.


What You'll Learn

Why monetize a podcast?

Duh. We need that because of the system and all. It also goes further, though. You also need money to cover your production expenses so you can keep doing it. Also, it may be what gives your the opportunity to expand. If you have revenue, you can pay for a team of freelancers and assistants to work on your podcast as you keep growing. Another great thing to consider when monetizing your podcast is the delivery method. The longer your podcast is, the more time your audience will spend listening to your show in an intimate and regular way. This creates a larger bond, as well as trust and authority with you.

How do podcasts monetize?

Memberse encourages you to do it professionally, allowing you to monetize your content and be consistent in the long term.

Here are some of our favorite podcast monetization strategies to explore. Choose the ones that fit best for your show.

There are Direct and Indirect ways of monetizing. Direct ways, mean earning directly from the product itself, while Indirect means earning through by-product sales.

Direct ways

Create paid membership tiers

Once the progression to going paid became more common, paid membership tiers have taken off as a way for podcasters to make money from their show. With paid membership tiers, listeners can pay to access exclusive content, as well as private groups, and get swag from the podcast.

Memberse is one way to offer podcasts through subscriptions. You can create a monthly membership by starting a Community, where you can upload all your content. We aim to offer total control over how content is shared, accessed, and paid for while avoiding the hefty fees that come with services on other platforms.

By exploring benefits options, you can reward fans for their contributions with swag, further content, or other perks. You may find that more listeners are willing to support the show because they receive either a physical product or exclusive episodes for their contribution.

Ask for donations

The easiest way to monetize a podcast is to ask people for donations. It might seem weird for a show to ask for money, right? But if people understand where the money is going, they will be happy to support and know that they’ll continue to get great content.

For example: if you want to build a community to talk about film, you can just organize a watch party (which can be done online!). The actual gathering of people to watch will generate several different forms of interaction.

Alternatively, you could create a film club in which people will watch films on their own time and there’s a rating/debate system in place, through a forum chat. This will also generate different forms of interactions.

In both cases, you’re gathering people with similar interests into the same space, whether that space is virtual or not.

For Content Creators, specifically, there are a few additional things to consider:

Sell sponsorships or ads

Sponsorship and ads are probably the first things you think of when looking for ways to monetize from podcasting. For that, you need to set up a deal with a sponsor and promote it in your show.

You can add an ad at the beginning of an episode, in the end, or somewhere in the middle. These spots are known as:

Sponsorships pay more depending on the size of your audience. As the size of your audience increases, so will your revenue. So the amount of revenue will be directly related to how big your audience may be. Still, even if your ad revenue is small, is still worth reinvesting it in marketing aiming to grow the audience, which will ultimately be paid back in larger revenues.

Here are a few places to find sponsorship deals if you are comfortable with your content and audience:

Affiliate Marketing

Also known as performance marketing. This is a sales model where you get a commission by promoting other people’s (or companies’) products. Typically, this is done through an affiliate link posted on the description of the podcast or of an episode. You will earn money when someone makes a purchase from such a link, or when leads are generated from it. The best use for this practice is when you are already familiar with a product and/or service and can authentically promote it. We highly suggest that you never recommend products that you haven’t used, do not trust or do not like. You don’t want to be associated with a bad product.

The most common payment agreements are based on:

Affiliate marketing suggestions:

Join an advertising network

An advertising network is a platform that connects advertisers with podcasts, thus saving you the work of going personally after a brand.

There are several different podcast ad networks that can connect your show with advertisers.

These platforms will take a cut from the ad placements included in your show so be sure to read the very fine print. AdvertiseCast has a pricing calculator that estimates the total cost of ad units placed in your podcast.


Advertising networks suggestions:

Sell premium episodes

If you already have an understanding of your audience, why not offer them premium versions of your content?

You know how Starbucks does the Holiday Drinks, in those cute cups? Well, that’s creating something premium for a limited amount of time. And dude, that s*** sells! So, go for it. Create special materials that will only be available for purchase for a limited amount of time.

However, make sure your regular scheduled episodes still have plenty of value for your audience. You don’t want to be blamed for hiding all the good stuff in the premium content or assume people won’t notice that.


Some premium episodes examples:

Gate your back catalog

If you have been producing your podcast for a while, build up a back catalog of older episodes that you can restrict access to. This means you’ll add a paywall for your audience to listen to the older material.

Sell repurposed content

This is a viable strategy even if no one ever listens to your show. You can – and should – recycle things you have already created. This also saves you some time in production.

You can also do this: Choose your best podcast episodes that are somewhat related. Transcribe them, you can do it yourself or use a transcription software. Then, edit the transcriptions, add some additional resources and updates, and package it into a book!

You can also invest a little into a professional design or illustrations for the book.

Next, market your new book on your podcast or be a guest on other podcasts to promote the book. Make sure to point out that this is a comprehensive way to learn everything you’ve shared in the podcast (it helps you increase your authority).

Indirectly ways:

Sell physical products

Merchandise with symbols of the show. You could sell T-shirts, mugs, stickers, basically anything that lets your audience connect with the show in addition to listening to it.

Oh, and here’s the best part, you don’t have to own an e-commerce store! There are a bunch of options that make it all very simple.


Print-on-demand service for merchandise:

you can design and showcase products that are only printed/created when someone buys. This way you don’t have to put any money down.

you can create a drop-shipping store that automatically purchases products from another source when your customers make an order.

This way you won’t have to worry about retails, shipping, production, or any of that.

Sell content upgrades

You can sell upgrades or enhancements to your audience experience.

At the end of an episode, you can guide your audience to go to your service/benefits on Memberse or your website to buy some product, material or anything related relates to that specific episode.

Public speaking

Make a name for yourself. You can use Zoom, Meetup, Facebook groups, or even your local community to organize events to meet and discuss your topics of interest. A sharp presentation will show your skills and build relationships.

Sell consulting or coaching services

You can sell a service such as a “public coaching” series on your podcast. Feel the temperature of your audience by inviting them to reach out with questions about your coaching services. That way, your audience can get a sense of your style and methodology and then pay if they wanted the one-on-one attention.


Platforms suggestions:

Sell access to an e-course

If your podcast has an educational bias or you aim to teach your audience a new skill, creating an e-course can be an excellent way to monetize. If your e-course turns out to be a hit and your audience is engaged for more, bring it all in.

Sell information products

An information product could be anything that supports knowledge sharing. It can be added on your service/benefits dashboard or even in your website. We’re talking a template, a resource list, a guide, an ebook, a worksheet. Unlike the content upgrades strategy, a general information product is not required to be related to a specific episode from your podcast. The idea is to support people to absorb information on a broader issue.

Sell your guests’ services as an affiliate

You can make a deal to earn through commissions.

You can also bring guests to your show that may not have a product to sell, but that could offer a service that your audience can find useful. You can give the opportunity to said guest, at any part of your show, to offer listeners a special deal on the service.

Do encourage your audience to check the guest’s product out or test what has been said about it.

Host an event

Yes, offline! Organizing in-person events can, in addition to a great way to monetize, a chance to gather your audience. This promotes incredible value to them.

If you already have a loyal local audience or perhaps an audience that wouldn’t mind traveling to meet you in person, sell tickets to a live event where your fans can meet you in person.

The size of the event and the type of venue that you produce will depend on your audience and the topic of your podcast. You can hold a workshop, give a talk or simply organize a group discussion. To make a profit, events don’t need thousands of attendees, but you can calculate how to make it worthwhile while keeping it exclusive. This may create a FOMO vibe.

Traveling to other cities to host events is also a cool option. We suggest that you analyze where your listeners are first through geographic reporting on your metrics.

Generate business leads

Some companies start podcasts to support and invest in larger initiatives. They will typically choose one specific topic in which they can speak about it with confidence.
This is a strong strategy to generate extremely qualified leads. While you are generating some kind of free content in your company’s podcast, you are also building your company’s value to a certain segment of people. The moment your audience needs a related service, your company will be the first one your listeners will think of to address their needs.

Start a podcast network

Almost like a tv channel, multiple podcasts that are ‘cousins’. Being part of a podcast network increases your bargaining power with sponsors, turning your pitch much more lucrative in future deals.

You can start a podcast network going totally DIY or in a more formal way with partners. When you team up with complementary shows in your niche, you will have more chances to overlap or build a network of podcasts that will cover the entirety of your niche.

This is a smart strategy to put yourself on the radar of advertisers with higher budgets.

Syndicate your show to YouTube

Yep, even if you don’t have images, you can still make money on Youtube. You can monetize your YouTube channel as a podcaster, with the built-in advertising service. It’s such a quick and easy process to upload and distribute your content. However, you shouldn’t upload every episode there. You want to create some curiosity, thus driving people to other platforms to hear more. Make sure to study and use search engine optimization for people to find your content.


Monetization is a path with many aspects to be worked on and explored. You, as a Content Creator, need to educate your audience and communicate with them in a simple and objective way. This will engage your community, and make them see value in your content – as well as understand the challenges and needs that exist behind the whole production. Make them feel sympathetic to you!

So go ahead and test and combine these various strategies. See what fits best to your production routine and success!