How Much Money Do Podcasters Make & How Exactly

Now that you know what a podcast is, it is time to gear up and prepare how to make money with it. How much do podcasters make? One problem that many podcasters have is monetization—it is easier said than done.

Today, I will help you learn how to make money from a podcast. The things I will share with you are based on my experiences from podcast hosting and podcast statistics that are available from media and statistical agencies. In the end, you will learn monetization strategies and how much podcasters make.

image of guy podcasting

Best Ways to Monetize a Podcast

There are many ways by which podcasters make money. I will provide you with all these ways, but the most important thing that I want you to focus on is building a loyal audience. Money from podcasting only comes from repeat listeners who will want to listen to your content again and again.

Prominent Ways Podcasters Make Money

Sponsorships And Advertising

One of the most common ways to earn money from a podcast is through podcast advertising. It is similar to YouTube, where the podcast distributor, like Apple, will pop up an ad. You do not get to choose the ad. Instead, you sign up for an ad account in an advertising network.

Once the ad pops up, you get a share of the revenue from the ad. The company that paid for that advertisement to be shown is where the money comes from. However, you do not get 100% of that payment. It is shared between you, the podcast distributor like apple podcasts, and the advertising network.

Of course, the key metric here is downloads per episode. An ad will not show unless somebody downloads your podcast episode and listens to it. The higher the listener or download count, the higher the ad revenue.

Affiliate Income

A successful podcast has a lot of loyal listeners. In addition to this, the successful podcaster is an influencer. Therefore, if you recommend a product, your listeners will buy it. As an affiliate, you must carefully choose the products that you endorse. They should serve the needs of your audience.

So, how do you make this work? You must sign up for an affiliate program first, then get your affiliate link. Next, share your affiliate link in your podcast description, then endorse it in your podcast. If a listener clicks on that link and decides to buy, you get a commission.

Courses Sales

You can create an online course, then offer this course to your listeners. Depending on your course length, you can charge $100 per enrolment.

An online course is a series of recorded videos. You must upload the videos to a hosting site, like Teachable. The platform will take care of the hosting and video playback nuances. They will also take care of the billing. All you need to do now is to redirect your listeners to your course page.

A course works for a podcast about self-improvement. If your podcast is a political show, then it does not make sense to make a course. However, if your podcast is about health, then perhaps you can make an online course about bodybuilding or something similar.

Premium Content

What is premium content? Well, it is nothing more than a special type of content—something that rarely happens in your show.

For example, let us say that your podcast is a monologue. Then, you managed to close an interview with a celebrity. If you want, you can turn that podcast into a premium one, which is only accessible if the listener pays for it.

As you can see, the regular show has no celebrity, so you offer that content for free. A premium show has a celebrity, and it is reason enough for a person to pay for it.

Coaching And Consulting

If your niche is self-help, you can offer consulting services. Let us say that you are a lawyer, and your podcast is about divorce. Surely, your listeners are people who are interested in getting a divorce.

What you can do to offer consultation online? A person who is interested in getting a divorce would schedule a call with you, and then you charge him money for the consultation.

Coaching is one that you do to help people improve themselves. For example, you can coach somebody on how to play the violin, how to be confident, etc. Both coaching and consulting are effective revenue streams. However, they also take a lot of time.

Live Events

A live event is either physical or online. For example, let us say that you are a yoga expert. What you can do is schedule a yoga class for real, in the physical world.

People can register and attend the yoga class in person, and you charge them money. In addition, you can charge people to watch the yoga class online. Both of these are excellent revenue streams, but only if you have a massive following.

Physical Products

You can sell physical products in your podcast. Of course, you must tell your podcast listeners which website to visit to make a purchase. This process works if you are a creator. You can sell physical books, artwork, your inventions—you can sell anything.

Other Ways to Make Money Podcasting


Most successful podcasts are those from people who have experiences—doctors, survivors, experts, and professionals. If you are one of these people, you can certainly write a book and sell the book to your followers.

For example, there is this travel podcaster, Rick Steves, whose podcast show is called Travel with Rick Steves. Then, he wrote a book called Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door: The Travel Skills Handbook.

Public Speaking

A podcast host is a speaker, so it is just apt that one of the podcast monetization methods they use is to be a guest speaker in a forum and get paid for it.

Joe Rogan from the Joe Rogan Experience podcast is also a public speaker. People invite him to be a keynote speaker, and the price for his service is at least $200,000 for a virtual event.

Complementary Products

A complementary product is a sponsored product. For example, if you are a podcaster about beauty, you may get sponsorship for make-up kits and such.

You can sell the complementary product if you want, but it is not a good idea. A complementary product allows you to save money. Instead of buying it for yourself, you get it for free from your sponsor.

Crowdfunding And Donations

Donation is one of the most popular monetization strategies. However, your podcast revenue will not be so high. People will not part with their money if they have no reason to. As such, donations and crowdfunding only work if you have a cause to support.

Banner Ads

Banner ads for podcasts work as they do on a blog. The ad visual will appear on the user’s app while they are listening. However, this may not be as effective as the others because people listen to a podcast, not look at it. If a person is driving, he will not see it.

But still—it does not matter. The ad will be there, and you will get revenue. However, if the listener did not click it, you get less money.

Popular Podcast Advertising Networks

A podcast advertising network is a company that matches the advertiser with the podcaster. As a podcaster, you must sign up for an account. Then, the advertiser’s algorithm will automatically plug in the appropriate ad for your audience.

Here are some of the best advertising networks for podcasts:

  • Midroll
  • Authentic
  • Megaphone
  • HeadGum
  • Earwolf

There is no best advertising network out there. You must read the terms and conditions of the company but pay special focus to their revenue sharing policies.

Some Of The Highest Earning Podcasts

How much do podcasters make? Making money from a podcast is not easy, especially if you rely on affiliate sales or if you want to turn your content into a smart passive income. Average podcasts cannot provide money to the podcaster to make a living.

Despite that, it is possible to make it big. Below are some of the biggest podcasts that earn a lot of money and what they are about.

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe Rogan Experience podcast page

This podcast has over 9 million followers. When Joe was just starting out, people were skeptical. His podcasts are long—some last for three hours. People said he would not succeed. He proved them wrong.

Each episode of his podcast earns about $75,000. That is per episode! He makes three episodes per week, so he makes about $10 million in a year!

Of course, Joe Rogan is not new to the show business industry. He is also a popular guy in the MMA industry. The reason his podcast is popular is that it is as raw as it can get, and he has the capacity to invite celebrities to his episodes.

Chapo Trap House

This podcast is about American humor. It is political in nature, and it has been around for six years. There are four hosts, and they are all funny. The way these podcasters make money is from donations. They rake in about $1.8 million per year.

Smart Passive income

This show is about, well, how to make money passively, and the host is Pat Flynn. Pat is a successful entrepreneur in the passive income niche. This podcast shows people how to make money from a passive income. He makes $100,000 per month from his podcast show.

How Much Money Do Average Podcasts Make?

image of Guy recording podcast

The average amount of money that the average podcast makes is between $500 and $900 per episode. The problem with average is that it is not exactly an ideal representation of reality.

For example, if Joe Rogan makes $10 million and Pat makes $1 million per year, the average is $10M + $1M = $11M / 2 = $5.5 million per year per podcaster. As you can see, this number, $5.5 million, is far from reality.

For now, I advise you not to focus on the amount of money you earn but on the quality of your podcast. Do not start a podcast thinking that you will earn from it after a few months. You need a few years to build your reputation—only then will you earn money.

Tools To Help You Monetize Your Podcast

So, you have excellent content and a positive attitude. What’s next? The next step in your podcasting journey is to monetize it, and you need tools to help you do that. Below are the best tools that I recommend to help you grow and make money from your podcasts.

Social Media Scheduler

Hootsuite homepage social media scheduler

As a podcaster, you must promote your podcast in various ways. It is not unusual for podcasters to use different social media platforms to launch their podcast releases.

The thing is that you can get lost in a sea of tasks. As such, you need a social media scheduler. It is a software program that hosts of successful podcasts use to standardize their social media posts.

For example, there is Hootsuite, where you upload only one time, and the system will release the post o various social media channels.

Press Kit

A press kit is a set of documents that you show to potential sponsors. If you want podcast sponsorships, you need to reach out to companies—it is not the other way around.

If you want to earn from ad revenue, you need to send an email to a company. This email must contain a proposal about your advertising space, your podcast stats like downloads per episode, your average affiliate sales, etc.

The press kit will show the reader why he should agree with a podcast sponsorship and for how much. Your document is essentially a sales letter where you are trying to convince somebody to pay you to advertise their product.

Podcast Video

Most successful podcasts like the one from Joe Rogan use a video. Yes, they already merged podcasting with a visual show. Many people today want to watch, and they want to see your facial expression, the celebrity you are talking to, or what you are doing. This is especially true for entertainment-focused podcasts.

You must record your podcast and launch it on YouTube. It is the perfect way to balance audio and visuals. In addition, search engines love videos. In your YouTube videos, you can always redirect the viewer to the video description and tell him that he can listen to your podcast too.

It is up to you if you want to create a website or not. I can say it is also necessary so you have a single repository of information. If you do decide to launch a website, make sure that you also offer an enticing lead magnet so you can grow your email subscription list.

Podcast Monetization FAQs

1. Can you make good money as a successful podcaster?

Yes, making money is possible with a podcast. Some make at least $900 per episode. Many podcasters who have been at it for a while monetizing their shows in various ways. You should, too, as that is how you make more money.

2. How much money do average podcasts make?

The average is about $500 per episode. However, this average only applies once you already have a loyal following, which means that you have at least 10,000 downloads per episode.

How many podcast listeners do you need to make money on a podcast?

Like any form of monetized social media, you need a lot of listeners to make money on your own podcast. The estimate is at least 5,000 listeners per month. This number is small compared to your competition on YouTube.

3. Can I make money podcasting on Twitch?

Yes, you can. The thing is that on Twitch, you need to have a video. People who go on Twitch want to watch something.

Twitch, being a gaming platform, is highly focused on visuals. As such, you need to prepare a studio for your podcast audience to see if you want to add Twitch as a podcast income stream.

4. What is the best way to monetize a podcast?

It depends on your audience and your content. If you provide average content, you can ask your listeners to make a donation. However, this will only make you a few dollars.

The best way is to provide exclusive content and ask for a subscription from people who want to listen to this content.

Start Monetizing Your Podcast Audience

Podcasters make money in a lot of ways, like audience purchases, speaking engagements, downloads per episode, and podcast sponsorships. The first thing you need to know is how to identify your niche audience and how you will serve them.

If you have not started yet, you need to learn how to start a podcast. From here, you will learn how to properly record a podcast and what the best podcast software programs are. Making money is easy, but you will not succeed unless you get the fundamentals right.

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