May 3, 2022

How To Sell A Podcast: The Basics Of Selling Your Podcast Online

Contents

To get started on selling a podcast, here are some of the basics you need to know about getting your podcast valuable, converting your listeners into listeners-cum-customers, and generating income from your show.

Introduction: How to Sell a Podcast

It is easy to overlook this aspect, but every podcast has the potential to be sold online. Information is consumed much faster when delivered through audio than through text. There's a good reason why podcasts have found a following among audiences of all ages, places and interests.

You can also use audio as a lead magnet to get people interested in your podcast. For example, you could offer an exclusive sneak peek of the latest episode if someone subscribes via email or text message.

While your podcast may not be profitable, it can still generate revenue. You could use that money to pay your hosting fees and other costs associated with running the show.

You don't need a big budget to set up an audio site for selling podcasts or merchandise related to them (like t-shirts). All you really need is a website where people can subscribe by email or text message, so they receive notifications when new episodes are available on their favorite shows.

The most popular sites for selling podcasts online include:

  • iTunes
  • Google Play Music
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher

These services allow you to sell individual episodes or subscriptions. You will also need a way for people to download your podcast and listen on their mobile devices, such as an app that you can use with the above services.

You may want to build more than one audio site if you have multiple podcasts (or even different shows within the same series). This allows people who subscribe via email or text message from each of your sites to access all of them at once without having to sign up for another service. 

If you don't already have a website where visitors can find out about new content, consider creating it now so you can start selling your podcast. You will need a place to host all of the episodes you produce and promote them with links that direct people to subscribe via email or text message.

You could also use this website for other types of audio content, such as music, videos and eBooks. If you have any experience in creating websites at all (or if it's something you want to learn), consider building one from scratch so that visitors don't get lost when they arrive on your site or app. It's an easy way for new subscribers who sign up through email or text message (via their mobile devices) to find what they're looking for.

Once you've built your website, the next step is to create a podcast that people will want to hear and subscribe to so they can get new episodes when you release them. You'll need content that's interesting enough for listeners who don't know about podcasts yet or haven't heard of yours (and potential subscribers).

This could be anything from interviews with guests in your field of interest, reviews of products related to your business or industry, educational programming on subjects like cooking techniques and gardening tips, discussions between friends sharing stories over coffee...anything!

How to Sell a Podcast: Should you sell individual episodes?

There are a lot of different types of podcasts. Some focus on interviews, some focus on education and others feature comedy or music.

The most common type is the interview podcast, where you chat with people in your field who have something to say about their profession (or hobbies).

In this case, it's not necessary for every episode to be about one specific topic; all that matters is that each episode addresses a different aspect of what you do professionally or interests you personally as an expert in your field. This can lead to more interesting conversations between guests and hosts because they're able to talk about things that are relevant to their work or interests.

‍You can also have a podcast that's more of a one-on-one interview between you and your listeners, where you share information about yourself and what makes you special as an expert in your field. This type is similar to informational podcasts like "The Tim Ferriss Show" on the topic of personal development.

For example, if I was interested in bodybuilding, I could start my own show with interviews from lifters who shared tips for getting stronger or diet plans they've used successfully (and maybe even recipes!). You might be able to get away with much less variety of topics in this case, but you'll still be able to create a show that focuses on your expertise and interests.

What about advertising? You can also sell individual episodes as a way to support yourself financially while you're creating the podcast. While it's not necessary for every episode if there are an especially large number of listeners who want to hear more from you, then selling single-episode downloads could help keep things going!

For example: If my guest is someone I've wanted to interview for years (like Tim Ferriss), and he doesn't have time to do a full interview, I could sell each of his segments separately. You can also try selling your show as a whole for longer periods of time in order to make it more sustainable (or even go the route that Tim Ferriss does and offer audio-only episodes).

How to Sell a Podcast: Writing a Podcast

‍Now that you know how to sell a podcast let's talk about the process of creating one!

Writing Your First Episode: How Long Should It Be?

How long should your first episode be? If you're not sure, then I recommend starting with an hour. That way, if people don't like it or they want more information from you on a particular topic, at least there's enough content for them to listen through without having to wait too long (if only ten minutes). The amount of time is going to vary depending on what type of show format and subject matter you choose.

Then, once you've written the first episode, how long should it be? The answer to this question is going to vary based on the type of show that you're creating. For example:

If your show focuses on one particular topic (e.g., cooking), then 25 minutes might be enough time for an intro and main course, but if you want more information about the subject matter or have guests with whom they can discuss their experiences, then 45-60 minutes could work better. On average, though, I'd say 30-45 minute episodes are ideal. If there's too much content in one episode, then it will be hard to keep listeners engaged.

How Long Should Your Episodes Be?

The length of your episodes is going to vary depending on the type of show that you're creating and how much content there is in each one. In general, though, I'd recommend 30-45 minutes for most shows, although some people like longer ones so they can get more value out of them (and also because listening time isn't a big issue if you don't have other responsibilities).

How To Monetize A Podcast Directly

If you're not interested in advertising your podcast or learning how to sell a podcast, then there are other ways that you can make money from it. For example:

You could do a one-off or recurring sponsorship deal with an advertiser (e.g., Amazon ). You could sell access to the show for some kind of premium service (e.g., Skype calls). You could get paid per download through iTunes and/or Soundcloud. Or perhaps even charge people who want to promote your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.? There are many different options available if you think creatively enough about how to monetize your podcast.

How To Monetize A Podcast Indirectly

If you do want to advertise, then it can be done in a number of different ways: You could run ads on the show itself (e.g., through a banner ad at the top or bottom of each episode).

You could also promote your podcast by offering some kind of special offer for people who download and listen to it regularly (e.g., discounts on future episodes etc.). Or perhaps even charge advertisers more money if they're willing to pay extra? Again there are many options available depending on how creative you are with your marketing.

How To Monetize A Podcast Through Sponsorship & Advertising

If you're interested in advertising, then I'd recommend reaching out to a few different companies which offer these services and seeing what their rates are for podcast ads (they can be quite expensive). Once you've got the best deal sorted, then it's just a case of getting everything set up on your website or blog. You'll need to create an account at Ads Wizz, which is one of the most popular ad networks that work well with podcasts.

After creating an account, there will be some instructions on how to set up your adverts. Depending on what you're offering, you can either choose a pre-roll or post-roll advert (preferably the former). You'll also need to create an account with Google AdWords if you want people who listen to your podcast to be able to click through and buy products from other websites. If this is something that interests you, then I'd recommend reading my guide here.

Experiment With Multiple Monetization Techniques

There's no one right way to do this. You can try out all of the different options available and find which ones work best for your podcast.

If you're not interested in advertising or sponsorship, then there are a few other ways that people make money from their podcast:

‍Affiliate Marketing - This is where companies pay you a commission whenever someone clicks on an advert they've placed on your website and buys something. It's worth noting that affiliate marketing works best when it's based around products that have high conversion rates (the higher, the better).

The great thing about this technique is that it can work well with almost any type of podcast. The only downside is that it's not as good for people who are looking to earn money from their podcasts and don't have a high conversion rate (for example, if you're doing an interview show which doesn't feature much in-depth discussion).

‍Sponsorship - This involves companies paying you an upfront fee or commission whenever someone clicks on your advert. It's one of the best ways to make money from your podcast because it has low costs involved with setting up the adverts but also very high potential returns when there are conversions made by listeners/viewers. Sponsorships are typically paid per view, so the more people who see your advert/listen to your podcast and then click on it, the more money you'll make.

Affiliate marketing is best for podcasts that have a high conversion rate (the higher, the better). If you're not sure how much this is for an average episode of yours, then I'd recommend reading my guide here.

Podcast Promotion Services - Promote and sell your audio content with the help of podcast promotion services. This allows you to reach new audiences, build authority, tell your brand story, and boost word-of-mouth podcast marketing.

Marketing your podcast through promotional services helps you reach more listeners—even before launching your pilot episode. It’s a great way to drum up interest and initiate a small amount of engagement within your community.

A podcast promotion service can help with an expert team of writers, producers, and storytellers. They utilize the right podcast creation and marketing tools and techniques to appeal to your target audience. The most reputable podcast promotion services also offer website development, graphics, and design services. Some companies also offer podcast promotions in several languages and assist in production. This can help you produce a better-quality podcast.

Why a Private Podcast and Membership Site to Monetize your Podcast

The reason that both of these options are not ideal for you is that they require a lot of hard work and effort. If you're running an interview show, then it's very difficult to find advertisers or sponsors who have high conversion rates, so affiliate marketing isn't going to be viable. On the other hand, if your podcast features in-depth discussion, then there will always be some level of friction involved with getting people onto your website in order for them to sign up (or buy something).

‍The best option out there is one that can offer all three:

  • Advertising on iTunes - This means that whenever someone clicks on your advert, you'll get paid every time they purchase something from iTunes. This is a very high potential return for the amount of work involved, and it's also one that doesn't require much effort to implement.
  • By creating a membership site, you can monetize your podcast with high conversion rates and also offer additional benefits to listeners.
  • This is the best option for podcasts that are in-depth discussion based shows (e.g. The Tim Ferriss Show) or where there's friction involved in getting people onto your website (iTunes). 

Takeaway

Selling a podcast online can be challenging at first. But with the right marketing and monetizing strategies, you can succeed in it. Apply the podcast-selling tips shared in this article to attain your goals. They may not all apply to your podcast needs, but you can pick any of them to streamline podcast production and promotion. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional team if you don’t know how to start.

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