PC 40 | When You Should Monetize Your Podcast

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Most, if not all, podcasters have asked this question at some point in their journey: “What is the right time to monetize my podcast?” Listener Colt Chandler posed this question, as he gets ready to launch his own podcast in April (We Catch Thieves, look out for this one!), and Brian takes the time to really drill into various schools of thought surrounding this humdinger.

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Remember the takeaway from last week? Good. Cheap. Quick. You can only have two. This concept comes into play again in the process of assessing the business model of a podcast and determining when the right time is to monetize. Depending on that business model, you might be confronted with one of the following scenarios concerning your listener base:

  • You have an “inherited” or “built-in” audience coming to this podcast from another source (i.e. book, business, product).
  • You are starting your audience from scratch.

Of course, the preferred method would always be to have an eager, bated audience, but that isn’t always the case. Brian examines what the options are from both angles.

What are my monetization options if I have a built-in audience?
If you already have an audience, one of the tallest mountains has already been conquered. But as a wise woman once sang, “Climb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow every rainbow. Till you find your dream.” Having loyal, eager listeners is every podcaster’s dream. However, immediate monetization by virtue of having this loyal listener base isn’t guaranteed.

Take the time to really consider what monetization looks like. Patreon and supplemental products and services are excellent ways to generate revenue, but are you providing meaningful milestones?

How long should I wait to start monetizing my podcast?
YOUR answer to this question largely depends on your business model. Just like with every business, a podcast must build up its content and the trust of its audience. And this isn’t just when you are starting a podcast from scratch, it also is an inherent need even with a built-in audience. Are you providing quality content, or are you just looking to make money? Your listeners will be able to tell the difference.

Remember this: Know. Like. Trust. Your audience must get to know you, like you, and trust you. Establishing a new audience means that this will take some time (you can’t buy listenership, right? That kind of defeats the purpose!). But commitment to that core audience base will yield loyalty and foster trust, which, in turn will enable you to provide content, products, or services that will generate revenue while also enabling you to do what you’re passionate about!

I don’t want to ask my listeners for money. Am I out of luck?
Heck no! But you will have to listen in for suggestions, and what the limitations of those options might be.

Listen in to catch Brian’s tips for assessing both angles, apply it to your podcasting model, and call in to tell us how it’s going! And if you have strategies of your own, or have a different method for the way it has worked for you, please share and help others to understand their options!

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