Easily one of the most common questions I get is. . .
“How much can I make with my podcast?”
To answer that question, let’s make a slight adjustment. Let’s uncover how much you can earn with a podcast that has 1,000 dedicated listeners.
Firstly, it’s crucial to grasp the fact that the number of listeners is not the sole determinant of your podcast’s profitability. The nature of your audience, their demonstrable engagement level, and the methods you employ to monetize your content all play important roles.
Advertising and sponsorship deals are what most podcasters look toward for revenues. Podcasts typically earn through cost per mille (CPM) deals, wherein you’re paid a certain amount per thousand impressions (or listens). Depending on who you talk to, the average CPM for podcast ads ranged from $15 to $50, depending on the ad placement. Let’s say you manage to secure a $20 CPM deal, and you run two ads per episode. With 1,000 listeners, you could potentially earn $40 per episode.
If you release a weekly podcast (which in and of itself isn’t easy), that’s about $160 per month and approximately $1,920 per year. A decent side income, but it’s unlikely to excite most people (especially given the work a great podcast requires.).
However, advertising is not the only way to monetize your podcast. Patreon, a popular platform for creators, allows you to offer premium content, early access, and other perks to your most dedicated fans in exchange for a monthly membership fee. If just 10% of your audience pledges $5 a month, that’s another $500 per month or $6,000 per year. (I know a number of YouTubers who use Patreon.)
To maximize earnings, you must focus on audience engagement. Advertisers value a deeply engaged audience more than a larger, passive one. Higher engagement often leads to better odds of being supported on platforms like Patreon.
Moreover, your podcast’s niche plays a significant role. Certain niches attract more lucrative advertising deals and sponsorships. For instance, podcasts centered around finance or technology tend to garner higher CPMs due to their audience demographics.
Lastly, consider the power of merchandise. Selling your podcast-branded t-shirts, mugs, or posters can be a fun and effective way to monetize your podcast and strengthen your brand identity.
In conclusion, the magic number of 1,000 listeners can indeed open avenues to monetization, making your podcasting journey worthwhile. However, the key to unlocking your podcast’s true earning potential lies in the level of audience engagement, your monetization strategies, and the appeal of your chosen niche. The world of podcasting may not be an express ticket to millionaire status, but with strategic planning and consistent effort, it could be a rewarding way to share your passion and earn money doing it.
There’s a better way
To be honest, when I’m asked about advertising revenue from a podcast, I almost always suggest a better way. From my perspective, making money via advertising is mostly a waste of time. Instead, I believe the real measurement of success for a podcast is motivating people to take action on your behalf.
More on that in an upcoming blog post.