Can a Podcast Bring In More Revenue?

Podcasts take your message to the world, in your own voice.
Podcasts take your message to the world, in your own voice.

Podcasts have come a long way from their humble beginnings. More and more publications are using them as a way to build and engage the audience and lend a personal touch. Your words speak to people in black and white, but not as well as your voice.

If you have something to say, podcasts might be the most effective way to say it. The best part is that sponsors can transform your podcast into a revenue generating machine.

Here’s what you need to get started:

Finding Sponsors: Good Traffic Numbers are Relative

No sponsor wants to spend money on an ad that nobody will see or hear. The traffic and download metrics you can provide help sponsors decide whether or not to invest. But what’s great for one might not be so great for another.

Red Rocket Web Specialists believe the range of ”good” is so varied that it can range from hundreds of hits per week for a small business to the tens of thousands for a nationwide business.

SEE ALSO: [Infographic]How to Monetize Your Website

But there’s more to it than even this. Smaller numbers of traffic from a targeted audience might also be better than enormous numbers from a general one. If your business is an advertising trade magazine and your audience consists of people in the same business, your smaller audience is more valuable than a larger one filled with people who don’t care about advertising.

This means a sponsor might pay attention to an opportunity with you over one with a bigger site with better traffic where its ad would fall on disinterested ears. So it becomes your job to sell sponsors on your numbers, whatever they happen to be.

The better your equipment, the more professional you'll appear.
The better your equipment, the more professional you’ll appear.

Podcasts Aren’t Always Costly

The New York Times hosts a weekly book review podcast with a huge audience. But chances are, you’re not the Times, and you don’t have their resources. That doesn’t mean you don’t have something to say and listeners who want to hear it.

If you don’t have the resources to self-host, Nathan Hangan for Social Media Examiner says there are inexpensive options such as BluBrry, Libsyn, and Amazon S3.

That’s your host, but you’ll also need a player and a way for listeners to download. Hangan recommends PowerPress if you use WordPress, but there are others.

It’s important to factor in the cost of podcasts and compare that with the revenue you might generate from sponsorship. Don’t forget to factor in your time and recording equipment. While you could record using the mic on your computer, that’s probably not the best choice. The better quality you can provide, the better your reputation will be.

Bottom Line: Sponsors Bring in Revenue

A spoken-word ad nestled in your podcast can generate monthly income from your sponsor. You can offer a flat-fee option, which hosts their ad for a month in exchange for a predetermined rate, or your fee can vary, determined by how many people view/download the podcast. Both options have merit.

If you’re just starting out, sponsors might be skeptical about a flat-fee ad where performance is an unknown, explains Allison Boyer, author of The Ultimate Guide to Blog and Podcast Sponsorship. Getting sponsors in the door could be easier if they don’t feel committed to a rate that might not match their expectations for exposure. Once your numbers are a bit more predictable, a flat fee rate might be up for negotiation.

Podcasts enhance your written voice with your spoken one. Instead of words on a page, listeners are engaged by inflections and tone, and your personality draws them in.

The next step is converting those words into revenue. Sponsors might not beat down down your door to land a spot on your show, at least not yet, but every little bit helps. Even if you have to start small, with accordingly small revenue, your podcast schedule, expertise, consistency, and growing numbers make you increasingly more appealing to those big sponsors with big Paypal accounts.

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