How to Make Money With Podcasts

By Eric Hammer

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to make money with podcasts, you’re not alone. Thousands of podcasts are released every day, many of them free, some of them by subscription and a handful purchased as one off items. Because podcasts (which are in essence either audio or video shows which can be downloaded from the Internet and played on an MP3/MP4 player, though they started with the iPod, hence the name) have a relatively low barrier to entry (after all, you simply have to know how to use a microphone and how to upload a file to the Internet), there is a tremendous amount of competition in this business. However, there are ways to make money with podcasts. You just have to find the right kind of material.

For example, if you happen to be a famous commentator, you could offer your opinions online for a fee and would likely be able to sell your podcasts simply because people would pay to hear what you have to say. Unfortunately however, most of us aren’t famous enough to command a payment for our work just because of our names. Most of us need to offer some additional value to people. Therefore, your podcasts need to be more than your opinion (one out of six billion opinions on the planet) about what’s wrong with this that or the other thing. The best way to make money selling podcasts is to offer podcasts that provide genuinely useful information that is difficult to find elsewhere and or which is well developed and explained in your podcasts.

For example, one gentleman started offering podcasts about a year ago which explain simple math terms. He happens to do his work for free, offering the podcasts to the world at large, however his work is so popular that were he to charge for his podcasts, he could easily do so and make a tidy living from it. It’s simple supply and demand – millions of children the world over need help understanding math and he provides that help in a way that makes good sense to them. Your podcasts, in order to be successful and earn money need to do the same. While you could tell stories or offer opinions or news in your podcasts, given that there are so many places to get such material for free, you are unlikely to see many customers.

How Much Can You Make?

Relatively few people make their full time living just doing podcasts. Most people do them for fun. However, if your podcasts provide something truly useful, for example, you provide a video series where you (a handyman – if you are one) explain in simple terms how to do some basic home repairs, you can sell the podcasts to people who might need to learn how to do these things. Typically, don’t expect to earn more than 99 cents to around $9.99 for a podcast, depending on how long it is, what the information you provide on it consists of and how much demand there is for it. The amount you will sell in any given month depends largely on your own initiative and on the quality of your work. If you provide a quality product, people will hear about it from friends and go take a look. If your work seems like you are in it just to make a quick buck, don’t expect to sell many podcasts.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

In addition to selling individual podcasts, you may also be able to sell subscriptions. For example, if you were to create a series of podcasts on professional photography tips (assuming you are yourself a professional photographer), then you might sell subscriptions to your podcasts to other professional and amateur photographers.

Another possibility is to create a kind of aggregating service where you gather together links to many different podcasts and then make your money selling advertising.

No matter what you do however, the thing that is most important to remember is to be professional. No one is likely to pay for your podcasts if they don’t look like they are professionally done. That means if you are doing video, you dress appropriately and use a high quality video camera. If you are doing audio, you use a good quality microphone and you make sure there are no extraneous sounds in the background. You should also follow a script when creating podcasts in order to make sure they stay professional.

Qualifications / Requirements

There are no formal qualifications needed to create podcasts and sell them. What you will need is the right equipment (microphone, video camera for video podcasts), a well designed web site which looks professional and attracts people to come and buy individual or subscription podcasts and the time to put in the marketing effort to get the word out about what you have to offer.

First Steps

Start by looking at different podcasts and see which ones seem to be the best. Consider purchasing subscriptions to a few podcasts (there are even podcasts to teach you how to make podcasts) to learn how they work. Also, be sure to either set up a merchant credit card account or at least a PayPal business account to accept payments.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how to make money from podcasts: - Making a Podcast: This is the official guide from Apple on making podcasts and getting them approved for sale or distribution through the iTunes store (you can also put them on your own, but the store provides good visibility).

About.Com: Making Your Own Podcast - A step by step guide to creating podcasts.

Podcasting Bible, by Mitch Ratcliffe and Steve Mack - Wiley 2007; A book which pretty much tells it all about the art of creating podcasts.

If you liked this page please let others know with one of these...

Other Relevant Pages

Online Profits and Paychecks

Work From Your Home

(The newsletter has been discontinued.)

Every Way to Make Money | How to Make Money With Podcasts