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How to Make Money Podcasting and Grow Your Listeners

Make money podcasting to generate a profit and grow your listeners. Different ways you can monetize your shows to turn them into a business.

Jamie Ashbrook

by Jamie Ashbrook in Marketing

Last updated 06.08.2023

Make Money Podcasting And Grow Your Listeners

Podcasts are a thing of beauty. They’re easy to make as they’re mostly spoken word, often rich in content, and so simple to access that literally millions of people tune in every week. Seize this ripe opportunity by turning your passion into a profitable business to make money podcasting.

Is There a "Right Way" to Make Money?

Not really, there’s no pre-determined path that says you have to make money a set way. This is because the podcasting industry is very fractured. Listeners are split across different platforms like iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, plus there’s a variety of different types of listeners. All of these make for a very diverse landscape, with plenty of opportunities to sell merchandise, get sponsored, and so on.

There are podcasters out there that see these huge opportunities and get it right, like the Strangers podcast - A show about the strangers we meet in everyday life and the stories they tell. As of this year the podcast gets 500,000 downloads per month! But it didn’t always have such a high following.

Strangers Podcast: What They Did Right

So how did they go from an obscure idea to thousands of downloads per month? Surprisingly it all started with just one person: The creator, Lea Thau.

Her idea was to launch a podcast by herself, create a following, and morph it into a radio show for KCRW 89.9FM. However as it took off and a fan base started to build, Lea kept it as a standalone series for full creative control.

According to the creator Strangers did so well because it stood out with a unique hook. It had never been done before and made listeners stand up and pay attention. It wasn’t exactly a completely fresh idea (chatting with strangers), but it had it’s own angle done in an interesting way that made it kind of special in a sense.

Strangers essentially started off small, building up an audience with regularly updated shows before they even started marketing, making money, or expanding to higher quality productions. It was just the creator and microphone in hand at the start! The point is it’s all about building those listener relationships first before turning a profit.

Building Relationships with Listeners

You can’t make money if you don’t have a product or even an audience. As the Strangers podcast proved having a strong listener base is essential in building your shows. The closer your audience feels to your podcast, the better your chances are at promoting and selling things like merchandise or raising funds from sponsorships.

To actually make a podcast it doesn’t require a lot. You just need a few bits of equipment and editing software. Essentially you can start a podcast with just the bare necessities.

Using the Correct Equipment

Smartphones like iPhone and Android have built-in quality microphones ideal for starters. They’re not perfect, but your audience won’t be driven by quality at first, it’s when you hit the thousands of downloads mark is when it’s worth thinking about.

However if you’ve got the urge to get something straight away then the Rode Podcaster is worth checking out. It’s $200 / £140 and connects directly to your computer via USB, so you can hook it up to your laptop and start recording.

Rode Podcaster

The cool thing about this microphone is it cancels out background noises, so it’s perfect if you’re recording in noisy areas.

There’s a bunch more equipment you can check out that covers basic, advanced, and professional equipment ideal for podcasters here.

Make Money Podcasting

Besides from selling merchandise, there’s a few other ways to actually make money podcasting, like sponsorships, crowdsourcing, and grants to name a few.

  • Sponsorships: Businesses offer money in exchange for airtime / promotion.
  • Crowdsourcing: Raise money from lots of different people.
  • Grants: Money often given by governments for free to fund programmes.

There’s quite a few more ways you can make money podcasting. The team here at have put together a full course on how you can start a podcast and how to make some money whilst doing it.

The course is split up into 6 modules, each teaching you valuable skills to create a strong brand, grow your listeners, and different ways you can monetize your shows.

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