This is a guest blog post, written by our friends at Red Circle

The podcast landscape is ever-evolving, and there are more tools than ever to help support podcasters to make a living creating their art. As monetization software becomes more common and the industry continues to grow rapidly, the questions on everyone’s mind are “where do I start?” and “how do I start earning money?”

Quality Audio

In podcasting, much like influencer marketing, content is king. Brands and agencies are looking to team up with podcasts that align with their brand mission and image, and equally produce high-quality content that they can repurpose across their marketing stack. High-quality content starts with high-quality audio and video software.

Traditionally, producing high-quality AV content was no small task. SquadCast’s crystal clear audio recording and seamless post-production capabilities ensure that any podcaster can create high-quality content. SquadCast’s software helps support creators as they look to take the next step in their podcast production journey.

Now that your production is covered, you may be asking yourself, “how do I start earning money?” Allow me to lift the veil on podcast monetization for you!

Sponsors & Advertising

When you think of podcast monetization, sponsorships and host-read ads are probably the first things that come to mind. There’s a lot of ad revenue up for grabs right now. Over the last five years, brands have realized the effectiveness of podcast advertising. NPR’s podcast ad revenue overtook broadcasting for the first time in 2020.

If you have the audience to support it, host-read advertising is often the most lucrative way to monetize your podcast. Finding sponsorship deals can be challenging when you first start to advertise.

When searching for advertisers, it’s best to find those that resonate with your content and audience and have marketing budgets that align with your audience size. Podcast hosting and monetization platforms like RedCircle have a broad network of advertisers and agencies that can quickly and easily get you in front of brands to monetize with.

However, host-read ads aren’t the only type of advertising! Programmatic advertising is very similar to streaming music ads. You can insert pre-recorded ads into your predesignated ad insertion points. The more ad insertion points, the more opportunities for you to earn money.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate/performance marketing is where you earn a commission when you refer people to other companies. You will typically earn money when someone makes a purchase or signs up for an account.

Affiliate marketing works best when you promote products or services that you are familiar with authentically.

You could create your own “ad” spot to promote an affiliate offer if you don’t have the audience size for host-read sponsorships. Or, you can naturally include a mention of a product or service as you deliver your regular content.

Exclusive Content/Donations

Take a page out of the playbook of a company like NPR and ask your listeners to support your podcast. Accepting donations is a great monetization approach if you’ve built a small but dedicated group of listeners. You can start accepting donations from your listeners from the very beginning without having to produce any extra content, making it the easiest way to get started monetizing your podcast.

Donations are also the simplest way to monetize from an operations standpoint. RedCircle’s Donation feature is a great alternative to Patreon. It only takes a few clicks to set up, and then listeners can easily sign up for a monthly donation or give a one-time donation using Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Some creators feel uncomfortable asking their audience for money or worry that it will damage their relationship with fans. Don’t shy away from asking your listeners to support you. As long as you’ve built a foundation of trust, you’ll find that listeners will happily donate a few bucks a month because they value your content and want to hear more.

So how do I get started?

There are a plethora of different hosting and monetization softwares on the market, so who do you choose? We’ve found it’s best to kill two birds with one stone and work with a platform that offers both. RedCircle is a podcast hosting platform that offers cutting-edge technology to help creators of all sizes to earn more. They offer a free plan for podcasters just starting, plus very affordable paid plans for podcasters looking to take the next step towards making a living doing what they love.