I watched our personal finance podcast grow to 2-million downloads without the help of a marking team or any major partnerships. In 2016, we were just two guys with an idea. In 2020, we were two guys with an award-winning blog, social following in the tens-of-thousands, and several top features in Apple Podcast. These accomplishments helped me to launch multiple income streams.
Here’s how I did it!
Easily Market Your Other Products Through Your Podcast
I’d just released my first book, Debt Free or Die Trying: How I Buried Myself $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out By Age 30 when we started our second podcast. When relevant, I would mention my book on the podcast or as a guest on other’s podcasts.
This was a great lead-magnet for reaching new audiences and potential buyers. In 2020, I released an improved second edition of the book. With all the marketing I learned from the podcast over the years, I was able to quickly get the book to reach #1 on Amazon Kindle’s ‘Personal Budgeting’ category on its opening weekend. Now every month I have residual income from my book and course sales related to personal finance and debt management.
Key Takeaway: Without coming off as salesy, remember to use your own podcast to remind listeners about the other products, services, or other areas of expertise where they can support you.
Repurpose Winning Content Across Your Various Platforms
I’ll group Podcast Revenue and Blog Revenue together. As the names imply, these are revenue streams that you make through your podcast or blog. Your podcast and/or blog can generate money in several different ways, such as mentioning partners in your network, affiliates (explained later in this post), or referring to other services you offer your audience.
You can use the success of one to increase downloads of the other and vice versa. For example, we released “Show Notes” with each of our podcasts as their own blog. In addition, if a podcast episode did well with our audience, we would often do a separate blog post as a feature or “spotlight.”
For instance, based on the success of the podcast, I started writing a blog segment called the “Personal Finance Spotlight.” In these write-ups, I would share the stories of other millennial men and women who had gotten out of debt. These quickly became our top performing blogs. These winners paved the way for my content to win an award for ‘Best Millennial or Gen Z Blog’ in 2019.
Key takeaway: Repurpose podcast episodes that do well as a blog post. This can be separate interviews, “Calls to Action” list summarizing the episode’s key takeaways, or simply enough way for fans to access your content. If you want to generate income here, link to affiliates or up sale to other services you offer, like coaching or training.
Work with People and Businesses Willing to Pay for Play
Sponsorship is when a person, business, or brand pays to “sponsor” an episode or multiple episodes. Think of it like traditional radio ads (for the Gen Xers) or like commercials on Pandora (for the millennials). Someone has to pay for these ad spots. You could be the podcast getting paid!
I admit that finding sponsors gets easier as you establish your brand or podcast as a leader in the field. In the beginning, we only got spam in our email. As I began doing TV interviews and our podcast was featured on several “the best personal finance podcast” lists, our inbox began to fill with legitimate paid opportunities.
You can also solicit sponsors through your show or newsletter. You’d be surprised who will pay you. You’ll never know if you don’t ask or let people know there’s an opportunity to sponsor your show. You can come up with a rate-sheet but don’t overcomplicate things. When in doubt, just let people know the option exist and you can negotiate the details when they email you an inquiry.
Key Takeaway: A closed mouth doesn’t get fed! Let people know if your show accepts sponsors or affiliates with a quick mention on your podcast or submission form on your blog.
Work with Affiliate and Referral Partners in Your Network
Affiliate income is generated by placing a hyperlink on your blog or mentioning on the podcast how listeners can benefit from the product or service. For example, we would often interview investment experts and certified financial planner. If they offered a course or referral, we would mention this on the show and blog with a unique website Call to Action. Like, “Visit X website today, for 20% off! Tell them I sent you with Coupon Code: TheMarcusGarrett at checkout!”
Based on our agreement behind the scenes, we receive a portion of the sales (affiliate income) for every purchase made by one of our listeners. If you’ve never done this before it might sound complicated, but it is actually very simple.
However, remember to openly disclose any affiliate partnerships and sponsors with your audience. This transparency allows your listeners to make an informed decision about where they spend their money. Lastly, this openness builds trust with your audience, which is priceless.
Key Takeaway: Identify affiliates or subject matter experts in your podcast’s field and recommend them to your audience. Added bonus if you can give a first-hand testimonial for a product or service you actually use.
Multiple Income Streams (Almost) Every Podcast Can Create
As you can see, there are several ways to make money podcasting and this is just of the few ways we did it. The good news is that most podcasts make money in a few straightforward ways. Here’s a quick review of the major money-makers by category:
- Books and Course Revenue
- Podcast Revenue
- Blog Revenue
- Sponsorship Income
- Affiliates / Referrals Partners
Marcus Garrett is the author of the Amazon Kindle bestselling book, D.E.B.T. Free or Die Trying: How I Buried Myself $30,000 in Debt and Dug My Way Out and a recovering auditor. FAQ: How much debt can you afford on a 30, 50, or $100,000 salary? Find out for yourself at TheMarcusGarrett.com/salary, or follow him on Twitter@TheMarcusGarret and LinkedIn.