Podcast Profits Unveiled: Your Guide To Monetization

In a world inundated with profit-driven schemes and misleading promises, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard offer a refreshingly honest perspective on the realities of podcast monetization in this episode. Join in as they challenge the status quo and provide you with practical insights into what truly works in the ever-evolving landscape of podcasting profitability. Discover why blindly following traditional ad monetization models may not yield the results you desire and explore alternative paths to financial success in the podcasting realm. From promotion monetization to strategic sponsorships, Tom and Tracy discuss the diverse avenues available to savvy podcasters seeking to maximize their revenue potential. Gain invaluable insights into building authentic relationships with sponsors, crafting compelling promotions, and leveraging your influence to generate substantial income. Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just embarking on your podcasting journey, this episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking to unlock the true profit potential of their podcast. Tune in now and revolutionize your approach to podcast monetization!

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Podcast Profits Unveiled: Your Guide To Monetization

In this episode, we’re going to talk about Podcast Profits Unveiled: Your Guide To Monetization. We have a very different perspective on this than a lot of podcast professionals in the industry and certainly what a lot of people who are monetizing podcasts will tell you. I don’t think what we have to say is all that controversial but is it some practical reality and insights into what works?

Into the fact that there isn’t profit in a lot of the things that are being pushed on you as a podcaster to participate in. There are lots of models out there and there’s not a lot of money in it. They take a lot of time or take a lot away from the listening quality of your show and you don’t even understand or realize that. It harms what you are doing and where you are benefiting from participating in some of these programs. They have a negative profit effect. That’s what most people don’t realize and understand.

When we’re talking about podcast monetization, we have two paths and they’re very different. I want to be clear that if you’re choosing the ad monetization path, it is a different path than what I would call promotion monetization. Promotion Monetization is your stuff, affiliates, joint venture partners, and things that you are very connected to promoting. You might still be putting it in like an ad but it’s different than what I would call the typical ad monetization model.

To be clear, there’s an awful lot of money to be made in the promotion monetization model. Usually, for most podcasts, there’s a lot more money sooner in the growth and age of your podcast than there is in the third-party ad model. There still can be third parties in the promotion model that are sponsors of your show. I don’t want to say that it doesn’t always have to be only your own stuff like Tracy mentioned there.

There is a number three. I want to be clear about that but we’re not going to go into it in great detail. Number three is if you’re making money off of your guests or promotion of your episode like you’re offering them publicity of the episode and you charge them more for it and things like that. You’re making money off the guest side of it. That’s a different model as well. We’re not going to talk about that because we touched on that in our guest models that we’ve covered in the past. That is one model as well.

It is a legitimate model. We have several podcasters doing that surprisingly because there are a lot of people that model rubs people the wrong way or they love it and it works great. We’ll save that. We’ve either talked about that before or we could do another dive into that in another episode. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the first two.

They’re related because the reality is when you have a guest model and an ad model, your downloads matter. If you cannot deliver listeners, then you have no value to advertisers and those guests. If you’re faking your downloads, it’s helping no one.

If you don’t have very large downloads, the third-party sponsor route, you can go down that road with a lot of people trying to lure you to but you’re not going to make much of any money that makes it worth distracting your audience with all those messages that have nothing to do with you.

Ad Monetization Model

Let’s talk about the two models. In the ad monetization model, downloads matter. It’s getting harder and harder with all the changes at Apple and other places for you to be able to make those legitimate downloads happen in a way that those ads are getting listened to. That’s why what’s happening is all the ads are always crammed on the front of every show. Very often, depending on the app, I can sometimes hear it, depending on the program you’re in, because some of the programmatic advertisement happens at a production company or a host. They dump a bunch of ads on it and then distribute it out to Apple.

 

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Monetization

 

Very regularly from those models here, it’s 90 seconds or more of advertisement before the episodes, any second of the episode ever airs. The intro music, trailer, or whatever it is that you’ve got in the front, the teaser, none of that happens. They don’t get to your episode until they’re 90 seconds in. What if you have a show that’s all about the Zen mindset and you got 90 seconds with three different ads about ED medication? You don’t know what they’re advertising. Bitcoin?

We hear that. I’ve had customers who have been in one of the programmatic ad programs and thought they had stopped participating in it but hadn’t. This show was meant for younger ears, as well as adult ears. They were very unhappy with this ED medication or other ads for other things that were, let’s say, inappropriate for young ears.

I heard condom ads on the front of things. Very age-inappropriate things can go on but also gender-inappropriate things. If you’re focused on women in business and you’ve got ED medication being advertised, they’re like, “I’m in the wrong place.” They’re going to crash out before they ever listen to one second of your show. It’s a very dangerous model because in this blanket advertising, this broadcast advertising model, you do not get any choices when you sign up for one of those programs because their goal is to put as many listen.

They’re trying to aggregate all the listeners across all the podcasts because they know your download numbers are crap so they need more and more. They try to lure you into signing up for it. When they get you into it, they’re going to cram as many ads on the front of that as possible because they know that listener’s going to crash out and they need to make sure they got their listen in so that their advertiser has to pay them.

Your share of that is low and small. The chances are very good. We have clients who will go the entire year and never make their $100. Every time it hits $100, that’s when they pay out. They’re like, “We don’t want to do little small transactions. Every time you hit $100, we’re going to pay you out.” Sometimes they’ll go their entire one-year contract and not even get enough to cash out.

I exchanged emails with a customer who said, “I’ve been offered to join this network,” and I’m not going to out the name of the network right here, “They said they’ll monetize my show. Do you think that’s a good idea?” I had to write back this long, thoughtful email saying, “You need to be prepared for what this means.

First of all, they are luring you and wanting you to go to their network because they want your show to add value to their network and they want to aggregate,” I use that same word, “Your show with all the others to have a large enough volume of downloads that they can monetize that would benefit you but it’s going to benefit them more because they’re making a cut of everybody’s shows and the amount that you will make. Double-check and make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to in this contract. Is there any minimum guarantee of monetization and all that?”

There are a lot of things to investigate when you’re doing that. I don’t want to go down the network rabbit hole. Often what happens is networks will want to monetize your show. They’ll paint this rosy scenario of how they’re going to monetize your show. You don’t have to do anything. Usually, there are no minimum guarantees. There are minimum levels you have to reach before you make any money. You may be stuck for a while and have zero control. This is the biggest issue for podcasters. You have no control over what those ads are that are going to be played on your show. I do not recommend that at all.

I get that you would love to have the next SmartLess that has a 3-year deal for $100 million. You’d like to be Joe Rogan who got a $250 million renewal. Interestingly enough, on the Joe Rogan model, he made his renewal a non-Spotify exclusive contract. He knew his listeners had been downgraded but he forced them to pay him a minimum guarantee to cover that. He says, “It’s not good enough. I could be making even more money out there.”

 

 

He struck a deal where he is still also being distributed on YouTube, Apple, and Spotify. It has not only given him a momentum guarantee for staying on his platform’s first release but he gets an ad cut, which he didn’t get before. They were paying him out monthly. This is a very different model for him. He can command that. Rumors are going around about New Heights, Jason and Travis Kelce’s podcast. They could be the next $100 million podcast.

Jason and Travis Kelce, if you are reading, and I doubt you’re reading our show but maybe somebody will tag you, hold out for more. Build a great show like they have and have a guaranteed listener base that takes more action. Joe Rogan’s listeners are a bunch of complaining guys who are sitting around and don’t have any money to spend on the advertisers. They aren’t spending money there, not in the same way that Travis’s girlfriend’s listeners and followers spend. I can attest to that. I guarantee you that the Swifty lovers in our family have caused us to spend thousands of dollars in 2023.

If their listeners are anything like that, and we know that NFL listeners are because NFL gear and all that stuff sells, they’re guaranteed to have much better action-taking listeners. If they do a better job of that, then their advertisements are worth more money. I love the guys over at SmartLess. They’re funny but it’s entertainment. I’m going there to be entertained. It’s like TV. Those commercials are an annoyance to get to what I want. That is not the case with New Heights. It doesn’t have to be the case with them. The difference is in my estimation, their ads should be worth twice as much money. They should try a double deal. If they don’t get 2X what SmartLess got, then they get cheated.

We’re talking about the elite of any podcasts out there. We’re not talking about the typical independent podcast.

That’s what also want to say. In building that show, they have hundreds of episodes already and so does SmartLess. It’s not like they started making $100 million. They put their time in. They proved that their show was valuable and they could grow their audience month after month. This is a full-time job or a full-staff job. Some of them have staff. They’ve invested in this. If you are not willing to do that, you will never make it in the ad monetization model. It’s not going to happen. This is a full-time influencer job.

You’re either going to spend money and get the staff that is going to help you grow this, promote it on social, do everything you need to do it right, get it out there, and grow that audience in a legitimate way. At the end of the day, if you don’t have play-through, you don’t have value. You’ve got to make sure your listeners are sticking around, loving the show, and sharing it with others. That matters more at the end of the day than just getting through those 90 seconds of ads, and then you’re valuable.

It used to be less than 2% of it. Now, it’s less than 1% in my estimation. I can’t do it because there are lots of deals that are hidden and struck on the side. I’m being generous by counting it as 1%. It represents a lot of dollars, don’t get me wrong, because these deals are big but it does not represent the larger podcasting community. None of you probably reading this, because I don’t have Jason or Travis Kelce, are going to be in that elite 1%. Where are you going to make money?

Promotion Monetization Model

Let’s pivot to some value here for the independent podcaster because there is very real value and monetization available for you. It does depend on several things and there are many different ways that monetization can happen. It’s not just one way. Let’s move to that.

First off, if you were going to go for the promotion monetization model, this model of you advertising or suggesting your stuff, working with joint venture or affiliate partners also is included in this. It doesn’t just have to be your stuff. It could be somebody else’s course or book. If you’re going to move into this model, my number one thing that you must stop doing is taking those dumb ads because they’re harming your ability for your promotion to be taken seriously.

At the end of the day, if you don't have play-through, you don't have value. Click To Tweet

The irrelevance of those makes it seem that you’re desperate to get money from anywhere, which means that your advice to me to go check out this course or this book is devalued in my mind as a listener. Immediately, you are harming yourself. Secondly, MrBeast, one of the most popular YouTube influencers, says, “If you’re not screening the first 30 seconds of your show and what’s going on there, then you’re missing out because that’s when someone decides if they’re going to listen to you and trust you.” If the first 30 seconds are dumb ads, you’re not helping yourself. Let’s move into that to make those valuable for you.

The next part that, as a not prevailing advice, is don’t make an offer, promotion, or any kind of advertisement in the first five minutes of your show. We recommend waiting until the last third of your show. There are many people out there who are saying, “People don’t listen to your show. They’re going to crash. They’re not going to listen all the way through or they’re only going to listen to the first minute.” Immediately after you have your intro music, put an ad in for your stuff, you’ve already lost the trust of your audience. If you want them to buy this stuff, you need to take it from a different approach.

“I’m not cramming my stuff into your ears and I’m going to take advantage of you right at the moment because you happen to click on. No, I’m building a relationship and trust with you.” When you do that, then you’re going to see upwards of 30% conversions on those promotions. We can attest to our 3D Print podcast. We had a 37% loss. It’s higher than the 37% conversion rates on all promotions we made on that show because our audience believed our advice.

They trusted us to make sure that that advice was worthwhile. If we gave them advice, we would tell them when it wasn’t good for them. That made them trust us even more. We would say, “If you’re not an experienced 3D printer and you haven’t been doing this for a year or more, don’t try this. This is not for you, the starters.” They would love that. They made them try it anyway but it works. When they can trust your advice, they will click through and convert.

It is a prevailing belief in a lot of podcasters that the pre-roll spot is the most important one because more people are going to hear it and can charge more for it. I understand that belief exists out there. It exists among big advertisers. It’s what a lot of them only care about. What we’ve experienced is when your people are coming back and listening to every episode, they want to hear you, they trust you, and they want to hear what you have to say, if you provide them a promotion 2/3s of the way through, they’re listening attentively.

Whatever you’re going to promote them at that point that they’re going to hear, it’s going to sink in. If it’s relevant to them, they’re going to act on it, much more so than something at the very beginning that they still haven’t settled into your show and they don’t know, “Is this an ad or am I hearing something that’s from the guest?” There’s a lot of confusion that can take place up there in the front.

This is what we’re saying here. You’ve earned the right to promote to them by going through 2/3 or 1/2 of your show or more. There’s a law of reciprocity kicking in there. You’ve earned the right to be able to ask them for something or suggest something to them and get them to take action. Plus, we always say that in the last third of the episode, I’ve gotten the bulk of what I want and I may very well still listen to the end because I want the full payout on it. I’m also at that point ripe and open to what is next for me. My mind has opened to thinking about, “How am I going to learn more about this? Where can I find more information? What’s next? What podcast episode should I listen to next?”

We’re ready for a suggestion. We’re not the only ones who think this. YouTube follows this model. The end cards are becoming more popular on YouTube. It is something where they’re suggesting the next channel or video. They’re letting that be in the YouTube influencer’s control because they know that you can recommend what’s best next. When you do that, that YouTube listener or YouTube viewer stays on YouTube and does more so they get what they want out of it. That’s why that feature’s been turned on. This is not just advice or experience. This has been happening across other platforms as well.

Quick side note, YouTube influencer, that’s you, reading this, you, the podcaster. You’re the influencer. I want to make sure that’s clear. You understated that and I want to make sure everybody understands. You do have more control.

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Monetization
Podcast Monetization: In this blanket advertising, this broadcast advertising model, you do not get any choices when you sign up for one of those programs because their goal is to put in as many listens.

 

Here’s a couple of stats on the podcast promotion side of things. Eighty percent of listeners report visiting a website multiple times in response to a podcast promotion or advertisement driving engagement. We were talking about the fact that if you don’t have your website properly linked here and you haven’t made it easy for a listener to reach out to you, you are making a huge mistake. Eighty percent of your listener base will reach out at some point. We’ll check out your website. If that website is your hosting company, you lose all engagement and connection. Let’s not do that.

I sadly see that every single day with several podcasters that I meet with. They’re not paying attention. Either they don’t have a website or have a perfectly good website but don’t even know their host has hijacked their traffic by putting a link to their website in there in your episode. Make sure you’re aware of that.

An impressive 81% of listeners state that they’ve gotten a new brand, product, or some other program course book thing that they found through a podcast promotion or suggestion from a host. Eighty-one percent is a high influence rate. There’s another 78% of listeners that understand that promotions, advertisements, and these kinds of things are essential to keeping their information flow-free, which is why if they’re willing to buy something, they have the funds, or they’ve been out there looking for a book on this or a course on that, they’re going to give you their business because they want you to stick around and podcast for them tomorrow.

This is a win-win for both of you in this process for you to use promotion monetization. There’s still work to be done. You still have to have a good show and get listeners in. There are a few different models. When we were saying the ad monetization model, it was all about driving downloads. That’s all that mattered. Get more ears on this. That’s how you make more money, which means that there’s less care sometimes for the relevance of the content. What can you do to increase your opportunity for promotion monetization?

It would be helpful to have a couple of examples to share here. This campaign is over but I can talk about it after the fact. A show called Grief and Rebirth is a support podcast for people going through grief of many different kinds. The host was motivated as her husband died many years ago and has been through all this. It’s an incredibly popular show. Rather than sell ads to third-party sponsors, she brokered a deal with a mobile phone app that provides people with grief and counseling services through their mobile phones. It’s right at their fingertips.

People pay $120 a quarter, or $300 or $400 a year. It’s not a cheap app but worked out an affiliate arrangement. She wrote to put ads in all of her podcast episode stuff where she spoke about the app, used it, tested it, found real value in it, recommended it to her audience, and had ads for it on her website, sidebar image ads that click through with an affiliate link. Every time somebody signed up, she got a pretty decent cut of what the people paid to sign up and kept getting it going forward.

That’s one example, which is monetizing not with your stuff but with a third party paying you in a different kind of relationship. It is different because it’s pay-for-performance but also, if you’re the influencer and you recommend it, and it’s something you believe in and have experienced, you can make some significant money. Once you put all that out there, it’s passive. You’ve recorded the ads and put the ads on your website. You set it and let it go, and then you make money. That’s one way but there are others.

I want to mention one more. If you’re not selling your stuff but want to sell to third-party sponsors but in a different kind of relationship, we have several podcasters who are striking deals that are 90-day long deals, 6-month deals, or 1-year-long sponsorships. They’re selling sponsorships to 8, 10, to 12 different companies at the same time. Each sponsor is featured on their website and gets mentioned in the podcast. The company’s executives or either owner or other executives get featured in an interview on an episode maybe once a quarter or twice a year.

These are long-term sponsors of a show. It’s like what you might think PBS would do like, “You have this show brought to you by this company.” You can do sponsorships that will pay out, depending on the length of engagement, thousands of dollars for each sponsor for 1 quarter, 1/2 a year, or even 5 figures for a year. We have some independent podcasters doing this for real.

If you don't have your website properly linked, you haven't made it easy for a listener to reach out to you. Click To Tweet

I want to step in here and say that this is the exception to mentioning some advertiser sponsor promotion at the beginning of the show. It’s perfectly reasonable to say, “Production support for this show. You need to thank our sponsor HP,” which we did when we had Hewlett Packard sponsoring a special series. We did a 25-episode series special, which is another way to go. You could sell it out and it always stays with their ads contained in that. It was a special series selected, curated, and sponsored by HP. We would say that at the beginning so they know who to thank but that’s all you’re setting up.

You’re not making a webinar offer or doing the promotion piece there. You’re just doing a, “Thank you for sponsoring us and making today’s show happen.” That’s an okay thing to do at the beginning. I do want to say that’s an exception to our role there because it’s valuable. Seventy-eight percent of listeners wanted to know that those advertisements and promotions matter in terms of making sure that the content is free. You’ve told them what to think about that. That’s always good. If you ever watch any PBS show, they always say that at the beginning, “Brought to you by.”

Here’s the point. This is a different way for you as the podcast has to be an influencer. You’re endorsing these companies, products, and sponsors of your show. This is a long-term relationship, not a bidding situation, somebody wanting to put an ad on as many podcasts as possible in a short period to get a quick hit of sales. This is a long-term relationship and a fair exchange of influencer marketing that is authentic and quite successful.

Lots of podcasters that we’re supporting are engaging in this model because it’s valuable and profitable unless you have your business, product services, programs, events, books, masterminds, and more to get than what’s in the public podcast when people are willing to come and pay for it. Those are some fantastic ways to monetize your show. If you’re selling your stuff, then you’re making all the money when people buy. It’s a pretty quick and easy monetization model.

We’re always a little bit transparent about what we’re doing here. This show is exactly that model. We are never going to advertise for another podcast service company out there on here. It’s not going to happen. Why would we confuse things? We rarely, if ever, have a guest on this show. That’s what The Binge Factor is for, having podcast guests and service companies out there to network and do that. This show is not that.

The only advice you’ll ever read on this show comes from us and people with whom we are strong referral partners who have delivered again and again for our clients. We call them Coaching Crashers here and they come in and talk about it. Next episode, we have another one. I’m excited. We’re going to have our good friend Fran Asaro, who is our YouTube guru about everything.

We do that on purpose because we do not need to confuse our audience with somebody else’s message but also we then have that all in one place, easy to search, contain, and share so we don’t have to make promotion opportunities in our community and the fact that we locate this podcast on PodcastersUnited.org with other great resources and the podcasting industry. We’ve chosen to do that so it gives you this sense that we’re out there working for you to make sure you have the resources you need. That is the message that our podcast is sending, not to push you to buy a course.

It can work in two ways. 1) It can be clear that you’re gearing up a lesson and sharing the course that goes with it. That’s a sneak peek into something or it is just, “We are being in tremendous service to this community or niche. We are going to attract more and more of you to work with us.” If you listen to this show and take one piece of our advice and this works tenfold, can you imagine how much would be available to you if you could be in our Zoom room and ask us questions when this was over?

Things That Devalue Your Monetization Opportunities

Ask us very personal questions where we get to know you, your show, and your business, and we can answer that. That’s the model that we’re working on here and demoing to you. It might be the ideal model for you as well to increase promotion in your business. Tom, before we wrap up and close out this episode, I want to hit on some things, whether you’re doing doing ad monetization model or a promotion monetization model, there are about 5 to 7 things, because a couple of them don’t apply to every show, that you’re doing that is going to devalue your monetization opportunities.

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Monetization
Podcast Monetization: If your cover art has a picture of you on it, you are going to have to work three times as hard as the next show. If the show is named after you, you are going to have to work ten times harder than the next show.

 

I want to make them clear to you because they are in your strategy for how you set up your show. They’re in everything that you do. Here is my list. If your cover art has a picture of you on it, you are going to have to work three times as hard as the next show. If the show is named after you, you are going to have to work ten times harder than the next show to be able to make that clear.

That’s a hard one for people to know.

There are exceptions to the rule, meaning that advertisers who want to be associated with CEOs or CMOs of companies and you’re one of them. That’s great but the reality is that limits your field of sponsors. That’s why I’m telling you, you’re going to have to work harder to achieve your goals there. If you are clearly in a niche and you have deep-dived into a strong, valuable one, you are clear that you and your show belong in that niche, everything about the cover art, the name of the show, the description of the show, all the episodes that you run, and the people you bring on your show are identified in that niche, you are going to have people asking you to advertise.

We never once sought out advertisers. The ones we got came to us and offered us way more money than we would have put out if we had put out a bid for being a sponsor on the show. We got higher rates because of it. That is why I am telling you this. It has nothing to do with, “This is wrong.” It’s not wrong. It’s going to make this harder and take longer because you’re going to have to prove that you are the valuable reason they need to advertise on the show. That’s a lot of heavy lifting on your part. You better do your job.

Website and email address are connection points that are not on the show. If you don’t have that, you can’t engage. It’s not creating that connection point or a track through of the activity of your listener base. Just because you say, “I have this many downloads or listens,” means nothing if you cannot tell a future sponsor, a partner, an advertiser, or know that you have a place for your stuff to be sold. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you don’t have a home base for that, it’s never going to work to test the conversion.

We always recommend in the early days, “Maybe you do reviews of some products so you get people to go and read a more detailed review or a donation that’s going to go to something and highlight an organization that’s valuable in your niche. Make sure they’re in your niche.” You do that and test how many people go through where there’s no real sales offer. It doesn’t feel icky to them when they’re clicking through. They’re getting something more. No downloads. That is not an attraction to tell whether or not I’ve got conversion on promotions. People are afraid to download stuff. They’re afraid to get a virus and a scam.

When you have a low number of downloads, don’t take that like, “Nobody wants my promotion. Nobody wants a PDF.” It’s what it is. A dangerous PDF has nothing to do with you. Make sure that this is something that they can navigate, type into, go into the description, and click through. They could go to the website that’s listed as a link in their Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever their link is, and go and find you. That needs to be done.

Have a system for forwarding links because I’m going to tell you from experience. We did 650 episodes in 3D Printing. There are times when your sponsors go out of business, especially if you’re in a startup field or a disruptive industry. You don’t want to be associated with people anymore. Create forwarding links for everything so that you can change it on the back end. When somebody gets there, you say, “Sorry, we’re no longer doing business with them but here’s another resource instead,” and redirect them to something currently valuable. That’s a great way to serve your audience and make sure that you don’t end up associated with things you do not want to be associated with anymore.

The last one that I have on here, and there are two more but they’re not for everybody, is explicit and swearing. If you have explicit content in your show, you will have to work harder with some brands. They have screeners on it that say that they can never advertise on a show that has explicit content. Be careful. It can have a negative brand thing. There are industries where this is why people would choose to go on your show. If you’re looking for that more generally and it’s not niche-specific for you, remember that that is sensitive for a lot of advertising partners.

This is your show, your influence, and your audience. They need to believe that what you're offering them is a valuable interest for them to take the time to click through. Click To Tweet

I don’t think it’s in the grand scheme truly limiting. It’s a matter of which sponsors would be interested and not.

In a particular niche area, it could be limiting. In other areas, it could be a reason why they choose your show. It’s fine. They like that brutal honesty or being yourself thing. It’s perfectly fine there. The other two things are if you’re doing promotions for your stuff, consider an ad mixing system. Consider that you’re going to need to change those ads. This is why we developed Podetizd the way that we did. This is not an advertisement for Podetize. You could reach out to us if this is important to you.

I am telling you that you will have to re-edit your episodes if you do not use an ad mixing system like ours because the ads won’t work the first time you do. It will take time to get your promotions working and converting with your audience. You need to dial in and test messaging. This is why I’m telling you about the forwarding links but I’m also telling you about the advertisements. The second thing about promotions is what looks good on paper, what you write, and what you say are not the same thing.

You must practice out loud any promotion and offer and feel how it lands. Listen back to it. Keep it short, sweet, to the point, and personal with your audience sounding like it comes from you. You’re going to do so much better than if you take a sponsor or a joint venture partner and use their copy and ad their way. Make it your own because this is your show, influence, and audience. They need to believe that what you’re offering them is a valuable interest for them to take the time to click through.

Plus one of your things on those forwarding links. I want to put a little emphasis on that and maybe this is a subject we should cover in another episode, things like that.

We have a tip on it in the Tip Library on how to create forwarding links. If you don’t know how to do it or what we’re talking about, there is a tip.

Forwarding links are important. I use them all the time because I conduct live webinar sessions every week. The messaging is out there on LinkedIn and emails that people have gotten. They may not see it in the time that I want them to. Email experts were always telling me, “You got to put the actual registration link to register for your live session in your emails.” Put the real link out there and don’t do a forwarding link.

I quickly learned how wrong that is because people are listening to my podcast episodes months after they’ve been published. People are reading those emails weeks or months after they’ve been sent when they finally get to it. If I have a forwarding link, like I have Podetize.co/Register, which is what I use for forwarding links for one of my webinars, I upped that every week with the new registration link.

Whenever anybody clicks that link at any time or wherever they do it, they’re always going to get to the next one. They’re not going to get a dead link or an event that happened that’s no longer available. One example of the power of those forwarding links and sponsors is you can update those calls to action to whatever the sponsor wants to send people to next month or next quarter. After that, even if they’re hearing an older ad or you don’t need to change out that ad, it’s going to get to the new thing that you’re promoting.

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Monetization
Podcast Monetization: You’ve got to be committed to your podcast, publishing regularly, showing up and serving first. Once you’re at that point, you’ve earned the right with your listeners to promote something.

 

Somebody’s going to take the time to click through your link in your episode description or whatever you set on the air, which is another way for you to reinforce your website as Tom did, Podetize.com, Podetize.co, or PodcastersUnited.org. We keep reiterating it so that you’ll remember it. If you go there, you can find all kinds of stuff about us. You’ll be able to navigate to wherever you need. You’re reinforcing your information, not your promotion partners and their stuff.

You’re always going to forward and send. I recommend keeping it simple as Tom’s got it, Register. If you keep it one word, make it simple. If anyone ever asks me about it and they ask it when I’m a guest on someone’s show for The Binge Factor, I always give them Binge. It’s super simple and easy. That is my forwarding link for them.

It’s a wonderful world of opportunities for monetization for shows. You’ve got to be committed to your podcast, publishing regularly, showing up, and serving first. Once you’re at that point, you’ve earned the right with your listeners to promote something. Hopefully, that’s a win-win value to them and you. There are some things that might be an introductory thing that you don’t make a whole lot of money on or no money on to get that engagement and action of conversion happening as Tracy said.

Eventually, you can turn that into actual monetization in very meaningful ways. To say one last thing, we have a podcaster in the real estate business. His entire business didn’t used to be that way when he started his podcast with us many years ago but now, his entire earnings come through his podcast and it’s all that he does. He doesn’t do what he used to do in his business monetization. It’s all coming through his podcast.

That’s taken a couple of years to get there. It was not overnight.

No question. It’s taken several years.

I want to say this to you and think this through carefully. If you are at the stage where you’re finding that your audience is taking action, you’re doing promotions that are working and leading you, and you want to know how to up the monetization model on that side, whether it’s in ads or promotion, it doesn’t matter, it’s the same rules. At this point, you have to figure out how you can maximize the number of episodes per week and the minutes per episode. That is how you will make more money.

If you’re in the ad monetization, you have to maximize out. Joe Rogan’s shows 90 minutes to 2 hours for a reason. They can cram more ads into that show. People listen because they want to hear what he’s going to say next and what crazy things are going to come out of his mouth. They’ll listen all the way through but if they didn’t listen all the way through, you’re wasting your time and doing longer. You’ve got to figure out where that maximum edge is.

If you’ve been producing this fifteen-minute show, you have an opportunity for one ad. Double it. See how much your play-through is. See if you can do two promotions. Same thing, maybe two different ways but you are making more space for that promotion and advertising. You’re building more trust and length in it. The other option is if you’re doing it, do more per week because the number of episodes drives up your downloads and also drives more binging and trust with your audience likely to be higher conversion rates.

Key to everything. Don’t miss a week, be consistent about it, and increase the velocity of your show in either length or the number of episodes. Whatever works for your audience, remember to be sensitive to it. You might have to dial it back. That’s my biggest advice if you want to start maximizing your dollar amount opportunity because it’s already starting to work for you.

We should probably wrap it there. I could talk about this for hours. I do geek out on it because it’s important and exciting to me but only so much we can do in a single episode. We hope you got great value out of this.

Thanks for reading. We want you to find ways to stay podcasting and finding the right monetization fit for you can do that. Be careful in your thoughts about this. Try things. Test it out. Make sure this fits you and your business at the end of the day and feels authentic, useful, and valuable to your audience and you. Take this. Don’t just jump at the next person who sends you an email offering you, “Make money from your podcast.” Chances are good that it’s going to steer you down a path where at the end of the day, you’re going to quit your show. We’ll be back in the next episode. Thank you. We appreciate you.

 

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Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard

As podcasting and monetization marketing experts, husband and wife team, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard help major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers broadcast their original messages. A highly successful inventor and product designer, Tom has been rethinking brand innovation to build in authority and high-converting revenue streams. Tracy brings an insider media/promotion perspective as a former Columnist for Inc. Magazine, contributor to BuzzFeed and international speaker. Together, they are the blog writers and podcast co-hosts for Feed Your Brand and The Binge Factor. They provide businesses of all sizes actionable tactics and strategies to spread marketing messages, grow valuable audiences, and retain valuable platform authority without a lot of time, cost or effort.
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