Greetings PM Family,

First up, we have some good news regarding PM20 in Dallas…. that we'll be able to share hopefully next week! In the meantime, we will attempt to answer a common question in the community this week. We'll also take a look at recent highlights from the PodMov Daily newsletter and enjoy a replay of the opening keynote presentation from PM19 in Orlando!


Dear PM: Monetization for Beginners

We receive several great questions from the PM community each week. Today's question is regarding how podcasters can start making money with a new show.

We realize that not every podcaster is wanting or ready to monetize their podcast. That said, we'll attempt to keep this short for those who want to know the options.

Prerequisite: The center of any new podcast should be focusing on your audience. It's difficult to do anything else unless you have some engaged listeners (even if it isn't thousands of people). 

We won't be putting more emphasis on this since the following suggestions will not gain much ground without an audience as a foundation. If you are looking for solutions on how to grow your audience, then we encourage you to start here

How can a new podcast make money? Here are the most realistic options for most beginners. 

  • Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people's (or company's) products. You find a product you trust, promote it to your listeners, and receive a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

The critical thing to remember is that you only want to promote products and services that you know are high-quality and can help your listeners. PM Family Member and Two-time PM keynote speaker Pat Flynn has a trustworthy guide on ethical affiliate marketing

We recommend that you consider starting with Pat's guide to gain information on the best ways to implement affiliate marketing into your show. Buzzsprout has put together an excellent post on this as well that will give you some ideas.

  • Crowdfunding/Listener Support – We've seen a variety of strategies for this over the years. It could be as simple as adding a PayPal button to your show notes or website and finding a tasteful and appropriate way to ask for support during the show that includes this link.

We've seen several podcasters have success with crowdfunding platforms such as PatreonSupercast, and Supporting Cast. Podbean is a respected hosting company that offers a crowdfunding option as well. Patreon has some great suggestions in this post on how to get started. 

We know other podcasters that crowdfunded their season of episodes before they ever started recording. This strategy may not be an option for everyone, but if you can reach out to your friends, family, and community to raise a certain amount before you ever record, we say go for it. 

Commonly used crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Here is an example of a podcast promotion to get some ideas: The Geelong Region Soccer News campaign is an example of a simple, well-executed strategy created by Tonci Prusac.

  • Sell Your Products and Services – Your podcast is the best place to promote your projects because your listeners know, trust, and like you already. If you aren't sure where to begin on what to offer, consider having phone calls with your listeners and asking them what problems they are dealing with related to the category of the show. Perhaps you can contribute to coach or create something that solves this very problem.

We mentioned Pat Flynn earlier. Pat has a lot of great experience with validating ideas for products, services, and businesses. His book Will it Fly is worth reading if you haven't already. However, this post offers thoughts on how to know whether a product or idea is worth pursuing or not as well.

Monetization for a new show is not easy, but it is not impossible for the hosts that are diligent and generous. What suggestions do you have for new podcasts or hosts that want to monetize their shows? We welcome your feedback on this topic. Do you have other questions that you would like to see answered in the newsletter? If so, please send an email to [email protected].


PodMov Daily Highlights

Here are some recent highlights from the PodMov Daily Newsletter. We encourage you to subscribe here if you haven't already. 

If you or someone on your team is interested in the possibility of being a contributing writer, please feel free to contact our editorial team. [email protected]

Guest Feature: Embrace Change in Podcast Storytelling – This guest article from podcaster and documentary filmmaker Doug Fraser is about welcoming change. With this next installment in the Pro Storytelling series, Fraser explains how changes of character and circumstance drive compelling narratives. Want an engaging episode? Forge ahead through tension and discomfort.

“If variety is the spice of life, change is the seasoning of story,” Fraser writes. “It’s the inevitable result of tales the world over: incomplete characters (and real people) setting out to fulfill a need. Lucky for us storytellers, change is all around us. But why is it so important?” Three ‘decrees of change’ break down the specific hooks that grab listeners’ attention.

As with each article in this series, Fraser illustrates the concept with a clear example from his podcast, What We Do. Audiences are forward-facing, so let’s meet them where they are. In the words of renowned editor Shawn Coyne: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

For Podcast Producers, Renewed Interest Tempers a Shift in Listening – As listening habits shift across podcasting, the industry has honed in what sets it apart from visual entertainment. Deadline’s Dino-Ray Ramos gathers insight from leaders including HeadGum co-founder Marty Michael; Colin Anderson, Stitcher’s VP of Comedy and Earwolf executive producer; and Sarah Geismer, Head of Creative Development & Production at Crooked Media.

Podcasting is becoming a means for many — particularly actors, celebrities, and other A-listers — to create content while they are waiting for studios to re-open their doors,” Ramos observes. What does that mean for podcast producers? “We’re getting pitches from people,” said Anderson. “I think people that have said in the past that they’re not interested are now interested.”

Michael has seen similar effects at HeadGum, though the ‘fire’ had been lit before the pandemic. “I think there are certain milestones within the industry that have opened up a lot of awareness into the intimacy of podcasting and why it resonates with so many different people in so many different ways,” Michael told Ramos. “This time is just another milestone in awareness.”

Spotify’s Editorial Podcast Playlists Expand International Influence – Spotify has announced the launch of curated podcast playlists in 6 countries. Offerings “will look a little different in every market,” tailored to the U.S., Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Mexico, and Brazil. The three flagship playlists, Best Podcasts of the Week, Crime Scene, and Brain Snacks, will be localized.

How will you know if your show ends up in the lucky shuffles? The Spotify for Podcasters dashboard will show personalized notifications if your episode is playlisted. A company blog post describes the flagship lists in greater detail, as well as examples of country-specific playlists.

“24/7” the company’s editors are “listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts” to engage millions worldwide. How will they define what’s “noteworthy, culturally relevant, and important”? With the platform’s podcast listening time up “by nearly 200% year-over-year in 2019,” discovery means influence.


Patrice Washington's PM19 Keynote

It is an honor to share with you Patrice Washington‘s opening keynote presentation from Podcast Movement 2019 in Orlando, FL. The title of the presentation is “The World is Waiting: Stop Overthinking, Get Intentional, and Serve Your People.” 

Patrice shares her podcast journey. We are confident that this message will inspire and encourage you with your podcast efforts. Please feel free to share with your podcast friends.


In Closing…

Have you seen some creative face masks out in the wild? We would love to see your face mask! Please feel free to share your selfies in this post from the Podcast Movement Facebook post!

We encourage you to continue to stay safe. Thank you for creating compelling content during these crazy days! 

Keep recording & publishing,
Team PM

“A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” — Colin Powell, former U.S. Defense Secretary