How Podcasts Make Money: A Guide for Complete Beginners by@juxtathinka

How Podcasts Make Money: A Guide for Complete Beginners


Table of Contents

  1. Podcasts: An Introduction
  2. How Do Podcasts Make Money?
  3. Setting Up Your Podcast: All You Need To Know
  4. Opportunities For Podcasters: The Future

Podcasts: An Introduction

Podcasts are now the new thing: from The Shrink Next Door, Crime Junkie, Ted Talks Daily to The Michelle Obama Podcasts. The amazing thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you soak in a warm bath, drive to work, and even while writing lines of code.


You may be wondering now: are podcasts just audio that people listen to? The answer is No. Podcasts are specific series of audio episodes or spoken words that are set on a particular theme. Let's say you are listening to episodes of an audio program that talks about the challenges that front end developers face: that is a podcast for front end developers.

Podcasts have been around for a while but it was in the year 2005 that the word "podcast" gained traction. Then the first DIY guide to podcasting was released by Todd Cochrane and Yahoo! released its first podcast search site. Over the years more people started listening to podcasts and in 2019, it was reported that 165 million people had listened to a podcast. Now the podcast industry is growing and technology-based podcasts have the potential to expand in reach and grow financially.

How Do Podcasts Make Money?

As a podcast host, the opportunities for making money are endless. Sponsorship and advertising is one of the ways podcasts generate money. For example, you run a cryptocurrency based podcast and a cryptocurrency exchange platform pays you to mention their brand name or run an ad on an episode of the program. You could earn between $18-50 for every thousand downloads your episodes earn or get paid up to $15 for an ad.


Another way podcasts make money is by asking for direct support from the fans. If you have a popular, fan-loved podcast you can generate a lot of income from your fans. You can create a Patreon account, explaining why you need the money to produce more content or use alternative payment platforms like Stripe and PayPal. You could also charge your fans for early access to episodes, bonus episodes, newsletters, exclusive group chats and fan merch like T-shirts, bracelets, face caps, tote bags, etc.

Affiliate marketing is like sponsorship, but for sales. You can make money from selling products owned by different brands on your podcasts. Each time you sell a product, you make a commission. For example, you affix a link for a $150 technical writing course on your podcast and every time someone clicks that link, you make $15 per sale.

There are many other additional ways that podcasts make money: podcast hosts get paid to teach online courses on the theme of the podcast or podcasting in general, podcasts can be a great way to sell books and there is also the option of getting paid for speaking engagements.

Setting Up Your Podcast: All You Need To Know

As of November 2021, there are over two million podcasts: there is a lot of competition in the podcast industry and standing out as a good podcaster will require planning, hard work, and resilience.


If you want to set up your podcast, it is important to plan. Make a list of the possible names for the podcast, the topics you would like to talk about, likely co-hosts that you want to feature equipment you will require, the number of episodes that you want to record and calculate the likely cost. Your plan should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely: you should also make the plan as flexible as possible.

Then you should decide on the format you want the podcast to be: you will need an intro, intro music, the topic or discussion, a break, the topic or discussion, closing remark, and closing music for a basic podcast. For length, it could vary from as short as six minutes to the average recommended time of twenty-eight minutes to up to two hours.

You should record with a quality USB microphone and in a quiet room with minimal background noises. You can record with Skype's call recorder, Alitu or Adobe Audition. For episodes with co-hosts, it is better to record separately. Then you can edit with GarageBand or Audacity, infusing some music into the podcast.

When your podcast is ready, you need to publish it. You can't publish without good cover art, so you can create beautiful cover art or enlist the services of a graphic designer. Then, you should register on a good hosting website like Buzzsprout or Transistor. You can then submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify and wait until it gets published. After publishing, you can promote your podcast on your website and social media: boom, you just created your first podcast.

Opportunities For Podcasters: The Future

There are many podcasts in the world, but there are many listeners for each type of podcast; in 2021, it was estimated that 78% of the US population was aware of podcasting as against 22% back in 2006.


Currently, there are an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the US for 2021 and forecasts say that in 2023, listeners will surpass 160 million in the US. 

I believe that there are many opportunities for podcasters, especially in the technology industry that is wrongly viewed by some people as boring. 

Developing podcasts in tech will help educate people more about tech, change the boring stereotype about techies, build a strong tech community and encourage more young people to pursue tech-inclined careers while making the podcast hosts a ton of money.