Start Making Money From Your Podcast: One Host Shares His Tricks

how to monetize a podcast
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Are you a new podcaster wondering how all those podcasts you love got big-name advertisers? Do you want to start seeing some return on all that time you put into your show?

It may not be as hard as it looks.

Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation recently shared five ways to monetize your podcast on his show’s blog. His unexpected trick to making money from his podcast? Affiliate links.

Affiliate Links are Ideal for the New Podcaster

“This is a great way for podcasters to get started because you don’t need to have any minimum number of listeners to begin,” Loper explains. “All you need is a product or service that you like and can recommend to your listeners with an affiliate or referral link.”

So when you hear a podcast talk about a service or product they love, then share a link like, you know that’s an affiliate link. When you go to that designated link and make a purchase, a portion of what you spend will eventually make its way back to the podcaster.

Affiliate Ads Pay Out Longer than Traditional Sponsorships

But you don’t need to have tons of downloads to get started. This is the beauty of affiliate links. Many companies, like Audible or Bluehost, allow any regular Joe to sign up for their affiliate programs. When new customers use your link to sign up with that company, you can get anywhere from 50 cents to $65 for your effort.

Sure, you can use these affiliate links for word-of-mouth marketing among your friends, but why not share them with your wider podcast audience?

Loper explains that these affiliate links stay active in your old episodes. While a traditional sponsorship may end after a month or two, an affiliate link can keep paying you long after your episode airs.

Fake It Until You Make It?

“I think it gives the perception that the show is perhaps bigger or more established than it really is, which can help build credibility and authority,” Loper writes. “Listeners might think, oh wow, this guy already has a sponsor, he must be legit!”

How legit is Loper? He’s made $382 over a few months by testing affiliate ads for four companies. But he’s been podcasting since 2013 and has built up a loyal following, so your mileage may vary.

Read the rest of Loper’s monetization guide at Side Hustle Nation.

Your Turn: Do you have a podcast, and have you tried to monetize it?

Lisa Rowan is a writer and editor living in Washington, DC. She cohosts the Pop Fashion podcast, which discusses fashion and business news (it has zero advertisers).