Podcasting, by default, is a beautiful medium.

You can instantly access the earbuds of millions of people with very little financial and time investment.

This is great.

But this ease of access means that with every new podcast released, it’s going to be more challenging for the average podcaster to get a return on that financial and time investment.

The solution?

Get better at making a profit. 😉

In the rest of this post, I will outline what we mean by making a profit, why you should care and how your podcast can become more profitable.

What do we mean by a profitable podcast?

When we say profitable, we mean that you, your CEO, or accountant can look at the time and money they are investing into the podcast each month, quarter or year and say: “yes, this is definitely worth it!”.

This could come in the form of downloads, social engagement, or brand awareness, but often the best possible way to convince someone of an ROI: is cash generated.

As I discuss later in this post, cash can be generated from your podcast from two different sources: guests and listeners. And in the short term, one is definitely easier to generate than the other!

But do remember that “cash generated” is not the only way to measure a podcast’s profitability. Your podcast may never generate cash directly, but you, your accountant, or CEO may still choose to invest in the podcast due to indirect business benefits such as:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Learning

Now, let’s move on to understanding why you should strive to generate a “cash profit” from your podcast.

Why should your podcast become profitable?

It’s simple.

Without profit, your podcast may die. You may run the show for six months, see downloads rise just a little, and then life and business get in the way:

  1. You have a baby
  2. You get a new MASSIVE client
  3. You more roles

These things are valid reasons to stop your podcast, but if you are not getting some kind of benefit from your show (ideally cash!), it’s more likely that a life event like these will get in the way of you and your ability to grow your show over the long term.

And yes, I hear you say that you are not in this for profit—you are in this to “help people.”

Let me make this very clear: you will help more people if you can make a profit.

When you can generate income from your show, you can then reinvest those resources into:

  1. Hiring a better editor
  2. Finding better guests
  3. Buying a better microphone

The only way you will help more people with your audio content is to create better audio content.

Your favorite, beautifully produced podcasts that you listen to each day didn’t start like that. They likely started a little more rough, less produced, and with worse guests. It was only over time that they were able to build something amazing.

To win with podcasting, you need to invest over the long term. And to invest over the long term, you need to generate a profit.

How can your podcast become more profitable?

Let’s face it, the only way you will get yourself, your CEO (or accountant!), to give you more marketing budget for your podcast is if you can show some kind of ROI.

The Three Steps to Podcast Profitability

Step One: Find Your Niche

The first thing you need to do is become more focused. It becomes exponentially easier to grow an audience if you serve a very specific one.

One example of this is Document360’s Knowledgebase Ninjas, a podcast solely focused on technical writers and documentation managers and has become the most downloaded podcast in the niche in less than a year. Learn more about this tactic in this case study by SaaS Marketer.

Step Two: Find Better Guests

The next step is to be more strategic about who you’re bringing on your podcast as guests.

Now you shouldn’t JUST bring on people you can sell to. We must make sure the audio content is solid because if you don’t have listeners, you won’t get guests.

But that doesn’t mean you can find guests that are both great for listeners and also great strategic relationships for your business:

  • Maybe they are an ideal customer.
  • Maybe they run a massive blog in your niche, and you would love a backlink.
  • Maybe they have a big audience of your ideal customers on their YouTube channel.

Short term podcast profitability comes from strategic guest relationships, not audience growth.

Step Three: Create a Value Ladder

Once the niche is defined, you should now have backing from the CEO/accountant to invest further into the podcast. When we invest more, we get more listeners as your content improves. 

We now need to create a value ladder for your listeners: we need to turn listeners into leads. We do this by really understanding their biggest problem and then working out how to solve it with information.

We then offer that piece of information to listeners in exchange for an email address to nurture and indoctrinate leads into your brand and ultimately monetize.

At bCast, we built two features specifically to support this:

  1. Audio Inserts: Insert compelling audio CTA’s to attend your next webinar, download your eBook, or book a demo into every previous episode in just a few clicks.
  2. Auto Optin: Enable your listeners to subscribe to your podcast, email newsletter, or download your premium content by simply sending a blank email to a custom email address.

Learn more about the bCast features that can help you reach your employees, prospects, and customers through podcasting.

And there we have it. A complete guide on why and how your podcast needs to become more profitable if you are going to thrive in the crowded podcast marketing space in 2021.

Any questions? Feel free to jump over to bCast.fm to ask away—it’s what we do every day.