How can your podcast make money for you?  Err, can a podcast actually make money for you?

Ha, that’s probably a pretty good question now that you’ve gone and started producing a podcast!  In real life, very few of the (conservatively estimated) 625,000 podcasts on iTunes alone were started with the idea that someone was going to use that podcast to make money.

[LISTEN: How Much Does it Cost to Successfully Market Your Podcast?  PODCAST EPISODE]

Most podcasts are started because someone has an idea they want to share with the world.  Whether it is one man’s opinion about mental health issues, or a group of classically trained pianists talking jazz, the initial idea is usually more creative than commercial.

Of course podcasting is big money for some.

Not everyone starts out with the idea to share their thoughts or talents purely for the greater good.  Some companies, such as This American Life, Gimlet, and a whole host of others create and distribute well produced shows specifically to dominate the rankings and garner sky high advertising rates.

Which brings us around to one of the two ways to monetize – to see your podcast make money – and that is via advertising.

[CHECK IT OUT: Podcast Marketer does the heavy lifting when it comes to your marketing campaign]

Sort of a bridge between traditional mediums such as radio or television and the next wave of (whatever we don’t actually know about yet) new media, the podcast started life as a lowly bit of recorded bytes that could be played back on…  you maybe guessed it – the iPod.  Steve Jobs, in all his wisdom, didn’t really think about the monetization angle, he was more all over the recording and sharing ideas in one big happy community.

Ad rates for podcast placement are all over the map, and it’s very hard to determine what you’ll get versus what the next guy in your category might get.  The amount of traffic you can sort of prove you get, along with any other nebulous stats (the podcast stats platforms are notoriously bad, starting with Apple and working their way down) that you can convince an advertiser you are seeing will likely determine the rate you are paid.

If you are part of a network, they’ll be taking a cut of your ad revenues, and who knows what other side deals you’ve made to disseminate the payouts to the various parties you have contracted with to produce and distribute your show.  Bandwidth is not free, that much is for sure.

Um, right, advertising.  What’s the second way for a podcast to make money?

Hey, sweet, glad you finally asked!  The simplest, easiest way to leverage your podcast into becoming a money maker is to use it to talk about things you offer your customers.

Take our Mobile Wallet Marketing Made Easy podcast – we produce a new episode every two weeks, and each of those episodes is geared towards providing something of value to our current or prospective customers, referrals and prospects.

We are delighted to recount the successes that our customers have by using our products, and we want to offer as many creative ideas to everyone we deal with so that they can increase their income or decrease their workload by using our mobile wallet campaigns and advertising collateral.

For us, it’s a no brainer…  we are always looking at what new uses our clients, or our competition, develop for using mobile to provide a more effective means of communication, interaction, and of course, closing a sale.  We like sharing with others, even if they aren’t using our platform but are working with a competitor.

It’s a very simple thing, and while it’s hard to quantify exactly how much money our podcast makes for us, it’s definitely one of the more fun and effective methods we have to get the message out to the rest of the world.