How podcasters design shows to make money

Phase 02 : Episode 3 – How podcasters design shows to make money

How to start planning a podcast that could make money

Have you seen these comments around the web that say that if you set up a podcast to make money, you will fail?

You see people write it in podcast forums all the time and then that comment often gets a bunch of enthusiastic likes.

The thing is unless a podcaster is genuinely making a show just for the “art of it” most people, at least those who are being honest with themselves, want something in return.

It could be anything.

It could be to sell a product, an idea, or even their personality. But whatever it is they are “selling” something.

If you are making a podcast for business, whether it’s for a corporation or for your own small business, this isn’t a joke.

Podcasting needs to make a return or it’s pointless.

S02 E03 : All podcasts that try to sell things fail, true or false?

That doesn’t mean “cheating” people or giving tacky sales messages. You can sell while giving great value and doing it in a way that is honest and authentic to people.

When you look at the most successful podcasts, you see it all comes to how they deliver their call to action.

A call to action, as I’m sure you know, is the term used to describe your method of getting people to do what you want. Do it well and if they do what you need, you get what you want.

At the simplest level, you can see this in podcasts and media productions like the Daily Wire or the Young Turks.

Both of these organisations are on wildly different sides of the political spectrum but they both ask people to join as paying supporters if they want to back the project.

None of us like the idea of being sold to but that doesn’t mean we don’t want what is on offer

They didn’t ask people to do this in some cheesy way. Instead, they ask people if they want to support their work to join as a member and get extra content. People don’t feel they are being “sold” to they feel they are “supporting” the shows.

Perhaps the reason people jump on these claims that podcasters fail is nothing to do with the statement being correct but more a reflection of the fact that none of us really like the idea of being sold to. We’ve also all heard too many examples of people making terrible and cheesy calls to action.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t want what is on offer, it just means we don’t like the way it is delivered.

It’s easy to forget that audio is a far more intimate medium than video or the written word.

As a presenter, the podcaster is quite literally in your head. What they say can often seep into your unconscious mind. This is because most listeners are doing something else while listening. Our resistance is lowered.

So when a person to whom we have given our trust then tries to give us some cheesy sales message it grates, like a trying to swallow a cactus.

The good news is some podcasters show us how to do it well.

Some, for example, have free tools which grab our email address and draw us into a sales funnel.

Others make their entire shows in a way that is interesting and valuable to us but is also basically a sales message the whole way through without it feeling like it.

In this week’s podcast episode then, I run through some of these ideas and techniques.

As usual, I have a tutorial based on what I have studied to help us all develop our own calls to action.


Published by Richard

25 years in the communications business. Former news editor, journalist, political public relations professional, social media content creator, and podcast host of

Leave a Reply