Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, are you wondering how you can get your podcast sponsored? You have heard about how some podcasters quit their jobs and pursue podcasting full time, and you probably want that as well. Well, there are a few things that you should do and know before you start thinking of getting your podcast sponsored.
So, how can you get sponsors for your podcast?
The most important thing that you should know about getting sponsored that how many listens you get per episode per month and if your podcast is in a very specific niche. In other words, it is all about how big your audience is or how passionate and engaged they are.
In today’s post, I am going to talk about how sponsorships work, what you can do to get sponsored, and how you can monetize your podcast when you can not get any sponsors for your podcast. So if you are interested in reading about all of that, then make sure you continue reading this blog post.
The step-by-step to getting your podcast sponsored
To understand how you can get your podcast sponsored, let us reverse engineer the process. We are going to start by creating a scenario where you are already getting sponsored, and then we will reverse engineer that.
Without any further ado, let us begin!
So your podcast is receiving four thousand listens per episode per month, and you are getting sponsored because you are getting a decent amount of listens per episode per month. You have officially made it, but how did you reach this stage of your podcasting journey?
Because we are doing this backward, I am going to list the questions that we are going to answer. These questions are:
- How you got sponsored?
- How you promoted your podcast and grew your audience?
- How you managed to earn a bit of money when you did not have that big of an audience?
- What’s the production quality of your podcast?
Let the reverse engineering process begin as we unveil how you managed to get sponsored.
How you got sponsored?
There are three major methods that you can use to search for and get a sponsor for your podcast. These three methods that I am going to talk about are the following:
- Via Sponsorship Agencies
- Using Media Hosting
- By searching for one yourself ( Going Solo)
Via Sponsorship Agencies
What is a sponsorship agency?
It is a type of agency that is searches for and gets you sponsors that are tailored for you and your podcast. You do not have to pay them to get these services; however, they will be taking out a significant cut off of the money you make off of the sponsorship.
It might be a bit disappointing to hear that, but it makes perfect sense that they are doing so.
They do not ask for upfront fees, which means that you do not have to pay money from your own pocket when you do not know how much money you are going to earn from the sponsorship that they got you, especially since it might depend on how many listens your podcast gets.
These sponsorship agencies actually deserve to get compensated for their work, so it should not come as a surprise that they take a cut off of your profit. They are like managers, except for they do not control you or tell you which content you should make and which you should not.
These kinds of sponsorship agencies usually have specific standards. For example, most of these agencies require that the podcasts they take in have a minimum of three thousand (3K) listens per episode/ month.
Do not worry though; these standards or minimum amount of listens per episode per month vary from one agency to another, and they also differ from one podcasting category to another.
A sponsorship agency that does that kind of work of offering tailored services to podcasters is actually a stitcher company that is called Midroll.
In case you did not know, stitcher is actually a podcasting platform, which is great because it shows that the people who are running Midroll understand how the podcasting world works!
Here is what Midroll is according to the company itself:
We love podcasts, and we want podcasters to succeed by earning income with their shows. We do this by matching them with great advertisers who understand the unique benefits offered by podcast ads.
Midroll was born from the recognition that great hosts thrive when they can focus on their shows, and advertisers benefit when they can work with a professional sales team. We started with the top-notch shows on the Earwolf network, and quickly grew from there.– Midroll
Midroll has more than two hundred companies who are interested in paying for podcast sponsorships. A few of them are Make A Wish, TOYOTA, HBO, T Mobile, Audible, Dunkin’ Donuts, SquareSpace, and FedEx!
If you want to focus all of your time on creating content, or you do not have enough time to search for your own podcasts, then using a sponsorship agency like Midroll is a great option if you are getting the minimum amount of listens per episode per month and you are okay with agency taking a cut off of your money.
Using Media Hosting
Allowing your podcast hosting site to get your podcast sponsored is considered tone one of the easiest methods that you can use to get your podcast sponsored. The only thing that you are going to do is give them the green light and allow them to take care of getting your podcast sponsored.
There are many podcast hosting sites that offer podcasters this kind of service. A few of them would be Anchor FM, BluBrry, and Libsyn.
So podcast hosting sites take it to the next level by offering podcasters free podcast hosting plans if they move their podcast to be hosted on their hosting sites and allow them to manage their sponsorships!
One podcast hosting site that does that is Acast. They will do all of the heavy lifting for you and search for sponsors for you, insert these ads into your podcast, and send you the money that you have made off of your sponsored content.
Like with sponsorship agencies, your media hosting platform is going to take a significant cut off your earning because they have basically done all of the work when it comes to getting sponsorships.
A significant downside to these methods of getting sponsored, whether it is via a sponsorship agency or your media hosting site, is that the ads added to your podcast are radio-style ads.
What is so bad about radio-style ads?
These types of ads are typically pre-recorded by the company or anyone who is not the podcaster themselves. They are also usually bot tailored for your podcast or your audience, which makes the ads annoying and jarring to your audience.
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of advertisements, and which one is better, then I highly recommend that you check out my How Do Podcasts Make Money blog post.
Let us go back to talking about Acast. In order to be eligible to join their sponsorship programs, your podcast must be receiving at least a few thousand listens per episode per month.
Many people who apply for it do not qualify, and they end up being rejected. If you are not getting these numbers yet, there are other podcast hosting sites that offer this kind of service for podcasters who have small audiences. Blubrry and Libsyn are two examples of such podcast hosting sites.
However, Libsyn and Blubrry are not the only podcast hosting sites that provide such services.
If you want to learn about different podcast hosting sites and the types of services that they offer, like getting your podcast sponsored, then make sure you read my How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site blog post.
By searching for one yourself ( Going Solo)
Are you tired of spamming your audience with annoying ads that are trying to sell them stuff that they are not interested in?
Do you feel like sponsorship agencies and your media hosting site take a huge cut off of your revenue? If you are, then it is about time that you take over and fly solo.
It is true! You can get your podcast sponsored yourself! However, with great advantages come significant responsibilities.
The advantages of doing so include:
- Being able to only take sponsorships that are suitable for your podcast and your audience.
- Being able to record the sponsorship yourself, which makes it less annoying and jarring to your listeners.
- Being able to insert the ads in a way that is more organic in your episodes.
- Not having to split your revenue with a sponsorship agency or your podcast hosting site.
Some difficulties associated with getting your own sponsorships include the following:
- Finding suitable sponsorships on your own.
- Negotiating with the sponsor.
- Recording the sponsorship.
- Inserting the ad into your episode.
As you can see, this process is very time-consuming; however, you are in total control, which is a fair trade, in my opinion. Also, by doing all of the work your self, you are actually able to build a good business relationship with your sponsor and do a bit of networking.
This is going to allows you to offer and receive business transactions that are more beneficial to you and your sponsor.
There is a podcaster who managed to make a bundle offer with their sponsor, where they offered to talk about the sponsor on social media and mention them in their newsletter a couple of times, in addition to having an ad slot on the podcast of course, for a higher payment.
From what I have read, the best way to find a sponsor that suits you and your podcast best is to search for companies that offer services and sell products that are considered to be in the same niche as your podcast.
One of the best ways that you can use to find the perfect sponsor for your podcast is to search for companies that sell products and services related to what your podcast is about, aka, your podcast’s niche.
A good old Google search is all you need to do to begin your quest to find a suitable sponsor.
Google = Good!
Go to google and type in the keyword that is related to what your podcast is about and hit the search button. On the search results page, you are going to notice a few advertisements. The sponsor curates these ads to target people who are interested in what you have typed in on Google.
So these companies are paying to target their ads, which means they might be open to sponsoring your podcast.
Another way to do that is to the exact same thing, but this time on Facebook. Observe that ads that are on your timeline write down the names of these companies, and email them.
If you want a quicker way to find a suitable sponsor, then you look up podcasts that are in the same niche as you and see which companies are sponsoring them. You can then reach out to these companies and ask if they are interested in sponsoring your podcast.
How you promoted your podcast and grew your audience?
As we have seen from the previous stage, most sponsors are mostly interested in sponsoring you if you are getting a certain number of listens per episode per month, but how can you get this much following and engagement?
You must promote your podcast! Today, I will be sharing one of the best methods that I have ever read about, and that is Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy. This strategy can be divided into five simple steps. They are:
- Looking for an active Facebook group or an active forum that is related to your podcast’s niche.
- Contacting the Facebook group’s or the forum’s owner.
- Interviewing the owner of the Facebook group or the forum.
- Publishing your interview with them on your podcast.
- Send them a thank you message with the link to the interview.
Step one: Looking for an active Facebook group or an active forum that is related to your podcast’s niche
To find a Facebook group that is related to your niche, open Facebook, and type in groups named “Insert keyword.”
Let us assume that you run a snorkeling podcast, and you are looking for an active Facebook group that is dedicated to snorkeling.
This means that you will type in the following:
groups named snorkeling
Next, hit the search button.
To find a forum that is related to your niche, open Google and type forum: “Insert your keyword here”.
Let us assume that you run a snorkeling podcast, and you are looking for an active forum that is dedicated to snorkeling. You are going to open Google and type in the following:
Next, hit the search button and check out the search results. You will see many forums that are related to your podcast’s niche, so check them out and see which ones you like the most.
Whether you choose to search for Facebook groups or forums, just make sure that active and that they have a decent number of members. Before you move on to step two, male sure that you have joined the group or forum and have interacted with people at least a couple of times.
Step two: Contacting the Facebook group’s or the forum’s owner
After you have engaged within the community for a while, it is time for you to contact the owner of the Facebook group or the forum.
It is actually very easy to find the admin of a Facebook group. All you have to do is go to the group page, look for the word “Members” and click on it. A drop-down tab will appear, so all that is left for you to do is click on the word “Admin”.
On the other hand, searching for the owner of the forum is not so simple. You might have to do a bit of searching, but you should find a contact button somewhere on the forum page.
Another way to find the admin of the forum is to scroll through the page and search for someone who has the word Admin or Administrator written under their name.
Please note that the admin of the page is not always the owner of the page. However, they usually have the owner’s contact information, so that should not be an issue.
Step three: Interviewing the owner of the Facebook group or the forum
Now that you have the owner’s contact information, you can get in touch with them and invite them to be on your podcast. Please keep in mind that this is a two-way street, which means that both of you should benefit from this interview.
So when you approach them, make sure that they feel like they are getting something out of this as well. You could offer to host a giveaway for their members where five winners get a free copy of your snorkeling ebook. That is just an example, but you get the point.
You can also dedicate a part of the interview to discuss the group or forum’s owner’s journey that made them create this community. It is a simple thing to do to show that person how much you appreciate this collaboration.
Step Four: Publishing your interview with them on your podcast
There is not much to explain here. You just have to edit the episode and upload it.
Step Five: Send them a thank you message with the link to the interview.
Once the episode goes live, text, email, or message the owner of the facebook group or forum a thank you message. In this message, you should thank them for coming to your podcast and add the link to the episode that they are featured in.
The owner will then go on to share this episode on their forum or facebook group, which means a lot of people are going to tune in and listen to your podcast. If they like what you have to offer, some of them are even going to subscribe to you.
And by doing that, you have grown your audience! It is a unique technique that you should try.
How you managed to earn a bit of money when you did not have that big of an audience?
You have just started promoting your podcast, but you still have not grown that big of an audience. What can you do to start earning a bit of money despite not having a big audience?
There are a few things that you can do, but I am only going to discuss two methods today. These methods are:
- Creating a page on Patreon
- Selling merch
Creating a page on Patreon
Many musicians, writers, artists, ASMRists, YouTubers, and podcasters create a Patreon account to give their audience the choice of supporting them and allowing them to continue making content.
But what is Patreon?
Patron is a membership-based site that gives the audience the choice of supporting their favorite content creators by paying for exclusive content on a monthly or a per-project basis.
A lot of podcasters have their podcasts on Patreon. The big podcasters offer their audience a place where they can listen to podcasts without ads, but since we are doing this because we still can not run ads on our podcast, we will be offering other incentives and perks for our patreons!
Selling merchandise is something that almost everyone does. Whether it is your favorite singer or your favorite youtube, I bet that they sell merchandise. So, why not do that yourself as well; you would not be the first podcaster to do so!
Selling merchandise could be a way for you to make a little bit of cash off of your podcast. If you are creating good content for your audience, which could either be for learning or entertainment purposes, then your audience is going to be interested in supporting you.
Many people like to buy the merch of their favorite content creators as a way of giving back to them and supporting them. So, even though your episodes do not get thousands of listens per month, you still have an engaged audience that wants to support you.
A few sites that allow you to make and sell your own merch are the following:
However, make sure that you have done enough research on these sites before you start using one of them. I also highly recommend that you request a sample of everything you decide to sell because my friend has a bad experience with Teespring.
Many people love to use Teespring, but it is always best to be safe than sorry, so make sure you request test samples to make sure that the designs are being printed correctly on whatever merchandise that you are selling.
What’s the production quality of your podcast?
To be able to sell merchandise, you must have an audience that appreciates your work. So if your podcast’s production quality is slacking, people are less likely to support you.
Here are a few things that you can do ti up your podcasting game. The three major ones that I am going to discuss today are:
- Preparing for your episodes
- Having good audio quality
- Editing your audio
Preparing for your episodes
Did you know that some people do not even bother to prepare for their episodes before they hit the record button?
If you want to create good content, then you must spend some time researching the topics that you are going to discuss, outline your episodes, and examining your episode ideas with your host ( if you have one) before you press that record button!
When I say outline your episodes, I do not mean that you have to write a word for word script, but that is one way to achieve that. There are three main scriptwriting methods that you can use. They are the following:
- Outlining your podcast’s episode
- Mind mapping your podcast’s episode
- Mind mapping your podcast’s episode
To learn about how you can write a script for your podcast using any of these, make sure you check out my How to Write A Podcast Script blog post, where I explain each scriptwriting technique in detail.
Having good audio quality
Now that you have good content to record, you must ensure that your podcast’s sound quality is good. The number one thing that makes me immediately stop listening to a podcast is terrible audio.
Luckily, you can have great audio without spending a lot of money. USB microphones are good in quality, and some of them are very affordable. One affordable USB microphone that many people enjoy using and are often recommending is the Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone.
It is the best of both world because it is very affordable ( it costs about thirty dollars) and it is also going to provide you with good audio quality.
You can use a USB microphone to record your podcast on your laptop or your smartphone. However, you might need an accessory if you decide to record your podcast using your phone.
For example, if you are going to record your podcast on your android phone, then you must purchase an OTG cable, which will enable you to connect your phone to the USB microphone.
If you are going to record your podcast on your iPhone, then you are going to need a lightning adapter, which will enable you to connect your phone to the USB microphone.
Editing your episodes
Leaving your episodes unedited is not only annoying but also extremely unprofessional. Why leave in all of the dead air and unwanted noises when you can edit them out?
Also, editing your episodes does not just mean cutting off certain parts. You can also add some sound effects and music to spice up the episode a little bit.
A couple of free editing apps that you can use include the following:
- Spreaker Studio if you are editing your episodes on Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android.
- Audacity if you are editing your episodes on laptop/ MacBook.
- GarageBand if you are editing your episodes on iPhone/ MacBook/ iPad.
- BandLab app if you are editing your episodes on an Android phone.
Learn about four other practices that could help you improve your podcast’s production quality by reading my 7 Podcasting Best Practices blog post.
Other questions related to getting your podcast sponsored
What’s the Average Podcast Sponsorship Cost?
How much money you make for a podcast sponsorship depends on a few factors like how many listens per episode per month, your CPM ( cost per mille/ cost per thousand listens), and which niche is your podcast in. On average, CPM ranges between twenty and twenty-five dollars (20-25 dollars).
If you are interested in learning all of the nitty-gritty details on how much money you can expect to make from a podcast sponsorship, then make sure you read my What’s the Average Podcast Sponsorship Cost blog post.
Do Podcasts Cost Money?
Although creating and launching a podcast for free is totally possible, it is not the best way to go. If you want to have a podcast that has great production quality, you do not have to spend thousands of dollars ( which is what some of the big podcasters spend). You can actually run a good podcast with only a few hundred dollars.
If you want to learn how you can up your podcasting game without spending hundreds of dollars, then make sure you click here.
That is it for today’s post. You should now know how you can get your podcast sponsored. If you have any questions related to how to get your podcast sponsored, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have never gotten one of your episodes sponsored, what are the next steps that you are going to take to be able to get sponsored? Which sponsorship methods are you going to pursue?
- What’s the Average Podcast Sponsorship Cost?
- Do Podcasts Cost Money?
- How to Promote Your Podcast?
- How to Get Your Podcast Sponsored?
- How Do Podcasts Make Money?
Till next time,