How Much Money Do Small Podcasters Earn? (Explained)

Beginner or small-time podcasters have an opportunity to monetize each episode they publish.

While it does take some time and followers before you can start making a living, many podcasters are willing to go the distance and put in the hard work.

What To Know About Income Generation For Small-Time Podcasters:

Small podcasters with less than one year of experience can make roughly $15-$19/hour podcasting. They rely on affiliate partnerships with brands by reading ads in their shows. The site Anchor, which Spotify bought, allows podcasters to get paired with advertisers that fit their niche market

How Many Followers Do Podcasters Need To Earn Their First Check?

Podcasters can have different revenue sources; hence, the first check will depend on your available avenues.

Most podcasts and YouTube channels require at least 1,000 followers before they can properly start making money at their craft.

The first pay a podcaster would often get from affiliate links unless the podcaster was exclusively hired to do the show.

How Exactly Do Small Podcasters Make Money?

The easiest way for small or beginner podcasters to earn money is through affiliate links, a passive form of income.

Affiliate links often provide anywhere from 5% – 30% commissions for each purchase made from each purchase made through a podcaster’s exclusive link.

Beginner podcasts with over 100-500 listens or downloads might be able to negotiate a $10-$15 ad deal with a company through sites like Anchor.

More popular podcasters can get twice or even triple that amount per ad run on their podcast.

We know that podcasts like Armchair Expert make millions every year because they have millions of listeners and companies willing to have their commercials aired to those listeners.

Is It Hard To Make Money With A Podcast?

It will be a challenge for beginners to make money with podcasting, but the secret to making a living from podcasting comes from a good strategy.

Exert your efforts into promoting your podcast. It would help if you banked on your network to expand and build credibility to gain a following that brands will look into.

You will convince brands to invest in your podcast if you can prove your worth.

How Long Does It Take For Podcasters To Start Making Money?

The amount of time it takes to earn money from podcasting depends on many things:

  1. Fanbase
  2. Advertising
  3. Affiliate partnerships
  4. Consistency

Having a large fanbase that consistently shows up each week for your new episode is crucial to making money from partnerships and deals.

The more listeners you have, the more likely companies are willing to work with you. Furthermore, you are more likely to earn from sales and purchases that your listeners make with those companies.

For example, podcasters who use YouTube as their primary avenue need to get at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of views before monetizing their content.

You could start earning as early as day one if you already have a large social media following or fanbase on other platforms. This makes it easier to sign contracts with companies who want to make sure that you are a “sure thing.”

However, if you are just starting out with no fans at all, you are probably not going to make money from day one.

Does Spotify Pay Podcasters Per Stream?

Spotify pays podcasters per stream, but this only happens to select podcasters.

Usually, those podcasts have millions of listens and exclusive deals with Spotify’s platform, meaning that they won’t host episodes anywhere else.

Instead, most podcasters make money through third-party partnerships like companies that want you to read their commercials for them. 

Anchor, which Spotify bought, allows podcasters to get paired with advertisers that fit their niche market or receive help from listeners.

What are the Revenue Sources that Podcasters Can Look Into?

There are plenty of revenue channels that podcasters can look into.

One would be passive sources of income, such as affiliate links, eBooks, online video courses, or even listener support through services like Patreon.

There are active sources of income, such as episode sponsorships, although these are usually done for more established podcasters.

Podcaster should mix both sources to ensure that money continuously flows into their bank accounts.

What Can Podcasters Do to Increase Their Hits and Revenue?

Podcasters need to put a little more effort into increasing their viewership and revenue.


Having a high viewership is essential for anyone looking to monetize their podcast.

Without proof of high viewership, it will be hard to monetize your podcast unless you’re an established personality in your target industry.

Since viewership is essential in establishing your revenue channels, you will need to market your podcast to your network. That means reaching out to your friends and colleagues on different social media networks and inviting them to listen and possibly leave a review.

You will need to keep doing this until you have a steady following.

Ideally, it would help if you looked at inching your way to the top one percent of podcasts on the internet, around 3,000 downloads per episode.

Don’t fret if you don’t get there yet; consider having milestones as you work your way there. If the reviews prove that you provide value to listeners, it becomes easier to monetize your show.

Revenue Sources:

While you work your way up to increase your listeners and downloads, you can consider other revenue sources.

The most direct revenue line here is your services. You can use your podcast to promote your lessons if you produce any courses on your niche.

Your podcast may even serve as a supplement to any product or service you already offer, such as an ebook you’re selling or if you consult or work with clients.

Aside from promoting your courses, you can sign up for affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketing is a good option for passive income, especially if you want to promote products or services that you like.

These products are often related to your niche, although sometimes, podcasters do affiliate marketing from sponsors.


You can also look into producing merchandise that carries the brand. You can sell items your listeners are likely to use and stamp them with your branding.

These items include mugs, mousepads, shirts, or any other product that your listeners will love. Note that merchandise is also a passive income source, so take it easy to produce them.

But when you grow your listeners, the more likely you’ll get an increase in sales of your merchandise, services, and even clicks to your affiliate links.


Once you’ve established your listeners, you can expand to more massive revenue channels, particularly sponsorship.

Sponsorship offers a lot of possibilities here. Brands pay to have their products and services mentioned discussed on the show.

You can start sponsorship small, then rise through each milestone. If you have established your podcast but want to entice sponsors to put ads on your show, you can talk with well-meaning peers who add value to your podcast.

You can work out exchange deals at first to gain confidence with the sponsor and other businesses who might be interested.

Product Placements:

Once your podcasts can provide value to these businesses, you can eventually start charging for product placements. Eventually, you’ll be going from mentions to ad spots and later on actual program sponsorship.

Perhaps the pinnacle for many podcasters would be program sponsorship. Companies pay podcasters to mention these products in passing, put actual advertisements on these products, or even feature the brand as a segment or for the whole episode.

The revenue generated from these sponsorships depends on what you agree on with the company. If you manage to get sponsors for every episode, you don’t have to worry about paying the overhead costs of each episode (unless you do everything yourself).

Some podcasters are also paid to do episodes but not necessarily sponsored.

What Are the Best Growth Hacks for New Podcasters?

Advertising is hard, especially when we are starting out small. It is important to put your best foot forward no matter where you advertise your podcast.

Podcast Trailer:

One of the primary things that any podcaster should do is create a podcast trailer that will help entice your audience to stay tuned for your upcoming episodes.

You can create snippets of your podcasts, such as essential points raised during the show.

These episodes need not be long; one or two minutes should suffice for your trailer.

Call to Action:

It’s also worth noting that each podcast episode should have a Call to Action.

At the end of every podcast, you’d want your audience to respond positively but in a particular direction. If you’re promoting a product or service, your call to action should be towards people checking and availing of your goods.

Don’t forget to harness the power of social media. Building your podcast starts with your network, and the best way to do this is through your social media network.

You have your family and circle of friends that you should not hesitate to tap to expand your podcast.

Post Updates & News:

Always make it a point to post updates on social media, including teasers, takeaways from newly published content, and other updates that are relevant to your audience.

Just because you have new content, it doesn’t mean you can forget about old podcast episodes. Make it a point to recycle old content and share them with your network.

Some people may find this information relevant, even if the content is months old.

Maximize your SEO:

It would help to keep your podcasts on top of the search results. Search engines now track podcast content.

Making your content searchable will improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

You can do this by publishing show notes or transcripts of your podcast, which search engines will use to track your content.

Guest Star in Other Podcasts:

The world of podcasting flourishes because podcasters help each other.

One way of expanding your reach is to guest in other podcasts and invite other podcasters to your show. When a podcaster features you in their show, you get introduced to their audience.

The same happens when you have other podcasters on your show, you get to help these podcasters expand their audience. That’s why it helps when the podcasting community helps each other.

Invest in Quality Equipment:

If you think you’ve gotten through the ropes of podcasting, you can consider investing in better equipment.

You need not buy the top-of-the-line equipment, but you should consider going beyond the primary microphone on your computer.

You might want to consider getting a better USB microphone and good pair of headphones to help you record and edit your podcast.

Final Thoughts:

Not all podcasters earn big at the start, but that should not discourage you if you are considering jumping into the world of podcasting.

As there are many options to earn, you need to explore each and see which one will fit you well. Should you decide to go full time, you know the steps to establish your podcast.


Spotify is paying Podcasters tens of thousands of Dollars to buoy its sponsorship tool.

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