The best ways to increase your potential revenue are to expand your audience, improve the quality and consistency of your advertisements, and lean on your listeners for support!
Grow your audience
- Promote every episode. Don’t feel bad about letting your friends, family, and followers know you’ve got something new to listen to. They like you! If you don’t tell them there’s a new episode, they won’t know. One way to keep this feeling fresh and non-repetitive is to explain what exactly is in each new episode and what people can get out of listening (e.g., some useful information, a heartwarming story, exposure to an interesting personality, or a really good joke). It also helps to explain why you are excited about the specific content of each episode, or what made you want to create it.
- Ask your guests to promote. The #1 best way to grow your audience is to get your podcast in front of new people, and a really easy way to do that is to have your guests tell their own friends and followers that they were on your podcast. The same tips apply here; have them be genuine to their audience and explain why they think people should listen to this episode. (It helps to make sure your guests have a really good time while recording!) Don’t be afraid to ask them to promote it; we promise they will be excited to let people know they were asked to be on your podcast.
- Publish consistently. Ask any longtime podcaster how they grew their audience, and this is what they’ll tell you. If you publish every week on a Thursday, your listeners are more likely to come back (and to tell others to look out for your next episode). If you publish once every four months on a random day, it’s much harder to keep people engaged. Sidenote: most podcasts, by a huge margin, publish weekly. If there’s any way to take your monthly podcast to a weekly cadence, even if that means some of your episodes are shorter or less polished, we recommend it.
Make your ads fun and entertaining
Podcast ads don’t have to be a thing people skip over by default. Make it sound like a part of your show: use your own voice, be funny (unless your podcast has a serious tone, of course), and be genuine. While you’re paid for impressions of your ad (how many times people listen to your episode), sponsors will also look at your ability to convert your listeners (by actually getting them to pay for or sign up for something).
Everybody wins with good ads: your sponsors will be happy and want to keep paying you, and your listeners won’t feel like they’re hearing a commercial. The happier your sponsors are, the more likely they are to want to come back and, in turn, spend more money on your show!
Activate Sponsorships in all your episodes
When you have an active ad for a sponsor, we’ll play it in all episodes that have Sponsorships activated. If your episodes all get 100 plays each, but you’ve only activated Sponsorships in one of them, you’re limiting yourself to 100 impressions. This really adds up quickly; if you’ve got 20 episodes that’s 2,000 potential impressions instead!
To activate Sponsorships in every episode, just go into the details for each episode and toggle it on. You’ll also have the option to activate it everywhere (by default, at the beginning of your episodes) any time you record an ad for a new sponsor.
Activate midroll whenever possible
Some sponsors (particularly those who are willing to pay a higher CPM) require what’s called “midroll” – ads that are in the middle of your episode instead of at the beginning or the end. If you get matched with this kind of sponsor, you’ll be able to record your ad for them even if you don’t have any episodes with Sponsorships in the middle. However, you won’t make money from them until there is at least one midroll slot available. To fix this, just go into at least one episode and drag your Sponsorships segment in between two other segments.
Read more about placing your Sponsorships ads and creating midrolls.
Record for new sponsors ASAP
The sooner you record for a new sponsor, the more time you’ll have with their campaign. (Many campaigns have a set expiration date, like the end of the week or the end of the month.) If there’s a sponsor you don’t want to work with, no problem – just say “Not interested” and we’ll let you know as soon as we find you a new one. But if you get matched with one you like, don’t procrastinate on getting your ad up and running!
Ask your listeners to support your podcast
While Anchor Sponsorships lets you make money from brands, Listener Support lets you take monthly donations directly from your listeners. If you’ve got a devoted audience, it’s a great way to make more money (and often more consistently). We hear from a lot of podcasters who feel nervous about asking their listeners for support; here are some tips for doing that in a way that won’t be weird:
- Be yourself, and mention it organically.
- Make it clear that it’s optional.
- Offer rewards if you get to a certain monthly amount (e.g., more frequent episodes or let supporters be a guest on your podcast)
- Let people know what their donations will allow you to do (e.g., buy a new microphone, hire a producer, or create episodes more often)
- Thank your supporters!