Many podcasters want to make money from podcasting, either to pay for your hobby or for a business. Here are five ideas to get you started on making products that your audience may like.
1. Extra content
When you have great content and a loyal audience, you could consider creating products out of bonus content.
- Pre/postshow—Record what happens before and after you officially present the podcast. Some fans will enjoy the casual approach even more. YouTube stars Rhett and Link offer a “Good Mythical More” channel which is simply the aftershow for each of their “Good Mythical Morning” episodes.
- Bonus episodes—Create some great content and promote it frequently. For example, Welcome to Level Seven (our unofficial Agents of SHIELD podcast on Noodle.mx Network) has raised nearly $300 by simply offering a “pay what you want” bonus episode about the B-movie Howard the Duck for their Marvel-loving audience.
- Unofficial commentary—Passionate fans love the bonus content for movies and TV shows. Regardless of how thorough the studio is with official content, consider making a fan commentary audio track that your audience can play along with the movie or TV show. This commentary could be snarky (like RiffTrax) or enlightening (explaining connections, theories, and observations that the producers wouldn't even mention).
2. Podcast merchandise
Your podcast fans may want to “represent” with merchandise that contains your own branding. The creators of Homestar Runner make nearly all of their income from selling such branded merchandise.
This requires that your podcast have great branding.
Here are just some of many potential merchandise you could create for your podcast.
- Apparel (hats, shirts, hoodies, shoes, etc)
- Accessories (jewelry, buttons, wristbands, device cases)
CafePress is a popular place to get such things made, but there are many other places, too.
3. Unofficial fan products
If you're making fan content about someone else's content, you may be able to make unofficial products that fans will love. But be careful about violating copyrights and trademarks.
T-shirts are often great for this, as they can carry fun messages that fans would love to wear. For the TV show Once Upon a Time, we could put anything about happy endings or fairy tales and even add something like, “I'm a #Oncer,” on the shirt.
The fan products could even be something creative you manufacture yourself, like carvings, 3D-printed models, paintings, and more.
4. Training resources
You may be surprised how many topics could have accompanying “how to” resources. Here are some random ideas.
- A video-game podcast could teach how to improve your game strategy.
- A knitting podcast could have a “how to get started knitting” course.
- A movie-review podcast could create a course on “how to become an actor” or “how to produce your own short movie.”
This is where you need to get creative and ask your audience.
Beyond making training resources, you could also create products that provide a solution for people. I created my Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin because I saw a need for podcasters to easily place specific icons and buttons to promote their presence in social networks, apps, and directories for podcasters. I also created and continue to add to Podcast Places to be a free solution for podcasters to find out where they should submit their podcast. And My Podcast Reviews was the final realization of a need for podcasters to get their international podcast reviews.
Look for pain points that your audience has, and see if you can create a solution. This could be a physical product or a digital product. Maybe it's a WordPress plugin, a special worksheet, a piece of software, or something completely different. If the idea catches on, it could find a customer base beyond your own audience.
- SEO for Podcasters is launching this week!
- Next episode will be with Brian from ProfitCast to talk about how podcasters are making money with their podcasts.
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