How You Can Make Money With A Podcast That Is Free – Episode 167


How You Can Make Money With A Podcast That Is Free – Episode 167

8 business models to make money with a podcast
Copyright: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo

One of the most popular and controversial questions in our industry is, “How do I make money with a podcast?”

The question is popular, because many podcasters hope to monetize their content. That desire ranges from simply covering the costs associated with producing the show to making more than an average annual salary each month.

Earning money with an online business is a desire of many budding entrepreneurs. Podcasting is a great way to begin sharing your message.

The controversy arises between those who want to make money and those who see it as a hobby where profit is unnecessary. The fans of the hobbiest approach often wonder why people think it is so important to make money with your show.

Making money isn’t necessary. It also isn’t evil.

Both sides of the debate can be correct. It is all about your point of view.



Today, we are taking the monetization route.

Much of the information I want to share with you on this episode is derived from a great book called “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” by Chris Anderson.


If you would like to purchase the book, I would truly appreciate it if you would find it through this affiliate link. It is a great read.



You have worked hard to develop some great content. The show is beginning to attract an audience. How can we turn this great podcast into a business?

First, let’s make one thing clear. As you develop your podcast, understand that it is difficult to have the show itself be your sole source of revenue. Sponsorships and donations can only take you so far. Your inventory and sources will be limited.

Making your podcast your lone revenue source is possible. However, it is limited to the biggest of the big podcasts. Most podcasters needs another revenue stream.

How do we create other streams of income using our podcast?




We need to be creative. Once we start creating some unique ideas, you will see many others begin to open for you.

In this episode, we are going to devise various opportunities to generate revenue using your free podcast. Each of these ideas uses a different approach. You can tailor each approach to your niche and passion.

The foundation of the book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” centers on using a free product or service to create demand for a paid product or service. The concept is similar to the lead magnets you see quite often in online business.

You are producing a podcast that is free for your listeners. How can we use that free product to create demand for a paid product or service?

We are not going to cover all of the ideas in Anderson’s book. There are 50 different business models. We will only review part of one section. You can find all of the ideas in the book using the link.



Section one is called “Free 1: Direct Cross-Subsidies – Any product that entices you to pay for something else.”

This secion will give us a few business models to discuss. These should give you a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.




1. Give away services, sell products

Book example: Apple Store Genius Bar tech support

Podcast example: Your podcast explains how to set up and use products and then sells those products online

Podcast example: Your podcast provides content and information, sell books, CDs and DVDs about that information


2. Give away products, sell services

Book example: Free gifts when you open a bank account

Podcast example: Giveaway e-books, sell individual coaching

Podcast example: Giveaway podcast info, sell webinars and seminars


3. Give away software, sell hardware

Book example: IBM and HP Linux offerings.

Podcast example: Podcast explains how to use the software and provides free downloads, sell hardware to use that software

Podcast example: Podcast explains how to plant a garden/get a better shave/paint, sell the supplies


4. Free with purchase

Book example: The loss leaders you see at many retails stores.

Podcast example: Free podcast, bonus audio subscription with purchase

Podcast example: Partial inteview in podcast, collection of interviews free with purchase of book/course


5. Buy one, get one free

Book example: The supermarket specials

Podcast example: Free podcast on a related subject with purchase of subscription to site

Podcast example: Two tickets/courses/memberships for the price of one (it’s all info)


6. Free gift inside

Book example: Cereal boxes

Podcast example: Podcast directs listeners to free download each episode, which puts listener on a mailing list that can be monetized over time

Podcast example: Podcast listeners use code to access bonus information inside of a membership site


7. Free samples

Book example: Everything from gift boxes for new mothers to supermarket samples

Podcast example: Podcast is a portion of a larger recording for sale

Podcast example: Giveaway a free chapter of the book with code word/url included in the podcast


8. Free trials

Book example: Magazine subscriptions

Podcast example: Podcast is a smaller portion of a membership or course

Podcast example: Podcast highlights the “what” and directs listeners to the “how” on the website or inside of a product


Those are 8 of the ideas in this first section. You can actually get 16 ideas in the direct cross-subsidies section alone. There are 50 business models built on free in the appendix of the book. It is well worth the time.


Free 2: Three-party markets – A third party pays to participate in a market created by a free exchange between the first two parties

Free 3: Freemium – Anything that is matched with a Premium Paid Version

Free 4: Non-monetary markets – like Wikipedia and Freecycle.


Find my affiliate link to the book here:



I would love to know how you are using the power of free to drive your business. E-mail me any time at

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at


Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Other items mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Talent Coach Coaching

Podcast Talent Coach Survey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *