Why not download RevGlue latest free eguide.
With the growing adoption of podcasts, it has now become a popular medium from which people learn, entertain and catch up on the latest industry, whilst they simultaneously commute, walk, sew, do chores and so on. No wonder, it’s so popular, with just a press of a button, (unlike the radio), the listener can tune into his/her favourite sources of content and have control over episodes he/she wants to listen. And with this, it’s a great place to experiment as its constantly evolving, and many are easily inspired with new ideas to bring to the table.
In this guide, we want to introduce podcasters or those thinking about starting a podcast how to monetise it with Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing on podcast channels does not require the programs to have predefined parameters such as a specific count of followers, and so it’s very easy to set up and earn money. Before we go ahead on how you can monetise a podcast, let's summarise what Affiliate Marketing is.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when an Affiliate (you) promote another company’s product and earns a commission each time someone makes a purchase using your very own unique link.
This is great for both advertisers and affiliates (you). Advertisers have their affiliate product promoted in other channels and mediums on their behalf and so have an increase in exposure. For the promoters/affiliates (you), they will be making commissions off products they and their audience will love.
So how does Affiliate Marketing work on Podcasts?
We are familiar with influencers posting striking photos of their affiliate products, to attract audiences to buy the item (often at a discount) using their unique code. Through this, they are earning commissions each time someone buys through them. When it comes to podcasts, its actually much easier to do and hardly much time is required. Before you begin you should think about which affiliate network or program you should join, often three or four are joined together in average. We always recommend joining a niche area that resonates with your audience (so they are more likely to buy that product as they are already within that sphere of interest, often just going for a ‘profitable’ item does not always work) or in your applications mentions the niches or areas you plan to talk about so you can find a good match easily. When you have made an agreement, you are given a unique affiliate code that links to a particular affiliate product you wish to promote. This is the code you can place anywhere within and outside your podcast. We show you some of the ways producers/hosts can promote the code effectively:
Having a strong identity
When you have a brand or identity that truly attracts the audience, they are more likely to be influenced by the podcast channels as they see them as an authority or influencer in that space. It is said that consumers that are engaged are more likely to spend more per transaction in comparison to those that don’t. So when they hear a familiar voice they trust, with consistent messages and distinct sounds amongst the myriad number of podcasts, they are likely to allow the podcast host/ producers to guide them in their decisions. Remember, quality is critical, ensuring that the audio quality as well as the listeners’ interest and values, are top-notch will help you to deliver episodes that are more engaging, insightful and fruitful for your audiences. Those that listen to podcasts often want to make the most of their time, and they don’t want to listen to something that did not serve their needs or interests.
Transparency is appreciated
Similar to blogs and social media, it is now a ruling that an Ad should be explicitly stated. People already negatively perceive ads and often are put off when seeing or listening to Ads, that they often switch off, skip or ignore. When you are endorsing, it is more positively perceived and accepted when you clearly mention that this is an ad. It is also important to be completely genuine and authentic about the reasons you think this affiliate product is good and beneficial for the listeners. Simply, endorsing will put your audiences off your brand. For example, although this is not an affiliate product, Steven Bartlett often promotes a fast-growing food replacement brand; Huel in the interims of his podcasts, he does not simply advertise the product, but how it’s a beneficial part of his day to day life and the reasons behind it, this attracts buy in. You can declare them by simply talking about it, giving them a simple affiliate link, and perhaps reassuring them that you wouldn’t promote something you wouldn’t believe in.
Integrate them within your show notes or social media posts
Whilst the affiliate product or service can be mentioned in the episode it is also wise to add them in your show notes or social media posts. These unique affiliate links can be based upon what this episode is about to ensure they are highly relevant. By having a link in copy format, it requires listeners to not memorise the unique code and can simply copy and paste or follow the affiliate link. Going back to transparency, it is good practice to explicitly state that this is an affiliate link and that when purchased will receive a small commission. It is good to add to show notes, as audiences can scan or read the screen when listening and access the link easily.
Tip: Editing podcasts can take a considerable amount of hours, which is why we recommend using apps or tools to help you do this quickly. From Alitu, Descript to Audacity, explore which of these is right for you now.
Integrate them within your website
Your website should be affiliated with or be an extension to your podcast channel. It should include podcast information, about your page, upcoming episodes and other important details. Visitors are usually looking to see which episode they should listen to too. It is important to subtly add the affiliate links (with the context of course), where it gives the audience an opportunity to explore those in detail. It could be in the form of a banner, at the top bar or sidebar, it could be in the text or even in a blog that relates to the episodes.
Enhance the affiliate landing page
Often the affiliate links will take the audience to a unique landing page, and they will only take a few seconds to purchase the affiliate product you are mentioning in your podcast. This is why the design should be extremely simple and make it easy for them to purchase with as less possible steps as possible. If someone made the effort to land on your unique page, they are more mentally closer to buy something from you. Therefore, the page’s objective should be on closing the affiliate sale. However, not solely on this, it should be combined effectively with information about the specific podcast episode too.
Optimise for SEO
You can still optimise your podcast for Google Search Rankings. Other than the podcast information i.e. title, description and context on a website the transcript can also include keywords to help increase visibility in your search results. For example, for a simple generic keyword: Podcast on Women’s Rights displays these results:
For a full understanding of how SEO works and how you can take these tips and tricks to help optimise your content on your website, visit this article to see how this can help you. Our tip would be to use SEO tools such as UberSuggest and Google Trends to pick and choose the most relevant and competitive keywords to help you craft your copy from headlines to the body copy.
Share your podcast in the right places
Whilst SEO will help improve the visibility of your podcast, placing your podcast in the right directories will help with discoverability. We all know the popular places to search for Podcasts; Apple, Google, Pandora, Spotify, Podchaser to name a few. Whilst these are great, major places with a number of categories, it also helps to submit to less known directories, this will also help increase your exposure. Other than directories, sharing on social media will help attract new audiences giving you a chance to talk about your episodes in a creative way. Also, a forum or community whereby, your fans or followers have the liberty to discuss topics in detail would also help.
Some Affiliate Programs suited for podcasters
This is probably one of the most popular Affiliate Programs, with very diverse and interesting categories. It is easy to register, however, you will need to make at least three sales in 180 days before being fully qualified.
If you haven’t heard, this is a great online learning platform, where you can learn anything from learning to illustrate to car mechanics. There are so many courses for people to choose from. Usually, affiliates can earn up to $7 for each signup. Remember it has to be something that would be of interest to your audience.
This is a great one for those in the business-related field. You can make up to $25 per sign up or choose to get a 20% commission on a recurring basis.
We suggest you explore more affiliate programs, try them on AWIN, Rakuten and so on, to find what you believe in and what you enjoy.
Whilst the goal may be to turn your podcast into a sales generating tool, it is also important to keep a balance with what your overall mission is and serve your purpose as effectively as possible. The success of your affiliate marketing will be linked to how well your audience engages with you, the listening time and the number of downloads.
It is not a quick easy win, it requires time and work, to ensure your podcast reaches a stage where it is successful and has momentum. It means perseverance and consistency, you will not see results overnight. It is about building a loyal, engaged community.