Make money podcasting – without sponsors!

I started my podcast back in 2013 purely for 1 reason: I love podcasts.

I still do. In fact, I spend more time listening to podcasts than any other kind of media.

However, over time, I developed a nice size audience and knew I needed to consider monetizing it somehow.

How I lost money trying to make money

With sponsorships not being a super viable option in my niche, I decided to try host-read ads through sponsorships obtained via AdvertiseCast.

You upload your show information there and sponsors can reach out to you for advertising.

Some down sides to this method:

  • The work required to record the ad, insert the ad into the episodes, and then report on was not worth the money to me
  • Having a podcast hosting plan that allows the dynamic insertion of host-read ads is expensive
  • This method now requires a minimum of 20,000 average downloads per episode

What I do instead

Trying the method above actually resulted in me losing money because the podcast hosting plan cost more than the amount the ads made.

After reaching out to my host, Libsyn, about this situation, they advised me that I could go back to my low-priced plan and allow them to dynamically insert their own ads through their Automatic Podcast Ads program.

Big perks of this method:

  • Affordable hosting plan that I had already been paying since I started
  • Ads aren’t host-read so it’s less work on my end
  • You get to choose the categories of ads that are run on your episodes
  • The timing of the ads is determined by you within the Libsyn dashboard
  • No minimum episode download requirements

Sign up for Libsyn now (affiliate)

The result

Now that I’ve got this process in place, I’ve gone from making nothing on podcast ads to making a low 4-figure amount.

And since my episodes are usually very long, I’m experimenting with including even more ads to keep increasing that amount over time.

Other methods of making money podcasting

Of course, this is just 1 way to make money on a podcast, but it might be the easiest method with the least amount of work.


I also have a very active Patreon with people who came due to my podcast. While I love the steady income and the Patron community, it definitely isn’t a hands-off method to making money. I spend a lot of time on it every week.

Affiliate income

Obviously affiliate income can be used in podcast episodes. You’ll just have to make sure to include your affiliate links in the show notes/episode description to get credit for the referral.


What other methods have you found to monetize your podcast? Would love to hear what’s working for you.

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