In today's episode, I talk about how I've been earning three figure incomes using affiliate marketing. You can find products that fit your audience at places such as Share a Sale and Commission Junction. You are assigned a specific URL so that when people click your link and then purchase that product, you earn a commission.

Well, it just so happens that the School of Podcasting has an affiliate program that currently is paying 30% of the sale when anyone signs up, and 10% for every month they stay signed up.  I also have an affiliate program for another membership site I have is at Marketing Musician where you earn 20% for every person that signs up.

So many people want to try to sell advertising on their podcast as radio does. PODCASTING IS NOT RADIO. Let's talk about advertising. You can get help, or you can do it yourself. Let's take a peak.

Well, the problem is many people think Podcasting as if it is Radio where you might get $10-$15 per 1000 listeners. The key point is, you have to have the radio on at the time and be listening. If not you miss it you miss it. With podcasting, that advertisement will be there tomorrow, and it will be there a year from now. People find a podcast and go back and download all the old episodes (with the advertisement). So if they think a podcast is the same as radio, they are HORRIBLY mistaken.

There are other things to consider. Will you put a link to their website on your website? Is there an image, banner, etc. You can use these to negotiate a price with the potential advertiser.

YOU need to prove that you are sending the advertiser traffic.  I recommend getting some sort of click tracking software ( I'm a big fan of the pretty links plugin ) so I can say “I've delivered 152 visitors to your site). An alternative is to have the advertiser set up a landing page ( so they can see the traffic and KNOW it came from you. You might also see if the advertiser has a way to produce a coupon or a special deal (again so they know that when this coupon was used, that customer came from your podcast). You have to provide the proof.

I am actually making more money with affiliate marketing instead of selling CPM (cost per thousand). When the visitor buys using a unique link from me, I get a commission. This works when you find the right product that matches your audience. You can find an affiliate program at places like Share a Sale, and Commission Junction. You also need to make it easy to get to your affiliate link. So you can set up a subdomain on your website that redirects to your affiliate link. You can also set up an entire store if you are using's affiliate tools. To see this in action go to (however Amazon requires a TON of traffic to make any significant money).

As for how much to charge, if you're going the CPM route, somewhere around $15 – $20 CPM is unfortunately very low, but typical (well actually a pipe dream). I feel this is because people don't understand that the advertisement is permanent (unless you go back and edit it out). This model pays the bills when you have 10,000 listeners per episode. That works for a chosen few podcasters.

Doing a quick google search on CPM pricing for radio. I found the following:

according to an August study from the IAB and Bain Capital, the average CPMs on ad networks ranged from 60 cents to $1.10

$9 CPM for a radio spot

$1-$2 per CPM
So you can see where when I say “$10-$15” per CPM, I'm already getting more than radio. The bad news is I don't have the audience of radio.

On the other side, I got a $200 affiliate check last week. If I was selling CPM at $20 (again, some would call that a fantasy) I would have had to have 10,000 downloads. As most of my podcasts have about 500 listeners that would've taken me about 5 months or $10 a show. The good news is I've been promoting this program for about two months (not five). I've done 8 shows in two months, so that means I'm getting paid $25 a show (or $50 per cpm 25/500 X 1000 – I think my math is correct)). I won't retire on this, but with affiliate marketing, I make just as much (if not more) than CPM, and it's evergreen. I get paid whenever a visitor acts (not if the advertiser decides to renew their agreement).

Just remember if you have advertising, you are going to have to prove that you sent them traffic (if you want them to renew their advertising when it runs out).

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
5 comments on “I Will Sponsor Your Podcast
  1. Neil says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful article. I would love to talk to you about this sometime. Please email me at your earliest convenience.

    God bless you!


  2. I want to correct you on your CPM is permanent , There are programs out there and hosting companies like libsyn that have what is AD slots, So what we have done in the past is when you offer a company a Slot which would cover all Slots new and old episodes, That way you can attract bigger companies to advertisement with you.

    Example: one of our current postcast get 8k download the release date but then we get another 3k of people going back and catching up. 11k weekly or 40 to 50k monthly and our cpm is set at 7.00 per 1000 or 11.00 with banner ads on our page.

    Just food for thought.

  3. True. Most podcasters are not using Libsyn pro, but I guess if I was doing advertising, I would certainly consider it. -Dave

  4. Hello there, I am a loyal listener to your podcast and would like to ask you a question about the following scenario:

    I work for “La Scena Musicale” its a well known music magazine in montreal, ottawa and toronto. I am thinking of developping a podcast for them, however my boss wont do it if i dont find sponsors first. How much could I charge to sponsors?, is it reallistic to ask for money right of the bat? (We dont have any numbers for the podcast, since we dont have one, but we have good numbers for the magazine and the website).

    Thank you !

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