004 | Attract the Right Audience and Monetize from Day 1

People think it’s frightening, and that in order to monetize their podcast or receive sponsorship, they must have a million subscribers, which is not true at all. In today’s episode, we will talk about podcasting and I will teach you how to attract the right audience and monetize your podcast right now. Let’s get started! 


“It’s what you want to make it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you enjoy talking, but you don’t necessarily like being on camera all the time, it’s a great option to look at doing podcasts.” 

Topics and Timestamps:

  • Ashleigh helps people to get into podcasting  (00:50.1- 01:02.7)
  • Podcasting is free of charge  (01:16.2- 01:16.2)
  • Podcasting is a good fit for camera-shy people (01:45.7- 02:21.8)
  • Importance of RSS feed in podcasting (02:21.8- 03:05.3)
  • Company hosts for podcasting (03:07.6- 03:31.0)
  • Episode planning (03:31.0- 03:50.4)
  • Specific audience for podcasting (03:50.5- 04:23.8)
  • Monetizing through building trust (04:38.2- 05:19.2)
  • Monetizing through digital product (05:19.4- 06:25.2)
  • Monetizing through merchandise (06:27.5- 06:53.7)  
  • Monetizing through sponsorship (06:53.8- 07:16.6)
  • Value of analytics in acquiring sponsorship (07:16.8- 07:27.0)
  • Monetizing through special membership (07:27.0 -07:45.6)
  • Laptop as an initial equipment investment (07:52.5- 08:20.2)
  • Podcast workshop (08:33.9- 08:33.9)

Thank you for coming along for the ride, and I hope to see you again soon. Wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe to the podcast, and I’ll see you in the next episode!

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004 I Attract the Right Audience and Monetize from Day 1

Are you ready to take your digital marketing to the next level, using tried and true methods and emerging trends? It’s Ashleigh and you’re listening to the Digitally Grounded podcast. We’ll talk about all things digital marketing from sales funnels and flywheels, social media, email marketing, and more. So if you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, keep listening.

Hey, Ashleigh here from Digitally Grounded, and today’s episode is about podcasting. We’re going to podcasting 101, and I’m going to show you how to monetize your podcast from day one. Let’s get started. 

First of all, this podcast is relatively new. However, my experience with podcasts is not new, and that’s why I’m doing this episode. I do podcast workshops a couple of times a year, and I really like to help people get into this medium because there has been a resurgence with this whole podcasting thing, and it’s easier than you may think. 

A lot of times, people think it’s intimidating and they think they need to buy all this stuff and they have to have a million people subscribe to their podcast for them to get sponsorships or anything like that and none of that is actually true. I’ve worked for a public radio station for a number of years and I’ve helped them to adapt live programming to podcasts and we’ve done 15 or so and that comes from me not only getting that audio and building a website for it host, setting up the hosting. This was before it was so easy to just kind of go to one of those podcast hosting companies and pay them X amount of dollars a month. You can actually do it for free and so that’s how we did it.

It’s a really interesting way to be able to connect with people, especially if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like being on camera or you feel nervous. Podcasting can allow you, (if you’re not doing live podcasting) to kind of stumble over your words a little bit. Maybe it’s a little imperfect but you can edit those things out and I think it’s a really nice upgrade from if you’re just writing blog posts. It’s a nice step forward outside of maybe going on social media and doing Instagram reels or something like that. I think podcasts are a nice alternative to writing. 

So, the process basically is when you create your podcast and then you disseminate it through something called an RSS feed, and that RSS feed will go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and all these different places. There are so many different hubs and honestly, your RSS feed is available to the internet at any given time if somebody knows how to find it, and many times once you’ve got a podcast out there, you’ll start getting emails from these other companies like we want to put your podcast on podcast hub or whatever the company’s name is because that RSS feed is open to the public once it’s out there.

There are a bunch of different hosting companies that you can use to do this. Now, you can do it for free and host the audio within your own media space but this is still technically owned media if you’re using something like Buzzsprout or Castos or PodBean or something like that because you are paying for the hosting and you have ownership over those episodes. 

So once you’ve got that set up and you have a concept that you’re ready to talk about, you can start to plan your episodes. I always suggest coming up with a plan of a chunk of episodes at a time if you can, so that you can really start to help with that overall ecosystem that we talked about in the previous episode. 

We’re always looking at anything that we’re doing in business. We’re not just doing it just because there has to be some reason or some way for it to connect to our people. So making a podcast that’s really specific to the audience you want to attract is perfect for that and then once you have a couple of episodes outlined, some people will write a whole script. I personally don’t like to do whole scripts. I like to just have an outline and just be able to touch on the points I want to touch on and then let myself kind of intuit what I need to say. But that’s not for everybody. Either way, you can still write a script that’s totally fine and then just start to create those episodes. Now, the good thing about planning your episodes in chunks at a time is you can start to monetize as soon as you publish those episodes. 

So let’s get into that part. When you create your episodes, maybe you mentioned a resource or you mentioned a graphic or you’re trying to describe something, but the person can actually see what that is. You could have a graphic that they could see in the show notes, and you could give them that graphic for free. The next step of that is well, maybe there’s a checklist or some informative white paper or research that you mentioned in the podcast, and you only mentioned a few bullet points from it. Maybe they could subscribe to your email list and get the full report. That’s not necessarily monetization in some ways, but in a way, it is, because you’re earning the trust of a potential customer. 

Now, if you want to charge someone for a product. Typically with podcasts, these people are going to be sort of at the top of your funnel. They’re going to be in the awareness stage of their journeys and they’re not necessarily going to know who you are. In that case, we don’t want to give them some super high ticket, thousands and thousands of dollars product but what we do want to give them is a little bit more, a little greater detail and sometimes people use something like Patreon for this, but you don’t necessarily have to do that. Maybe you have an e-book for sale, and it’s a low-cost offer that somebody can get and some of the content in the e-book is something that you mentioned in the podcast, and it’s really engaging, and it’s a way for people to learn more about you, get to know more information and purchase your e-book or purchase your real book. Maybe you have a planner of some kind or something that they can use a template that they can use in their business that’s going to help them grow their business or help them organize their business or something like that. You can offer those for a small fee. Those are two ways to monetize. 

Another thing that’s a little more creative and fun, in my opinion, is let’s say you’ve got a really great piece of artwork or maybe the logo for your podcast is really cool looking. You could make merch! Make T-shirts, mugs, have that kind of thing, and allow people to buy merch. If somebody’s really excited and jazzed about your podcast, they may grow to love it and just want to have a T-shirt with your really awesome-looking logo on it. 

Another thing you could give is some of the hosting companies offer paid listens or like episodes that you can unlock for a fee, which could be a really intense interview with somebody that’s important in your industry or something like that. You could offer sponsorships in a way that we know sponsorships, where would be, this episode is sponsored by X-Y-Z company.  Typically, they do wanna see some analytics data in terms of how larger audiences are, before people invest in that. 

But all the things that I’ve mentioned before don’t necessarily need to have those analytics. It’s just for the listeners and then finally, you can do special memberships. Perhaps, those special memberships include, maybe they have the monthly cost that they pay and they get a T-shirt and they get extra content, or they get these other perks that typical listeners that are listening for free aren’t getting. 

So just think about the different ways that you can monetize your podcast because it does take a time investment and while the monetary investments can vary depending on what type of equipment you’re using. I think in the very beginning, it’s totally fine to use your laptop. Right now, we’re recording this on my laptop using a website called Zencaster so you can make it as low tech as you want it to be and you can also make it really high tech. I have a mic that I haven’t even opened yet. It’s what you want to make it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you enjoy talking, but you don’t necessarily like being on camera all the time, it’s a great option to look at doing podcasts. 

So if you’re interested in learning more and attending one of the podcast workshops. You can get information for that in the show notes and you can also visit https://digitallygrounded.co/ and sign up for the next one when they open up. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to speaking with you again in the next episode.

The Digitally Grounded podcast is written and produced by me, Ashleigh Lindsay, our editor is Jessica Marshall, and our music is ‘Summer Hip Hop Upbeat’ by Lightbeats. Thanks for listening!

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