The Hello Bar is a simple web toolbar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Monetizing Your Podcast – PPC and Affiliate Advertising

This is Part 2 of a 5-part series: Monetizing Your Podcast.

Previously we spoke about donations and subscriptions as tools to monetize your podcast. Today I want to touch on two concepts that can be both lucrative and easy to initiate: PPC (pay-per-click) and Affiliate Advertising.


In a nutshell, PPC advertising is a model that allows you, the site owner, to be paid whenever someone clicks on an ad hosted on your site.

There are a number of PPC models out there but the 800 lb. gorilla is Google AdSense. Once you’ve set up your account and installed the piece of code provided, Google displays targeted advertisements on your site. Each month you’ll receive a check/direct deposit to your account for the clicks you got during the previous month.

Sounds good on paper and a number of people have been known to make upwards of five figures a month with AdSense. But, not so much anymore.

You can somewhat adjust the parameters of what type of ads can be displayed but you need to understand that you’ll probably be displaying competitors ads.

Another drawback is that when someone clicks on an AdSense ad they’re taken off of your site.

A big complaint about AdSense is the “cheapness factor” it portrays on your site. So many people have run into ad farm sites that are littered with AdSense and display ads that they automatically become blind to AdSense ads.

Many bloggers have since stopped or refused to start running Google ads because of the stigma associated with it. As well, the lower payments haven’t been much of an incentive either.

Top PPC Ad Networks

Affiliate Advertising

A more lucrative alternative to Pay-per-click is Affiliate Advertising. Like PPC you’ll be running ads on your site for advertisers. Unlike PPC, you can either receive a commission on leads generated or sales made.

Some of the highlights of Affiliate Advertising

  • You also can pick and choose the advertisers you want to appear on your site.
  • Advertisers can easily be found with Affiliate networks.
  • Commissions are much greater than that of PPC.
  • You can choose where and how you want the ads to run on your site.
  • With a bit of code, clicking on the ad opens a new window and doesn’t remove the viewer from your site.

The ads you see on the right side of this page are all affiliate ads.

Some of the top Affiliate Networks include:

Website Magazines online addition has an excellent article of the Top 100 Advertising and Affiliate Networks to Consider in 2011.

One caveat to take into consideration with both of these plans is that you need site traffic to make them worthwhile. And, especially in the case of PPC, it’s a numbers game – the more people that visit your site, the more opportunity there is for someone to click on an ad.

Blogs in general have had great success with both of these methods whereas podcasts are a special breed – due to the fact that your show is usually downloaded automatically to a listeners podcatcher and they have no need to visit your site on a regular basis.

You Need to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Probably the simplest solution to keep a continual flow of traffic to your site is to create a combination podcast/blog. I know, right now you’re saying, “…but I spend a big chunk of my time creating the podcast! How am I supposed to keep a blog up as well?”

You don’t need to blog everyday. In fact, two to three times a week would be just fine. So, what do you write about – sum up sections of your previous show.

  • Talk a little bit about what you’ve just talked about.
  • Go into detail that you may have missed during the show.
  • Answer questions that may have arose after the show.

Take a look at my earlier post, 8 Ways to Market Your Podcast. The ideas there translate to marketing a blog as well.

Who have I missed that you’ve had good luck with?

Back to Donations and Subscriptions | Continue to On-Site and In-Show Advertising

About Jay Walsh

With a combined 25 years of design, marketing, podcasting, video and social media knowledge, Jay created with the goal of helping you make a better podcast.

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