39:6 How to start a podcast – Monetising - Lee Matthew Jackson

39:6 How to start a podcast – Monetising

On todays show we wrap our series with how to monetise your new podcast. These are all methods that we’ve applied to our podcast in the past and whilst there are many others, we like to teach what we know, not theory!

Lee Matthew Jackson
Lee Matthew Jackson

On todays show we wrap our series with how to monetise your new podcast. These are all methods that we’ve applied to our podcast in the past and whilst there are many others, we like to teach what we know, not theory!

Lee Matthew Jackson - Trailblazer FM ™


Lee Matthew Jackson

Trailblazer FM ™

We will look at:

  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliate opportunities
  • Promoting services
  • Custom products & services
  • Creator donations

If you are joining part way through this series, click here for all the episodes from start to finish. Remember you can download all these episodes as printable guidebooks if you’d like to follow step by step and make notes. Nothing like a pen and paper when you are planning your new project!


How to start a podcast – Monetising

Welcome to the Agency Trailblazer Podcast, this is your host Lee and on todays show we wrap our series with how to monetise your new podcast.

Before we continue, I’d like to thank Cloudways for sponsoring this episode. Cloudways are the Managed Cloud Hosting service we trust with our mission critical projects. You can find out more on trailblazer.fm/cloudways.

Over the last few weeks we’ve unpacked how to plan, create, edit, launch and promote an MVP (minimum viable product) podcast. This series is great if you are looking to launch your own show, or wish to support a client in getting theirs online.

In this final episode of the series we will be looking at ways you can monetise your podcast.

We will look at:

  • Sponsorship
  • Affiliate opportunities
  • Promoting services
  • Custom products & services
  • Creator donations

These are all methods that we’ve applied to our podcast in the past and whilst there are many others, I like to teach what I know, not theory!


TLDR; Sponsors will need clear information on your audience and your reach in order to make a sponsorship decision. Build your analytics over time, keep your sponsorship page updated and develop relationships with potential organisations.

Let’s take a look at sponsorship. In the early days of your podcast, sponsorship deals may be hard to strike. You’ll first want to build your audience and develop some credibility within the industry. If you are already a well known brand or personality in your sector, you may be able to attract sponsorship from the get-go.

We waited a year before reaching out to potential sponsors and frankly it was really hard at first. We made the mistake of approaching either huge companies who would be looking at the numbers, or at small companies that would want to see an instant return on every penny they spend. Given we were still so young with a small audience and the inability to prove previous ROI we were stuck in a rut.

Over time we worked out that sponsors were keenly interested in the following:

  • Listener demographics
  • Social reach
  • Community engagement
    (this is why we recommend a group of some sort)
  • Personal brand association

Without this sort of data we were going to find it very difficult to negotiate anything of value for both parties. This is why in Episode 313 we highlight the importance of recording and monitoring your stats from the very start.

By getting serious about our analytics we were able to put together an overview for potential sponsors.

You can check out the latest version of our show stats over on:


The basic anatomy of this page is:

  • Aspirational tagline
  • Problem and solution opener
  • Audience stats
  • Community demographics including
  • Sex
  • Average age
  • Location
  • Company size
  • Overview of the brand
  • Sponsorship pricing
  • Social proof
  • Call to action form
  • Closing with a sprinkle more of social proof!

With this information we’ve been able to approach large companies who are looking to engage web design agencies. This has allowed us to sell sponsorship for the podcast, the YouTube channel and our physical event!

As I am the brand ambassador for Agency Trailblazer, I’ve the benefit of being able to cross sell my other channels due to the audience that engage with me through them. This didn’t exist on day one of the podcast, but has developed as a wonderful result of showing up every week producing content for you our wonderful listeners!

So start as you mean to go on, build your podcast, monitor your vitals, develop your brand and build relationships with potential sponsors over time.

Cloudways have been a long time sponsor of this show now along with my role as a Cloudways Maverick. What I’ve described is our path, there may be shortcuts but I’ve none to sell you! Take your time. The best things come to those who wait.

Affiliate opportunities

TLDR; Start sharing your affiliate urls of products that you believe in.

Affiliates do what they say on the tin. Promote a product, and if there is a purchase made through one of your links a commission is paid. In the early days of our podcast we setup vanity URLs for certain products we used. For example we still receive a regular income from our Beaver Builder affiliate url.

Whilst you may not get huge payouts, those small amounts in do help towards the cost of producing your podcast and they can scale as you grow.

I recommend creating easy to remember URLs that you can say during your show. These can be entered from memory by listeners but also be sure to include them in your show notes.

Also if your guests have products and affiliate links, ask if you can be on their programme and use that URL as part of your show notes. We once generated a large affiliate commission from an SEO course that way! Whilst that wasn’t evergreen, the income at the time was the most we’d received in one episode.

Promoting services

TLDR; Make sure you explain what you do as a business. Episodes on how you do things are a powerful way to generate new leads.

For the first few years of the show, we offered a web development service to web design agencies. They would create the design and we would build the WordPress theme from it. We were fully white label and would be an extension of their team.

The podcast became an excellent way to generate leads for what we did as we would provide valuable episodes to our ideal clients whilst being able to share what we do on a daily basis.

During interviews I was able to unpack some of our own processes and in solo episodes I would deep dive into how things work.

We’ve always been keen to share it in an educational format in order for people to be able to apply it for themselves. If done in this way, we lead with value and the small percentage of people who would prefer we did it for them are our ideal client. We’d only need a small percentage of a small audience to decide to work with us to make our podcast more than worth while.

Our show was our marketing activity bringing in wonderful projects and great new clients.

Custom products & services

TLDR; As you get to know your audience, create digital products such as courses, workbooks, training or memberships in order to solve problems they have.

With your analytics showing you the most popular subjects, and your social community asking questions and sharing their problems with you, you will soon have a very clear idea of what people need.

If you have answers that would help solve these problems, then use your new platform as a means to selling solutions.

The key products we’ve sold as a brand are:

  • Membership
  • Single courses
  • Events

In the early years we had an Agency Trailblazer membership where we provided weekly training on Zoom along with a growing list of training on core subjects our community needed help with. Eventually we did close this due to the health of my daughter putting immense strain on our work life balance. (Spoiler alert: She got better after a major operation!).

We now have one course live and plans for several other specific courses for our audience, and we have our yearly event (Agency Transformation Live).

We’ve promoted these via our podcast, social media and in some of our free downloads. For example, if you’ve downloaded the guidebook for this episode, check out the very last page.

There is no shame in creating a product that answers the needs of your audience as long as you are teaching from experience.

We teach agency owners how to build an agency they love and want to keep. (As opposed to many teaching how to scale fast and sell). We live our agency life through Event Engine, and teach what we know through Agency Trailblazer. This is a model that generates a respectable income enabling us to continue to pursue our passion of helping others and building community.

Creator donations

TLDR; Setup a Patreon page or similar and offer perks if your community would like to help support your show.

Finally we come to donations. If your community expresses an interest in supporting your show then consider setting up a Patreon page. This allows your audience to commit a regular sum and in most cases you offer some kind of perk in return.

For example you could offer:

  • Credits in the show notes
  • A shout out on the show
  • Early access to recordings
  • Supporter only content

We offered this for some time and it generated a small amount each month toward our hosting and other costs. As with our membership we eventually disbanded this one due to the extra work needed to maintain the content within Patreon vs the income that was being generated and our family circumstances.

What works for one person doesn’t always work for another and whilst we had muted success with this option, you might blaze a trail with it so don’t rule it out!

In closing

Further reading and listening

There are other methods you could explore such as merchandise, premium content and more. We are careful to teach only what we are experienced in and this series has been meant as a free resource to help our community launch their own ideas.

If you would like to deep dive into podcasting, we recommend a wonderful resource called The Podcast Host. This is run by a friend of mine, Colin Gray who has been podcasting and teaching it for many years.

Colin and his team have provided huge amounts of free information in order to help you start and scale. If you want some extra help they do have some premium options you can check out too.


Over the last six episodes we’ve shared how you to plan, create, edit, host, promote and monetise your podcast.

You can find a download to all our printable guidebooks at the foot of any episode. Simply fill in your email and we will send you a fill list of all printable resources.

If you have any questions, be sure to comment on the episode that is most relevant to your question.

Say thanks

If you got value from this document, be sure to come and tell us in the comments on Episode 315.

If you REALLY feel like it, do us a solid and drop us a review on Apple Podcasts.


PodcastSeason 39

Lee Matthew Jackson

Content creator, speaker & event organiser. #MyLifesAMusical #EventProfs