How to Sell Advertising for Your Podcast

Monetize Your Podcast Today

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Blogs swept the internet in popularity but it took a while for advertisers to take notice. However, podcasting has gained instant attention with the ad world and the reach they have is attracting everyone from small business advertisers to companies around the globe. It's a multi-million dollar industry — so, how can you tap into it?

Selling the Space

Selling advertising on your podcast is much like selling advertising space on a website. Unlike selling a banner on a per-click basis, though, a simple podcast ad can be inserted into your podcast and left there. Selling your podcasting ad space can be quite appealing since podcasts are generally free. This revenue can help you cover the cost of producing your podcast and create better content so you can gain even more listeners.

Commercial Placement

Keep commercials limited and control their placement carefully. Some podcasters insert a commercial at the beginning of the podcast, some have a commercial in the middle and some have one at the end. Some even use the beginning, middle and end spaces to insert commercials. Be sure you're not bombarding the listener with commercial after commercial, though.

Many podcasting experts warn against putting an ad at the beginning of your podcast. They say a commercial right off the top detracts from the listener's excitement of hearing your podcast. Instead of listening to your podcast right away, they have to hear a commercial first.

Commercial Length

Most podcast listeners are fine with a 15-second commercial in the podcast.​​ Two minutes is way too long, and even 60 seconds is a stretch. 

By keeping the commercial length short and limiting the placement, you can continue to serve your listeners first. You don't want to turn your podcast into a smattering of commercials that detracts from the hard work you put into your podcast and doesn't give your listeners anything valuable.

Who's Listening?

Auto advertisers are really jumping on the podcast advertising bandwagon. Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Volvo and more are testing the podcasting waters. A majority of podcasts aren't going to be able to gain these kinds of advertisers. What you can do instead is target those who may listen to your podcast.

By evaluating the type of podcast you're releasing, you're able to know who your potential advertisers are at the same time. You'll also want to know how many listeners your podcast has. Advertisers will want to know how many people their ad could potentially reach before buying the space.

Podcasting Ad Rates

The value of a podcast is hard for both podcasters and advertisers to gage this early in the game. Audible's WordCast is providing a service that allows podcasters to see how many people are downloading your podcast to help you establish an advertising rate card.

The service charges the podcaster up to five and a half cents per podcast download. The info WordCast gathers helps the podcaster determine exactly who the listeners are and what they are downloading.

Sponsorships Over Advertising

An alternative to podcast advertising is to find a sponsor for your podcast. Georgia-Pacific entered into a six-figure deal with a parenting podcast called "Mommycast". A 15-year-old girl in Texas has sponsors for her "EmoGirlTalk" podcast that include an acne treatment product called Nature's Cure and the domain name provider

Sponsorships generally have the podcaster mentioning the sponsor within the podcast. Don't underestimate the value of a sponsor. Many podcasters have found more success by getting a solid sponsor than selling podcast advertising space on a regular basis.

No matter how you pursue advertising for your podcast, just make sure your content doesn't suffer. Otherwise, you won't gain any new listeners and you'll lose the following you had, ultimately losing your advertisers in the process.