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#066 | Monetizing Your Podcast – from Someone Who Turned a Pre-Podcasting Audio Program (Live Calls & Cassettes) into a Multi-Million Dollar Business

Date : April 20, 2018 Posted By :James Martell

monetizing your podcast followingIn this episode of Podcasting Mastery, James Martell, tucked into the ‘Secret Beach Hut Studio’ talks with Ken McCarthy, a true Internet Pioneer and founder of The System Seminar and Club who “turned a pre-podcasting audio program featuring live calls and audio cassettes into a multi-million dollar business, about monetizing your podcast following.

Ken talks about the early days of trying to get people to understand the Internet as a commercial advertising vehicle. In the early days, people using the Internet were anti-commerce, they did not want to sell things, or do advertising, but the first commercial base turned out to be banner ads.

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They take a walk down memory lane and discuss the beginning of the Internet and putting a little ad on your site and making money from that. Seeing a URL on a billboard was mind boggling, but they were surprised at how fast and hard it hit. They had no idea of the potential at the time and Ken talks about how quickly things changed.

The Evolution of The System Seminar and Club

Ken talks about monetizing your podcast following by drawing from decades of experience of turning audio programs consisting of live calls and audio cassettes into a multi-million dollar company. The early model included doing interviews on a tape recorder, duplicating and selling them. Ken put on seminars, taped them and sold them and talks about the early challenges. He transitioned into courses and talks about the introduction of pay-per-click advertising, buying keywords, changing headlines, autoresponders and split testing. It forced Ken to figure out how to sell.

Ken continues to be an advocate for embracing online learning, where your efforts are easy to scale and production costs stay the same whether you have one customer or thousands. Ken has a simple message for those trying to over-complicate things: Traffic + Conversion = Profit!

Tips For Monetizing Your Podcast Following

You will hear in the episode Ken share a myriad of ways to go about monetizing your podcast following. He discusses the three
foundational ways to make money with your podcast. Ken talks about free vs. subscription models and what to do if you have a topic that is not easy to monetize.

He shares a great method that is proof positive to determine if there is a market for your product, and how to go deeper with your market to make more money. He shares other possible pathways to monetizing your podcast, and learning from monetization models used in the past that work like a charm.

Are You Afraid to Sell and Ask for Money?

Share your passion with other people who get joy from what you are teaching. Drop the word “sell” to take the pressure of the merchant – figure out a way they can sample at a lower cost, and they will become a buyer. If you are confused about how to monetize your podcast following, remember that audiences expect you to sell! If you really believe in what you are doing, get over your reluctance as it becomes a service to your followers, and they want to see you stick around.

Is There Water In The Pool?

“Don’t worry about selling – worry about serving” – great words of advice. Take the time to determine what people want and need. What are they trying to accomplish? What do they care about? Can you make their life easier? What is the value? Ken shares the offer he makes and why it works. If you have created the right item in the right way – people can’t wait to send you money.

How BIG Do I Need To Be?

They discuss the idea that people think you need a large following before you make any money. Every one starts small and you do not need to wait to be big before presenting your offers. Ken gives some great stories of successful entrepreneurs including Sam Walton and why modest beginnings are a great thing. It is a mindset.

Listen to learn

  • Lessons learned from the early days of the Internet and advertising
  • Why the business of audio should never be taken for granted
  • The evolution and importance of online learning
  • Figuring out how your topic can support itself
  • How to monetize your podcast following
  • Three foundational tips for monetizing your podcast following
  • Why drop the word “sell” to make more money
  • How to present offers to customers so they can’t wait to send money
  • Great stories of multi-millionaires and how they got in the game


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