How to Make Money With a Podcast With Chris Hines

Apr 12, 2023

How to Make Money With a Podcast

Want to make $1000 a month from your podcast right now (without finding sponsors or having thousands of downloads)? Well, it’s totally doable, and monetization expert Chris Hines is going to share with us how! He wants to change the industry and he believes by helping 1,000 podcasters start making $1,000, more podcasters will change their perspective and approach to podcasting. He’ll give us 5 income streams you can choose from and tips on how to get started with podcast monetization.

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With no experience and no expectations, this guest was able to take their podcasting journey to the next level with an unexpected twist. An innovative monetization strategy focused on affiliate marketing and community building allowed them to generate $1,000 in monthly revenue – and now they’re ready to teach others how to do the same. What’s the secret to their success?


My special guest is

Meet Chris Hines, an experienced podcaster and monetization expert who has helped countless podcasters turn their passion into profit. With over 8 years in the industry, Chris has launched over 50 shows and has a wealth of knowledge to share. His focus on affiliate marketing and community building offers podcasters unique and effective methods to monetize their content. Chris’s dedication to realistic growth and attainable income goals sets him apart from others in the field. Through his podcast, PodCentral, Chris shares his expertise with the world, helping podcasters achieve their dreams.


In this episode, you will be able to:

  1. Uncover valuable techniques for incorporating affiliate marketing and nurturing a thriving community to support your podcast monetization.
  2. Discover how relentless brand promotion can position you as a thought leader and drive podcast success.
  3. Learn effective organic strategies designed to blend seamlessly with your podcast advertisements for maximum impact.
  4. Explore how paid membership communities can transform your niche audience into an engaged and loyal fanbase.
  5. Delve into the world of podcast coaching and discover how supportive communities can be leveraged to generate sustainable income.


The key moments in this episode are:

[00:02:18] – The Plan,

[00:06:19] – Income Streams,

[00:10:49] – Getting Started,

[00:14:20] – The Foundation of Affiliate Marketing,

[00:16:23] – Promoting Affiliates in Your Episode,

[00:22:27] – Building a Community,

[00:25:50] – Facebook Groups and Community Building,

[00:27:46] – Making Money from Your Community,

[00:28:16] – The Long Game of Podcasting,

[00:29:37] – The Podcast Income Stream Session,

[00:31:35] – Changing the Industry,

[00:32:07] – Founder Success Methods Podcast,

[00:33:54] – Passion for Podcasting,


The Plan of Chris’ New Podcast

The show Chris is planning has the goal of helping a thousand podcasters make a thousand dollars a month. The focus will be on $1,000 instead of $10K because it would be unrealistic to sell people the dream of making more money than 90% of Americans make.

The strategy Chris will use is to create different types of products that align with the show.

Chris Hines 1

Understanding Podcast Monetization

When it comes to podcast monetization, Chris believes that shows can be broken down in one of two categories: entertainment (with music podcasts, true crime, comedy podcasts, etc.) and business (where you’re probably selling a product or service that may somehow be connected to the show).

You need to know which one you’re going for because that is your foundation-setter. Your podcast monetization strategy will vary depending on the type of podcast you host. For a business podcast, Chris suggests selling digital products, building a community, and doing consulting. Hosting an entertainment podcast? Look into affiliate marketing, sponsorships, community-building, and merchandise, says Chris.


5 Ways to Monetize a Podcast

Chris has identified 5 different ways to monetize a podcast. People tend to focus on sponsorships and advertising, but that’s actually the last and most difficult option Chris suggests looking into. So, if up until now you’ve been exclusively looking at this, you may want to rethink your approach.

The other four podcast monetization strategies worth exploring are affiliate marketing, digital products, community building, and consulting. Affiliate marketing is the low-hanging fruit strategy, and it would be a good idea to start with that (more on that in a moment). Advertising and sponsorships is hard because you need leverage: a bigger audience, bigger guests, a bigger community and a “machine” behind you that goes out and finds potential sponsors and advertisers. 

For Chris, 90% of podcasts don’t have that level of leverage. “Chasing sponsorships will frustrate and leave you at zero dollars”, says Chris.


The Foundation of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an essential element to consider for podcasters looking to monetize their shows. It involves partnering with brands or businesses whose products, tools, or services align with the podcast’s niche and audience. By becoming an affiliate, podcasters have the opportunity to promote these brands to their listeners, earning a commission for each referral or sale generated. 

Building a solid foundation in affiliate marketing requires identifying and promoting a select few brands that the podcaster knows, loves, and can genuinely stand behind. This approach not only helps build trust and credibility with the audience but also establishes the podcaster as a thought leader in their niche. 

By consistently endorsing the brands you believe in and use personally, podcasters can become thought leaders within their niche in just a few months. Affiliate marketing should be viewed as providing a valuable service to the audience, rather than simply trying to make money. 

By offering trustworthy recommendations, podcasters can successfully create a mutually beneficial relationship between themselves, their audience, and their affiliate partners.

Start by picking 5 companies you’re a fan of and whose products could help your audience. Become an affiliate and start promoting them in your episodes. And in case you’re unsure about which tools you could be an affiliate for, just think about the tools people use in your industry.


Promoting Affiliates in Your Episode 

Effective promotion of affiliate brands within podcast episodes is crucial for monetizing through this channel. Live reads or recorded ads placed at the beginning of the podcast can quickly inform listeners about the endorsed brands or products, creating a more organic and genuine promotion. Avoiding traditional 30-second mid-roll advertisements helps to maintain the flow and connection with the audience, as these types of ads often seem disconnected and less authentic. 

Chris suggests that instead of relying on mid-roll advertisements, podcasters should seamlessly weave their affiliates’ promotion throughout the content. This approach fosters natural conversations about the brands, products, and experiences, ensuring that listeners find value in the podcast without feeling overwhelmed by advertising. Chris emphasizes that this approach helps podcasters maintain audience trust while supporting their monetization efforts.

As an affiliate, you can promote a company by creating an ad or sharing a 3-5-minute long “library” of stories where you talk about your experience with it. And you can even create episode series to do that. Just look at YouTube – you watch a video and see a related one being suggested on the sidebar. You can do the same: mention the next episode and include a link on the show notes page to direct people toward it.

Are you afraid of being too salesy? Keep Chris’ words in mind: “Think of selling as a service. I’m selling to serve you.”


Building a Community 

Creating a community around a podcast is another effective way to monetize and generate a loyal audience. 

By fostering connections around a common interest or specific business outcome, podcasters can offer valuable resources, group interaction, and support to those who share the same goals or interests. A community can be an excellent platform for podcasters to further engage with their audience, provide additional content or resources, and collaborate on new initiatives. 

According to Chris, community building ranks right behind affiliate marketing in terms of monetization options for podcasters. He underscores the potential of paid communities built around a specific niche or targeted outcome, suggesting that these quality connections can open up new opportunities and additional income streams. Maintaining a paywall helps maintain the quality of the group, excluding spamming or self-promotion that tend to overtake free communities.

As you begin building a community you need to figure out whether people want to be a part of it because they’re looking for connections or outcomes. In the entertainment space, for example, people are probably looking for connections – like-minded people who are fans of the same thing. In the business space, on the other hand, people want to be part of a community to learn something.

About Chris’ Upcoming Program and Founder Success Methods

Chris’ goal with his upcoming program is to help a thousand podcasters make $1,000 a month from your show, no matter the size of your show. The first step is to take part in the so-called podcast income stream session, which also defines whether or not you’re a good fit for the program. Once you’ve gotten access to the program, you’ll also get resources and three courses that are the result of Chris’ 8 years of work in the podcasting industry.

And one final note: Chris’ new show, Founder Success Methods, launches on April 8th – make sure to check it out!

Resources mentioned:


Chris on Instagram (ChrisPodcasting)

Chris on Twitter (ChrisPodcasting)

Gary Vee



Pantheon community


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