5 Ways to Make Money Podcasting with the S.M.A.S.H. Method (with Joe Casabona)

Joe Casabona started his career over 20 years ago as a freelance web developer. He later realized his true passion was helping podcasts of any size make money, so they could turn their hobby into a business. In 2016, he started the How I Built It podcast, which interviews other web developers about how they built their plugin, theme, or other WordPress-related product. The podcast quickly gained popularity, reaching 50,000 downloads in just nine months. Since then, Joe has monetized the podcast in several ways, including sponsorship, membership, affiliates, and selling products and services.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. Joe Casabona’s background in web development and how he got into podcasting

2. The process of securing sponsorships for a new podcast

3. The various ways that a podcast can be monetized



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Chapter Summaries:

[00:00:00] – Joe Casabona started his career over 20 years ago as a freelance web developer before realizing his true passion. The podcast has made over $250,000

[00:00:46] – In high school and grammar school. He did drama club and he loved presenting. He has a master’s degree in software engineering and he’s been working remotely since 2013. He started podcasting because he wanted to talk to people about how they were building things. It’s a way for him to be the extrovert while still working from home.

[00:02:47] – Joe started a podcast in 2016. The name came from a domain he bought while he and his wife were on their honeymoon in Italy. Chris Coyer, a big name in the web development space, was his 6th guest and it started getting a lot of downloads from there. He had 50,000 downloads in nine months. He got it sponsored before he even started.

[00:07:58] – There are five ways to make money podcasting. The first one is sponsorship. The second one is membership. The third one is affiliate links. The fourth and gift is products and services.

[00:18:02] – It’s important to choose the right sponsors for your podcast. Manscaped approached him earlier this year about sponsoring his podcast. He didn’t think their products were in alignment with his audience. Some brands wanted exclusivity for an extended amount of time, or they wanted him to guarantee downloads upfront.

[00:19:33] – Baked in ads give the most value to podcasters. CPM is probably not going to work for most podcasters who aren’t in the top 2%.

[00:28:30] – How I Built Bits is going to be a five or ten-minute episode with a short read at the beginning. People can sponsor the episode for $99 until the end. It’s a way to increase the number of sponsors in an episode and make money.

[00:30:53] – Make Money Podcasting is a 20-minute-long mini podcast. It’s geared towards creators and small business owners.

[00:34:20] – Joe makes about $30,000 to $50,000 per year on podcast sponsorship alone. He has locked in about $6,000 worth of sponsorships this week. He’s considering scaling back the number of sponsors to two in 2023.

[00:37:26] – Workflow: Airtable, Calendly, Zapier

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