7 ways your show notes can make you money
Show notes are a key channel for sustaining yourself as a creator
There are several ways that podcasters and content creators can monetize their show notes, which are often overlooked as a revenue channel. Show notes provide an opportunity to include affiliate links, advertise sponsorships, sell backlinks, promote an Amazon affiliate program, offer premium content, sell merchandise, request donations, and/or promote a Patreon account. Optimizing show notes by including these links and content can help you as a creator grow your audience and increase revenue.
Monetizing your show
As you grow your show, you undoubtedly start to think about how to monetize your hard work and amazing content. That’s the dream for many creators—flipping their youtube channel or podcast into a bonafide income stream. And it’s possible, but it does take hard work. Not just on the content side, ensuring a quality recording or stream and the main content itself, but in the post-production side of things: writing all the marketing copy, social media posts, and last but not least: your show notes, whether in the form of podcast show notes, a youtube description, or more.
In this article we’re going to explore the ways that you can optimize your show notes to increase their monetizing potential—an often overlooked part of making your show more accessible and also more profitable. So let’s jump right in.
Seven ways to increase revenue from your show notes
Find Affiliates: One popular way to monetize your show, whether as a youtube channel or podcast, is through affiliate marketing. Thousands of affiliate programs and advertisers are out there ready for your partnership. When listeners click on these links and make a purchase, the podcaster earns a commission. Additionally, many companies have affiliate programs that pay commissions to partners who refer customers to their products. Podcasters can sign up for these programs and promote the products on their show notes.
Tell advertisers you’re open for business: If one of your fans has a company, they may be interested in sponsoring your show. Let the world know how to reach you. Include a note at the bottom of your show notes for how to inquire about sponsoring your content. It can be an email address or a link to your profile on an ad platform. It can be as simple as “Want to sponsor this show? Send inquiries to…” at the bottom of your show notes.
Sell those backlinks! Backlinking is valuable to advertisers wanting to increase their SEO ranking—the link itself is valuable to your potential partners. Offer to include relevant SEO keywords in the presentation of those backlinks. Don’t just say “Sponsored by soandso.com”, explain the quality with rich words “Soandso.com is the leader in <Keyword>. They are experts in <Keyword 2> and <Keyword 3>. We’re really thankful for their sponsorship and encourage our fans to check out their <Keyword 4> services at soandso.com”. You may not mention every advertiser and sponsor in your show, but you can always include them in your show notes.
Amazon Affiliate Sales: An easy way to take advantage of the power of affiliate sales is through Amazon. Sign up as an affiliate and create custom links to products that you mention in your podcast. Whenever a person clicks on that link and buys anything on Amazon you’ll get a commission. Mention to your audience that a link is in your show notes and that buying with that link supports the show.
Premium Content: Offering bonus episodes and exclusive content to paying subscribers is a great way to monetize a podcast, especially if you're not a fan of the ad route. Don’t forget to mention this in your show AND also in your show notes—i.e. don’t bury it. If you have bonus content to a particular episode make sure to include easy links for people to find. Structure the content in your show notes accordingly. But make sure that you aren’t making your show notes less useful to people actually trying to read what your show is about. There are multiple platforms that allow you to sell premium content—use them!
Merch Merch Merch: It's worked for punk bands on tour for decades. Sell merchandise related to your show, such as t-shirts or mugs, and include links to the products in your show notes. Your show is a unique culture artifact, after all—so make sure your audience has a tangible representation of it! Remind your listeners in your show but don’t forget those show note links! Just be sure to strike a balance between promoting your merchandise and providing valuable content to your listeners. Don't turn your show into an infomercial.
Donations and Patrons: Donations from your fans can be a significant source of revenue for content creators. You can set up a Patreon account or a "Buy me a coffee" account in minutes. Include those links to in your show notes. So simple, but often forgotten. Some very successful creators who produce content that is factual in nature (like some news or opinion shows) opt to run off donations entirely to keep their optics squeaky clean (so their audience doesn't wonder if they're reporting on certain things due to sponsorships or not).
As you can see there’s a lot of overlooked ways that you can start turning your show notes into a revenue stream. You’d be surprised how many creators, youtubers, and podcasters struggle to monetize because they fail to optimize their show notes as part of their engine of growth—growth in fans and growth in revenue.
Show notes can provide critical information that makes your content stand out. Links to relevant information for your fans is just part of that. Including links to your transcript, chapter timestamps, etc. also improve the user experience of your show.
We know that all of these things take time away the thing you really love: creating your podcast, your Youtube or Tiktok videos, etc. That’s why we made Podium, our AI tool built for creators and podcasters to help improve the quality of your content so you can grow your audience.