(By Troy Price) The year was 2010. Three of my podcast dynasties had already faded. Proof that my podcasts from the Two-Thousand-Aughts quite failed is that no one today is talking about their love of podcasts like “How to make $100 on the Internet,” “A Troubled Teen and His Parents,” or “The Crossword Enthusiast Podcast” (except for me). Sigh. So, in late 2010, I was eating at a Long John Silvers/A&W Root Beer Combination Restaurant with a friend from grade school. As he ate his fish fillets and I ate my burger we talked about life and comic books (just like we did back in grade school). It was when I noticed I was eating long-cold fries that the idea hit me… We could create a podcast about comic books!
After some research, I discovered we could be the 16th comic book podcast produced by white men in our 30s that thought they were funny. All we had to do was be better than a dozen of them and we would be in the top three comic book podcasts in the world! That was our goal. Completely Comics was born.
There are a lot of crazy stories I could share, but let me just summarize by saying we had a lot of fun and we put out some good work. We never cracked the Top Three, but we gained a big enough following that sponsors were in the picture. Here is the choice we made that was right for us: Rather than a sponsor from this website company or that mattress brand that would pay us a few cents per thousand people who listened, we signed an affiliate agreement where we could get more money, but only if people bought what we talked about on the show. We also didn’t become an affiliate of the website company or the mattress brand, we found that mycomicshop.com (an online comic shop) would pay us for any purchase that we sent their way. That seemed like a perfect fit for our, at that time, Top Ten comic podcast. Their commission checks were good around tax refund time and just after Christmas — other times they just paid for hosting. I am confident that this was a much better arrangement than any other we could have made.
I bet this principle would work with any special interest podcast. Let’s put it to the test. I assume you like the topic you are covering on your podcast. So, ask yourself this question, “What did I buy recently that I really liked?” With that product in mind, Google for that product with the words “affiliate program” after it. If you like it, odds are many people that are listening to your podcast will like it too. All you have to do is set up the affiliate agreement. Then talk about the affiliate relationship on your show, but also make the point that you liked the product before you had this arrangement in place. BOOM — money might come rolling in. Shoot me an email at the address below if/when this works for you!
Now, here is a bonus tip. Every Saturday morning while I am doing housework with the family listening to Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love podcast (that is not the bonus tip, but we do have a rule in place that our house has to be clean before we have family fun). On that show, Dan often shares this quote: “You can make a living selling people things they need, but you can get rich selling people what they want!”
Back to the bonus tip, notice how I asked you to think of a product you really liked. I could have asked you to think of something that you really use, but that is not the way it works…
If you try to sell what you are using, you will talk about it a certain way. If you talk about the something you just bought and absolutely love, and if your listener wants one, they can go over to a website and if they enter a coupon they can help the show. Your passion will come through as you talk and make other people happily enter your coupon code! Sure, everyone else is talking about accounting software and stamps, but you go for something you can be passionate about.
Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. Troy’s current podcasting projects are The Berea Podcast and Podcasting Tips From the Front Porch. He’s been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Contact Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org.