I get this a lot – people are frustrated because they can’t get a sponsor for their show. Little do they know they can put together a sponsor on their own and make some decent money over time. This is the post that started it all:
Here is a fun little game. If you could have ANY sponsor in the world for your show…who would you go with? (Don’t go with Chicos Bail Bonds…little Bad News Bears reference there)
In this article I am going to show you some great ways to put together a sponsor for your show. Understand this is for CPC – or Cost per Click. Therefore, getting people through your channels is important.
Podcast Sponsor options
Before you start – there are companies out there trying to help you make money. A good example is Blubrry Ad Deals. They help set you up with sponsors which you can use right in your show. You will have to use their stats program to get paid for CPM advertising.
How to Make Your Own Sponsor
Step 1. Website Plugin Setup
The first thing is to get your website in order. Start by getting the following plugin – Quick Page Redirect. Also install a stats program so you can get a report of the links that people follow. Finally, get some widgets ready to put ads on the site. An email subscribe option is probably the most important widget to have on your site. Otherwise, how do you contact the people that listen?
Step 2. Join an Affiliate Program – Find your Dream Affiliate
There are many affiliate programs out there your head will spin. Everything from small companies to major conglomerates. If your podcast is on building cars, you might want to get Goodyear, Sears (Craftsman), Pep Boys, or another big chain to promote their products.
No matter what podcast you have you can find an affiliate for it. A Mommy’s podcast can get Pampers, Sterilite, Toys R Us. A tech podcast can get Vista-Prints, Tiger Direct and ZAGG.
In fact, I have no doubt in finding you enough affiliates that you can put together a decent affiliate program to turn into a sponsor.
How to Find an Affiliate?
Check out the following websites that specialize in getting affiliates with bloggers – podcasters
These are only a small amount of affiliate programs around. Some companies have internal affiliate programs. Others use these 3rd party companies to send their message across.
You can set up affiliates in different ways. For example, Commission Junction has a pay-per-call option you can join. You then get a phone number that you can promote. Whenever someone calls that number and buys something, you get a part of the sale.
With these 3rd party programs you get a full stats sheet to see how your traffic is doing. Use the tutorials to build a better affiliate network and make more money.
The more affiliate programs you are with, the more products you can browse through.
Direct Affiliate Programs
These are websites that have set up their own affiliates. I am part of two direct affiliate programs. The key is to be somewhat aggressive with the links and you will see returns.
Another great thing about direct affiliates is they will most likely have a representative that will work closely with you. After all when you sell, they sell and everyone gets paid.
Promote that Affiliate
That should also be the case if you get a direct sponsor. Let people know of your sponsorship by Tweets, Facebook posts and other social media outlets. If you have a video show, why not show off something of the sponsor? For example – if you are with a T-Shirt affiliate (and there are several T-Shirt affiliates that are willing to get you a couple free shirts) then you should wear the T-shirts on the show.
I have all my sponsors in my video at one place or another. You will eventually see in the corner of your eye something from one of my sponsors.
Think Outside the Box
I have been podcasting for over 7 years now and I still find new ways to bring affiliates in. One affiliate comes in when I need to promote something geeky. Another will come in when I need to gear my show to business.
I have a tech podcast. I don’t have Pampers as an affiliate because I don’t have young kids and there are no reasons for me to talk about diapers. However I DO travel so I have a travel affiliate that I will not only go through but also talk about when I take travel.
Step 3. Setup links to Affiliate
A side widget on your website is a great start. On your website you should have a “Affiliates” page. Put down all the companies that help you keep the lights on and a call to action.
What is a “Call to Action”
This is a statement that entices people to do something. The statement can be something like this:
Don’t wait! For this offer and 25% off go to affiliatewebsite dot com and see a picture of a puppy!
Of course that call to action will be different for each sponsor. Nonetheless, you just told the listener to act on this deal before it expires. A call to action is very important to stress and look directly at the camera when you say it with a smile or sense of urgency. For an added effect I like to say
Check out this offer at affiliate website dot com. Thanks for their added support as they help me keep the lights on.
This tells the audience that if they do this your show can continue to run. It also is nice to thank the sponsor for making you money.
Step 4. Use Plugin to Redirect
Earlier I had you install a plugin to your website. This is where it comes in.
When you get an affiliate code, it’s usually a long drawn-out url that you couldn’t begin to explain to your audience. But if they went to your website dot com – forward slash – Affiliate name you could get a deal. For instance, for ZAGG, I say:
For this great deal, go to www.geekazine.com/ZAGG
A lot easier, right? The audience should know your website and might already be on it. So if they cannot find the widget you set up, then can just type in the browser the url.
With this redirect option if the affiliate link changes then you don’t have to re-explain a link to your audience. They will always know geekazine.com/ZAGG is a great way to get to ZAGG and it helps me keep my lights on.
Put your redirect URL in social networks like Facebook and G+. It becomes an added SEO for your website.
Most important – if the affiliate closes the relationship then you can re-set the redirect to your front page.
Step 5. Work with Affiliate
Back in September I joined an affiliate program. I then contacted the affiliate and asked if we could run a contest. I put in an additional $75 to use a Facebook app that would give me a mailing list and also handle the contest.
The result – 500 new Facebook friends and a closer relationship with the affiliate. I can turn and contact them for updates or work with the affiliate to get more than just the link would offer.
It’s important to understand that if the affiliate doesn’t work with you then nobody makes money. If they blow you off then continue to contact them. It’s important to show your interest in making them money.
Be Ready to Leave the Program
It’s important to understand if a program changes or doesn’t make you money then you need to move on. Even if it’s your dream affiliate. It doesn’t mean you cannot partner back up with them later.
3 years ago I started working on an affiliate program with a company that deals in backing up your PC. A year later they changed their terms of service and pricing plans. Even though I was making money from this affiliate, I felt the new TOS really hindered my promotion of the service.
Think about it – I had to go back to my audience and tell them that cool option I have been promoting has changed. It really made me upset – so I quit the program. I did lose some recurring payments but I felt it was worth it because I didn’t believe in the company anymore.
I planned to take a year off any affiliate programs dealing with backup in respect, but was offered a CPM from another company for a 3 month period. 2 months later through another website I got offered a short term CPM from the original company through their business backup group (which had different values than the consumer line).
Bottom line is you can leave a program and come back. Still – be prepared to leave one program for another that your audience can get behind.
You Now Have a Sponsor
Voila! You now have a company to get behind. Now it’s your job to promote that company and let them work with you.
It may take a bit of extra elbow grease. With a good program of Tweeting out links and promoting this on your website and podcast, you can make some good money. Some affiliates just need one sale to make you serious money. Other affiliate programs work over time. So work that program and you will start to see something in return!