Experimenting with Sponsored Segments

This week I tried out advertising on Anchor. They make it so easy to start earning income from your show. Now, if only I had an audience. ? Regardless, the process was really simple. For a podcast with a reasonable audience, I can see how Anchor’s tools provide you with an easy path to monetization. If that has you interested, read on…

To begin, I enabled advertising in my account. Next I connected Anchor to my Stripe account for payments. (Since I already had a Stripe account, that was super quick.) Then Anchor provided me with my first ad, a promo for their service. They included some required copy, and I included it with my script:

Since this was a trial run, I didn’t do anything special for the recording. If I had the budget, I’d add some music underneath my vocals. I didn’t see an easy way to do that inside Anchor. My guess is that licensing restrictions prevent them from offering background music for ad spots as opposed to the content portions of your podcast. (If I missed something, let me know in the comments.) Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

My first ad for On This Day

Next I needed to add my spot to my episodes. There’s a natural break I’ve added to the middle of my show between the day’s history and the quiz. So for my first attempt I simply spilt one of my episodes using Anchor’s split tool. Then I was able to add my spot:

Adding a Sponsored Segment via Anchor

To further refine things, I made a slight change to this week’s episodes by making that break longer and introducing it with “Now it’s time for your quiz after the break.” If I wanted to really polish things up, I could have faded out my audio at the break and faded back in once the show resumes. However, this first foray into ads was more about running a quick experiment.

Speaking of experimenting, Anchor says they work to match your podcast with interested sponsors. In my case, I’d imagine there isn’t much incentive for them to do this since my show is so small. However if they do match me with a sponsor, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Once I had my sponsored segment added to my episodes, the *pennies* started rolling in. ?Actually, if I had a decent sized audience, this would have been a great way to monetize. From what I can tell, Anchor pays you each time your podcast is played downloaded. As it stands, it was all a part of my fun, and in the meantime, if you happen to have a more marketable idea for a show, consider this your primer on how easy it is to start producing your podcast and earning income.

Note: The last day I ran the segment above was Wednesday of this week. My ad runs too long in comparison with the length of my show. Plus, I need to smooth out the transitions. My main concern is making a fun little show, and my first ad got in the way of that. As I continue, I’ll keep assessing whether or not I can make an ad “work”. Should things change, I’ll let you know.

UPDATE 03/07/2019 – Starting with yesterday’s episode I updated the opening and closing segments of the show along with re-recording my ad. I added fades along with some background music to my ad. In addition, I shortened the ad to 43 seconds. Those changes mean the ad-break fits in much better with the show. So, my ad spot is back, and I’m once again earning a bit of income for each play. Here’s the revised ad:

My revised ad spot for Anchor

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