We’ve all heard about residual income and monetizing your podcast, but exactly how can you do that without securing third party sponsors? Affiliate marketing. I’m uncovering what affiliate marketing is, the pros and cons, and how you can use it on your podcast to monetize and plan your content!

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

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Affiliate Marketing (1:00)

Pros of Affiliate Marketing (1:49)

Cons of Affiliate Marketing (2:52)

Two Main Ways You Can Use Affiliate Marketing (3:50)

Haylee’s Recommendations (5:26)

Affiliate Programs (6:31)

Disclaimer (8:28)

Check out the other episodes in this series:
Episode 039: Ways to Monetize Your Podcast
Episode 041: What to Consider When Looking at Podcast Sponsorships
Episode 042: Using Your Podcast for Marketing Your Business

Review the Transcript:

Affiliate marketing, you’ve seen it done over on Instagram, in the resources section of some of your favorite business coaches and educators, and you’ve likely heard it in a few of your favorite podcast episodes. Today we’re talking all about what affiliate marketing is, when and why you should use it, and how effective it really is.

Hey y’all welcome to the clocking in podcast the podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals making their way in the working world i’m your host Haylee Gaffin this podcast is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com plus you’ll also find resources show notes and more for the clocking in podcast so let’s clock in and get to work.

Let me start this episode off with a quick note: affiliate marketing can be a really easy way to get started in monetizing your podcast, but it may not be the most effective way.

With affiliate marketing, you’re making an income through affiliate links, which means that in order for you to make money, your listener has to purchase what you’re trying to sell. This is ideal when you have a smaller listenership or you want to promote products you know you love in episodes.

There are tons of programs out there that offer affiliate programs, so it’s accessible and can be an easy way for podcasters to try their hand at monetizing.

When I am working with a client that isn’t necessarily ready to pitch sponsors, but they’re also not selling a product and they’re too booked out to advertise their work, but still want to monetize, that’s when I”ll recommend affiliate marketing.

I think there is a time and place for affiliate marketing, but I don’t think it’s the best strategy for everyone when it comes to monetizing.

Let’s talk about pros.

When you’re first getting started with your podcast, taking advantage of affiliate programs are a great way to help you “monetize” while you’re still building your podcast audience.

What I mean by this is that in order to pitch sponsors later on, you can take the data you pull from your affiliate marketing in early episodes to see what the potential conversion rate could be.

I think one of the biggest benefits, especially those with large audiences is you have uncapped earning potential in a single ad. Where you may plan to charge a premium fee for a sponsorship spot, you could potentially make more than that with a single ad and a high conversion rate.

Another great pro is that they already exist, you’re not having to go through the obstacles of pitching, negotiating, etc that comes with sponsors.

And a final point is that your affiliate marketing can actually help you navigate planning your content. 


While there are some really solid pros, we also have to look at the cons of affiliate marketing.

First, let’s start with the obvious, you’re not getting paid to promote another brand unless they purchase. And they could still go purchase without your affiliate code. This is somewhat of a struggle when it does take a few times of hearing about a brand or product to actually consider buying into it.

Another con is that there are only so many affiliate programs out there, that your industry may have exhausted them. You know the ones I’m talking about, where every educator shares about it. 

The final and biggest con is that most affiliate programs are a one time payout even if you send the brand a lifetime customer. What is costing the brand a few dollars in an affiliate payout could earn them thousands and thousands over the next few years plus. 

I think there are a lot of opportunities to play around with affiliate marketing in your advertising, so let’s talk about the two main ways you can use affiliate marketing in your podcast, and examples of each.

The first way is that you can create an advertisement for your show that highlights the product or service that you’re affiliating. Now if you take this approach, I do recommend reaching out to the brand to let them know you’re doing it. This style of advertisement can confuse listeners, because they’re under the impression that the company has sponsored the show unless specified.

I always encourage highlighting that you’re interrupting the show to share a resource rather than say that the show is sponsored by or brought to you by. 

Now the second way is to organically share about the affiliated product within your content. Maybe you’re sharing about a particular topic and quickly mentioning that product, you could share there. I actually highlight this anyway for my podcast clients. If at any time, you mention a product that you’re an affiliate for, always share about your affiliate link and include it In the show notes.

To expand on that, you can also create a full content plan around your affiliate links to better guide your listener to convert. 

For example, look at episode 37 of Clocking In, I shared about growing your email list with downloadables and encouraged listeners to use my affiliate link if they got started with Flodesk. I’ll link both episode 37 and my affiliate link in today’s show notes.

As I mentioned, it does take a few times of hearing about something before a customer actually converts.

Here’s what I recommend… similar to how I’ve created  a theme for this month to be all about podcasting, you could create a whole series based around a problem that your affiliated product solves.

For example, I could take Honeybook, my CRM, and build a whole series around how I use it in my business. Since I have an affiliate link with Honeybook, I would base all of my content around that, but then also keep in mind that my goal for those episodes was to gain affiliate signups through Honeybook to earn money.

This will also give listeners the opportunity to see how you’re using it (rather than it simply be an ad), and encourage them to visualize how they could implement it into their business or even life.

Now my recommendation for if you’re planning to use affiliate marketing as a major part of your podcast monetization strategy would be to create a blog post or resource page all about the product you’re promoting and encourage listeners to learn more about it at that resource page.

Since we’ve shared a little bit about affiliate programs and how you can use them in your podcast monetization strategy, let’s review a few affiliate programs you could look at for you podcast:

  • Let’s start with amazon because you know you’ve talked about amazon products before
  • Fashion brands like ModCloth, Nordstrom, stitch fix, etc.
  • Fitness programs
  • Music programs

Now if we’re talking specifically about the creative entrepreneurship industry, a few you could consider include:

  • Flodesk
  • Cloudspot
  • Honeybook or Dubsado
  • Calendly
  • Your Website Hosting
  • And more

Additionally, you may have a friend with a service or product that can set up an affiliate program with you. 

As a disclaimer, you also have to note when a link you’re sharing includes an affiliate code and that you’re making a percentage of the sale. 

Now, think through all of the products or programs you use and consider if any have an affiliate program and if it would be a good option for monetizing your podcast.

Additionally, if you’re still stuck on what the best approach to take towards using affiliates or even monetizing your podcast, I have a few Q1 VIP Strategy days left for 2022! Make sure you head over to gaffincreative.com/vipday to inquire!

This has been another episode of The clocking in podcast. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at Gaffincreative.com. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. If you love this episode, I’d be so honored if you leave me a review in Apple podcast app. Until next time, I’m your host Haylee Gaffin, clocking out.