Making Money Online: Scaling Traffic for Profit

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about how you can make money online. He does a podcast, and was looking for sponsorship. I was telling him that even if he could get a CPM rate of $10 for every thousand plays that the show gets, with the thousand plays per weekly episode, and selling three ad spots, he’d only be looking at $120 per month.

After realizing that getting one thousand listeners per episode wasn’t easy for him, nor any podcaster, I immediately wondered how well podcast advertising scales. Surely it deals with the same sliding CPM rates that blogs and other forms of advertising get, and so the higher the traffic, the less money for every thousand listens he’ll get.

So estimating a maximum audience of ten thousand plays per episode, four episodes a month, and three sponsors per episode still paying $10 CPM, he would only be making $1200 per month for what, in my mind, would be an outrageously popular show.

Seems like there aren’t really any super easy ways to make money online and that it always comes back to creating a large enough audience that you can sell something, be it services, products, or advertisements, but the audience required to make a full time living off the web, is probably only achievable by two percent of those willing to chase it.