Buzzsprout is a well-known host network for podcasts, giving 100,000+ users the platform to share their voice and opinions.
And if you’re a loyal Buzzsprout podcaster, you can earn some extra cash and spread the word about this program through the Buzzsprout affiliate program.
The Buzzsprout affiliate program is worth signing up for. You can earn a $25 one-time commission or a 20% recurring commission. Your referrals will receive a $20 Amazon gift card for signing up (an incentive), and you can make more if your referrals add on extra features (like Magic Mastering).
You see the term “passive income” paired with an affiliate program, and you’re suddenly ready to sign up and get your affiliate link.
But to find out what the Buzzsprout affiliate program is about, the program’s pros and cons, and whether it’s worth signing up for, read on.
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Everything You Need to Know About Buzzsprout
As of November 2019, over 750,000 podcasts were available on Apple Podcasts, accounting for over 24 million episodes.
Podcasts are easy to make as long as you have a microphone, but getting your podcast off the ground and into the Airpods of other listeners is no easy feat.
So it should come as no surprise that podcast hosting platforms like Buzzsprout are becoming much more mainstream. And now hosting podcasts and tracking listeners is easier than ever!
Here’s everything you need to know about Buzzsprout.
How Buzzsprout Works
Buzzsprout helps to simplify the process of creating and sharing your amateur (or professional) podcast. As of now, there are over 100,000 people who choose Buzzsprout.
So how does it work?
A podcaster will record their newest podcast episode through their favorite recording platforms, such as Audacity or GarageBand.
Once the episode has been edited and spliced, a Buzzsprout user can easily upload it to the hosting platform. They’ll edit the title and description (ideally one that’ll attract the most listeners) and schedule the episode’s release for today or the future.
Before a podcast hits the headphones of other listeners, Buzzsprout will apply a feature called Magic Mastering. This unique feature will touch-up the podcast to have audio that’s much more clear and crisp.
Listeners will think a podcast was recorded professionally in a studio, not from the comfort of a podcaster’s bedroom or kitchen.
Once uploaded, the podcast will be available whenever a listener chooses to listen. These platforms include:
- Amazon Alexa
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
But what happens after a podcast is posted through Buzzsprout is even more critical. The platform will provide podcasters with in-depth details about how the episode is performing.
Other Buzzsprout Features
Through Buzzsprout, an amateur podcaster can learn all types of information about their podcast. This insight includes everything from where the most listeners are coming from (cities and countries), the most common type of device among listeners, and the apps that listeners prefer to listen to the episodes through (like iHeart Radio or Spotify).
A step further, Buzzsprout allows users to create a unique audio player that can be shared via social media or a podcaster’s website. These audio players can be custom-designed to match the podcast’s theme and give off a professional vibe.
Other benefits that have Buzzsprout podcasters raving include:
- Add transcriptions to drive traffic to episodes through SEO and Google
- Create chapters for podcast episodes for users to easily find important parts
- Monetize the podcast (receive XX% on sales and get listeners a discount)
- Develop multiple podcasts with several team members with editing access
- Milestone notifications for alerts (new listeners, progress, etc.)
The greatest benefit of the Buzzsprout platform is that it goes further than most other platforms. With this type of insight and unique capabilities, podcasters can determine what their listeners enjoy and make an effort to boost listener counts and listener satisfaction.
Buzzsprout currently has four packages, three paid and one free. Here’s a look at what you need to know about each:
|Podcast Hours Per Month||2 Hours||3 Hours||6 Hours||12 Hours|
|Magic Mastering Capabilities?||No||Yes, Extra $6 Per Month||Yes, Extra $9 Per Month||Yes, Extra $12 Per Month|
|Length Of Episode Hosting||90 Days||Indefinitely||Indefinitely||Indefinitely|
|Price Of Additional Content||N/A||$4/Hour||$3/Hour||$2/Hour|
It’s also important to note that all monthly plans come with advanced listening stats, unlimited team members, and the ability to cancel the subscription at any time.
These plans also come with 250GB of bandwidth (outbound), supporting up to 40,000 downloads a month. Exceeding this listen rate will enable a podcaster to enroll in the Pro Plan, listed at $49/month.
An additional fee of $0.25 per minute can be applied to upload transcriptions for episodes, though this isn’t required.
All aspiring podcasters can begin their tenure on Buzzsprout for free up to 90 days.
Here’s a quick video that shows you what Buzzsprout is all about and why so many are turning to the platform to start a podcast:
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Buzzsprout Affiliate Program Details
The Buzzsprout platform on its own sounds pretty great, but is it the right affiliate program for you? To help you figure that out, we’re going to go over in-depth what this program entails.
Here’s what you need to know.
As with all highly-regarded affiliate programs, you’ll have to complete an application that the company (Buzzsprout) will review. The application for Buzzsprout is a very brief Google Forms survey that can be completed in just a few minutes.
Take a look at what you’ll have to answer:
- Your email address
- Your name
- The name of your podcast (it would make the most sense if you had one)
- The URL and RSS feed for your podcast (if applicable)
- Your familiarity with the Buzzsprout platform (from “not familiar” to “very familiar”)
- Why you would recommend Buzzsprout for new podcasters (this is where it pays off to have experience with the platform)
- Whether or not you have a podcast hosted by Buzzsprout
- Compensation method (we’ll talk about this a bit later)
- How you plan to promote Buzzsprout
All in all, the marketing team at Buzzsprout is looking for a few key answers. They want to know that you stand by Buzzsprout and all the benefits it poses and that you can speak from personal experience to advertise the platform.
The survey should be pretty straightforward if you’re an avid podcaster yourself.
If this is like any other affiliate marketing application, you should hear back from Buzzsprout within a few business days.
How the Program Works
When you sign up for the program, you’ll receive a unique affiliate link. This is the Buzzsprout link that you’ll share however you see fit, whether via social media, your website, or even your current email marketing list. You can also attach this link to any Buzzsprout blog posts or podcasting guide as well to give your followers usable content to encourage them to podcast!
Once one of your listeners or followers clicks your link, it’ll automatically save a cookie onto their device.
Unlike most other affiliate programs that will save this cookie for anywhere between three and 30 days, the Buzzsprout cookie will stay on the user’s device forever.
So long as your listeners don’t delete their cookies from their smartphone or computer, you’ll earn the referral if they eventually sign-up for Buzzsprout (either a day or years from now).
When your referrals follow your affiliate link and sign-up for Buzzsprout, they get an additional perk: A $20 Amazon gift card. They’ll be informed of this before they click your link, which might encourage them to take the plunge and sign-up on the spot.
As an affiliate with the program, you’ll also get access to the Buzzsprout marketing team. The team will help you to figure out the best course of action for advertising your link in a way that encourages your followers and listeners to use the platform. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, this can make the entire process easier and straightforward.
There are two types of compensation you can select as a Buzzsprout affiliate: $25 or 20%.
The $25 option will earn you a commission when your referrals sign-up to podcast through Buzzsprout. This is a one-time payout and is likely a better idea if your audience would be those who have never podcasted before (i.e., People who might give up in a few months). This payment method will also get you your commission sooner.
The 20% option is a lifetime commission. So as long as your referrals stick with Buzzsprout, you’ll earn a 20% commission on what they’re paying to the platform monthly.
This compensation method is a better choice if you refer Buzzsprout to more skilled platforms who plan to stick to Buzzsprout for years or even decades.
You’ll have to decide which compensation method you prefer when you enroll for the affiliate program. It doesn’t look like this is something you can change later on.
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The Pros of the Buzzsprout Affiliate Program
The Buzzsprout affiliate program is one that comes with a ton of perks. First, we’re going to go over the benefits of this affiliate program, including how much money you might be able to make and what sets this affiliate program apart from others.
Two Different Compensation Methods
No affiliate program is complete without a commission or some form of compensation.
But the Buzzsprout program is unique in the sense that you have two choices: 20% or $25. The type of payment can make a massive difference in what your take-home with the program is.
The $25 one-time commission will be paid one time after your referrals sign up for Buzzsprout. So take a look at how much you might cash in on—depending on how many new referrals you make a month—in the table below.
|Referrals Per Month|
|Monthly Take-Home||Annual Take-Home|
After crunching the numbers, it’s quite clear that even recruiting five new Buzzsprout podcasters a month will help you end the year with $1,500 more than you had before. Is this possible to do?
It’s absolutely possible to recruit tons of new traffic if you have hundreds of thousands of followers (or if you’re a highly-regarded podcaster yourself).
However, the glaring issue is that this is a one-time commission, so you’ll have to continually refer new podcasters to Buzzsprout.
If that’s not your style, you can choose the 20% recurring commission instead, securing passive income as long as your referrals stick with Buzzsprout.
The table below will describe how much you can bring home every month and year, depending on what your referrals are spending on Buzzsprout each month.
|Referral Monthly Spending||Monthly Take-Home|
|Annual Take-Home |
The 20% commission option can be a solid source of recurring income and can secure you over $1,000 extra in your pocket at the end of the year.
This is possible with just 25 referrals buying into the most expensive plan ($24/month) or 50 referrals getting the low-end $12/month plan. This is the best choice if you want a “set it and forget it” kind of deal.
In all, you definitely can make a good chunk of change by becoming an affiliate with Buzzsprout. But the commission method will determine just how much you take home.
- Choosing the $25 option if your audience is new to podcasting and you’re unsure if they’ll stick to it in the long haul and are just trying it out
- Choosing the 20% option if you plan to send your affiliate link to already-existent podcasters with large audiences posting 12+ hours of podcasts a month.
Overall, it’s best to do what’s best for you and your audience.
There Are Extra Add-Ons for Bonus Cash
The monthly fees for Buzzsprout paid plans are very low, at between $12 and $24 a month. For one referral, you’re only netting between $2.40 and $4.80 each month, which won’t even add an extra $100 to your bank account by year’s end.
But there is the potential to bring home a little extra cash thanks to the bonus add-ons that your referrals can tack on. These include:
- $0.25 per minute of transcription (an extra $1.50 in your pocket for a 30-minute episode)
- $2 to $4 extra for each additional hour ($0.40 to $0.80 more for you for every extra hour)
- $6 to $12 for Magic Mastering ($1.20 to $2.40 additional each month in commission)
Even if your referrals start with the free program or the 90-day free trial, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll transition over to the Buzzsprout paid plans. When they see how affordable Buzzsprout is and the additional features offered, there’s a very small chance they won’t opt for at least one of these extra costs! Every little bit counts, right?
The Cookie Stays for a Lifetime
All referral programs have cookies, small identifiers saved to your referrals’ devices once they click on your unique affiliate link. This lets the Buzzsprout server know that, when this person eventually signs up for a plan, they found Buzzsprout through you.
Most referral programs will keep this cookie on devices for no more than 30 days. So it should be good news to find out that Buzzsprout’s affiliate program will save this cookie for a lifetime. That means your followers can click your link today and then sign up for Buzzsprout a year or two from now—and you’ll make the commission!
Note: This cookie will likely disappear if your followers delete their cookies from their smartphones.
The most significant benefit of this long-term cookie is that it gives you the chance to play the long game. You don’t have to constantly post about Buzzsprout and its benefits to convince your subscribers to buy-in. Instead, you can casually post about Buzzsprout, have followers click the link out of pure interest, and then continue to light-heartedly market Buzzsprout for months after. You don’t have to make your case for Buzzsprout day one.
An Incentive to Sign Up
By now, people understand what an affiliate program is. So if they see you continually advertising a referral code or link on your Instagram or via your email campaign, they’re going to realize one thing: They’re trying to make money off of me! They’ll get the vibe that you’re marketing a program or product because you want the commission and that’s it.
What’s awesome about the Buzzsprout program is that your followers don’t have to invest on day one. There’s a free program that’s more than enough for some people, especially podcasting newbies. You can even encourage your followers to enroll in the 90-day free trial to see what Buzzsprout is all about, from the top-notch insights and neat audio players.
When they see Buzzsprout for what you see it as, they’ll be more likely to get a paid plan later.
But another key benefit is that your referrals will get a prize of sorts when they sign up for Buzzsprout through your link: A $20 Amazon gift card. So not only will they get the chance to podcast with a high-end tool that the pros love, but they’ll also get an incentive to sign up through your link in the first place.
You get the commission, and they get the $20 gift card (as long as they buy a paid plan).
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The Cons of the Buzzsprout Affiliate Program
Will the Buzzsprout affiliate program bring you a ton of passive income? That’s not entirely clear just yet. So now, we’re going to be discussing the cons of the Buzzsprout affiliate program that you’ll want to think about before you sign up.
The Guidelines Are Unclear
We know how much you’ll make on commission and how much your users will be spending on their monthly paid plans. But what we don’t know for sure is what you are and what you’re not allowed to do in the marketing of your link. There’s no terms and conditions, at least no document that’s easy to find online.
So what does that mean for you? In essence, it means that you’re walking a bit of a tightrope when you’re advertising your link. For example:
- Are you allowed to bid on Buzzsprout-related keywords?
- Does Buzzsprout have specific ads and materials they’d like you to run?
- When will you see the payout (your commission)?
- Is there a minimum amount you’ll need in commission before they send a check?
- Does Buzzsprout have a limit on how much you can make?
- What happens if one of your followers clicks on another Buzzsprout affiliate’s link? Does it override your cookie?
None of these will be a dealbreaker, though they will make your participation in the affiliate program all the more confusing. You may not even realize that you’re breaking the rules or missing out on opportunities until after the fact.
You Might Not Make All That Much
The right audience is absolutely crucial when you’re advertising a niche service like Buzzsprout. Unlike fitness products or clothing, there isn’t too much of a market in the world of podcasting. People love to listen to podcasts, but will your followers and listeners want to make their own?
So what’s the ideal Buzzsprout affiliate marketing audience? We think it’d be the younger crowd, specifically people who are trendsetters or influencers. And you’ll want to only get involved with this program if you have a huge following. There’s a better chance that a few people of ten thousand will want to start a podcast rather than a few out of a hundred.
This puts a massive damper on how much money you’ll end up making through this affiliate program. If you can only convert one sale to Buzzsprout and they chose the $12/month plan, you’re only going to make $28.80 in total during the year. And since we don’t know what the minimum payout is for Buzzsprout, you might not see that commission for months or years.
The Fine Print
What’s interesting is that Buzzsprout refers to the “fine print” on their website, meaning they’re under the assumption that this program might be too good to be true. What’s also pretty unique is that the page we’re referring to seems outdated, as it suggests that you’ll earn a $20 Amazon gift card for all referrals, not a commission.
Back to the fine print, here’s what you need to know:
- You’ll only earn your commission if your referrals stick to a paid plan for two months (or two billing cycles).
- Your referrals must be up-to-date on payments for you to be eligible for commission.
- Buzzsprout gets to decide whether or not you abided by their rules, so you might find your affiliate account terminated for no rhyme or reason.
- You have to abide by the “Referral Promotion Terms,” which are not to be found.
There are a few things that you can gauge from these guidelines (or fine print).
First, somebody clicking on your referral link means absolutely nothing to you until two months from now when they’re current on their payments. There’s a good chance you won’t see that $25 or 20% commission if they decide to cancel their subscription or end up failing to pay on time. In essence, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll make much of anything.
Also, Buzzsprout makes it quite clear that you need to abide by their rules and guidelines. And while they’ll do what they can to make advertising a breeze, including giving you tips on how to best market your affiliate link, they don’t go on to tell you what you can and can’t do. It seems like they can cancel your affiliate profile for no valid reason.
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The Final Verdict
The Buzzsprout affiliate program can definitely be worth the sign-up and could be a decent source of passive income.
The best feature is that you can choose how you’re paid, whether you want a $25 one-time payment or a consistent 20% recurring commission. You’ll cash in whether your referrals subscribe today or years from now. And the fact that your referrals will get a $20 Amazon gift card might be all they need to take the plunge.
While all of these aspects are great, there are far too many questions left unanswered by Buzzsprout. There’s no easy-to-find document explaining what you can and can’t do, and you might be booted from the program without even knowing why!