If you’re considering a new side hustle or online business, working with Amazon’s Audible can be a great option — or, rather, several great options. There are multiple ways to earn income through the platform, making it a viable way to bring in extra cash regardless of your background or skill set.
From a modest side hustle to a brimming source of full-time income, what you can make on Audible depends on what you put into it. So take some time to consider all your options for building a revenue stream on the popular audiobook site to maximize your potential and make more money more quickly.
Audible: Side Hustle, Full-Time Job, or Online Business?
Amazon’s Audible, the most dominant player in the audiobook space, can be a unique source of income. One reason is that there are several distinct ways to monetize on the platform. Depending on your skills and experience, work goals, and available time and energy, you can go in multiple directions.
For some, Audible is a perfect side hustle — a flexible way to work on various tasks and generate income to supplement their regular paycheck. Others choose to dedicate many hours to building a full-time business through Audible. The platform can even become a reliable source of residual income for successful creators.
It is tricky to say precisely how much a person can make from Audible, as there is a wide range. Some variables that affect this range are within your control, such as what work you do for the platform and how much of it.
Other factors are harder to predict. Since Audible is a marketplace for creative work, some sources of income depend on reaching a broad audience to thrive. Like any creative or entertainment industry, success with audiobooks may rely on a mix of patience, talent, and dedication.
3 Ways to Start Making Money on Audible
Since there are a few ways to make money on the popular audiobook platform, you should thoroughly consider each before deciding which method you want to pursue. Each offers different potential and unique challenges,
Of course, anyone could pursue multiple options in parallel, but if you’re wading into this space for the first time, it may be most effective to start by learning just one and then building out from there.
Method #1: Create Books or Products for Audible
If you’re diving into your research on Audible businesses for the first time, this option is probably the one with which you’re most familiar. If you want to make money on an audiobook website, how better than by creating and selling audiobooks?
If you have a creative soul or have long harbored an idea for a book you’d love to write, Amazon makes it easier than ever to start publishing your creative work. Of course, writing and recording an audiobook is no small feat, but if you have what it takes, it can be a great way to make money online.
To begin, you’ll need an account with ACX, Amazon’s primary platform for Audible creators. ACX allows authors and publishers to upload their audiobooks for distribution on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
Some authors may be interested in writing and publishing an audiobook but not recording it themselves. If that’s you, ACX also offers a marketplace to connect book publishers with voice actors, whom you can hire to narrate your book.
Audible pays a 40% royalty on the retail price of every audiobook you sell exclusively on the platform. However, authors can also publish non-exclusively with ACX and instead earn 25% of all retail purchases.
Method #2: Become a Narrator for Audible Content
Many authors want to publish an audiobook but don’t have the confidence, voice acting experience, or equipment they would like to record it themselves. For ambitious individuals interested in voice acting, this spells an opportunity to make extra money online.
Becoming an audiobook narrator is a profitable way to get involved with Audible without having to write books yourself.
ACX offers prospective voice actors a straightforward marketplace to connect with authors and publishers. To browse available opportunities, you can log into your ACX account and browse the available narrator postings. You even have the option to filter by topic or pay rate, among other criteria.
You will need to apply for every project you wish to narrate, and, usually, audition or send samples. When authors or publishers choose you for a project, you will be responsible for recording, editing, and submitting finished audio. Some projects pay based on a flat rate for hours of completed audio, whereas others may offer a share of royalties from sales of the finished product. Rates vary widely, but some individuals make a sizable full-time income from this work.
As a freelance gig, becoming a narrator on ACX is a flexible way to make money from home. Freelancing typically involves more organization and setup than a salaried job, but the result can be highly lucrative.
Method #3: Audible Affiliate Marketing
The final way to earn money through Audible is one of the most common ways for business-minded individuals to start making money online: affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online and a great way to build an online business. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s relatively straightforward. To earn extra money as an affiliate marketer, you will need to follow roughly the following process:
- Build an online audience through social media, blogging, and similar avenues
- Partner with a company or brand to become an affiliate of that brand’s products
- Recommend a product to your audience in places where it will help them solve a problem or meet a particular need
- Earn commissions from the brand for every person who follows your recommendations
- Get paid regularly for helping to connect consumers with valuable products
With Audible, there are two distinct ways to generate extra income as an affiliate.
First, you can earn good money advertising Audible itself. Through the Audible Creator Program, you can generate a unique link for users to sign up for a free trial of the platform. Then, for each person who signs up through your link, you earn $15!
Additionally, you can earn cash as an affiliate for the offerings on Audible. Through the Amazon Associates Program, you can make a steady income recommending specific audiobooks to your audience. The Amazon Associates Program extends to countless other offerings on Amazon. As an affiliate, you can earn commissions for marketing thousands of products from their store, as well as memberships to various Amazon services.
Tips for Maximizing Your Earnings on Audible
The basic mechanics of building a revenue stream through Audible are quick and painless. In most cases, all you need to do is create an account through ACX and start creating, applying, or advertising.
However, there is still a significant gap between those earning a hefty income on the platform and those sporadically making a few bucks. If you want to distinguish yourself from the latter and start getting paid like the former, consider a few essential tactics to help you succeed.
Practice, Learn, and Experiment
All three core methods of making money on Audible — as an author, voicework freelancer, or affiliate marketer — require some expertise.
None of these fields necessarily needs a college degree or official certification. However, they all work better for those who know what they’re doing.
If you have little or no experience in the role you plan to start with Audible, that’s okay. One of the best things about creating your own income online is that you can start from anywhere. However, to start making money fast, you must take your self-education seriously.
Take time to practice your craft, learn from the successes and mistakes of others, and research the things you don’t know. Don’t be afraid to try new methods, tactics, or strategies as you go; you never know what might have a breakout effect on the growth of your business.
Nurture Your Audience
One thing that is crucial to almost all forms of online business, including those on Audible, is building an attentive audience.
Whether you hope to find a market for your own creative work or get paid to advertise someone else’s, you won’t make it far without people who want to hear what you have to say.
There’s no one right way to find your audience on the web, but some of the most common methods are becoming a blogger, establishing a social media brand, or creating a video channel. In most cases, creators who communicate through multiple modes and platforms will have the most success.
Fortunately, you don’t need millions of adoring online fans to start monetizing your influence. When you offer significant enough value and build authority within your niche, even a relatively small following can help you build a profitable brand.
Be Patient and Persistent
Good things take time, and that can go double for a profitable online business. Of course, there are many ways to make money fast and easily online, but most are unsustainable and don’t pay very well.
Creating and selling audiobooks can lead to a massive stream of passive income, but it’s hard to guarantee overnight success.
Some authors and creators find almost-immediate viral success in online media, but the results are far from consistent. The only surefire way to reach a significant income through channels like these is to be patient and persistent. If you are ready to keep learning, working, and trying new things, your business will continue to grow with you.
Audiobooks — Your Next Great Professional Adventure?
Audible is a great way to start earning money online, but there are several possible ways to do it. This variety can mean extra earning potential for experienced creators, but it can also be intimidating if this is your first foray into online business.
If you show up ready to learn and with a willing attitude, this platform could offer a path to building real passive income in your spare time. There is high upside potential for Audible entrepreneurs who are ready to put in the work, keep trying new things, and push through the early stages of building an online business.