Do you have a launched podcast that you are looking to make a reliable income from? Creating and sustaining your podcast requires a rather large investment of time and money. Continuously putting out great content for your audience may take more resources than you expected. A lot of podcast creators reach this point- the investments required don’t match what they can realistically achieve.
One remedy to this common problem is to gain an income from your podcast! Finding a way to make money from your podcast can free up this worry for money and give you more time to create amazing content! But you may not know how to make money for your podcast through memberships. Luckily for you, we can break down everything you need to know about podcast memberships.
Many popular podcasters have transitioned into providing exclusive paid content for their members and have thus grown their podcast and listener community while making money. By creating a steady income through memberships, you can take the steps to transition your podcast from a part-time hobby to your full-time career.
Jumping into paid memberships for your podcasts requires a lot of planning, yet the advantages that come along make every step worth it.
Let’s look into how you can make money for your podcast through memberships!
What Is a Podcast Membership?
Offering memberships to your podcast listeners means including them in exclusive insights, participation, and allows your listeners to support your show personally. A member of your podcast would pay a monthly or annual fee and receive ‘perks’ in return. This listener is someone who passionately supports your efforts and wants to help fund you! In return, you as the podcast host may provide extra content, exclusive participation in planning, and more!
Your community of members becomes just that-a community! By gaining members you now have access to the opinions and input of your most devoted listeners.
How Does a Membership Benefit Your Podcast?
Members will continuously provide steady financial support for your show. This is much more reliable than ad revenue or donations. With the help of paying members, you can have more creative freedom in planning your show. Having financial stability in this aspect opens up more opportunities and you’ll no longer have to rely on the randomness of donations.
You also have the perk, in most cases of providing ad-free content to paying members! By paying to consume your content, they can cover the income ads were supplying.
Additionally, you are building a supportive and connected audience that feels like a part of your podcast. These members can become a source for inspiration. Who knows what your listeners want more than your listeners? Ask them for input on future content, guests, and more!
So, if you have an established podcast with dedicated listeners-memberships may be a great next step for you!
Let’s dive into what you’ll need to know to get started.
Platforms to Host Podcast Memberships
There is a wide range of platforms where you can host your podcast memberships. Each of these has its pros and cons, it all depends on what you’re looking to provide for your members. Whether you have the number of resources or the pricing options in mind, there’s a platform out there for you.
These are a few of our favorite options!
Patreon is a popular and widely used platform. This may be because of its simplicity-it’s very easy to get started! Creators across many types of media utilize Patreon because of this. With a long list of features for creators, there are many reasons to jump on the bandwagon. They offer a super intuitive and helpful plug-in and give you a large variety of perks to offer your patrons. They do require a percentage of your membership fees depending on which version of their services you use. The Patreon cut ranges from 5%-12%. But with a range of benefits for creators, this can be worth it for your podcast!
Teachable is a service that caters more to those looking to share knowledge through online courses. With this service, you can have more one-on-one contact with your members. You are able to provide your content in a slightly more academic context. Help your members really grasp your content with coaching calls, live chats, and more personal connections than offered on other platforms.
This additional connection does come with a larger price tag. The basic membership begins at $29 and can range to $249 monthly. Yet, for those looking to become an educator in their field, this is the perfect platform!
Kartra is a flexibly simple platform that blends the perks of the other sites. You have the ability to provide a wide range of content at varying tiers to your audience. If you have different forms of content to provide beyond your podcast, you might want to use Kartra. As a creator, you’re provided with simple drag and drop designs perfect for the less tech-savvy. Kartra has simplified hosting, domains, emails, and more for its creators. All of these can be implemented into your Kartra plan.
The simplicity and long list of creator resources of Kartra make it a bit pricier than the other platforms. Plans range from $99 to $499 monthly depending on your tier.
Our final recommendation, Kajabi, is another great option for those looking for an all-in-one. While it offers plans focused on podcast content, they provide options for emails, pages, and analytics. You also have the option to implement tools similar to those provided by Teachable like assessments and quizzes.
Kajabi’s pricing ranges from $119 to $319 annually.
Pricing for Members
The typical layout for podcast memberships is one based upon tiers. This means that you would provide different price points your audience can choose from. Benefits and extra content would build up with price increases.
An average range of price points is between $5-$25 monthly. Make sure that you’re valuing your time and effort while simultaneously providing content that matches the price. Take into account how many listeners might pay for this type of membership, then consider how much it costs for you to produce your show. If you’re looking to make an income to cover the cost of your podcasting, you’ll want to figure out how many memberships at what cost will provide that amount.
Your audience won’t pay for your memberships if they don’t feel like it’s worth it. Provide premium content and benefits at each tier that your audience will be open to paying for.
You may even choose to only provide one basic tier. This totally works, especially for those just jumping into memberships. But you’ll still want to provide great content for that tier.
Bonuses for Your Members
Each tier level will come with certain bonuses, the things your paying member receives in return. Your base level will have simple perks. Then you’ll want to build upon those bonuses, again make their investment worth it!
There are many great examples of member bonuses you can provide.
The most obvious perk many podcasters provide is extra content. These can be episodes exclusive to members. Create content specifically for your paying audience to show your appreciation! You could even provide behind-the-scenes content, uncut episodes, or other insights into your podcasting that your audience may be interested in.
Share your expertise with your paying members by hosting live webinars. These can be hosted within most membership platforms and remain exclusive to members of specific tiers.
Provide worksheets, workbooks, guides, or other resources to your members. These can correspond with your previous episodes, elaborate on important topics. You can even provide a show notes style of worksheet to help your listeners get all of the value from your content. This is another chance to share your expertise with your audience.
There are countless bonuses you can provide to your paying members. When you’re planning your tiers, talk with your listeners-find out what they would be interested in receiving!
Don’t be afraid to try out different options when jumping into paid memberships. It’s important that you listen to your audience and create options they find value in. There can be a lot of trial and error when it comes to memberships-stay open to new ideas and changes.
Podcast memberships can be a great source of income and insight for you as a podcaster as well as a community for your dedicated listeners. This can be one major step in making a sustainable income from your podcast. If you’re interested in finding more great resources to turn your podcast into your dream podcast, check out Gaffin Creative’s Podcast Resources for more blog posts about the ins and outs of planning, launching, and sustaining your podcast!
Looking for one-on-one insight on improving your podcast? Podcast producer Haylee Gaffin at Gaffin Creative works with creators at every stage to achieve their podcasting goals. Set up a consultation at gaffincreative.com/podcast-production to discuss how you can bring your podcast to the next level!