Stop Trying To Monetize Your Podcast With Ads!
Thinking of Hiring a Podcast Production Agency?
Podcasting is no longer a secret; it is here to stay.
Not just as a pastime, but also as a vehicle for business. But business means the generating of income, and revenue generation necessitates a monetization plan at some point.
This is where the great majority of podcasters make mistakes.
This essay will show why standard advertising and sponsorship is the incorrect revenue approach for 95 percent of podcasters, and why a tailored membership model should be used instead.
Why are ads not going to work for 95% of us?
MeUndies, Squarespace, Birchbox, and many more appear to be advertised on every other episode.
You’ve been doing podcasts as a side gig for a while and have built up a strong audience, so you figure, “Hey, it’s about time I start earning money here.” So you join an ad network such as MidRoll or PodcastOne, upload a few programs, and wait for the cold, hard cash to begin rolling in.
Unfortunately, it turns out to be more of a trickle than a flood. And eventually, you realize that it is extremely difficult to make significant cash from advertisements or sponsors.
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
In order to get a large return from before or mid-show advertisements, you must have a substantial number of downloads, particularly if you depend on this money as your only source of income.
Between 200,000 and 600,000 monthly downloads are required to replace your full-time salary, let alone flourish. In addition, your advertising network certainly takes at least 50 percent of your ad commissions.
Shortly, unless you are in the top 5 to 10 percent of podcasters, advertising is the incorrect method of revenue.
Okay, so what should I do instead?
We’re pleased you asked!
Membership is the solution to developing a profitable company for small to medium-sized podcasts.
In other words, your best admirers pay you a monthly fee to join a members-only club that gets unique, members-only supplementary material and numerous incentives.
You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into establishing this podcast from the ground up, and you’ve finally found an audience who loves it.
This audience may not be lucrative to advertising, but it is very important to you. After all, these are individuals who not only know you but also have likely developed a long-term connection with you and developed an addiction to your program. I don’t know what company you’re in, but it is a significant asset in any industry.
Consider what it would look like if you turned even 5 percent of your present readership into $7 per month paying subscribers. An additional $1,000 monthly? $4,000? $15,000?
Almost often, the cash you could produce by establishing a premium membership model would much surpass what you could have earned from advertising. In addition, you won’t bother your listeners (or disgrace yourself) with the same, everyday advertisements that are likely to be missed regardless.
But why would people pay me to be a member?
Why would they not? People are personalizing their entertainment like never before in the modern day. They have replaced their general cable subscriptions with subscriptions to their preferred channels, publications, audiobook providers, and yes, podcasts.
We live in a world where people can pay for what they love, and you have a whole audience of people who adore you right now!
You just need to determine how you can bring more value to your audience.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Define your incentives
Before doing anything else, you must choose what you will provide your audience in return for a monthly membership fee.
What might you provide them that would be so useful that they would gladly spend $5 to $7 each month?
I’m telling you right now that this is the simplest step. There are an infinite number of methods to provide extra value to your audience. From exclusive programs or segments for members to direct access to you through a monthly live chat.
Still unable to generate any ideas? Fine, ask your audience. Put out a Facebook Poll or Google Form and ask your audience what they want more of on social media. They will inform you that these individuals are, in fact, your rabid admirers.
Note from the editor: For further ideas, see the Premium Content section of How to Monetize a Podcast.
Step 2: Set up your membership portal
Next, you need to begin implementing the infrastructure you’ll need to:
- Sell your subscriptions
- Deliver your members-only content.
There are many methods to do this:
First, you may join a variety of third-party membership systems to get your business up and running fast. However, we would caution that although this is a fast and simple method to get started for people who are new to podcasting, it is not the greatest answer for those who already have a following.
Let’s take Patreon, a platform that the majority of you are likely acquainted with and may have used in the past.
Patreon is a third-party platform that enables you to provide membership choices to your subscribers. Here are the three most important considerations prior to pursuing this path:
At smaller scales, the fee is relatively insignificant. However, as soon as you start generating some real income, that 5% becomes a much bigger deal, very quickly —not to mention that this fee will likely increase over time.
With Patreon, you’ll likely only be able to convert a fraction of what you might otherwise.
According to Tom Boruta, a developer who records Patreon data under the moniker Graphtreon, there are around 79,420 authors, of whom approximately 80 percent make their Patreon revenues public. According to published data, just 2% of Patreon authors earn the equivalent of the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (see these and other numbers in the article headlined “No one earns a livelihood on Patreon”).
So why is this the case? Indeed, we have seen membership models for podcasts to be very successful, so what is going on here? We can only speculate, based on anecdotal evidence, that the majority of individuals see Patreon as a “contribution” service and not a membership scheme.
This is a subtle but significant distinction because, in the former case, the user does not expect to receive anything of value from the transaction, whereas in the latter case, the user perceives the transaction as an exchange of money for value, compelling a greater number of people to sign up at a significantly higher price point.
You lack customization and lose control.
It is essentially their way or the highway on Patreon. This will become an issue when your podcast company begins to expand and develop.
Have an innovative suggestion for a membership perk? Better hope it falls inside Patreon’s restrictions.
To improve the user experience, you may choose to launch a new marketing strategy or simplify the procedure. You will be bound by the constraints of the platform.
Controlling your membership program is preferable in the medium to long-term.
As you can see, although Patreon is a terrific option for those of us who are just starting out, it is not suitable for podcasters who have already established popularity.
Instead, we propose that you create a membership gateway on your own website, particularly if you want to develop your podcast into a full-time job.
This will not only save you a substantial amount of money in the long run, but it will also offer you complete control over the process and make it much simpler for your users to access information. There are a number of WordPress membership plugins that will do the task; we recommend searching for them and investing in the development of your membership platform on your own website.
Note from the editor (again, sorry!): Try out Memberful (works with any site, WP or not) for a fantastic method to offer membership material, or Podia for an all-in-one platform that allows you to construct online courses and memberships.
Is there a price involved with this? Certainly, but the rate of return will be quick. Our customers often recoup their investment within the first one to two months. After that, you are free to live in a world of profit.
Step 3: Time to launch
Lastly, begin the launch!
Publish an announcement on your show, on your social media platforms, and, if you have one, to your email list.
Consider giving a special reduced cost for people who sign up within the next three to five days in order to motivate action and create a sense of scarcity.
Don’t be frightened to make a persuasive argument.
Remember that you are in no way requesting contributions or asking people to “support the show.” You are offering a customized, useful product to an audience that already adores you.
You can now relax knowing that you have a solid business plan in place to support your ambitions of podcasting full-time, sharing your message far and wide, and establishing a community around your program.
Having a continuous, predictable revenue stream will enable you to focus on what you do best without having to worry about paying the bills or securing sponsorship opportunities. Now you can concentrate on expanding your audience and creating a solid community of individuals who care about you.
PODCAST PORTFOLIO BELOW (Best View on Desktop) Click on “Full Screen” and tap left and right arrows to check the other slides.VA FLIX PODCAST PORTFOLIO – PODCAST PRODUCTION AGENCY – PODCAST VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS by John Marzan
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