5 Ways to Make Money Podcasting On Patreon

5 Strategies for Podcasting on Patreon

5 Strategies for Creating Exclusive Podcast Content on Patreon

08.29.19 | Podcasting | By: Colby Schemm

Several weeks ago we published a blog on the power of podcasting with Patreon. What is Patreon? It’s a platform that lets creatives from all industries monetize their art by exchanging exclusive content with a monthly membership for their fans. If you haven’t heard about Patreon before or just need some clarification about how it works, take a look at that blog linked above. 

This week we are getting a little more specific about how to strategically create your podcast for monetization through Patreon. I’m going to walk you through five creative ways to add value to your listener’s lives so they are incentivized to become members to your Patreon. So check out this list of five ways to make money podcasting with Patreon!

Stick around to the end of the list for a sixth bonus strategy that I picked up at Podcast Movement 2019 from Adam Cecil of Welcome To Night Vale

  1. The Early Access Podcast
  2. The Ad-Free Podcast
  3. The Secret Podcast
  4. The Bonus Podcast
  5. The Executive Producer Role
  6. Bonus Strategy…

1. The Early Access Podcast 

With this strategy you create your normal podcast but upload it to Patreon exclusively either one or two weeks ahead of the official release date so that your patrons are the first people to have access! 

Narrative and fictional podcasts with strong cliffhangers at the end of their episodes lend themselves well to this strategy. The stronger your cliffhanger and the more interesting your content for the following weeks is, the more this tier is going to appeal to potential patrons. 

In order to execute the strategy effectively, make sure to tell your listeners at the end of each episode that patrons get early access to the next episode, and consider including a snippet or trailer from the next episode at the end of your current episode. 

Warning! This strategy requires that you stick to a content creation schedule and put hard and fast deadlines on yourself. But the value of what you are giving your patrons and the money you will make as a result is definitely worth it! 

2. The Ad-Free Podcast 

If your podcast has ads, there are two different ways to go about the ad-free podcast strategy. 

First, include ads in your standard show that is distributed on all of the podcast directories, and then tell your listeners at the beginning and end of the show that you offer an ad-free version of the show that is available exclusively on Patreon. 

Second, you can keep all of your content ad-free across all platforms, and tell your listeners that the reason you have made your content ad-free is because of the generous support of your Patreon members. 

The first ad-free strategy lends itself to more potential income as you get income from advertisements plus your Patreon members, but keeping all of your content ad-free across the board can also garner a lot of respect from your listeners. 

Let’s be honest, in 2019 everybody is constantly being sold to by influencers and content marketers alike, so I think the best strategy is to show your listeners how much you value their time, regardless of whether they are already patrons, and keep all of your content ad-free. Show them that you want to add genuine value to their lives, and many of them will be happy to send you $5, $10, or $20 a month! 

3. The Secret Podcast 

The third strategy I have observed some podcasters doing on Patreon is creating a separate (and less formal, more behind-the-scenes) podcast exclusively for their patrons. 

Genuine relationships with your listeners are the name of the game. You are creating a community around your podcast. Patreon channels are really acting like Facebook groups, where fans can speak directly to the creators they love, ask them questions, and receive shoutouts. 

Here are several content ideas for your Secret Podcast: 

  1. Patron Q&A – shoutout your listeners and answer their questions
  2. Share exclusive stories about your personal life 
  3. Exclusive interviews with family, friends, or guests that you had on the show 

4. The Bonus Podcast 

I first observed this strategy on Matt D’avella’s The Ground Up Show podcast while listening to his interview with Ramit Sethi. They were having a conversation about personal finance, and after about an hour of conversation, Matt came in with a voiceover saying that I could hear the last part of their conversation by signing up on his Patreon. Then he proceeded to break down the talking points that are covered in the bonus content of the interview. 

This technique that he was using is a crucial concept at the core of the Patreon membership model: you have to add real value to people’s lives so they become members. Make sure to include a clear CTA in the outro of your show, and raise the stakes by telling people exactly what exclusive content they will get immediate access to if they sign up to be a member! 

Here are several content ideas for your Bonus Podcast: 

  1. Unlock the last 30 minutes of the episode for your patrons 
  2. Share behind-the-scenes conversations with your interviewee
  3. Ask an interviewee questions directly from your Patrons – drop a post on your Patreon page the week before your interview so that your patrons can submit their questions

5. The Executive Producer Role

Another great option for positioning Patreon to help you make money is to let your patrons collaborate with you. With this strategy, you can give your listeners the opportunity to help craft your content and offer them a shoutout on your show’s intro and/or outro. 

What’s Good Games, a video-game commentary podcast, offers this shoutout to their listeners on their first week of becoming patrons. 

This strategy could become as robust as a video conference call with your patrons where you brainstorm content, write a story, and get their feedback or as simple as shouting out your patrons in the intro of your show just to show them some love.  It’s a brilliant strategy that allows you to connect with your patrons and become more than just another podcaster to your audience.

6. (Bonus Strategy) Write Your Patrons Into the Podcast 

This strategy works marvelously for fictional podcasts. Write your patrons into the story, telling them who the character is and what their role will be, but leaving the ending open to build some excitement as the story develops. I first heard about this strategy from Adam Cecil of the Night Vale Podcast at Podcast Movement 2019 when he was on a panel about monetizing through membership.

This strategy, according to Adam, was often a great gift for people to give to others who were avid listeners of the podcast. I mean, what cooler than to hear your own name in your favorite podcast?! 

Hopefully, this list has gotten your wheels spinning on how to creatively approach membership monetization of your podcast on Patreon. I believe that creativity and authenticity are two crucial ingredients in crafting a successful Patreon platform for your podcast or brand. By offering your fans something creative and novel, and by showing up as your authentic self, flaws and all, you will create a strong community around the mission of your podcast. Oh, and you’ll also make some money podcasting, which is a nice bonus! 

Creativity and Authenticity 

How has Patreon been working out for you? If you’re a creative on Patreon I’d love to connect with you and learn what strategies and lessons you’ve learned along the way as I continue to research and educate myself on how to successfully use the Patreon platform! Send me an email or reach out to our team on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook today! 

Until next time, keep creating! 

Let’s Connect

Resonate Recordings is a comprehensive podcast production company. Headquartered in Derby City–Louisville, Kentucky–we are committed to developing partnerships with our clients, not just performing transactions. Since 2014 it’s been our mission to make podcasting easy for businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, and individuals. We do this by providing support with podcast launch, podcast consulting, podcast editing, podcast production, and other creative podcasting services. If you have questions or are looking to start a podcast, our in-house team is available and ready to help! We would love to schedule a call with you and learn more about your podcast needs and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Colby Schemm

By: Colby Schemm

As a Content Specialist at Resonate Recordings, Colby creates & curates content on social media, & consults with clients to improve their podcast marketing strategies. Colby is from Roanoke, VA & now lives in Louisville, KY.