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School of Podcasting

784 EpisodesProduced by Dave JacksonWebsite

You want to start a podcast, but you’re not sure where to start. You need advice on how to grow or monetize your show, and stop being so scared that it won’t work! I can help by showing you what mistakes NOT TO MAKE and much more. Subscribe to the show and soak in the 16+ years of podcasting experie… read more


Monetizing with Membership Sites: Ravi Jayagopal of Digital Access Pass

Last week we talk about being a "hobby podcast" and that you can be a hero to someone. We mentioned that you do NOT have to make money with your podcast. Today we are going the other way and looking at making money with your podcast. So let's start right there.


This is why it takes time. In the same way that it takes time to develop a relationship, it takes time to build an audience that will like and trust you. Things that can speed up this process:

  1. Create content that is valuable.
  2. Come across in a way that build confidence.
  3. Deliver it on a regular basis (so people depend on you).
  4. Let them know you.

Strategies for Making Money with Your Podcast

1. Sell your own product

This is by far the most lucrative because people know, like and trust you. This can be a book, a course, consulting, etc.

2. Refer to other products through affiliate links

Pick a product that matches the audience. Preferably one that you actually like so you can talk open and honestly about the product. Many people use Amazon. or Audible as well.

3. Donations

You can put a paypal button on your site, or websites like Patreon make it easy to build a community by rewarding them for different levels of support. Be careful with the reward and make sure you don't spread yourself too thin.

4. Sponsorship

When you get over 5,000 download per episode, you can start thinking about getting a "big" sponsor (squarespace). As 92% of podcasters are nowhere near that number you are not out of luck. You can find smaller businesses that may be looking for more of a branding play. Check out my interview with Glenn The Geek who is making a living with sponsors by making sure his sponsors fit his audience and he gets them involved.

Selling Digital Downloads

Check out this super powerful shopping cart plugin that allows you to safely sell digital downloads

Gumroad is a handy website that make's it easy to sell digital downloads if you're not using Wordpress. is another great looking shopping cart.

Monetizing With Membership Sites

The School of Podcasting was founded in 2005 and I used Digital Access Pass to to make sure the general public could not access my material. I also used it to manage my affiliate program, and e-mail m members. It created coupons for discounts, and generated reports. Is is the cheapest platform? No. But the money you save using different plugins is wasted in the time you spend trying to get them all to work together.

Today I interview Ravi Jayagopal from Digital Access Pass and the author of the book Subscribe Me: Making, Marketing & Monetizing Online Digital Content with Membership Sites, Online Courses and Recurring Subscriptions

The biggest advantage of a membership site is you can build it once, and then sell it many times. Digital Access Pass even has a "drip" feature (now copied by many, but Ravi was the inventor) that allows you to provide your members content over a period of time (instead of giving it to them all at once ).

Today we learn this about membership sites:

1. There is more than just putting up content and protecting it.2. You still have to bring value to your audience.3. You still need to promote it. It's not a "build it and they will come" world.4. You still need to provide new content to get them to stick around.

Check out Ravi's podcast at

Where Monetization Stumbles

You start out not caring about money, and you turn on the microphone and just wing it. Then later you want to make money with your podcast.

You topic doesn't lend itself to sponsors (too hot of a topic). This doesn't mean you can't get a sponsor, it means it may be tougher.

A podcaster wants to start monetizing after 4 weeks and they haven't developed that know like and trust, or an audience.

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Listen to School of Podcasting


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  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens