Make Money Online Using a Membership Site Through Podcasting

Make Money Online Using a Membership Site Through Podcasting

After five months of podcasting, David Stein decided that it had the potential to generate passive income. The question was how he was going to do it.

As a former Chief Investment Strategist for a multi-billion dollar asset management company, David understood that the only way he was going to do this was if the returns he will get is higher than what he invested.

He took a risk and launched a paid membership website called the Money for the Rest of Us Hub. One of the benefits that members get when they sign up and pay for their membership is unlimited access to 80 episodes (and counting) found in the Money for the Rest of Us Plus podcast.

With over 25,000 listeners tuning to his podcast per episode, it has now become the primary platform for people who want to learn about the US economy and where they should invest their money. Many of these listeners are those that subscribed to his premium podcast, which requires them to pay a membership fee to download all the episodes and subscribe to get access to new ones as they are uploaded.

At the recent 2016 FinCon, David shared his secrets on how he used a membership site as a way for him to make money through his podcasts.

A unexpected truth about making money podcasting

David’s first idea to turn podcasting into a source of passive income came after reading a report published a five-part series about podcasting. Here, they mentioned that profits coming from podcast advertisements have been on the rise that they anticipate that it would increase at a rate of 25% per year until 2020.

The numbers looked very promising. That was until he took a closer look and did some more research about it.

He discovered that while the figures were enticing, it failed to mention that these numbers are before advertising agencies commissions and other fees are deducted. When he crunched the numbers, the actual earnings weren’t as big as he thought.

A podcasting stat report published by Libsyn supported his calculations. As he explained during the 2016 FinCon, half of podcasters running ads earn only about $6.80 per episode.

David looked at another option: selling a training course on Udemy. He launched his course back in March 2015. But apparently, that also didn’t give him the passive income he was hoping. At the time that he gave his talk at the 2016 FinCon, he had only earned a surprising total of $290.

Going back to something familiar

Immediately after quitting his job, David decided to put up a membership site where he can share his skills as an investment strategist to help other people. But he took this down almost as soon as it launched because it was the same thing that he was doing when he was still employed. The only difference is that he wasn’t getting paid this time.

After he had started podcasting and experiencing the disappointment with his first two passive income options, he decided to launch a membership site. Only this time, he decided that he was going to be charging people who want to sign up and become a member.

David used his podcast as a tool to invite his listeners to head over to his membership site and to sign up. Not long after, his membership website has grown to over 600 members, many of them were listeners of his podcast episode.

Money for the Rest of Us Hub now generates an average passive income of $9,000 for David each month. Considering that his podcast caters to a very narrow niche, this not bad at all.

Secret #1: Build your site one member at a time

Of course, there were days when David’s membership site would have as many as ten new members.

What he meant by this is that you take the time to reach out to each and every one of your members. That means answering their emails personally when they write to you.

David learned that the reasons why only a small percentage of his audience reached out to him were because they assumed that he was too busy to write back. When he did, he not only proved that he was a real person. The ones that he replied to became more confident about him and were more willing to sign up and pay the fee on his membership site.

Secret #2: Survey your audience

More than just learning their age range and income bracket, David suggests to probe and ask what is the biggest challenge that they currently face.

People are always looking for a solution to their most pressing problems. If you can give them a simple solution that they can immediately apply in their lives, they will be more willing to stay and keep on renewing their membership.

This is crucial if you’re running a membership site. “The death of a membership site is when there are more customers leaving than signing up,” David pointed out during the 2016 FinCon.

Secret #3: Listen to your audience

Most of the things that you can now see on David’s membership site came about from him listening and paying attention to his target audience.

For instance, when he launched his membership site, he offered three different membership levels at various prices. He immediately noticed that nearly everyone that was signing up on his membership site was choosing the highest membership level. That caused him to take down the other two membership levels, and then stick to just one price.

Three months later, he began receiving suggestions and questions from those that are interested in signing up about offering an annual plan instead of the monthly plan that he was proposing. Today, if you will visit his site, you will see that potential members can now choose between a monthly or an annual membership.

Secret #4: Keep things simple

Because David was a podcaster, it was only natural that he would be creating accompanying podcast episodes for his members to listen. At the same time, he also knew that his members don’t want to go through the hassle of typing in their password just to hear these recordings.

That prompted him to set up a premium version of his podcast. While anyone can find this when they search for it, they can only subscribe and listen to all the episodes if they are a paid member. Many people signed up for his membership site just so that they can have access to this podcast.

Watch the Full Video here:

It’s your turn to make money podcasting

What steps have you taken or plan to take to make money podcasting? Is setting up a membership program one of them? Let us know in the comments below.

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