How to Get Your Podcast Fans to Donate to Your Podcast?
As the creator economy for podcasting booms in 2022, more and more podcasters are learning how to monetize their podcast. As we shared in our other article, How to Monetize Your Podcast, there are several popular ways to monetize your podcast. But our favorite way, for MOST podcasts, is through direct fan donations.
When you produce a podcast and consistently give free content to your loyal listeners, your fans often want to support your podcast monetarily. So, you really need to have an easy way to accept fan donations.
In this article, we’ll cover 2 main things…
Excited to start monetizing your podcast? Please read on!
Why Podcast Fans Want to Donate to Your Podcast?
When you produce great content, don’t be shy to ask your fans for monetary support. You invest many hours each week producing your show, you deserve some compensation in return.
Fortunately, the creator economy is just beginning to boom in 2022, so fans are getting more and more used to compensating podcasters with donations, tips, and micro-payments as a way to support and appreciate their favorite podcasts.
So we have to first ask, what compels your fans to donate to your podcast?
We broke up the fan motivations into 6 core reasons, which you can use to establish your strategy when asking your podcast fans for their donations. Ready?
1. They’re Getting Tremendous Value
This is the most fundamental core reason a podcast fan would support your show financially. If they’re getting some value, be it entertainment, knowledge, inspiration, etc…some segment of your fans will happily support you if they’re asked for it. You NEED to ask for it though, or else it may never enter their mind that you appreciate donations.
Take Wikipedia. We all use their free service and tend to think it’s just somehow exists and works. Several times a year, they’ll actually put up that big banner asking for donations…just to remind their fans that their great service can only exist through the kind donations of their community.
2. They Appreciate Your Direct Engagement
Fans tend to support podcasters who’ve directly engaged with them at some point. Let’s take for example, the popular How I Built This podcast. It’s a podcast with a huge following…and it definitely wouldn’t occur to me to donate to it. But then, let’s say the host, Guy Raz, replied to one of my messages on PodInbox or mentioned me on the podcast…my likelihood of wanting to donate just went from “unlikely” to “VERY likely” to donate.
Fans love you and your podcast…especially when you directly engage with them!
3. They Want to be Your Top Superfan
Some of your fans are not just passive listeners…they really do LOVE you and your show. We call these fans Superfans. They’re the ones who will buy your book, take your course, meet you if you’re in town, and most importantly…tell all their friends to subscribe to your podcast.
When you start your fan donation campaign, reach out to these Superfans first. They’ll not only want to donate…they’ll want to be one of your top supporters. That’s why in PodInbox, the fan donation platform for podcasters, one of our core donation features is the leaderboard…where we help you feature and recognize all your top supporters.
4. They Don’t Want you to Podfade
When your podcast fans like you, and you become part of their daily or weekly ritual, they don’t want your show to stop. These types of fans want your show to exist so badly…they’ll help with some financial donations.
Remind your podcast fans that producing the show does take a bunch of time and effort. And if it can only exist with their support, then be honest let them know. You’ll be surprised how validating and rewarding it is to start collecting some fan donations. These podcast fan donations, whether big or small, can undoubtedly keep fuel in your tank to keep your show going…either as a full-time job or a side passion.
5. They’re Trying to be a Sponsor
Not every podcast has the download numbers it takes to be a sponsor. From our calculations, we think it takes about 5k downloads per episode…which means you’d need to be in the top 5% of all podcasts. If you’re in this boat, you might not even be thinking of doing any sponsored ads on your podcast.
But, there’s probably several brands out there that still might be looking to sponsor your show…even when your audience is small.
If you had a way to accept fan donations, these potential sponsors might be using your donation mechanism to signal to you, and your other fans, that their product might be interesting to your community and fanbase.
Starting a fan donation strategy can be a great way to identify potential sponsors, and jumpstart your first brand sponsorship deal.
6. They Want to Buy Something from You
Ok, this last one isn’t technically a donation…it’s more like e-commerce.
Some of your fans want to support you monetarily, but they also want to receive something tangible in return. It can be something as simple as a shout-out on your podcast…to something more involved like access to your community or courses.
Whatever it is you want to offer, we bucket this as a fan donation cause the core motivation of your fan comes from a place where they want to support your podcast. Giving them something tangible in return is just a smart way to get them over their hump, and entice them to exercise their generosity.
3 Best Platforms to Receive Podcast Fan Donations
Ok, we’re admittedly a little biased, but we designed our PodInbox monetization platform from the start, keeping in mind the unique need of podcasters along with the motivations of fans.
All the other platforms are for general creators, while PodInbox is specifically designed to help podcasters engage with their fans.
So, PodInbox has ALL the features needed to account for all the fan donation motivations listed above. With unique features, such as leaderboards, message tipping, reward levels, gamification, recurring donations…PodInbox is the best tool when it comes to fan monetization for podcasters in 2022.
PodInbox makes it fun and simple for both the podcasters and their fans to engage using fan donations. Their 0% fee plan also makes it pretty compelling to retain most of that fan donation.
If you have stuff to sell on a recurring subscription basis, then Patreon might be the tool for you. This tool is designed for creators, mostly who have physical and digital products, like books, merch, courses, etc…that they want their fans to buy. If you have something to sell, then Patreon might be a good option.
The good thing about Patreon is it focuses on fans buying recurring subscriptions. Which is great if you think your fans are rabid enough to support you month-over-month. If you do use Patreon, we always recommend you also use a tool that helps you receive simple 1-time donations for the longtail of your fans.
3. Buy Me A Coffee
Buy Me A Coffee is also a good way to collect supporter donations. It’s built for general creators, but can also be by podcasters.
Fans might initially visit a podcaster’s PodInbox page to engage with a podcaster, and then be compelled to offer a donation. With Buy Me a Coffee…fans would only go there to give money. It’s a bit less compelling, but still a good option for podcast fan donations.
Keep in mind that if fan donations do start rolling in, Buy Me A Coffee collects a pretty hefty transaction fee of 5%…whereas you can eliminate this transaction fee altogether using PodInbox.