Monetization: Alternatives to Patreon

Perhaps the most obnoxious thing about podcasts, from the point of view of the podcaster, is that they are free. All of us, rather all of us hoping to monetize, are asking to be paid for a product we work incredibly hard to produce and then give away for free. We start with this heavy yoke around our necks: We must create EXTRA, in addition to what we create for free, in order to make money.

That’s tough. Super tough. And it burns a lot of us out at about the 12-month mark when we’re banging our heads against the wall wondering why we’re spending 40 hours a week on a podcast and no one seems to care if we stay or go. After all, there are thousands of podcasts and, if our’s dies, others will fill the void we leave.

This is one of the reasons I’m a proponent of monetizing from the start and not months or years in. For one, it sets an expectation that you’re here to make money and you’re not going to continue to be here if you don’t. For two, it helps to reinforce the idea, in your own mind, that what you create has value and monetized podcasting is a symbiotic relationship, just like any other business. You make a thing, customers love your thing, customers buy your thing, and you continue to make your thing. There’s a stigma in the creative world right now that makes us all feel bad about earning money from our art, especially as independent artists, that’s a stigma you should smash to absolute death before you start creating your podcast.

So how can you monetize? Patreon seems to be the go to, though I’ve personally come to dislike it as it might be a good platform for making money but it’s a terrible platform for building genuine community and it encourages the idea that you should have to do MORE than produce a great show in order to make money by producing a great show. Still, Patreon does work as a revenue generating platform if you have a good program, a good strategy, and the time and dedication to create those extras.

But Patreon isn’t the only horse in the race. Here are three others:

  1. Ko-Fi Gold —
  2. Bandcamp —
  3. s2Member Pro —

The Classic Lenses Podcast uses Ko-Fi exclusively —

The Disney Dish Podcast uses Bandcamp exclusively —

The Myths and Legends Podcast uses s2Member Pro exclusively —

All of these platforms work, yes even Patreon, and that should tell you something… it’s not the platform… it’s the strategy — but strategies are heavily informed by mindsets and personal biases, and not every platform is created to best execute every type of strategy.

In a future post I’ll write something about monetization strategy and how to implement one that works without breaking your back, your bank account, or your sanity. No promises on when, but it won’t be too long. Thanks!

This article originated from a post I made in a Subreddit I help moderate, you can view it there and join the sub by visiting: