Co-Founder at Likeable Media
Jason runs a tech website, Six Colors, which features a membership option in addition to advertising, and a podcast network, The Incomparable, that has used a new membership plan to help support a community of podcast creators.
3 Membership Site Models & How To Monetize Each
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Jason’s success
Using membership site models
Result if you follow the steps in Jason’s session
A membership model that you can monetize by leveraging your community of passionate members in your niche
Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more
Expert session snapshot
In terms of the steps that go into membership, I wanted to talk in a little more detail about both six colors and the incomparable two different products with two different audiences, although there’s some overlap, because they have me in common.
And so, there’s some people who are interested in all the stuff I do, and they can sign up for both of them. Six colors is free technology site. And the fact is that advertising on the web for writing is not a really growth market right now, believe it or not.
There are growth areas and other parts of web media, or digital media like podcasting where I’m seeing a lot of growth, but in terms of the writing side, basically, there’s a membership that is the way it’s presented is very much support the site in terms of being able to continue to generate content and give it away for free.
And then in exchange, subscribers get access to a special podcast and a monthly newsletter that is exclusive to members. And actually, we’re going to build some community features on top of that as well.
On the incomparable it’s, you know, it’s podcast. Podcasts are very difficult to monetize. From a sales perspective, the whole format is open unless you build an app and put it up behind a paywall, which is very unlikely to succeed unless you’re a big name already.
You are giving your podcast away, which means advertising and subscribers are the two ways or supporters are the two ways to generate income from doing this podcast.
So with the incomparable, I had a realization that we had some podcasts that had fairly small listenership, it was in the thousands, you know, it was many thousands but it was not at the level where if you talk to an ad network like Middle Roll, they’ll tell you, you need 20,30,40,000 depending on your subject matter, in order for them to really pay attention and want to sell ads.
And I had these smaller podcasts that were in the five or 10,000 range, and they had, you know, dedicated user base, but very small even if we could sell ads, the cost per thousand sales number for those, you ended up with ads that were generating, you know, $100, an episode or something like that a very small amount of money.
And I did a back of the envelope calculation and realize that for the smaller podcast with a dedicated audience, it was far more likely that I could get a tiny fraction of the people who listen to donate that and become members in a membership plan, then to that it would it would swamp the advertising potential really easily.
And that was the impetus to start the incomparable membership where people get some bonus material. And again, this sort of feeling of support, because it’s not an illusion.
It’s actually enabling those creators of those podcasts to either prioritize it or to bring in somebody to help in the production and post production of the of the podcasts, or it gives them a good feeling and some money to spend on whether it’s a nice dinner or on a vacation or something like that.
So those are the two different membership models that I’ve been working with. And they’re similar but the content makes them a little bit different.