Earning Money from your site, Site Tutorials

Tutorials »Podcasters and creators: Earn money with payments

This tutorial is designed to help podcasters and other creators add money making payments features, namely the Payments, Premium Content, and Donations blocks. While this tutorial walks through adding payment to a podcaster’s website, it can also apply to writers, musicians, or any content creator looking to generate a recurring revenue stream.

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Important note: This guide is an illustrative example for podcasters. From one podcast creator to another, there are various ways to implement payments effectively on your website. This guide walks through some of these ways but your creativity and ideas will surely open new ideas so don’t feel the need to do exactly as this guide shows.

Getting Your Website Setup

First thing is first, you’ll want to setup your WordPress.com website. This includes choosing a theme, setting up your homepage, creating pages and menus, etc. Once your site is setup, you’ll then be able to easily add payments features, along with lots of other features.

Here’s a video to help you get started on WordPress.com:

If you’re looking to get started with podcasts or want to learn more about how to add podcasting to your website, please also visit the podcasting support document, “Starting Your Own Podcast on WordPress.com” on the WordPress.com Blog, or our recent webinar on learning how to podcast.

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What Are the Payments for?

Think about how you’d like to make money on your website. In other words, what will visitors pay for? Do you want to ask for donations or tips? Have premium content that you want to put behind a paywall? Want to see an email newsletter? Offering a tiered membership structure?

Thinking about this will help you decide the best way to implement payments features on your website. But keep in mind you can change things up in the future so even if you start with the Donations block today, you can switch to the Premium Content block tomorrow, and the Payments block after that, or even use all three on your website at the same time.

In addition to payments features covered in this guide, there are other ways to make money with your website including ads and an online store.

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Choosing Which Block(s) Fit Your Goals

Based on the answers to the above questions, you can choose which blocks support those goals. Here’s a quick summary of payments block types that you might be deciding between through the lens of a podcast creator:

  • Donations block: Accept payments to support you and your podcasts. This is a blanket contribution to your creative passion. It can easily live alongside the other ways you’re monetizing your podcast episodes on a platform like Spotify, for example.
  • Premium Content block: Accept payments for memberships or subscriptions that allow you to provide access to specific content such as podcast episodes, other audio files, text, photos, videos, etc. If you’re already monetizing your podcasts through another platform’s feed, you can still use your website to offer other premium content on top of your standard episodes, that people can pay for.
  • Payments block: Accept payments for memberships or subscriptions. For example, you can ask your website’s visitors to pay one-time, monthly, or yearly for other physical or digital goods and services. You could also start to build a community and offer things like 1:1 coffee chats or a “behind the podcast” blog posts for these paying members.

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Adding the Donations Block

As a podcaster, you can use the donations block to accept payments in support of your work podcasting. Some podcasters do not monetize their podcasts and allow anyone to listen for free and instead ask for donations to support their work. Regardless of how you are monetizing your podcast, you should still have a Donations block on your website so you can receive support for your work and creative passion.

Donations block example for a podcast creator

You can see detailed step-by-step instructions for adding the Donations block in the Donations block support document.

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Adding the Premium Content Block

Premium Content block will allow you to require payment for access to select content on your website, which can also be delivered to email followers and still only viewable by paying members. Audio files, embeds, videos, text, photos, and more can be included within the Premium Content block. The Podcast Player block can also be added within the Premium Content block. You can create different tiers such that users paying $X have access to certain things while users paying $Y have access to additional things. This can be a great way to build brand and community as you offer more things to people paying either a higher price or yearly subscriptions.

Premium Content block example

Many podcasters use RSS feeds to publish their podcasts on platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts. But you can create supplemental content around your podcasting, either in the form of written blog posts, special audio content (e.g., the making of, xyz behind the scenes, or getting deeper into xyz, etc.), videos, and more. This is an opportunity for you to build community with your followers and listeners.

You can see detailed step-by-step instructions for adding the Premium Content block in the Premium Content block support document.

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Adding the Payments Block

You can use the Payments block to create memberships or subscriptions for your podcast followers. Allowing you to accept one-time or recurring monthly and yearly membership payments, you could share podcasts with paying members via email. If you’re uploading your podcasts to other platforms, you might consider a membership approach that provides something additive to that so you can make money and build community for your biggest fans.

Using the Payments block could be a good option for you if your membership if you don’t have specific digital content to share with the payment. If that’s the case, the Premium Content block is likely going to be easier for you to link content to certain paying visitors.

Payments block membership example

You can see detailed step-by-step instructions for adding the Payments block in the Payments block support document.

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Join our Podcasting Course

Already have a podcast and want to learn more about making money with it? Our Podcasting course includes a module devoted to monetization. You’ll learn not only the basics and mechanics of monetization, but you’ll find out how to set up your podcast for the future, and get valuable tips during an interview with an expert in the field. Gain all the fundamental (and a few advanced) skills you need to create a podcast you’re proud of. Easily digestible, go-at-your-own-pace lessons, taught by some of the most seasoned podcasters on the internet, will challenge you and help grow your confidence — until you’re a podcasting pro!

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Tips for Adding Payments Blocks

  • Ensure your payments blocks are prominently placed throughout your website. Including them on your homepage, all new pages and posts, contact page, and about page is advised. If you don’t ask, no one is going to pay!
  • Prominent placement means somewhere that is visible without lots of scrolling. Instead of putting it in your footer, including it much higher on your page will be much more effective.
  • You can link to another page, for example a “Support Me” page, that has a Donations block. From other pages and posts, you can link to that page throughout with a clear call-to-action. In other words, make it clear (e.g., “And please support my podcasting endeavors! Learn more about how you’re helping to support my work and donate here.”
  • Make your block a Reusable block so you can add it to any page or post through your site with just one click. There is no need to configure and re-create the block if you use this.

Turning a Donations block into a Reusable block

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Generating Sales and Revenue

Once you payment block(s) are up and running on your website, the next step is to put effort into generating sales and revenue.

Asking for followers, subscibers, etc.

One of the most forgotten elements of adding payments blocks to a website is forgetting to ask for support or payment. Even if you have lots of traffic to your website, explicitly asking for people to sign-up for your membership or donate to a specific cause or project, will be helpful.

Don’t bury your blocks at the bottom of your website either. Make sure they’re prominently placed and don’t blend into the background.

Marketing your podcast

Once you start uploading your podcasts, sharing your new episodes is a great way to generate more traffic, community, brand, and gain more listeners. You can share your latest podcasts via email, social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as within the podcasting platform that you are using. In addition to telling people about your latest episodes, mention what else you’re doing.

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Enjoy the Process and Adventure!

The first step to turning your website into a recurring revenue stream is to get your payments blocks live. You can optimize, edit, and test after that to figure out what works best for you and your website visitors. And if you ask for feedback from website visitors, friends, and family, you’ll likely get it!

So enjoy the adventure making money and building a community with your website – happy earning!

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