Podbean for Christian Podcasts: One Pastor Shares the Benefits and Process

Today’s guest post is written by Rev. Jason B. Harrison, M.A. He shares his weekly sermons on his podcast, Let Your Light So Shine. He’s also using Podbean’s Patron Program as a fundraising tool for his ministry.

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For those of you who may be thinking about starting a podcast:

Allow me to begin by suggesting that you choose podbean.com as your host site.  I have not been disappointed in the least.

Some may wonder why I personally chose to create a podcast.  The reason is fairly simple.  As a Pastor from Southern Illinois, I am always looking for new ways to reach people with the Good News.  I record the audio of my sermons and upload them as episodes for my podcast.

Our church is a small one.  I can preach all year in our small church and reach a small amount of people. I can preach the same way, and upload the audio file to Podbean, and reach people worldwide.  Since I began the podcast, it has reached nearly 1,300 downloads.  That may not impress some podcasters who see those numbers in a couple days, but for a small church Pastor – it’s very encouraging.

I share every new sermon/episode on Facebook.  That helps to let my people know that the sermon is available in case they missed the service that week.  It also opens another door for spreading the word about the podcast itself.  The same can be said for all social media.

The actual process of creating and maintaining my podcast is quite simple.  Step one was to sign up on podbean.com.  I then decided between the free service or unlimited service.  I decided on the unlimited deal.  It was quite affordable.

A great deal of my podcasting involves my phone.  I have a smart phone – and I downloaded Voice Record Pro from the App Store for free.  Before I begin my sermon, I open the app and begin recording.  Later in the day, I open the app and edit that sermon.  I have the options of trimming it and converting it to a mp3 file, and I typically do both.

I then email the file to myself and download it to my computer.  The files all go into one certain folder created just for episodes.  I log on to Podbean.  I follow the instructions to upload the latest sermon, and it is ready to go.  There are a few steps involved when it comes to putting my podcast together – but they are simple.  It all becomes second nature after a couple podcasts.

Podbean.com has made podcasting simple and enjoyable.  Check them out if you haven’t already. Happy Podcasting!

*You can also record and publish via Podbean’s app directly.

Fundraising for Christian Podcasts

Podbean hosts many Christian podcasts, ranging from sermon podcasts to bible studies and lectures. One of the great features of Podbean, especially for Christian podcasts, is the integrated fundraising. A podcaster can easily set up a Podbean patron campaign so that listeners can provide monthly support.

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How can Christian podcasts use Podbean’s fundraising tools?

It’s easy for both the podcaster and the supporter!

  1. If you haven’t started your podcast yet, check out Why and How to Start a Church Podcast.
  2. Set up your Podbean patron page (AKA crowdfunding). It only takes a few minutes once you have your ideas ready (your story, rewards, and goals). A video is a great way to share a personalized message to your potential funders. We highly recommend it to enhance your patron page. Here’s some detail about creating a successful podcast patron page.
  3. Promote your fundraising efforts. Make sure to let your listeners know about the campaign in your podcast and by other methods (Facebook, website, in person). Podbean makes it easy for you and supporters, with a patron button integrated right on your podcast site and in our app. Listeners don’t have to take any extra steps, it’s all right there for them. They can donate with a couple clicks. You can also create a personalized URL for your patron page so it’s easy to share.

Other Fundraising Options for Christian Podcasts

Premium Content: Fee-based Courses, Bonus Content

With Podbean, you can create and sell premium content. This can be individual episodes or subscription services. For example, you might offer a special in-depth bible study course. You can create a subscription plan so that students can pay their fee directly to you and easily access the content. You might also have specific bonus content, such as a recording of a special event or interview, that you offer for a one-time fee/donation. We handle all the technology and payment processing for you.

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Getting Sponsors

Podbean also offers a sponsorship marketplace for podcasts. Those interested in securing sponsors for their Christian podcasts can join for free. YOU always have complete control over which sponsors and campaigns you accept, so you can make sure it is a good fit for you.

A podcast is an effective outreach tool, and a great way to extend fundraising efforts. Christian podcasts can further build community and strengthen the spiritual relationship. Podbean is here to support you in your efforts. Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

How to Create a Successful Patron Campaign for Your Podcast

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A patron campaign is a great way to raise funds for your podcast. Listeners often appreciate the opportunity to provide support for the great work you’re doing. Crowdfunding using Podbean’s patron program is an easy way to manage donations and earn a recurring monthly income.

Here are a few tips about setting up a great crowdfunding page:

Add a tagline. It’s a call to action for people to support your podcast. This shows below your logo on your campaign page and is the default text for social media shares.

Include a video. It’s the best way to share your story in your own voice. Get personal about your story and your goals.

Share a great story. Tell a bit about yourself/the podcast and what you can do with your fans’ support. Be concise and compelling, make them laugh or cry…make them want to be part of what you’re doing!

Set goals. It’s nice to show patrons how money will be used and specify targets for yourself. Set multiple goals, starting with an attainable goal. Setting some lower level goals allows your patrons to see successful progress. You can build excitement around reaching different levels.

Offer several small reward levels (the best practice is to start with a $1 level). Pledges of $1-5 are most popular. Please note the amount is a recurring monthly payment, so set rewards accordingly. We share some creative reward ideas in this article and you can view featured campaigns at patron.podbean.com to get ideas too!

We hope these tips help you on your way to creating an income stream! For more information on how to promote your crowdfunding campaign check out this article.

New Crowdfunding Feature! Publish Patron-Only Content for Your Podbean Patrons

Podbean has added a great new feature to our crowdfunding platform! Now, you can easily publish exclusive content for your patrons. Everything you need for publishing and management is integrated right into your Podbean dashboard making the process super simple.

If you are on your “My Crowdfunding” page you will see a “Publish” button under your campaign. Click there and you will be directed to your publishing page. As usual, you can upload a file or select one you’ve already uploaded and proceed with filling in show notes or other details. You will see three publishing options: free, premium, or patron. Select “patron”; you will have the option to designate this episode is available to all levels or only patrons at a specific dollar level (so it’s very easy to have different reward tiers receiving different content). When done, simply hit “publish”.

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You’ll be able to see your published patron-only episodes on your crowdfunding page. Simply click on the “episodes” tab.

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Patrons will receive an email notification when applicable content is published. They can listen online or in the Podbean app when logged in to their account. In the Podbean app, the patron-only episodes will show up at the top of the podcast episode list.

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New Crowdfunding Feature: Set Up a Personalized URL for Your Page

There’s a great new feature in Podbean’s Crowdfunding platform. Podcasters can create a personalized, simple URL for their crowdfunding page to make it more shareable. Your crowdfunding URL can match with your podcast/site/brand so it’s easy for potential patrons to remember.
To set up a personalized URL for your crowdfunding page, simply follow these steps:

1. Login to your Podbean account.

2. Click on “My Crowdfunding” on the top right.

3. Click “Edit” under the campaign and you will see “Your Crowdfunding URL” where you can create your personalized URL. The URL will read patron.podbean.com/XXX (you choose what goes after the slash, such as your podcast or site name).

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4. Make sure to click “Save and Continue” to save your changes.

Now you can share this simple URL with your fans to make donating easier than ever!