January 24th, 2018
In this article, we’ll discuss why content creators such as YouTubers, podcasters, bloggers, etc. who want to monetize their content should consider selling merch, and learn how to start selling merch - step by step - with a PodPledge crowdfunding page.
On January 16th, YouTube announced changes to their Partner Program. Changes which directly impact when a YouTube channel can start earning ad revenue. Their new policy raises the eligibility requirements for a channel from 10,000 lifetime views to now needing at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months. Whether you agree or disagree with YouTube’s new guideline, it underscores how important it is for content creators who want to monetize their content to have multiple sources of revenue - no matter how large or small their channel.
Fortunately, media makers do have several different alternatives to just AdSense available to them, such as: the possibility of obtaining sponsorships, participating in affiliate marketing, creating paid promotional content covering a company’s product or brand, and earning revenue directly from their viewers through crowdfunding and selling merchandise. Here’s a demonstration of how these last two options, crowdfunding and selling merchandise, can be achieved with the crowdfunding platform PodPledge.
The first step to selling merch is, obviously, to determine what you will be selling. Find something that relates to your channel’s theme, your content, or your viewer’s interests. Merchandise can be anything you like: physical shipped items like t-shirts, mousepads, pins, patches, stickers, commemorative coins, etc. Or digital goods, like an unreleased video or episode of your podcast. Or, even a service like an invitation to an online hangout, a speaking engagement, or dinner event. Come up with merchandise that makes a connection with your specific audience.
Once you've determined the merch you’re going to sell, you you can start using the merch shop that’s built in to your PodPledge account. Here are the steps to add merchandise to a page and start selling it. First, login to your PodPledge account area, and open the fundraising project you will be adding merchandise to. The project area includes a link to add merch to the project. Click this “Merchandise” link to open the Merchandise Editor page.
Name, Price & Availability
On the Merchandise Editor page, simply fill out the item's details. Enter the product’s name, price, a short and long description, and upload some images. If there’s a limited number of the item available, you can specify how many are in stock. The number of units available will be displayed on the product’s webpage and will countdown as people buy them. Additionally, the merchandise product will automatically stop being available purchase once it sells out.
If the merchandise requires shipping, select the "Requires Shipping" checkbox, and a set of shipping settings will become available to record the item's weight, dimensions, and the countries (if any) that you'll be restricting shipping to. Then, enter the product's weight in the specified fields. Once this shipping information is set, PodPledge’s checkout page will automatically calculate USPS shipping rates for the merch items being purchased, and add the appropriate shipping fees to the customer’s order.
Additionally, if you are taking pre-orders for a product that will be produced on a future date, you can specify its future delivery date here when setting it up. Doing this will add a message to the product’s listing, displaying its estimated future release date. This can be an excellent way to accept pre-orders for an item ahead of time, so you can get an idea of how many you'll need to produce, helping to prevent you from producing too many, or not enough, of them.
Saving the merchandise item will add it to that project. Once a project has merchandise associated with it, a "Shop" tab will automatically be added to the project's funding page. The Shop tab links to an area that lists all of the merchandise associated with that project. Visitors can either view more details about each item, or add it to their cart and checkout to complete their purchase. A purchase can contain any number of different pledges and merchandise from various projects, all together in one order, and the site will distribute the revenue from the sale appropriately to each of those content creators.
Revenue from merchandise sales are added to the project owner’s account balance just like the regular fundraising donations they receive, and they are paid out right along with the rest of the funds they have raised.
Once you've made your first merchandise sale, a Merchandise Fulfillment page will become available in your account area. The Merchandise Fulfillment page lists all the purchases of your merchandise that have been placed on the site. From here, you can update the shipping status of each order, export the order data to a spreadsheet, enter tracking numbers which will automatically be sent to those backers, or send messages to your merchandise customers - all with just a couple clicks.
PodPledge's combination of crowdfunding and merchandise options together on one site provides a way for content creators to supplement their AdSense revenue, strengthening the overall health of their channel’s monetization. Selling merchandise directly to your supporters on your funding page - in addition to also accepting donation pledges - means not having to set up a separate online store website, disconnected from your crowdfunding page. Your fundraising efforts and merchandise sales stay together on one site - both in the same location - making it easier for your backers to find both and support you. And, that’s pretty cool.
I hope this has demonstrated whether PodPledge would be a good fit for you, and helps you get started raising funds and selling merchandise. For more tips on getting the most out of your PodPledge fundraising campaign, click out our playlist of videos full of tips and guidance. Also, check out our Content Creator Community College series for more suggestions and insights that will hopefully help you to Stay Inspired.
Update: Daily Reports & More!
April 26th, 2018
Update & New Features: Sell Merch Worldwide
April 2nd, 2018
Update: Titles & Milestones
January 29th, 2018
How To Sell Merchandise Using Podpledge
January 24th, 2018
PodPledge Update: Edit Yourself
January 16th, 2018
New Feature: Reward Your Most Loyal Supporters
December 21st, 2017
Super Duper PodPledge Software Update
December 12th, 2017
New Feature: Tip Jar
December 8th, 2017
New Options for Project Milestones
December 1st, 2016
Pair Of Dice Paradise launches Season 4
November 28th, 2016
New Pledge-Tracking Reports
March 10th, 2016
New Feature: Comment on Project Updates
March 8th, 2016
New Feature: Supplemental Pledges
February 24th, 2016
Rolling Dice & Taking Names launches PodPledge campaign!
February 9th, 2016
Messaging System Launched!
January 20th, 2016
Project Milestones Now Available
January 19th, 2016
January 15th, 2016
New Email Feature
December 17th, 2015
New Account Features
December 16th, 2015
New Charts! (That sounded more exciting in my head.)
December 14th, 2015
Lessons From A Cartoon Aardvark
November 24th, 2015
3 Types of YouTube Comments, and How to Deal With Them
November 17th, 2015
Better Editing Through Time Travel
November 10th, 2015
November 6th, 2015
New Achievements Unlocked!
November 4th, 2015
Are You First, Best, or Different?
November 3rd, 2015
What Podcasters Can Learn From Donald Trump
October 27th, 2015
Better Vlogging Through Passion
October 20th, 2015
Track How Effective Your Project Updates Are
October 9th, 2015
October 7th, 2015
Project Continuity: Introduction
October 1st, 2015
Incentives: Examples & Tips
September 30th, 2015
Introduction to Project Incentives
September 29th, 2015
Pair Of Dice Paradise Launches PodPledge Fundraiser
September 28th, 2015
Introduction To PodPledge Crowdfunding
September 23rd, 2015