November 2015 marked the first month I attempted to earn money from and for Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History. Going forward, I intend to report the monies I earn from my digital projects. Each report will begin with a summary of what I did to make money during the past month.
I hope the information in these reports will help other historians figure out how to earn money by practicing history online.
November 2015 Earnings Report
I attempted to earn money in two ways: Amazon affiliate income and crowdfunding.
Amazon Affiliate Income
I signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate when I started my blog Uncommonplace Book. I added Ben Franklin’s World to my affiliate account when the show launched.
Every link to a book on the Ben Franklin’s World website is an Amazon affiliate link, as are the items displayed in the “Ben Franklin’s World Bookstore." When someone clicks on a link and purchases the book, or anything else during the same visit to Amazon, I earn a small percentage of the sale.
Prior to November, the link for the podcast bookstore lived at the top, right corner of the website. In early November, I created an image link and placed it on the right sidebar to increase awareness and visibility.
In late October/early November, I increased my use and placement of Amazon affiliate links by adding them to episode descriptions. These descriptions appear on podcast apps such as Overcast, PocketCasts, and the Ben Franklin’s World apps. The links do not appear in iTunes or the Apple Podcasts app.
Total Amazon Affiliate Income for November 2015: $6.26
The Ben Franklin’s World Movement crowdfunding campaign launched on October 27, 2015.
Admittedly, I have not done a lot to promote it.
Since the start of the campaign, I have made an announcement in each episode from Episode 53 on, posted a description of the campaign with a link to the information page on the BFWorld Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, and in the Poor Richard’s Club listener community on Facebook, and I have scheduled two or three tweets to go out each day to ask listeners for support.
I am devising a plan to better promote the campaign. This plan will include more active promotion and ways I can encourage listeners to opt-in to one of the monthly recurring donation plans.
Between October 27 and November 30, listeners donated $1555 to the campaign, which received a nice bump thanks to Ann Little’s blog post on Historiann.
Crowdfunding Stats for October 27-November 30, 2015:
One-Time Donations: 19 Monthly Recurring Donations: 13 Annual Recurring Donations: 1 Total Donors: 33
Total Amount Donated: $1555 Total pledged for recurring monthly contributions: $100 Total pledged for recurring annual contributions (monthly contributions included): $1325
I have a lot of work to do, but I am pleased with this start.
The income generated in November will cover the bill from my audio engineer for 3 months. It will also buy me some time while I create a media kit and a comprehensive promotion plan for 2016.