3 takeaways after discontinuing my podcast supporters club ($500 ARR)

Early in 2021 I discontinued the "My People" aka "Yo! Friends" podcast supporters club and cancelled the Gumroad recurring subscriptions.

For context, the pay-what-you-want Yo! Podcast supporters club offered bonus questions plus fun behind-the-scenes podcast content like these research notes for The Couldwells episode:


It was a healthy experiment for me as I got to interact with wonderfully supportive people but also learn a lot about myself.

Here are my 3 main takeaways reflecting on it:

1. Subscriptions vs Freedom

The income vs the pressure to consistently interview new Yo! Podcast guests was not worth it for me. For better context, the Yo! Podcast is one of my many side-projects and the club was only earning around $500 ARR. Not a lot but covering podcast costs and growing slowly. I’m fully aware I don’t owe anyone an episode on any timeline but having people pay – on subscription – made me feel considerable pressure to deliver. This could be very different for you but for me: freedom > small subscription income.

2. Monetization vs Creativity

You don’t have to monetize your every side project. This sounds like a stretch but Yo! has been my creative outlet (since YouTube days) and pressure chomps away at my creativity. This is also the reason I’m not ready to take podcast sponsors despite the requests. I have full creative control to rock ‘n roll.

3. Is hiding bonus content a smart play?

It’s always beneficial to reflect on hard work. Sharing what it took to create a Yo! Podcast episode was both healthy for me and interesting for listeners. But I was sharing this to ~30 people vs the 1000 that listen to each episode…

Additionally, orchestrating the bonus question with the guest was always awkward. I’d either extract it mid-interview or ask it once the interview was finished. I’m a flow guy and neither of these felt right.

Here is the Derek Sivers bonus question about good vs bad judgement extracted for club members only. The interview still came out great but should this content be held back?


So what happened to the club content?

The behind-the-scenes content and bonus questions now live on the episode pages below the topic link blocks. Here are the quick access links to them:

You would have noticed most of the takeaways above are based on feel and not metrics. I’m starting to learn after a decade of side-projects online, my gut is where and how I making most of best decisions.

Hope you got a little takeaway for your next side project:)

  1. 2

    Thanks for sharing this @robhope - I find it pretty cool to read about the decision to stop a current project.

    1. 2

      Thanks for reading Ben! Yeah, it's also worth considering when starting up a new income stream: "how could this end if I don't want to do this any more?". With subscription products can get quite awkward, as everyone gets notified their subscription (they were happy to pay) has been cancelled!

      1. 2

        Definitely! Personally, I am currently trying the "Pay what you want" approach right now. It is full of ups and downs - but at least, I feel no pressure on this matter.

        1. 1

          Good stuff, lite experimentation to see how you feel about things is definitely a smart play. Good luck Ben!

          1. 1

            Thanks mate! I'll tell you shortly I think (probably via an IH post)

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