What is our new Podcast Patreon?
Since we launched in May 2020, Nick and I have recorded over 80 episodes of the My IELTS Classroom Podcast. We have covered topics as diverse as how to tackle multiple choice questions in Listening Part 3, to how to stay calm in your IELTS exam, and how to brainstorm ideas for recently reported questions.
However, even though Nick and I have invested hours of our free time into crafting, recording and editing each episode, we have always been adamant that the podcast is and always will be free and open to all IELTS test-takers. This is something we both believe strongly in, and as our listenership has grown from a few hundred to a few thousand each week, one that we felt worked.
However, last week, we were told that our use of the term “ex-examiner” in the title of the show was not allowed as it may be misleading to students. I would, therefore, like to start by saying clearly
I am sincerely sorry if anybody thought that My IELTS Classroom podcast was in any way connected to the British Council, IDP or Cambridge Exams.
I think that Nick and I have been clear from the beginning that all of the opinions in the show are our own and are based on our total of 25 years’ teaching experience. We have a disclaimer at the end of each episode that states this and we do not represent the official IELTS exam in any way.
However, we have no intention of breaking any rules set out by Cambridge, British Council or IDP, so this week we had to make the decision to make some changes to the podcast.
Listen to Nick and I discuss the changes at the start of this episode (directly after the introduction)
What is going to change going forward
It may sound strange to say, but a lot and not much at all. Let’s start with what will change:
- the logo and the start of each episode now uses the phrase “English Experts” (which is also true!).
- 20 episodes of our back catalogue will no longer be available on the free feed anymore – these will be placed behind a paywall on a Patreon site (more about that in a moment)
Let me be clear – this was not an easy decision to make
As I said before, Nick and I have always wanted to this to remain a free IELTS resource. However, the only other option was totally deleting those episodes and losing them forever. In other words, that would mean saying goodbye to over 20 hours of high-quality advice, which would be heart-breaking.
What is NOT going to change going forward
We have no intention to becoming a paid podcast so
a free episode of My IELTS Classroom will still be published every week!
We are not going to put new episodes behind a paywall – Nick and I feel very strongly about this. We will just make sure that every episode of the My IELTS Classroom podcast will be “radio-safe”. Also, there are still over 60 free episodes available to listen to for free in the back catalogue. If you think about it, if you listened to the show non-stop it would still take you almost 4 days to listen to all the back episodes!
Plus, Nick and I will try to record new episodes on the topics that have been moved behind the paywall, so in time, these will be replaced and it will feel like nothing ever happened! In fact, the only small change to the podcast moving forward is that
the episodes will be realeased on a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday (we will talk about that in a moment)
What is Patreon?
Patreon is the industry leading website for content creators who want to sell merchandise, offer paid content, or build community. Patreon allows its users to create “tiers” that listeners can subscribe to get access to different products. You can see our Patreon here
My IELTS Classroom has created three “tiers” called Band 7.0, Band 8.0, and Band 9.0 (can you see what we did there?!) Each will offer you the chance to access the 20 deleted episodes, but there are additional benefits for each tier:
Band 7.0 – £3 a month
Access to the back-catalogue of 20 deleted episodes
Early access to the weekly free lesson (you will have access on Tuesday not Wednesday)
A big thank you from Nick and Shelly!
Band 8.0 – £5 a month
Everything in Band 7.0
Access to a monthly Patreon-Only BONUS episode
Band 9.0 – £20 a month
Everything in Band 7.0 and 8.0
Access to a monthly live Q&A session with Nick and Shelly
Why should I sign up to the Patreon?
Good question! For many of you, the answer to that question will be “you shouldn’t”! You should continue to enjoy the free feed and forget you ever read this!
However, if you have recently started listening to the podcast and would like instant access to the back catalogue , then you may want to sign up to band 7.0 to download them.
Remember, you don’t have to pay every month – you are welcome to sign up for one month, download everything, and cancel.
Alternatively, if you are a long-term listener (like a teacher or general English student) who would like to thank Nick and I for our help, then you may also want to consider signing up (but there is no pressure!) Plus, for £5 you will have access every month to our BONUS episode that will not ever appear on the live feed (and we intend to be less formal than the weekly episode).
What does this mean going forward.
There is an expression in English:
when life gives you lemons; make lemonade.
It means that you should try to make the best of difficult circumstances. This week has been one of the most difficult of my life, but I am trying to be positive.
I am glad that Patreon is a way for us to salvage the old episodes, and maybe, just maybe, it will be a way for us to take the podcast to the next level, by building a stronger community around the My IELTS Podcast.
If you have made it this far in the post – thank you! Your support means a lot. After all, a teacher is nothing without their students.
Become a Patreon Supporter to gain access to extra BONUS episodes here