Written by Hannah Cox, founder of betternotstop
I’ve been blogging on the internet for the last five years. So I have watched the industry grow from writing, into videos, podcasts, courses and more. Like many people I know who count themselves as internet ‘Creators’ I do it because I love it. However, it also takes a lot of money and a lot of time. Patreon may hold the answer.
Are you someone who shares their experiences and knowledge online? Patreon should be something you should take some time to research to find out if it may work for you. Conversely – perhaps this could be a new way for you to show your support.
So let’s dig into Patreon and find out what you need to know about this online community. I am not affiliated with Patreon but I do have my own account and support content creators on Patreon.
This is a perfect article for people interested in whether Patreon may be the best next step for their business or online content. I am always available to provide business support in helping businesses chose on the right income streams for them. Just get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also offer on my own Patreon page individual workshops and accountability support in creating your own business and personal goals.
Who uses Patreon?
It’s popular amongst Youtube videographers, writers, podcasters, musicians and other people that post a lot online. It has over 50,000 active creators, 1 million monthly patrons, and sent over $150 million to creators in 2017.
You can sign up to Patreon for free. Then you can connect your social media accounts to see if anyone you know already uses the site. You can search for Creators to support and Patreon will also suggest people you may be interested in.
Signing up is completely free – the only costs is IF you then decide to contribute to a Creators page. You can choose what Creators you want to support and in exchange will get exclusive content, deals and offers that aren’t available anywhere else.
What is Patreon?
Quite simply, Patreons are people who pay for content by their favourite creators (or is it Patrons? They use both on the site and it completely confuses me – I’m sticking with Patrons…)
Patron’s contribute anything from a few dollars (its an American site ok!) to a few hundred dollars each month or each post for new content.
This allows ‘creators’ to get paid regularly for making new things. They can dedicate more time and energy doing something they love, and that you love
Becoming a Patron means you can get special opportunities, such as exclusive videos and private podcasts, google hangouts, competitions or free resources that other members of their creator’s community can’t access.
Many Creators offer their Patreon different ‘tiers’ or ways to support them. This can be as little as $1-2 dollars a month, just like buying them a cup of coffee to say thank you.
Personally my ‘tiers’ start at $3 and increase to $50. With each tier my Patrons get many additional benefits, with the highest tier getting monthly support via video calls and emails. It also means that anyone that enjoys my articles, videos or weekly emails can simply buy me a virtual coffee every month to say thanks. This means that I am supported for the hours of work that goes into running this website every month.
What do I get for becoming a Patreon?
Some creators don’t offer any rewards or simply create one reward tier as admission into their community. The web show Jimquisition asks Patrons just a dollar a month to become part of the community. The show is free to view on youtube! However, people love the show so much Jim makes nearly $14,000 a month on Patreon from people showing their appreciation and support!
Other creators offer a tiered support system – to incentivise potential patrons to contribute more. While many people simply choose to support out of the kindness of their hearts, the creator with rewards on Patreon tends to perform better than a creator without. This is why I have created a tiered system with my Patreon, while also offering the majority of my content for free, which can be accessed via my website, youtube and weekly newsletter.
Rewards can be anything from early access to videos or podcasts, exclusive products or physical products such as books and t-shirts. I have offered everything from my Art Prints, accountability support and free books as part of my rewards to show the varied options and support available to my community.
Who you should support on Patreon.
Well, whoever you want! Like most of us, I enjoy a lot of different podcasts and blogs, all of which are available easily for free online. While I have my own Patreon, the majority of my content is available for free for anyone to enjoy and I want to keep it that way.
Examples of products I’ve bought after following people online include The Minimalists ‘Everything that Remains’ book and Nomadic Matts ‘Superstar Blogging Course’. For me, these people have added a lot of value to my life. Buying their products allows me to support them while also gaining useful extra knowledge!
Often though, people are creating things for free. Blog posts, podcasts, forums and groups that are really hard for them to make money from, but are all important ways for them to share their message online.
A few people whose work I love, Sarah Williams from Tough Girl Tribe Podcast and Bex Band from Love Her Wild both have Patreon. By giving them both the equivalent of a cup of coffee each a month, is my small way of thanking them for the time and effort I know goes into creating the amazing content and communities that they run.
Why Patreon is amazing for creators.
Patreon provides me and you the opportunity to support the people whose work we appreciate online. Supporting Sarah and Bex on Patreon is a way for me to let them know how valuable I find the work that they do.
I have always worked on betternotstop and being away last year gave me the time and space to really think about how I want to focus my time in 2020.
Like all creators, I do this because I love what I do. betternotstop is a way for me to share my passions and connect with people that have the same values as me. I use the internet to learn things and gain knowledge, so why wouldn’t I use it to also share knowledge and help other people?
I use Patreon as a great way to connect with my community. I share exclusive support and access to new products and services before anyone else. This makes my community part of my creative process and makes me feel more connected to them.
How much does it cost to be a ‘Creator’ on Patreon?
It takes hard work, time and money to be a creator. Just to give you an idea of the actual costs, here is a breakdown of what I personally spend each month running my little corner of the internet:
- £10 Hosting & Domain (Read ‘How To Start a Successful Blog’ Here)
- £23 Email List Manager
- £6 Gmail Email Manager
- £15 Protect My Bubble Work Insurance for Computer and iPhone
- £28 Coschedule Account
- £9 Canva for Business Account
- TOTAL: £92.00
In addition, I have paid over £3,000 for blogging courses, website development and technical support. Also, I have spent hours the last five years creating new content and articles to share with my readers. I’ve even writing a how-to guide on how to start your own blog!
betternotstop is a great way to build awareness and has helped me find a community of like-minded people. I think life is for enjoying every day. We have the power to improve our lives and the people around us.
What I think about Patreon.
After doing my research, I think Patreon is an amazing way to support Creators valuable work. As I use it myself, I would be happy to answer any questions you have on setting up your own Patreon, just comment below and I will get back to you!
Patreon will provide much needed, valued financial support to allow other Creators to create even more great content.
What are your thoughts on Patreon? Let me know in the comments below.
Please also check out our blog post about everything you need to know about Subkit here.