Patreon describes itself as an easy way to create a membership business for your fans so you be paid as you create.
Basically you create a Page on Patreon, and people pledge to give you money on a regular basis.
You don’t have to create a membership site or add plugins to Wordpress. Patreon is a self contained site, you create a page and create membership posts on the Patreon site.
Why do people use Patreon?
Patreon has become very popular among YouTube creators as a way to supplement their income or monetise their channel when they are not part of the YouTube Partnership Programme (i.e. not receiving a share of money from YouTube Ads).
Patreon is not part of YouTube, but many YouTube creators have a Patreon page and mention it frequently in their videos and video descriptions.
What types of Membership?
When you create a Patreon Page you have to decide if you want to be paid monthly, or when you publish a ‘paid’ post.
You decide on different membership tiers for people to support you at e.g.
$1 a month
$2 a month
$10 a month
$1 per post
$10 per podcast
$20 per video etc.
How do you use Patreon?
Patreon can be viewed as a membership blogging site. Where your blog post are paid for by the Patrons.
You can create a Patreon Page where people pledge a certain amount of money each month, or per paid post that you create.
You can create many different types of posts:
Video (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.)
Livestream (Youtube, Crowdcast)
When you care a post you decide on the membership tiers that it is accessible to e.g. public, $5 and above, etc.
You can also:
schedule posts in advance
make posts public after a certain amount of time
How do people on Patreon pay and get paid?
People who pledge to Patreon pages are charged at the start of every month.
People with Patreon pages are paid at the start of each month
Patreon take a 5% fee of the pledged payment amount
Pledge to access, not pay to access
The one thing that is very important to understand about Patreon is the very deliberate use of the word pledge.
As soon as people on Patreon ‘pledge’ money, they have access to your tiered membership content. They only pay on the 1st of the next month. In theory they could have as much as 1 month free ‘preview’ access to your existing posts.
If you are regularly creating content this should not really be a problem for you but it does mean that people could:
sign up with a pledge
read your content
cancel the pledge prior to payment or have the payment bounce
In some ways this is analogous to an unconditional money back guarantee but with less risk on the part of the person making the pledge.