Patreon - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Bruce Waynewright
Written by Bruce WaynewrightLast updated March 11, 2019

Creators are able to reach larger audiences than ever by publishing their work online, but monetizing that effort with ad views often isn't enough to turn a passion from a hobby into a profession. Patreon helps creators make money by turning their fans into customers—patrons that choose how much they contribute and how often.

Creators can launch a Patreon page and invite their fans to subscribe and become members. To start a page, click Create on Patreon from the menu. You'll be walked through the set up, naming your page and explaining what type of content you create and which category suits it best. Once complete, you'll land on a settings page that allows you to upload a profile picture and a cover image as well as social media links.

To complete your profile, continue to the About section, and write a description of the work you do. This is key: It's the main pitch your audience will see before deciding if they want to pay to experience your content. You also have the opportunity to link to a YouTube video that explains to your audience what Patreon is and why you're using it.

Patreon creators set up tier-based rewards for their members. While rewards aren't necessary, Patreon encourages using them, as it creates incentives for members, making it more likely creators will be successful. You can create as many tiers as you want and determine their prices. To create them, go to the Rewards section, and click Create new tier. Fill out the price, title, and description details, and add an image. You can even limit the number of patrons that can be in each tier.

Creators also set goals for their Patreon pages. In the Goals section, click Create new goal. Fill out your goal (i.e., an amount of money), and note what you'll do if you reach that goal. Maybe you'll send a personalized thank-you to all of your members, or maybe you'll be able to dedicate more time and resources to your business and offer bigger and better content.

Patreon offers various tools and app integrations that help creators offer special content exclusive to their patrons. For example, a podcast creator can provide fans access to a special RSS feed with bonus or ad-free episodes, and creators can invite their members into exclusive communities on Reddit or Discord.

To help its creators achieve success on the platform, Patreon offers Patreon U, a section of the site with blogs, videos, and tutorials. It provides materials and instruction that aid in creating and launching a Patreon page and marketing it to grow membership, and it includes examples of what other creators have done to find success on the site.

There are lots of crowdfunding sites out there, but Patreon stands out for its dedication to the artist community. That dedication, combined with easy options for offering monthly subscriptions alongside charges for individual pieces of content, makes it one of the best crowdfunding sites for independent creators.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Patreon Features

  • Creators can build membership-based businesses, inviting fans to contribute money in exchange for special access to content and community.
  • Manage a billing relationship that gives their customers full control of how much and how often they pay.
  • Integrate with other apps and services to provide paying members exclusive access to content and community.
  • Choose to support your favorite creators in a flexible way.
  • Android and iOS apps available.

Patreon Pricing

  • Free to create your funding page.
  • 5% of member payments, paid to Patreon.
  • Variable transaction fees, paid to payment processors (Patreon says they average about 5%).
  • $0.25 when you get paid via direct deposit.
  • $0.25 or 1% of total payout (up to $20) when you get paid via PayPal.
  • Payoneer available for getting paid internationally; typical fees are $3 per payout.

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Patreon was built to power membership businesses for creators and strives to support creators who wish to gain consistent, sustainable income through their work. Patreon also empowers creators to retain direct contact with their most passionate fans and own creative control of their work.

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