HomeFree Intro Crowdfunding Course

How to be successful on Patreon

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

Our past post on Kickstarter vs. Patreon gathered a lot of attention from readers, many having never heard of Patreon’s subscription-based crowdfunding platform. Since then, the website has been gathering a lot of steam (they raised a $15 million series A) and even Richard Bliss, the founder of the ‘Funding the Dream on Kickstarter’ podcast, has turned to Patreon to finance the show.

I’ve decided to do a follow up to my previous article and shed some light on how, as a creator or publisher, you can use Patreon to fund your artistic, entrepreneurial, or entertainment projects. I had huge help putting this article together from some of the awesome members of the Patreon Creators group on Facebook. I’ve included a banner/link to the group below.

patreon creator

This group formed during the Patreon live webcast and is a great place to ask questions and get feedback! You can also promote your project and ask for feedback on our forum.

That being said, let’s get down to business. I interviewed 3 separate Patreon creators who have all successfully attracted supporters for their projects. They were nice enough to share their thoughts on the platform and what it takes to gather a following. Be sure to check out their pages and leave a comment below!

Maps & Adventures For Osr Rpgs – 80 Creations, 147 Patrons, $213.34 per creation.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 11.48.07 AM

The Pitch

“I love drawing old school pen-and-paper dungeon and fantasy adventure maps. I also love making adventures with them, but I draw a lot more maps than I make adventures”

“This is your chance to get involved in my mapping. You sponsor my map drawing, and I can afford to keep drawing maps! I post 1-2 maps a week to the Dodecahedron, and throw in an adventure every few months.”

“There is no guilt here. I produce maps, you enjoy maps. You can keep on enjoying them and I’ll probably keep producing them regardless of whether or not you patronize my work. Patronage exists as a way for you to say thanks with financial assistance, which in turn makes it easier for me to continue to create.”

Dyson Logos Website & Pitch

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 11.55.09 AM

How did you hear about Patreon and what separates it from other crowdfunding platforms?

I’m a pen and paper RPG designer / writer / cartographer. I actually heard about it through some chatter among the RPG community on Google+ asking if anyone in the community of note was using Patreon and if it was a viable funding system. The general consensus was that it seems that there wasn’t anyone really doing anything with it in our field and that the few who were using it didn’t make it look all that viable.

The exception at that point was Epidiah Ravachol who is using it to put out a zine of fiction and RPG material and was already over $1k in funding at the time. Tony Dowler was also on Patreon at that point, but had a single Patron-only release. Outside of Tony, there was no one on Patreon doing RPG adventures or cartography and there was evidently some buzz going around the community, so I took the plunge.

The huge benefit of Patreon over any other method of crowdfunding is that I’m not getting paid, then releasing a product. Instead I’m making a product (like I have been for over four years) and people pay me afterwards. If I decide to stop making maps, no one is left upset that they paid into something and got nothing out of it.

Although the RPG community has a lot of successful Kickstarters, we’ve also seen some disasters where the money was received and spent, and no product was created or shipped. I am a LOUSY freelancer and tend to run really late on deadlines, and sometimes just quit commissions mid-stream. Being aware of this, Patreon is the perfect answer as I am not doing commissioned work, but am instead producing the same work I have been for my blog for the past few years.

I also really like the Patreon approach that the end product should be released for free. This meshes with my own creative process where I release my maps for free non-commercial use through my blog. It also means that the people coming in to back my work through Patreon have access to all my prior works and can see what they are getting involved in.

How did you reach 147 supporters?

I’ve been writing and drawing through my blog for five years now. Of my existing 147 supporters, I know two in person. The rest are people who I have met through the online RPG community. Some I do consider friends as we interact online on a weekly if not daily basis – but in response to the question they are my existing audience.

Patreon works best if you have an audience already. In my experience, people aren’t coming to Patreon looking for people to fund, they are coming to Patreon because someone who creates cool stuff is already using Patreon and has brought them there. Once they fund the artist they have come to support, some will look around for similar projects or artists that they can get involved with, but that’s a very minor part of the patron uptake.

I’ve been on Patreon since November 14th, 2013. I wasn’t sure if it would catch on. Since I release 8-9 maps a month and release them for free, I expected a small uptake amongst my readership. I privately announced my Patreon campaign through my Google+ circles a few days before the official launch of the campaign, asking people to critique the campaign. My goal was that I would have 100 supporters at 50c each within four months. Within three hours of asking people for the critiques I had already passed my first milestone goal ($15) and the next day was over the $30 mark. Turns out there was a pent-up demand to give me money!

Have you had people discover you on Patreon, or are you mainly driving your own traffic?

Maybe a few of my patrons discovered me through Patreon, but the vast majority are getting there through my own efforts and the efforts of a few other community members who actively work in the same field as I do on Patreon.

Do you have any tips or advice for creators looking to use Patreon?

Create. Don’t create FOR Patreon, create because you love to create and already do create. Understand that the Patreon model for most people involves a small build-up over time. If you don’t already have an established audience, starting up a Patreon campaign will not suddenly give you one, let alone one that is willing to pay money for your work.

Also, make sure that when your campaign goes “live” you already have some patrons. Think of it as a tip jar. Think of the person outside the grocery store playing guitar. Notice that there’s always money in the guitar case already. Even if the person just set up for the day. It is there so others see that it’s not just “ok” to give money, but that they aren’t alone in doing so.

This lesson applies to crowdfunding. There’s nothing like seeing someone with zero funding to make a person wonder if they should be funding them. The timid supporter has to see that there’s already support out there, that other people think it’s a worthwhile investment.

Look at Kickstarters. Look how much of the funding for a successful KS triggers at the last stretch. It’s not because the word has finally gotten out that the KS exists, it’s because people feel more confident putting their money in something that looks like a sure thing. An empty tip jar is the opposite of a sure thing. A tip jar that’s been empty for a few weeks? It might be enough to turn away even the slightly less timid supporter.

So consider getting some self-funding in there. Get some friends to support you, even at the lowest possible level. Hell, offer to pay them back in beer equal to their investment in you. Just get the tip jar started so the public sees that you get tips.

Also, make your goals personal. My initial goals were to improve my work (purchasing third-party art for my adventures, buying better work supplies) – things that would immediately improve the experience for the patron. But my bigger goals were personal. If I get X funding, I can buy booze! If I get Y funding, I can pay my rent! I originally put that in there as a joke… mostly.

The rent goal was inspired by James Raggi who publishes Lamentations of the Flame Princess (an awesome RPG). He did something similar for his stretch goals for his most recent Indiegogo campaign – every time we reached a stretch goal the backers got to vote on what it would entail and one of the options was that he’d pay his rent (to his wife) early. It got overwhelmingly voted in.

Not all your patrons want stuff for themselves, some are backing you because they want to give you money. Showing them how that money will change things for you gives them more impetus to fund you.

Do you like Patreon and do you think it is a viable alternative to monetization strategies like adsense and product placement?

It is incredibly viable monetization strategy – for the right product. The product that Patreon works for is one with low to no overhead and upfront costs and is a product you would be producing regardless of whether or not you have any patrons.

Look at the foundation of Patreon – it was put together for & by creators who were already creating product and releasing it for free. They also had other ways of monetizing their creations (commercial releases and collections), but you don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy Jack Conte’s work if you don’t want to. The Patreon model doesn’t extort money in exchange for product, what it does is encourages people to tip you (and tip you well) for the product after they already have the product in hand.

I’ve paid my rent every month in 2014 using the funds from my Patreon campaign. To say I “like” Patreon would be a gross understatement. Patreon has changed the way I create – every person willing to throw me a nickle for a new map is another inspiration to create. My art style has improved significantly since I started this campaign, partially because I can now afford better equipment, but mostly because of the additional inspiration from my patrons and the peer pressure of knowing that there are something like a hundred and fifty people PAYING me to produce this next map or adventure.

That said, it isn’t a full replacement for other monetization strategies. I still sporadically release new books compiling my works for those who don’t want to spend their time saving and printing every map from my blog and those books are part of what pays my day to day living expenses.

Basic marketing knowledge is essential to successfully monetizing anything. Understand your product, the market for your product, the pricing strategies that work for it (and Patreon is not always the best pricing strategy for some projects as I said above – if the product requires significant overhead costs, then Patreon is not the way to go), and how to best promote it.

Remember that editorial content is worth a thousand times more than promotional content – so get other people to promote your work instead of doing it all yourself. And remember that Patreon works best if you are creating because you love to create and you would be doing the creating regardless of the financial assistance.

Be sure to check out the Maps & Adventures For Osr Rpgs Patreon campaign and show your support here!

A Cappella Barbershop Videos – 123 Creations, 111 Patrons, $341.33 per creation.

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The Pitch

I enjoy creating a cappella harmonies, a vocal puzzle where I sing all the voices, from bass to tenor! I cover songs ranging from The Beatles, to old classics from the 1900s, to video game themes. ”

“I do everything on my own: I sing, record & edit everything from my desk in a small room, with basic equipment. Not much of a studio! I currently fund my productions on a string budget, with expenses for copyright & arranger fees, software, recording & lighting equipment, countless man hours editing audio & video together.”

“Now you can become an active supporter of my digital art! By tipping me as little as $1, you can help provide me with resources to improve & continue making free music videos for you all.”

Julien Neel’s YouTube Page

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How did you hear about Patreon?

I follow Jack Conte on social media, so I was aware of Patreon in the early stages. I didn’t sign up right away, I wanted to wait for major players to sign up first and let people know Patreon was reliable.

KickStarter isn’t an alternative to Patreon for me: I release weekly a cappella videos, it’s not a one-shot project. I also don’t deliver a product, I just entertain. There is however a French alternative to Patreon called Tipeee. Patreon is US-based, it’s all in English and works in US Dollars, so quite a few people I know who are French native speakers aren’t pledging because of this problem. I decided to go with Patreon anyway because most of my followers on YouTube / Facebook / Twitter are English speakers. I’ve been asking Patreon to allow for other currencies and languages, but they’ve got a lot going on at the moment.

How did you reach 111 supporters?

It took me a few months to reach 100 supporters. I mostly advertise my Patreon account in my videos, by making a quick intro video to let people know they can make a pledge towards my music. Most of my supporters are fans. I have at most 10 supporters who are family or friends. It’s weird to ask for support to people I know in person, so I just tell them I make music and let them see decide. 🙂

Do you have any tips or advice for creators looking to use Patreon?

I say create your page on Patreon, sure, but make sure you have some content to show & an audience to show it to. People won’t pledge if they don’t know where their money is going.

I have over 65K followers, over 130 videos and only 110 supporters on the site, so it goes to show you have to work hard to get people to give, even if they are happy to compliment you on your work.

The difficulty with raising funds on Patreon when you start is that nobody knows you, and the traffic you drive to the site depends solely on you. This means you need to build following on social media. So the bottom line is that you need to release a few freebies & gather fans, before hoping to raise money on Patreon.

Do you like Patreon and do you think it is a viable alternative to monetization strategies like adsense and product placement?

I’m grateful Patreon exists, it certainly goes in the right direction of making the time I put into my craft viable financially. It also sensitizes people to the fact that free entertainment is an illusion, and that is isn’t a sustainable model, particularly in the case of independent artists.

I don’t see Patreon as an alternative to YouTube video monetization or product placement, it’s merely complementary revenue. I’m a medium/small-sized YouTuber, so I can’t afford to turn the ads off my channel and continue spending 30+ hours a week making videos. The Patreon revenue just isn’t enough to live from and it’s best to rely on multiple sources for income. Some artists on Patreon make $3,000+ a video, they’re playing a whole different ball game, so they might have a different answer. Though I suspect there are a lot more in my situation. 🙂

Be sure to check out Julien Neel’s Trudbol A Cappella campaign and show your support here!

Vlogs About Media – 89 Creations, 13 Patrons, $129 per month.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 12.22.13 PM

The Pitch

“I make vlogs about media which include movies, games, music, TV shows and all sorts of media! People seem to like watching me talk about these things and discuss them in the comments of my videos. I keep a very consistent schedule of vlogs each week and have many more planned for the future. This is a way for people who enjoy my content to give back.”

Paleo Vlogs – YouTube Page

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 12.27.32 PM

How did you hear about Patreon?

I heard about Patreon from my friend Tom in late 2013. He and I had been having some trouble with youtube and the content ID system since our videos mainly focused on reviewing and discussing cartoons, so the clips or images we use would always get copyright notices even though the type of videos we made fell under fair use.

Tom found out about Patreon and said it could be an alternative to using youtube’s adsense model. At first he found this site called Subbable, but there was an application process for it. Patreon was more our speed in that all we had to do was sign up and post our content and what we make monetarily is entirely dependent on how engaged our audience is with us.

I got a little scared that my channel might be shut down with the whole content ID monster on youtube and deleted pretty much all of my videos that even had a hint of a copyright notice. I soon abandoned the channel that had nearly 20K subscribers. I do have plans for it in the future, but right now it’s a bit dormant. I started a new channel in December that’s now getting close to 4K subs and back in April I decide to create a Patreon, since I saw that my friend Tom was doing pretty well with it.

How did you reach 13 supporters?

All of my supporters on Patreon are followers that I have on youtube. I put out a video after creating my Patreon leading them to it and I also mentioned that I have a Patreon at the end of each video in case anyone new wants to help. All of the patrons are great too. I do a weekly Q&A on the page and it’s always fun to interact with them and give them updates on what’s going on with the channel.

Do you have any tips or advice for creators looking to use Patreon?

The one thing you should ask yourself is this: “Do I have a big enough audience for Patreon?” I’m not saying someone with a small audience can’t make one, but you probably won’t get much traction if you do. I don’t think my audience is that big but I still made a Patreon page. The bigger your audience is, the more likely you will get supporters.

You should focus more on building up that audience before you consider making a Patreon page. I regret not engaging my 20K subscriber base during the content ID fiasco because for a few months I wasn’t producing anything on that channel, so the retention rate for subscribers on my new channel was very low and I pretty much started from the ground up again. If you do want to make a Patreon, I’d recommend waiting until you have a big enough audience to promote it to.

Do you like Patreon and do you think it is a viable alternative to monetization strategies like adsense and product placement?

Oh yes, I think it’s a lot better than something like adsense. I’m currently partnered with Fullscreen on youtube, and while the tools they provide are pretty helpful, what I make from adsense earnings aren’t much compared what I get from Patreon. Since adsense earnings are already split nearly half with Google, it takes quite a lot of monetized views before anyone can make a dime.

With Patreon, the split is much fairer. Only people with around half a million views or more per month are making anything worthwhile on youtube, and that’s assuming all their videos are monetized. Patreon makes the playing field a bit more even when it comes to making income with videos. So long as your content is enjoyable and your audience is engaged, you can get support from patrons on Patreon.

Be sure to check out Paleosteno’s campaign and show your support here!

Conclusion

If you found this article to be helpful, leave a comment below and be sure to check out the Patreon pages of the creators mentioned in this article! If you’re new to crowdfunding, I recommend skimming through our introductory articles.

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  • Vince Hancock

    Salvador, thank you for this excellent Q&A! Well done!

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely 🙂

  • TheGOODKyle

    Have to say Patreon was new to me as well. Although the sucess stories show it may be a serious kickstarter opponent. Also, add to the fact that Patreon has a Youtube network…let’s just say I may be researching them in depth now.

    • DysonLogos

      As I said in my interview, I don’t see it as competition for Kickstarter as the crowdfunding model is actually pretty much the exact opposite.

      • TheGOODKyle

        There are different views on the word opponent. Never said competition.

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad they are now on your radar! 🙂 Let me know if you decide to launch a campaign on their platform.

  • I’m really excited about it. I’m about to start a campaign for an existing website. I am so passionate about what I do and I believe my talented team of writers deserves to be paid for their phenomenal work. Kickstarter is cool, but for a website that steadily produces content, Patreon is a much better model.

  • Almark

    The problem with these sites is finding fans of your music who can actually pay, and most people do not pay for music. It’s a sad world when we try our hardest to make a living at our craft, I can see why the content creators have better luck with their general purpose videos than a musician on Patreon, I can’t get a bite not one from my Patreon, for over a month now. If you’re curious to see mine, here is the link http://www.patreon.com/almark I make electronic music, a very different type.

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea, music is a difficult business. Feel free to also share your project on CrowdfundingForum.com under the Patreon section.

      • Almark

        Thank you, I appreciate that, the music business is actually becoming a failed business. We are returning to the days of a wandering musician walking through the woods living for themselves without a care in the world. The Internet is the woods and there are few who want to fill your purse. I accept it, if you knew the business model 20 years ago the indie musician could actually make some kind of regular living from their works, here it is 2014 and it’s the all time low, thanks to live streaming and so forth.

        • CrowdCrux

          I agree. Also, services like Spotify pay artists pennies. Many are making their money from live events and brand extensions as opposed to actually selling their music.

          • Almark

            For me live events and other is not possible, I’m just a solo musician making electronic music, but you have a point.

  • I think the point about already having an audience is key. Patreon is not (or not currently) a way of building up a following. There may come a time, when it’s more popular, where supporters browse for projects to support – apparently, this is starting to happen more with Kickstarter now. But at the moment Patreon is getting its supporters from people who bring their audience with them. The main problem here is in giving material away for free. Yes, it’s a great way of building up a following, but it can be tricky to live on air while you do that. So, there’s a danger of a vicious circle, here. I’ve blogged about this on my website, for anyone who’s interested: http://www.woodpig.co.uk/2014/08/how-to-fund-a-comic-book-or-any-other-creative-enterprise-pt-4-adventures-in-crowdfunding/ – however, I do think (hope) Patreon can work, because it’s a better model for creatives than Kickstarter – and to show I mean it, here’s mine! 🙂 http://patreon.com/woodpig

    • CrowdCrux

      I agree, I think it could come in time, but at the moment it’s mainly a way to gather support from your existing fan base.

  • a0rta454

    I don’t get it, really, like I don’t get any feedback at all, it’s depressing that in such way people let you know that you suck lol. http://www.patreon.com/amir Anyways, if someone is interested to support me, or give me at least feedback on why I can’t get support, I would really appreciate it. Thanks, and bye guys.

    • CrowdCrux

      Do you have an existing fanbase?

      • a0rta454

        Nope. No fans. I am active on DeviantArt. And there I get feedbacks like positive comments on my works etc, but no actual fanbase. I realize that patreon for me won’t work as I do not have big friend circle or a fanbase and I can’t get my message to bigger networks to share my cause. Frustrating.

        • CrowdCrux

          It could be more of a long-term solution for you as you build up your email list and fanbase more? You could also stress the $1 tiers for friends and family (c’mon, who can’t afford $1 per month to show their support)

          • a0rta454

            True, I will try it that way over longer time, who knows. Thank you.

  • I somewhat understand where these people are coming from – but fanbases don’t always exist before hand if you’re an artist/crafter/writer – I have supporters yes, but most are like WHINING I CANT PAY YOU A DOLLAR OR MY DOG WILL DIE. I’m over at http://www.patreon.com/fenixfire – I got two supporters, which is a start. I’m working on promo art but i’m way odd and different compared to the mainstream.

    • CrowdCrux

      lol “or my dog will die.” Well, I don’t think anyone really starts out with a fanbase. It develops over time. I think what most of the creators were saying is that it’s very hard to secure any kind of meaningful income from Patreon unless you already have a bit of a fanbase.

      True, it’s always a challenge to find people willing to pay for art/music/etc. However, if you abide by the 1,000 true fan rule ( http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/03/1000-true-fans/ ), I think most artists should be able to secure an average of $3 in support per month per supporter. I’m not saying it’s easy to get to that point, but that it’s attainable over a career if you are creating things people like or care about.

      • Replying so long after the first comment, i still have issues i guess? Eve trying TO GET a fanbase on there – and i’m increasingly wondering if people just don’t agree wit Patreon and prefer Kickstarter? (I’m not giving up totally.. just that at my level of 10 bucks US of donations and patreon only giving me half that, i can’t support many others in return.)

        • CrowdCrux

          I think the donations or pledges you see on other people’s Patreon campaigns is a reflection of their fanbase off the platform, not members that they have interested on the Patreon website.

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    I can recommend this book: >> http://tinyurl.com/qxglhyy
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    Never let them tell you you can not, you’re able to accomplish anything you want. I wish you well bye ..

  • ebluberry

    Hi. Thanks you article helps. I’ve just started my patreon few months back. And I’ve got some fans but I think they are not interested in paying in my works or they just don’t know patreon as it’s quite new at the moment. I’m currently using a new account and just started getting some fans on some sites. I’m doing nsfw contents so it’s harder to find good exposure. My patreon page is a failure and been like that state ever since was wondering is there any place to promote my nsfw stuffs for patreon. Like I want the other patrons to see my stuff too. I’ll be happy to get even 1$ supporters.

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea, I would think NSFW content would be harder to promote and gain public supporters. I think it would depend on the nature of the work.

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  • Edgar Alan

    Thank you for the post, Im just new in Patreon and with the little money and things I have Im starting to create new stuff, check it out, and hoping to make someone smile with my stuff http://www.patreon.com/user?u=206046

    • CrowdCrux

      Be sure to share your project on the Patreon section of CrowdfundingForum.com :). Good luck with you’re new Patreon!

  • I’ve just started up a Patreon page (https://www.patreon.com/mygamerxp) even though I have a small (but growing) number of subscribers. I interact with a larger number of people on other social networks though (such as twitter).

    This article has been SO helpful! I’ve read the tips and checked their pages. Really good advice to get started (even though I may have adopted patreon a little too early perhaps?). I haven’t pushed/promoted it yet, so I’ll ask a few friends about possibly backing me.. we’ll see. I think this page/article has some great foundations for people interested in the program though so thanks for your help. It’s greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks so much for saying that. All credit goes to the amazing Patreon creators who shared their stories. Your link took me to the Patreon homepage.

  • I’ve just started my journey into this whole support Artist mantra as well. https://www.patreon.com/cargonzalez For the longest time I have always just saved and saved till I was able to purchase new gear or release an album. I find it very fascinating that people want to help. I know I’ve always contributed to artists regardless of how much money I had. But this is a different age we live in and letting people help you is a great thing I think

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks for sharing your patreon link! I also think we’re moving into a new age. Good luck with your campaign and keep on creating 😀

  • brittni jensen

    I just started mine https://www.patreon.com/brittnidraws i only have 3 patrons right now but i’m hoping to get out there a little bit more..

    So far i really enjoy Patreon and the possibilities that come with it.

    • CrowdCrux

      Awesome! 3 is a good start!

  • I’ve recently launched my website and i think that Patreon is a usefull tool for what I produce ( Puzzles mainly -> https://www.patreon.com/Puzzles ), i’m still figuring out how it works though. But after reading this article like many others I think that maybe I created my Patreon too early because i don’t have any audience yet… or maybe i’m too impatient.

    Anyway, many thanks for the article, it’s really very interesting !

    • CrowdCrux

      Yeah, I think it’s a good tool to monetize an audience, but at the moment, it’s not mature enough to gather an audience on the actual platform.

  • Eric John Kaiser

    “Merci beaucoup” for sharing your knowledge and for this interesting and helpful article. I am a professional French singer songwriter based in Portland, Or, since 2006. A few months ago, I successfully funded my 4th album almost a year ago using Kickstarter, got incredible support, and therefore thought I should try Patreon. I just started using it a week ago to help me create quality videos (https://www.patreon.com/ericjohnkaiser). I find the concept great. I’m not sure my fans really know how it works yet or have even heard about it…it’s going to be a long process (your article confirms that!). It’s great to have a tool like that for people that want to help. I’m also looking forward to connecting with other Patreon creators. All the best.

    • CrowdCrux

      Yeah, also excited about how Patreon is transforming how the arts are financed.

  • jeff ewusi

    good information here

    • CrowdCrux

      Happy it was useful!

  • jhbeard

    Great article-

    Hi Everyone,
    I just set up my Patreon page.
    I think it’s kind of original- its’ for artists who want to learn more about the craft of concept art and illustration… Perhaps more importantly is the fact that I am a video game vet of 25 years and am offering mentorship to those artists who are seeking a career in the Gaming industry.

    If you know anyone who might be interested Please direct them to my page.
    Thanks!!

    https://www.patreon.com/Uglyheroes

  • Thanks for this article as it inspired me to focus more attention on Patreon for my art projects. I searched on Google+ and I was unable to find any relevant communities, thus I decided to create my own… G+ Community Link: http://bit.ly/gpatreon

    • CrowdCrux

      Good idea! Thanks for sharing the link.

  • Excellent article. I’m a data nerd that wanted to follow the progress of Patreon campaigns, so I made http://graphtreon.com/ . Let me know what you think.

    • CrowdCrux

      Cool site! Thanks for sharing! Sent you a message on your contact page.

    • Astounding site! I’ve bookmarked it immediately! Do you have a patreon campaign? Or how do you monetize? Or you don’t need to?

    • John Burt

      I think it’s rather interesting that the dozens
      people below who insist patreon, and crowdcrux help them succeed are
      delusional. In reality most quit or majority make around $0. Don’t take my
      word for it you can check the people below or even your graphics.
      Monny Monsterr, Cameron, Eric John Kaiser, brittni jensen, Car
      Gonzalez, Matt @ MyGamerXP, and Edgar Alan, J E Haldeman, and Mlle
      Marquee. False hope can make people do or say silly things
      and patreon exploits that.

      Your graphics are nice.

      • CrowdCrux

        I agree with you that no matter whatever discipline it is, the majority of people who try to do something are going to quit or see little success. This is true of Kickstarter campaigns, new business ventures, creative works, getting fit/losing weight, etc. It’s human nature.

        I do think it’s interesting to take a look at Graphtreon statistics and see how many creators are earning a living from the website.

  • I’ve heard of patreon for awhile but only got my account active in the last few days. Since Oct 2014 I’ve ran a movie news, review, and entertainment blog at http://thefilmbox.org/ I run adsense but read an article by Hank Green on reasons this could be the wave of the future when it comes to internet funding. https://medium.com/@hankgreen/the-1-000-cpm-f92717506a4b We’ll see if this works! You can check out my patreon page here if you’d like as well. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=811203&ty=h&u=811203

    Blog Local! Thanks!

    • CrowdCrux

      How do other entertainment blogs like your monetize?

      • If you look at them they just have a slew of ads all over their web pages and rely on heavy traffic. They don’t sell anything. I mean, what would you sell on a movie site anyways?

        • CrowdCrux

          I think if you have an established audience patreon will be a good option. Adsense requires a lot of traffic or very relevant traffic in a desirable niche to monetize well. I would also look into affiliate marketing or maybe trying to make deals with other websites for sponsored content.

          • My audience is random. Trying to build a loyal following but not sure how many there are. I’d love to add some affiliate links but have no idea what would fit within my niche.

          • CrowdCrux

            I would think about what products people buy in your niche or at what point there is some kind of financial transaction and trying to make a deal with those companies to send them customers.

            I would also emphasize your email list more to begin building up your loyal following. You could do an exclusive behind-the-scenes review or other kind of content to incentive people to sign up.

          • CrowdCrux

            Also: another way to think of monetization ideas is to keep an eye out for the companies that are advertising on your site or ads on search queries that are used to find your website.

  • yossy

    I Saw Results On The Very First
    Day.”

    Ancient Secrets of Kings…is by far the most fascinating and
    powerful program I have ever taken…and I’ve taken them all..

    I saw results on the very first day..

    I know that sounds cliche…but I
    promise you…

    I still can’t believe
    it…but

    I JUST went to the mailbox
    and there were two checks for $100 and $150 I wasn’t expecting. Money really
    DOES come to me through all types of channels, as I expect it to.

    And it has happened a few
    times since then…

    A speeding ticket payment
    got returned to me…yes a speeding ticket payment!

    I didn’t even think that
    was possible.

    The law of attraction never
    got me these kinds of results… I always thought I was doing something
    wrong…

    Apparently…I just needed
    Secrets of Kings.. because all the sudden everything started going so smoothly
    and naturally…

    I’ve gone from just a woman
    to a queen…

    I’m really starting to see
    what it takes to go from just a woman…to a queen…and it’s the most exciting
    journey I’ve ever had…

    watch the video here: >> http://tinyurl.com/liveyourdreams1

    Emily Spiel, Phoenix

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Success-In-Life/447462332101513?ref=hl

  • Thanks for the tips. I will keep reading articles like this because I really don’t know what to do. A month or something before I make my patreon page – https://www.patreon.com/MonnyMonsterr?ty=a and I’m active. I also made registrations at twitter, google+ and other social media but I still don’t have a supporters. I share everything and stuff, still making an audience.

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely would recommend setting up your own site if you don’t have one already.

  • Markie Anderson

    These tips are great! Personally, I started my patreon and I have no following so I have like 2 people pledging! My page is https://www.patreon.com/remarkieable?ty=h
    I’m still refining my page- its up but I’ll be editing it.
    I try to be on there as much as I can. I think the hardest is the marketing aspect. Just getting out there and not being lost in the crowd is severely difficult. You should love what you do but people need to understand and want you to keep on doing what you do.

    • CrowdCrux

      Completely agree!

  • Kenny Keen

    Nice tips! I think having a following does give you a leg up but I also think that if you keep doing the work and keep putting it out there consistently that you can gain patrons over time. I started a Patreon page a couple of weeks ago at https://www.patreon.com/kennykeen as a way to help me to create comics full time for a living. It’s something that I’ve been doing all of my life anyway and what I feel I was born to do, so why not go that route. It’s hard work though. I have a little over 100 subscribers on youtube but only 3 supporters on Patreon. I don’t expect people to automatically join up or anything, but it’s there for the ones who value my content and want to be a part of it in some way. Either way, I’ll be making comics but with Patreon, It’s a direct way to connect with my audience and reward them with something cool that I created just for them like a shout out on one of my videos, behind-the-scene drawing comics videos, copies of my comics, or a personal sketch of their choice. It needs to be something worthwhile which means that you need to first value yourself and what you do… then everything else will fall into place over time.

    • CrowdCrux

      Cool story. Thanks for sharing your page and why you’re using Patreon!

  • GHarold Co

    Just like the majority of those commenting below, I am new to Patreon, I have no fan base and I have received no patrons thus far. I have never shared my creations, therefore, this Patreon adventure is totally new for me. I just like what I do. I am involved with Patreon as a soft way to introduce my art creation with others. I will do what I do no matter what type of response I get to my Patreon campaign, but it would be a great boost to my ego if I obtain any type of support. I am here because I was searching for ways to drive traffic to my Patreon page: http://patreon.com/gharoldco . If you are interesting in adult coloring pages that are a tad different from the cutesy art currently being marketed, take a look.

    Thanks CrowdCrux for producing this fine information source about Patreon. It was a great help to me.

    • CrowdCrux

      Of course! Glad the article was helpful.

  • Evgeny Bondarenko

    Great article! thanx a lot 🙂 Im travelling “free artist”, drawing landscapes in open air. Homeless like Van Gogh ))) just start my Patreon https://www.patreon.com/Bondarenko
    hope will have more supporters, start also growing my social networks fan community 🙂
    Check out my Patreon! 🙂

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad the article was helpful! 🙂

  • Mlle Marquee

    Thank you so much for the article! I have just signed up to Patreon and I am just getting the hang of it, so this article is incredible helpful. I have one generous patron thus far and I am so excited to begin making new music and visual art! https://www.patreon.com/mllemarquee

    • CrowdCrux

      Awesome! Keep me up to date as you progress.

  • Yuma Nishiyama

    Hey guys.! Who likes comics and comedy..!?
    I post comedy comics in patreon.!
    Check it out and I hope you’ll be one of my patron. 🙂

    https://www.patreon.com/luminanx

  • Hertz Nazaire

    thank you for such a great article. I am still learning how to best reach art fans for my patreon http://www.patreon.com/nazaire I wish it was easier to find Patrons but this article is encouraging!

  • Thanks for this really interesting article! Patreon is a gift for creators. Now we need a second gift to solve one of our greatest problems: grow our audience. You can keep creating the most unbelievably inspiring and wonderful content but, if no one knows about you, you have a problem!
    Yes, I have only one supporter on my campaign https://www.patreon.com/puzzlopia, so I think I need first more friend-supporters before unknown people become patrons.
    Thanks again for the article!

  • John Burt
  • John Burt

    I’m not going to fault the author’s opinion since
    it’s more of a motivation piece. Let’s be objective.

    Guys it’s great to have dreams and create with
    passion. But please don’t get blinded by the Patreon hype, be sheep
    or brown nose the article about how wonderful and helpful it was for
    your Patreon success.

    Reality check below. All you guys brown nosing to
    spam your page, either quit, got frustrated with Patreon sending you
    in circle feeding you false hope and made around $0 wasting your
    time. If you report a thief stealing your rewards, Patreon doesn’t really care.

    Check out their pages below if you don’t believe me:

    Monny Monsterr, Cameron, Eric John Kaiser,
    brittni jensen, Car Gonzalez, Matt @ MyGamerXP, and Edgar Alan, J E Haldeman, and Mlle Marquee.

    • CrowdCrux

      That’s an interesting perspective. I’ve never thought about it that way. I usually just see comments as a virtual “high five” or as feedback that people want me to keep writing! :-).

    • Cosmic Squid Queen

      I can attest to this as I living the nightmare that istrying to get attention through Patreon. I have read your comments through the
      blog and despite my own efforts as not to be a downer, I do agree with them and that’s how Patreon is over-inflated as being a god-send to artists when in
      truth it is only a very few that reach their tier where they can using Patreon
      bux as a means of living full time.

      I’m actually NOT trying to do that; what I’m TRYING to do is
      use this services as a means of getting to a place where I can find work
      because (personal story) am I not finding what I need here and as I have been told by career consular(s) before, with the degree I have I HAVE to move. I actually have done Patreon TWICE; the first was on my own choice while the second was through some pushing from a friend who acts as if it’s the answer to everything. Mind you, I said it was the SECOND time and I had already informed him that going through Patreon was one of the biggest disappointments due in part to how it actually takes away a nice portion of your earnings (I noticed it a LOT since I was making so little. Only bring in 4 dollars a month) and that it never fosters a true ‘sharing’ environment when it comes to featuring people. As of now, I am still struggling. I am making MORE than what I did last time with the same amount of Patrons (2) but it is not helping me in anything so on top of struggling to find a job where I am now (and failing) I also have a failing Patreon which is not helping me.

      My biggest problem is that my ‘fanbase’ seems to consist of
      people who are either broke, don’t know what Paypal is, or have so many excuses as to why they can’t pay for this or won’t pay for that. My friend who
      suggested I do this again hasn’t dropped a damn dime to support me either way and many f the prices he suggested for my art were deemed too high by my followers so I lowered them and I still have no one biting.

      And then there is self promotion which is also a joke. Since
      Patreon is a wizard at rotating artist on the front page so you can see new
      post, people don’t know what I post. On my other social media sights, I do the
      usual ‘preview’ post and what not and those either get ignored or I get someone who faves it but doesn’t share so it never gets rotated in their timeline.

      I’m just STUCK and at this point, it’s just easier to work minimum wage and hope for the best than ‘explore’ with Patreon. As much as it
      claims that it is a place for creators, it is not because doesn’t really do anything new in order to get creators noticed. It all relies on what a lot of creators already have and if they have jack shit then they won’t gain anything on Patreon. If you’re surrounded by moochers who want nothing but free art and then make excuses as to why they can’t pay, why the FUCK do you think you’re going to get anything on Patreon, especially on a site that doesn’t know dick when it comes to categorizing or refreshing the front page away from their ‘darlings’.

      I shout ‘Support my Patreon’ over and over and over until I am cross eyed but the same results happen; no one listens and comes to see
      either way. I am thankful for the two Patrons I DO have because they both have done something that many others have not and that is keep their fucking promises when I told them I was making a Patreon. Like I said, the guy who was so adamant that this would work hasn’t drop a fucking dime anywhere and is always so quick to tell me to hang on. I have been hanging on and I’ve been doing so without his smug ass since earlier this year and the asshole makes far much more than I do considering he’s lucky enough to have a job. I’m struggling to LOOK for work right now and trying to maintain a Patreon everyone likes to pretend doesn’t exist while going ‘Hurdur, can you draw these 20 characters for free. Thnx.’

      I’m giving this shit to the end of the year or until I get something better going on because this isn’t at all worth it. Like I said, I made more money making 7.50 an hour in a MONTH and with small commissions on the side when I was lucky enough to have a job and our mini-wage here in Indiana is just that; 7.50, one of the lowest if not THE lowest in the country. I could make more just doing that than anything that could be done on Patreon because I am surrounded by people who just want everything for free and if they’re older, they don’t fucking know what Paypal is. Some of them refuse to use credit cards so I know I can’t get anything from them.

      Patreon is just like a side project now; I do it to appease the supporters I am thankful for but if I didn’t have them? Yes, I would quit because it’s not worth it because no one is willing to pay for what I offer despite them doing their oh-so-cute song and dance about ‘Well, if I have THIS much this month, I would TOTES pay you!”

      I have a better chance making more money selling DRUGS than getting ANYTHING on Patreon.

      • John Burt

        I feel your pain and can relate. Patreon doesn’t promote artist as much as it rides on existing a talent most of the time you are cheerleader for them.

        ” I made more money making 7.50 an hour in a MONTH”

        I heard similar stories, even from professional writers or artist who gave patreon a try.
        Patreon neglect to mention you need a fanbase that is rich. My friend had a lot of fans from 2-3rd world countries as much as they like the art, they cant’ afford to support.

        “Patreon is just like a side project now; I do it to appease the supporters I am thankful for but if I didn’t have them? Yes, I would quit.”

        Patreon traps a lot of hard working artist like that. That guilt factor. You work so hard to promote and get fans on Patreon…and now jump ship. It’s awkward. I wish you good luck, your story is important to share here 🙂

  • John Burt

    CrowdCrux, if you really want to empower artist.
    It helps be objective, not turtle up hiding facts or mis lead them
    with false hope. Would like someone to be not forthcoming to you
    about a product? You can accept blind praise but can’t take
    constructive criticism. In reality 95% of the people who butter you with post below claiming that your article help them succeed in patreon actually
    failed and quit a few months later. Majority making $0. It’s
    delusional. Please reconsider your postion an perhaps make a new
    updated article.

    • CrowdCrux

      The great thing about the internet is that anyone can have a blog and share their opinion :). My website is not objective. I’m not a pure journalist. The article is meant to highlight advice for being successful on Patreon by interviewing people who are seeing or have experienced success.

      I think that blogs are great because they allow anyone to share their opinion! Maybe you could write a medium post or a post on your own blog to highlight your opinion?

  • Hestia Edwards

    Thank you for the article: that was helpful.

    I agree with the concept that you NEED A FOLLOWING BEFORE YOU START. I have a small following on DeviantArt, and I might venture into Patreon Land: sure, I might only get $5 a month to start out with, but that’s $60 a year I didn’t have before.

    • CrowdCrux

      I like your positivity :-D. Every large following starts small. When I started, no one followed me and my first month in business, I made like 10 cents.

  • Malorie Mackey

    Thank you for the info! Just launched my Patreon today, and this is helpful in tweaking the details! If you are able to check it out and give feedback, I’d appreciate it!
    https://www.patreon.com/MalorieMackey

  • Gauthier Linley

    Thats a very intersting and helpful article! Thank you

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Cordova

    I recently create my Patreon page where I told stories about my experiences during my summer week in Japan for my upcoming Japan summer project by 2017. (www.patreon.com/cordova).

    Check out my Patreon, thank you ! 🙂

  • Linus Kim

    This was a helpful article especially for people looking to create and build their own campaigns.

    What do you think of this Patreon campaign – https://www.patreon.com/cartoonmomo?

  • Fonsi

    Just in case if someone wants to support my Dance Projects 🙂 https://www.patreon.com/la_fonceur

  • Has anyone used http://www.gigrev.com ?