What is Patreon & how does Patreon Work?

Patreon is a membership service used by online content creators for earning a monthly income. This platform allows content creators to operate a subscription service for their followers, fans, and supporters. People that provide online content can monetize their work with Patreon. The material provided here will explain what Patreon, how it works, and if it is a legit way for content creators to earn money.

The History of Patreon

Patreon was created back in 2013. It came about when a musician by the name of Jack Conte. Jack Conte wasn’t a famous musician, but he had some small success during his career. Around 2013, he was looking for a way to earn money from his YouTube videos. He was getting enough views to receive money from advertisements, but he needed more cash to support his family.

Eventually, Conte met a guy named Sam Yam. Mr. Yam had the technical and computer skills to help Conte to create a platform that would allow him to receive payments for his work. This platform could be used to provide subscriptions to fans, supporters, and customers who was interested in a content creator’s work. Patreon was then born from this endeavor.

Once this online subscription service was created, Jack Conte became the CEO. Sam and Conte eventually raised money for their company. They ended up generating millions in investments and their business is now a legit company in the market.

About Patreon

Patreon is a legitimate company. The company is worth millions, they pay out billions, there are over 6 million active patrons that support content creators, and the site has over 200,000 creators. This company is located in San Francisco, California. They have a legitimate phone number that can be called during their business hours and they can be easily located at their physical address on Townsend Street within San Francisco.

This company hires employees, gives to the community, and provides careers for its workers. Patreon is not a shady business that is hard to find and the people there are open and honest. The reason why their credibility and accountability are being stressed is because of online scams. Many online businesses are not right.

A lot of online businesses and ventures come across as shady, misleading, and very suspect. Patreon has a real CEO, real workers, and real contact information. They are even registered with the Better Business Bureau which means that they are credible. Many online companies will not get registered with the BBB because they are trying to hide something or fool people. Not Patreon, this company is real. We’ll talk more about Patreon’s Better Business Bureau rating later in the article.

While Patreon is a legit operation that doesn’t mean it’s without problems. There is no such thing as a perfect company. All legitimate businesses have some type of issues. The main thing to remember is that a company should not have too many issues to deal with. Patreon is not exempt from criticism but it is a solid business with a good reputation.

How does Patreon work?

Content creators sign up to the Patreon website. Once they sign-up they select a payment plan or tier option that is best suited for them. We’ll discuss more about the payment plans momentarily. Once content creators have chosen their payment plans, they can then finish setting up their account.

Once their accounts have been established, Patreon members will then start to set up various links back to their work. Each Patreon link will direct supporters and fans to an exclusive place online to view exclusive content and information.

For example, if a cartoonist makes a new cartoon video and he charges $10 for his fans to see his new video; then he will use a Patreon link to navigate his fans to that particular video. He can set the link up on his personal web page, social media account, or through his video channel. Once a supporter clicks the link, they will be verified to pay $10 to see the new material. If they are verified for this type of access, they can then watch the cartoon.

Here is another example. A pod caster who creates special podcasts for supporters that pay $25, can give their $25 supporters special links that will direct them to the exclusive podcasts. This provides a great way for creators to control who sees the content and who doesn’t.

Patreon members can also set up their content onto the Patreon site. They will then be given a page on the site, but they will not be promoted. Content creators have to do their own promotion. Patreon is not responsible for helping a person to become successful. While they will show who you are on the site, they will not actively advertise your work. Truthfully it seems like they would be more adamant about promoting content creator works to improves their bottom line. However, they’re not. You must do that.

Patron Accounts and Information

Patreon isn’t just about content creators. This site also supports patrons. As a matter of fact, the patrons are what makes the site profitable. Content creators simply provide the product, patrons purchase the product, and Patreon acts as the middle-man between both parties.

Patrons can sign up on the site and choose a subscription plan. Once they set up their plan, they can then select the type of category they’re interested in viewing. For example, there are comedians, musicians, actors, and other categories. After they select a category, they can then search for a member they want to support.

Once they find content creator to support, they will then sign up for a subscription service (tier) with that content creator. They can then select the type of tier they want to support. Each tier provides different perks and benefits from the content creator to the patron.

They can also click the patron button on a content creator’s page. This is done when a content creator doesn’t offer tier but simply charges for their work. This usually happens when a content creator charges different prices for exclusive works. Content creators will then provide special links to patrons who support them without being charged for a subscription service.

Patrons will also have to set up a payment method. Debit or credit cards, PayPal accounts, and bank accounts can be used for this purpose. Patrons can set monthly limits to support content creators if they choose. They can also set up their billing cycle in terms of being charged monthly or annually. Once they finish this part of the process and complete a few more steps, they’re account will be ready to support a content creator.

As you can see, this can seem a like a very confusing process. However, we’ll sum it up again to make it simple for you to understand. A content creator signs up with Patreon to display their work for a fee. People who like specific content creators can then sign up with the site to pay a monthly subscription to see their work. Patreon simply acts as the middle-man that brings both parties together. It’s that simple and that easy.

Content Creator Payment Plans (Tiers)

Content creators will have to choose plans based off how much they are being charged by Patreon. In other words, Patreon charges a certain commission percentage for each tier. The tier charges are listed below:

  • Lite subscription – Charges members 5% of their monthly income.
  • Pro subscription – Charges members 8% of their monthly income.
  • Premium subscription – Charges members 12% of their monthly income.

Remember that members (content creators) are paid monthly by Patreon. The company takes out its commission fees before paying the content creators.

Each tier package comes with perks and benefits for the content creator.

  • Lite subscription – Plus payment processing, hosted creator page, patron communication tools, and Patreon workshops.
  • Pro subscription – Everything in the Lite Plan. You will also receive membership tiers, analytics and insights, special offers' promo tool – creator-led workshops, unlimited app integration, and priority customer support.
  • Premium subscription – You will receive everything in the pro and lite plans plus dedicated partner manager, merch for membership, and team accounts.

Content creators will also receive features such as:

  • Recurring billing features
  • Recover failed payments
  • Fraud protection
  • Flexible processing fees – Standard rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per successful payment over $3. They will also receive micro payment rate of 5% + $0.10 per successful payment $3 or less.

Those are the basic payment plan or tier options for content creators.

Patron Payment Plans (Tiers)

Patrons have payment plans or tier options. The content creators set those plans up for their supporters or patrons. The plans can range from $1.00 and go all the way up to $1,000 or more. This of course will depend on what the content creator is offering for sale. Patrons should remember that Patreon doesn’t control the fees that the content creators or its members charge. The fees and tiers are set up exclusively by the content creators.

Who is Patreon best suited for?

Patreon has been designed for various online entities such as podcasters, video creators, musicians, visual artists, communities, writers, journalists, gaming creators, nonprofits, tutorials, education, and different online creators. This platform makes it easy for them to get money from their work. We shouldn’t forge that artists who create paintings or sculptors can also use this medium to find fan support.

The Good Things about Patreon

Patreon helps to increase online content creator revenue. Remember that most content creators will receive payment from video platforms (YouTube, Tik Tok, est.) based off the number of views they generate each month. They will be able to make money this way. Some video creators can generate millions of dollars from their videos. However, they are rare when compared with the masses.

Most video creators will be able to make money from their videos but not necessarily earn a living. Keep in mind that content creators generally are not able to sustain a lot of views for many years with their videos. The best way to overcome this problem is by using a subscription service for their die-hard fans and supporters.

Remember, most people don’t necessarily like and subscribe to a channel even though they might enjoy watching the videos. Also, people’s viewing habits will change simply because they will move on to something else. This is especially true on video channels. This is why most content creators might be popular for about a few months or maybe a few years, but they will eventually fall off or lose a lot of viewers.

Trying to earn a living in this way is very difficult. Trying to sustain income in this way is also very difficult. For example, a content creator can make videos about catching a gold digger female that are popular for a few months. However, after people start repeatedly watching them, viewership will eventually decline. This is because most of the gold digger pranks will start to become old or repetitive.

Sooner or later, people will stop watching them altogether. Unless a content creator diversifies their content and try to make something new or different, they’re going to start to lose views. When they lose views, they lose money. One of the best ways to overcome this problem is by using a service like Patreon.

Patreon can allow die hard supporters and fans of a content creator to have ongoing access to their videos and exclusive content. This in turn will help to supplement and augment a content creator’s income. They can keep creating content while keeping their income viable.

Patreon is also useful for podcasts creators, and for other online media producers. Educators and non-profit organizations will benefit from it as well. The bottom line is that Patreon makes it easy for people to receive compensation for their work. Also, it helps to improves their viewership and to improves their income stream from the content they create.

The Downside of Patreon

Earlier in the article it was mentioned that Patreon was not perfect. The Better Business Bureau gives this company a “F” rating. The problem with this company is the number of complaints that it has received from customers. Apparently, Patreon has not resolved these issues.

This rating doesn’t put the company in a good light. Some of the biggest complaints about this organization is that it doesn’t promote the content creators and that it frequently charges patrons when they are not receiving any content once they are charged.

Other complaints include being overcharged, not being able to get a refund, and having extra money taken out of their accounts for no reason. Patreon has been accused of a lot of different things. While people can reach legitimate employees of the company, they complain that they are not getting their issues resolved. As a result, they have over 100 complaints and this gives them a bad rating with the BBB.

Patreon content creators don’t like the fact that their supporters or fans are also exposed to the competition. While Patreon doesn’t promote content creators, they do list them on their site in different categories. When a patron signs up with the site, they can see the different types of creators within a category. If they happen to discover someone else, then a content creator can lose money to that individual.

Some content creators claim that the company takes too much in commissions. Even though they only take what was agreed upon, some content creators don’t like this deal. The bottom line is that Patreon is not 100% perfect. They try to deliver the best product possible, but they do fail. As the middle-man they are responsible for ensuring that content creator and their fans can connect with each other.

Is Patreon’s services necessary for today’s content driven market?

Yes, Patreon’s services are necessary for today’s content driven market. Here’s why. Many people jump onto the internet to become internet famous. Again, only a few people can accomplish this feat to become “internet stars”. However, most people will not.

Even though most people won’t become famous from their online content, they can still make money from them – like working a second job. Patreon helps to boost their income. A content creator will have to figure out what to sell to the public and what they need. They will have to do this to keep their income steady. This is not an easy thing to persistently do.

Think about this. Some sitcoms can last for years and others only last for a few seasons. Why is that? The truth is that successful sitcoms have created a series where it can repeatedly entertain people over time. Sitcoms that are not successful cannot do this.

Successful sitcoms usually have a team of writers, good producers, outstanding directors, and good actors or personalities playing in the roles. Content creators typically do not have all these elements working in their favor. They have to do all these things on their own. They might be good at writing material, self-directing their videos, and even producing them; but their acting or delivery might not be strong.

Content creators typically have to wear all hats. Here’s a little secret about most famous YouTube personalities. Most of them have a team behind them helping them to achieve their success. They have writers, a producer, and even a director helping to make their online show successful.

The bottom line is that content creators will benefit from Patreon because they can use it improves their income, even though their content might lack in some or many areas. The key to using Patreon is making sure that you can create content that sells and that really interest people over the long run.

What is the best way to use Patreon as a content creator?

The best way to use Patreon as a content creator is to entice fans and new viewers with special content. For example, Patreon can be used to show extended footage of videos or special features that is not available anywhere else on the internet.

Most people see this concept with Blu-Ray discs. When people watch DVDs, they can get some extras to go along with the movie. However, when people buy Blu-Ray discs they can get bonus features, lots of extra content, and even some hidden surprises. This is what Patreon services can offer for content creators. These extra services can boost income and help to keep a content creator fan base strong.

Patreon is very beneficial for content creators who want to improves their income stream from their work. They just have to make sure they are producing high quality content that people want to watch. Also, this site can help to improve a content creator’s online presence if it is used in the right way. Patreon might have its issues but it is still a good site to use to boost a person’s online brand.

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