While he was writing the article, he reached and asked for my thoughts on how to be successful on Patreon. Below is what I wrote, which he quoted in the article:
There are three types of people who do well on Patreon:
- People with a truly gigantic audience (for them it doesn’t really matter what they offer through Patreon, it’s really just a donation page)
- Creators with a big audience who release super compelling bonus content through Patreon (like a popular podcaster who releases a bonus episode to patrons every week, and that’s all they do with Patreon)
- Creators with a decent-sized audience who make a lot of effort providing value to their patrons in different ways: offering cool rewards, creating a community, giving fans greater access to the creator, etc.
Thus for the vast majority of creators, you have to have a decent-sized audience AND put in a lot of work in order for Patreon to be worthwhile. The bigger the audience you have, the less work you “need” to put into Patreon. One takeaway here is that unless you are super famous, just putting a Patreon link on your YouTube page will not result in any meaningful number of patrons. Patreon takes effort, and you should probably only do it if you enjoy doing it, because otherwise you will burn out.
Here are the reasons why I have been successful in getting people to join my Patreon:
- I have a large email newsletter (due to my blog), and this is key because email converts so much better than any other marketing channel.
- I put substantial work into building and refining my page, and had probably 20 of my biggest supporters review the tiers and language on the page before releasing it publicly to give me suggestions on rewards and how I communicate the value of joining.
- The video “courses” (meaning playlists) I create on YouTube take hundreds of hours of work and are really high-quality, and so most people have joined Patreon because one of my courses delivered massive value to them at some point and they want to thank me.
- I have been giving to the community for free for years (answering literally thousands of YouTube comments/blog comments/emails), thus many viewers have built a personal connection with me.
- I have a good reach on social media.
Here are reasons why people stay subscribed as patrons:
- I put a lot of ongoing work into providing value.
- I thank my patrons a lot.
- I prioritize my patrons above everyone else.
Anyway, this is just my perspective on Patreon. I’d be happy to hear what other people think!